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A Puff of Absurdity: Mohawk Institute: the "Mushhole"

My class toured this historical “museum of conscience” with a survivor of the school as a guide. It operated as a residential school from 1828 to 1970. We weren’t in the original building because it had been burned down and rebuilt twice. Some schools… . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Mohawk Institute: the "Mushhole"

A Puff of Absurdity: On bell hooks

I came across a bell hooks essay about writing with passion, as a “space of transgression,” which I like very much. And then PEL (The Partially Examined Life – a panel of four guys who talk about different philosophy texts each week, with special g… . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On bell hooks

Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Documentary festivals are certainly not immune to scandal and controversy, and this year’s RIDM, which took place in Montreal in November 2015, was no exception. Following on the heels of the festival’s public screenings of Dominic Gagnon’s film Of the North, Inuit artists like Tanya Tagaq and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril took to social media to express […] . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Curating the North: Documentary Screening Ethics and Inuit Representation in (Festival) Cinema

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Settlers, Oppressed Nations, Indigeneity

A friend recently wrote me, asking me “after how many years/generations do new settlers become Indigenous to a land? So, for example, are the Boers descendants today in S. Africa, African?”

It’s a question i’ve had a number of conversations about, not because i’ve any kind of special standing on the issue, but i think because it’s a question undergirding a lot of ways things are talked about on the radical left and in anticolonial movements. Over the past years i have come to the conclusion that like so many other questions, there are multiple valid answers, and the point is not to (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Truth, reconciliation and restitution


The summary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was released last week. The work of the Commission took seven years, gathering public and private testimony from survivors and families of survivors of Canada’s state- and Church-sanctioned residential school system—a system that forcibly removed from families, assimilated and often killed Indigenous children. The Commission’s conclusion was stark: Canada committed cultural genocide on Indigenous peoples.

My first guest is Indigenous scholar Vanessa Watts-Powless. Vanessa is Mohawk and Anishnaabe and teaches in Indigenous Studies at McMaster University. With Hayden King, a previous (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Industrious immigrant vs idle Indigenous meets reality

Here’s a familiar trope: immigrants are industrious and hard-working. Here’s another, opposite trope: First Nations are idle and lazy. And here’s a graph that beautifully calls into question this neat pair of stereotypes.

Source: Angella McEwen, Progressive Economics Forum.

It turns out that off-reserve First Nations workers and recent immigrants face the same unemployment rate – one that is much higher than that faced by workers born in Canada. As Angella MacEwen, who posted this graph, points out it highlights that “there are systemic barriers that need to be addressed” in the labour market.

On the one hand, there is (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Planning the Metropolitan #Vancouver Region: A Critical Perspective

Here is a review of the Planning the Metropolitan Vancouver Region: A Critical Perspective- Thank you to AY for inviting me- great catching up with SCARP people and making new connections. […]

Melissa Fong: Loretta Saunders is not a singular case: Inappropriate and inadequate responses from Harper Government

… Let me be clear: Aboriginal women are TARGETS of violence because they are treated as disposable objects. How many ignored Pickton concerns were there before someone decided to take 49 missing women seriously? Advocates of missing women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were IGNORED by police while FOURTY-NINE WOMEN WERE MURDERED.

This is not just a case of random homicidal maniacs. It’s also a story about how Aboriginal women can easily be stolen; law enforcement IGNORE the issue; and, all the while, government remains silent….

Sketchy Thoughts: Countering Colonization (and other great books)

So University of California Press has just made 700 of its books available for online reading (to read on a tablet you have to copy paste into some other program and do some conversions). One of these titles, which i can’t recommend highly enough, is Carol Devens’s Countering Colonization: Native American Women and Great Lakes Missions, 1630-1900 , a title which has been out of print for some time now.

Countering Colonization provides an important snapshot of how some Indigenous women dealt with colonialism and patriarchy in canada, providing rich details of resistance in various forms. Strongly recommended!

on the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

This is what solidarity looks like; make sure it’s authentic!

Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.

It’s hard to know how to live humility, sincerity and really really good listening to make sure we are not a hindrance, but this Ally Bill of Responsibilities does a good job of helping us be mindful of humility, and maintaining a sincere focus on assisting those (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: “Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution?

“Micro-brothels” in BC: Are we still criminalizing prostitution? The short answer: YES. Now the long answer: I’ve seen a couple articles in Vancouver’s 24hr News about how micro-brothels are a booming and we should be really scared because micro-brothels are dangerous. See here and here. First article: Sex-worker activist Sue Davis said buying and selling …

The Canadian Progressive: Indigenous resistance grows strong in Keystone XL pipeline battle

By: Crysbel Tejada and Betsy Catlin | First published by Waging Nonviolence on May 8, 2013: On cloudy days, heavy smoke fills the air of Ponca City, Okla., with grey smog that camouflages itself into the sky. The ConocoPhillips oil refinery that makes its home there uses overcast days as a disguise to release more [...]

The post Indigenous resistance grows strong in Keystone XL pipeline battle appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Song of the Watermelon: Three New Year’s Resolutions for Canada

I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. The practice always struck me as little more than an excuse to put off self-improvement until next year. But now, with year’s end upon us, and solutions nowhere in sight for the host of problems that we face as a country and as a world, the moment may finally have arrived to exploit this silly annual tradition and appropriate its language for purposes of cynically presenting a false common cause with any blog readers who happen to be into that sort of thing.

With such ingeniously devious trickery in mind,

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Three New Year’s Resolutions for Canada

Harper Valley: Indigenous Pipeline (Twinned)

Indigenous Pipe Line (Twinned)



Filed under: Political Humour Tagged: Aboriginal, bitumen, chanupa, First Nations, indian, indigenous, native, oil sands, peace pipe, peacepipe, pipe line, tar, twinned

Art Threat: Montreal First Peoples Festival call for submissions – Submission deadline extended to April 13

The 22nd Montreal First Peoples Festival has extended its entry deadline to Friday the 13th of April 2012. The Festival is looking for audiovisual works for this years’ showcase, taking place July 31st to August 8th. As always, the showcase features works by native directors and films by non-native directors about aboriginal topics.

Complete details can be found on their website: