A Puff of Absurdity: On Boyden’s Questionable Ancestory

It’s hard when we find our heroes as fallible as the rest of us. Boyden, the prize winning indigenous writer found to be not so indigenous, is taking a hit now. Some, like Aaron Paquette, think Boyden can’t claim status without having endured the hardship that went with being raised by generations decimated by legislated ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Cancer Doulas

I had never heard of Healthcare Navigators before, and it seems they don’t exist as much in Canada as they do in the more expensive and privatized healthcare to the south (except for Indigenous needs), but they’re becoming more of a thing here. In Ontario, some hospitals have them, and we’re apparently leading the way to ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Standing Rock Resistance

Chris Hedges is in Standing Rock, back to his original career as a war correspondent. The natives there are preparing for winter, and I’m struck by the contrast to the Occupy fight that dwindled away when things got cold. I’m curled up on the couch as I write that, so I mean no disrespect. But ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Columbus is no hero of mine

Italian-North Americans — especially those of us with roots in the Mezzogiorno (and I include the Ciociaria and Abbruzzo here) — don’t need a Genoese genocidal rapist as our hero. It’s time to eliminate Columbus Day. It’s time for #IndigenousPeoplesDay   Some good reading and watching: ‘All Indians Are Dead?’ At Least That’s What Most Schools Teach ...

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 were burnt down and not rebuilt, choosing instead to ship the ...

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 were burnt down and not rebuilt, choosing instead to ship the ...

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 guest Myisha Cherry) had a couple podcasts about her views on racism ...

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 guest Myisha Cherry) had a couple podcasts about her views on racism ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/podcast150612-reconciliation-restitution.mp3   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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...