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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Culture APP


Everything that is cool, interesting and original about Canada is some form of cultural appropriation whether it is place names or the iconic image of Pierre Trudeau canoeing in a buckskin jacket.

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The thing with Canada it is that it is made up of people who left their lives and their loved ones behind. Think about that. From an Indigenous perspective this is hard to fathom. We would love to hear the stories about people completely abandoning their people and their homes.

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Canadians have always liked the good Indian. The good Indian is exotic or at least from someplace else, it is one of the reasons why Joseph Boyden was so embraced by the literary establishment in Canada.
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It is a shame that a writer like the too soon departed Richard Wagamese did not get opportunities that were taken by Boyden. Wagamese was from a family ravaged  by the legacy of residential schools and he wrote Indian Horse, a survivor's story that the National Post called "an unforgettable work of art."

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Boyden’s fraud tarnishes the residential school ballet Going Home Star by the internationally renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet and most egregiously the last great work by the Bard of Canada the soon to be gone too soon Gord Downie.  
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What can a writer do if not imagine what it is to be another person? If writers were not allowed to imagine another’s life than all we would have is autobiography.

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This is the land of stolen names
This is stolen land.
This is the land of stolen stories.
This is stolen land.
This is the land of stolen children.
This is stolen land.
This land is not my land. I am the land.

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I am still trying to make sense of my story. I am still trying to find my own voice. I am trying not to go insane with the truth.
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A writer of Margaret Atwood's genius could only have written A Handmaids Tale being oblivious to the truth of Indian Residential Schools. The book was published in 1985 and the truth of the abuse and torture that was occurring in those schools to tens of thousands of children did not come light until Phil Fontaine's on air disclosure in 1990. She could not have known the bureaucratic machinations between the governments and ALL the churches.
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The churches can’t work together on anything. But they get together for this.

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FUBAR 2 was a great Canadian film. Where are the books about the real stories of people living like that all across this country. The miners and the loggers and the drillers and the shalers and all the people feeding the extraction machine. Delve into their mines and their spirits.
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All Quiet on the Front lines of the War against Mother Earth.

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Canadian Writers have an obligation to look at what is really going on. Create the characters, share with the world the inner monologue of people who celebrate in light of people’s suffering in their own country. Who cannot shed a tear in face of a suicide rate that is the highest in the world?
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What kind of people live their lives completely ignoring their own history.

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It is understandable that you have forgotten your own stories, your own spirituality. But you can’t just take ours.  

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Do you want to explore dangerous ideas? How about looking at Canada as a fascist country where the end game to eradicate the continent of Indigenous peoples continues.
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When it comes to genocide, Canada plays the long game.
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You think you know but you don’t. You don’t even know yourself how can you try and know me.

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You have held us silent for generations. Give us a chance to tell our stories.

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David Adams Richard creates murderers out of justice seeking MicMacs in Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul using the same Canadiana trope as in WP Kinsella’s Dance me Outside. The Globe and Mail reviewed the book under the title "No Mercy Among the Micmacs". This is projecting. This is what white people would do in that situation.

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In a historical context the narrative in Richards book is most offensive in a part of  a country where they committed the actual genocide of the Beothuk not merely attempted genocide.  If this weren’t any more than a fictional trope there would be a lot more dead white people around this place.

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Canada is so afraid of its own voices that CBC cannot allow online comments on stories about Indigenous Peoples.


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