wmtc: thoughts on canada 150

It’s Canada Day, this year dubbed Canada 150, with its own corporate brand and a carefully worded story of that number 150. We also have Canada 150+, which acknowledges that human cultures and societies have been living in what is now Canada for thousands of years. I have mixed feelings about Canada Day. First, I despise nationalism ...

wmtc: postscript: some clarifications and addenda to my recent post on cultural appropriation

Many people have been discussing my recent post about cultural appropriation on Facebook. I’m not surprised that many people disagree (that’s why I wrote it, to put my countering opinion out there), but I have been surprised by how many progressive people do agree. From the negative comments, I can see that I wasn’t clear on ...

wmtc: accusations of cultural appropriation are a form of bullying — and don’t reduce racism

I’m increasingly dismayed by accusations of cultural appropriation that are used as weapons, rather than as a tool for raising awareness and educating. Accusations of appropriation have become a form of bullying, a weapon wielded to police and enforce a superficial obeisance to a behavioural code — while doing nothing to address the underlying issues. ...

wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 2: libraries and prisons

I’ve had a longstanding interest in prison libraries, and was happy to meet another librarian-friend who shares this. But I was very pleasantly surprised at the large turnout for the talk Prisons and Libraries: A Relationship Worth Incubating at the 2016 OLA Super Conference. A panel of three librarians who serve incarcerated people in different capacities gave ...

wmtc: dispatches from ola 2016, part 1: choosing to walk a path

I attended OLA* for only one day this year, partly because I’m already missing so much work for bargaining and other union business, and partly because one day is often enough. There’s a huge lineup of presentations, poster sessions, book signings, vendors, keynote speakers, tours, receptions, etc. – lots of etc. – but the presentations ...

The Canadian Progressive: Climate Change Threatens Coastal British Columbia First Nations Fishing Traditions

A new study says climate change threatens fishing traditions that have sustained First Nations along Canada’s Pacific coast for thousands of years. The study found that climate change could reduce fish species such herring and salmon, “which are among the most important species commercially, culturally, and nutritionally for First Nations,” by up to 50 percent ...

wmtc: bernie sanders, the pope, and the politics of amnesia

I see a lot of excitement online, in places like Common Dreams and The Nation, and in my Facebook feed, about Bernie Sanders, supposedly remaking US politics, and Pope Francis, supposedly remaking the Roman Catholic Church. About Sanders, I shake my head and wonder why long-time Democrat voters do not see him and his candidacy ...

centre of the universe: Transparency?

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.  We just passed the deadline by which First Nations bands are required by the Federal Government to disclosed audited financial statements. The audited financial statements must be accompanied by a separate schedule which details the salaries for Chiefs and councillors. There are some good ...

centre of the universe: Baby, tell the truth

I was going to make a post about the upcoming election, but since there are TEN GODDAMNED WEEKS left, I think I have some time. And then I heard something on the radio that made me realize something. We have a long, long, LONG road ahead of us when it comes to owning up to, ...

wmtc: truth and reconciliation, past and present: why this matters to all of us

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has just completed its week-long closing event in Ottawa. The Commission was part of the historic settlement between the Canadian Government and the survivors of the former Indian Residential Schools. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS). The Commission will ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: this changes everything by naomi klein, one of the most important books you’ll ever read

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein, is incredibly difficult to write about. I’ve been putting sticky notes beside important paragraphs as I read, and my copy now looks like an art project, bristling with coloured paper squares. I can say without exaggeration that this is one of the most important books ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: indian horse by richard wagamese, a must-read, especially for canadians

Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese, is a hauntingly beautiful novel about an Ojibway boy’s journey into manhood. It was the Readers’ Choice winner of the 2013 Canada Reads, CBC Radio’s book promotion program. But if you’re like me and don’t listen to the radio, you may have missed it. Don’t miss it. Indian Horse should be ...

wmtc: "humility is the foundation of all learning"

My grandmother had always referred to the universe as the Great Mystery. “What does it mean?” I asked her once. “It means all things.” “I don’t understand.” She took my hand and sat me down on a rock at the water’s edge. “We need mystery,” she said, “Creator in her wisdom knew this. Mystery fills ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: the spirit catches you and you fall down, truly excellent nonfiction

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures by Anne Fadiman contains dozens of passages that I’d like to share. My library copy is shamefully dog-eared, and I intend to buy a copy of the book for my bookshelf. But I’ll restrain myself ...

The Canadian Progressive: UN special rapporteur calls for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada

A long-awaited United Nations report has confirmed that there is a crisis in Canada when it comes to how the Canadian government treats aboriginal peoples. by: Obert Madondo | May 13, 2014 A new United Nations special rapporteur’s report on the situation of indigenous peoples in Canada is calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: four youth books and some kind-of spoilers

Flight is a thought-provoking short novel by one of my favourite youth writers, Sherman Alexie. The main character in Flight, a Native American boy who goes by the derisive nickname Zits, is a troubled soul with a long history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. He seems to be on the brink of a major transition, either ...

The Canadian Progressive: CHRC statement on meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya

Canadian Human Rights Commission statement on meeting with James Anaya, the visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The post CHRC statement on meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

wmtc: discoveries make me happy

I am always astonished to see stories such as these. A tree-dwelling animal with a teddy-bear-like face and rust-coloured fur has become the newest mammal species discovered by scientists. The olinguito, the smallest known member of the raccoon family, lives in the cloud forests high in the Andes Mountains of Colombia and Ecuador, reported a ...

wmtc: a people’s history of british columbia, and a chance to preserve it for the future

Here’s a chance to preserve Canadian history – the real history, not the government-approved kind – and to preserve art and creativity and alternative media, all at the same time. Please consider giving $7.00 – or any amount – and sharing this excellent campaign with your friends and on social media. More info: Hi! My ...

wmtc: dave zirin writes to dan snyder: why the washington nfl team must change its name

Here is the definitive piece on why the NFL team in Washington DC must change its name, written by – who else – Dave Zirin: Enough: An Open Letter to Enough Dan Snyder, at Grantland. Please go and read it.

wmtc: 1500 kilometres by foot through the arctic winter: the journey of the nishiyuu nears ottawa

On January 16, 2013, six young Cree men and an experienced guide left their community on Hudson’s Bay, in the far north, on foot. Their destination: Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Along their route, other aboriginal youth joined them, and together, now almost 200 strong, they are still walking. This is the Journey of Nishiyuu, or, the ...

350 or bust: Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

The Canadian Progressive: CASWE and CASW joint statement supporting Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island

A Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE) and Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) joint statement supporting the aspirations of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and their aspirations, currently being articulated by #IdleNoMore. by CASWE  and CASW, Jan. 31, 2013: As social work educators and practitioners the members of the Canadian Association of Social Work ...

Cowichan Conversations: It Is Time For Ottawa To Become ‘Idle No More’

Richard Hughes Political Blogger The Idle No More Movement has reopened an old problem and kicked off a new discussion in Canada regarding our relationship and responsibilities towards indigenous peoples. While it is easy to pick up on PM Harper’s desperate and racist wedge attack on Chief Theresa Spence and the Attawapiskat Nation we must ...

wmtc: are we seeing the beginning of global people’s revolution?

“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…” This week, I attended a talk put on by the International Socialists, featuring an organizer with OUR Walmart, by Skype from Texas, and a Toronto-based union activist. Both speakers were terrific and so inspiring, but although I took copious notes, I’m not posting a summary ...