If families form the bedrock of Indigenous peoples, it seems Canada has devoted decades to their fracture and fragmentation. And, as child advocate Cindy Blackstock notes, were we to label the forced institutionalization of children in faraway residential schools as 'phase one' of that fracturing, the subsequent removal of generations of kids into the homes of non-Aboriginal strangers in the 1960s could be called 'phase two.' The so-called 'Scoop' removed thousands of kids from a number of provinces. But, this week, it was an Ontario court that heard the latest phase of a class action suit seeking compensation for what survivors say Canada denied them: rightful access to "Aboriginal customs, traditions and practices." Our guest is Raven Sinclair, associate professor of social work at the University of Regina, and a Scoop survivor herself.
Senseless, tragic and disturbing: words that rush to mind upon hearing the news of last week’s killing of Colten Boushie. A 22-year-old resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation in western Canada, Boushie was shot to death after he and four other Indigenous young people drove onto the property of 54-year-old, non-Indigenous farmer Gerald Stanley in hopes of getting help with a flat tire.
What happened next is still under investigation, but that hasn’t stopped some from drawing and sharing their own hurtful and hateful conclusions via social media. Our guests this week both hail from Saskatchewan: Tasha Hubbard is a documentarian and assistant professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan; Chris Andersen is interim dean at the University of Alberta’s faculty of Native Studies. They share their thoughts as to what Boushie's death—and its contentious aftermath—might tell us about the state of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations in that province and beyond. // Our theme: 'nesting' by Birocratic.
Will it happen again? Will someone portrayed on-screen by Aboriginal actor Adam Beach be quickly dispensed with, leaving us next to no time to really know his character? According to our guest this week, it's been something of a pattern for Mr. Beach—indeed, it's a fate faced by all too many Indigenous actors in Hollywood, as they appear all too briefly in mainstream television and film productions. Cutcha Risling Baldy is an Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University. She's also the author of the 2015 blog post, "I Can't Believe You Keep Killing Off Adam Beach, NBC: Gender, Representation, Settler Colonialism and Native Cameos on Television." In the course of exploring what's at stake in how Indigenous people are represented by the major studios, we'll also discuss whether Beach's latest role as SlipKnot in the summer superhero flick, "Suicide Squad," breaks with the pattern she's described. // Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.
When loved ones die, there’s no question who suffers most—their families. And of those who pushed hardest for the newly-launched National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, none fought more fiercely than the relatives of these stolen sisters. Now some of those families have been left disappointed by the details of its terms of reference. Such concerns are echoed by groups like the Native Women’s Association of Canada and Pauktuutit, who say there are fundamental flaws in the Inquiry’s scale and scope. Joining us this week with her reflections is Pam Palmater, Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto. // Our theme is 'nesting' by Birocratic.