‘It’s Not About a Pipeline’
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‘It’s Not About a Pipeline’

My name is Sarah Beaubien, I am Wet’suwet’en from the Likhts’amisyu Clan. The last few weeks have had their ups and downs; in 2020 you wouldn’t think that we would still be living in the past of ripping Aboriginal people from their lands, but that is exactly what we are seeing. I also have to stay positive because I know God is a God of Justice and that is exactly what we are fighting for.

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‘It’s Always About the Land’

Someone at church once asked me, “Just what do you people want anyway?” Well, first, maybe don’t call us “you people.” We Indigenous people actually expect a lot from Canada, because a lot was taken from us, and a burden was placed on us that we have carried for centuries. We expect Canada will negotiate government to government, ours to theirs. We expect healing of our identity that has been so shattered, mostly by the residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. We also expect an end to the persistent cycles of racism in Canadian society.

Big, Busy and Bold?
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Big, Busy and Bold?

There were no winners in the 2019 federal election. Members of parliament are reconvening on Parliament Hill like a classroom of chastened schoolboys after an embarrassing noon-hour brawl, not as respected political leaders. The country, however, might benefit from a more somber, careful approach to public policy and decision-making. All parties have a social license to discard petty promises they made to court certain groups of voters and to focus instead on the big challenges facing Canada. Many commentators predict small steps, but there is reason to suggest that bold actions in a number of areas is what it will take for a clear political win in the next election.

Behind Blackface
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Behind Blackface

Is Zwarte Piet an example of blackface and racism or a fun-loving Dutch Christmas tradition? That was dinner conversation in our house last month as my children reflected on the controversy surrounding photos of Canada’s prime minister in brown and blackface. Zwarte Piet is the black servant of the Dutch Sinterklaas who brings gifts to children on December 5. Discomfort or support for continuing this tradition in Canada seems more influenced by attitudes toward one’s Dutch heritage than understanding white privilege and the negative impacts of such portrayals for neighbours of African descent.

No Easy Answers
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No Easy Answers

ON JANUARY 7, the RCMP arrested 14 Wet’suwet’en protestors and took down a barricade blocking access to Unist’ot’en camp on the Wedzin Kwah (or, to use its more recent colonial misname, the Morice River), about 130 km south of Smithers, B.C. Images of the arrests, made after a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to allow construction of the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline, created a sense of unease for many Canadians.