Appropriation isn’t a crime, it’s natural cultural evolution

Cultural appropriation is how people learn. We take the most useful information we come across and pass it on to our children

Appropriation isn’t a crime, it’s natural cultural evolutionThe controversy concerning what’s called cultural appropriation has taken a strange new twist. Complaints about this newly-invented crime have typically involved Indigenous artists complaining that a non-Indigenous person has appropriated something from them. But now a group of Inuit claims a fellow Indigenous artist has culturally appropriated the throat-singing they say belongs to them alone…

The Raptors elevated basketball to an art form and lifted us all

The most ethnically diverse team ever to win an NBA championship reflected the nation’s diversity

The Raptors elevated basketball to an art form and lifted us allIn our age of enormous salaries for professional athletes and overpriced tickets to sporting events, there are many reasons why the Toronto Raptors winning the National Basketball Association championship is worth celebrating. Behind all the hype, the team succeeded because it was built on the solid principles. First and foremost, the Raptors won with tremendous…

The journey of reconciliation and healing follows a shared path

Far too many of our family histories include persecution and disruption. We should never forget this common bond

The journey of reconciliation and healing follows a shared pathIt’s said that what happens to one person impacts us all. This may seem absurd but as I gain experience, it becomes ever clearer that we have a common humanity. I’ve been teaching high school students about genocide for over 10 years. In the final project of the course, students research a topic of interest…

Ontario court ruling drives a wedge between Canadians

Decision encourages an infinite, ever-changing, race-based relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous

Ontario court ruling drives a wedge between CanadiansIn December 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its Restoule decision, which renders Canada and Ontario equally liable to pay the 21 Robinson Treaties bands their “fair” share of all Crown revenue received from sales, leases and licenses, less expenses, derived from treaties-surrendered lands retroactive to 1850. The land covers basically the entire…

The nationalist revival versus the globalist perspective

The ties that bind aren’t what they used to be – at least for some of us. For others, they are increasingly intense

The nationalist revival versus the globalist perspectiveI’m old enough to remember when nationalism was viewed as a good thing. And I’m not just referring to my Irish childhood. In the Canada of 40 to 50 years ago, many high-profile progressives self-described as nationalists. People like former finance minister Walter Gordon, journalist Peter C. Newman and the luminaries gathered around the Committee…

One sentencing standard for all offenders

Terri-Lynne McClintic shouldn't have been sent to a healing lodge. In fact, the very nature of such institutions defies fair practise

One sentencing standard for all offendersTerri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of the 2009 abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tory Stanford, was recently moved from federal prison to a healing lodge. Canadians were surprised – to say the least – that the transfer of a convicted child murderer to a healing lodge was not something new but had being going on since…

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twist

Sociologists have convinced us to think of people solely in terms of their census categories and their victim credentials

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twistWhen an acquaintance accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. I’m a member of a much-maligned minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. And both of my children are visible minorities: my son was adopted from Thailand and my daughter was adopted from China. In this cultural moment, to be unsympathetic…

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schools

Teaching such languages is better done by parents and ethnic associations. Schools must focus on core subjects

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schoolsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon governments to make the teaching of Indigenous languages in public schools a priority. No one would disagree with the idea of having more Indigenous people become familiar with their ancestral languages. Many Canadians want their children to learn their ethnic languages. Parents with Scottish roots might…

Lining up for another government payout

Should every Indigenous person who was required to attend day school be compensated?

Lining up for another government payoutCBC reports that a class-action lawsuit against the federal government has been authorized on behalf of Indigenous students who attended day schools in Canada. It seeks damages for every Indigenous student who attended. There are an estimated 100,000 such people alive. The lawsuit could result in a payout of at least the $5 billion that…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant and Fiona MacDonald EvidenceNetwork.ca One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that some men are organizing groups driven by views of…

Night hunting has no place in the modern world

Why would a responsible government not immediately issue a total ban on something that’s so explicitly dangerous?

Night hunting has no place in the modern worldNight hunting is an incredibly dangerous practice involving high-powered rifles capable of killing over a distance measured in kilometres. People have been killed as a result of this reckless activity and livestock slaughtered. It’s also responsible for an alarming decline in moose in Manitoba. It should not be allowed under any circumstances. The Manitoba government…

Canada’s cross-cultural identity deeply rooted in western society

While there’s great diversity in Canada – regional, urban-rural, French-English and ethnic – it’s encompassed within the framework of Canadian culture

Canada’s cross-cultural identity deeply rooted in western societyThe view that ‘‘There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,’’ put forward by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is incorrect. Notwithstanding Canada’s official multiculturalism policy, Canadian culture is firmly based in western civilization. The main Canadian political structures are derived from western civilization: Language is a foundational substructure of culture, and Canada’s two official…

It’s the religious who tend most to favour diversity

Non-believers overwhelmingly believe every religious community in Canada, especially Muslims and evangelical Christians, hurt the country

It’s the religious who tend most to favour diversityThroughout autumn, the soup of our multicultural society has almost boiled over with questions about secularism and religion – of what is and isn’t allowed in contemporary public and common Canadian life. Efforts to relegate religious expression and thought to the margins have been ramped up. Those efforts, however, are out of step with broader…

On board but not bored: why committee work makes a difference

The best boards reflect Canada’s diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, language, regionality, background and enthusiasm for the cause

On board but not bored: why committee work makes a differenceMany of us volunteer to sit on boards of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some of us also sit on for-profit boards that govern businesses. In both cases, we know the experience (and consequences) of good and bad board encounters. Consequently I increasingly ask myself, after board meetings, how did it really go? Was the time…

A tempest in a cultural appropriation teapot

For the CBC and others, a joke about cultural appropriation is more important than, you know, things like real racism

A tempest in a cultural appropriation teapotAll novelists are liars. Thieves, too. So said the late Mordecai Richler. My friend and I were in the dark at the back at the Bovine Sex Club on Queen West, waiting to see the Minneapolis punk band Off With Their Heads. My friend had just told me the story of how, years ago, he…