We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we try

If historical figures with 2020 attitudes could be found, renaming familiar streets and place names wouldn’t be so daunting

We can’t obliterate history, no matter how hard we tryWinnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is determined to pursue his name game – renaming, removing and rewriting history. Among his targets is Bishop Grandin Boulevard – the mayor doesn’t like the late Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin’s attitudes. If Bowman succeeds, the next logical renaming would be St. Vital – also named after Grandin, who was an important…

Making sense of the world and ourselves in challenging times

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a book for these troubled times. It’s as beautiful as it is insightful

Making sense of the world and ourselves in challenging timesIt’s always good to rediscover an excellent book, especially in these times. I recently borrowed The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz from my local library to have an audio book to listen to when going for walks with my dog. What a treasure! Ruiz draws from his Indigenous heritage, teaching the ancient wisdom of…

A place of reconciliation and pride

The process can include something as simple as discovering and using the ancient name for where you live

A place of reconciliation and prideAs we continue to hunker down in our Sunshine Coast house to avoid COVID-19, and come to emotional grips with the pandemic, it’s wonderful to have good news. We got some today. I just saw a new road sign go up in what has been called Saltery Bay since the early 1900s. Fair enough, you…

When reconciliation defies the common good

In a democracy, politicians need to balance various interests. Indigenous needs can’t always come first

When reconciliation defies the common goodTen years ago, Douglas Bland, a retired lieutenant-colonel from the Canadian Forces and the chair of Defence Studies at Queen’s University, published Uprising: A Novel. In this 500-page work of fiction, Bland outlines how militant Indigenous warriors and their allies could, in the tradition of Louis Riel, hold Canada up for ransom, stopping rail traffic, blocking…

We must face up to Canada’s dark past

Telling our Indigenous people to ‘get over it’ comes dangerously close to outright genocide denial

We must face up to Canada’s dark pastAs tensions have mounted in Canada in recent months over land claims and Indigenous rights, I’ve heard and read many variations of the phrase, “The Indigenous just need to get over it.” I wonder if the people who embrace this view really know what they’re saying. It reflects complete ignorance of the history of Canada…

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliation

Taking shortcuts becomes a fast track to ending the conversation and starting the shouting. We need to build a workable partnership

Finding a workable path to Indigenous reconciliationCanadians have been swept over the roaring information waterfall and plunged into a kind of suspended frenzy, from the ‘crisis’ of Indigenous railway blockades to the fresh hell of a spreading global virus most of us had never heard of when 2020 began. One immediate effect is a dizzying distractedness that makes coherent political response…

Justin Trudeau’s leadership failure

Leadership is complicated. Character counts, as do vision, competence, judgment and the ability to persuade or inspire. The PM misses the mark

Justin Trudeau’s leadership failureLooking at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of the ongoing blockade fiasco, it’s difficult to avoid comparison with how his father, Pierre Trudeau, dealt with the 1970 October Crisis. Faced with the revolutionary FLQ’s kidnappings of British trade commissioner James Cross and Quebec provincial cabinet minister Pierre Laporte, the senior Trudeau moved decisively as prime…

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history

The mayor is misreading the events of the Northwest Rebellion and romanticizing a nasty moment in our country’s history

Winnipeg’s statue cleansing a distortion of history“The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?” This was the question posed by a Métis prisoner after the Battle of Fish Creek. Thus was born the nickname of the military unit that would later be known as the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, one that had been sent west to help crush…

Pack up you troubles in your old kit-bag

Our perspective in marking Remembrance Day is definitely at odds with views of the day, but that doesn't mean the sacrifices weren't worthy

As rhetorical formulations go, ”the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” packs a formidable punch. Signifying the coming into effect of the armistice that ended the First World War, the words have a striking resonance: eliciting solemnity, dignity and the sense of something very important. Much more so than VE Day or…

Did the Great War really create a distinct Canadian identity?

It took far more than our efforts during the Great War to nudge Canada out of its subordinate role in the British Empire

Did the Great War really create a distinct Canadian identity?If you turn left upon entering the main gate of Toronto’s St. James Cemetery, you’ll soon come to a tall, imposing Celtic cross made of stone and inscribed with the family name Hagarty. There are three people buried there, but pride of place is given to someone whose earthly remains repose thousands of miles away…
1 2 3 4