Barbados shakes off the chains of centuries of brutal oppression

Wealth can’t make what’s wrong right. It can’t make the truth disappear, and it can’t stop great people

Barbados shakes off the chains of centuries of brutal oppressionIn his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl discusses the internal character that allowed people to survive the Holocaust. He speaks of an “inner greatness,” where despite the horrendous circumstance, one can choose their attitude, their own way. This is the ultimate human freedom. We recently saw this inner greatness displayed by…

Only truth will put us on the path to reconciliation

We must educate the many Canadians who don’t know what happened to our Indigenous neighbours

Only truth will put us on the path to reconciliationI’ve been teaching high school students about Canada’s residential schools for a number of years. Indigenous content has recently been given a more prominent place in the British Columbia curriculum, and this has had an impact. Students now come to my class with some understanding of this tragic chapter in our history, and we’re able…

More than ever, we need to embrace diversity

There’s no superior culture in the world

More than ever, we need to embrace diversityWe live in a very diverse world. Not only is each individual unique but, as people from different parts of the world have come into contact, it has become clear that each culture has different priorities. Do we have anything in common? I was very fortunate to have been brought up in a multicultural and…

Alberta’s own Independence Day is fast approaching

Albertans have tried to work within the system but it is stacked against them

Alberta’s own Independence Day is fast approachingFor many Albertans, it is 1775. A year later, as every American knows, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. At the time the Colonies were still part of the British Empire; it is, therefore, a British as much as an American document, which is why its logic has such a wide appeal today…

Director examines colonization in production of classical play

Actor, playwright, director, producer Reneltta Arluk returns to U of A as first Indigenous woman to direct on Timms Centre’s main stage

Director examines colonization in production of classical playReneltta Arluk admits being the first Indigenous woman to graduate from the University of Alberta’s BFA acting program in 2005 was a hard-won distinction. In a moment of frank disclosure, Arluk recalls confronting no small measure of racial bias among certain faculty members who made her feel she had no right to be there. Some…

Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoings

Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoingsI’ve been teaching about Canada’s 2008 apology for residential schools for some time. In discussing the topic, I point out that this isn’t only a Canadian issue. Australia has apologized to its Indigenous peoples, and New Zealand continues to make progress in its reconciliation process. Quite often, I hear these questions from my students: “What…

The year the world finally said, ‘Enough is enough!’

It’s difficult to call colonization and the theories that perpetuate and justify it to this day anything but the sinful antithesis of love

The year the world finally said, ‘Enough is enough!’The year 2020 has been like none other. Not only has the world been impacted by a devastating global pandemic, we have finally begun to honestly reckon with the negative impact of colonialism. Boston College moral theology Prof. Mary Jo Iozzio recently stated, “The present state of dis-ease in the United States stems from centuries…

Shaking off colonial shackles no easy task

Shaking off colonial shackles no easy taskWhen studying historical documents, it’s fascinating to observe that regardless of how a statement was received at the time it was delivered, messages of truth, integrity and greatness endure through the ages. My French class and I recently examined two speeches of note that were made on June 30, 1960, the day the Congo won…

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sin

Separating one racial group of people from the rest of the nation and expecting a good result was madness then and is madness now

Time to come to terms with Canada’s original sinCanadians are watching protests on American streets that stem in part from their history of slavery. That original sin dogs America and tears at its soul. But Canada, too, has an original sin. And that’s our history with Indigenous people. It’s not that Canada treated Indigenous people poorly. (It did treat them poorly but that’s…

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failure

How great plans quickly descended into decades of dictatorship, corruption, kleptocracy and violence

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failureThe year 1960 was auspicious for European decolonization of Africa. In rapid succession, no fewer than 17 countries became independent. One of them was the Central African territory previously known as the Belgian Congo. June 30 was its magic date. And given its vast natural resources, some people had high hopes. Alas, things quickly turned…