We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them right

What can be said of those who deny the past and ignore the inherent human rights of their neighbours?

We must accept the mistakes of the past and make them rightIt’s a normal human reaction not only to acknowledge when we’ve done something wrong but to seek to make reparations and heal the relationship with the person we’ve harmed. This is also true on a societal level. As I complete teaching my unit on the residential school system in Canada, I ask students to reflect…

Burning churches, toppling statues won’t ease the pain

And may make the situation worse

Burning churches, toppling statues won’t ease the painIn July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the arson and vandalism of Catholic churches across Canada in the wake of discoveries of unmarked graves at former residential schools. After more than 1,100 unmarked graves were discovered at the sites of schools previously run by the Catholic Church in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, protests erupted. Statues…

Systemic racism is embedded in our economy

We pass laws for unjust taxes, reward unscrupulous businesses and hold money back from our children

Systemic racism is embedded in our economyIn a 2016 interview, CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge confronted children’s advocate Dr. Cindy Blackstock with this statement regarding public funding for Indigenous programs: “Billions of dollars have been spent in trying to come to grips with the situation that so many Indigenous Canadians face. And of those billions, it’s on the record that some of…

Link between access to voting and health found in study

Americans facing voting barriers due to race, age, income less likely to have health insurance; implications for Canadian system

Link between access to voting and health found in studyAmericans who face barriers to voting due to their racial background, age or socio-economic status are also less likely to have health insurance, according to recently published research in The Lancet Regional Health - Americas. “We saw a significant relationship between barriers to voting and being uninsured, particularly among African Americans, Asian Americans, those living in lower-income households…

How racially-charged sports team names marginalize your neighbours

Cleveland MLB franchise sees the light and adopts a new name

How racially-charged sports team names marginalize your neighboursCleveland Guardians. Sure it sounds weird. Cleveland’s baseball team has been called the Indians for more than a century. But everyone will get used to it. Most importantly, it was the right thing to do. Yes, the name Indians is less egregious than the blatantly racist name Redskins that Washington’s National Football League team used…

Vandalizing Emily Murphy for no good reason

Was the icon of feminism really a racist?

Vandalizing Emily Murphy for no good reasonOh, dear, the statue-defacing vigilantes are at it again! One of the latest targets is erstwhile Canadian feminist icon Emily Murphy (no relation). Her Edmonton statue got the red paint treatment in mid-July. Predictably, the ‘racist’ epithet was deployed. Indeed, the National Post’s news story went beyond merely noting the racist allegation. It accepted it…

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous people

The graves of residential school children symbolize the abject failure of decades of government policy

Finding a new path forward driven by Indigenous peoplePeople are mad. Finally! And sadly, belatedly. The discovery of the locations where hundreds of children were buried around abandoned residential school grounds has touched the country in ways that perhaps even the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not. People are responding to…

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecent

Good people and bad people can be found in every group

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecentWe’re all influenced by the environment we grow up in and our life experiences. We thus adopt paradigms in our effort to make sense of the world around us. Sometimes these perspectives serve us well but other times our core beliefs prevent us from seeing the truth. Yet there’s perhaps nothing more life-giving than experiencing…

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievement

BlackTalk offers an ‘ethnic, modern, inclusive and informative’ take on the Black experience for listeners of all backgrounds

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievementThe murder of George Floyd last year was a pivotal moment for University of Alberta political scientist Andy Knight. The expert in international politics is acutely aware of his good fortune throughout his distinguished career. Growing up in Barbados, then immigrating to Canada in his teens, he felt insulated from the worst of the anti-Black…
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