“I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-05-14 20:40Z by Steven

“We always hear people say there are no Black people in Vancouver, but there are. I identify as a Black woman. I know there was a larger Black community in Vancouver many years ago, but people have been displaced. I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.

“I’m writing this for the community that I wish were here now. So whether you are Black, of mixed race or can identify with the trauma parts of the book, I think there are different layers in the work where you can see something different every time. That’s what I like with the hybrid form, of poetry and prose.” —Chelene Knight

Ryan B. Patrick, “Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up,” CBC Books, March 6, 2018. http://www.cbc.ca/books/why-chelene-knight-wrote-letters-to-the-current-occupants-of-the-houses-she-lived-in-growing-up-1.4533897.

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Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews on 2018-05-10 19:41Z by Steven

Why Chelene Knight wrote letters to the current occupants of the houses she lived in growing up

CBC Books
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-03-06

Ryan B. Patrick, Associate Producer


Chelene Knight is an author based in Vancouver. (Chelene Knight/BookThug)

Chelene Knight is a Vancouver-based writer and editor. Of Black and East Indian heritage, Knight’s Dear Current Occupant mixes poetry and prose to tell a story about home and belonging, set in the 1980s and 1990s of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The book plays with genre by way of a series of letters addressed to the current occupants now living in the 20 different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother. Knight tells CBC Books how she wrote Dear Current Occupant.

A bus ride beginning

“The first draft was originally all poetry, but my publisher suggested I rewrite it as creative nonfiction. I tried to write this book in generic memoir form. I sat down wanting to write about some of my childhood experiences. But it couldn’t come out. I thought maybe it’s not the right time.

“Then I was on the bus one snowy day and I passed by one of the houses that I lived in as a child and something sparked in me. I got off the bus and I stood in front of this house. I had a notebook with me and I started scribbling. The memories were coming back to me — flooding in — and it was this visceral thing where I needed to be in that place and then be transported back to those times.”…

…Writing for others

“We always hear people say there are no Black people in Vancouver, but there are. I identify as a Black woman. I know there was a larger Black community in Vancouver many years ago, but people have been displaced. I definitely want to reach people who not only are of mixed ethnicity but who also identify as Black.

“I’m writing this for the community that I wish were here now. So whether you are Black, of mixed race or can identify with the trauma parts of the book, I think there are different layers in the work where you can see something different every time. That’s what I like with the hybrid form, of poetry and prose.”

Read the entire article here.

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‘A dirty deed’: Fort McMurray Métis demand apology after historic eviction of an Indigenous settlement

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Videos on 2018-05-02 15:29Z by Steven

‘A dirty deed’: Fort McMurray Métis demand apology after historic eviction of an Indigenous settlement

CBC News
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-04-25

David Thurton, Mobile Journalist
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Moccasin Flats is the unresolved story of how at least 12 Indigenous families were evicted or relocated from a Fort McMurray riverside community in the late 1970s to make way for a city expanding feverishly to accommodate oilsands growth.

That history still pains Fort McMurray Métis president Gail Gallupe.

“It was really a dirty deed,” Gallupe said. “To be ignored and to be treated so shabbily in those days. There was so much discrimination and so much racism.”

On Monday, the Fort McMurray Métis local announced it will commission an academic study that aims to clarify details of the contentious removal of the predominantly Métis settlement for oilsands development…

Read the story here.

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Bedside Books: How Half-Breed by Maria Campbell connected musician Nick Ferrio to his grandmother

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-04-25 23:50Z by Steven

Bedside Books: How Half-Breed by Maria Campbell connected musician Nick Ferrio to his grandmother

CBC Radio
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-04-16


Musician Nick Ferrio examines Maria Campbell’s autobiography, Half-Breed, and its depiction of race issues in Canada. (Jeff Bierk/Goodread Biography)

Musician Nick Ferrio is based in Peterborough, Ont., but his roots are in Saskatchewan. He recently read Maria Campbell’s memoir Half-Breed and its account of an Indigenous woman’s encounters with racism, and the book resonated with him, thanks to his own Cree ancestry.

Ferrio’s album Soothsayer also mixes several influences to create a personal style and sound.

Mapping internal conflict

“I think every Canadian should read Half-Breed. It’s an incredible story of a mixed woman whose ancestry is part Cree. She explains the racism she faced in Canada. It resonated with me as my paternal grandmother is Cree. Because of the Indian Act, her family was forced to leave the reserve. When she moved to Toronto, she had internal racism. She was ashamed of her identity. She passed as white, so she blended into white culture in Toronto. That’s a dark thing.”..

Listen to the story here. Read the story here.

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‘You Don’t Look Black’: How I’m Talking to My Kids About Being Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Canada, Family/Parenting, Media Archive on 2018-04-22 20:48Z by Steven

‘You Don’t Look Black’: How I’m Talking to My Kids About Being Mixed Race

CBC Parents
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
2018-03-15

Kara Stewart-Agostino


Photo by @criene/Twenty20

“Mama, am I black or white?” This was the question I received one night before bed when my son was in grade 1. A boy in his class had been called the N-word at school and he was full of questions.

He wanted to know what it meant and if someone could call him that. Some of the kids had insisted that he is black because (to their eyes) I am black. Others insisted that he’s not because he doesn’t “look black.”

Although the kids on the school yard perceive me as black, I am the child of a Jamaican born mother and a Scottish/Irish-Canadian born father who met in Winnipeg in the 1970s. As a mixed child, questions of racial identity are not new to me. I think of my kids as second generation mixed Canadians — the cultures of their grandparents are layered and entwined. Their skin is fair enough that they could “pass as white” but both have a head full of curls and tan to a golden brown in the summer sun. Meanwhile their Italian-Canadian born father will burn on a partly cloudy June day…

Read the entire article here.

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The Boyden affair just got murkier: Salutin

Posted in Articles, Biography, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2017-01-15 22:03Z by Steven

The Boyden affair just got murkier: Salutin

The Toronto Star
2017-01-13

Rick Salutin

Celebrated author agrees to select interviews, insists he never embellished or lied about his heritage, but also offered platitudes versus confronting precise criticisms

I found Joseph Boyden’s interview Wednesday on CBC — in a word rarely called for — unctuous. He surfaced three weeks after saying he wouldn’t deal with questions about his Indigeneity publicly but only in a “speaking circle.” This after filling what he calls “airtime” for 10 years on every form of media.

Now he’s back out there on CBC and in the Globe, though solely with “acceptable” interviewers. APTN, which started all this with a cautious, respectful piece by Jorge Barrera on Boyden’s claims, called it a “PR push.”…

Boyden’s language was strikingly vague for someone who writes literary fiction. He talked about stories told in his family but gave few examples, instead repeatedly calling them “beautiful” and “amazing.” He said Holy Mackerel and Ohmygosh. He denied making things up but host Candy Palmater didn’t push very hard. As she said, they’re friends and “I know it would be a different conversation if we were alone over a glass of wine.” As troublemaker Robert Jago bracingly tweeted: “Candy Palmater. WTF?”…

Read the entire article here.

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Saskatchewan artist Leah Dorion features Métis women in stunning exhibit

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Women on 2015-11-10 02:58Z by Steven

Saskatchewan artist Leah Dorion features Métis women in stunning exhibit

CBC News
2015-11-08


Visual artist Leah Dorion said this painting is dedicated to Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier from Fort Providence, N.W.T. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

Country Wives and Daughters of the Country: Métis Women of This Land at the Affinity Gallery

Visual artist Leah Marie Dorion grew up in Prince Albert, proud of her Métis heritage, but she always wondered why Métis women were never represented in textbooks.

Now, Dorion’s doing something about it with her new exhibit of acrylic paintings and crafts.

“I have created paintings and dedicated them to specific Métis women of history,” Dorion told Saskatchewan Weekend host Eric Anderson. “These women I felt never really had a visual presence in the history books. There is a lot of oral history of these women and their contributions.”

It’s called Country Wives and Daughters of the Country: Métis Women of This Land

Read the entire article here.

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