Marginal Citizens: Interracial intimacies and the incarceration of Japanese Canadians, 1942–1949

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, History, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2022-01-11 21:22Z by Steven

Marginal Citizens: Interracial intimacies and the incarceration of Japanese Canadians, 1942–1949

Canadian Journal of Law and Society / La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société
Published online 2021-09-08
DOI: 10.1017/cls.2021.18

Mary Anne Vallianatos, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Victoria School of Law, British Columbia

Following Japan’s 1941 attacks on Hawai’i and Hong Kong, Canada relocated, detained, and exiled citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry. Many interracial families, however, were exempted from this racial project called the internment. The form of the exemption was an administrative permit granted to its holder on the basis of their marital or patrilineal proximity to whiteness. This article analyzes these permits relying on archival research and applying a critical race feminist lens to explore how law was constitutive of race at this moment in Canadian history. I argue that the permits recategorized interracial intimacies towards two racial ends: to differentiate the citizen from the “enemy alien”; and to regulate the interracial family according to patriarchal common law principles. This article nuances received narratives of law as an instrument of racial exclusion by documenting the way in which a new inclusive state measure sustained old exclusions.

Read or purchase the article here.

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We trust artists like Michelle Latimer to avoid harming Indigenous people

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-12-06 01:46Z by Steven

We trust artists like Michelle Latimer to avoid harming Indigenous people

NOW Toronto
2020-12-21

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Trickster and Inconvenient Indian director Michelle Latimer poses on top of a condo rooftop in Toronto.
Samuel Engelking

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers explains the particular kind of pain revelations about Michelle Latimer have caused within the Indigenous film community

We were gathered for a filmmaking workshop at the Urban Native Youth Association in East Vancouver. I was co-facilitating with filmmaker Jessica Hallenbeck. One participant was that particular kind of shy brown-skinned Indigenous teenage boy who didn’t yet know his worth in this world. He wore sweatpants, a hoodie and sneakers, and had a head of thick black hair. He was afraid to smile, much less make eye contact with the other teens in the room.

I’d asked the young people to introduce themselves – to give us their names, where they come from and what they found most exciting about film. When his turn came, he kept his gaze steady on one spot on the floor as he quietly shared his name and that he was from Vancouver. I interjected. “And, what nation are you from?” He paused, and then whispered, “I don’t know.”

My heart sank to untold depths. I had just inadvertently implied that an Indigenous youth who grew up in foster care didn’t belong. Belonging is everything in Indigenous communities, but at that moment I made him feel so small. I still carry the shame from that interaction, knowing I could not undo that harm.

People wonder how former Trickster director Michelle Latimer, whose identity has recently come under scrutiny, could claim to be Indigenous for so long without skepticism. She was trusted because the Indigenous film community is protective. We want to avoid doing harm to those who have experienced the trauma of displacement…

Read the entire article here.

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How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-12-06 01:23Z by Steven

How disgraced health expert Carrie Bourassa passed as indigenous for years

The New York Post
2021-12-01

Isabel Vincent, Investigative reporter

Carrie Bourassa’s Instagram page describes her as an “Indigenous feminist” and “proud Metis” with an addiction to lattes.

Only her penchant for caffeine was true.

A statement from Carrie Bourassa’s team said “she has not falsely identified as Indigenous nor taken space away from Indigenous peoples.”

Bourassa, a professor in the department of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading expert on indigenous issues, has been exposed as a fraud. A family tree prepared by a group of academics who were suspicious of her ancestral claims shows that Bourassa is of Swiss, Hungarian, Polish and Czechoslovakian origins and has not one ounce of indigenous blood…

Read the entire article here.

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From Joseph Boyden To Michelle Latimer – Why Does This Keep Happening?

Posted in Articles, Audio, Canada, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-12 15:41Z by Steven

From Joseph Boyden To Michelle Latimer – Why Does This Keep Happening?

Canadaland
2021-02-15

Our gatekeepers keep elevating Indigenous artists with tenuous connections to Indigeneity.

Through most of 2020, Michelle Latimer was the hottest Indigenous filmmaker in Canada. In September, she had two works at TIFF: the feature documentary Inconvenient Indian, which took the top two prizes for which it was eligible at the festival, and the first instalments of Trickster, a prestige CBC drama about growing up on reserve whilst contending with monsters both figurative and literal.

“Latimer’s young characters are multifaceted, her interplay between score and imagery sets an energetic pace, and, most importantly, her respect for the trickster in Indigenous storytelling is evident,” TIFF’s Geoff Macnaughton wrote in his programme note for Trickster. “If the archetype can truly impact younger generations, that respect is paramount — and Latimer’s version exemplifies why it matters who gets to tell the story.”

When she appeared on the cover of NOW‘s annual TIFF issue, the magazine proclaimed that she “reclaims Indigenous storytelling.”

But three months later, the CBC published an investigation that brought forward serious questions about Latimer’s evolving claims of Indigenous identity and heritage — concerns about which had been raised privately since at least the summer.

In short order, Inconvenient Indian was pulled from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and its future release thrown into doubt. The CBC chose to not move ahead with a second season of Trickster, following conversations with the cast, crew, and author of the source material.

And as first reported by Variety, Latimer hired crisis PR firm Navigator to manage the fallout, serving the CBC with a notice of libel.

There’s a lot to unpack there, and today’s episode of CANADALAND attempts to do so, through interviews with comedian and Thunder Bay host Ryan McMahon, filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, and Inuk seal hunter Steven Lonsdale, the latter two of whom were featured in Inconvenient Indian.

For host Jesse Brown, one of the big questions is: Why does this keep happening? Between Joseph Boyden, once Canada’s hottest Indigenous novelist, and now Michelle Latimer, why do Canada’s white cultural gatekeepers keep elevating Indigenous artists whose actual connections to Indigeneity are tenuous? Brown implicates himself in this, as he and McMahon had recently met with Latimer about helming a potential dramatic television adaption of Thunder Bay.

Listen to the episode (00:59:49) here.

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The Carrie Bourassa story is yet another example of a kind of cultural Munchausen Syndrome

Posted in Articles, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-10 01:34Z by Steven

The Carrie Bourassa story is yet another example of a kind of cultural Munchausen Syndrome

The Globe and Mail
Toronto, Canada
2021-11-09

Drew Hayden Taylor

Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor, told the world her ancestry was Métis, Anishnawbe and Tlingit. But she has been unable to verify her ancestry following reports questioning those claims.
DAVE STOBBE/UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

Here we go again – another day, another story about someone with supposed Indigenous roots turning out perhaps not to be who they say they are. After recent reports from Indigenous scholars and the CBC cast doubts on claims to Indigenous ancestry by Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor in community health and epidemiology as well as the scientific director of the Institute of Indigenous People’s Health, she was put on indefinite paid leave from one position and unpaid leave from the other.

For the longest time, Bourassa told the world her ancestry was Métis, Anishnawbe and Tlingit. But since the reports questioning those claims, she has been unable to verify her ancestry. Now, relieved of her high-profile positions, she can spend all her spare time jigging, beading and carving totem poles.

She is the latest to be suffering from what I consider a cultural form of Munchausen Syndrome – when a person pretends to be sick in order to get sympathy and attention from those around them. This particular form of the syndrome, which seems to be on the rise, occurs when somebody pretends to be of another race or people – usually Indigenous – possibly to obtain respect and recognition from others and, some might argue, certain financial benefits as well.

An early practitioner was English expat conservationist Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, who claimed to be Native American and called himself Grey Owl – but even back then, most Indigenous people were suspicious of how Grey or Owl-like he actually was. More recently in the U.S., former college instructor Rachel Dolezal claimed to be African-American when in reality she was just a white woman with pigment envy…

Read the entire article here.

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Health scientist Carrie Bourassa on immediate leave after scrutiny of her claim she’s Indigenous

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-02 20:56Z by Steven

Health scientist Carrie Bourassa on immediate leave after scrutiny of her claim she’s Indigenous

CBC News
2021-11-02

Geoff Leo, Senior Investigative Journalist

At the 2019 TEDx talk in Saskatoon, Carrie Bourassa claimed publicly that she is Métis and Anishnaabe and has suffered the effects of racism. (YouTube.com)

University of Saskatchewan, CIHR place Bourassa on leave over lack of evidence

Carrie Bourassa, a University of Saskatchewan professor and the scientific director of the Indigenous health arm of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is on leave from both institutions following a weekend of online outrage stemming from CBC’s investigation into her claims to Indigeneity.

Bourassa, who has headed up an Indigenous research lab at the U of S and the CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, has publicly claimed to be Métis, Anishnaabe and Tlingit.

CBC found there was no evidence she was Indigenous, despite her claims many times over the past 20 years. When asked, Bourassa hasn’t offered any genealogical evidence to back up her claims, but in a statement she said two years ago she hired a genealogist to help her investigate her ancestry, and that work continues.

Just last week, after publication of the CBC story, the CIHR issued a statement supporting Bourassa, saying it “values the work of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health under Dr. Carrie Bourassa’s leadership.” And the U of S also backed her, stating, “The quality of Professor Bourassa’s scholarly work speaks for itself and has greatly benefited the health of communities across Canada.”

However, on Monday, both institutions announced Bourassa was on immediate leave…

Read the entire article here.

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Indigenous or pretender?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Canada, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing on 2021-11-02 01:59Z by Steven

Indigenous or pretender?

CBC News
2021-10-27

Geoff Leo, Senior Investigative Journalist

Carrie Bourassa, one of the country’s most-esteemed Indigenous health experts, claims to be Métis, Anishinaabe and Tlingit. Some of her colleagues say there’s no evidence of that.

With a feather in her hand and a bright blue shawl and Métis sash draped over her shoulders, Carrie Bourassa made her entrance to deliver a TEDx Talk at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in September 2019, where she detailed her personal rags-to-riches story.

“My name is Morning Star Bear,” she said, choking up. “I’m just going to say it — I’m emotional.”

The crowd applauded and cheered.

“I’m Bear Clan. I’m Anishinaabe Métis from Treaty Four Territory,” Bourassa said, explaining that she grew up in Regina’s inner city in a dysfunctional family surrounded by addiction, violence and racism…

Read the entire article here.

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No Silence on Race

Posted in Articles, Canada, Interviews, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice on 2021-10-22 14:26Z by Steven

No Silence on Race

Be’chol Lashon
2021-10-19

Team Be’chol Lashon

No Silence on Race is a movement born of the necessity for both racial equity and inclusivity within Canadian Jewish spaces.

This month Periphery, an exhibition about Jews of Color (JOC) opened in Toronto, Canada. A collaboration between the group No Silence on Race and the Ontario Jewish Archives, Periphery shares the voices and faces of Canadian Jews who are often not seen in the mainstream presentations of Jewish life. We at Be’chol Lashon sat down with members of the No Silence on Race team to learn more about them and their work.

Team Be’chol Lashon: Tell us a little about yourselves

The No Silence on Race core team is Sara Yacobi-Harris, Akilah-Allen Silverstein and Yoni Belete. We are 3 young professionals based in Toronto, Canada…

Read the entire interview here.

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Race and Racism: When Racial Passing Becomes Racial Fraud

Posted in Canada, Live Events, Media Archive, Passing, Philosophy, Social Justice, United States on 2021-10-14 15:20Z by Steven

Race and Racism: When Racial Passing Becomes Racial Fraud

Virtual event on Zoom
Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University
London, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, 2021-10-14, 19:00-20:30 EDT (2021-10-14, 23:00-00:30Z)

Meena Krishnamurthy, Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

In the past year and a half, race and racism have been at the forefront of many people’s minds because of widespread Black Lives Matter protests and the disproportionately negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on certain racialized communities. But the underlying phenomenon is not only recent. For centuries, racialized communities across North America have faced social and environmental injustices. This series of public lectures examines the topics of race, racism, and environmental justice. It will include philosophical discussions about what race is, of how to and how not to respond to racism (e.g., through practices of “racial fraud” or racial passing), of racism as a source of vaccine hesitancy, and of environmental injustices that afflict Indigenous communities in Canada.

The 2021 philosophy lecture series, Race and Racism, is prepared in partnership with the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, the Department of Philosophy at Western University, and the London Public Library. Additional support for the talk by Deborah McGregor has been generously provided by the Faculty of Law at Western University.

Each talk will begin with a presentation by the speaker, lasting approximately 60 minutes. Rotman Institute Associate Director, Eric Desjardins, will act as host and ask the speaker a number of follow-up discussion questions. Registered attendees will have the option to ask additional questions live via Zoom, or to submit questions in advance via email. We look forward to having an engaging discussion with everyone in attendance in this online setting!

  • I. Scenes of Racial Passing
    1. Brit Bennett’s Vanishing Half – Stella
    2. HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” – Ruby
    3. Rev. Jesse Routte
    4. Walter White
    5. Ellen Craft
    6. John Redd/Korla Pandit
  • II. Ethics of Racial Passing
    1. Fooling as a skill
    2. = politically virtuous
      • a. Why? Challenges racial oppression
  • III. Ethics of Racial Fraud
    1. Jessica Krug
      • a. Not skilled
      • b. Not for a just cause
      • c. Politically vicious
      • d. Why? Entrenches racial oppression
    2. Counter examples?
      • a. John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me
      • b. Grace Halsell, Soul Sista
  • IV. Murky Waters
    1. Stella revisited

For more information, click here.

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Defying Categories: An Interview with Hollay Ghadery

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive on 2021-09-14 02:25Z by Steven

Defying Categories: An Interview with Hollay Ghadery

White Wall Review
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2021-09-13

Rosabel Smegal and Isobel Carnegie, Managing Editors

“A lot of people are saying I’m brave for writing this,” Hollay Ghadery tells us, grinning through the screen. “But I wish it wasn’t seen as so brave. I wish it was the way everyone was, or felt comfortable being.”

Brave is just one of the words that Ghadery’s memoir Fuse has been called since its publication by Guernica Editions in May 2021. Other words include: edgy, powerful, raw, and profoundly honest. Written in short, thematic vignettes, Fuse follows the experiences of a young woman of Iranian and British Isle descent growing up in a biracial and bicultural household in small-town Ontario. Ghadery is as honest as her prose is lyrical, unpacking her mental health journey and lifelong struggles with substance abuse, eating disorders, and anxiety. The memoir jumps back and forth through time as Ghadery tells powerful stories from her first (and only) night in a brothel to being unable to fluently communicate with her Farsi-speaking aunts and living with OCD. Meditating on the complexities of the biracial female body, Ghadery challenges traditional, clear-cut ideas about identity, motherhood, and family.

Ghadery studied English Literature and holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. For several years, she worked in freelance and corporate writing but now, as a mother of four, she devotes her time to writing creatively. Her poetry, short stories, and non-fiction have been published in various literary journals including The Malahat Review, Grain, Understorey, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, and Room. She has also written for White Wall Review, publishing a review of Anna Van Valkenber’s Queen and Carcass in April 2021 that you can read here.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with Ghadery over Zoom this summer and chat about writing authentically, navigating Biracial Identity Disorder, and defying categories. Much like her memoir, she was open and honest and so willing to share…

Read the entire interview here.

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