reflections on history and this December 19th

Today I fend of depression by immersing myself in obscure books about the 1680s. It was a very bizarre time when Anglicans in England feared the king’s religious tolerance. After all, they were used to being the ones allowed to not tolerate others. Maybe we can see it a bit like when the Conservative Christians acted as though allowing gay marriage was going to mean forcing them all to billet gay honey-mooners in their house indefinitely. Except for the Anglicans that sort of was a possibility, whereas for Conservative Christians the worst they were being asked was to ignore the Continue reading

For a Diversity of Tactics

I went last night to a presentation by two women from Deep Green Resistance. It was an interesting presentation focusing on the question of how we make change in our world. The two presenters critiqued the myth that if we just bring enough awareness out there we can create a mass movement that will bring about change through solely nonviolent means. The presenters talked about how historians and story-tellers get to choose from a huge variety of details which ones they present, and so by focusing on Gandhi we ignore Bhagat Singh (and, for that matter, the fact that Gandhi Continue reading

Teaching history to my homeschooled kids

Wow. A letter to the editor in the Nanaimo Times reminds me why teaching history properly is so important. The letter has been removed as has the screen shot of it I tried to link to. The author of the letter lists of accomplishments he feels the natives failed to meet before starting onto his theories before arguing that they are irresponsible and should not receive “special treatment.” The letter misses several important things I want my children (and all Canadians) to learn. There are two historical issues at play. One is the issue of what the author titles “special Continue reading

political protest and the police

A province wide campaign has been launched to raise Ontario’s minimum wage to $14 an hour. To initiate the campaign blocks of ice containing $10.25, the current minimum wage, were delivered to politicians across the province with the request that we melt the minimum wage freeze. I participated in this going with my local anti-poverty group to visit two MPPs – Rick Bartolucci and France Gelinas. I was the contact person for the media and since we had sent out a media release beforehand I had hoped for phone calls from local reporters. I was not prepared for the phone Continue reading

A Response to Anthony Sowan’s Rant Against #IdleNoMore

The following is my response to Anthony Sowan’s rant against the #idlenomore movement. One big mistake within that rant is the idea that this is about preservation of culture. It is about preservation of political rights. If a person marries outside the tribe their children will have a different claim to membership and then if they marry outside the tribe their children won’t membership? So even a native chief’s children and grandchildren can be considered non-native by the government. If a native women doesn’t get the father’s name on the birth certificate, the father is presumed to be non-native, so women Continue reading

Is there a way to "fight our own government"

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a regular feature on my blog, a weekly post about the facebook memes (maybe Meme-y Monday) that I end up seeing, going through and trying to discuss the ideas behind them in more detail like I did the picture of babies who don’t believe in mom. There is something incredibly troubling about the modern online equivalent to bumperstickers. I used to post quite a few on my facebook page but I slowed down when I realized, for the most part, they can’t convince anyone anything that the person doesn’t already agree with Continue reading

Canada’s First Nations are fighting for the environment.

If you were one of the millions of people who watched The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard and you thought, “yes, we need to take action to reduce the destruction we are doing on this planet,” then one way to do that is to support the First Nations in their efforts to have their rights respected. To explain why, I am going to quote this wonderful article:  Canada’s First Nations protest heralds a new alliance by Martin Lukac. The paragraph that stuck out for me is the following:  “But here’s the good news. Amidst a hugely popular national movement against tar Continue reading

Climate Change, Northern Ontario & Chief Theresa Spence

My last post was about a children’s book on climate change and polar bears. This post is going to be about climate change and Northern Ontarians. There are communities in Northern Ontario where the roads drive over ice. This news article from almost a year ago describing how the roads are built: The measurements are crucial. Ice of 43 inches across the river will support commercial loads of about 100,000 pounds (45,000 kilograms). Unaided by men, the river would freeze to only about two feet or so. And the James Bay Winter Road, which follows the bay’s western coast about Continue reading