‘Beyond the Text’ Theme Quest – Poem by Richard MacWilliam. This poem helps me to define what politics is, in all essence. Politics is to think, analyze, critique and decide what is best for a society – not simply to speak of good will, like Freedom Dust implies, but what it actually intends behind the pretty words spoken.
Freedom Dust burns to the bone
In screaming agony,
Like French Fries
Builds a barrier of words and lies
Protects Us from Ourselves
And our miserable lives
To stay (however briefly)
Us to bury our heads in the sand
Prevents Us from
Us to carry on
Media Analysis: A major news story to take note of is the race to find a new NDP leader. Most recently, a cree lawyer, NDP Saganash of Quebec was encouraged to put forth his name as a candidate running for NDP leader. He runs along side Brian Topp. Voting day is March 24, 2012.
A not so familiar news story, not surprising to me, is a news cast on APTN from Kahnawake diplomat Kenneth Deer, who reported on Canada’s promise to make Aboriginal education a priority. His statement simply put, was aboriginal education should not be intended to assimilate children into mainstream Canadian knowledge, but to keep their language and culture alive. My question is how they might do that. Kenneth Deer mentioned “it is important for Aboriginal communities to control their own education” within Canada. Lots of work ahead.
Research Discovery: The Nunavut @ 5 Symposium website is very well established and has neatly archived some important speeches in the context of, indeed, Nunavut at 5. Speakers such as Peter Irniq, former commissioner of Nunavut, Eva Aariak, John Amaroalik and Hagar Idlout-Sudlovenick in their respective roles in Nunavut at the time stating the (then) issues and accomplishments of Canada’s newest territory are well kept and interesting to note. I find it especially intriguing, listening to familiar statements, but also, a reminder of the great place that I come from, with such a rich history and all the right intentions. Still, a lot of work remains to fulfil the big dreams noted in their speeches recorded in this website, and our territory. John Amaroalik’s video recording in “Not a Just Society” in the video gallery is especially noteworthy as he does mention Trudeau and his intention to create a Just Society in Canada. He mentioned the average Canadian thoughts that Canada was already a “Just Society”…”but we knew better.” With everything Inuit endured all too quickly, he ends his speech with a note “we now have all the tools to improve our place in this country.” My thought: we just need to take advantage of these tools, and work together to make our dreams/goals happen.
Peter Irniq, hosted the Nunavut@ 5 event with Dr. Cynthia Alexander in May, 2004. He is the former commissioner of Nunavut, a cultural teacher, and worked all of his career encouraging Inuit to participate in the development of their territory.
Reflective Journal: It’s definitely interesting for me to participate in this class, knowing that I have a different perspective than most other students in Political Science. The book such as This is an Honour Song, and the Kanesatake: 270 years of Resistance documentary are a familiar story to me, as I know that my parents and aunts and uncles experienced some of the same experiences noted in these books and documentaries. Their experience is not as harsh, but I definitely know people who’ve had the courage to share what they went though. It is a bit harder for me to process this, mostly, new information, but it is important nonetheless. I feel like we are unveiling a dark part of Canadian politics that most would rather shove under the rug and ignore…but ignoring anything important not a healthy move to make. Not in these ever changing times in Canadian politics.
Question of the Week: What will it take to encourage other young Canadians to become more involved in politics and decision making opportunities?