Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday's child

I watched the film, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee on the French channel. It didn't suffer from being dubbed (good job, French dubbers), but it was very difficult to watch. But I did because one has to face history, and certainly Canada's history is heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada has absorbed.

A book I've been reading, by John Ralston Saul, one of Canada's great thinkers, is A Fair Country, in which Saul makes that argument. He also says that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada, and this has to be re-thought in order to move forward.

"The jacket drawing of John Ralston Saul's A Fair Country is both simple and wonderfully complex. To anyone who recognizes the Anishnabek world view of Turtle Island, the illustration is a perfect summation of Saul's thesis. Canada is, indeed, a Métis nation. Saul's carefully constructed and illuminating argument offers us a new way of viewing ourselves, an argument with roots that stretch back centuries before Confederation. Our ties to the aboriginal, Saul argues, are far stronger than our ties to the European. Clearly, this makes some more than a touch uncomfortable, even angry, which will certainly lead to good debate. And isn't that the point of a great book? There's no denying Saul is one of our nation's most lucid, commanding and progressive thinkers.
It's the rare book that offers its readers epiphanies that are at once startling and obvious. These Aha! moments are to be cherished. A Fair Country will change the way we view ourselves as a nation."
-- Joseph Boyden

1 comment:

  1. I love the pictures of your stitched work and the colours


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