— Delalorm Semabia, 25, a Ghanaian blogger (x)
This is incredibly important. Canada has the most mining companies operating in the world, and these companies have been implicated in horrific human rights abuses for decades now. Time to be held accountable!
From the article: HudBay dismisses the allegations, saying a parent company is not responsible for the actions of its subsidiary.
^^^^^ this is why I hate corporations
I often feel invisible. When I tell people that I grew up on an Aboriginal reserve, they look at me like I’m a mythical unicorn, even though more than a million people in Canada identify themselves as First Nations, Métis or Inuit. I probably wouldn’t have thought we existed either if I hadn’t grown up on the Six Nations reserve in Southwestern Ontario. Back then, I only saw people who vaguely looked like me on CBC’s North of 60. It was slim pickings as far as cultural references were concerned.
But today, instead of homages rooted in realism like the CBC offered in the ’90s, all I see in the mass market is a shiny commercial version of “Native Americans” rooted in stereotypes from westerns, Disney cartoons and sports mascots.
It’s disheartening that so few people are aware that headdresses, bonnets and totem poles are still spiritually relevant to vibrant Native cultures. To glamorize—or make light of—the misuse of dated and cartoonish images is to support a legacy of genocide and racism. The after-the-fact apologies aren’t enough. While groups like No Doubt may say they never meant to “offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history,” they did.
How can anyone assume that referencing “Indian” motifs without care or caution wouldn’t be hurtful, trivial or, indeed, racist? I was dumbstruck when I saw the spring/ summer issue of AnOther Magazine. The biannual fashion and culture publication photographed Michelle Williams wearing black braids, a sad expression and what could arguably be considered redface. (Imagine your reaction if she’d been wearing blackface and cornrows.) In response to an immediate backlash, the magazine echoed those other apologies, writing “While we recognize the seriousness of this debate, the image in question in no way intends to mimic, trivialize or stereotype any particular ethnic group or culture.”"
Kelly Anderson, “Spring’s Least-Wanted Fashion Trend: The Co-opting Of Aboriginal Dress,” Elle Canada June 2013 (via racialicious)
important. Also something to keep in mind for the upcoming Tonto movie
The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.
Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because they often let their animals live with them. Religion infused every part of Europeans’ lives.
Europeans believed in one supreme deity, a father figure, who they believed was made of three parts, and they particularly worshiped the deity’s son. They claimed that their god had given humans domination over the earth. They built elaborate temples to him and performed ceremonies in which they ate crackers and drank wine and believed it was the body and blood of their god, who would provide them with entrance into a wondrous afterlife called heaven when they died. Many wars were fought over disagreements about the details of this religion, each group believing their interpretation was the right one that should be spread across the land.
Now imagine that is part of a textbook that has entire chapters on the Mississippian polities of the 1200s and a detailed account of the diplomatic situation of the southeastern provinces in the 1400s and 1500s, an enormous section that goes through the history of the rise of the Triple Alliance in Mexico and goes through the rule of each tlatoani and their policies, the heritage of Teotihuacan and its legacy in later Mesoamerican politics, elaborate descriptions of the trade routes that connected and drove various nations in North America. Long explanations of the rise of various religious movements such as the calumet ceremony and Midewiwin, and how they affected political agendas and artistic trends. Pages and pages and pages going through the past thousand years of American history century by century.
And these three paragraphs are the only mention of European history before the year 1500.
WHY THE FUCK DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO GODDAMN FAIR SKINNED? MOST SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLE ARE NOT THIS PALE.
AND IT’S FINE IF YOU’RE PALER SKINNED. I AM ACTUALLY ON THE FAIRER SIDE MYSELF. BUT WHY DOES THIS DOLL CREATE THIS FALSE IDEAL FOR YOUNG GIRLS WHO ARE PROBABLY NOT AS FAIR? WHY THE FUCK CAN’T SHE BE DARKER SKINNED SO THAT LITTLE SOUTH ASIAN GIRLS CAN IDENTIFY WITH SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL INSTEAD OF FORCED INTO THINKING THEY’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
I’M PRETTY SURE THAT THIS IS THE ONLY COLOR OPTION ON THIS DOLL. SHE DOESN’T COME IN ANY OTHER SHADE THAN ‘ASHWAIRYA RAI EURO-CENTRIC WITH LIGHT EYES’.
DO YOU KNOW WHY THE FUCK PRODUCTS LIKE FAIR AND LOVELY EXIST?
BECAUSE OF THIS DOLL. BECAUSE OF THIS FUCKING DOLL.
Okay, Kiskolee is done. Gah. Just. THIS ANGERS ME SO MUCH.
I’m on the dark-skinned side of the spectrum; and in the summer, I get a vicious joy out of boasting to south asian/wessindian friends/family that I am planning on staying out in the sun and getting super dark. Even darker than I am now.
Them: *GASP* WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOURSELF?!!? YOU’RE ALREADY SO…DARK! *RECOILS IN HORROR*
Me: -Kanye shrug- Guess I like being ugly! Amirite? Laters!
In a significant decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week ruled that the right to abort a pregnancy in a marriage rests with the wife and not husband.
“A woman is not a machine in which raw material is put and a finished product comes out. She should be mentally prepared to conceive, continue the same and give birth to a child. The unwanted pregnancy would naturally affect the mental health of the pregnant woman…” said the court.
Stressing that marital intimacy between a couple does not automatically translate to the woman’s consent to child bearing, Justice Jitendra Chauhan said, “Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.” Welcoming the judgement, Jagmati Sanwan, All India Democratic Women’s Association national vice-president said, “If the family conditions are unsuitable, no woman would like to give birth to a child because after all, she is the one who takes care of the children for all practical purposes. We see around us that fathers often desert their families after a couple of deliveries. But children become a part and parcel of the mother’s physical and emotional world. She invests much into their well being and she alone suffers. Hence, the rights of whether to give birth or not, should be with her.”
Take note, America.
Keep making your stupid sitcoms and stupid movies and stupid ‘news’ reports that show how brown people revere your (white and/or Christian) country and that brown people are only ever backwards and ‘third world’ and dirty and simplistic and smelly and foolish and evil and hateful and hateable and moronic and mindless and comedy fodder and magical and naive. Keep shoveling that into the hearts and minds of your US (or UK or Canadian or Australian) population. Keep going.
Did I give the impression I was trying to comfort her? Comforting people who refuse to engage with their own racist behaviour isn’t on my list of priorities.
Keep your links. I don’t give a damn about some random deviantartist who decided to invent Norse myths. A white person who decides to invent a demonic Hindu creature is not “just making a story”; they are engaging in a long tradition of white colonization, co-opting, and appropriation of Hindu culture.
“ It’s only offensive if you try to make it so.”
That is a patently ridiculous thing to say. The whole construction of “offense” as something that people choose to feel is ridiculous, trivializing, and insulting. I didn’t MAKE her post her racist drawing, I didn’t MAKE her respond with such callous disregard.
Your friend found my response to her to be offensive. Does that mean she made it so? What kind of double standards are you proposing exactly?
As for “making the teen cry”, I can’t even take that seriously. Being told that she did something racist is the worst thing in this whole situation, right? Far worse than her actually DOING something racist, of course.
If your friend truly believes in anti-oppression, she would understand that she shouldn’t help herself to the cultures of people she has a lot of privilege over and is not a part of. She would do some research in order to present her ideas in a respectful and non-harmful manner. If she falls down on this, when called out by a member of that group, she would listen to their critique, apologize, and try not to do it again. She would attempt to grasp that it’s not just one little doodle; it’s one more fucking cavalier insult built upon hundreds of years of oppression, misrepresentation, and cultural appropriation. She would understand that she has caused pain in this exchange and that her tears are just another disgustingly common way that white women who have fucked up attempt to make themselves the victim of any situation.
Am I clear enough? Your friend has already, due to my “rudeness”, decided that she will never ever EVER bother to research the peoples and cultures she co-opts. Is that fair?
LOLOL I love how dramaticallyawesome UNIRONICALLY compares playing in Norse mythology to playing with a real, living, existing religion. A religion of over a billion people. But I guess those people don’t matter, and so their religion is actually just some fun mythology for her artist friend to play around in.
Young artists really need to understand that being an ‘ARTIST’ does not exempt them from the real world. Their thoughts and actions have consequences just like everyone else. Being an ARTIST is not a free pass to Ignorant Happy La la Magicland. In fact, being an ARTIST means you should be even more sensitive/aware of your world than the plebians around you. As an ARTIST, that’s YOUR responsibility to investigate and process and think. As an ARTIST.
My sweet, coming of age story that was supposed to be about a little girl discovering the wonders of British India, magic and growing into herself is morphing into some horror fantasy beast.
I need a better resource for Hindu mythology than Wikipediaaaahhhhh.
LOL ‘wonders’ indeed. One wonders why the British are there.
[image: scan from book written in 1912, where the two characters exclaim over how cute it is to call chocolate fudge ‘pickaninny fudge’.]
- The Mary Frances Cookbook, by Jane Eayre Fryer (Philadelphia, 1912)
Please note that at no point in the summary do they mention that the book has racist elements; it’s a “beautiful” book with a “lovely story line” that modern readers should “simply enjoy”.
It never ceases to bemuse me that, as a chromatic woman, white/Western people admire me for voraciously reading old-fashioned books and classic English literature — without understanding how much it costs me every time I digest these references to “heathen Hindoos” or “pickaninnies” or “rat-eating Chinee” and how long it’s taken me to vomit them from my system.
My relationship with white books is so often a mirror of my relationship with white people; I build up a devotion to them, these antique cookbooks and Sherlock Holmes stories and Louisa May Alcott novels, and then as I’m happily reading along I suddenly discover that my admiration is decidedly not mutual and this is what they think of me. Things are never quite the same after that.
Decolonize Geography : Caribbean
Jamaica - Xaymaca (Taíno-Arawak)
Puerto Rico - Borikén or Borinquen (Taíno, meaning “Land of the Valiant Lord”)
Haiti/Dominican Republic - Haití (Taíno, meaning “Tall Mountain”. term referred to a region located on the island of Hispaniola and may have also been used to refer to the entire island.)
Bahamas - Ba-ha-ma (possible Lucayan origen, meaning ‘large mupper middle land’) or Lucayo (Taíno name for Bahama islands and inhabitants.)
Cuba - Caobana (Taíno, meaning “Great Place”)
Grenada - Camerhogne (Kalinago)
Carriacou - Kayryoüacou or Cariouwacou (Kalinago, meaning ‘Island surrounded by reefs’)
Trinidad - Lëre or Lele (Kalinago meaning ‘Land of the Humingbird’)
Tobago - Tobago (Kalinago)
Barbados - Ichirouganami (Arawak)
Dominica - Wai’tu kubuli (Kalinago, meaning “Tall is her body”)
Martinique - Madinina (Kalinago, meaning “Land of Flowers”)
St. Lucia - Hiwanarau (Kalinago, meaning “Land of the Iguana”)
St. Vincent - Hairoun (Kalinago, meaning “Land of the Blessed”)
Bequia - Becoua (Kalinago, meaning “Land of the Clouds”)
Canouan - Cannouan (Kalinago, meaning “Island of Turtles”)
Anguilla - Malliouhana (Arawak, meaning Arrow-Shaped Sea Serpent)
St. Martin - Soualiga (Arawak, meaning “Land of Salt”)
St. Barths - Ouanalao (Arawak)
Saba - Amonhana (Arawak)
St. Eustatious - Aloi (Arawak)
Saint Crioux - Ay Ay (Taíno)
Saint Kitts - Liamuiga (Kalinago, meaning “Fertile Land”)
Nevis - Oualle (Kalinago)
Montserrat - Alliouagana (Kalinago, meaning “Land of Prickly Bush”)
Barbuda - Wa’omoni (Kalinago)
Antigua - Wadadli (Kalinago, “Land of Fish Oil”)
Redonda - Ocananmanrou (Kalinago)
Guadeloupe - Karukera (Kalinago)
Marie-Galante - Aichi (Kalinago) or Touloukaera (Arawak)
I’m posting the whole thing here, as I believe this to be incredibly important and I want people to read it.
Dr. Pamela D. Palmater
I am moved to write this blog because of Minister Duncan’s outrageous remarks that residential schools were NOT cultural genocide. This has led to discussions about whether or not the murder, torture and abuse of Indigenous peoples in this country “qualifies” as genocide, given the more recent, and much more distant atrocities committed in countries like Rwanda. Rwanda gained international attention because upwards of 800,000 people died in less than a year by brutal means. The Srebenica genocide resulted in the murder of approximately 8,000 Bosnian men and women in 1995. The holocaust of millions of Jewish people is likely the most famous of all.
These events all took place far away from our shores in North America and allowed Canadians and Americans to point across the sea and shake their heads in horror and disgust. North Americans have been able to rewrite their own histories so that they don’t have to face the atrocities committed here at home. They have the benefit of majority power which means that their teachers speak of peace and friendship with the Indians, their priests speak of saving Indians, and their politicians speak of things like reconciliation. Meanwhile, the horrors committed against our peoples, which resulted in the largest genocide in the planet’s history is a story that never gets told.
As a lawyer, a professor and someone who does alot of public speaking about issues impacting our peoples, I am often faced with the question of whether genocide really happened here in North America (a place we call Turtle Island and includes Canada and the United States). When I answer unequivocally yes, the first reaction is usually - “You can’t seriously compare colonization with the vicious murders in Rwanda”? I agree - there is is no comparison. It was a different place, at a different time, with different methods and results. What I am saying is that what happened to our people on Turtle Island fits EVERY criteria of the international definition of genocide.
In 1948, after the atrocities committed against the Jewish people in WWII, the United Nations passed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The Convention declared that genocide was a crime in international law regardless of whether it was committed during a time of peace or war. Any punishment is NOT limited by time or place and there is no immunity for public bodies, government officials or individuals. They defined genocide as follows:
“The Convention defines genocide as any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group:
- killing the members of the group;
- causing serious bodily harm or mental harm to members of the group;
- deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and
- forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
That is not my definition - that is the definition by international law standards for which ALL nations are bound and Canada and the United States are no exceptions. Canada signed this Convention on November 28, 1949. The United States signed on December 11, 1948.
Thus, in order for an act to be considered genocide, it does not require that all components be present, nor does it require that the entire group be eliminated. However, in both Canada’s case and that of the United States, ALL components of genocide are present. Specifically here in Canada:
(1) killing members of the group
- the deliberate infecting of blankets with small pox and sending them to reserves;
- the enacting of scalping laws which encouraged settlers to kill and scalp Indians for a monetary reward;
- the deliberate infecting of Indigenous children with infectious diseases in residential schools which led to their deaths;
- the deliberate abuse, torture, starvation, and denial of medical care to Indigenous children forced to live at residential schools which resulted in as many as 40% dying in those schools;
- the killing of our people by police and military through starlight tours, tazering, severe beatings, and by unjustified shootings;
- the killing of our people resulted in severely reduced populations, and some Nations completely wiped out;
- in the US, some groups were exterminated by up to 98%;
(2) causing serious bodily harm or mental harm to the members of the group;
- think of the torture and abuse inflicted on Indigenous children in residential schools like sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, solitary confinement, denial of food and medical care, and severe beatings for speaking one’s language, etc;
- imagine the mental harm to Indigenous families and communities when their children were forcibly removed from them and left to die in residential schools;
- even when residential schools were starting to close, social workers in the 1960’s onward stole children and placed them out for adoption in non-Indigenous families;
- the torture and abuse of Indigenous peoples in order to force them to sign treaties and agreements;
- the loss of language, culture, traditions, practices, way of life, beliefs, world views, customs;
- the imposed divisions in families, communities and Nations through the Indian Act
(3) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- think of the deliberate and chronic underfunding of essential social services on reserve like housing, water, food, sewer and other programs fundamental to the well-being of a people like education and health;
- the theft of all the lands and resources of Indigenous peoples and their subsequent confinement to small reserves where the law prevented them from leaving and providing for their families and so were left to starve on the rations provided by Canada;
- or the relocations of Indigenous communities from resource rich areas to swamp lands where they could not provide for themselves;
- Indian Affairs who divided large nations into small communities, located them physically away from one another,
- the Indian Act led to the physical separation of Indigenous women and children from their communities through the Act’s assimilatory registration provisions;
(4) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- the forced sterilizations of Indigenous women and men, most notably in Alberta and British Columbia;
- the Indian Act’s discriminatory registration provisions which prevent the descendants of Indigenous women who married non-Indian men to be recognized as members of their community thus keeping their births from being recognized as part of the group;
- the discriminatory INAC policy which prevents the children of unwed mothers from registering their children as Indians and part of their communities (unstated and unknown paternity);
(5) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
- the long history of residential schools which had an express stated purpose - “to KILL the Indian in the child” and to ensure that there were no more Indians in Canada;
- the 60’s scoop which saw the mass removal of Indigenous children from their homes and adopted permanently into non-Indigenous homes;
- the prevention of children from being members in their communities due to the discriminatory Indian Act registration provisions;
- the current high rate of children removed from their families which out numbers residential schools and 60’s scoop combined.
Unfortunately, I could provide many more examples, but there is no need to do so when what is listed above more than meets the definition of genocide. So, when the Minister of Indian Affairs says that residential schools were NOT a form of cultural genocide, he is not only undoing what good the public residential schools apology did, but he is denying all of the horrors committed by Canada on our peoples - in essence, he is denying our lived realities.
Watch the clips of Minister Duncan on APTN’s InFocus show that we just did on Nov.4, 2011 on the issue of assimilation and genocide in Canada:
Part 1 of APTN InFocus:
I find it hard to believe that while the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is going around Canada, that the Minister of Indian Affairs would be so disrespectful. Not only were residential schools “lethal” for some languages, cultures and family relations, it was literally “lethal” for almost half the children that attended. How much more lethal would he want it to be? 60%, 70%, 80%?
The Prime Minister should immediately remove Minister Duncan from his position. That won’t happen of course, because the Conservative government STILL has a policy objective of assimilating Indians. The Indian Act’s registration provisions are modern day evidence of that.
I invite you all to watch the documentary entitled: The Canary Effect. It is only one hour long, but is very difficult to watch. It hurts the spirit in so many ways and I imagine will be difficult for uninformed non-Indigenous people to accept. While it relates primarily to genocide against our Indigenous peoples in the United States, much of what is said applies equally in Canada.
We are in the fight of our lives and we need to turn the tide of this war around. We have to stop blaming ourselves and believing the lies that we were told. We are not inferior, we are not genetically pre-disposed to dysfunction, our men are not better than our women, and we certainly did not EVER consent to genocide against our people. All the dysfunction, addictions, ill health, suicides, male domination and violence is all the result of what Canada did to us. We are not each others’ enemies. We have to forgive ourselves for being colonized - none of that is who we really are as Indigenous peoples.
Our people are beautiful, proud, strong, and resilient. We honour our ancestors by surviving. Now we have to honour our future generations by thriving. Our children carry our ancestors in their hearts and minds. They carry the strength, honour and passion of our ancestors in their blood. Our generation must find a way, despite all the barriers in our way, to love, support and nurture our children so that we can rise up and take back our sovereignty, our honour, and our future.
Our children will still go through the pain of knowing what has been done and is currently done to our people by Canada, and all the dysfunction that it has created, but maybe they will finally know where to direct the anger and stop turning it inward and hurting themselves. That anger can be focused into passion which can then be channelled into action for our people.
Our future depends on our children loving themselves and having hope. We can’t ever let them lose that. Canada may want us to disappear, but we don’t have to let it happen.
All my relations…
The willful genocide is still happening - remember the H1N1 virus scare in 2009? Yeah, the federal government’s solution for Manitoba reservations wasn’t getting flu shots out there or even just flu education to prepare them - it was to send body bags. THE HARPER GOVERNMENT SENT BODY BAGS TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AS A SOLUTION TO A PREVENTABLE ILLNESS.
How do non-Native Canadians still find ways to be racist against Indigenous people? HOW?
“Centuries later, what can Thanksgiving Day mean to Native peoples? Thank you for stealing our land? Thank you for wiping out our people? Thank you for placing a remnant of our once great numbers on rural ghettoes called ‘reservations?’ Thank you for abolishing most of the ancient traditions? Thank you for poisoning what little Indian lands remain with uranium? Thank you for poisoning the lands now inhabited by the whites? Thank you for letting Indians fight in American wars against other people? Thanks. The real tragedy is that millions of Americans don’t know, and don’t want to know about Indian history and traditions. Today, the names of rivers, lakes, and landmarks bear indigenous markers of another age. The people, except for an occasional movie, are mostly forgotten; out of mind. The easier to replace with false images of happy meals, and turkey dinners. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Mumia Abu Jamal, “Some Who Feel No Reason for Thanksgiving” (via callhergreen)
To anyone feeling whiny/bitter/’get over it’ from the inconvenience of guilt:
My fam does the whole get-together thing for (Canadian) Thanksgiving - which, btw, is no less of a false image than the American version. It’s not so much the gathering that is wrong; I mean, people need reasons to gather and eat during winter months in the US and Canada. I think what’s awful is to pretend that it’s all about a wonderful and idealistic history, instead of being aware of the actual, historical whats and hows, respecting our real past and all the people who were displaced and marginalized in order for us to have this luxury of Thanksgiving.
Trust me - awareness and respect for other humans does not ’spoil’ the fun of Thanksgiving. The holiday has been whitewashed and it is fake. It needs to be redefined.
Aishwarya Rai: I thought we got rid of imperialists like you.
Some white dude: I’m not British. I’m an American.
Aishwarya Rai: Exactly.
This reminds me of some ‘multicultural’ (ie, mostly white but with one character of colour)/interracial relationship romance books in which the white character is really, really clueless — like pre-racism 101 — if not outright/deliberately racist (it’s a character flaw! no kidding), and yet we’re supposed to somehow believe they fall in love and live happily ever after. Or like it’s the POC’s job to teach them to be less racist and have endless patience for it. It’s all very white gaze-y.
Luna’s is by far the best.
I agree about Luna’s signature = adorbs, but —
OH MY GOD HER NAME IS ‘PARVATI’, NOT ’PAVARTI’ LIKE THE CHEESE. FFFUUUUUUU.
Parvati, you poor little model minority. Don’t change your beautiful name just because ignorant people can’t to bothered to pronounce or spell it correctly. :(