In Support of Indigenous Perspective, Experience and Culture.

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The silence of good people allows the voices of oppression, erasure and hatred to dominate.

We the undersigned refuse to be silent. 

We raise our voices to demand that both current and historical context not be erased. We raise our voices when Indigenous peoples are violated, marginalized, abused and when their culture is appropriated. We will demand that they are listened to and that their perspective and experience is valued.

The Hamilton Spectator recently published opinion articles written by Thomas Walkom, Andrew Dreschel and Laura Furster. Each piece refutes the harm caused by the appropriation of Indigenous stories, images, and experience.

By publishing Furster’s, Dreschel’s and Walkom's opinions without context and background on the issue of appropriation, the Hamilton Spectator willfully misleads its readers. By only publishing the points of view of two white (i.e. settler colonial) writers on the topic of appropriation the Hamilton Spectator is perpetuating misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

By publishing these ill-informed perspectives without context, the Hamilton Spectator is endorsing discrimination, racism and the ongoing erasure of indigenous culture.

Andrew Dreschel writes, “I understand of course that Indigenous peoples and other minorities have historically been discriminated against. But I believe in addressing today's wrongs not groveling over things that happened hundreds of years ago when none of us were here.” He seems to state that discrimination—systemic and individual of Indigenous people—is only a historical phenomenon. This is a form of denial and as such is pernicious and hateful.

We, the undersigned, demand that the Hamilton Spectator publish an Indigenous perspective on the appropriation issue.

We the undersigned, demand that the Hamilton Spectator publish an apology.

For further reading:

http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/7331975-don-t-confuse-appropriation-with-real-freedom-of-expression/

http://www.canadalandshow.com/janet-rogers-cultural-appropriation-prize/

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/943977027660/

https://thewalrus.ca/on-cultural-appropriation-canadians-are-hypocrites/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-cultural-appropriation-debate-is-over-its-time-for-action/article35072670/

https://www.facebook.com/david.garneau.79/posts/10154432552541363

http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/a-structured-inequity

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/05/19/you-mean-cultural-appropriation-isnt-about-free-speech-salutin.html

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/05/18/the-emotional-exhaustion-of-debating-indigenous-views.html

To support emerging indigenous writers:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/emerging-indigenous-voices#/

 

 

 



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