i’m reading hay’s novel late nights on air (lnoa) about the cbc in yellowknife set in 1975–published in 2007–about three white women–eleanor, dido, gwen–with the royal commission on the mackenzie valley pipeline inquiry chaired by thomas berger as the backdrop, relevant today to the tar sands development, the pipelines, and the whole question of racism in canada. hay writes:
‘ “malarkey,” teresa [a dene radio host] said, and laughed. no purpose was served, she said, by all the malarkey that happens when people aren’t honest.
‘ “in white culture, people are so busy lying through their teeth, so busy thinking about getting ahead and making money, so busy thinking about how they come across, that they can’t be themselves in a natural way. it builds up such a complicated and depressing web.”
teresa wasn’t laughing any more. to gwen she looked tired, uncharacteristically worn out.
teresa went on, ‘if someone is sitting across from you and says, ‘i want your land.’ and you say no, i happen to like it here and i’ve been here forever, then they should respect what you’ve said, and that’s an end to it. they shouldn’t try to get around you. they shouldn’t read something else into what you’ve said. they should respect you.’