More Stuff Than You Can Shake A Stick At

Table Of Contents

  1. Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada
  2. Poetry
  3. Indigenous rights
  4. Ginowaydaganuc

status quo

status-quo-01• 2013-09-16–we watched an nfb doc, Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada, [2012] online for free (for a limited time). the doc (in english with a few subtitles for french and aboriginal speakers) followed the years since the ground-breaking 1967 royal commission on the status of women, and it highlighted three key demands:

  1. end violence against women (especially against aboriginal women)
  2. provide universal, safe abortions (as federally legislated, but a women must go off-island in pei, and they’re very hard to get in new brunswick)
  3. create and fully support a national childcare program (we almost had one in 2004, but then government changed hands and the conservatives came to power)

the doc clearly shows that the conservative government is regressive and there is a danger of losing many of the gains since 1967, but the new wave of feminists (my daughters’ generation) is strong.


Al_Purdy_Memorial_01-from-wp(Pictured is a statue by Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales of poet Al Purdy–click to read the words by Paul Vermeersch.) I wrote in 2012 that ‘poets live with paradox. they call it metaphor. a poem can shimmer with multiple meanings, shaking us up, making us feel uncertain. groping, leaping, clinging, we face … the unknown. our fears. our selves. our reality. this is how we grow, a dangerous opportunity. is there any other way?’ Perhaps you can see this as a response to physicist Paul Dirac, who said that ‘the aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way.’

Indigenous rights

3Drummers-NoText1-from-aiAmnesty International wants us to ‘urge Canada to help safeguard the human rights of Indigenous peoples affected by resource development projects at home and abroad. Indigenous peoples have the right to make their own decisions about how and when their lands and resources will be used and developed [as set out] … in the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in countless rulings and statements from international human rights bodies … and endorsed by leading sectors of global industry.’

Ginowaydaganuc–the Algonquin concept of sustainability

‘The traditional Algonquin worldview conceives of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual connections to all of life and the life-givers, including the plants, animals, water, air, earth, and fire. Torrance-Barrens-The-Land-Between-FilmUnder Algonquin law, there is a collective and individual responsibility to honour these sacred gifts and ensure that they thrive. “Algonquin laws are based on that respect, and [Algonquin people] continue to abide by the principle of placing conservation, and respect for the natural world, ahead of human consumption.” It also requires respect for the needs of those to come and consideration of the effect of each act that we take upon the next seven generations. Rather than a reductionist approach, Algonquin law requires consideration of the cumulative impacts of actions on the entire web of life; this is how the Algonquin define sustainability.’

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