Cree writer and pianist Tomson Highway’s memoir Permanent Astonishment provides many insights into why he is a Canada Indigenous frontrunner. He successfully navigated his way through nine challenging years at a residential school. Then from 1975 to 1978, he got two B.A.’s from Western, coordinated the Festival of Native Music ’78 and became my friend.
London, Ontario Metis office holder, John Baptist Askin (1788-1869) hailed from Detroit, where his family were well-known citizens. His grandfather’s son-in-law Elijah Brush (1775-1813) advocated for the freedom of two Black slaves, Peter and Hannah Denison. The Denison’s daughter, Lisette Denison, helped establish a church in 1868 where people of any background could worship.
Metis leader Nick Sibbeston (1943-) was born in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories. His memoir “You Will Wear a White Shirt” (2015) recounts his time as NWT premier 1987-1989. Since I worked with the Dene-Metis 1983-1987, I was there when he was premier. His views on Dene-cizing the Catholic church are of great interest to me.
My post examines the cultural misappropriation issue as it relates to Indigenous people who live in Canada. I discuss how my mother Jay Peterson was inspired to design her own baby-carrying devices by those developed by other cultures, including Indigenous. I also mention my father Charles T Peterson’s appreciation for genuine Cowichan sweaters.
In the 1970s, some Indigenous women I knew at the time gave me the nickname “Molasses” because of my slow-motion style. This is my main defence for why it is taking me so long to write about cultural misappropriation, as it relates to Canadian Indigenous people. I also explain that my blog is now HTTPS.
More Canadians need to be involved with Indigenous policy decision making, including Indigenous people who believe a “two-way street” approach is needed to rectify problem areas. Decisions should not be left in the hands of those who are only supporting selective policy initiatives which do not benefit all Indigenous people.
Many Indigenous people have no trouble maintaining their identity, while at the same time participating in Canadian society. There are definitely problems with mainstream Canadian society, but I think it would be better to try to change the mainstream for the better, rather than attempt to dismantle it.