Thursday, 28 February 2013

Is it time to scrap the Indian Act?

This photo depicts the deterioration of the Ahousaht reserve in British Colombia. It shows the poor living conditions that aboriginals live in throughout our country, and the amount of help that is needed just to get them to a level that would be acceptable. It also shows their need of government intervention, and how our current system of dealing with native problems is severely outdated.

The article that went along with this photo was a collection of quotes from various people throughout Canada that replied to the Nation Post about their thoughts on the Indian Act. Most of them believed that it actually restricted the rights of native people in Canada and thought that it should be abolished. Some thought the act needed to be changed to be more suitable for today’s values and needs. The article brought up many opinions on aboriginal life, like education, jobs, living conditions and government aid. Many people thought that the whole concept of natives living on reserves created a racial divide between Canadian citizens.

My thoughts on this topic tended to agree with most of the people in the article. I think that the way native people and the government are interacting is not working and should be changed. Obviously the way money is being spent on most reserves is not functioning properly. And the lack of education for native children is extremely disturbing for an abundant country like ours. I think that changing the Indian Act will not destroy the aboriginal culture because of the way Canada embraces other nations. Canada has a very high immigration rate and we are not the self-professed “melting pot” that the United States claims to be. We recognize the differences between ourselves and take the time to celebrate and encourage the aspects of our cultures that make us different, one example being Caribana (which is the festival in Toronto that celebrates the diverse cultures and traditions in the Caribbean).

This article made me think about what is happening all over Canada and how citizens of our country aren’t being treated the same way as others. It made me think of the alterations that needed to be done to laws that were made to protect those citizens. But above all it made me think of the fact that regular people are suffering through third world conditions in our first world country.


"Escape" is a signifigant symbol within the Rez Sisters as each of the 7 women have their own dreams of escsaping the reserve or rising above it. Toronto is an example of evidence because that is where the "BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD" is held. Going to Toronto will give the women a chance to escape and possibly escape for good. The bingo also holds the perspective of escaping because winning the bingo will allow them to get away from the reserve or follow their dreams. Escaping isn't just physical, but they also could escape the situtaion and problems on the reserve.

Native Stereotypes and Truths

This video shows both the stereotypes of natives and what natives are truly like. I noticed that throughout this video most of the negative stereotypes were coming from the media.The media likes to show natives as being the "bad guys". The worst one I found in this video was the advertisement for a hair brush that said "will not save an Indian's scalp from his enemies but it will preserve yours from dandruff, baldness, falling hairs and headaches". I found this quite offensive because they portrayed the natives as violent people which in reality they aren't. I liked the truth part of the video because it showed a more realistic view of natives.They portrayed them to be peaceful people that wanted to fight for their rights. This is the way I think natives should be viewed more often instead of the media just portraying them as the "bad guys".

Which character is most similar to me?

      I think that the character that I am most like is Pelajia. I am not as worrisome or clear with my opinions as Philomena, I am not as energetic as Annie, and I am not as tough or brasen as Emily. Pelajia wants to leave the reserve to go to Toronto, so she wants a better, more enjoyable life for herself, and I think that I have high aspirations much like Pelajia. I'm a perfectionist, and I know that I must work hard and do well in school in order to be able to pursue the career that I wish to in the future. The fact that Pelajia was fixing her own roof in the beginning of the play means that she's a motivated, hard-working person. While I can be a bit of a procrastinator, I put lots of effort into everything I do.

Symbolizing the Hammer

While reading The Rez Sisters I have noticed a consistent symbol that has been brought to my attention. You may remember from our previous reading that many of the characters are associated with inanimate objects, such as Philomena with a toilet, or Annie with country music. However for my blog post today I would like to focus on Pelajia and the hammer, more specifically the hammer itself. Throughout the play my perspective has allowed me to perceive the hammer as a symbol for power and control. 

''Control yourself or ill hit you over the head with my hammer'' (Highway, 40). 

''Banging her hammer on the counter...alright, alright. Its obvious we've got a problem here'' (Highway, 58).

''She bangs the hammer regularly throughout the meeting'' (Highway, 62).

The above quotations represent situations in the play where the hammer has been used as a way to gain control over a situation. The fact that the hammer is a threatening weapon allows individuals to use it as a way of scaring others into behaving or doing as they say. In the third quotation I posted the hammer is used regularly throughout a meeting, almost as if it were a court room and the characters are using it as a wooden mallet or gavel, in order to restore control. 

Therefore in this reading I see the hammer as a symbol of power, and I  feel it is used to control situations in the play that get out of hand. 

What is your perspective on the hammer in this play? 

Bingo: a sense of hope

In the Rez Sisters Bingo symbolizes many different things. For the people on the reserve Bingo is a symbol of hope; hope that they will win the money as a source of income, hope that if they win the money they can help out the reserve, hope that if they win the money they can by what they want just like Veronique who wanted a new stove. Bingo is also a symbol of  escape to the people on the reserve to get away from their poor life on the reserve and try to earn a source of income and to even have fun for a few hours. If they go to a Bingo off the reserve then they can also experience new cities and have the experience to travel. For example the Sisters got to travel to Toronto to play the biggest Bingo in the world.

Same love- Macklemore (gay marriage)

             I believe that the issue of gay marriage is a huge problem in the world today. I think that everyone should have the right to marry who they want to marry. Why would someone else's marriage effect you? If you don't believe in marrying someone of the same sex then don't marry someone of the same gender. In the song Macklemore states "man that's gay gets dropped on a daily, we become so numb to what er are saying" (2:23). I totally agree with him being gay is often used in a way that makes being gay equal to something being stupid, or to offend someone. I do understand that often people don't mean to offend anyone but I think we need to start thinking before we speak. If I wanted to say something was stupid i would go around saying "Man that's so science" because science has nothing to do with being stupid, and neither does being gay. Being gay is not a choice and I don't think people should have their rights as a human taken away because of something that isn't even their choice.

I do understand that it can make some people uncomfortable and I don't think that makes you a bad person but I think a gay person should be able to hold hands in public and feel comfortable doing it without being judged just as much as a straight couple are able to do it. I know that some people were raised in homes where being gay is not right, and I understand sometimes it can be hard to look at other peoples perspective, but I think sometimes people don't try hard enough to understand where other people are coming from. I think that if someone of the same sex makes you happy then be with them and show the world how happy they make you.

It disgusts me that in some countries you are unable to marry who you want. I believe that is a violation of human rights. If I can marry who I want to marry then why can't someone who is gay do the same thing. It angers me that I have the right to be happy with the person I want to be with, but someone who is gay doesn't.

The Judgemental potential

Mack Kary

If you're human you've judged someone before. Face it we make judgements without realizing it all the time. Some of them are harmless and/or are not meant to be taken seriously while others are made on bias or as an educated guess. Anyways we as humans can easily open our minds and judge less. We attack others for the simplest things such as looks or what we wear but one judgement can go as far as offending millions of people. Stereotypes are among the worst judgements. Some are completely untrue while others have some truth based on statistics but just because it's true for some people in a particular group it's not for all. Every situation is different and has different circumstances to it. Before judging people on a stereotype take a good look into the situation and you may see that what they're doing or what they are is not a bad thing at all. The potential we have to judge others is endless. We could judge a person and guess something about them without knowing anything about them. To me that is just wrong. However we can try and avoid these large uneducated guesses or better known as judgements. We'll never be able to completely stop judging because we're human but we can minimize it by stopping the offensive and the uneducated judgements.

Rez Sisters

I believe a good thematic statement for the play would be that friendship bonds create a powerful team that can overcome challenges for a common goal. I think this is because when the sisters want to go to Toronto, they all group together as a team and put away their differences to raise money for gas, food, a hotel and most of all, bingo. Since they are all so driven to win THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD, they are willing to do jobs around the reserve. Ultimately, they never could have done this alone and have accomplished it through friendship and teamwork.

Think Before You Speak

      It seems lately, that more and more teens are depressed. A lot of teenagers are going through hard times dealing with social acceptance. Teens always worry about what they wear or what they say or what they do. Everything that they do, they have to worry about what others think of them. Now, some people are able to just brush of people's judgements and negative comments. But others have a struggle everyday with what people are thinking and saying about them. People judge others and don't think about how they are affecting the person.
      I think that people need to step back, and think about what they are doing to another person. If you judge someone or make them feel bad about themselves, you have no idea how they are going to react. Some people are going to just brush it off, others will say something back, but others will go to extremes like depression or self harm because you made them feel like they aren't good enough.
      In relation to the big idea of the course that "considering multiple view points is the only way to truly understand anything"  you need to understand that nobody is going to react the same way to what people negatively say about them. You need to understand what a person is going through before saying something, because if you'll never know how it will affect them.

Money and Fortune

Throughout reading the play, I've noticed that one of the most obvious symbols is fortune. In this particular neighbourhood money seems to play a huge role. The characters all seem to get along fairly well now. However I cant help but think that eventually the money will drive them apart. Will the sisters share the money or will none of them win it? Or will one of them win it but run away with it all in the end? These questions circulate in the back of my head as I read. What do you think?

Aboriginal reserves in Canada

After reading this article about Aboriginal reserves in Canada, I realized how different our lives are than theirs. We have so much more than them, and most of us don't even realize how good we have it. In the article it says it can get as bad as 15 people living in one shack, and kids starting to drink at the age of six years old. They have nothing to do because there are no jobs and most of the time there isn't proper education available either. The people living on these reserves don't have jobs, and as a result they don't have money to provide for their families. Even though some of the information in this article is dated, these things are still happening on our present reserves in Canada. It has improved but not as much as it should have. Reading this article makes me wonder what I can do to help this situation, how I can make a change. Any ideas? I always assumed that the government would help them, but after reading this article it doesn't look like they're doing very much. What do you think the government should be doing to help improve living conditions on reserves?

Racism is everywhere, even in your toys

After reading this article I agree that the Walmart store should have thought about the reaction of others and what the impact on people might be when putting the black barbies price lower than the white, although it was never intended to be racist it still had a big impact on the feelings of other people.. this ties in with the idea of how social media plays a role in challenging stereotypes

"Riot" scene

The scene where all the women are fighting and hashing it out with each other is a more realistic example of a circle of friends than I've normally seen in other pieces of media. No group of friends will be without their tensions and issues with one another. For example, one of my closest buddies yesterday called me many obscene names that I will not repeat here. But then he said he felt guilty and apologized (He didn't need to, we're bros). The point I'm trying to make is that there is no such thing as a "perfect" friendship, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Conflict can both break a bond or reinforce it. It's like fire; it's not good or evil, it's how you use it.

Me is Emily

I think the character that most describes me the most is Emily. She swears alot in this book arround her friends. I curse alot when im with my friends. I think this because of the fact that no one will judge you if your with your friends. Its different when your with adults and teachers because its inapropriate in school. Also, Emily is strong willed. I, Myself is pretty strong willed because i normally act on the things i want to do in life even though others are saying me not to do it like doing a backflip on a trampoline :D . its fun, also i like to buy things and buy food even though in the future ill prolly regret it by not having money anymore. Finally, Emily is one tough cookie. She doesnt back down even against some one stronger and much powerful like her husband. Im kinda tough ( not bragging) because even if im totally beat up and are hurting after a punch or a kick to the face, i normally keep my head up and try harder to win. Also, when i get hit in the head with a dodgeball, i just walk it out. her and i are a fighter so she describes me the most. Thanks for reading fellow classmates and teacher :)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Money Isn't Always The Answer

           These two pictures are both evidence of the lack of health care the Attawapiskat Reserve receive.
The photo on the top is a child severely burned from a stove fire in such small living spaces, these burns are not rare. The bottom photo is a facial rash commonly contracted from the lack of clean water and sanitation. I feel as though the government can do more than just donate money to solve all their problems.  The government could provide health care systems, social services, environmental repairs and education. The natives aren't as educated and employed as we are so throwing money at them, they won't know what to do with it. I feel the reason they haven't seen improvement is because the lack of knowledge. I feel as though they use the money given to them on drugs and alcohol to ease their depression, and therefore it is going towards their wants not their needs. If the natives knew how to use their money to benefit their health and community they could improve their lifestyle bit by bit.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Native Capability

I spent last Saturday sitting in the audience for the Liberal Leadership Convention in Mississauga (don't worry, this isn't about to become a political post), and Native affairs were discussed quite a bit. Hearing the candidates talk about how we should proceed with First Nations communities made me aware of something that I'd been kind of ignoring in our class discussions and in our blog posts.

Most of us know very little about Native life and reserves and so forth, which is expected. This course and this play is kind of like a first look. As such, there are going to be a lot of inaccuracies in our perceptions of issues, ect. I don't claim to know everything about this topic (not by a long shot), but I really must put one common misconception to rest.

Native Americans know what's up. Yes, there is a large problem with education, and there are a lot of very segregated communities, but they're still an intelligent people. Like in every society, there are less capable leaders and people who don't understand the politics around them, but that's life. Many reserves find themselves in difficult situations because up until all too recently, the government of Canada was implementing systematically racist policy, because Natives were seen as a weird burden on society. This agenda was no secret, either.

Coming out of this adversity, it's really no wonder a lot of the communities have problems, but it in no way means that the people are incapable of functioning in modern society.

I see a lot of people writing and saying things along the lines of "Our government needs to sit down with Natives and teach them how to handle money" or "Natives need to be taught how to handle their reserves." Let's just get one thing straight - there are many capable and excellent Native leaders. They understand politics in Canada and better understand how to treat their people than other politicians and law-makers (I won't get into any specifics unless someone would like me to). The problem is our current government rarely sits down to discuss this with them properly, and thusly the way they're supplied isn't always how they need (again, I can go into a bit of detail if requested).

So how should you be phrasing these suggestions (because I believe we're generally on track with our line of thought)? "Our government needs to sit down and discuss with Natives how they need to be funded and get a clear view of what the money should be for" or "the government needs to get an understanding of what problems are on reserves and work with First Nations to find solutions."

I think if we really look at a lot of the problems, the trouble lies in the ambiguity and miscommunication. There is a lack of information on spending on reserves and a lack of information on how the government is funding them.

We have more similarities than differences.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Our Tinted Perspective

In my Law class last semester, we spent a week or so discussing stereotypes. Stereotypes in media, stereotypes in historical settings, and stereotypes we ourselves held. When we got to First Nations, we found that while no one held any intense beliefs, some people were willing to argue in support of some stereotypes. At least, they did until our teacher asked all those of Native heritage to raise their hands. An awkward silence filled the room as an unexpected amount of hands went up, and the examples of support melted away into situational circumstances. It's easy to hold onto ideas about a people if  when you meet some of them, your notions are preconceived. Whether we accept it or not, we do see with a veil of race, and it's important to take that into account before we defend any prejudice we hold. We're likely to find we've made a mountain of a molehill and over-emphasized a habit or action. Understand that your view is tinted.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Life On The Reserve
After watching this trailer of a documentary "Life on the Reserve", I felt very saddened of how First Nations live with broken small houses, no drinking water because the water that comes out of their tap is unsafe, a school that is built by having two portables sewn together with no gym and no job oppourtunities. I feel that we take things for granted even if it is just that we have drinking water that we can get out of our taps. It makes me appreciate and be thankful for what i have. This video makes me wonder what i can do as an individual to help. Maybe i could  take a trip up to this reserve and help fix up homes or give them books and essentials that they would appreciate. Maybe i could even get the school involved to help get the essential things for the First Nations people. Also this makes me want to go to the reserve just to listen to their stories of life on the reserve because i am very interested about the reserve and how they still manage to survive.  I also wonder if by having such a poor life if it impacts the First Nations happiness. I wonder if they even have a happy life or if they are unhappy and wish that they could do anything to get out of the reserve. In the video it also mentioned that the majority of the people on the reserve have alcohol and or drug abuse. I believe that they turn to alcohol or drugs because of the life they live, that they don't have a wonderful life and source of income so they turn to drugs or because they are unhappy that they turn to alcohol.  I also think that the government is doing a poor job by not giving them the essentials that they need to survive like schooling. Many First Nations don't finish school which is key to get a well paid job. I believe that the government should be storngly encouraging kids to stay in school so that they can have a chance to get a real paying job. I also wonder if the first nations people actually get the money that the government says that they are giving to them and i wonder if the money they say that is going to their education is or not. If it is not i feel that the government should keep their promises and give them the education they need and deserve. So to conclude i believe that life on the First Nnations reserve is rough and that many individuals such as myself could help out in this community and also that the government can help out in this situation as well. Also i feel that the Rez Sisters will help show me more about the life on the reserve and if they are happy or not with their living situation.
How do you guys think we could help?
What do you think about First Nations life on the reserve?
What do you think that the government should do to help?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Blogging Prompts

Sometimes the most difficult aspect of writing a blog post is coming up with something to actually write about.  Below are a list of prompts that you may find useful.


1.  Why should people be careful when selecting Halloween costumes or party themes?
2.  How does social media play a role in challenging stereotypes?

The Rez Sisters:

1.  What do you wonder about life on Native reserves?
2.  How should the Canadian government address Native concerns?
3.  Choose a short clip about the experience of Native Canadians and write about your reaction to it.
4.  What stereotypes about Native Canadians do people hold?  How can you challenge these stereotypes?
5.  Select a symbol from the play and discuss its significance.
6.  What character is most similar to you?  Why?
7.  Write a thematic statement for the play.  What evidence do you have to support the statement?


1. What does it mean to be feminine?  What does it mean to be masculine?
2.  Describe the ideal marriage.
3. "Evil is innate".  Discuss the veracity of this statement.
4. How does ambition impact people?
5.  How much free will do people have?  Does fate exist?
6. Should Shakespeare still be taught in high school English classes?
7. Who is responsible for the murder of Duncan?  The weird sisters?  Macbeth?  Lady Macbeth?
8.  What do you think about Macbeth?
9.  What do you think about Lady Macbeth?

Attiwapiskat- Is The Government Making The Right Choices?

Relating to a previous video about the Attiwapiskat in class, I decided this would be an interesting topic that we can all discuss.  In that video, the diamond company was paying the Attiwapiskat tribe millions of dollars and our class asked the question, “Is the money getting to them?”  Similarly, in this video, the government is also paying the Attiwapiskat millions of dollars.  

Recently, Canadians have asked where is the money being spent?  When further research was done, they found that there were very few paper transactions recorded therefore it is hard to determine whether the money was spent with its intended purpose of schools and housing.  Although out of 400 paper transactions only 19% were spent on schools and housing, it is unknown what the excess money is being spent on.

I perceive the Attiwapiskat as an independent tribe who do not necessarily make the best decisions but I believe that if the government is going to help, they should not  give them money without any accountability.  As shown, the Attiwapiskat have continuously passed on a tradition of making poor decisions. The government should provide them with humanitarian items in order to survive.    For those individuals in the tribe who strive for improvement, they are now not able to because of the restrictions their poverty presents.  

For others watching this video, they may perceive it differently.  Some may believe that we are helping the Attiwapiskat by giving them money.  To the tribe, they feel that the Canadian government is controlling how they spend and account for the money and how it should influence their future.  

It is interesting to see how different sides see one situation.  I believe the government has not controlled the Attiwapiskat in the past as they have not monitored their spending for the past 6 years.  However, to the tribe, they feel controlled if they are told they must account for their spending.

Is giving money the right thing to do? Should the Attiwapiskat choose how to spend the money?

What do you think the government should do about the Attiwapistkat tribe’s poverty?

Should they let the Attiwapiskat continue living this way and have their freedom or follow  standards other Canadians have to live by?

Also, what should the government do to ensure the Attiwapiskat’s are spending it with its intended purpose?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Life on a Native Reserve (The Rez Sisters)

             In the beginning of "The Rez Sisters", we get a brief view of what life on a native reserve is like. Honestly, I hadn't seen or heard much about native reserves before this, but I had expected them to be much like what we saw in the beginning of this story. At first glance, it seems as if life in a native reserve is rather uneventful and that the people are not well off, and fairly poor. I think it was good to have started the play with Pelajia fixing her own roof as it was a good way to outline and almost symbolize everything that is said by the characters and is observed by the reader about what life in a reserve is like.The reason that I think that their lives on the reserve seem uneventful is that Pelajia says, "I'm just plain old Pelajia Rosella Patchnose and I'm here in plain, dusty, boring old Wasaychigan Hill... Wasy... waiting... waiting... nailing shining shingles with my trusty silver hammer on the roof of Pelajia Rosella Patchnose's little two bedroom welfare house"(pg.2) and also because the bingo seems to be a big part, if not the center, of their lives. But, it is a big part of their life because it gives them hope that they may win money and gain a better, easier life. This is what tells you that they are poor, as well as the fact that Pelajia refers to her house as a "welfare house". They are always hoping to win the cash prize, and Philomena wants to go to Espanola to win the bigger prize and, as she says, if she won, she would buy a better toilet. So, I think it will be interesting to learn more as we go, but life on a reserve seems pretty difficult from a first glance. What did everyone else think about reserves before they read this, and did it change after reading the beginning of the play?

Stereotypes of the natives

Native American Stereotypes                          By: Mack Kary         February 14th 2013
During the last couple of centuries, several stereotypes about native americans and first nations have become more and more present in our mainstream culture. Some of the stereotypes are somewhat accurate but the truth has been stretched, while some of these stereotypes are 100% untrue where the rule could apply to any human on the planet. One of the most common stereotypes is that ALL native americans are alcoholics. In this stereotype the truth has been stretched. It is true that native americans are more subsceptible to alcohol due to their bloodline, but that in no way means that every or even most natives are alcoholics. Like the rest of us, native americans have a choice, just certain aspects of SOME natives lives make them choose alcohol just like some of the rest of us. However, some stereotypes are in a way positive. An example of this  is that they are commonly viewed as brave and as warriors and are therefore named after a lot of top sports teams due to their supposed fierceness. Again the truth is stretched here, but I think that it shows good qualities of native american culture. Westerns and documentaries have tended to portray Natives in stereotypical terms: the wise elder, the aggressive drunk, Indian princess, loyal sidekick, obese and impoverished. These images have become known across North America.They have also been known as nature lovers and protectors of the environment. Neither of those are totally true because those opinions are subjective among all people. Natives are commkonly seen as having only one look (skin colour, hair, clothes), when in fact there are so many different looks and tons of tribes that are different.                            HAVE A GOOD DAY!!!!!!

Addressing Natives in Canada

              I believe the government should start by keeping there promises to everyone. Natives are just as much a part of this country as anyone else so I don't understand how the government keeps almost all of there promises to the rest of the population, but not natives. I think that the Natives should be treated with the same respect as anyone else in our country. I believe the government should give reserves  more money but also help them plan what they should do with the money. And I definitely think that schools should be built and everyone should be encouraged to finish at least grade 12. In our school we often have people from universities come and talk to us about our future, I believe the government should try and encourage universities to go to native reserves and talk to high school students there to think about their future.  

Native Life in Canada

I believe that the Canadian government has been ignoring the state of the natives for too long and need to do something for them. Also, there needs to be more publicity on the quality of life for the natives, as they do not get all the attention they deserve, and I think most Canadians are unaware of the state they are in. Even after the teenager from up north started a large movement and protested on parliament hill, that was just enough too get her hometown a new school. I feel the natives are in need of less racism and more help from the government of Canada. I hope to learn more about the native's feeling when reading The Rez Sisters.

We Are a Culture, And We Are Over Reacting

          With regards to the "We are a culture, not a costume" article, I feel like it was completely unnecessary. The people who are offended by others wearing costumes, shouldn't have blown it up into a huge scandal. It isn't that big of a deal  what people are wearing. If you are offended by something as simple as that, then you need to lighten up. The whole campaign was a huge over reaction. I feel like people feel the need to complain, so they pick something and twist it until it becomes a big deal. People just need to get over things and leave them be.

Thoughts on discriminatory Halloween costumes.

Personally I believe that the whole idea of 'cultural' Halloween costumes is blown out of proportion. People are taking these costumes that are apparently, 'offensive', way too serious. For example: People who are dressing up as a Geisha for Halloween are not trying to offend the culture, but embrace it. It is obvious that they are appreciating the culture rather than discriminating against it. There is no stereotype if they are calling themselves a Geisha. I think that these people who are targeting the 'cultural' costumes are just looking for a way to feel equal, but really it isn't necessary. It's all a personal opinion, but that's just mine.

Native Reserve Conditions

This blog post is related to the video we watched on native reserve conditions in class the other day. I found an article that looks at this topic in more detail.

When I read this article I found it quite dissapointing that there are communities within in Canada that are living in third world conditions. In most native reserves there isn't safe housing and there is limited clean drinking water. Also most students don't complete highschool making it very hard for them to find jobs in the future. I personally want to know where all the money the government gives to natives goes because conditions within the reserves are getting worse. I think that the government should sit down with natives and teach them how to spend their money more wisely. I think that if the government worked with natives it would help improve the conditons on the reserves a lot.

How do you guys think we could improve the conditions?

Cultural costumes

To answer the question " Why should people be careful when selecting Halloween costumes or party themes?": People should be careful when selecting Halloween costumes or party themes because as we read in the article "'We're a culture not a costume' this Halloween", there are so many stereotypes and generalizations about cultures that can be offensive and/or racist. Cultural costumes are becoming more and more common at Halloween. When people wear those costumes they are supporting stereotypes that are sometimes offensive and/or racist. People should put more thought and consideration into who will be seeing them in that costume and if it could be offensive to anyone. If you can think of anyway that the costume could be offensive towards anyone, even if it's something small, it's better to play it safe and choose another costume to wear. Cultures shouldn't have to be generalized as one stereotype or costume. There is so much more to a culture than just the label society has given it. Even though this does answer the question of why people should be careful when selecting Halloween costumes, in my opinion, people are making too big of a deal out of this, I think you should be whatever you want for Halloween, most people are wearing the costume because they like it, not because they're trying to offend anyone. And people shouldn't be personally offended by a Halloween costume. It's just a costume, in my opinion it isn't as big of a deal as a lot of people make it out to be.

Why should people be careful when selecting Halloween costumes or party themes?

For my first blog I chose to answer the question of why people should be careful when selecting Halloween costumes and party themes. In my opinion, the majority of people base their opinions on one's costumes and party themes in a negative outlook and will end in finding it to be at least somewhat racist or offensive to someone or something in some way or another. I realized this when we read the articles "We're a culture, not a costume" and "Social media protesters crash 'Cowboys and Indians' party." In both of these articles it was noticed how there are so many different stereotypes of different cultures that when there is a party theme or costume that is based around/set as a culture that it is seen to be racist and/or offensive. After reading and looking into this and all of the different perspectives I was able to understand how the people who are involving themselves as the party-goers and who are dressing themselves up as the set themed culture are supporting the many stereotypes that some find offensive and racist. In my opinion those people should be putting more thought and consideration into how although they themselves may find it to be harmless, a fair majority of others may not be thinking and seeing it the same way as do I. I also believe that cultures should not be generalized into one costume or party theme. For example, in the article "We are a culture, not a costume" the Asian's were referenced as to how all of the females are stereotyped as Geisha's in society. In my opinion there is a lot more to a culture than how people have strictly labelled it as.


I think people should be careful of what they are wearing. it could be really offending to other cultures. like cmon' people might think its funny to dress up as a mexican person and it can sometimes offend their culture. maybe its like some sort of special occasion for a mexican dance or something and they really treasure the certain kind of clothing for once a year and people wear them as costumes. idk if that even made sense but u get the point. Also, St patricks day parties are offending the irish people. maybe they are against drinking and    people get wasted out of their minds because the media states that you should get hammered on st patricks day. so overall, people should be careful of their actions and what they wear for Halloween. Also, the media plays a huge roll on making people make their decisions for their costumes for halloween. Like, the new trend could be dressing up as justin beiber with blood allover his face and a black eye with a buncha cuts. with scrawny arms and such. and that could be a negative because you can be offending someone because u dislike him or sumthing. Sorry, this vlog probs make sense but i tried. thanks for reading :)


I feel that there is no issue with Halloween costumes. I feel that the reason that this Cowboys and Indians party caused such an issue because of the recent development with the "Idle no more" Movement. The attention that that has gained has caused people to realize that they can fight for something and with this new found power, they are willing to fight for anything. Sociologically, people will often go out of their way to fit in. By joining a cause that they once had no involvement with, these people feel that they have become a part of something and that they now have an obligation to stand up for that. There are, without doubt, issues with racism and the Native community has a large amount of struggles. But those struggles are not limited to the Native community.

Stereotypes of Aboriginals

i found this video of the many different types of racist stereotypes that aboringinal people hear everyday

The Rez Sisters - Thoughts?

I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on the play so far. I think it'll be nice for a change of pace, but I think I'll probably mess the names up a few times. So, I'm curious about everyone else's thoughts on the book so far.

First Nations Lore

While not directly related to the Rez sisters, I found a site that has a lot of First Nations stories and lore. If anybody is interested you can read some interesting tales. :)

The Rez Sisters

I am very excited to to start reading this book, is anyone else? Share your thoughts on what you think might happen. Will Pelajia ever go to Toronto? Do you guys think that Pelajia will win the bingo games and ever got off the reserve? What are your thoughts on the personalities of Pelajia, Annie, and Philomena? I hope that they do get the money and all go somewhere and experience the world around them, also maybe it will work out for Annie with that mechanic guy Raymond.

The Issue with Halloween Costumes

   Around Halloween, people begin to choose what they want to wear, whether it be something scary, funny, or even provocative. However, most people do not take into consideration what or who they are actually representing, and it does not often occur to them that other people take offence to what they are wearing. There have been debates like this, most notably the "Culture, not a Costume" campaign, which aims to convince people that wearing a kimono is not a Halloween costume, but a symbol of Japanese culture, for instance. I understand the points they are making but it is not a justifiable cause. Just because some people take offence to something, does not mean that other people are going to stop doing it. And wearing a costume simply because you respect their culture has no negatives to it. If someone wears a kimono because they respect Japan and its culture, it does not mean they are trying to make fun of them or pull out a specific stereotype, it means they want to appear like a Geisha or Shrine Maiden because they respect the culture it represents. When someone dresses up as a Suicide Bomber or wears a turban and says that he's a Terrorist, then they are using a negative stereotype and that is wrong. They are using a specific stereotype to represent an entire culture, and it falls under racism. 

To sum everything up, I believe that the "Culture, not a Costume" is not a just movement since it assumes that anyone to dresses up as a certain culture is doing it in a negative way. I believe that a specific culture can be worn as a Halloween costume, but not to draw upon the stereotypes that costume conveys, but rather the country it comes from.

Abolishing the Indian Act

I found an interesting article discussing the topic of the Indian Act and how the native reserves are a waste of resources, and how it allows the native Canadians to live in 3rd world conditions. It offers many perspectives and opinions on the subject throughout the article.

The Rez Sisters

For my first blog I chose to go into depth about the rez sisters. I'm curious as to what this play is about. When I think of native reserves I think of an area separated from other towns, having their own community, making their own clothes and fishing for their own food. At least that's what other books and movies perceive to be true. I'm curious as to whether other books and my thoughts and ideas are similar to what this play in particular is about.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I'm Here

You're welcome.

Indians Vs. Cowboys

For my first blog I decided to do some further research on the rivalry between the Cowboys and Indians. Looking on YouTube I was able to find a video that I found raised an interesting point. If you watch the first minute of this video we learn how in most motion pictures the Indians play the ``bad guys``. Hollywood films portray the Indians as killers with no remorse for their actions. If Indians are being promoted as the ``villains`` in movies it leads others who are uneducated on the topic to assume this is true. With only one perspective exposed stereotypes are placed on both the Cowboys and Indians that could be inaccurate without the knowledge of factual events.

Why do you think the Indians are constantly deceived as the bad guys?

 If you watch the last 30 seconds of the clip this saying is stated, ``A nation that does not know its history has no future``. In my opinion this is a very powerful and relevant quote stating the importance about knowing where you as nation or individual come from in order to be properly perceived by others.

What other meanings could this quote have?

Do you think this quote is relevant to the Indians in this situation?

Yo this cat is pimpen' #swag

They see us blogging, they also blogging...

Hey now we're blogging and stuff guys! Isn't that great? Remember that episode of Spongebob where Squidward starts the marching band? That's an awesome episode. There was screaming and fighting and singing and Patrick. Anyway, we're blogging now so good luck guys.


Hey everyone in English class, I've now posted on the blog

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Writing blog posts and responding to blog posts are worth 10% of your overall grade.  Please see the rubrics below.

Blog Post Rubric

Ideas and Content
Did I convey a clear point, stay on topic and provide evidence?
My topic is stated, but the main ideas are underdeveloped.

My main ideas lack supporting details.
My topic is stated and I present the main ideas to support the topic.

My main ideas are stated and supporting details are limited.
My topic and main ideas are developed in a clear and focused manner.

My main ideas are adequately developed using supporting details.
My topic and main ideas are presented in a clear, focused manner that demonstrates knowledge and understanding.

My main ideas are strongly supported with details appropriate for the target audience and topic.
Did my language support my message?
My language was unclear and lacks a connection to topic, purpose, and/or audience.My language is basic and may lack a connection to the topic, purpose, and/or audience.My language is clear and appropriate for the topic, purpose and audience.My language is powerful and adds to the audience's understanding of the topic.
Was my product easy to follow?
My product's organization was hard to follow.My product's organization lacks purpose and development.My product's organization is appropriate for my topic and purpose.My product's organization adds to my meaning.

Blog Response Rubric

Ideas and Content
Did I convey a clear point, stay on topic and provide evidence?
My responses are stated, but they are underdeveloped.

My responses lack supporting details.
My topic is stated and I present the main ideas to support the topic.

My responses are stated and supporting details are limited.
My responses are developed in a clear and focused manner.

My responses are adequately developed using supporting details.
My responses are presented in a clear, focused manner that demonstrates knowledge and understanding.

My responses are strongly supported with details appropriate for the target audience and topic.
Did my language support my message?
My language was unclear and lacks a connection to topic, purpose, and/or audience.My language is basic and may lack a connection to the topic, purpose, and/or audience.My language is clear and appropriate for the topic, purpose and audience.My language is powerful and adds to the audience's understanding of my response.

Responding to Blog Posts

As part of blogging, you are required to respond to some of your classmates' blogs.  You need to go beyond "Nice post!" and "Interesting facts!". 

First, when writing your blog post, you need to make sure that your classmates have something to respond to.  You do not want to list a whole bunch of facts.  Facts are hard to respond to.  Instead, your post needs to provoke thought.  This way, your classmates will be thinking about the ideas that you put forth and in their responses they can extend  your ideas or challenge your ideas and provide reasons to support their challenges.

I strongly suggest you thoroughly read through this PDF "Tips for Leaving a Good Blog Comment".  You can access it here:

The above PDF gives an example of a good blog post, as well as "dos" and "don'ts" for leaving a blog comment.

Here are some comment or discussion starters (courtesy of Peter Skillen) to help you when responding to your classmates' blogs:

I agree with you because …
I disagree with you because…
I think…
I believe…
Have you thought about…
I am confused…
Another explanation…
I don’t understand…
You need to…
Your journal entry would be better if…

Blogging in ENG3U1

Throughout the semester you are expected to complete REGULAR writing that demonstrates your thinking of course ideas.  Don’t wait until the last week of school to complete your blogging.  I will be scheduling regular computer time, so that you have the opportunity to blog during class time.  That said, you should also blog outside of class.

Over the course of the semester, you will complete ten (10) blog posts.  You are also required to respond to your classmates’ blog posts.  Writing and responding to blogs will account for 10% of your overall grade.  The rubrics for writing and responding are posted on the blog.

Everyone in the class will become a contributor to this blog:

You will require your UG Cloud account to contribute to the blog.  Also, please use Google Chrome as your Internet browser.