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Posts from the ‘Social Justice’ Category

Letter From a Former Residential School Teacher

A few weeks ago, former residential school teacher Bernice Logan sent a letter to the editor of the Chronicle Herald, cc’ing a long list of organizations and individuals including among others my publisher, Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson, and me. The letter concerned my new book, Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School. Logan read a two-page excerpt from the book’s introduction, which ran as an advertorial in the Herald. From the letter it sounds as though she hasn’t read the book itself.

You can read the entirety of her 3-page letter by clicking on the images below. Logan is an ardent defender of the residential schools, one of few still around and willing to speak out on their behalf, publicly at least. I won’t bother addressing the factual inaccuracies in her letter, but will simply state the obvious: everything in my book is ascertained from archival records from Indian Affairs or from the many many survivors who have gone on record at inquiries or in court or to the media or public in their own accounts, at great personal cost.

I publish her letter here because I believe it shows quite clearly that the racist assumptions underlying the residential school system survive still. And also that these attitudes are expressed relatively benignly, under the guise of good intentions. You be the judge:

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A Halifax journalist’s suspenseful exposé on the Cuban Five

This story first appeared in Atlantic Books Today in 2013:

With surgeon-like skill, Kimber dissects, bottom up, an injustice perpetrated at the highest US levels on Cuban patriots acting for their government with few financial resources in a hostile foreign country. The Cuban Five’s spy efforts were Read more

Dam Problems

This story first appeared in The Coast on April 18, 2013:

The Maritime Link is sold as a solution to our environmental problems. So why is no one talking about its negative environmental effects? Read more

Clinical culture clash

This story first appeared in the Halifax Chronicle Herald in Feb 2011:

TWO FORMER IWK midwives say the hospital’s rejection of some of the principles and practices of midwifery — particularly the right of the mother to make informed decisions about the birth environment and methodology — forced them out of the program, which was suspended Read more

Reserve Judgements

This story first appeared in The Coast on Jan 20, 2011:

Two landmark environmental racism cases are coming to a head; one could change how polluting companies do business in Canada
By Chris Benjamin

In mid-September, the Pictou Landing First Nation band council filed a lawsuit Read more

Rebuilding Halifax’s most feared neighbourhood

This story first appeared in the Globe and Mail on Sept 24, 2010:

Gottingen Street, Halifax’s premier retail strip in the 1960s, has an unenviable reputation these days. Read more

Midwifery is ready for delivery, but mainstream public health lags

This story first appeared in This Magazine on Feb 16, 2010:

In March 2009, Nova Scotia became the seventh province to incorporate midwifery into the public health care system. Instead of paying and arranging for the service privately, residents now have it covered and regulated by the provincial government.

Midwifery should be seen as the progressive (yet traditional) and cost-effective method of childbirth in Canada. But the upfront cost of creating a regulatory body for midwives, Read more

The Myth of the Wealthy Environmentalist

This story first appeared in Briarpatch Magazine on July 1, 2009:

The mercury hit 99 degrees celcius. The steam hit my eyes and Uncle Reijo started talking about snow. Read more

March protests criminalization of black youth

This story first appeared in The Coast on June 25, 2009:

In the wake of police action at the Auburn Drive high School, Black Independence Network Nova Scotia and other groups stage a march through Halifax. Read more

Mi’kmaw Adaptation

This story first appeared in The Coast on June 25, 2009:

Psst, hey, climate change deniers: Halifax Harbour is rising, and you don’t need a PhD in carbon core analytics to prove it. A simple observatory pillar in the harbour does the trick—and that’s how city staff measures water levels. And if you don’t trust a low-tech solution, 90 years of tidal records agree with the pillar. These show that not only is our harbour rising, it’s rising faster than the most dire predictions of modern climate science. Read more