I appreciate how much support and interest there has been in Edmonton and across the province around this research. In the wake of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Executive Summary, I think many of us are looking in our own backyards for opportunities to bring reconciliation home.
#MyReconciliationIncludes what Justice Murray Sinclair and the other commissioners outline in that report: truth-telling around the complicated, enmeshed histories of our communities and country is critical to our national well-being. And to move forward, we need to understand and reconcile our different experiences of this place we call Canada. We need to comprehend the government laws and policies, as well as systemic racism in Canadian society, that has led to present-day inequities.
Here is a round up of some of the news stories that have appeared online, in print, and on TV, if you’d like to see how both mainstream and Indigenous media are shedding light on the Camsell’s history and legacy. Thank you to everyone who has been contributing to this work or following it. Miigwetch. Mahsi Cho. Qujannamiik. Hiy Hiy.
For this week’s CBC Radio Active column, I headed to the University of Alberta to interview Peter Midgley. Peter is the Senior Editor at the University of Alberta Press and the author of a recent memoir, Counting Teeth: A Namibian Story and the upcoming book of poetry based on this material. He has also written or edited several other books for adults and children, many of them focusing on his life and experiences growing up in various African nations.
After a delightful pre-interview in the gardens outside the Faculty of Arts Building, we ventured into a boardroom that had been booked for us by the kind folks in the Faculty.
Peter and I chatted about topics like colonialism, identity, privilege, the immigrant experience, and how communities have re-established themselves in Edmonton. It’s going to be tough to squeeze into a seven-minute column, but I’ll try, knowing it is just a beginning for more learning.
As I prep my column, here are some sites I’m finding useful – hope they are to you too!
- Africa Centre of Edmonton
- Pan-Africanism and Afropolitanism
- A Brief History of European Colonialism in Africa (Caution: Violent Imagery)
- “A Letter from a White South African to White America“
This week on my CBC Radio Active column, I talk with Arnim Joop about the history of the German community in Edmonton – and what it’s like today. We had a great chat at the new Mill Woods Edmonton Public Library location, where there was a lineup out the door at opening time! Luckily we snagged one of the quiet rooms for our short chat. Arnim even gave me a couple of copies of the newspapers he publishes, which you can grab at various points around the city for free as well.
You can hear our conversation tomorrow, Wednesday, July 28 at approximately 4:40pm MST. Then it’ll be uploaded to their SoundCloud channel!
Here are a few links you might find interesting on the topic:
- German Canadian Cultural Association
- German Days
- Heritage Festival
- “Brief overview of the immigration history of Alberta’s German-Speaking Communities”
This week I got to chat with Ahmed “Knowmadic” Ali, a poet and spoken word artist in Edmonton about the Somali community here in town.
If you’d like to hear our conversation, check out CBC Radio Active at 4:40pm tomorrow (Wednesday) or the program’s SoundCloud channel!
Here are a few neat links I came across about this fascinating community:
- Somali Canadian Cultural Centre of Edmonton
- Edmonton-based political cartoonist, Amin Amir.
- “Edmonton’s Somali Community Urges Public to Resist Stereotyping”
Last week I got to sit down with Michael Phair to dig into the history of the LGBTQ community here in Edmonton. A couple of years back I got to hear him speak about this on an Edmonton Heritage Council YEG Curiousities Bus Tour and knew he had some of the hidden stories in town. I was not disappointed.
We recorded our interview in the EPL Stanley Milner Library downtown. There are two free sound booths where you can do music, podcasts, oral histories or interviews. They’ve got a great set up but I had my own this time: well, on loan from CBC Edmonton.
You can hear my interview with Michael on Radio Active tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15 at 4:40pm or afterward on their SoundCloud channel.
In the meantime, here are some great resources about the LGBTQ history here in town: