• A Lot Like Me

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    My very first contact with First Nations people was when I was probably about 13 years old, in the city of Toronto. Continue reading “A Lot Like Me”

  • Bus Stop

    I was having a smoke waiting for my bus and a man in his late forties asked me for a cigarette. He told me his name is Craig, he had just got out of jail and he is a redneck. He pulled out a silver Zippo and showed me the engravings, “white pride.” Craig said, “I would have never come up and asked for a smoke from an Asian” and gestured at me. He told me he doesn’t believe in interracial mingling and found Asian people standoffish and unapproachable. He said, “The only reason I stopped to ask you for a smoke is because earlier today I was chatting with my buddy and his friend, Tan, Tuan or something. He is Vietnamese and he took me to his brother’s restaurant and gave me two free spring rolls! And I thought, hey why not ask you for a smoke.” My bus pulled up and as I walked towards my bus Craig yelled, “I’ll never forget today!”

  • Birthright

    In 1983 I returned to Pangnirtung where I was born in 1947 and stayed for a month with the daughter of the Inuit family who had worked for my parents. I went over to the fish and game office and bought a fishing licence for $10 and when my friend learned that I had had to pay for it she became upset and stormed back over the hill to demand that I be given the licence for free, as I had been born in Pangnirtung and was therefore entitled to the rights of native Pangnirtungmiut. To my relief, she was unable to convince the warden. But then I was unable to explain to her why the warden was, in my view, correct.

  • Prejudice Reversed

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    I came home one day from school and told my mother that we had show and tell and I told them I was aboriginal and that my uncle was a hereditary chief Continue reading “Prejudice Reversed”