In this fifth episode of Upstream Radio we speak with Cindy Blackstock, Max Fineday and Janelle Pewapsconias about the colonial sources of our greatest national health emergencies, and how the processes of colonization aren't in Canada's history, but still grow and perpetuate in our politics and communities today.
Below: In this full, virtually unedited interview (discussed in episode five) Upstream's Jared Knoll asks Canadian human rights champion Cindy Blackstock about her motion to hold the Canadian government in contempt of court, what the future holds for the Canadian consciousness and the banality of social and institutional racism, and the state of colonialism in Canada today.
(Warning: quite poor audio quality due to technical calamity. Also, dangerously honest opinions inside.)
CB: "They've always talked about, 'well we're taking good first steps', and 'look at all the stuff we're doing'...I did child protection work at the front lines for many years, and when I found families who were doing something that harmed their children, their first reflex normally wasn't to talk about all the good things they were doing. It was about 'what can I do to remedy that harm? What can I do to make sure this child is safe, and all other children are safe?' It shocks me that the government really doesn't put these kids at the front of the discourse. It's not about patting themselves on the back for racially discriminating against kids. It's about putting these children first, and keeping your eye on the ball, and eliminating that discrimination."
MF: "No one likes to talk about these things. It doesn't feel good. It makes people feel guilty. What I say to Canadians when talking to people about colonialism, about reconciliation, is that their guilt isn't gonna help anyone. We need their action. We need their allyship. This isn't a job for government -- this is a job for all of us."
Main Photo: sallybuck; Flikr