Browsing All Posts filed under »culture & ethnography«

Meeting the Haida Fleet by WH Collison

May 19, 2013


William  Henry Collison arrived on the Northwest Coast in 1873 to begin work as a missionary for the Church Missionary Society.  He learned Tsimshian while teaching at the Utopian (and totalitarian) Tsimshian community of Metlakatla, which was then under the management of the famous William Duncan.  He also worked with the Nass River Nisga’a at the beginning […]

Legends of Myself 54

January 4, 2013


Continued from Legends of Myself 53 54.  Of Oolichan Grease, Culture and Eating Crabs She really ought not to have made that remark about the Six Nations joining the wrong side by supporting the British in the American Revolutionary War. In 2001, I added a touch of difficulty to a tour guide’s day at the British […]

Racism Is Not White

December 30, 2012


Racism is characteristically a function of colonialism.  Thus racism was olive-skinned during the long era of Greek colonialism in the Eastern Mediterranean.  It was the colour of the Japanese during the era of Japanese expansionism into Korea and China.  It was Aryan during the era of Nazi Germany.  It is pale-skinned here and now in […]

Some Notes on Indigenous California

December 5, 2012


If you look at the Aboriginal people of California through the lens of a language map, you get one notion of cultural organization, but it’s hardly the most important one in respect of understanding California Aboriginal culture.  Because of linguistically determined relationships between language stocks, a map of indigenous languages can give us useful hints […]

Mocha Dick, or the White Whale of the Pacific

November 12, 2012


A Tale of the Original Moby Dick From the era when whales were monsters, and their hunters were heroes.  As they thought.  The original story as presented below is not for the tender-hearted.  It was a brutal era. Of course everybody is familiar, in one way or other, with the most famous of whaling stories, […]

Democracy Arrives in the USA

November 8, 2012


War Chiefs, Peace Chiefs and the Zero-Sum Game There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Mind” where the hero provides mathematical proof that everybody does better if they don’t all go for the win (the win being in the movie a blonde, but with much broader application than that.)  This is the issue of the zero-sum […]

Whitestream Attitudes and the Fate of Aboriginal Education

November 4, 2012


Aboriginal Education in the City, Part 3 I suppose it was in the late 1990s when the provincial government introduced the grade twelve First Nations Studies course.  The Vancouver School Board duly put together a training workshop for Social Studies instructors on how to teach the course, which, rather than being an actual set curriculum, […]