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Canada's Apartheid, by John Stackhouse
Stories
Introduction
  Nov. 3

Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies
  Nov. 3 (Saskatoon, SK)

Crystal's choice: The best of both worlds
  Nov. 5 (Mississauga, ON)

How the Mi'kmaq profit from fear
  Nov. 6 (Cape Breton, NS)

The healing power of hockey
  Nov. 7 (The Pas, MB)

Norma Rae of the Okanagan
  Nov. 8 (Westbank, BC)

Comic genius or 'niggers in red face'?
  Nov. 9 (Regina, SK)

Praying for a miracle
  Nov. 10 (Lac Ste. Anne, AB)

To have and to have not
  Nov. 12 (Moosonee, ON)

Trouble in paradise
  Nov. 19 (Tofino, BC)

A cut of the action
  Nov. 26 (Wabigoon, ON)

The young and the restless
  Dec. 3 (Ashern, MB)

The wireless warrior's digital dream
  Dec. 10 (Ottawa,ON)

'Everyone thought we were stupid'
  Dec. 14 (Salluit, QC)

First step: End the segregation
  Dec. 15 (Last in the series)

 

First step: End the segregation

"At one point in my cross-country exploration of how natives and non-natives get along, I felt I was witnessing a scene straight out of the Deep South, with aboriginal Canadians taking the place of blacks. Only a radical change in thinking will make any real difference."

Story by John Stackhouse. Photos by Louie Palu.
The Globe and Mail, December 15, 2001

Conclusion Depending on the day of the week, or his hair style, George Leach can be just about any kind of Canadian he wants. Urban hip. Rural cowboy. Angry Indian. Or loving dad. And on any given day, he may be all of the above, blending his many cultures, and his two nations, in a style that says as much about this country's racial hopes as it does about our troubled past.

The twentysomething musician is much more than a hot new name on the blues scene and a talented actor on stage and screen. He has the ability to cross cultures as if skipping over a stream on his family's reserve outside Lillooet, B.C. He can mix riffs from Lenny Kravitz with chants from his Sta'tl'imx nation, just as easily as he captained his largely white high school's basketball team and now hangs out on Toronto's trendy Queen Street West.

"You don't want to be looked at as a professional Indian. At the same time, you don't want to assimilate," he says of his approach to music and life.

"I want to build a bridge between cultures."

Canada needs a lot of bridges, far more than we realize. For Leach, who stands with one foot on each side of the original Canadian divide, too many of us - the professional Indians and the assimilators - would prefer to lob contempt at each other, and disavow the sort of integration that he is seeking.
THIS STORY AT A GLANCE (Parts 1 to 6):


Photo Essay
Two worlds


1. Building bridges between Canada's cultures
'You don't want to be looked at as a professional Indian. At the same time, you don't want to assimilate'

2. Overhauling the reserve system
'There is a valuable lesson to be learned here from overseas development'

3. 'Yet divided we remain'
By almost any measure, natives live in a different world

4. 'Racism is racism'
George Leach lets the comments roll off his back

5. 'Assimilation is not something to fear'
Churches, school systems, and Olympic hockey teams as signs of ownership, not insecurity

6. 'This is our land'
Taking matters into their own hands



 
 

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photo essays
Two worlds - photo essay


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