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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)

 

Comic genius or 'niggers in red face'?

Story by John Stackhouse. Photos by John Morstad.
The Globe and Mail, November 9, 2001


Regina The setting:
A blue-ribbon theatre in a very blueblood city.
The crowd:
White skin. White hair.
The players:
Three North American Indians.
The script:
Conniving natives. Corrupt whites. Confused country.


Tonight, in the heart of royalist Regina, the most politically incorrect group to bring aboriginal issues to Canada's airwaves is about to question the very foundation of our country.

More precisely, the Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour wants to ask whether Victoria, the first Queen of Canada, whose imperial rule gave this city its name, had an affair with George Washington. And could that somehow make Canada illegitimate?

Never mind the historical impossibility. (She was born 20 years after his death.) In tonight's Victoria Day special, Jasper Friendly Bear - the radio show's philosophic freeloader - can't help but believe that the Great White Mother ran around the Oval Office with the Great White Father.
THIS STORY AT A GLANCE (Parts 1 to 7 plus a related story):


Photo Essay
Backstage pass


1. 'I think people in Canada didn't know Indians were funny'
Using humour to force the two societies to re-examine each other, and themselves

2. 'Socially relevant' humour
Using comedy to tell ironic truths, however painful

3. Appealing to the audience
The racier the humour got, the more fan mail came in

4. Forbidden zones
'As long as you don't let the lions and tigers out of the cage, it's okay.'

5. Laughter "is the great leveller" in native society
Finding his way on the stage

6. 'I was tired of being poor'
Edna Rain takes up acting after decades of abuse

7. The curtain falls
The three performers leave the way they arrived - in different directions

Related: Dead Dog Café Listeners react


 
 

interactives
interactives

photo essays
Two worlds - photo essay


Have your say
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The current question:
"John Stackhouse says to fix the native problem, we need to fix the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canada. What do you think?"

Read the current responses.

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