John Ralston Saul talks about Canada’s history and how Aboriginals helped to develop our country. In this startlingly original vision of Canada, thinker John Ralston Saul unveils 3 founding myths. Saul argues that the famous “peace, order, and good government” that supposedly defines Canada is a distortion of the country’s true nature. Every single document before the BNA Act, he points out, used the phrase “peace, welfare, and good government,” demonstrating that the well-being of its citizenry was paramount. He also argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Another obstacle to progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.
Malala Yousafzai’s story is an incredible one, she was an outspoken advocate of education in Pakistan, and, after her assassination attempt, over 2 million people in Pakistan signed a Rights to Education petition. This petition helped to ratify Pakistan’s first Right to Education bill. She was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. Go to her website HERE.
Watch the documentary made about her in 2009, when her school was shut down by the Taliban:
Up Ghost River is the memoir of Edmund Metatawabin, written as a first hand account of life in northern Canada as an aboriginal young person. His life takes a tumble into the hell of St. Annes, a notoriously violent residential school, when the town officials press his family to make him go. He leaves behind a loving family and a life steeped in native tradition and self-sufficiency. It is a deeply personal account and will shake your beliefs in a fair and just Canada.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin recommends the book:
“Moving documentation, recollected tragedy and personal triumph, this book is a necessary first-hand account of being First Nations in contemporary Canada. From the atrocities of residential schools, to the present-day policy challenges, Up Ghost River will open your eyes to the all-too-recent history of Canada’s First Peoples, through the experiences of a resilient individual and his family.”
If you love language this is the book for you. Mary Norris, copy editor for The New Yorker, talks about her life with words. It is an intriguing read, through the origins of many phrases and how we use them. She talks about a fellow editor who kept a comma shaker at her desk and spends considerable time discussing the various solutions for the gender neutral pronouns. Her scope is wide and her angle is humorous.
Check our her entertaining blog, the Comma Queen.
In her new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert describes traveling the world to document the mass extinction of species that seems to be unfolding before our eyes. There have been five comparable crises in the history of life on Earth, she writes, but this one is different: It’s being caused by us.
Her subject this time is what she sees as the tragedy at the very core of human nature: “The qualities that made us human to begin with: our restlessness, our creativity, our ability to cooperate to solve problems and complete complicated tasks,” Kolbert writes, are leading us to change the world so rapidly and profoundly that other species can’t keep up. National Geographic reached Kolbert in New York to talk about it.