Bill Buxton




*more information to come

Q: How can we (re)conciliate when we were never conciliated in the first place?


Q: Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?  Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Where is the data we have lost in information?  Where is the data we have lost in noise? 

A: Just as certain happy coincidences happened during our trip, it seems others – less so happy - happen after.  The case in point touches on cultural issues that arose in our conversation circles.  For me, at least, those circles caused me to listen to the events through different ears that would have heard them prior.

The topic in hand comes from the literary world and has to do with the topic of cultural appropriation.  If nothing else, look at these two videos.  The first is a CBC-TV piece from May 13th which presents most of the background, then features a discussion moderated by the presenter, between film and pop-culture critic Jesse Wente (an Ojibwe), andJonathan Kay, editor of the Onion Magazine.:

Then this morning, Jesse appeared on CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning.  A video of this interview can be seen here:

You only have to look at Jonathan Kay’s face in the former, and (especially) see Jesse gradually break down (from a shaky voice start) in the second, to see how deep this goes.

If all you do is watch those two video clips, it will be only too clear how the work which occupied our conversations last week has a very long way to go.  It is a reminder for us all not to stop, but also, to help direct the conversation along lines where people listen, and want to understand.  In the interviews above, this was largely the case, and yet, you see how it went.

If you do want to dive deeper, you can read the attached editorial “Winning the Appropriation Prize”, which triggered the whole thing.  It is by Hal Niedzvieki.  Editor ofWrite Magazine, and which appeared in the May 2017 issue which was devoted to Aboriginal Writing.

The ensuing Twitter-Storm which occurred while we were on the water, led to Jonathan Kay, writing the following in his National Post opinion column, which appeared on May 12th: “Cultural appropriation should be debated.  Too bad Canada’s Writers Union instead chose to debase itself.”

The interview with Jesse and Jonathan appeared the next day.

Jonathan subsequently resigned as editor of the Onion.

Likewise, Hal Niedzvieki resigned as editor of Write.

A canoe is a far better place to have a civil, respectful, empathetic conversation that Twitter. 

Our work is cut out for us.