Somewhere in the middle of nowhere: Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11

In the afternoon of September 11, 2001, The Toronto Star published a rare “extra” edition of the paper with the huge headline “America Under Attack.” I’d been watching live television of the attacks all morning, but it hadn’t occurred to me, not knowing how to process what I was seeing, that that was specifically what was happening. America was under attack. … Continue reading Somewhere in the middle of nowhere: Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11

Canadian Club in New York

This weekend in New York I ran into a small piece of Canadian beverage history at Astor Wines & Spirits. The writeup below the bottle says: Without a doubt one of the most important whiskies of the 20th Century, Canadian Club was the go to dram for generations of whisky drinkers. This extremely rare expression was bottled … Continue reading Canadian Club in New York

9 things I learned from Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes”

I’ve just finished reading Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel. The book’s subtitle is “A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada,” and it’s an excellent introduction to Indigenous issues in a contemporary context. I want to tell you about this book and recommend it to you, but I don’t know how to write an … Continue reading 9 things I learned from Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes”

Coda on Inuit music

I’ve fallen one post behind on my commitment to blog weekly, due to travel and the last two posts being so dang long, so here are some outtakes from Canada’s mandatory “Eskimo Identification” tags to catch me up. I mentioned a song by Lucie Idlout (pictured above) about Eskimo Identification tags. The song is called E5-770, My Mother’s … Continue reading Coda on Inuit music

Canada’s mandatory “Eskimo Identification” tags

In 1941, based on a proposal made in 1935, the Government of Canada began requiring Inuit to wear tags stamped with unique identification numbers. The Inuit word for the system was ujamiit. In English, the tags themselves — leather coin-sized disks that many people have likened to “dog tags” — read “Eskimo Identification Canada.” I learned … Continue reading Canada’s mandatory “Eskimo Identification” tags