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Thursday, 6 September 2018

CanoeKayak Canada Mainstream/Whitestream War Canoe -vs- Indigenous War Canoe

APTN television series “Samaqan: Water Stories”[4], in the episode about the Tribal Canoe Journeys 20th anniversary that was released in 2014. The youngest of the Campbell Brothers can be seen above in blue.

History of the War Canoe Movement

In order to have a social movement, you need to have a social problem. In my course Social Problems (Socio 290) I wrote my final research paper on The Assimilation of Indigenous Canoe/Kayak, within the past 150 years, in the Maritimes [1]. In that paper I wrote about how the Olympic Institute of CanoeKayak Canada, a mainstream/whitestream sport organization’s “war canoe” racing amounts to a) colonization, b) cultural appropriation, and c) cultural assimilation. It does this by calling their racing canoes and the sport - “war canoes” when white people never went to a war in a canoe and the First Nations people of Canada did. These white teams of athletes paddling “war canoes” then a) name their teams after indigenous words or nations, as seen in the Mic Mac Canoe Club and b) wear stereotypical “Indian” head logos on their team outfits when they have no association with the Mi’kmaq First Nation historically. This mainstream sport of “war canoe” amounts to a collective activity and not a social movement. In a Truth and Reconciliation era, Indigenous communities are trying to reconnect with their culture which in many cases was lost due to the long-term effects of the Canadian Indian Residential School system. The war canoe is a large part of the First Nations people of Canada’s history and as they move forward the mainstream “war canoe” racing system of the Institute CanoeKayak Canada is confusing and inappropriate when viewed in a balanced context .

In the book by Suzanne Staggenborg and Howard Ramos - Social Movements (3rd edition), they write “most social movement scholars would agree that social movements ‘are collective efforts, of some duration and organization, using non-institutionalized methods to bring about social change’ (Flacks, 2005:5). ” [2] . An example of a Canadian Social Movement in a Truth and Reconciliation Era can be seen in 2013 by way of an online petition against the Institution of CanoeKayak Canada: Change The Name from "War Canoe" to C-15 [3]. The petition ran for a set amount of time and its intent was for the Institutions to understand the historical context of “war canoe” racing and how it would not be considered acceptable in a Truth and Reconciliation era. The petition opens with “In June of 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons, and on behalf of the Government, apologized to the First Nations people of Canada.” and it reads out the apology and ends with “"Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country."”. Yet, we still have assimilation happening in the sport of Canoe and Kayak “war canoe” racing. Where Indigenous youth are encouraged to participate in mainstream “war canoe”. The petition continues with “CanoeKayak Canada and its club members continue to race 'war canoes' amongst the dominant culture. The use of this term (for this type of canoe/race) is insulting and demeaning to most First Nations people. While generations of 'white' people were racing these canoes and calling them 'war canoes' the indigenous people of our country were being segregated, abused, neglected and tortured to rid them of their culture, language and traditions.”


Indoctrination (Examples/Purposes): The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, CanoeKayak Canada and Right To Play.

Aboriginal War Canoe Race Victoria BC by Bottega Creative

I will summarize the book ‘Rocket Scientist Guide to Money and the Economy’ by Michael Sharp, by quoting, “ ... in the end “it's always about the money.” [1]  I will use the book ‘Accounting for Genocide’, to show how the Federal Government of Canada (and the Partners they fund) use accounting as a tool in the cultural genocide of the Indigenous people of Canada - but through the lens of sport. In the book, Accounting for Genocide by Neu and Therrien it reads “The conquest of the New World - The Americas in general and Canada in particular - could not be perceived by the conquerors as successful without the cultural genocide of the conquered peoples. Aboriginal cultures represented to the European everything “progress” and “civilization “ were trying to leave behind.”. To do this, I will give three examples of Indoctrination. The oxford dictionary says that Indoctrination is “the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” [42]  These examples and purpose of Indoctrination include:




Saturday, 18 August 2018

War Canoe Talking Circle

September 2013

Video 1 - https://youtu.be/bmwgr2HB8vA

"FN war canoe racing as I recall has been going on the Island for 20 plus years especially in Ladysmith, some First Nations athletes have tried it, but the cultures are different, and they seem not to stay, or the cost of travelling to compete impacts their participation, because Bands do not invest in their youth as the white person does." - A Past President of CanoeKayak B.C. September 13, 2013."

Video 2 - https://youtu.be/ixF9JWF-NJc

"I would also check back in History of the Mic Mac Club in Nova Scotia, it's history is of the Mic Mac First Nations and may have some connections".

Video 3 - https://youtu.be/gBWFWvRU5lE

"I just do not get all the slamming of the system."

Video 4 - https://youtu.be/CrXJebnyr-M

"I am sorry, But I do not agree with your argument on this. Because the boat is not their boat or their form of paddling, and therefore in my view can be called anything they want."

Video 5 - https://youtu.be/Ctsh3ySotQ0

"Is it the fault of the CCA or of government as to why the FN schools were established, what effect or impact did CCA have on or of the FN"

Video 6 - https://youtu.be/JCobt7xvhq0

"The Canadian Canoe Association has been racing these boats 100 years plus or minus, and again they are not the same boat only the event has the same name."


Video 7 - https://youtu.be/RgImCsPQF1Q

"The history speaks for itself, The government keep making errors especially with First Nations issues. But for your paddlers to make it to the Olympics they will have to through the CCA structure. Because they will always want the one on one race off for the rigth to compete, unless you are a canoe paddler and then the side of the boat you paddle will be considered"

Video 8 - https://youtu.be/QgHPMViWUoY

"Which FN's are pissed about it"


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

When CanoeKayak Canada uses Propaganda, Structural Advantage and Manufactured Compliance to its Benefit

John Edwards, Former Domestic Director of CanoeKayak Canada using my photo in his presentation of the institutions "Aboriginal Paddling Initiative". Yet, I had never spoken to Edwards despite many attempts on my part and CanoeKayak Canada never contributed to the program I had developed at the time (2012). 

What is “propaganda”? Why is it significant to a study of social movements?


Propaganda is generated often by Public Relations (PR) firms, government and corporations. It serves to spread information that is often biased and one sided. Today the word “propaganda” has been replaced with “spin”. In the book a Century of Spin by David Miller and William Dinan they write that “Edward Bernays, one of the founders of ‘public relations’ put it” ‘propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans… using it [in 1914-1918]. So what I did was to try to find some other words.”. Miller and Dinan “think that propaganda is a better term than spin or public relations because it also implies the unity of communication and action.  
I have personally experienced propaganda when I was preparing a group of First Nations youth to attend the 2014 North American Indigenous Games Canoe Championships. At the time, like many others we had a blog and social media account documenting our processes and attempts to qualify for the games. What started off naively turned into a reality of “spin” we were not prepared for. The governing institute for the Olympic sport of Canoe and Kayak in Canada is CanoeKayak Canada. According to affidavits from my Human Rights Tribunal hearing, the institute Domestic Director of CanoeKayak Canada would send an email to its partner organizations CanoeKayak BC which is the provincial extension of its organization. In addition, they would also include The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (ISPARC) and the President of the North American Indigenous Games in their emails.
In that email dated December 2, 2013, the Domestic Director writes “Hi Guys, We should further discuss what we are doing collectively to address Mr. Anson’s messaging. I think a joint response is worth discussing. Let me know your thoughts”. On July 15, 2014 that “joint response” would come in the form of a press release professionally written by a well known Canadian author in sport. “Aboriginal Paddling Initiative Supports a Proud Tradition”. The article writes about each province and a span of more than a decade to claim how successful they are. The article is full of inaccuracies in terms of facts, ideological at best with no supporting evidence and one sided as it didn’t address any of my concerns. What it was, was an attempt to rewrite history.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Ideology and Indoctrination of CanoeKayak Canada: Is mainstream "war canoe" racing a stepping stone to success?’

CanoeKayak Canada Mainstream "War Canoe" Racing

Distinguish between ideology and indoctrination. How are they related? What key aspects of ideology were highlighted in this discussion? Do a little Internet research and provide your own definition of ideology. What features of our thinking process would signal that we have incorporated ideology into our mental processes?

What key aspects of ideology were highlighted in this discussion?
After reading The End of Homework, the highlighted ideologies in this discussion included the following key aspects:

- The “taken-for-granted” quality of homework - Society sees homework as important, therefore never questions if it is actually a good thing or not. As the writer points out, “the taken-for-granted” ideology is “considered to be natural and self-evident truths”.

- Set of Ideas - Ideology is a “set of ideas” “that directs our expectations, goals and actions”.
However, the simple equation of “taken-for-granted” ideas that directs our expectations, goals and actions” is not enough to qualify it as an Ideology. The writer points out: “ideologies only become ideological when they are no longer open to question.”

Distinguish between ideology and indoctrination.
If Ideology is a “set of ideas that directs our expectations, goals and actions”. Then, Indoctrination is when people come to believe the set of ideas without question. There are two types of indoctrination, which include; a) passive and b) active.” The writer continues by saying that passive “agents of socialization don't necessarily intend to introduce ideology, and they are not aware that repetitive reinforcement of ideas amounts to indoctrination, but they are part of the process nevertheless”

How are they related?
The writer says it well: ”the short answer is that ideas become ideological through a process of indoctrination. The term “indoctrination” itself is just a fancy word for repetitive teaching.”

Do a little Internet research and provide your own definition of ideology.
In the sport of canoe/kayak in Canada, there are two streams of “war canoe” racing based on race. The a) mainstream/whitestream and b) the Indigenous stream. The institution of CanoeKayak Canada race mainstream war canoes and credits it as the core of their club development system. Their narrative is that by racing war canoes, it creates a stepping stone to success.
Based on my Internet research,’ Is mainstream war canoe racing a stepping stone to success?’
For me when I think of the institution of CanoeKayak Canada and their ideology. I would explain that the institution who was incorporated in 1900 (as the Canadian Canoe Association) has had more than 100 years to share a set of ideas they believe to be true with their members. Given this length of time - of repeating these same ideas - have consequently reinforced to its members their beliefs which are not necessarily based on fact.  As seen in my previous Research Essay where a) the Banook Canoe Club, b) the 2013 Canada Summer Games, and c) the Bear Mountain Boats, Sprint Racing History media videos share their ideas/beliefs from these institutions as factual. When in fact, there is really no scientific evidence to back their ideas of ‘mainstream war canoe racing’ as a stepping stone to success. That parallels the writers comments about when “the taken-for-granted” ideology is “considered to be natural and self-evident truths”.”

What features of our thinking process would signal that we have incorporated ideology into our mental processes?
When ideas or beliefs, repeated enough times, through the years, becomes factual - with no basis or evidence of fact involved.  An example of this thinking process can be seen when: ‘both the mainstream and indigenous stream of war canoe racing become so indoctrinated in these ‘ideas’ they don’t even realize it.  That is when assimilation is complete.



Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Social Movements, Class and Power: "Olympics! Meet War Canoe Racing"

Indigenous Stream War Canoe Racing
Mainstream/Whitestream War Canoe Racing

What makes a social movement different from say, a wedding committee or a social group?


In the book Social Movements By Suzanne Staggenborg and Howard Ramos it says “most social movement scholars would agree that social movements “are collective efforts, of some duration and organization, using non-institutionalized methods to bring about social change” (Flacks, 2005:5). This creates a difference between a social movement and say, a wedding committee or social group. Whereas the latter is   gathering together that amounts to a collective activity.

In my own experience, another example of a social movement versus a social group can be seen in the Canadian sport system. Let me use the example of “war canoe” racing in the sport of canoe/kayak and with it come a number of sociological problems.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Dual Colonialism: Racialized Discourse, Prejudice and Discrimination


I am not of an ethnic minority, my ancestry is predominantly French and German. As a result of being of European decent, I have an interest in Post-colonialism. Indigenous and Colonial topics are at
best a difficult undertaking to discuss from a balanced perspective. As a sociologist, I find it interesting to study the “whitestream” otherwise known as mainstream sport system in Canada. I specifically find the Olympic sport of Canoe fascinating where you have a “Double Helix” sport system broken into two streams based on “race”; a) mainstream/whitestream and b) Indigenous stream. I feel - through the lens of sport, it allows for a palatable narrative that can be accurately told from my sociological imagination.