Website Disclaimer: This website is not affiliated with the Government of Canada or any of its partners. Including the Aboriginal Sport Circle. Read More...

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.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Growing Up The Children of Institutionalized Parents


"The Duplessis Orphans were children victimized in a mid-20th century scheme in which approximately 20,000 orphaned children were falsely certified as mentally ill by the government of the province of Quebec, Canada."

While living full time on a West Coast First Nation reserve, I was able to relate with many of the indigenous people. The connection we made was one of mental health and shared experiences because our parents grew up as institutionalized children of a governmental system.

I am an only child of a mother, who raised me as a single parent for the first ten years of my life. My mother was raised from the ages of 2 years to 16 years in the Duplessis Orphanage system in Quebec. She experienced similar traumas as those raised in the “Indian” Residential School system. Wikipedia states that “The Duplessis Orphans were children victimized in a mid-20th century scheme in which approximately 20,000 orphaned children were falsely certified as mentally ill by the government of the province of Quebec, Canada, and confined to psychiatric institutions.” The Montreal orphanage my mother resided in was run by the Catholic Church. She was abused for many of those years. The long-term effects of the mental stress and physical abuse she suffered was immense. Not only did she have a short lifespan, but the mental health issues resulting from this abuse would be life changing for me as well.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

#TRC88: Aboriginal paddlers welcome academy. #Olympic dreams, am I a Normal person?



1. Am I a normal person?” 

I felt I was always a normal person until I was 38 years old and diagnosed with a form of Autism known as High-Functioning Asperger’s. Which much to my surprise implied I was anything but normal.

2. How you came to be such a “normal” or “deviant” person, as the case may be. ? 

In 2011, Normal for me was my blog “The Sport Technologist Chronicles” and for me “deviant” was my unique perspective on my second blog introduced in 2013 “Living with Aspergers in Sport: My Evil Twin” post diagnosis. From 2004 to 2010, I developed athletic training software for retail and Olympic teams. By 2011, social media and blogging were a popular pastime for people. I wanted to explore the opportunities for demonstrating my skills as a Sport Technologist and I would develop a Sport Technology Canada Blueprint that helped all Canadian athletes to implement technology in their sport. In a short time, my social media would be extremely popular with more than 25,000 followers including many world sport scientists, sport organizations, coaching professionals and professional athletes. During this experience I came to see first hand how the mainstream and Indigenous sport institutions were treating the Indigenous people of Canada. Much to my surprise, my world would fall apart after being diagnosed with High-Functioning Asperger’s.