2010 ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum hears Caledonia’s pain

UPDATED May 12/10 — 2010 New Directions in Aboriginal Policy forum, Mount Royal University, Calgary, May 05/10: (L-R) Mark Vandermaas (Caledonia Victims Project); Gary McHale (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality); Ron Bourgeault (University of Regina); Dr. Miriam Carey (Chair, Panel II); Wes Elliott (Six Nations, not visible)Gary McHale and I have returned from Calgary. The ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum at Mount Royal University was a fabulous success at many levels thanks to great speakers, important networking, the fact that Caledonia’s voice was heard loudly and clearly, and especially because the university stood firm against those trying to infringe on academic freedom.  

Mount Royal deserves a huge pat on the back from every professor and student in the country for their determination not to knuckle under to the awful smear campaign mounted to our presence.

Of special note, one attendee (not the organizer) kindly told us afterwards, “I discovered that you’re not the monsters I was led to believe you were.” After the vicious campaign to convince the university we were neo-nazis that alone was worth the trip. I told him, “You just paid for my trip.”

Full details, photos, video and documents available at this post:

Mark Vandermaas, Editor

One response to “2010 ‘New Directions in Aboriginal Policy’ forum hears Caledonia’s pain

  1. Welcome back guys, hope you missed the spring blizzard out there. I hear the Bow river rainbows are biting on woolie buggers.

    Academic took your branding as Neo-Nazis seriously? In this day and age of the degenerate left branding anyone or anything that stands in dissent of their agendas of politically correct tyranny, why, of all people, would academics fall for this anti-intellectual extremist smear tactic. It’s been done to death and no one gives any credibility to a frothing leftard when they start screaming ‘Nazi’ or ‘racist’.

    From a purely rational perpective the label doesn’t even make sense. Where is there even a historical connection between Nazis and natives?? The only person I know who espoused Nazi philosophy was a native called chief David Akinehew.

    VoC REPLY: Hi Bill, see my comment to ‘Winston’ below re the smear campaign. Thought you’d appreciate the delicious irony of our right to speak being defended by a Marxist. I may be a softie, but no one wants to be associated with anyone possessing even a whiff of association with neo-nazis about them, so I understand how concerned someone might be, especially when the allegations are coming from within their own circle of academia.

    I don’t mind that they take the allegations seriously, what I mind is that they were willing to sign their names to a petition without checking the facts. After all, that’s their ‘business’ – research, information, knowledge, etc. But, in the end, most showed up and learned something they didn’t know. Those who stayed away – well, I imagine that their dogmatic silliness will be pointed out to them.

    Mount Royal University is a beacon of hope for all of academia, and deserves so much credit for doing the right thing here.

    As far as people spouting neo-nazi-esque trash, in fairness, there have been many who have done the same, but Ahenakew was probably the most notorious and highly-placed racist within the native community and possibly, all of Canada. His statements against Jews were nothing short of monstrous:

    Wikipedia.org: David Ahenakew

    Hi Winston. First, I am disappointed that some academics did buy into the smears so readily, the main thing is that Mount Royal, despite tremendous pressure (as was mentioned by Dr. Widdowson in her opening remarks) to exclude us, stood firm on the principle of academic freedom. In so doing, they helped expose the lies for all to see. One of the attendees actually said to me, “I can see you’re not the monsters I was led to believe you were.” I replied, “You just paid for my airfare.”

    Not only did what Gary calls ‘the Hate club’ dirty the floor in the their own house, the best part is that is was made possible by a Marxist professor named Frances Widdowson. So, I guess we can’t generalize about all ‘commies’ anymore! I don’t think I have ever witnessed a more practical defence of free speech in my life. Both Gary and I are rather bemused (and very happily so) that it was a Marxist who stood up for the right of two Conservatives to tell Caledonia’s story. You’ve just got to love the irony of that.

    If you’d like some interesting reading check this article out by Dr. Widdowson in which she argues that those who support the occupation are actually on the far right of the political spectrum, not on the left. Makes me wonder if you, me and Gary aren’t actually liberals at heart:

    Pseudoleftist support for “Mohawk Warriors” in Caledonia

    Thanks for writing and supporting, Wild Bill. Regards, Mark