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review 2018-11-06 01:49
A dispassionate, factual account of cultural genocide against First Nations in Canada



Residential schools operated in Canada for a hundred years and about one hundred and fifty thousand First Nations children were forcibly removed from their parents and their communities and sent to them. The philosophy of these institutions was to kill the Indian in the child so they could better assimilate into white society.


It’s been well documented, indeed even Prime Minister Trudeau has apologized for the physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse these children endured for the ten years they were enrolled.


What isn’t understood is that as well as losing a normal childhood they also lost coping mechanisms, trust, a sense of safety and belonging and future parenting skills. For generations there was a cycle of remove children from their family, culture and support systems; shame, punish and abuse them; and then return them to parents who had undergone the same treatment.


If you don’t have this information, and other information about the cultural genocide perpetrated by the Canadian government, supported at least indirectly by the Canadian people than you cannot begin to understand the struggle of First Nations people in Canada.


I didn’t and now I do, thanks to Lynda Gray’s book, First Nations 101.


In a readable and dispassionate voice, Gray, a member of the Tsimshian Nation and Executive Director of the Urban Native Youth Assoc. in Vancouver, Canada, lays it all out and it’s horrific, unjustifiable and unresolved.


Chapters include identity, social control, community issues, fairness and justice, taxation, health and wellness and arts.


Apologies and commissions aside, First Nations still struggle with poverty and discrimination which are born out by statistics including Indigenous adults representing 4.1 percent of the of the total Canadian adult population — but 26 percent of adults in federal custody.


As they begin to recover from the effects of our assimilation policies and decades of intergenerational trauma all they ask is that they receive justice and fairness and for us to get out of their way so they can get on with the healing and rebuilding of their culture.


At the end of the book, Gray describes what needs to be done by the Canadian government and Canadians individually, and First Nations themselves if both sides are really interested in truth and reconciliation.


Reading First Nations 101 is a good first step.


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review 2018-10-30 04:54
A Must Read and good one to discuss..
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After - Clemantine Wamariya

It’s not an easy subject to write and review about. What can you really say about it when it’s filled with tragedy, mass displacement, and human suffering. It’s definitely an eye opener and if you’re wanting a book to read and discuss this would be an ideal one.


What is prevalent all throughout the novel is Clemantine’s feeling of displacement and how she’s not really entire ‘whole’ or she’s never really had a place to call ‘home’ considering all she’s been through. She’s gone through various countries through Africa only to be displaced time after time. It’s emotionally jarring and to even think that Clemantine was only a child during this period would be traumatizing to any child exposed to this world.


I find the book interesting and shows how her behavior is like once she moves to the US. Clemantine constantly seeks new opportunities but it feels as if she’s doing so to learn more about herself or to constantly fill herself so she can feel wholesome. Every time she accomplishes something, she goes out to do more. It’s never ending. It’s an admirable trait if you look from another perspective but if you don’t know her real background, you would assume she’s a normal, overachieving teenager.


Claire’s strength is admirable throughout the story. Despite all the chaos going around her, she is constantly trying to improve so she can get out with Clemantine. The sad part is, because of what was happening around them, they didn’t really have the chance to be actual sisters. Claire looked out for everyone, Clemantine stayed home and held the fort.


No matter how hard you try you can’t really put yourself in their perspective. You can’t really know how it is until you’re actually there experiencing it too (and no one wants that obviously) you can only wish Clemantine and her family will continue to lead on successful and fulfilling lives like they rightly deserve just like everyone else.

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text 2018-06-13 01:03
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Aliens Omnibus: Female War and Genocide: Female War, Genocide v. 2 (A dark horse science fiction novel) by Steve Perry (1996-01-02) - Steve Perry

Well that was horrifying. And not in the typical Aliens way.

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review 2018-04-16 14:47
Journey Through Genocide: Stories of Survivors and Dead
Journey through Genocide: Stories of Survivors and the Dead - Raffy Boudjikanian
His grandparents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and this is what inspired Raffy to dream of a trip, which allowed him to visit every country which had experienced a genocide in the 20th century. As the calendar moved into the 21st century, Raffy knew that he needed to start planning his trip. The world was not changing for genocides were still occurring, the word was out but nothing was being done to stop them. Finances made his dream trip impossible, so Raffy scaled back his trip and began his planning.
I found when I read this novel that it was more about Raffy’s journey visiting the cities than it was about visiting the individuals who were affected by the genocides. I read the synopsis a few times while reading this novel, as “stories of survivors and dead” was what I was looking forward to reading about and I had a hard time finding this in the novel. I felt the synopsis led me astray. This was a journey but it covered more about Raffy’s travels to the cities and his experiences in the cities than about speaking to individuals about the genocides.
I did discover that many of the individuals who did the killings are on the run and some that did end up in court, were let go. It seemed that the common thread was that many individuals will not acknowledge that the genocides took place. If they can’t admit to this, then a trial nor a verdict can occur and justice cannot be provided for those whose lives have been affected. The survivors must live in limbo. Some survivors fear of history repeating itself, some live their lives in frustration and/or some are hurt. They live in a world where reality is a dark cloud and they are waiting for someone to shed some light on the situation. In the novel, there was a report where the number of deaths in the village was so large that the remaining villagers created mass graves. These graves were quicker to prepare and the villagers were also afraid that the offenders would return and murder more of the villagers. That is not all, when the authorities came to the village to check out the damage, nothing was done, no further action was taken. How could the authorities walk away from such devastation and do nothing?
Some of the novel’s illustrations were wonderful, they showed the history/cities and gave the story more meaning. The novel was very descriptive and I enjoyed that about this novel. This novel was Raffy’s journey to find more information on genocides. It was about his travels: what he experienced, what he saw, and how things are. I enjoyed the novel but I was expecting more in the way of interviews and/or information about the genocides.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and DunDurn in exchange for an honest review.


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text 2017-12-08 20:50
Aliens: Rogue - Ian Edginton,Will Simpso... Aliens: Rogue - Ian Edginton,Will Simpson
Aliens: Labyrinth - Jim Woodring
Aliens: Nightmare Asylum - Steve Perry
Aliens: Genocide - Karl Story,Damon Willis,John Arcudi
Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch: A Year in the Life - Steve Englehart,Al Milgrom,Richard Howell
A Once Crowded Sky - Tom King

This is what I got.   


I also took part in a yankee swap and got this:  



It's lootcrate, er, loot that someone didn't want - but I kinda looove it.   The shirt might be a tad small for me, but I still looove it.   

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