Career Interview

The three pieces of wisdom about being a teacher I have learned from interviewing Paige Perry are

  1. Even though it isn’t the highest paying job for the amount of time you go to school, it is the most fulfilling
  2. You continue to make new connections with the staff and the students for all the years that you teach and they will become family
  3. There are some things that the job won’t let you do, and you can’t fix that right away, you have to wait for the job to catch up with you.

Women’s Suffrage and Canadian Autonomy

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What?

Women in Canada began to fight back against discrimination, violence, and unfair wages near the end of the 29th century. In hopes of finding a solution for the ills of the female population, women saw the right to run for office, at the very least the right to vote, as a gateway to having their voices heard and making significant changes to their quality of life.

 

Who?

SUFFRAGIST: A member of the women’s suffrage movement, male or female. Often associated with activists who used peaceful methods of protest, including petitions and mock parliaments.

 

SUFFRAGETTE: A woman seeking the right to vote through militant protest. Commonly associated with British activists, who used illegal methods to fight for the vote. Often used as a derogatory term by opponents.

 

ANTI-SUFFRAGIST: Commonly known as “antis,” these men and women felt deeply threatened by the prospect of equality, which would unbalance the status quo

 

Where?

Canada, beginning with towns and spreading to a provincial and national level.

 

When?

The suffrage movement began to bloom at the end of the 19th century, resulting in small scale town, library and school board voting rights before the first provincial election voting rights were given to women in Manitoba in 1916, followed by;

  • Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1916
  • British Columbia and Ontario gave women the vote in 1917
  • Yukon (1919),
  • Atlantic Canada (1918-25),
  • Québec (1940)
  • the Northwest Territories (1951)
  • Women were granted the federal vote in 1918 (excludes asian and indigenous women)

 

Why?

As the independence and value of women came to be slowly recognized in Canada, women sought a way to have their basic rights ensured and solidified through being an active part of political decision making. They had to overcome narratives of being incompetent and undeserving of being treated as equals before the national standpoint began to shift, and the arguments about women’s incompetence invalidated. The right to vote was crucial to beginning a social shift of providing Canadian women with autonomy, strength, and fundamental value.

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Views on Women’s Suffrage

There were many strong supporters and opposers of women’s suffrage, varying in demographics and time at which they engaged in the movement. The majority of suffragists were middle class white women, this being the same demographic of women to win these primary rights to vote. Though many women of colour also pushed for the suffrage movement, most did not receive their own rights to vote until much after. Plenty of men were also suffragists, the number increasing as time went on and the movement became more socially accepted.

 

However, a large portion of Canada was made up of anti-suffragists. These people saw the independence of women as threatening to culture, religion, and society as a whole. Many women were also silenced by their husbands and the men in their life regarding their views on independence. Most politicians were starkly against the women’s vote, as they were all male and unreceptive to a disruption of their system.

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Extent of impact on Canadian social, political, and economic norms and values

The women’s suffrage movement was incredibly influential to the norms and values of Canadians. Women’s independence and value went from an unheard of concept to an essential part of the social atmosphere. The women’s suffrage movement did not stop at becoming a Liberal value, it became also a Conservative value therefore covering the ground of most Canadians and their political standpoints. Involving women in politics was a major shift for Canada. Not only were women entitled to vote, they were also able to run for office. This created a major influx of attention to many critical issues that had been ignored before, such as violence against women and children, unfavourable working conditions and wages, and an extreme disadvantage in getting an education as a woman. As a result, more women became involved in the workforce and were able to better support their families financially. Along with this came the development of equipment such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners which freed up the hands of mothers to use their energy and time on more than just housework and childcare.

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Contribution to Canadian autonomy

The women’s suffrage movement was essential to Canadian autonomy. Without it, half of Canadians would have no autonomy at all. This, of course, overlooks the treatment of women and men of colour in comparison to their white counterparts, and how many people of colour, those with disabilities, those within the LGBTQ+ community, and those in other minorities still do not have full autonomy in Canada. However, the freedom of the lives of Canadians as a whole would be significantly decreased without women in politics, regardless of gender. The Suffrage movement has made way to more progressive values in Canadian politics by demonstrating that it is possible to introduce new ideas from diverse perspectives into our culture and establish them as norms. It has allowed for parents, not just mothers, to take leave and become fundamental to caring for and raising children. It has made room for movements against assault, violence, and maltreatment to all people. It has brought people from all walks of life to unite under the movement and create significant changes in the lives of Canadians. With women in politics, we see diversity in other ways become a part of our political system, and in turn the needs of a larger portion of Canada’s population are recognized and attended to. The women’s suffrage movement was the start of Canada taking charge of itself, with a greater number of free thinking and living citizens, we have been able to better establish Canada as a country that represents the values of its people. Without the women’s suffrage movement, Canada simply would not have autonomy.

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Sources:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/suffrage/

http://education.historicacanada.ca/files/108/Womens_Suffrage.pdf

http://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/collection/womens-suffrage-in-canada/

https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/timeline-womens-suffrage-canada

https://www.ournellie.com/learn/womens-suffrage/

 

Trudeau- Successor to Laurier?

screen-shot-2018-06-04-at-9-17-28-pm

https://www.liberal.ca/rt-hon-justin-trudeau/

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/sir-wilfrid-laurier/

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/justin-trudeau/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/laurier-not-trudeau-defined-canada/article1336626/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/ns-prof-trudeau-sunny-ways-1.3280693

Canadian Confederation? The Crown Weighs In

An address to the British Parliament regarding Canadian Confederation from Her Majesty Queen Victoria

 

In many ways, it is in England’s best interest to support Canada in its movement toward confederation. As a part of England, the British North American colonies require vast funds and protection, as well as time and energy from England for maintenance. A negotiated and peaceful confederation would prevent a repeat of the conflict between England and America, and would allow England to maintain some benefits of having these colonies under British rule. However, a separation from England as an official British colony would restrict the resources under direct rule of England, as well as decreasing the landmass of the British Empire.

 

Letting go of the British North American colonies would separate the British Empire from the resources and surplus to the area of the Empire that the colonies provide. Although England would prefer to maintain the rule over these colonies for the benefit of the span of the empire, as well as the people and natural features that come along with it, it is necessary to consider the setbacks of resisting their confederation and aggressively enforcing a continued rule over these colonies.

 

The British North American Colonies require vast funds from the mainland in order to pay for the resources that are not directly available within the colonies, as well as for funding vast railway and development projects. Although greater taxes on the colonies could be established, we must be weary of the repercussions of such actions as demonstrated by the American people. Rule directly from England consumes valuable time and resources for the purpose of direct supervision. Should these colonies govern themselves, English politicians could focus on the betterment of the British mainland rather than the concerns of the wild and outcast colonials.

 

Proceeding the American revolution, England is concerned with a repeat of similar conflict, death, and destruction. Wars could be avoided if we allow the colonials their confederation, while still maintaining official rule. We would not have to use our tax money and armies on petty North American conflicts. Rather, anticipating the unrest and inevitable want for separation from the mainland of the British North American Colonies would allow for guidance and cooperation during confederation. Both parties could settle with something that they seek. For the colonies; independence, for England; increased concentration of resources for the mainland.

Final In Depth Update!

Update:

 

Since my last post, my driving skills have improved dramatically! I have spent more time with my mentor, as well as a ton of time on the road with my parents. On my most recent drive with my mentor, I was able to complete my extended goal for my final drive that I was hoping to accomplish by May! Here is a visual of the route:

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I started at Gleneagle, took the Lougheed Highway across the Pitt River bridge, turned onto Golden Ears Way and crossed the Golden Ears bridge, merged onto Highway 1 (and got to 100km/h!) and took it all the way up to Highway 7, where I turned onto Gaglardi Way and made my way up the SFU hill! On the way back, I took Burnaby Mountain Parkway onto the Barney Highway, which I took back into Coquitlam and then drove myself home.

 

This drive involved all of the knowledge I have obtained over the course of In Depth 2018. These skills include lane positioning, speed maintenance, shoulder checks, turns, school zones, cruise control, merging on highways, high speeds, and highway and city driving mondsets. I was expecting to be much more stressed out about this drive than I actually was when it came down to the day. I trusted myself that I could manage the challenge and complete it well and safely, and I trusted my mentor, he does have an extra brake and gas pedal on his side of the car in case of emergency! My instructor simply told me where to turn and left the rest of the driving up to me, which was not only what I set out to accomplish but I also think helped me to be more confident in completing my goal.

 

Of course, the most important part of my ability to complete this goal was my dedicated practice. I am more than halfway to my goal of driving for 30 hours by In Depth night, and the pace at which I have been completing these hours has stepped up dramatically as I become more confident and gain more opportunities to be on the road. I have been taking every opportunity to get out on the road and use my skills, which has become much easier as I gain confidence behind the wheel. I am comfortable with driving pretty much anywhere I might need to go! Most importantly, I am comfortable with relying on myself to get everyone in the car, including myself, to their destination safely.

 

In Depth Night Plans

 

It took me quite some time to settle on a medium to present my learning process over the past few months. I had a lot of potential ideas to sort through, such as filming my progress with a dashboard camera over the course of the project and compiling a video, but after contacting ICBC I discovered that depending on the officer, driving with an L and a dashboard camera could be considered unsafe and distracted driving.  While I considered the possibility of bringing my car to school for In Depth night and driving around the parking lot as a display of my skills and progress, I determined that the limited range wouldn’t allow me to demonstrate as many skills as I would like to! Instead, I have delegated the lid to a large cardboard box to be my space for depicting some of the challenges and skills I have encountered through my project using toy cars and other materials to create a visual for each scenario. I will also display some video clips taken of me while driving by my passenger (not my dash cam!), as well as discuss my goals and ambitions in relation to driving, and what I hope to do with my skills!

Biography Check-In

  • “My people were hard-working folk, greatly concerned with the problems of making a living, tired many a time with the day’s work and perplexed with life’s cares, but they were never too tired or busy to comfort a sad little heart, or do their best to direct a lost young pilgrim back to the highway of happiness” (39)

 

Personal Interest:

This quote caught my attention at first because it made me think of my own experiences growing up with my parents. Ever since I was little, my parents have worked hard every day to ensure the safety and happiness of our family. Everything they do is with their kids in mind, and they work tirelessly to give us all the opportunities we could ever want. Even so, we have an understanding that if I were to need support I know exactly where I can fall back on. They are always ready to listen or talk or give advice, and that is a quality in me that I hope is apparent in the way I present myself to others!

 

Canadian Identity:

I think that in many ways this represents the relationships that many Canadians are drawn to, be them professional, romantic, familial, or friendships. We are partial to people who are able to give us support and love when we need it. There is an air of selflessness in Canadian identity, one that suggests our ability to prioritize the people we love in our lives.

 

  • “The only thing we live for is our children… and if we fail them, we have failed altogether. Every child has a right to an education and if you do not get that for them, you have cheated them.” (67) -Nellie’s mother

 

Personal Interest:

These words represent the global push that is still happening today in regards to a woman’s right to an education. In particular, it makes me think of Malala Yousafzai’s activism for female education and the sacrifices she has made for the cause. In talking about the resistance against equality in education, Malala believes that “The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women.” Through my readings of Nellie McClung’s biography, much of this fear is found in men at the time of the women’s suffrage movement.

 

Canadian Identity:

Canada, for the most part, is made up of the people who came here from somewhere else. The majority of immigrants to Canada were and are people searching for better opportunities in life, and one of the major opportunities in Canada that we have to share is an education. Our public schools are not limited by gender, race, orientation or any piece of identity. In Canada we are proud to have access to education and it is one of the things that we have to remember is a privilege, not a given.

 

  • “Many of the men I knew had the lust for more and more land and got their thrills out of mere possession” (191)

 

Personal Interest:

I sometimes think about humanity’s idea of ownership and how abstract it is. How is it possible that by simply signing a piece of paper, actual land and earth can be ‘claimed’? Materialism and a drive for possession is something that I find very human, and not a part of any other species’ lifestyle to the same extent. It’s not a strictly negative thing either, there is pride when you work hard and are able to obtain something that you want physically. It’s just a strange concept when you really think about it!

 

Canadian Identity

This country was built off of a race for claiming the land in what we now call Canada. When we grow up in school, we are generally aware of this reality, and for many it becomes a part of what we associate with Canadian Identity. Yes, in many ways we are a progressive and positive addition to the world’s social climate, but we can’t forget where we came from and what was sacrificed to get us here. There is pride in being a Canadian, but also an awareness that there is more to Canada than what is on the surface.

 

  • “It was then that  heard the bad news that women could not vote at all. No woman anywhere; and I knew there was something wrong about that, and said so until I was compelled to hush my talk” (205)

 

Personal Interest

In my reading and research about Nellie McClung, I discovered that there is more to the women’s suffrage movement than women simply not being deemed competent. Women in Canada were not considered to be ‘persons’ until 1929. That is 89 years ago. There are still Canadian women who were alive when they were not considered people by the government. In the same way that McClung describes in the quote, I had no reason to even consider that women were ever not considered people, so when I found out, there was an immediate feeling of confusion and deeply set discomfort. For me, there is something so instinctively wrong about gender based inequality that it is hard to describe, and much, much harder to accept.

 

Canadian Identity

In Canada, we enjoy rights of freedom of expression and speech. While many have more difficulty utilizing these freedoms than others, there is an understanding in much of Canada that should there be a discrepancy in the way our country is run, we want to hear about it and are ready to join the fight to make a difference. Canadians are ready to band together and support each other for the things we are passionate about and believe in, and we have power in our unity!

 

  • “Have something to say which you think should be said never mind how you say it, or what sort of a figure you are making- say it! Get it over to your audience as clearly as you can. If you can use beautiful words, crisp, singing words, words that are sweet in your mouth because of their association, so much the better, but words are only the paper and string in which the thought is wrapped.” (279)

 

Personal Significance:

As a person who can come off as outspoken or aggressive when talking about the issues that make me passionate, the nature of this quote speaks to my drive for empowerment. In future, I think that these words will help me to convey my thoughts and feelings to a broader audience by rooting my position back to the basics. First I have to think about what exactly it is that I’m trying to say, and get hyped up about that one concept. I have to narrow my goal to getting my point across before I add the fancy words (which is one of the best parts for me).

 

Canadian Identity

When Canadians look up to others to be role models or have influence on our lives, we look to people who share similar values and who can tailor words to speak to us. When Barack Obama told Canadians that “the world needs more Canada” in 2016, Canadians listened. Those simple, understandable words sent a message reflecting on Canada’s love and acceptance, and calling for a global shift in how we treat each other. Understandable, meaningful words have great power when it comes to unifying Canada and reminding us of what our communal identity truly consists of.

 

Theme: It is critical to identify what specifically one is willing to work for in life, and then do everything it takes to accomplish that goal.

 

This theme emerges from Nellie McClung’s words on compassion, family, possession, equality, and social change. The common thread between these things is that in order to be successful, you have to be passionate. One could be passionate about any of those listed topics, and if enough drive and effort is put into it, success will be the outcome in some form.

John A. Macdonald: Does Canada Fear Change, or do We Fear the Truth?

Does Canada Fear Change, or do We Fear the Truth?

 

Generations of Canadians have fought hard to create a space in which all can enjoy a feeling of safety, compassion, and an appreciation of diversity. Why are we holding on so dearly to a figure that represents quite the opposite of that? Are we simply afraid of change? There has been recent controversy in Canada regarding whether or not the name and figure of first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, should be removed from the public sphere in light of his racist practices, as demonstrated by his residential school system and the implementation of the Chinese Immigration Act. Macdonald unified Canada through the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and was an early advocate for women’s right to vote; however, his oppression of racial minorities in Canada has created deep, multigenerational wounds that are still being healed. While he was essential to the creation of Canada as a country, John A. Macdonald’s oppression of Indigenous and Chinese communities, along with his representation of a set of outdated values, calls for the removal of his likeness from public spaces.

 

John A. Macdonald’s name is in widespread use on schools and upon commemorative statues. The presence of his figure in the public sphere ignores the lingering consequences of his residential school system and the Chinese Immigration Act. In the interest of moving Canada forward progressively, it is important to understand that as Canadians, “we have a shared history, but we have more importantly a shared future, so let’s build a country on truth and honesty” (Bellegarde). The children whose family members were directly oppressed by Macdonald’s actions are not provided with the safe space for learning to which  they are entitled, when their schools bear the very name of their ancestors’ oppressor. John A. Macdonald was a major contributor to the establishment of the residential school system, in which he separated Indigenous children from their families in an attempt to convert and integrate them into a European lifestyle. The result of this aggression was widespread youth deaths and destruction of culture, families, and security among Indigenous communities in Canada. Similarly, as the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway came to a close, Macdonald established the Chinese Immigration Act, which placed a head tax and major restrictions on Chinese immigrants. The Act, which resulted in the severance of families and the initiation of systemic racial discrimination in Canada, was a tactic to curb the influx of Chinese and their resulting population growth in Canada. This damage continues to impact the lives of many families in Canada, and progress in healing cannot be achieved without creating a space of safety and understanding – away from the name and image of Macdonald.

 

Some Canadians are concerned that the removal of John A. Macdonald’s figure from the public sphere is equivalent to an attempt to erase or rewrite history. Rather than changing our past, removing these monuments would recognise other sides of Macdonald’s history and help Canada shift away from just one set of views on his legacy. As Canada broadens the understanding of its own history, ‘we need to teach our children the full history of this country – including colonialism, our indigenous peoples and their history and about what our founders did to create Canada and make it the country it is today” (Wynne). Memorializing Macdonald in statues and monuments attempts to represent only his contributions that are deemed positive and constructive; however the values held by Macdonald which are no longer concurrent with general Canadian views are perpetuated at the same time. Youth in particular deserve the chance to be exposed to all the perspectives on Canadian history necessary to get the full story, and to push Canada in the direction of healing and progressiveness.

 

While Macdonald’s accomplishments and the threat of erasing history must be considered, his racism and impact on minority groups in Canada has lead to controversy around maintaining his place in the civil domain. John A. Macdonald’s contributions were essential to the development of Canada, but his removal from the public sphere is called for as a result of his connection to racial oppression and assumptions of White superiority in Canada. When we hold on to the oppressive figures of our past, we must also consider what other aspects of the past we are inadvertently pulling into our future.  

Independent Investigation: The Chinese Immigration Act

What were the motives of the Chinese Head Tax in Canada, and to what extent were the impacts felt?

 

In order to better understand why the Chinese head tax is a part of Canada’s history and how it affected the Chinese immigrant population of Canada, I first had to look into what the tax was specifically.

 

What was the Chinese Head Tax in Canada?

The Chinese Immigration Act was the first ethnicity based anti-immigrant legislation in Canada. The Chinese head tax was put in place in 1885 under the act and only removed in 1923 when it was replaced by a total ban on Chinese immigration to Canada that lasted for 24 years. The price was per person with the exception of diplomats, government representatives, tourists, merchants, scientists and students, although some of these parties became no longer exempt as the Chinese Immigration Act was amended. Each person was originally required to pay $50, then the price was raised to  $100, then $500. Chinese immigrants with leprosy, infectious diseases, or who were sex workers were banned completely from entering Canada, and there were additional restrictions on the number of Chinese immigrants allowed on each boat based on the ships’ weight.

 

Now that I understood what the head tax looked like, I was able to begin investigating why the tax and immigration act were established in the first place, especially seeing as they were so dramatically different from the policies applied to any other ethnicity in Canada at the time.

Chinese Immigration Certificate

What were the motives for establishing the tax?

The head tax was instituted following an influx of over 15,000 chinese immigrants coming to Canada in the 4 years leading up to the ban as a result of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Many Chinese people also immigrated to Canada for logging, farming, and merchant work opportunities. Many of these people found themselves in undesirable, dangerous, and low-paying positions that were not wanted by other Canadian residents. When Chinese labour was no longer essential to the completion of the railway, the Canadian government attempted to discourage further Chinese immigration by placing a financial burden on potential immigrants. The costs of the tax rose as the Chinese immigration rates did not see a sufficient decline, resulting in the final fee of $500 being equal to 2 years’ salary or the cost of 2 homes. There was no other ethnic group required to pay such a tax.

 

After investigating the cause of the tax, it was time to explore the consequences. What did the tax mean to Chinese Canadian communities? Was the Canadian government successful in its mission to halt the dramatic Chinese population increase in Canada?

 

To what extent were the impacts of the tax felt in the Chinese Canadian community?

One of the major implications of the tax was the most extreme gender imbalance that Canada experienced within an ethnic group until the end of World War 2, with men outnumbering women 28-1. Many of these men had arrived in Canada with the intent of saving enough money to bring their spouses and children into Canada, through the ban on Chinese immigration in 1923 left many families separated and many immigrants alone. Even after the ban was lifted, very few Chinese immigrants were allowed into Canada before 1967. Through the many amendments to the Chinese Immigration act that lifted and placed restrictions on various parties, 82,000 Chinese immigrants paid the tax over the 38 years in which it was established. Nearly $23 million was brought in to the National Government from the tax. Between 1881 and 1921 the Chinese population in Canada increased from 4,383 to 39,587 despite the tax policy. Under the act, Chinese immigration certificates were issued to each individual coming to Canada, and were required for re-entry to the country after temporary travel. The act also established a system of 19 columns worth of information that were documented for each Chinese immigrant between 1885 and 1949 in handwritten books, the most information required of any immigrant group arriving in Canada.

 

Record of Chinese Immigrants along with 19 columns of personal information

 

 

Along with the tax, many other restrictions were applied to the Chinese community to segregate them from the white population. These included separations in many public facilities such as swimming pools and movie theatres. Chinese immigrants were especially vulnerable to deportation as systemic racism ran through the government system, leaving immigration officials looking for reasons to send Chinese Canadians back to China. White Canadian citizens were oppressive and discriminatory to Chinese immigrants, behaviour which established psychological stress on Chinese Canadians for generations and which has never been completely eradicated.  

 

With this knowledge, I began to seek out information regarding what kind of closure was received by those affected by the tax. I expected to find political statements of regret and widespread financial redress, seeing as this is a topic I haven’t really heard about previously. There must have been some kind of progress if the implications of the head tax are no longer a large part of the Canadian national discussion, right?

 

What action was taken in an attempt to help heal the wounds caused by the Chinese Immigration act?

In 1983, Dak Leon Mark and Shack Lee placed a request for a refund of their $500 head tax payments from their MP, which was denied, cultivating a national push for retribution. Demands for compensation included requests for financial repayment, an official apology, political acknowledgement of the discriminatory nature of the act, and educational foundation funds. Lawsuits, protests, and national campaigns faced the government through 2006, when an official apology was presented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the house of commons.

 

Stephen Harper pledged “symbolic payments to living head tax payers and living spouses of deceased payers.” and “funds to help finance community projects aimed at acknowledging the impact of past wartime measures and immigration restrictions on the Chinese Canadian community and other ethnocultural communities.”

 

Even so, only 785 head tax payers, spouses, and descendants received payments in 2009. Head tax compensation continues to be fought for in Canada, even 95 years after the tax was abolished. Many generations of head tax payer’s children have grown up in Canada since the establishment of the Chinese Immigration act, and yet little closure has been provided for these affected families. How could such a large scale example of systemic racism in Canada manage to fall out of our list of concerns? As I learn more about the history of various cultural groups in Canada, I begin to draw connections between the treatment and attitude towards who the white settler population deemed as ‘other’ to Canada. I am also able to see how our history has built the Canadian environment in which we live now, and how strings of unresolved Canadian conflict and discrepancy continue to linger in our everyday lives. Although Canada has worked to become viewed as peaceful, loving, and accepting, we still have a long way to go before we can begin to move forward from the rocky events of our past.

 

In-Depth Post #5

Since my last update post, I have been working with my parents much more often to get in practice time and to get comfortable with being behind the wheel more frequently. I also worked more with my mentor, revisiting parallel parking and focusing on reverse stall parking, stops, turns, and lane changes. I have found that the more I go out and drive, even short distances, the easier it is for me to identify what I struggle with and what I need to improve on. At the moment, that thing is turns. Much of the time, I find myself slowing down too much in intersections and then going a bit wide as I complete the turn. The best solution that I have found for this challenge is simply repetition. I have to put in the time to practice in order to become the safe, reliable driver that I strive to be.

 

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor is able to bring me out of my comfort zone and into a space of vulnerability when I am driving by having me drive in places I am not familiar with, and in spaces that provide driving challenges that I have not yet encountered. This allows me to practice decision making in order to maneuver myself safely and with as little direct instruction as possible. He encourages me to use my own judgement when I am feeling comfortable, and through this I am able to build my confidence behind the wheel.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

The new things that I am learning are best set in place by repetition and practice. Wayne has encouraged me to get out as often as possible to practice the skills he has taught me, though I have been waiting for our meetings to try out new things. When running errands, going to workouts or lessons, and any other small trips that my family does, my parents offer me the opportunity to drive to and from home to practice. This is generally a route that I am familiar with, but it’s really good practice for me to solidify my learning.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

My next meeting with my mentor is going to be a major acceleration for me, in terms of learning as well as literally! My mentor has told me that I am doing very well for how long I have been practicing for, so he suggests that we move onto the highway on our next meeting. As well as this, he suggests that I adapt my final goal to be more challenging as he believes that if I put in the time, I will be able to accomplish more than what I set out to do. He suggested an extended route to my original SFU plan, which I will sketch out with him and post about next time. With these challenges in mind, I will need even more practice time with more challenging and unfamiliar roads.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

When I meet with my mentor, most of our conversation revolves around my progress and the steps I need to take towards improvement. Along with this comes direct instruction about new skills, as well as fairly consistent updates regarding my goals and what I want to get out of my practice. I will sometimes ask questions about experiences he has had with other students, such as close calls and my progress in comparison to the pace he is generally accustomed to seeing.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I find that my communication with my mentor is really the driving (haha) force of my progress. If I wasn’t able to express freely to him my concerns and curiosities, my improvements would be limited. It is also important to me that he is able to communicate with me regarding the places where I need improvement. There are no conflicts regarding constructive criticism, which I have found very productive as I have to know what I need to work on before I can begin that work! My motivation to become the best driver I can be and his passion for his work combine to create very productive lessons.

 

Socials DOL #3

1.

The Canadian event that I believe has been highly influential to Canadian identity in the quadrants of Political, Social, Economic, and Environmental issues is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls human rights crisis that has been a part of Canadian history for years, and continues to be massively problematic in our society and systems of justice.

The start of the MMIWG crisis originates from the historical oppression, sexualization, and devaluing of Indigenous Women in Canada. Starting from the origins of European settlement in Canada, Indigenous peoples have been treated as less valuable than the colonial white population. This can be represented by the appearance of Canadian Residential Schools, and the Indian Act of Canada, through which Indigenous land and children were acquiesced by the Canadian Government. The culture of the First Peoples was smothered as a result of this attempted eradication, and through this, the population of Indigenous women and girls suffered. Under the umbrella of Indigenous deprecation, these women have been oppressed, kidnapped, and murdered without justice or recognition from the Canadian Government. The statistics indicate the widespread and pandemic nature of the MMIWG crisis. In 2014, the RCMP acknowledged the number of Missing and Murdered to be approximately 1200, though Indigenous Women’s groups across Canada estimate this number is significantly higher. In many situations, the documentation and investigation of these cases is incredibly discrepant in comparison to the treatment that similar cases involving the white population receive. This has, in turn, affected;

Indian Act

Politics:

When MMIWG is considered in the context of politics and the justice system, it can be observed that the failure of Canadian courts and law officials to follow through on their duties for the Indigenous communities of Canada has established a huge well of anger and mistrust in the government and justice system of Canada. Following the Murder of Tina Fontaine, a 15 year girl from the Sagkeeng First Nation, the jury found the accused party not guilty, leaving no justice or rest for the family of Tina, and no responsibility taken for her death. This kind of tragic result of years of fighting for justice for indigenous families is in no way encouraging for other families and victims to step forward with their stories. This, along with thousands of other stories, has created a social uproar in Canada regarding the treatment of our Indigenous peoples and communities.

Tina Fontaine

Social dynamics:

In response to the findings of the Tina Fontaine Case and the imbalance of the Canadian Justice system towards Indigenous communities, there has been backlash and uproar from people across Canada. Notably, the rally in Toronto on March 3rd, chiefly organized by 16 year old Madyson Arscott. Thousands of people showed up to Nathan Phillips Square to demand justice for the Fontaine Family. Movements like these have become more and more essential to being heard by the Canadian government that this is a value of Canada that needs to be recognized, and we need to take action to move towards solutions now.

Rally for Tina Fontaine

Economics:

The Indigenous peoples of Canada have historically relied on independent and nationwide activities to provide food, materials, and means of life for themselves. After the fur trade disruption of the traditional way for life for many Indigenous communities, a larger percentage of the Indigenous population became a part of the Canadian workforce. Since this integration, there has been a discrepancy in the treatment of Indigenous workers versus that of the non-Indigenous population. While the majority of the Indigenous population is a part of the labour market, the unemployment rate is significantly lower than that of the non-Indigenous communities of Canada. Further, there is a significant discrepancy in the employment rates between Indigenous men and women, with women receiving a significantly lower percentile. The discrepancies facing the Indigenous communities of Canada are not supportive of getting MMIWG victims the access to the Canadian courts that they need to have their shot at justice. This only further pushes communities from a feeling of safety and acceptance within Canada.

The environment:

The environment and attitude towards the MMIWG crisis and the support of Indigenous communities seeking justice has dramatically changed. Many people across Canada feel that the investigation into MMIWG has failed, and should be discontinued for its inability to produce dramatic progressive change. At the same time, survivors like Brandi Morin encourage Canadians not to give up on the MMIWG Investigation. In her perspective, we do not have the time to waste on debating the details of the investigation. Action has to happen now to serve justice to our Indigenous communities, and the MMIWG Investigation is, at least, a step in the right direction. As the attitude around the investigation and justice for our Indigenous peoples changes, so should our approach to the crisis, and so should our understanding of the victims, their value, and their legacy.

Brandi Morin

2.

In some ways, the MMIWG investigation is an opportunity for unity within Canada. We have already seen, through social media and widespread Canadian social demonstrations and movements, that we have the power to come together to fight for something we beleive in. I think that this is an example of Canadian identity even though I do not believe that there is any one peice of Canadian identity that is entirely consistent across the country. It is, however, a representation of the values of those Canadians who are willing to stand up, speak up, and be loud about what needs to be changed in our society. The MMIWG movement has swept Canadians from all walks of life to fight for a common goal- the due justice and peace for our Indigenous communities.
3.

I feel that there is no ‘one’ Canadian identity that every Canadian can relate to. There are simply too many Canadians to make a statement like that. In my eyes, Canada is made up of a collection of nations that do hold similar values, and in that we find strength. I do however think that finding things that Canadians are willing to push for, such as Indigenous people’s rights, is unifying, powerful, and valuable. Adding a component of unity to the diverse Canadian demographic empowers us to create the kind of change that we desire for our futures. Although it may be futile to unilaterally swallow every Canadian into one identity or movement, I do completely see the value in unifying the groups of Canadians who are willing to be passionate.

 

Sources:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls-in-canada/

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/raymond-cormier-trial-verdict-tina-fontaine-1.4542319

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/thousands-gather-in-memory-of-tina-fontaine-in-toronto-1.4561309

 

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-people-economic-conditions/

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/mmiwg-inquiry-brandi-morin-opinion-1.4224745