Oh how the time flies when you’re running your mouth…
It’s two days away from being exactly a year ago that I wrote an article on Attawapiskat that ended up going viral. I’m putting the link here so I can warn you that it takes forever to load because there are 1,019 comments on that article. It took me three days straight to respond to as many as I could, sitting in front of my computer for over 8 hours each day.
Obviously that kind of attention isn’t something that can be sustained…things go viral all the time, blow up and are forgotten. However, I’ve managed to maintain a readership that I consider impressive, given the fact that I am long-winded beyond belief in an age where we are constantly told that no one has an attention span for such things. Well, 500-1000 people a day seem to have that attention span after all.
I have a list, an actual list on paper, with topics I still haven’t had a chance to cover. Issues with Status and closed adoptions, native education, funding cuts, the percentage of indigenous people in jail, suicide, diabetes, language revitalisation, environmental issues, Arctic sovereignty and so on. I could quit my (wonderful, rewarding, awesome) teaching job and write every single day and still not say all the things I want to say…all the things I think Canadians need to learn about. All the myths I want to debunk so I never have to come back to them again, all the stories I want to tell highlighting our resilience, our humour, our love of life.
However, as I keep rediscovering, the things I think Canadians know and understand are not always the things they do know and understand. Sometimes I skip things that I consider obvious but that are legitimately confusing to a lot of people living here. So the reason I’m writing this today, is to ask people to nose around the ‘Primers‘ section of this blog where I’ve linked to articles I think are basic building blocks of information about indigenous peoples here. Are there glaring omissions? Things you often ask yourself or that other people ask you to explain? What is missing may be on my ‘to do’ list, but it may also be something I didn’t realise was misunderstood. Are there other articles you’ve seen on this blog that belong in the ‘Primers’ section? Should there be various sections?
If you are a teacher using this blog with your students, or a student doing research, or a community member linking people to these articles so you don’t have to once again repeat all of this information to another angry settler…do you have any suggestions for how this information should be laid out for easier access?
I can’t do much on the technical side, and that’s not the kind of suggestions I’m looking for. Mostly I want to make sure that the information here is as useful as it possibly can be, and I want to make sure that if I’ve missed some really fundamental discussions, that those topics get moved to the top of the ‘to do’ list.
I also just want to thank people for reading what I write. I put a lot of effort into these articles, and I’d do it even if only to get these things clear in my own mind…but getting feedback from you is pretty awesome, no lie. I am no all-knowing expert…I may know a lot of this stuff already because this is a main focus in my life, but providing sources to back up that knowledge is not an easy job and I learn a lot as I’m doing that research. Without those sources, my articles might be a nice opinion, but not something all that useful for other purposes. I thank you for putting up with all the linking I do, even if you don’t actually need that much extra information. I also thank you for providing me with a reason to do that work. Seriously, call me a geek, but I love it!
So to keep this uncharacteristically short, I guess I’m asking for a little dialogue about how this blog can be made more useful. Please don’t be shy, I don’t bite (very hard) and I’d love to hear your suggestions.
ay-ay mistahi, ekosi.