Article featured in New Canadian Media, June 1, 2019
The story of Chinese immigration to Canada is best known for two things. First, the arrival of Chinese labourers in large numbers in the late 1800s to build the crucial last link of the Canadian Pacific Railway—the most difficult and dangerous section which required crossing the Rocky Mountains....
Read the full article Finding Mr. Wong: A Tale From Canada’s Exclusion Era
Article featured in This Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2012.
This is the backstory to Finding Mr. Wong, the book on the life of Mr. Wong and why it has been possible for me to write it. In the first instance, this is because of the help and openness of Chinese Canadians who made the search not just doable but successful beyond any expectation. The changes in Canadian society since Mr. Wong’s death in 1970 has meant that the close, familial association across race we had is no longer so unusual; it’s become a commonplace experience. Canadians have taken...
Essay featured in Net wikuhpon ehit — Once there lived a woman, The Painting, Poetry and Politics of Shirley Bear, Curator, Terry Graff. Fredericton: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 2009.
"To know Shirley Bear is to experience her language, the Wabanaki language spoken by the First Peoples living in the valley of Wulustook (the Saint John River) and the community known as Negootkook (Tobique First Nation) where Bear was born and raised."
In 2009 the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton honoured
visual artist and writer Shirley Bear
with a retrospective exhibition called Net wikuhpon ehit...
Essay fetured in Response, Responsibility, and Renewal — Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Journey. Eds., Gregory Young-Ing, et al. Ottawa, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2009.
"Along with the narrative about the founding of Canada by both the French and the English came the notion—preached by the likes of Emily Carr and Marius Barbeau, as well as D.C. Scott—of Aboriginal culture constituting Canada’s ancient past, the prehistory upon which the modern nation could be built and with which an authentic Canadian culture could be fashioned."
For several years I worked on the issue of Traditional Knowledge with
Essay featured in Language in Her Eye: Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English (Coach House Press), 1990.
This collection of original essays, articles, and commentaries by 44 distinguished authors, poets, fiction writers, essayists, biographers, and journalists includes contributions from Margaret Atwood, Dionne Brand, June Callwood, Barbara Godard, Janette Turner Hospital, Linda Hutcheon, Paulette Jiles, Dorothy Livesay, Daphne Marlatt, Erin Moure, Erika Ritter, Jane Rule, Gail Scott, Carol Shields, and Susan Swan. Topics include the existence--or lack thereof--of a specifically female or feminist point of view; appropriation of...
Book Review of Political Wives: The Lives of the Saints, by Susan Riley. Toronto: Deneau, 1987
"If the world were evolving according to a feminist agenda, political wives would be on the endangered species list next to the Eskimo Curlew which once flourished on this continent in hearty numbers but is now so rarely sighted that it is presumed extinct. Instead, in this fin de siècle era of post-feminism and primetime electioneering, she has made a startling return, a comeback which has been completely scripted and staged."
Read Susan's book review of Poltical...
Essay featured in Sociologie et sociétés, Critique sociale et création culturelle, Volume 11, Number 1, Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, avril 1979.
Despite the pessimism which emerges from her survey of Canadian culture, the author sees clear signs of a renewal and a burst of creativity among Canadian artists and intellectuals who contribute in this way to the strengthening of Canadian society and culture in the face of the dangers of Americanization.
You can read "D’une colonie à l’autre (from Colony to Colony)"