“FOREBODINGS: NOTES ON CLIMATE CATASTROPHE,” IN LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA

In Literary Review of Canada, April 2020, Susan Crean writes about her experiences travelling to the Arctic, how climate change is poised to radically transform it, and why the region is ground zero for the coming global climate catastrophe.

"Scientists, naturalists, and Indigenous elders have been pointing to the evidence for decades, their messages about irreversible damage largely ignored by governments and the mainstream."

Read Susan Crean's article Forebodings: Notes on Climate Catastrophe online. You can also download it as a PDF.

“FINDING MR. WONG: A TALE FROM CANADA’S EXCLUSION ERA” IN NEW CANADIAN MEDIA

Chinese Canadian History: Mr Wong

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. And second, for the institution of a head tax meant to dissuade those very men from remaining in the country once the work was completed…

Read the full article Finding Mr. Wong: A Tale From Canada’s Exclusion Era here.

“CANADIANS MUST ACKNOWLEDGE INDIGENOUS HISTORY” IN THIS MAGAZINE

In This Magazine Sept-Oct 2016

"The theme of remembering runs through the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It is behind the suggestion that Indigenous curricula be mandatory and in Justice Murray Sinclair’s insistence that non-Indigenous Canadians learn about residential schools and Indigenous history. In the context of reconciliation, how do we do this?"

Read Susan Crean's article "Canadians must acknowledge Indigenous history," online here.

“WRITING MR. WONG” IN THIS MAGAZINE

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 to practicing diversity at home and work, and slowly it’s become part of our identity. We’ve pride in our multicultural cities, and see multiculturalism as an ideal, a standard of tolerance and non-discrimination.

Read the article "Writing Mr. Wong" online here.

“SUSAN CREAN ON ABORIGINAL THEATRE COMPANY NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS” IN THIS MAGAZINE

In This Magazine, May-June 2011.

"I joined the board of Native Earth Performing Arts, in Toronto’s Distillery District, several years ago, and quickly discovered the best perk of the office is watching a performance evolve through rehearsal. Seeing the actors figuring out their moves together, adjusting dialogue, and dissecting the meaning of the play, and then witnessing opening night when they fire the creation into life…is magic. No better word for it."

Read the article "Susan Crean on Aboriginal theatre company Native Earth Performing Arts" online here.

“NATIONAL ARCHIVES BLUES” IN LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA

Is a precious Canadian asset being digitized to death?

Literary Review of Canada, January-February, 2011.

"It does not take long to discover the great truth about archival work, which is, appearances to the contrary, that it is utterly absorbing."

This piece grew out of several visits to the National Archives of Canada in 2010. I was very troubled to discover archivists at their wits’ end and heading for the door, unable to assist researchers as they have in the past. New management has flat-lined the budgets for acquiring of private (non-governmental) papers, cut back on service, and embraced digitization as the one-stop answer to everything. The Canadian Association of University Teachers has since launched a campaign to save the archives.

Read the article National Archives Blues online here.

“MILTON AND MICHEL” IN GEIST 77

In Geist 77, Summer 2010.

"Milton was a wordsmith of flair and stamina. A great poet, but also a great prose stylist, a sharp political analyst and a speaker of Homeric proportions. It took just one experience—of the poet reading his own work, or the revolutionary reading the Riot Act—to appreciate the erudition behind the argument, and the spell of the imagery."

Michel Lambeth's photo of Milton Acorn brings back memories of dancing, love poetry and a revolution. Read Susan Crean's article Milton and Michel online here.

“RIEL’S PROPHECY – THE NEW CONFIDENCE OF ABORIGINAL THEATRE”

In The Walrus, April, 2008.

“My people will sleep for one hundred years. When they awake, it will be the artists that give them back their spirit.” — Louis Riel.

I spent ten fabulous years on the board of directors of Native Earth Performing Arts, the country’s oldest professional Indigenous performing arts company. During that time I saw the creative process at work and close-up, and witnessed the evolution of many plays and performances from gleam in the eye to full scale production. This article chronicles the evolution of Indigenous theatre work in recent years, and profiles some of the extraordinary artists behind it.

Read Riel’s Prophecy: The New Confidence of Aboriginal Theatre  online here.

“THE EROTIC NATIONALISM OF JOYCE WIELAND” IN THIS MAGAZINE

In This Magazine 21.

"Hers is not museum art, in format, size or feel; and you don’t have to come equipped with a theory in order to understand it. The images, stories and symbols she uses are the stuff of daily life and everyone’s history: airplanes and sailboats, hearts and flowers, flags and beavers, Laura Secord and Nellie McClung."

"Forbidden Fruit: The Erotic Nationalism of Joyce Wieland," was featured in This Magazine in the August/September issue in 1987.