andrew burke





A Good Canadaland Podcast on Actual Progress in Reconciliation

Posted on: 2023-10-02

Saturday was The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but because it was on the weekend, it's been extended to Monday. Today is a statutory holiday, but has the awkward vibes of something like Remembrance Day, as it's about commemoration and reflection on a dark past and a still shady present.

One day I'll write in here about the various podcasts I listen to regularly, but for now I want to call out Canadaland for the episode they dropped this morning and which I listened to while prepping breakfast.

I enjoy Canadaland's salty coverage of news media and politics, and their deep dive series into topics like Monopolies and Hockey, not to mention their ongoing war with WE, but I have to admit I often skip a lot of their Indigenous coverage. It's not because I don't find the topic interesting or important, but too often I find it falls to "outrage porn": "here's how terrible things have been and still are - but what if I told you it's even worse than you thought?!" Canadaland has a lot of this in many of their topics and channels, and clearly a lot of their audience [imagine a rant about "self-flagellating progressives" here] connect with it, but I get enough bad news through various sources as it is. I already know things are bad, often in quite thorough detail, so I find getting more of it to be tiring and dispiriting rather than bracing.

Like with a lot of climate crisis coverage, the endless doom-mongering can lead to despair and just giving up completely. Bad news gets easy clicks and gives certain personalities a grim sense of righteous satisfaction, but it's a much more difficult task to create something that helps bring people hope and show a way forward.

Anyhow, today's episode talked about settler farmers and First Nations people in Saskatchewan / Treaty 4 Territory coming together in the aftermath of Stanley/Boushie shooting and trial and trying to find a more equitable, not to mention treaty-compliant, approach to land use. Instead of "No Trespassing" signs and threats of violence, people are putting up "Indigenous Land Users Welcome" signs and working towards mutual respect and, yes, reconciliation.

It's a heartening alternative to making yet another doom-laden story of deprivation and colonial oppression - and it shows that we can all do more to make this a better place than just feeling bad and/or wearing a certain colour of shirt.

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