Miscellanea, July 3, 2021

miscellanea /mɪsəˈleɪnɪə/ n. pl. : a collection of miscellaneous objects or writings [Latin]


This week, an interview with Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a good news story from Toronto, Indigenous women and climate change in Colombia, the story of Moonstruck, and the song stylings of Crystal Shawanda. 


Speaking truth to Canada’s power

A great interview with Dr. Cindy Blackstock that covers the legacy of colonialism and residential schools, the continuing  “colonial mentality” of our governments, and the need for a “full and balanced telling of history.” She also talks about the importance of people holding governments to account and putting pressure on them to achieve reconciliation.

I don’t really listen to what [politicians] say; I watch what they do…While the headlines are there, the politicians pay attention. When the headlines die and public attention goes to other things, that’s when the injustices continue.” Dr. Cindy Blackstock  The Agenda (TVO)


‘We’re making history,’ says one of the first high school graduates of a TDSB school that integrates Indigenous languages and culture

A great story about the first graduating class of Wandering Spirit, Toronto’s school for Indigenous students. 

“‘Kâpapâmahchakwêw is a place where caregivers feel safe, and are greeted by Indigenous administrators…Students are taught by Indigenous teachers … we make a space for them to engage in their cultures, and to feed their spirit through ceremony and dance, and any way possible.’” Principal Christina Saunders Toronto Star


Indigenous women are on the front lines of the narco war — and dying because of it

A report on the damage being done to the environment by coca cultivation, harvesting, and processing, and the women who are standing up to defend their territory. 

The indigenous woman is a tireless fighter for her community..She rarely thinks of herself or her security. They are, in short, the most valuable [people] we have in Colombia.” Joanna Barney Women’s Media Center


The making of Moonstruck

Apparently this movie found renewed popularity during the pandemic. I haven’t watched it since I first saw it–and I might not be as enamored of it now as I was then–but I really liked it at the time and enjoyed reading about its making.  

The director’s own boundless desires infuse every frame of Moonstruck, a film that embraces the mess and entanglements of love, sex, death, wine, music, and food. It was Jewison’s most sensuous film: eggs and Italian peppers sizzling in the frying pan, strains of Puccini swelling over the soundtrack, the fizz of a sugar cube dropped into a flute of champagne. It was Cher in a black coat against the Manhattan skyline, kicking a tin can down the middle of the street in high heels, a dreamy look on her face. Moonstruck was drunk with life.The Walrus


Crystal Shawanda

I hadn’t heard of Crystal Shawanda until she won in the Blues category at this year’s Junos, but she’s been making music for a while. What a voice. If you like blues, her whole album Church House Blues  is worth a listen. Here, a reinterpretation of the classic Tragically Hip song. YouTube


Abstract painting by Crystal Smith

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