Monday, 2 February 2009

Furious Obersvations of a Blue-Eyed Ojibway: Funny, You Don't Look Like One Two Three by Drew Hayden Taylor

This was an interesting read. I knew nothing about the book or the author when I found it at the library.
Mr. Hayden Taylor is a prolific writer of books, plays, articles/columns and scripts. This book is a collection of articles from a variety of publications including: Windspeaker, Now Magazine, CBC Radio, the Toronto Star etc.
This book was at many points funny, emotional and even personal. By personal, I mean that Mr. Hayden Taylor hit upon topics with deep meaning to me.
One of my favourites started "I often receive gifts from my non-Native friends that run the gambit of every possible Native influenced present that could be bought in a store." This got me wondering whether I chose gifts for my friends by first considering their cultural heritage? yep, seems to be the case.
I'm not going to go through each article step by step and tell what what a compelling writer Drew is, you can chose one of his 20 or so books and find out for yourself.
So, what am I taking away from reading this book? That there is no one definition of a "Native Person". There are hundreds of cultural groups that make up this huge population called "Canadian First Nations People". They are as similar as the many other groups that make up this country and as different as even neighbours and siblings can be. I have also learned that while my great grandparents came to Canada as immigrants with their own distinct cultures, I am a Canadian. If I went to 'the mother country' , I wouldn't fit in there, I have never lived there, nor did my parents nor grandparents. I was born here, educated here ... who I am is what I have lived and experienced here. Interesting that reading a book by someone from a different background would play such a role in helping me realize this. Thanks.

No comments: