19 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Three

Rain on the bivvy sack woke me this morning. It sounded worse than it was: a mere sprinkle, hardly enough to make a difference in this dry season. But it was a useful dry run for the possibility of a serious rain while I’m sleeping out. I mean, I can hardly get out of the […]

18 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day Two

This morning, Hugh handed out buttons bearing the Cree word Louise Halfe, one of the 14 people walking to Fort Carlton, suggested as the theme for our walk: asohtêwak, “together the hearts walk.” It’s a lovely statement about the possibility of deep connection that can be created when we walk together, literally or metaphorically. Cree […]

17 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

Carlton Trail Walk, Day One

The day started off cold and windy, and the people who came out to see us off at Original Humboldt (the site of a nineteenth-century telegraph station that became a small settlement) felt sorry for us. “Oh, it’s too cold to walk,” one woman said. “They’ll freeze.” I was glad I had packed a winter […]

13 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

92. Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples

  Somehow I’ve gotten this far without reading Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies. During my MFA work, I read Margaret Kovach’s Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts and Shawn Wilson’s Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods, but for some reason I missed Tuhiwai Smith’s book. One of my supervisors has given me an anthology about […]

09 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

A Walk Around Town

I was particularly cranky this morning, partly because I didn’t get enough sleep, and partly because I’ve been sitting at my little table day and night since we returned from Scotland. It was time to go for a walk.   This wasn’t going to be nonfunctional walking; I had errands to run (books to pick […]

08 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

91. Naomi Klein, “Dancing the World into Being: A Conversation with Idle No More’s Leanne Simpson”

I have to write a paper on extractivism, and my research has brought me to Naomi Klein’s interview with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, which took place around the time of the Idle No More protests focused on “Canada’s ongoing colonial policies, a transformative vision of decolonization, and the possibilities for a genuine alliance between natives and […]

08 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

90. W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn

Psychogeographers, Phil Smith tells us, don’t like W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (21). Smith isn’t so keen on it himself. As he walks the route of Sebald’s pedestrian journey in Suffolk, he becomes “increasingly suspicious of Sebald’s exploration”: his assumption had been that The Rings of Saturn was supposed to be “a deep engagement” […]

06 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

89. Jeff Corntassel, “To Be Ungovernable”

(image credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0pDCSlFL9g) In her discussion of the need for Settlers to focus on local struggles rather than faraway ones, Clare Land refers to Cherokee academic and activist Jeff Corntassel’s short essay, “To Be Ungovernable.” It’s getting to be time for me to move on from texts about walking to the texts on my list that […]

06 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

88. Garnette Cadogan, “Walking While Black”

(image source: https://mlkscholars.mit.edu/event/garnette-cadogan-how-walking-while-black-reveals-possibilities-and-limitations/) Michael Lapointe seems to suggest that Garnette Cadogan’s essay, “Walking While Black,” should have been included in Duncan Minshull’s anthology Beneath My Feet: Writers on Walking (one of the books Lapointe discusses in his recent review essay). “[J]ust how radical is the writer-walker resurgence that Minshull hoped for 20 years ago and […]

05 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

87. Henry David Thoreau, Walking

There are many passages from Henry David Thoreau’s lecture Walking, published after his death in 1862, that show up in any survey of writing about walking. But there is a lot more going in in Thoreau’s text than those frequently quoted statements. Rather than being focused on walking, most of the text addresses another topic […]

04 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

86. Erling Kagge, Walking: One Step at a Time

Ironically, I read about Erling Kagge’s Walking: One Step at a Time during our recent walking holiday, in a review essay by Michael Lapointe that concludes with some skepticism (to say the least) about the liberating or critical possibilities of walking. Lapointe’s skepticism is well-taken, but I wanted to follow up on his sources, so […]

03 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

84. Clare Land, Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles

In Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada, Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker suggest that it’s not possible for Settlers not to make mistakes when trying to show solidarity with Indigenous peoples (118). Despite that warning, though, when I saw the title of Clare Land’s Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters […]

02 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

83. Alexander Morris,The Treaties of Canada with the Indians

Alexander Morris’s The Treaties of Canada with the Indians is important because it is a primary document about the negotiations of Treaties 1 through 7. What is most valuable about this book is the way it includes (however imperfectly) the voices of the Indigenous negotiators, but it is important as a record of what the Crown’s representatives […]

01 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

82. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance which I read last summer as part of the course I took with James Daschuk, isn’t exactly a book about the treaties, historical or contemporary. Rather, Simpson writes about something she calls the Radical Resurgence Project, which involves using Indigenous (in Simpson’s case, Anishinabeg) […]

01 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

81. John Borrows and Michael Coyle, eds.,The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties

This anthology of essays on historical and contemporary treaties (the title’s focus on historical treaties is somewhat misleading, since it also covers recent treaty-making) is edited by the Anishinaabe legal scholar John Borrows and Settler (if he identifies that way) law professor Michael Coyle. It’s a big book, and because ome of the essays are […]

01 Aug 2019 | Reading and Walking

80. Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada

I read Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada while I was travelling last month. It’s an important book, and not just for my project. I’d heard of settler colonialism, of course, and after reading Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada and walking through the Haldimand […]

31 Jul 2019 | Reading and Walking

79. Sylvia McAdam (Sayseewahum), Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems

Sylvia McAdam’s Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems, both “opens up the complexities and beauty of the nêhiyaw law,” as Sa’ke’j Henderson writes in the “Forward” (8), and tells part of the story of the formation of Idle No More, of which McAdam was one of the four leaders. Initially I wasn’t going to include my reading of […]

31 Jul 2019 | Reading and Walking

77. Arthur J. Ray, Jim Miller, and Frank Tough, Bounty and Benevolence: A History of Saskatchewan Treaties 

Bounty and Benevolence, a collaboration between three historians, was originally commissioned as a research report for Saskatchewan’s Office of the Treaty Commissioner, along with Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan: Our Dream Is That Our Peoples Will One Day Be Clearly Recognized As Nations, by Harold Cardinal and Walter Hildebrandt, an oral history of the treaties that […]