What does it mean to be a status Indian in Canada? Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii), a professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, answered this seemingly straightforward question in his keynote speech at our 50th anniversary gala. Explaining the processes of losing and gaining status in his family and the policies made to disempower Indigenous people over the last century, Sanderson paints a powerful portrait of how public policy shaped his life and that of Indigenous people across this land.
Sanderson’s words are followed by a stirring poetry performance from Greg Frankson (aka Ritallin), a leading Black Canadian poet and editor of AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets (2022). Frankson’s work in this selection continue the theme of inequality.
This episode of the podcast is a recording of Douglas Sanderson’s keynote speech and Greg Frankson’s poetry from November 23, 2022 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.