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The Ubyssey Mar 17, 2000

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Array friday, march 17,2000 vol 81 issue 43 a ubyssey special issue
UBC Archives Seria)
^   v
Kiskisewl Remember
mareie I remember that all my ancestors siana
Performers: Alannah Young (Cree Nation) and Gunargie ' remember tnat an my
O'Sullivan (Nimpkish Nation) with me and that we are from and of Turtle
Music Credit: Kayenderes She Understands What She island
See's a.k.a. Charlotte Green (Mohawk Nation) Journey , reme"mber that the turt,e.s back has the
for Wounded Healers
Also: Peacemakers Recording Studio
moon cycle on it,
To remind me that
I remember that I am a two-legged sister of
I -remember grandmother moon, Nokomis
pisim. I remember the womb of the
I remember the birth of awareness, newness ajid the ancients of our connections
to the land and sky.
remember the dream messages received
through fasting, the helpers who came to
assist, some in animal form.
I remember the old ones the grandmothers
and grandfathers and the acts of kindness.
I remember the medicines, the cedar, the
sweetgrass, the tobacco and the teaching
of the act of asking.
I remember the promise of the four directions and the honour that they hold and
bring the new day forth.
I remember the gathering of women, laughing, singing, crying and praying for the sisters.
I remember the women's warrior song and
the great sense of relief to know I could
connect my voice to my heart and soul and
it didn't matter if it sounded off-key.
I remember my daughter's birth, she was
born in my home, my mother, my sister
and cousins there to witness the right of
passage and help bring a sister's life into
this world.
I remember the great joy little yellow star
brought with her. The gift of life and song.
How fitting she would find her name
in the Sweatlodge at six weeks,
Ozawa Anangonz recognised her
and would be here for her. In the
spell check her name comes up as
I remember the other gift of boundaries learning to say no and know
where I started and another person
I remember my mother's words you
must not take on too much.
I remember my humbleness and
that I am a beginner in this journey.
I remember the children unborn, the
family I sometimes find myself missing.
I remember the adopted families
who I love and treasure.
I remember my ceremonial families.
I remember my growing up family
and remind myself that we made it
through our childhoods together.
I remember the stage of leaving
maidenhood to womanhood.
I remember Sundancing, dancing for
life and all its blessings.
I remember my names from lulu, to
yellow sky, to the one the loon looks
I remember singing the loon's
lament over the healing waters of
I remember that the loon is over
150 million years old.
—Alannah Young
Being lost and forlorn
the universe does not exist
your time warp
to suit your own reflection
that you see
in a broken mirror image of
ashen gremlins that portray
the mediocrity of your mind's
eye view of today's society
This image covers you like a
cartoon black cloud that
follows and interrupts your
every thought
and your mind
the surveillance eye
as in a B movie sci-fi flick
A smudge covers the lens that
you try to wipe away but
The informant to your resentful heart
has given in the seemingly
uncivil norms of those unenlightened
who are as a cancer
to the people, children
men, women, youth
whose hearts are defenseless
against the indifferent standards
of who does not fit
AFTER EFFECTS: These before and after photos of three
young Native boys show the effects of being in the residential school system, photo courtesy redwire magazine
hr (Mar 22-26). TESOL teacher certification course (or by correspondence).
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looking for new experiences? Consider
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please contact Lawrence Fast at email:
lawfast@centurycollege.com or fax
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Chuo Publishing,
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English speakers to teach at the
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Love of children and desire to live
in Japan needed. Interviews in
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resume to peppy@cuoh.co.jp  or
fax it to 011-81-52-773-5514.
teach summer prep courses in Vancouver
and Burnaby. Great PT job, great pay. 1-
SWISS ARMY KNIFE - lost between Feb
25-27 near Rugby Fields. Call 726-1683.
SOCCER - MaUE PLAYERS NEEDED for very competidve Div. 1 spring
and summer league. Cat! Rick at 872-
4J>82 leave message.
participants needed for ICBC research on
the driving behavior of Adult Novice Drivers. Seeking women and men over age
25; must hold a Class 7 License; seek people who own and do not own cars; interviews approx. 1 hour in length; participants receive $20; must live in Greater
Vancouver area; confidentiality and
anonymity assured. Call 733-2537
or e-mail ksadiq@telus.net
Fight Against Capitalism in Racist North
America. Fri, April 7, 7pm. Britannia
community Center, Rm L4. 1661 Napier
St. Info: 687-0353.
took part in the World Vision 30 Hr.
Famine. We would like to thank all participants and our sponsors: Canadian
Springs, IGA #85, Coquidam Extra
Foods, and Quizno's on Broadway and
RACISM - "Voices without Frontiers"-
Mar 21st. Call for submissions 15 mins
or more: audio pieces/projects dealing
with the elimination of racism or segments on racial issues and diversity.  NO
or enter submission call Anna @ 822-
1242 or come to Rm. 233 SUB. Presented and Produced by AMARC & CiTR
.caaemic services
WRITING TUTOR - Having trouble
with essay writing? Learn to communicate
your ideas. Essay structure, grammar
check/ review. 739-5843
TIRED OF TYPING? I will type/edit all
your papers/assignments for 1.5 cents
per word. 983-0749
ESL TUTORING - Individual tutoring
that meets your specific needs. Academic
writing, TOEFL, LPI, grammar review.
Van.  Close to bus $650 April 1st. Call
and Renfrew (PNE) area. Close to shopping and UBC/downtown bus. $430/mo
incl. cable, utilities, laundry. N/P. Avail.
April 1st, call 251-0709.
ROOM IN FURNISHED TOWNHOUSE available April 1st. $390/mnth
incl. utilities, shared with 2 students and
wonderful litde boy. TV, study and laundry rm on site, sorry N/S, N/P call
Cindy 827-0014
Condition, all accessories included. $2000
obo. Call Denis 736-6970 (daytime)
5 3" x 8' MIRRORS. $100 obo. Call
Dennis 736-6970 (daytime)
2 15" squeegees, as is - disassembled (all
pieces included). $500 obo. Call Dennis
736-6970 (daytime)
WE PAY CASH for used metaphysical
books in good condition. Buy, sell, trade.
Great selection. Abraham's Books, 1712
Grant Street (off Commercial Drive, 2
blocks North of 1st Ave) 253-1952.
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ra uumcuiar
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for the children's Carnival of the Nibbles 'N Bices
Food Fair held at Thompson Community Center in Richmond on  Sept. 9 &
10th. FREE T-SHIRT!!!  Contact Kim
by email : kimberat@interchange.ubc.ca
ATTN UBC ACTIVISTS: We are a collective of student activists from different
backgrounds and organizations interested
in starting a social justice resource group.
To get involved contact Sima saharz@inter-
change.ubc.ca or just drop by our meeting,
every Sun 6pm, Conversation Pit.
To place
an A<J or Classified
call 822-1654
or visit SUB Room 24-5.
Come to
SUB Room 245
between 9:30am &
12:30pm today
to enterl
Canuck vs. Ottawa - Sat, March 18th
Grizzfies vs. Phoenix - Fri, March 17th
Grizzfiesvs, Detroit - Sun, March 19th
GrizzCes vs. Gofden State - Tues, March 21st
Help Wanted for
Cord and Gift Shop!
Card and gift shop on 10th five requires
an individual to cover p/t hours weekends
and some weekdays.
Hours can increase to f/t during the
summer months. This position would be
of interest to a student with some
retail experience.
Please apply in person with resume
(Mon - Fri).
Greeting €tc.
4469 W.lOth five. Vancouver fiC
Full Time/Part Time
No Experience Necessary
Make as much $$$ per hour
as you want!
Vehicle an asset but not necessary.
Gddd  Outgoing Personality Wanted.
Call Danny at 292-5624.
Wqwey puUicatcoat Society
Genera fMeeting
March 22nd, 2000
12pm Noon
in Council Chambers, 2nd floor of SUB
the ——, 1
wm ■ a ubyssey special issue • friday, march 17, 200Q3
Doctor, we think YOU have a problem
Like an undetected cancer, racism devours every
part of the body. Slowly, yet consistently, each
attack by the venomous cells weakens the mind,
the body and the spirit. Inside, there is a struggle
between the body's desire to remain in its natural
habitat and the viruses' programmed mission to
overtake it. Fatigued, the host tries to nullify the
pain that the battle has created inside. Over-the-
counter prescriptions are insufficient, and instead,
cause an insatiable madness to quiet the noise
inside. Many a time the side effects of these false
prescriptions may cause the host to think that
there never was a virus at all, and the pain and suffering are self-inflicted.
Attempts by professionals and voices of authority often try their hand to diagnose the source and
origins of the cancer of racism. The insistence of
these members of the upper echelons of society
tends to lend a blind eye to any data that may
counter their "expert" diagnosis. However, this
virus often mutates and takes different forms in
different parts of the body. Thus the narrow lens
of the voices of authority sees what it deems to be
the problem and a subsequent misdiagnosis is
prescribed to suffering bodies.
Placebos utilised often invoke tropes of health
and success. Yet these mainstream notions of
health and success are narrowly formulated. They
often come in one or two forms, seperate or a
combination of the two.
The first set comes in universally-applicable
forms. These cures are often applicable to everyone in every context and every place. The 'we are
all the same, therefore should be treated the
same' diagnosis intends to discount the socially
contrived fact that the norm of sameness came
from a particular location and may be relevant only
to certain bodies in that particular context of time
and space. Nevertheless, this diagnosis benefits
those who are comfortable located in the status
quo for it is their sameness that everyone else
should adopt.
The second diagnosis is respectful of the
uniqueness of the different types of bodies in
society. However, the diagnosis limits an understanding of difference in very concrete and fixed
terms. This often leads to the 'we know you better than yourself diagnosis that often places bod
ies within the multicultural cupboard that is supposed to comfortably house all the perceived differences that are seen to be the source of the
cancer. This leads to a dangerous misdiagnosis
that trivialises the symptoms of the cancer of
racism and suggests that if all these different
bodies had 'equal' access to the proper remedies, then they too would be able to see the benefits of the medication. Those who do not take
this type of medication are seen to not value its
benefits because those who have taken it are
seen to be healthy and successful in the mainstream light.
The solutions that are needed to deal with the
social cancer of racism will not be found by, or
located in, the same locations of the problems.
Those who participate in dominant understanding of success and health cannot be solicited to
delineate solutions. Holistic solutions that have
allowed bodies material, emotional, and spiritual
growth are cultivated everyday by those who
understand their personal relation not only to the
world they live in, but also to the larger organic
structure that is affected by their actions.**
dumb questions and comments we've heard
All right. A few of us have decided that after putting up with stupid questions and comments, it's time to compile them and let you all know how ignorant they actually are.
So here goes:
1. Where are you from?
My mother's womb if you really want to
2. No really, where are you
What did I just tell you?
3. So what's your background?
Psych? Chem? Biology?
4. Can I touch your hair?
Do I touch your hair? Do I ask you to touch
your hair? I see your hair on TV, in magazines. Can you touch my hair? 20 bucks
please, and wash your hands.
5. Do you wash your hair?
No,   I   haven't   washed   it   in   years.
Shampoo? Who needs it?
6. But how do you wash it?
I don't wash my hair, remember?
7. So do you, like, braid your
hair every morning, and how
long does it take?
Every morning and twice on Sundays! And
I make it in time for my 8:30 class.
8. Afros are cool—you can
stick pencils and stuff in it, eh?
Of course I can, even calculators, my water
bottle—just about anything. It keeps my
hands and my pockets free.
9. Do you have to wear sunscreen?
Of course not. With all that melanin I can
sit in the sun for hours on end and not
worry about the harmful effects of the
sun's rays.
10. What colour are the bottoms of your feet?
Ooh ooh! Show and tell! I'll show you mine
if you show me yours!
11. Oh my God! Is there really
discrimination? I never noticed. (This
from a blond-haired, blue-eyed, hetero,
able-bodied, person) Ha ha fooled ya didn't
I! I was just pulling your leg.
Discrimination?? Nahhhh.
12. Do you play basketball?
Damn!! How'd you know?<«
Colour Connected
Bruce Arthur
Nicholas Bradley and Daliah Merzaban
Duncan M. McHugh and Jaime Tong
Naomi Kim
Tom Peacock
Cynthia Lee
Tara Westover
Todd Silver
WEB Flora Graham
RESEARCH Daniel Sihrennan/Graeme Worthy
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper
of the University of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run
student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the
Ubyssey staff. They are the expressed opinion
of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or
the University of British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press (CUP) and firmly
adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey
is the property of The Ubyssey Publications
Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of
The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editor must be under
300 words. Please include your phone number,
student number and signature (not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all
submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the editorial office of
The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be
done by phone.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300
words but under 750 words and are run
according to space.
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey
staff members. Priority will be given to letters and
perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time
sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the
identity of the writer has been verified.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications
Society fails to publish an advertisement or if an
error in the ad occurs the liability of the UPS will
not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The
UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes or
typographical errors that do not lessen the value
or the impact of the ad.
Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301 fax: (604) 822-9279
email: feedback@ubyssey.bcca
Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
Fernie Pereira
Jennifer Riley
Shalene Takara
Emmanuel AdjeiAchampong teaches. At a school. Kat Morris is not legally responsible if vou bum your retinas while looking at the sun. Todd Silver is not a heraM of
Gaiactus, but he might surf, I don't really know. Junie DesM claims to floss twice a
day. Claucfine AHison Montes's last name means "goes up" In French. BHie Pierre's
last name means rock in French, just like Peter Hoes in English. Vital Peeters's last
name, on the other hand, does not because that would be faulty spelling. CjnOie
Lee is a really good point guard. Hanrotianjit Singh Pandher has a belter crossover,
though. Bruce Arthur wears Masses. So does Mwatu Pesters, but ony when it's
absolutely necessary. Jaime Tong Hkes mat yogourt Deno Hurst Nkes the kind with
the fruit at the bottom. Duncan McHugh does too. but he doesn't shake Hs and
saves the ready sweet goopy stuff for last. Gross. Che Nolan mixes plain yogourt
with brown sugar. Daliah Merzaban downtown swings like MOP. Cherilyi, McKay
keeps It crunk. Kyra Pretzer is probabty talker than you. Kara Mosher and Cob)
Astedu showed up to meetings so they're on this list Vou, on the other hand, probably didn't so you're probabty not. Gurpreet Singh Johal throws a mean fastball. But
his control fades in the late innings, he once beared Naomi Kim. Tristan Wihch wonders why a self-respecting doctor Kke Bruce Banner would wear purple pants.
Alannah Young invented velcro, but don't ten. Tom Peacock was named after a
beautiful bird. Charlene Wee will mek vou draw bad card. Nicholas Bradley does not
necessarily think that ad Commerce students are stinkers. Calum McConrttH
agrees, but says they have dumb-ass mentoring events. And Met Stretch and Tara
Westover—they helped, too.
Canada Post Publications Sales Agreement Number 0732141 ^iBftylMlrih 17, 2000* page friday—a ubyssey special issue-
the ubyssey news dept meets tuesdays
at 12.30pm. sub 241k. bring a friend.
The world's first knowledge
auction is now accepting your original
dissertations, theses and other
knowledge documents.
Knowledge Exchange Auction
Sell your knowledge to
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Student (Peer) Advisors, ARTS
In a continuing effort to increase the level of service provided by
the Faculty of Arts Academic Advising Office, the Faculty intends
to hire three to five students to serve as the first point of contact for
students attending the Academic Advising Office.
Successful applicants must be entering their third or fourth year in
the Faculty of Arts and have completed at least thirty credits at
UBC. They must possess good communications skills, and be
reliable and conscientious workers. Their duties will include
offering assistance to students in finding the correct path to
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Employment will be 3 to 10 hours per week on regular shifts of
between 3 and 3.5 hours, morning or afternoon.  Payment is at the
rate of $12.45 per hour. Term of employment is September 2000 to
April 2001.
Applications, including a resume, two letters of reference, and a
statement indicating the qualities the candidate would bring to the
position must be submitted to:
Ms. Wendy Trigg, Associate Director
Arts Academic Advising Office
Buchanan A201
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Pfd someone scty ^
"Sidve Auction?"
by Junie Desil
I didn't, but the Commerce Mentor Program did. There it
was, printed on bright orange paper in Angus 210. I didn't take it down until two weeks ago; nobody else
seemed to see what was wrong with this poster. So I
guess I have to give you all a lesson from African
American/Canadian History 101.
There is a saying that says "history repeats itself." At
the same time, some of you believe "history is bunk," and
that past mistakes are past.
CHARITY? This poster advertised an event put on
by the Commerce Mentor Program, and was
posted in the Angus building.
"Get over it— they will not
be repeated again." Yet if
you don't understand history, how can the same mistakes not be repeated
again? Whoever engineered
this "charity slave auction"
obviously does not understand the impact that slavery had, and still has, on
peoples of African descent.
Those of you who went
along with the idea are just
as guilty. So for the
Commerce Mentor Program,
and for those of you who suffer from ignorance, amnesia
or a combination of both, this piece is dedicated to you.
Did you conveniently forget that slavery began over
300 years ago and lasted for more than 300 years? Did
you forget that only 135 years ago, the Thirteenth
Amendment ended slavery in the United States? Before
you use the tired argument that slavery didn't exist in
Canada, let me remind you that it did. While slavery
never became an institution like that of the US, women,
children, men, mothers, and fathers were sold in
Canada, and it was fully legal. Canada's history is filled
with omissions and erasure; most people are aware of,
or know of, the Thirteenth Amendment and the institution
of slavery in the US. However, no one knows or acknowledges that Canada supported the institution of slavery.
For example, the 47th Article of Capitulation of Montreal
supported slave ownership, as did the Peace Treaty of
1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774. No one knows of the
Imperial Act of 1790 which allowed for the importation of
slaves. No one knows of the act passed in 1793 which
proposed to phase out slavery gradually and erase the
section of the Imperial Act of 1790. No one knows about
One People
by Emmanuel
the Act of the Imperial Parliament—a bill passed on
August 28, 1833 that abolished slavery in the British
Colonies. The Act was to take effect the following August.
This Act granted slaves in Canada their freedom. Canada
refuses to recognise and acknowledge its role in participating and profiting off the backs of slaves. Only 30
years of difference separates Canada and the US. I
haven't forgotten, and neither have my friends, parents,
relatives or the descendants of these slaves.
"Charity slave auction?" I guess you also forgot that
there was nothing charitable
about slavery. Slavery was a
system in which Africans were
forcibly taken from their continent, torn away from their cultures and customs, all in the
name of profit. They were
inspected as one might inspect
merchandise, branded, then
packed together in a ship for
the transatlantic voyage that
lasted for weeks. Slavery was a
system that was predicated on
violence, where master-slave
relations were kept in tight control; the violence was both physical and psychological, various
means were used to maintain
this control: whipping, beating, mutilation, dismemberment, rape, the forced separation of families, and death.
Oh, wait, did I forget to mention the auctioning of slaves?
Do you still think that slavery was charitable? How dare
you trivialise an important part of our history!
"Who can your money buy?" Your ancestors' money
bought my ancestors to toil and labour this land that was
never yours and still isn't. For all that you have achieved
to date, the freedom you enjoy, the power, privilege and
history that you control—remember upon whose broken
backs you stepped to achieve these heights. Remember
whose blood made this soil fertile and whose hands
toiled the lands. Remember the people who you've
raped, mutilated, killed, enslaved, and those who were
forced into residential schools—all in the name of profit.
Remember who your money bought and I dare you to tell
me that this was "charitable." As for me, no thanks—I'll
keep my money for charitable purposes, where I'm not
making a mockery of history.
It is said that history repeats itself—I'm inclined to
believe it.<»
On   an   ordinary   weekend   in
February, I had the pleasure of
experiencing and  reclaiming a
piece of cultural heritage that
had been long lost by myself and
an entire generation of African
youth due to a legacy of colonisation. This experience, of which I so
proudly speak, was a series of cultural  performances  I watched  at an
"African   Heritage   Month"   event.  These
were not just any cultural performances; they
were stories, dances, and knowledge of and from my
ancestors that had been passed down for generations. It was indeed an uplifting and educational experience of love and perseverance. On that day, I felt
lucky, but in the same breath, I couldn't help but think
extensively about how the great cultures of the world,
including my own, have and continue to be erased as
a result of the lingering infliction of colonisation.
Culture is something that entrenches, satisfies,
retells, and uplifts the hopes, dreams, struggles, and
triumphs of any group of people. Culture is essential
and should be made readily available to subsequent
generations to learn from and add to. Culture,
although specific to a group of people, is not restricted to that group alone. The culture of any group
should be respected, loved, and celebrated by everyone as a beautifully woven story of struggle, triumph,
perseverance, and love.
It is in this line of
thought that I decided to
hold a one-day event to
bring together a selec-
'"**" 'TOi of cultures from all
over the world in a spirit
of love, unity, shared experiences, and humane-ity.
However, I could not help but
think about what a strange irony
this event would be, being that the
First Peoples of this land, more than any
other group of people, have had their cultures and
their land appropriated and almost extinguished by
the seeds of colonisation. Therefore, in whatever
form these performances take shape, this important
message needs to be evidently clear. The message is
that this is the indigenous home of the First People
and other cultures are welcomed as guests to partake in a ceremony of sharing, love, unity, and
humane-ity. The event will involve a cultural sharing by
the .Rrst Peoples, as well as a sharing of cultures
indigenous to the following lands: Latin America,
Africa, Europe, South Asia, South East Asia, and the
Middle East.**
—This event will take place on March 24,
2000 at 11:30am in the Student Union
Building. Contact Emmanuel Adjei-Achampong
at 822-8722 for more information. -a ubyssey special issue • friday, mare
of: ims^mrEf'^^'^uim^B^n^
if}r.,A*n *<>' ^^"xt'i
by Deno Hurst
I ozambique's fate at the hands of the colonial powers was sealed at the 1885 Berlin
I conference, where the European powers,
without regard for the aspirations and needs of
Africans, met to formalise the boundaries of their
respective colonies. Portugal at the time only controlled some coastal strongholds on the
Mozambique coast that were left over from its brutal history of enslaving Africans. But Portugal was
still given Mozambique as its share of the continent.
After a series of military campaigns to subdue
the Africans, the Portuguese were eventually successful in creating an overseas province. The new
colonial power soon embarked on a systematic
program of changing the face of the largest cities,
such as Muputo, by importing settlers—mainly
GROUPS IN THE LATE SIXTIES As intimidation from the Portuguese grew worse, three
groups banded together to form FRELIMO—Frente
de Liberagao de Mozambique.
The tension eventually led to a war of attrition,
which led to Mozambique's independence on June
25, 1975. The struggle for independence was
inspired by the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of world
revolution and self-determination. In many cases,
the freedom fighters were trained, and financed by
Russia, China, and North Korea.
After the Vietnam War and the emergence of
revolutionary movements in Latin America and the
Caribbean basin, the liberation movement in southern Africa was seen as a communist insurgency
that had to be stopped. In the case of
Mozambique, this was further complicated by the
nationalisation of most of the industry, and the
implementation of economic programs that
destroyed rural ways of life. The government, which
owed most of its support to the rural population,
was losing its credibility. Sensing the government's
vulnerability, the white regime in Rhodesia (now
Zimbabwe) actively supported the creation and
funding of RENAMO—the Resistencia Nacional de
As Zimbabwe gained its independence, RENAMO turned to South Africa. The ensuing civil war
is now regarded as one of the most brutal wars in
recent history. Fifteen years of terror took an estimated one million lives, mostly civilians, and
destroyed homes, crops, hospitals, schools, and
access to clean drinking water. Millions of civilians
were forced to flee their homes. With no bordering
countries willing to accept the growing number of
refugees, this population became ducks in a pond
for hunters with sub-machine guns.
As the conflict raged on, the West actively supported the rebels with arms and money. And the
countries not actively engaged in the conflict turned
a blind eye. The United States justified its aid by
comparing it to the similar aid provided by the
Soviet Union and China.
Some Western governments and some large
media outlets refused to admit that the war in
Mozambique was not about freedom for its people,
but about the control of its natural resources by
American and European multinational corporations.
As television images of Mozambican babies
with big stomachs filtered through the evening
news, the West largely responded with the familiar
shrugging of its collective shoulders. What we fail
to see are the reasons why the babies are starving.
One can claim ignorance about some of the other
crises that have leveled Africa in the last 25 years,
but Mozambique goes beyond mere ignorance.
As the poorest country in the world, plagued by
rural devastation, brutal guerrilla warfare, large-
scale flooding, and the threat of massive outbreaks
of cholera, Mozambique is limping like a wounded
dog. But despite this grim prognosis there is hope
in the eyes of the youth that make up more than
half the population.
We have to put a face to the soldiers that fought
in the wars in Mozambique, the thieves and opportunists who profited from it, and the ordinary people whose lives were shattered by it and from
whose ranks will emerge the heroes and healers
who will create peace.
Canada has so far donated $5 million to the
relief efforts in the form of tents, medical supplies
and food rations. This is commendable, but what
Mozambique needs is for Canada and the world to
forgive the millions of dollar in loan repayment
Mozambique owes to governments and agencies
everywhere. Without adequate relief from the
backbreaking load of debt repayment, the possibility of a substantial increase in the standard of
living of the people in Mozambique, and Africa in
general, is grim. Collectively, the Western nations
have destroyed communities directly and indirectly on the African continent, and Mozambique is no
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Canada's Largest University College fti&gch 17, 2000* a ubyssey special issue -
first gga
fts there, alone.
branches thrust skyward; welcoming, sheltering, protecting.
years of strength belie the turmoil below
roots struggle with earth, extend into the unseen, bridge saltwater
expanses, fight to stay connected to their source
people say that technology is shrinking the globe,
but time and politics seem to have the opposite effect
and hotmail and fibre-optics can't fuck with
clocks and civil war.
as the chasm between her and home widens
distance and time make memories grow thorns
and become too painful to hold on to.
stories once told to young ears are not repeated
i want to hear those stories again.
i want to be her source, her strength, her foundation
just as she has been mine
i recognise what she has given up for me
and i am grateful.
—Mwalu Jan Peeters
nn From the
by Harmohanjit Singh Pandher
My Black skin is a weight I can feel, a tangible presence. When'l walk into a lecture hall at UBC, •»
I'm aware of my skin. Walking into class where it's impossible to be invisible, I sometimes wonder what is going through their minds. I know what's going through my mind: what are they looking at? What are they seeing?
Sitting in the back, not speaking in class I make myself invisible—at least I fool myself into thinking that I am invisible. Except that a classmate might smile and say "Hey, you're in my class, you
sit at the back." I gaze blankly, uncomprehendingly at you; I don't recognize you from the 100+
students in my class. So much for invisibility—you recognise me. Then again, same scenario
except you usually end up saying "Oh I'm sorry, you look like this Black girl I know"; yeah we all
look alike—different but homogeneous.
Part of my invisibility comes from sitting in classes that make no effort to recognise or validate
my experiences. The recipe goes something like this:
1 cup each of power, privilege and history.
Add In ignorance, erasure and guilt.
Sprinkle sparingly a pinch each of:
race issues (optional)
gender Issues (optional)
homophobia Issues (optional)
and ableism Issues (optional)
Garnish with "liberalism" and "awareness."
Serve immediately. Bon Appetit.
This recipe is deficient in essential nutrients; no wonder I, like many others of colour, sometimes
feel starved. Thank goodness I can go home to a space where my experiences are validated.
I can't hang my skin when I go home; it's an integral part of who I am. But I'm no longer invisible, and I'm no longer consciously aware of it.
—Junie Desil
People see right through you
when they know you're not feeling confident
somehow when you're not on
you leave a hole open
for those who prod into your heart and mind
to see more
Hold on to your confidence brown beauty
believe in your own mind, heart and
beautiful brown sugar soul
take heart in the belief
that those who love you do
do, know that you can do anything
do, know that you are everything
When someone is pulled right into your
eyes your rich baby browns
tinted with sun scorched gold
And they look right into you and not
through you
then you know
that your confidence is shining, pulling
probing like a beacon to guide others
to do the same
—Kat Norris
Coast Salish/Nez Perce
Hawaiian Filipino
15 reasons
why we should love, respect, celebrate and
work to bring out the best parts of ourselves
1. Being called a .
mentary school
in ele-
2. When people hide their purses
from you instantaneously
3. When police pull you over for
walking like you are carrying a
4. When everything you learn in
school is about how great and
smart Europeans are
5. When you go to visit a friend at
another high school, and the
track coach immediately asks
you to join the. track team;
because he assumes people
who 'look like you' are good athletes
6. When people make fun of you
for no apparent reason
7. When all the bosses that you
have ever had seem to be 'the
same colour'
8. When love sees colour
9. When bus drivers always count
your fare
n February 24, 2000, the Hob
I Dosanjh was sworn in as thfjjHIB
[British Columbia.  In the process*
Canadian history by becomi ~ ~ "
colour to hold the office of Premier in any
this special issue of the Ubyssey would npt]8i
without a word or two from the former UBC'fejjil
I posed the following questions to our nev|
You   previously   served   as   the" jf
Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human*
would you define "multiculturalism?"
You spoke recently on our need as a
progress from practicing 'tolerance' to practici
tance.' Can you expand on this? ***&&&
To many of today's youth, the hyphen found in Iri^o2
Canadian, Chinese-Canadian, etc, feels like a rope in a
tugofwar that is tearing them in half. Having left India at
the age of 17 and now being the father of three young
Canadians, what advice can you offer on maintaining a
strong sense of balance between the two cultural
The Premier responded in a letter. Here is his
response in&Jll:
When I was a boy, growing up in India, my grandfather
taught me to value the principles of fairness and equality
above all else. He also taught me that—no matter how
difficult it may be—we must never abandon the struggle
for what is right and just. And these are the values that
guide my life.
These  are  also the values that guide  British
Columbia's multiculturalism legislation and policies. We are working hard to build
a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to fully participate in the
social, economic and political life of our province.
That doesn't mean we're all the same, or should be the same. Ours has
always been a multicultural society, even before the first Europeans reached our
shores. First Nations in what is now British Columbia spoke 33 different languages. They practiced their own distinct cultures, followed their own traditions
and found great strength in their history and identity.
Today, our society is even more diverse. BC is home to people from
all over the worid and each of us has our own cultural identity.
Multiculturalism means we have the right to be proud of that identity; the right to be treated fairly and with respect; and the right to be
included in every aspect of day-today life in British Columbia.
Some people ask, "If you want to be included, why cling to the
past? Why call yourself Indo-Canadian rather than just Canadian?"
The answer of course is that I am a Canadian. I'm very proud to be
a Canadian. But I'm also proud of my history and culture. And I want
my children to share that pride, even as they fully embrace everything it means to be Canadian.
Multiculturalism is not about emphasising the differences
between us. It's about understanding and accepting these differences and including people in our lives, regardless of their origins.
In government, I'm proud of the work we've done to promote a
more inclusive society and to encourage people of all backgrounds
to play a role in leadership and decision-making. Ultimately, our
goals are to build a society with,no impediments to the full participation of all British Columbians in every part of life, and to build
communities where all citizens are united and at peace together.
These are ambitious goals. They won't be achieved overnight.
But we have made—and continue to make—significant progress
towards them as people from all walks of life work to put multicul-
turalism's principles into action.
It's happening across the province in all of our communities:
Teenagers in high schools are educating younger students about
race, culture and respect. Community groups are lending support
to new and recent immigrants to help them overcome barriers
such as language. Employers are making their workplaces more
open and welcoming to people of diverse backgrounds. And more
people every day are learning through experience that cultural
diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
As Canadians, we can be proud that ours was the first nation
to have official multiculturalism policies. As British Columbians,
we can recommit ourselves to making our communities more
inclusive for all. As Premier, I will never forget my past, my culture and the values I learned to cherish so many years ago—the
values that all British Columbians cherish—the values of fairness, equality, and justice that epitomise multiculturalism.♦
10. When wearing a toque
or baggy jeans means you
are a drug dealer
11. When you live in a society that implicitly or explicitly prevents you from
knowing anything about
your culture, language and
roots but, at the same time,
claims to be 'multicultural'
12. All you see about your
culture on TV is negative or
not there at all
13. When walking into an
expensive store means you
are going to steal something
14. When people make you feel
as though you should change
your name to Harry or Smith
15. When you are a stranger in
the land where your ancestors
lived and were buried for thousands and thousands of years
Racism, stop it!!
— Emmanuel Adjet-Achampong
—The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh
Premier of British Columbia
March 14, 2000 Our Ship Has Come In
I 1   Today as we stand atop tne mountain andTook
At Canadian history improving its course,
It seems like only yesterday when we first took
Our freedom and the franchise by force.
-a ubyssey special issue • friday, mart!
But turbulence notwithstanding, make no mistake,
There's no reversing our space shuttle's ascent,
The history books are being rewritten as we speak:
"Punjabi Premier in Provincial Parliament."
From first turbanned constables to first ballot wins,
The sky's the limit for other "firsts" ahead,
Yet my first thoughts keep returning to the sins
Inflicted on our first settlers instead.
Being a British subject didn't suffice to gain entry
Into our then-homogenous Dominion,
As Burrard Inlet was surrounded by spies and sentries
Stopping us from coming in.
And though our Land levied a Chinese head tax
In an episode of legislative travesty,     fc
ltt;i&ct we're
fiti; rathe "
Our succeip
Our ro^'££g|l
'ffcr they 0^^
They camet^
And kept it alivel
" MRUs
.^^^^K^eir lives,    ^fif
jJlfHSran-grant dream   9
ie^^^lved of their wive"S
What's passing tl
J£$£g!mfcof those pioneers
jWhose^eeds are ffnSfywluii'"blossom?
is cries are riqgjlgHn their resilient ears
rs of being pulfiallo the bottom?
We never let our pursuit of
Nor lessened our loyai^jn
yffrage relax
^gj? t^ttmown Soldier:
|||p8^efrom India
wtftout supreme s.
p the way
made in a day
Is heroic noose
Were they suddenly to awaken from their eternal rest
They'd see the headlines in the media,
Of a grandson who's taken the citizenship test
, - Being enshrined in the encyclopedia.
__.. One hundred and eighty degrees they've led us
§§||||§our fortune has come half-circle,
[jplljgffi second-class citizens to First Minister status,
pf|fjjpf|a&&een no ordinary oracle.
pS (WVe foreseen such a turn of events,
lrva?helping-hand from hindsight?
here we turned we ran into an iron fence,
ght began with an uphill fight.
running knot on rris
,at long last been utterly^
ipbrave spirit can now trulf savour his labour's fruits
As his lungs refill with patriotic pride.
The late passengers aboard the Guru Nanak Jahaaz
Can now lift their cups in a crowning toast,
To the sweet sweat that poured into the lumber yards
And built our welcoming West Coast.
The ghost of the Komagata Maru has been summoned
To the highest crest from the depths of the sea,
Our forefathers' ship has now completely come in
On the shining shores of benevolent BC
—HarmohanJIt Singh Pandher
UBC campus last Novemi|i
anti-discrimination, u byssey «|
iiPFjTny f .** GurPreetsin9h j°ha|
do not support Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dosanjh was >arty (NDP) at a party
conference in VancouveriH lIHiiiiiifirst ^de-Canadian
provincial leader in Cai^^^^^^^ffl^^Jfan interim premier.
Dosanjh will head the ^KKKKI^^Kr^^^^^
I'm writing this pieceS ^^ffiat the issues surrounding
Ujjal Dos* eir are something that can
be encai:^fe^!^^|t^i^e:of a Sikh issue, nor do I
believe 'fi^m^^B^^^s,s,\ie. The issues surrounding Uual
Dosanjh dl impiicate all people of colour, as
well as R{| s in Canada.
^\\a\j^ti^i^ii^^0^i,%-oi success that would enable a
Person <g| |rfwhat some would call this "free
nbera>--^Sttj sfited from the
la>!fl l^^H^e been attached
Mentations. By dis-
^^W^^^^^^^^W^te^pl 'extremist' or 'tra-
iS^Sjg jndamentalist"
Sikhs o^1^p^t":^eo|ge r)f rMwr'&&' Bn£ Nations—Dosanjh
has beer? pl||§aittotfre "good immigrant'' camp. Thus, he is
ableto achfAfe bourgeois success because he is following the
"law of the -(and.* This rhetoric of success suggests that
Dosanjh's i|p.ievements are the result of hard work and, more
importartuy|§ecause he did aft of this without going against
the grain. Affording to his proponents, Dosanjh's commitment
to egalrtari§p¥atues has allowed him to seek justice within the
liberal fransiipf institutional reform. However, when someone
such; as Dersanjh attempts to seek individual success, it
comes with a. price tag "that others who don't have any 'cash
nio^^^^^^^fe^^^^^|r)j am forced to ask is, on
wh0S^^^^^^^^^^^H%^aimhis 15 seconds of
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ gpven to Dosanjh's
nse to power. From a "poor boy from Punjab" to head of the
BC govertiiftwtt, this is a tale that liberal dreams are made
of. Howevei^lhis fairytale rise is not a merry tale—not at all.
Much mediitattention focuses on Dosanjh's commitment to
social justice and his history of activism during the lawyer
days earlier in his career. Whether it is his "undercover" work
exposing labour abuses on Fraser valley berry farms in the
1970s, or his outspoken criticism of the "extremist" activity
of Sikh separatists in Vancouver in the 1980s—nothing can
compare to the work he did in his role as the Attorney-
General of BC in the 1990s. Dosanjh's unwavering commit-
ment to law and order has made him a media darling in Vancouver. However,
there are shadows that lurk behind these activist fairy tales no matter what
sense of "success" or accomplishment people may think Dosanjh has
achieved for people of colour in Canada.
Dosanjh's role as Attorney-General has been praised by the mainstream
media and, in 1995, right-wing columnist Vaughn Palmer wrote that Dosanjh
would probably become the first non-white premier of BC as a result of his
response to the standoff between law enforcement and Native defenders at
Gustafsen Lake. Dosanjh's response to what the mainstream media referred
to as the "handling of Native Indian militants" secured his political career. This
political manoeuvre is not far off from responses of other politicians of colour
who need to demonstrate their political worth in order to secure mainstream
support. Take, for example, the political career of Wilson Goode. As the first
Black mayor of Philadelphia in 1984, Goode offered Black Philadelphians a
false hope for the future if they thought people of colour could successfully run
a bourgeois government that is antithetical to the needs of impoverished people. No sooner than having taken office, Goode authorised the securing of 37
pounds of C4 explosives that the Philadelphia police used to drop from a helicopter onto the MOVE organisation house on May 13,1985. MOVE is a revolutionary organisation based in Philadelphia. Its members follow the teachings
of founder and leader John Africa. Africa and two MOVE children were killed m
the bomb blast of 1985.
For politicians of colour to be legitimised in the eyes of the mainstream,
they must distance themselves from the degenerate markings imposed on
and expected from their bodies by the bourgeois social order. In order to
achieve this, one must be seen as a bourgeois subject and be perceived as
an objective, autonomous, rational individual. Politicians of colour must shun
the irrational, subjective, communal-minded body that is expected of them. To
do so is to gain "success" and validation by the mainstream. Of course, the
only cost is that this is often accomplished by spending the currency of blood
gained on the backs of communities they are seen to come from.
I believe that by espousing the rhetoric of moderation and progressive commitment to social justice, politicians of colour such as Dosanjh and Goode
utilise mainstream caricatures to distance themselves from ihe extremist elements in their communities, as well as anyone else engaged in militant activity. To prove their political worth, I believe these politicians are compelled to
act in accordance with the institutional rules of the game, even if it means the
cost is the blood of those deemed to be extremist or militant. Ell-Hajj Malik El-
Shabazz (also known as Malcolm X) reflected on the characterisation of
extremist elements in society. He said that he didn't believe in any form of Ujjal Dosanjh, you do not
unjustified extremism, but when one is exercising extremism in defense of lib- and cannot ever represent me.
erty for human beings, it's not a vice but a virtue. And when one is moderate Nor can any other politician who
in the pursuit of justice for human beings s/he is a sinner. attempts to do so within the
The history of these occupied lands of the Amerikkkas is one of extremism, institutional confines of these
Any attempt to pursue societal progress through institutional reform modera- bourgeois colonial regimes that
tion is stagnatory regress. From the time of the colonial occupation of these attempt to contain our continu-
lands, the spaces occupied have been extreme. People in power, no matter  ous struggles for freedom(s) ♦
what the colour of their skin is,
have misused it. Their tactics of
spatial management are
extreme. The only way to
counter this abuse is through
change. The only way change is
going to come about is via
extreme methods. So as the
poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz said,
Now listen to the terrible
rampant lie:
Light has forever been severed from the Dark;
our feet, it is heard, are now
one with their goal.
See our leaders polish their
manner clean of our suffering:
Indeed, we must confess
only to bliss;
""We- must surrender any
utterance for the Beloved all
yearning is outlawed.
But the heart, the eye, the
yet deeper heart
Still ablaze for the Beloved,
their turmoil shines.
In the lantern by the road
the flame is stalled for news:
Did the morning breeze ever
come? Where has it gone?
Night weighs us down, it still
weighs us down.
Friends,  come  away from
this false light.
Come, we must search for
that promised Dawn. ih 17, 2000*a ubyssey special issue-
The I Ubyssey
The following is a list of ubyssey staff members who are
eligible to vole in the upcoming editorial elections. To
vote, one must be a member in good standing of the
Ubyssey Publications Society, contributed to at least three
issues since January, and have also attended three out of
five consecutive staff meetings since January. If you are
not on this list, but you feel that you should be, please
I contact Bruce Arthur at 822.2301.
3 meetings-3 contributions
Lisa Denton
Duncan McHugh
Bruce Arhtur
Tom Peacock
Todd Silver
Jaime Tong
Tara Westover
Nicholas Bradley
Daliah Merzaban
Cynthia Lee
Naomi Kim
Laura Blue
Melanie Streich
Graeme Worthy
Alex Dimson
Flora Graham
Michelle Mossop
Regina Yung
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hon Race
It hasn't always been an easy journey. Two Sikh pioneers
share their experiences of growing up in Canada.
by Harmohanjit Singh Pandher\r\ 1931,14yearold Naranjan Singh Mahal left India on
a ship headed for Canada. He and the others aboard that vessel believed they were on the fast track to
the good life. As it turned out the long and treacherous voyage across the ocean was merely a warrrRip
for a marathon race towards rights and respectability.
Naranjan Singh's father, Jaswant Singh, had previously arrived in BC in 1908. His mother was forced
to stay back in their village of Roarmajra in the Punjab due to government restrictions on the number of
women and families allowed to come to Canada. Entry was primarily limited to young men of 17 years of
age or under at the time* Naranjan Singh had felt that his turn to make the trip would be coming soon and,
when his father returned briefly to India in 1927, the young boy's thoughts were confirmed.
"Did you go to school when you first arrived here?" I asked Naranjan Singh, now an 84-year-old tur-
baned gentleman of impressive stature. We sat and talked in the Richmond home he has
lived in since 1951. "Yes, I went to the 12th Avenue School in Vancouver. I had only one
pair of shoes when I came here. Back in those days, when your shoes got wet in the rain
you would put them in the kiln to dry. I must have left them in there too long one night
because in the morning they were bent in half and completely unwearable. I didn't have
shoes, so I couldn't go to school that day."
We shared a brief chuckle over the anecdote, but the regularity of such hardships kept
the laughter in check during the interview. Later, while his father made another trip back
to India, he stayed behind to live with some friends and attended Lions Gate High School
in North Vancouver. He remembers how he was different from the other students.
"I was the only coloured student in the class. I was made to sit at the very back. We
were all in the same room together, but there was still a sort of separation there. I never
questioned it at the time, but I realise it now," recalls Naranjan Singh.
While the classroom setting at least provided a modicum of safety for the young
IndoCanadian, going out into the public required more caution. "The treatment was
very bad. But we used to go out together in order to face the attacks. We were mostly young, strong, IndoCanadian men here, so we protected each other whenever we
went out in the city."
"I remember one incident as an adult—a few friends and I went to the Ivanhoe
Hotel on Main Street. My friends were clean-shaven and wore hats. They were
served beer in the parlour, but because of my turban I was refused. I told my white friend Branko
what happened and he said he couldn't do anything about the service, but he could help me get
a hotel room if I wanted one."
Naranjan Singh admits that without the support of friends like Branko and some of his white
neighbours, things could have been much worse. He also recalls the horrifying and humbling
continued on next page
I'm sure many of you have heard about the residential schools that were
mandatory for Native children to attend in the 1800s. The last one of these
was closed in the early 1980s. They were put into place to "civilise and
educate" Native children, and to Christianise them. Many abuses were
inflicted on these children. They were gathered up in masses, whitewashed, malnourished, and abused emotionally, physically, sexually and psychologically. Residential schools taught disunity and distrust, and hatred of
Natives was predominant.
I am going to share a piece that was done from the perspective of my mother, when she was seven years old. Oral
tradition is a way of educating one's children, and this piece
is just one experience that my mother had at residential
school. I think that this story will show readers valuable ways
of learning, and hopefully encourage us to question education
and how it could be used to hurt peoples.
"When I first heard I was going to residential school, I
thought my mother was taking us on a trip. Can you imagine my
anger and disappointment that all the clothes and toys she
bought us for our trip, was so she could send my brother and I
off by ourselves with other children in the community to go to a
completely unknown destination? Not knowing who was going
to meet us, not really knowing where we were going. All we
knew was that we were being sent away.
"I couldn't figure out what for. Were they tired of us? Did
we do something bad? Couldn't they afford us anymore? I
was angry, afraid, feeling helpless. And lost. And I felt very
very isolated even further because I could tell my brother
and I annoyed the people on the bus because we wouldn't
stop screaming for a long, long time.
"Somewhere along the way, my curiosity got the better
of me. Who were these other people? What were these
communities that we were passing through? Never been
by Billie Pierre
there before. I noticed the mountains,
the rivers, the trees, the houses, the
people as we passed by. And I wondered when we were going to stop and
visit these people, and what kind of
reception we would get. But it was a
longtime before we finally reached our
"And when we did, I was surprised
to see us approaching a type of building and area I had never before seen.
It was a gigantic pink brick building
several stories high with a giant lawn
and beautiful shrubs in the front. A
totem pole, and a chapel. We were
hastily brought into the building, which
seemed to have endless hallways that
were too clean and cold. As we waited
in a waiting room, in quiet expectation,
we wondered where we would be
brought next.
"Then came the rude awakening
that there was not to be a 'we' any
longer, but just a 'me'. Because my
brother John and I were roughly
wrenched away from each other to go
•ur separate ways. John to the boys'
side, and I to the girls' side."*
—Billie Pierre is 22 years old,
from the Saulteaux and Nlaka'Pamx
Nations. -a ubyssey special issue • friday, mare
continued from previous page
LONG HAUL: Passengers aboard the
Komagata Maru (above). Naranjan Singh
Mahal recalls his experiences as a young
immigrant to Canada (right).
experience of World War Two, when he
watched his JapaneseCanadian neighbours
being stripped of their property and being forbidden to go west of Hope, BC. It put the plight
of Indo-Canadian immigrants in perspective
when second- and third- generation Canadians
could be treated so inhumanely by their own
"I couldn't believe what was happening to
[the Japanese-Canadians]. They were born
here and still the government did that to them.
Indo-Canadians had limited property rights as
well. We weren't allowed to buy in the British Properties, North Vancouver, or
West Vancouver."
Naranjan Singh said it was equally difficult to find work.
"It was very hard to get a job anywhere, even clean-up jobs. The only jobs
for us were in the lumber mills or mowing white people's lawns. I worked for
nine cents per hour, for ten-hour shifts. In 1934, the white worker's wages
were raised to 25 cents per hour, buf not us. I worked at the Hillcrest mill on
Vancouver Island before returning to the Lower Mainland."
Naranjan Singh was a very active member of the early Indo-Canadian
community, both socially and politically. The first real meeting centre was the
Khalsa Diwan Society Sikh Temple on West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, where
Hindus and Muslims joined Sikhs to discuss their collective local concerns.
People also became members of the Indian National Congress to peacefully show support for India's independence movement from abroad.
"Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims were all working together here for a free
Hindustan [India]. Khalistan wasn't even a word back then," he recalls with a laugh, referring to the
name of a proposed separate Sikh state.
Later, in 1954, the East Indian Canadian Citizens Welfare Association was formed to address matters such as immigrant rights. One right that stands out in Naranjan Singh's mind came to fruition a
few years earlier, in 1947, when he cast his first vote on Canadian soil. The following year, he was
issued his first Canadian passport. But the passage from India to Canada wasn't always smooth
aboard the Empress of Asia ori May 18,1925. He remembers his journey to Canada vividly.
"I was 18 at the time," said Sardara Singh over the phone. "We left from Calcutta and
reached Hong Kong in 18 days. There were 40 Indian men and a few women on board, but most
of the passengers were Chinese. The Western food they served was very foreign to us. We were
segregated and didn't have any contact with the white passengers. They were in first class. We
had a medical exam in Hong Kong and from there it took 20 days to reach Vancouver."
Sardara Singh and his fellow passengers were at least allowed to disembark from their ship;
the same cannot be said of those who sailed into "friendly" Canadian waters just 11 years earlier on the Komagata Maru. The latter tragedy remains to this day one of the darkest episodes
of racism in Canadian history. Three hundred seventy-six British subjects were refused lawful
entry into Canada because of the colour of their skin. They were all Indian males and it would
have meant the largest single influx from India at one time.
For two months they remained on their ship in Burrard Inlet before being ordered back to
India. When they reached Calcutta, they were all charged with trying to overthrow the Indian
government. British police opened fire on the unarmed passengers killing and wounding at
least 50. The rest were hung, tortured, or imprisoned for treason.
Sardara Singh remembers the stories well.
"Canadian Immigration was informed by a member of the Indo-Canadian community that
the boat was coming. I won't mention his name, but he was very uneducated. His wife and
family were allowed to come over soon after, so that may have been his reward for doing what
he did. When the ship reached Port Alberni the authorities were already waiting and then they
brought it to Vancouver where they could keep a better watch on it."
A Sikh named Mewa Singh shot to death one of the most heartless "watchers" of the Indo-
Canadian community, corrupt immigration official and spy William Hopkinson. Mewa Singh
was hanged for his righteous actions and is regarded as a martyr for avenging the injustice
inflicted on the passengers of the Komagata Maru.
"Some of the stories of the Komagata Maru are beginning to escape my memory," says
Naranjan Singh, "but I remember how Bhai Mitt Singh Pandori, the priest at the Second
Avenue temple, used to tell us about his meetings with Mewa Singh in jail. We used to get
together on special occasions and listen endlessly about this great hero. Those of us who
came afterwards are indebted to his sacrifice."
After saying this, I interrupted Naranjan Singh to ask him how he felt about the premier
of BC being Indo-Canadian. Naranjan Singh paused to reflect. He opened his mouth to
respond, but laughter was all that escaped.
When I asked Sardara Singh the same question, his response was more straightforward. "I may differ with [Premier] Dosanjh's politics, but this is an historic milestone
for the community. Nobody could ever have dreamed of this day before."
Naranjan Singh's laughter eventually faded, but his biggest smile of the afternoon
continued to shine through that resplendent white beard. "They didn't even let us get
off the boat, and now..." he didn't finish his sentence. Not that he needed to. His
smile said it all.*
—with thanks to Naranjan Singh Mahal, Sardara Singh Gill, and my dad, Rajinder
Singh Pandher, for his invaluable translating skills.
"I laughed so hard my face
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A     Q-&-A    with     UBC   '/'As.ststajtt,
professor of engLLsh 9len{v Deer"
by Harmohanjlt slngh pandher -'"'"■'
Q: Professor Deer, let me thank you for taking time out of
your schedule to be a part of this special edition of trie
Ubyssey. Before we discuss how racial issues pertain to
literature, the classroom, and academia in general, what
are your definitions of "race" and "voice"? Do you see a
connection between the two terms?
A: I would place these terms in the context of the study
of different discourses on identity, and would emphasise
how "racialised" identities and the possibilities of composing a "self" that is free from the constraints of negative racist judgement are significant topics in Canadian
and American literature. "Race," of course, is a problematic term, since it has a history of being used by
European interests to create dubious race categories
based on supposed genetically-inherited characteristics. I
would prefer to use the term "ethnicity" to describe the
tendencies and practices of a group of people because
this term reflects the socially-constructed nature of group
differences. The eighteenth-century race terms such as
"Caucasian" or "Mongolian" are quite useless in describing human variation. National and geographic identity
terms are more acceptable, for example, Asian-Canadian
or African-American, because they don't carry the same
The topic of "voice," as you have raised it, is important in my own area of study because writers are constantly struggling to create a distinctive style, point of
view, or ethos that will break down the racist stereotypes.
For example, in works like David Henry Hwang's M.
Butterfly or even in [Joy] Kogawa's Obasan, there are
voices that resist the stereotyping of the Asian woman as
passive and stoically silent. The loud and verbally combative women warriors created by Maxine Hong Kingston
or SKY Lee are necessary refutations of the demure
geisha-girl racial stereotypes created by Western
"Voice" is a real challenge, though, for writers who
both want to claim a racialised identity or explore historical issues and yet challenge the mainstream. I recall that
a few years ago there was a controversy over the use of
the term "Chinaman" as a place name from BC's past.
The province attempted to revise the names of all places
that used the term "Chinaman." Now "Chinaman" has
certainly been a racist term since it seems to mock the
language of a newcomer: Europeans did not use terms
like "England Man" to describe the English, or "France
Man" to describe the French. However, it is interesting
how certain writers have tried to reappropriate racist
terms for their own uses. The American writer Frank Chin,
for example, uses the term "Chinaman" with a kind of
macho pride to refer to his long roots in the railroad-building pioneer-immigrant past. And Chin, in his plays like trie
Year of the Dragon, tries to create a kind of Chinese-
American "Mean Streets" vernacular that thumbs its
nose at the Charlie Chan "choprchop" language that was
often used to mock the Chinese-American.
Q: As a student of English literature, what factors made
you want to be involved in the promulgation of the "untold
stories" of racial minorities? Were you initially discouraged by others from pursuing this non-traditional field of
literary study?
A: I have always been interested in how group identities
and power relations are represented in literature. I grew
up in a mixed European and Asian household and was
conscious of how the languages and accents that I heard
at home did not have the same power outside of it. As a
graduate student, I was primarily interested in Canadian
literature, rhetorical theory, and discourse studies—and
Canadian literature, in many ways, is dominated by the
theme of ethnic diaspora. Even Anglophone and
Quebecois literature is packed with, narratives of inter-ethnic division, or conflicts between the English and the Irish,
or Loyalists versus the new arrivals—Susanna Moodie's
nineteenth-century memoir Roughing It In the Bush contains racist portraits of French-Canadians, yet it wears its
abolitionist and pro-African American sympathies on its
sleeve. I think that we Canadianists have always felt that -a ubyssey special issue •friday, marcmJI
LiSBlilil ll
PPv      •     ;
y.....;..:                                                                            ^ ^           *
■^Wty;l:MSWBmM§SS 1
NEW DIRECTIONS: Glenn Deer has introduced new
courses to UBC. harmohanjitsingh pandher photo
we were doing something
non-traditional anyways,
and writers like, for example, Joy Kogawa, Michael
Ondaatje, Rohinton
Mistry, and Wayson Choy
might have started as
being marginal, but that
margin has now become
the subject of regular critical attention and study. I
have never been discouraged in pursuing this
area of study as it has
emerged. The editor of
the journal Canadian
Literature, Professor Eva-
Marie Kroller, has also
been especially supportive, by encouraging my
work on a special Issue
of Asian-Canadian writing
(December 1999, Issue
Number 163).
Q: One of your courses is entitled "Studies in Canadian Literature: Asian-Canadian
and Asian-American Literature." When was this course introduced at UBC? What
was the rationale behind its inception? How long have you been teaching it? How
do you see it evolving, for instance, in terms of content, popularity, and relevance?
A: This undergraduate course was first taught in 1998-99, but it has its origin in
several directed reading courses for some graduate students that I supervised in
1994. I also presented a graduate version of the course in 1997, titled
"Rhetoricising the New 'Yellow Peril': Asian-North American Writing and Culture."
In that course I tried to bring together literary study with some analyses and critiques of the mass media coverage of recent tensions between ethnic groups in
the Vancouver area. The support by the department at all levels has been excellent and student support has been very gratifying. These courses seem to strike
a chord in many students, and interest quite rightly cuts across the lines of student ethnic identity. In 1998 I was able to get a grant to organise a conference
on "Writing, Diversity, and Social Critique," and this forum brought together
English Department graduate students, professors, and guest speakers, including Roy Miki, Irshad Manji, and Fred Wah. Professor Miki, who has been an important theorist and activist at Simon Fraser University in the area of literature and
ethnicity, will be collaborating with me on a graduate course on poetry and the politics of race for the Fall of 2000.
I hope to develop further undergraduate courses along these lines and the
English Department's curriculum committee has been very proactive in fostering
new course rJavelopment. In fact, we have recently redesigned the entire curriculum so thaj.instructors.can be moreinnoyatiye_with_regard-to ribufsaSontent and
' ^^H '
She walks like a summer breeze in winter
wafting in the soft scent of currency.
He carries her gently on his coat stiffened arm
his watch shines with the brilliance of
Black Hills gold.
They walk as Kings and Queens on the streets
they own; sharing in the spectacle of their
creations under turquoise skies.
Walking by the skilled artisans
who sit and shiver; passing by their wisdom and
pain. King and Queen open the door to their palace.
The store is beautiful, filled with creations that darken
humanity. Authentic souls for sale.
Sweet life erecting the walls and death decorating them.
Patrons and owners need only walk across the
bridges of broken backs and spirits.
Purchasing hearts in the shape of beadwork,
vending a people in the name of the
American Dream.
Come visit Santa Fe, a land built and permeated
by Indian blood; a town of Kings and Queens whose thrones'
sit atop those swollen veins.
—Claudine Allison Monies
*   *   *   BAR & GRII.X
IN     K  I T  S  I  L A N
Half Price
f ina flight!
the comparison of periods, literary
movements, and non-traditional
sequences of authors.
Q: As a respected member of the
faculty, you are well aware of the
changing face of the UBC campus.
In this 1999-2000 academic year,
over 50 per cent of first-year students are of Asian descent. The
makeup of the faculty, however,
does not come close to reflecting
the ethnic makeup of the student
body. Do you see this as a cause for
concern? Can you foresee changes
on the horizon?
A: The changes in the student body
are very significant. Should the ethnic makeup of the faculty come closer to representing the ethnic identities of the student body? The university does already have a policy of
encouraging designated groups to
apply for teaching positions; this is
not an affirmative action policy, but
simply a way of encouraging meritorious people who might otherwise
not think about applying because of
some past experiences with systemic racism in an institutional .setting." But we are*also in a periorJof-
severe budgetary restrictions. It is
important to find the best academically qualified candidates for the
important positions when they arise.
One wants to be hired on the basis
of one's merits as a university
researcher and instructor, and not
just on the assigned ethnic identity.
At the same time we need to encourage students from diverse ethnic
backgrounds to complete graduate
degrees and Ph.Ds and become as
meritorious as they can if they want
to enter the professional ranks of
academe. It is a worthy goal.
Q: Finally, your status as a professor, your specialisation, and your
background of mixed ethnicity provide you with a unique perspective
on the issue of race. How have you "*
managed to reconcile the racial.'
dynamic inside the "Ivory Tower",
with that of the outside, "real"
worid? What do you see as acade-
mia's role in broadening racial
understanding in the future?
A: It might seem that universities are
more progressive with regard to
equity issues and diverse representation than the''outside" world, but I'
have still come across instances of
narrow thinking in the Ivory Tower.
The inside-outside division begins to
break down when you consider how
the work of the university influences
attitudes, actions, and investments
of capital. We are simultaneously
the "tower" and the "real": think of
how the cultural symbolism of the
Museum of Anthropology was coveted and exploited by the federal
organisers of the APEC summit two
years ago. I think that we have to
continue to resist the power of narrow nationalisms and we need to
work hard to raise the intellectual
level of the discourses on identity in
society as a whole. It will be a project that will keep all of us on the
planet occupied perhaps until the
nextmillenniurn>J'"-        1" •
I see the whole picture
There is no future
Set yourself free
Gather your torn heart and flee
Rise above your weaknesses
To the past, give goodbye kisses
Natural African Queen
Your pain is so keen
It's written all over your face '
Release your burden
Unleash the heathen
And proceed to a better place ""*
Release all your fears
Wipe away your tears
It's a time to rejoice
Free from your world of noise
Your loving heart deserves a peaceful paradise
Which would not tear it apart
Nor take it for granted
Natural African Queen .       '
Where have you been
Thinking of you all the time , .-.
Wishing for the sublime '"      ' '•
Let's share our love ,
Sent from the heavens above      ■ - .
In the winter, • -
When the outside is cold '  „    '*
We will find ourselves to hold
In the summer, •' •
When the sun's rays sizzle the eartrT
We will touch the world with our warmth
With our new found friendship
Let's brighten our dying spirits
And together, soar to higher limits
Natural African Queen
Your immense beauty _ ■
Upon no one else I have ever seen
Internally and externally *        ,
Natural African Queen *
My heart, you have stolen '        ,'
Natural African Queen
To your spell, I have fallen
Natural African Queen
Please be my Queen
Symphony of Fire
Staring into the sun
you know you shouldn't
the pull overpowering
consequences unclear
Limited sight
eyes smarting, squinting
the pain so sweet
as your eyes fill
at the sight of power
of warmth, of heat, of danger
a symphony of red fire
heats as you close your lids
You tear your eyes away
it seems an eternity has gone by
but for only a few seconds
precarious, dangers
were words that described you
uplifted, me with the power, enflamed
nay, scorched aorta, pumping purified blood
provoking the dark side of your soul to stir
It takes moments before your soul
and your minors uym*
clear away the spectres
of red hot flames
the illusion of fearlessness
that exonerated you from reality
Reality becomes a bit more amusing
as the fire that burned inside your heart
for that one thousand one, one thousand two
gets saved inside your memory bank
—Emmanuel Adjei-Achampong' '__
-Kat Norris
Coast Salish/Nez Perce
Hawaiian Filipino
Hflif Price
eekead fymclx
|!l served until 2:00pm
iyDflyBREAiiiT 12; friday, march 17, 2000* a ubyssey special issue-
by Mwalu Jan Peeters
Albert Nuh Washington is a veteran of the Black
Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. As
a result of his active role in the Afrikan struggle
for freedom, justice, and dignity in America, Nuh
has spent the past 28 years as a political prisoner, locked in various prisons in California and
New York. He is currently being detained at the
Great Meadows Correctional Facility in
Comstock, New York.
Nuh's social and political consciousness
began to take shape at an early age. He credits
this to his mother and father who impressed
upon him the importance of courage, dignity,
and respect for his strong foundation. Nuh's
grandmother often rented rooms to students
from Africa and the Caribbean, and listening to
their conversations—which often centred on
national liberation and independence—helped
spark a commitment to Pan-Africanism in the
young Nuh to which he adheres until this day.
As a young man, Nuh joined the Black
Panther Party, and later, in the face of heightened government repression, went underground
as a member of the Black Liberation Army.
In a 1971 incident in San Francisco, Nuh was
shot, and, along with Jalil Abdul Muntaquim,
captured. Later that year, Nuh, Muntaquim, and
Herman Bell were convicted of the murder of two
New York City police officers. Many people
believe that the three were falsely convicted,
and assert that the state used perjured and
coerced testimony, withholding the destruction
of key ballistics evidence. Washington,
Muntaquim, and Bell—known collectively as the
New York Three—were each sentenced to prison
for 25 years to life.
During their time in prison, Nuh and his co-
defendants have remained active in the struggle, both inside and outside the prison walls.
Among other things, all three have earned college degrees, helped organise Victory Gardens,
an organic food project which delivers fresh produce to urban areas, and continue to play the
role of elders within the prison, working to educate and organise other prisoners.
Last December, Nuh Washington was diag
nosed with cancer of the liver. Doctors esti
mate that he has roughly ten months to
live. In light of US President Bill Clinton's
recent granting of clemency to several
Puerto Rican freedom fighters, America
can no longer deny the existence of political prisoners within its borders. Albert
Nuh Washington should be recognised
as a political prisoner, and, due to his
his   health   situation,   the   utmost
urgency should be attached to reviewing his case.
Nuh Washington should be
able to walk among the people
for whom he has given up his
life as a free man. He should
be able to spend time with his
loved ones without constantly
checking the clock, wondering
when visiting hours will end. He
should be able to watch the
sun rise and set without having
to peer over a wall. He should
be able to do these things
before he passes on.
Due to the nature of his
conviction, Nuh is not eligible
for compassionate release.
Nuh and his attorneys are currently in the process of submitting a petition for clemency. ♦
For more Information on
what you can do to help in
this process, e-mail the
Jericho Movement at
Or you can write to Nuh at:
Albert Nuh Washington,
Great Meadows Correctional Facility
Box 51
Comstock, NY 12821
by Che Nolan
Mumia-Abu Jamal, spirit dancer, black
man with a funny name and dreads.
Mmense power, though held behind bars.
Pick a crime, any crime, and let it be held
against you, people seeing you without
eyes; wide-eye crime bosses drop your
name. They wear suits of blue, they look
suspiciously at you. They hate you
because you tell on them, expose them,
rip the sheets off their crooked beds
You show them, they see them in you
through your words, an opposing mirror
making them responsible, holding them
accountable for the corruption of black
communities, First Nations communities,
voiceless communities who need you,
who can be temporarily silenced, they
think, without you. But it does not stop
there. They do not stop there. You do not
stop there; you carry on sending strength
through the power of words to those who
listen, and we all can, whether we choose
to or not. -
How many times do they beat you for
your strength, trying to break you, to
break the power of your words which need
to be written and said, spoken down late-
night halls, written on trucks, buses,
played in elevators, ever-present, familiar,
constant, reminding us of you and others
like you. We do not stop here. We listen,
we connect, coalesce, gather, march, yell,
carry banners, take up space, not forget
you when the papers do not print your
name, refuse to tell your story when you
struggle. ♦
«vi ia cheesler answer than that? Send it to us at
www.kraftdiwHer.com You could win your tuition.


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