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People's History of the Coast Salish Territories: Hogan's Alley

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On Friday, Feb 25, at an event organized by Westcoast Sheen and Rhizome Cafe, the Vancouver-based writer and poet Wayde Compton spoke about the multi-racial neighbourhood that was once upon a time located where the Georgia Viaduct is situated now before getting dismantled by the city in the name of renovation and progress, the effect of which was depriving the dislocated populations of a sense of community. As Wayde Compton pointed out during his lecture, the Lower Mainland has more black people than all of Nova Scotia, whereas most people have this false notion that Vancouver is completely devoid of the African Diaspora.

The speaker also drew parallels between what happened to Hogan's Alley back then and the hand with which the city is dealing with the residents of the Downtown Eastside right now. Another point that was highlighted was how little significance the city has given and continues to give to this former multi-cultural enclave, as, one might argue, the dominant Anglo culture tends to behave with respect to diversity in general: ignore it and hope that it will go away.

As John Ralston Saul points out, the presence of a dominant French culture that was constantly challenging the English Canadian hegemony had a very profound effect on the psyche of (Eastern) Canada. However, that effect appears not to have made its way all the way to Western Canada, where the old colonial ideas of homogeneity and racial/ideological purity appear to have a firm grip on the popular consciousness, at the expense of an appreciation for genuine diversity and multiculturalism, not to mention the beautiful indigenous culture that goes on being trampled upon.


Photo credit:

Note: The text was written by Masrour Zoghi and was not even reviewed by Wadye Compton, let alone being approved: it is simply the reflections of an audience member.

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great video!

thanks for sharing! i was unable to make the event, so i'm glad at least i got to see the video. do you by any chance have footage from the previous speakers?


I asked for their permission ...

... and they were happy to let me post it after some editing, which is gonna happen in the next few weeks because they're really busy with a bunch of stuff right now. It was a realy heart-breaking story about modern day slavery, so hopefully, I'll get to post it soon.



First Nations Poverty? Really?

Reality. Of course there are elected council, and representation of the First Nations but get it clear the only ones enjoying homes in Cancun, Acapulco, and other Mexican getaways as well as Hawaii Condos and lovely retreats in many parts of the world are the CLAN CHIEF and immediate family. The amount of money doled out to the reserves is a travisty. The only people who benefit from the ignorant Dept of Indian Affairs and the system they invented are the Clan leaders. Everybody else gets little or indeed nothing. No housing, No benefits, No nothing! This is not a whiteman problem you ignorant stupid kids. This is real life. Take a good look on a reserve, I have, and note the crap for food the First Nations or whatever they call themselves these days, is meatloaf, frozen peas, chips, soda pop and worse. Eating their so called preserve of salmon, deer, or whatever roadkill they can muster the reality is they sell all that and eat everything from a vending machine. No sympathy whatsoever.

Kill the Indian Affairs Department first. Cancel Reservations. Equalize the people into the mainstream of life. They are nothing special. They deserve no special treatment.

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