Delicate Forests – Found poem

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“The claustrophobic void of a person is easily lost in the trees,
swaddled in eternal-feelings,
it is not comfortable,
you can become disoriented,
fallen trees may be boundaries between life and death,
if you stop for too long you will be absorbed by the ancient riot of growth,
it can be suffocating,
the need can become overpowering,
from a satellite’s-eye view delicate forests are stopped in their tracks,
the results can be astonishing”

I really enjoyed the process of making blackout poetry. I feel I gained a deeper understanding of the pages that Used as well as some of the concepts in the book and I created something new. For my poem I used pages 8 & 9 from The Golden Spruce. I decided to use these pages because it had a lot of specific words that stood out to me immediately. Some of the ideas that started to show up as I wrote my poem were about the power of the forest and the interaction between a person and the forest. The poem starts out talking about the way a person might feel in the woods which reflects the power that people thought the forest had and the fear of the unknown. As my poem came together references to logging started to show up. My poem was about the power of the forest but at the end it refers to the forest as “delicate”. The forests can be thought about as delicate because they are being destroyed quickly.


image source

One of the reasons I chose this image to accompany my poem was because it can be black-out-poem-pictureseen in different ways. I noticed that when you first look at it it seems like another boring picture of a forest but it become more interesting when you look closer. I think that you can see the image two ways. One way the forest seems powerful, vast and easy to get lost in. Another way you look at the image the trees seem small, the forest seems delicate from a “satellite’s-eye view”. The image overall portrays some of the different ideas from my poem.

Painting Bunnies – In depth #6

My most recent meeting with my mentor was my painting class on April 10th. This class was the start of our new set of sessions. During this class we painted bunnies from pictures. My mentor told us that she chose bunnies because it didn’t have much color and it was festive for Easter. While painting my bunny I was focusing on spacing and proportions. While painting my other paintings in the past, I had been focused on color and some other things, but since the bunny was grey and white I was able to focus on making the spacing of my painting similar to the picture.  The goal was to make the bunny’s proportions look reasonable. We used grids to help us. We put one vertical line and one horizontal line through the middle of the picture and on our canvases. We used these as guides for our paintings. My mentor also emphasized that we should paint the dark parts of the painting and then go in with the lighter colors. She said that was the best way to do any painting and we applied it to our bunny paintings.

I also stayed after my class was over to talk to my mentor. I showed her pictures of the paintings I am working on at home. One that’s completed and another that isn’t. She told me a couple things that I could improve. Most of them had to do with color, specifically the skin tones I was using, because skin tones can be very difficult to paint. She also said she noticed an improvement in the colors of the skin tones from the first painting to the second. I am hoping to do more paintings outside of my classes and continuing to get feedback on them from my mentor. I think that it lets me be more creative and I am still able to imporve my painting skills.

How to have a beautiful mind


The biggest concept that I discussed with my mentor at our last meeting was color. I showed my mentor pictures of the paintings I had finished at home. I think that color is a very important concept to my mentor, she enjoys vibrant colors and generally colorful paintings. This means my mentor pays close attention to color in my paintings. She was very specific about each color and offered me a lot ideas about how to improve my colors. In particular, we were discussing making colors and how I could mix them a certain way to create the color I wanted for each painting. The other concept dicussed was spacing. We worked on spacing when we were sketching and painting our bunnies. We made sure the proportions of the bunny seemed normal and that the spacing of the ears, eyes and the rest of the bunny in the sketch was similar to the picture. This is a hard concept to grasp and being able to measure with your eyes is a skill that takes a lot of practice.


When were sketching out our bunnies onto our canvases and using the grids my mentor offered some alternatives. It was a very difficult task, especially when you don’t have much experience with it. It was also difficult because the canvas was bigger than the picture of the bunny. My mentor was offering alternatives of ways to look at the picture. For example she said that instead of comparing the features of the bunny to just the centre of the grid where the lines cross you should try to see where the features of the bunny in the picture were compared to the outside lines and the grid lines. The alternative she was offering was for us to look at the image differently and see where in between the outside lines and the lines of the grid the features were, this made it easier to mark and sketch the features on the canvas.

Another alternative my mentor offered was to block out all the colors in the painting before adding in the details. She recommended starting with the darker colors and then doing the lighter colors. This was an alternative to what I had been doing before, which was moving through the painting section by section and doing all the colors and details of each part as I went.

When me mentor was giving me feedback on my paintings from home she gave me a lot of alternative things that I could have done. Most of the alternatives had to do with the colors that I was using.  For one my paintings I thought the skin tone was too pink, I told her this. My mentor told me that while mixing the color I could add some of the color opposite on the color wheel it would make the color a bit more neutral. She also mentioned that I had used black for the shadows in one of my paintings and that it stuck out because it was so dark. She told me that an alternative to that would be to use a dark grey or very dark version of the other colors in the paintings so the shadows were less prominent. One of my paintings is of a hand. My mentor said that for the darker parts of the hand the color I used was kind of murky. She offered that alternatively I could add a bit of blue to the color to make it resemble a skin tone more.

When we are talking about technical things like color and spacing other mentors would have probably given me similar alternatives, although each artists has there own personal set of techniques. Perhaps a different mentor would have had different specific techniques or ideas but I think they would have lead me in the same direction. When discussing more creative options you could use perception alternatives. I think all artists have quite different perspectives, that’s what makes them creative people. That means that if I had a different mentor and we discussed alternative about the creative aspects of paintings I might have received very different ideas.

Immigration to Canada Over Time – DOL

What I’m wondering about

While we learned about confederation we talked about some of the minorities in the country, such as the French and the Aboriginal people. We learned and discussed the way these groups were represented and the way they were seen by the government. We ended up learning about the way that confederation affected these groups during and after. I am interested in looking into a less prominent and less seen minority. I was thinking about minorities on a global scale, since I am interested in comparing different countries and looking at things on global scales. Imagination involves many different countries even when just talking about Canada. As well, immigrants are part of minorities all over the world.

I would like to focus on what it might have been like for immigrants coming to Canada during and after the time of confederation. I want to know the why to these questions as well as the what.

  • Who was immigrating to Canada from where?
  • How did that change overtime? (before and after confederation)
  • Why did that change overtime?
  • How does that change reflect on Canada?

What I found

My first source is Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada a compilation of reports and articles about how Canada become multicultural and what immigration has to do with that. I used the very first chapter on the historical background. It is part of book released bu the Report of Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.

“Although the French and British have been predominant both in their number and in their cultural influence, the population of what is now Canada has always been ethnically diverse.”

The report is discussing immigration before 1901. It continues to talk about notable figures who were Jewish and polish immigrants to Canada.

To me the stats clearly show that Canada wasn’t ethnically diverse, since almost all the immigrants coming to Canada came from Europe. Perhaps, at the time having someone polish in Canadian parliament and letting Dutch soldiers immigrate to Canada was progressive but not ethnically diverse. Canada didn’t seem to be ethnically diverse during the specific time of confederation, especially compared to the Canada we live in today. I don’t think that Canada has always been ethnically diverse, but over time it has become much more diverse.

My second source is 150 Years of Immigration in Canada which is from the official website  government website for Canadian statistics.

“During the first few censuses after Confederation, the British Isles were the main source of immigration, accounting for 83.6% of the foreign-born population in the 1871 Census, or close to half a million people.”

The website shows the source countries of the immigrants. It talks about how immigration started mostly being from the British Isles  and expanded into more and more European countries. Here is how the website described the “mega trend”, also notice they used “has long been” instead of “always”.

“Canada has long been, and continues to be, a land of immigration. Since Confederation in 1867, more than 17 million immigrants have come to Canada.”

What does it all mean

While researching I had a bit of trouble finding things about immigration in the time period of confederation and I soon discovered that this was because there wasn’t a lot at the time. I did end up finding interesting stats about where and when immigrants came to Canada. It was interesting to see the way that immigration to Canada started off as just from Europe and was at small percents like 8% and now Canada has become a much more multicultural ethnically diverse place. Some many choose to say that Canada has always been diverse but that seems like denying something and painting a perfect picture of our past. There must have been a reason that people only came from Europe during confederation, so it couldn’t have always been a perfect multicultural country.

I discovered some interesting things about why the immigration that happened did. I found out that in 1896 a minister was in charge of the immigration policy for Canada. I also noticed that a lot of the immigration especially from The British Isles was gathering of groups involved in politics, such as the loyalists.

Overall, there is a few things I needed to keep in mind. One was that the stats in the charts were not accurately reflective of who was living in Canada because many people would pass through to the United States or other places. The other thing was that the Europeans who immigrated to Canada were a minority in Canada at the time. Even if they were European or chose to come to Canada for politics, I still don’t know how they were seen or treated. Overall the main theme I noticed was that immigration started going up slowly after confederation and has led us all the way to today.

Immigrants are a huge part of our country now, so it is important that we know were we came from and how we got to were we are today. Immigration has also been a popular topic in the news lately. I think most of the time we can be proud of the way our country has dealt with some recent situations. It is important for us to know about the history of immigration so we can better understand our now inclusive, diverse and multicultural country.

What I still want to know

I have a better understanding of immigration during the confederation time period and I’m aware of the ethnic diversity we have now, but how we got from there to here is still a little bit fuzzy. I want to know more about the way the government and others viewed the minorities, such as immigrants, during confederation but it is really hard to find facts about that. I would also like to know more about the why behind all of these things.


Cameron, Elspeth. “The Historical Background.” Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada: An Introductory Reader. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’, 2008. N. pag. Print.

Canada, Government Of Canada Statistics. “150 Years of Immigration in Canada.”Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. N.p., 03 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <>.

Butterflies – In Depth #5

butterfly I had my last painting lesson for my first set of lessons on March 6th. For most of the lesson I worked on my painting of a butterfly. This project has helped me to focus on composition, I have to think about leading the eye and making the colors contrast. The assignment was to paint a butterfly which is actually a pretty broad task once you think about it because you could make a butterfly look almost anyway you want with any colors you want. I experimented with using different shades of the same colors to create details in the wings and worked on creating a good color combination. My mentor also introduced a new project, using unnatural colors, that we could do in class if we had time.

Since I had some free time over spring break and I didn’t have painting classes I have been painting more at home. I completed a painting at home for the first time, it was a image of a person’s face submerged in water. I wasn’t entirety satisfied with the result because I know the colors, especially of the person, person-in-waterare a bit off and I am still not great at measuring by eye to create good proportions. I had to remind myself that it was fine because it was one of my first tries and I was challenging myself. I challenged myself because I did the painting from a photo and it is hard to paint humans, especially faces. I learned that that applies even if the face is mostly covered.

I also started a second painting at home. I started with the idea to paint a set of hands and incorporate flowers into the painting somehow. As I was finding pictures to of hands to help me paint I decided just painting one hand would be a lot easier because that way I wouldn’t have to try to make them match. So far for the painting I have done the background and the hand. For this painting I tired a different strategy, I tried making the layers of paint thicker and blending in a different way. Trying something different was really fun and I am excited to finish this painting.

So far I am close to meeting my goal of an average of one painting per month. I have two completed paintings, one that’s half done and one that’s three quarters completed. I think if I continue to paint outside of class I will be able to keep that up. One goal I would like to set for myself is to within the next two weeks email my mentor some questions and discussion topics about the things I have been doing at home because of the break in classes I have had. That way she can email me about and/or we can discuss when we get back to class

How to have a beautiful mind:

White Hat – Facts, Figures & Information

When my mentor introduces projects she sometimes explains the history behind the type of painting. This class my mentor told me facts about the art movement and the people who were involved when artists started painting using unnatural colors. She touched on fauvism and talked a bit about Matisse. She also shared a personal story about the time she tried to paint using the exact opposite color on the color wheel as the color she saw in reality.

Red Hat – Intuition & Emotions

In class we all had a discussion about the examples of fauvism and unnaturally colored paintings that my mentor brought for inspiration. We discussed which paintings we liked and why. For example some people preferred the nature paintings because they were more complex and brightly colored, in a different way than nature is not usually colored. My mentor also shared her feelings and personal opinions on some of the paintings.

Black Hat – Judgment & Caution

I used my black hat when thinking logically to plan my painting and when asking my mentor what the next step should be. As well as when I discuss whether or not I should add something or change something about my painting with my mentor. We also had a black hat discussion while talking about the example paintings, when we discussed why we didn’t like a certain painting.

Yellow Hat – Logical & Positive

We used a yellow hat when discussing the possibilities for the butterfly paintings and the new project that my mentor introduced. We also related the values of the example paintings to the way that we could do the project.

Green Hat – Creativity & Alternatives

My mentor used this hat when she explained the next project we were doing. She gave us a lot of creative freedom to interpret the project in whatever way we wanted or felt. She gave us many resources that could take us in all types of different directions, as well as giving us alternatives to those.

Blue Hat – Overview & Process Control

My mentor before each lesson always tells us what we will be learning and doing during that lesson. She did that at the beginning of this lesson. This lets me know where we will be going and allows me to organize my thinking and which hats I am going to use. As well, when we know what we are going to be doing we are on the same page about which hat we are using and what the purpose of the conversation is.

The Peoples Voice – During Confederation

September 1864,

It’s come to an end. My life that is. Some may say that some of the things I stood for died with me. Change is what I wanted and I was disappointed, I even resigned from the Legislative Assembly because I had lost hope. They called it reform but it wasn’t what I had in mind. Back when I was still around, the government was constantly overspending and things like the clergy reserves were still happening. It has been hard to watch ever since.

In my later years I was trying to fight these things, I drafted many new legal codes but was denied by the Assembly.Throughout my life I ran many newspapers to have my voice heard, I led riots to give the people a voice, I got into to government to try to give the people a voice and now I am witnessing these conferences. The voice of the people is not being heard at this moment in this conference, but this is a huge opportunity for change.

Now there is this chance to renegotiate and re discuss the things I was worried about all along, and I’m not even able to be part of it. The conferences thus far, have touched on some topics of my concern. There has been many discussions about the distribution of power, they talked about central government versus a federal system. Some of the conclusions they came to I agreed with, such as the ideas about representation by population and compromises between national and provincial governments. I think they are moving in the right direction. On the other hand I disagree with some of the financial arrangements being made, I don’t think they need to be spending all this money, especially on a railway. The government is always overspending and it looks like that is just going to continue.

Overall I am happy that Canada is getting away from Britain. They were to controlling of our government, we didn’t have enough power. If leaving them will help us to rearrange our own government, then I think it’s the way to go.

I wanted responsible government, I wanted true reform. There were times in my life when I lost hope, I couldn’t picture it, but now there is all this discussion of where the power will be held. I am not able to get involved so at this point there is nothing I can do but hope.


William Lyon Mackenzie

Diving In – In Depth #4

Working on my project these past weeks, I have definitely noticed an improvement. My painting results may not have changed majorly but I am starting to feel more comfortable and confident when I paint. This week I noticed a theme between the two paintings I was working on. They both evolved having to start and dive right in. As well I found myself fixing my mistakes and layers lots.

I met with my mentor again in class on February 20th. That class I was actually able to finish a painting! I worked really hard on the Modigliani I had been copying and finished it. modiglianiWhile painting, I was kind of scared to start the face in my painting. After some discussion, my mentor told me to just dive right in, so I did exactly that. The main thing I learned from painting the face was how important it I to measure with your eyes. This is a very difficult skill, but is something that can be learned through a lot of experience. My painting didn’t end up looking quite like the Modigliani because the measurements between the face’s features were different. I am still pretty proud of my painting. I also had add layers to shade the face on top of painting I had done previously. I found that more transparent watery colors worked well while adding layers to already dried paint. In class I started to feel more confident with mixing paint and the way I use my brushes. This was partly because I was using colors similar to the ones I had used previously on this painting but it is still an improvement.

Since I was not able to go to my painting lesson on Monday again I painted at my house on the weekend. I was able to apply most of the things I learned in class to this painting painting-at-homesession. I was starting a painting and I had a rough idea of what I wanted it to be but I used the internet to narrow my idea down. I decided to paint from a picture reference. I found this painting challenging, although its not close to done so far the colors haven’t turned out quite the way I wanted them to. I’m happy I just dove right into this painting though, because now I can improve the painting from what I have started. I again found myself having to measure with my eyes, it was especially important since this painting has a face in it. For this painting I found myself fixing mistakes and redoing parts a lot. I think that is important to know how to do. I am going to go back to this painting, hopefully soon, to add another layer that is part of the picture and improve it overall.

How to have a beautiful mind: how to listen & how to ask questions

What new information are you getting and what questions did you ask to probe further into the topic? My mentor and I were talking about shading the face, what colors I should use and how I can fix small mistakes if I want to change a detail while doing it. I asked questions about this so I would have a very specific plan.

Discuss any new points of view you developed while in conversation with your mentor. What were some of the alternative perceptions that are new to you. How doyour mentor values differ from yours? These questions are all things I haven’t really ran into with my mentor yet in our conversations. This is something you can see through people paintings though, their values and perspectives can be shown through their art. It is almost like another form of communication. If you look at a painting in this context you can see the commentary it is making.

What questions did you ask to check on facts and details? I asked a couple times about very specific color combinations and tones of paint. For example I asked my mentor if mixing the colors the way I was doing it was the same way we had done it last week.

Ask questions. Record them. Why did you ask these questions?

What is the best way to approach painting the face in this painting? I asked this question because I was unsure what the next steps should be, I was partially scared I would mess up the face. My mentor gave me a few tips on how to actually paint the face but mostly she told me to just jump right into it and see how it goes.

Ask for an explanation for a certain skill you are learning. I did this a few times while mixing colors. That is something I have had to work on the most. It’s very different each time and each color. My mentor has been giving me lots of tips and explanations of how to create certain colors, when to use black and white and other things.

I asked a multiple choice question when I thought my painting was close to finished. I asked my mentor what I could improve, I included areas I thought could have possible improvement. This was useful because it actually got me to think more about what I was asking before I even heard my mentors answer. I also noticed I thought of more things when saying it out loud. My mentor was then able to steer me in the right direction.

Asking the speaker to clarify his or her underlying values for doing, thinking and feeling the way they do is something that I haven’t done clearly yet this project. This is something I think would be valuable to work on because in art people have a lot of different opinions and strategies for so many different reasons and learning these would be very helpful for me.


“Type Riots” – Before Confederation

May 1826, 

You won’t believe what has just happened to me. I just received horrible news about my news paper “The Colonial Advocate”. I was in America on because I had to get away from a few of my creditors. While I was away something terrible happened to The Colonial Advocate office. A group of 11 young Tories disguised themselves as American Indigenous people and broke into the office. They destroyed my printing press and threw the type in Lake Ontario. They did this because of the things I wrote about the Tories in the paper but I still can’t believe the amount of disrespect. Of course the government has done nothing about this but I am going to sue them. I bet this whole incident is just going to make me more famous and make me more money. I am hoping to be able to re establish the business soon but it has also occurred to me that I could use this opportunity for something else.

Writing for news papers has been my focus in life up to this point. I started writing in 1810. I’ve written for many different papers since then. In my early years I went to France and then London working at papers. I then immigrated to North America. When I got there, I wrote for the Montreal Herald and then the York Observer. That is when I moved to Upper Canada. I then and started my own news paper. I did it to influence voters voting for the 8th parliament of Upper Canada. In 1824 I relocated my paper to York. That is when my papers became more controversial because of the things I was saying and the to make political statements. I’m now becoming more engaged with our government; some of the things that are happening now a days and the people in charge are making me outraged. I feel the need to riot, but in type.

This whole event resulted because I’ve been writing what people are calling “attacks” on leading Tories. I have also been sharing my opinions on reforms. The goal of my paper is to influence political change. Right now, what we need is the reform movement. I have also written about the Family Compact many times in negative ways. I have gained some popularity and a lot of backlash. I want a reform government and I’m not going to stop writing about it but I feel the need for a bigger change. I am thinking of joining the fight in the government in Canada.

Until next time,

William Lyon Mackenzie

Bluefish Cave – Early Peopling of Canada

Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada

By Lauriane Bourgeon, Ariane Burke, Thomas Higham

This article discusses the debate that is the time that people first came to North America. The article is mainly about the oldest known archaeological site in North America: Bluefish Cave. The site is in the Yukon and was excavated from 1977 to 1978. The archaeological evidence from before the discoveries of this site suggested that first peopling occurred around 14, 000 cal BP and the new evidence from Bluefish Cave shows human occupation of the site in 24, 000 cal BP. These findings show evidence that support the “Beringia standstill hypothesis” which indicates that people lived in Beringia earlier than thought and were not able to move south.

… while the Yana River sites indicate a human presence in Western Beringia ca. 32,000 cal BP, the Bluefish Caves site proves that people were in Eastern Beringia during the LGM, by at least 24,000 cal BP, thus providing long-awaited archaeological support for the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”. According to this hypothesis, a human population genetically isolated existed in Beringia from about 15,000 to 23,000 cal BP, or possibly earlier, before dispersing into North and eventually South America after the LGM.

Read the article here

Visiting Colours – In Depth #3


My project is starting to get more exciting! These past weeks have had a different focus than my project previously. Two of my three painting classes were cancelled because of the weather and family day. I have had a more independent focus, because in class we worked mostly individually and I have started taking initiative outside of class.

The last painting class I went to was all the way back in January on the 30th. For the majority of class we worked on our replications of famous paintings. I am copying a portrait of a woman by Modigiliani. We got to choose a painting to copy and I was the only person in the class who chose that one. I was attracted to the colors and the sullen facial expression on the lady. As I worked on my painting I realized how difficult it was to mix colors that match the exact ones in the painting. Creating colors has definitely been my paintingbiggest struggle throughout this project so far. I was trying to make a match for the background color and I would get it just right but I wouldn’t have enough paint mixed and I would have to make more to match the paint I just mixed. One interesting tip my teacher gave us during that class was if you want to paint to be calm, painting nature is good for that because it is easy. This is because nature is easy to alter, it is unusual so if you make a mistake it is easy to cover up. Painting man made objects, things with patterns and people are all very difficult because any mistake is obvious to the viewer. In the future I will have to think about what I want to paint in terms of the level of difficulty before I start.

Since the next two lessons after that one were canceled I went out to get all the supplies I need to paint at home. It was more of an adventure and a learning experience than I thought it would be. Our first stop was Micheals craft store. I ended up finding everything that I needed there except for paint, I wasn’t happy with the selection that they had.I remembered my art teacher talking about the art store Colours and I knew it was just down the rode. So, I decided to go to Colours to get paint, and I am happy I did. While I was finding paint there was a lady helping me. The lady helped me find what I needed and taught me something as well. It was definitely worth the trip besuppliescause I got to talk to aprofessional about which colors I wanted and in which tones and what brands to buy. This is a resource that I had not considered when I started the project. I learned about student grade paint vs professional quality. I was also able to have a conversation with this person about paint using myknowledge from class. After talking about color wheels and color mixing I decided to get primaries, this means the color is between a warm and a cool color. The colors that I mix wont be the best but since I will most likely be experimenting and exploring with this paint I didn’t want to spend the money to get a cool and warm tube of each color. Overall I learned a lot from just buying paint.

How to have a beautiful mind: how to be interesting & how to respond

To find and make connections that link matters together and generate interest I have been making a lot of connections between all the color concepts I’ve been learning. They have all been linked together because they are all about the way colors work; the way they blend and the way they compliment and contrast each other. This gets me thinking about why people are attracted to certain colors or certain themes of colors. My art teacher loves bright and contrasting colors and I tend to be attracted to dull washed out shades of grey and blue. I have made connections in conversions with my mentor and linked matters when I was talking to the lady at the art store.

To explore, to elaborate and to pull interest out of the matter is something I have been doing during our projects in class. For example I really enjoy exploring new artists and I have been able to do that while we replicate famous paintings. I talked to my mentor about the Modigliani I picked and she told me about his style and his other paintings.

To use the “what if” statement to get to new lines of thought is something I am able to do at home where I have more freedom to explore. I am able to ask questions that challenge different styles and the thought process I go through while I paint. I am able to go beyond what is possible in class at home but I want to be able to challenges myself to be able to go beyond what I think is possible.

To ask for clarification whenever you are unclear or in doubt about something the mentor tells you or shows you I ask my mentor lots of questions. I always ask for lots of clarification, sometimes because I am inexperienced and I end up learning new techniques. It can be about instructions, advice or very specific things about painting. For example I have had to ask how to match and create a certain color before and I learned about the appropriate times to use black in your paintings.

To support a point your mentor makes with additional facts, figures, evidence has been somewhat challenging but I have been using my limited experience. Generally it is hard for me to provide much factual evidence but I can use my opinions and thoughts to back up my mentors points. Although, during the first lesson we talked about what acrylic paint was and I had lots of additional facts and information because I did my research essay for English on why artists like acrylic paint.

To modify an idea to make it more acceptable to yourself and to make it stronger or more practical is something that I have not yet done but will hopefully do in the future. I can do this when my mentor gives us ideas about or for projects, I can modify them to make more beneficial for myself. If we did an activity in class that I liked, I could do it at home but modify it to perhaps challenge me more, be more tailored to my style or to improve things I struggle with.


Cultural Genocide – The Where and Why

My group was focusing on cultural genocide and what it is really is. Is it even a real thing. I have chosen to focus on accounts of cultural genocide outside of Canada. I will be looking into the aspects of cultural genocide through the lens of occurrences outside of Canada. I will also be comparing the way cultural genocide happened and the thoughts of those involved to cultural genocide in Canada.


Where have there been other accounts of cultural genocide?
In these cases did the ends justify the means?
How do these accounts compare to Canada?


When looking into occurrences of cultural genocide figure out not only the where/what but also the why. I would also like to find connections between Canada’s cultural genocide and other accounts of it, to help further my understanding and definition of cultural genocide. In the past I have been interested in the reasoning behind genocide, why would any one do what? So one of my goals is to understand the goals and reasoning of each incident of cultural genocide.


As I researched I found that there has been many incidents throughout history that have been labeled as cultural genocide. Canada and the residential schools seemed to be the most popular case of cultural genocide on the internet. There has also been occurrences in Norway, Sweden, China, Japan and Australia. I decided to focus my research on Australia and compare it to Canada. So, here is what I discovered about Australia’s cultural genocide. From my first source I read: In Australia from the 1920s to the 1960s young aboriginals – mostly mixed-race or half-caste – were taken from there families at very young ages.
‘ Up until the Sixties, an estimated 100,000 young Aborigines were dislocated by such policies – in the name of “assimilation”.The discredited policy had its origins in the 19th-century Social Darwinist belief that half- caste Aborigines could be more easily assimilated into white society than Aborigines of full descent. By fostering this, the theory went, the race would eventually die out. ‘ – Robert Milliken
The goals of the white authorities were to destroy the the “colored” children’s pasts and cultures and to eventually get rid of the aboriginals. When I read this I felt like there had to be more of a reason behind it. This occurrence is now labeled as cultural genocide and it is claimed that it was against international human rights obligations.
‘ It will highlight the UN Convention on Genocide, adopted by Australia in 1949, which includes as a definition “forcibly transferring children” from one ethnic, racial or religious group to another.” ‘ – Mark Milliken
In this case and in Canada people have called the accounts regular genocide. This is because one of the “criteria” of genocide is removing children from their family and culture. From my second source I read more about the reasoning. The European thought that aboriginal culture was going to die eventually.
‘ By the last quarter of the nineteenth‐century, it had become widely accepted among European Australians that the Aborigines were a ‘dying race,’ and this was based on the notion of the essential ‘fragility’ of Aboriginal culture in contact with Europeans. Extinction was thus simply a matter of time, so that the most Europeans could do was to ‘smooth the dying man’s pillow’. ‘ – Robert Van Krieken (4)
The European Australians hadn’t thought thought about the possibility of kids or even mixed-race kids. Tey begun to feel threated and worried about the children. They became worried “that the descendants of  a dying race might continue to haunt a White Australia for generations” (Russell McGregor). So the they decided to get rid of the mixed-race children by destroying their culture.
This source also made an interesting point about what we can call a genocide. They talked about an argument that compares the way we think about the holocaust to the way we talk about genocide. The argument compares the overuse of the holocaust analogy and how it has taken away the impact of such a horrible event to “cultural genocide” taking away the impact of genocide being about mass murder.
 ‘ Similar points can be made about ‘genocidization’  – a great deal of  time and energy gets diverted to definitional disputes, effective practical action gets tied up in a backlash from those attached to a particular understanding of  genocide, and the standard for an acknowledgement of  harm and suffering is set at an inappropriately high level.’ – Robert Van Krieken (2)
This begs the question of is destroying their culture destroying them as people? There is still people who believe the opposite of this and think that what happened in Australia was right and has improved the children. In other words, they believe the ends did justify the means.


The main difference between these two accounts of cultural genocide was the reasoning behind it. Although both were Europeans trying to erase all the aboriginals, in each case they gave sightly different reasons and had different motives. In Canada they claimed to be civilizing savages and although some may have really believed in doing that; they really wanted to steal the land. In Australia they claimed what they were doing was welfare and that they were promoting cultural assimilation, yet at the same time they were trying to get rid of all the aboriginals.
It is hard to say if the ends justified the means in either of these cases. There is similar opinions on both sides in both cases; some people claim the ends justify the means and other say the ends do not justify the means. In both cases what I have noticed is that different people think of the means in different ways. Some people thought that taking away someones culture was not killing people and so the means justified the end, but others disagree strongly. I think that questions to consider going forward would be do the ends justify the means? How can the ends and the means be viewed differently?
I found myself getting caught up in definitions, opinions and arguments more than comparing the things that actually happened. I think that this getting caught up in definitions and understandings may be happening around the world in these scenarios. One of the conclusion I have made it that people are spending a lot of time trying to decide whether or not Canada committed any kind of genocide. This is important for our understanding but we we could be making more of an effort to take action instead and take steps towards reconciliation.
  1.  Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
  2. Van Krieken, Robert. Cultural Genocide in Australia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.Academia. Web. 8 Feb. 2017