CBC’s Wab Kinew on First Nations Stereotypes

Great video from CBC’s George Stromboulopoulos show and its Soap Box series. It’s “5 First Nations Stereotypes” by the entertaining Wab Kinew.

Wab, host of the Doc Zone series 8th Fire, is also a CBC News Winnipeg reporter on CBC Television, and a hip-hop artist, named by the Winnipeg Free Press as one of the top artists to watch from Manitoba. Kinew has won an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for his hip-hop and an ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival award for his journalism work for CBC News. He was also nominated for a Future Leaders of Manitoba award in 2010.

“Hey Canada, I’m Wab Kinew. I know I’m not your boyfriend, but I wouldn’t mind being your man on the side. But for this thing to work, there’s 5 things you’re going to have to stop saying about my people.”

“… I often hear this question: “What are you guys doing with the 7 billion dollars? The 7 billion dollars we give Indian Affairs, what are you guys doing with it? You know what? That money has to pay for a population the same size as New Brunswick. You know what New Brunswick spends on their population? $8 billion. And yet I never hear Canadians ask “Hey, New Brunswick! What are you doing with your 8 billion dollars?”

Finally, one of your favourites, taxes. Guess what: I’m a Status Indian, I pay income tax, I pay sales tax, I once even paid a land transfer tax. Ironic! It’s all part of a much larger stereotype that aboriginal people in Canada are getting a free ride. 140 years after the treaties, we’re still waiting for the things that we were promised in those agreements to share the land. So I ask you: who’s getting a free ride?”

“Then there’s the long hair thing. You know, some aboriginal people do wear their hair as a symbol of cultural pride. Those are the natives with beautiful long straight hair. For curly haired Ojibway such as myself, hair clippers have been the greatest invention of the white man since… the mirror.”

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