Apologies over cultural appropriation debate ‘insufficient’: Indigenous scholar
The Globe and Mail (includes correction), Published Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:04AM EDT
Aaron Mills was grateful to be invited to deliver a Walrus Talk in Surrey, B.C., on Monday night. But as a heated disagreement about cultural appropriation turned nasty, and the editor of The Walrus magazine became involved, Mr. Mills considered pulling out.
A member of the Bear Clan Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation, Mr. Mills consulted respected elders and ultimately decided to deliver his talk and use it to address the issue.
“No one can appropriate my stories,” he said in his talk at Surrey City Hall. “Not because I’m an Indigenous man; because of Indigenous law. You have no relationship with my stories. They’re of my relatives – humans, animals, plants, spirits; all alive. They’re not part of an intellectual commons just waiting to be brought to life by your particular unique imagination. To be able to tell the story is a beautiful gift and if it is given to you, it’s because it is already known that you will be grateful, that you will reciprocate.”
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