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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - What is a Nation? Appropriation of First Nations as Canadian

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Linda Mc Nenly

The Cool Culture Soul Machine: The Anthropology of Everyday Life Lecture 4 – May 15, 2013 What is a Nation? Appropriation of First Nations as Canadian - How is meaning (of Canadian identity AND First Nation identity) produced in popular culture-everyday experiences such as tourism / sport? o The study of how we produce meaning, tells us something about the way and how we understand and interpret the world o Marginalized communicates, can either resist these dominate production of meaning, and whether they are able to produce alternative ideas and interpretations - In what ways are symbols, objects, representations, and performance used to produce Canadianness? What are the discourses? o How are culture and nature linked in this vision of Canada? - What are the power relationships at play? - In what ways are representations and meanings contested? (Agency and resistance) Outline for today’s lecture: - Popular Culture – everyday life examples: o Tourist site o Vancouver Olympics (Feb 2010) o (Mackey reading) - Theoretical approaches and frameworks: o Semiotics o Discourse, Power, Knowledge (Foucault) - Important definitions and concepts: o Representation o Stereotypes o Essentialism o Reductionism o Exoticism o Romanticized o Discourse:  Colonial discourses  Orientalism (Said) First Nation as Canadian Olympics: Aboriginal Symbols and Aboriginal Participation - Canadian National Discourse: diversity (multiculturalism), friendship, inclusion o Canada shows friendship between nations, specially the First Nations of Canada o The inclusion of the First Nations, fits into the larger discourse about the games for Canada o Promoting an image of positive relationship between friendship and partnership between Canada and First Nations people - Appropriation of Native objects and imagery to represent the Olympics: o The logo and mascot were drawn from first nation legend and myths, which have important spiritual references o Merchandising, sold as souvenirs, they were worn on team uniforms The Cool Culture Soul Machine: The Anthropology of Everyday Life Lecture 4 – May 15, 2013 o In a more abstract way, they danced and performed which was still a display of their cultural backgrounds - Native people “one of ours”, partnership and respect o By including them in the opening ceremonies, and incorporating their cultural backgrounds in our signs and symbols gives the impression that Native people are included in Canada Critiques: - Homogenization and objectification of Native peoples - Appropriated and sued in Canadian nationalism o Found in tourism, where first nation people are predominate - “Commodified nationalism” (p. 580)  erasure of real issues o Appropriating objects, and reducing cultures to these objects and modifying them to sell Canadian identity o By reducing diversity, it erases the complex social and political issues the First Nations people where we don’t see the real struggle and issues o Because of this erasure, it is difficult to bring up these struggles - With this censorship, it is obvious that powers of relations are at work here! o The national discourse is presented in a particular way, who can say what Hiwus Feasthouse: Aboriginal Symbols and Aboriginal Participation - Appropriated and used in for tourism - Is on top of Grouse Mountain – Aboriginal collaboration o Kwakwakawakw then Coast Salish o Homogenization and objectification of Native people - Aboriginal Symbols: Totem, masks, dances o Power to construct a certain discourse o During the opening ceremonies, each of the 4 Nations introduced themselves in their language, then English and then the French o And then broke it down o introduce the Aboriginals (ie, Aboriginal of the East, Aboriginal
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