The Olympic Games for White People

Hosting an Olympic Games is a highly sought after honor. The host country has the opportunity to house the world’s best athletes, attract foreigners and share their national pride. National pride is most explicitly shown in the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s article, “A Portrait of This Country Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies” assess the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremony by closely examining the faults in the multicultural society that Canada calls themselves and how these faults subtly translate and appear in the opening.   Published two years after the games in 2012 in TOPIA Kalaman-Lamb criticizes Vancouver’s openings portrayal of a multicultural society by claiming that at “these ceremonies, [are a] much more explicit notion of racial privilege” (7). By contrasting white people’s power in Canada to Indigenous people, and people of color it becomes more evident that Canada is facing a racial inequality problem that is covered by the facade of multiculturalism. Kalman-Lamb is so successful in his argument because he analyzes the perspective of the oppressed, oppressor and takes into account many academic scholars points of view regarding general multiculturalism, racism and white supremacy. Despite multiculturalisms attempts to be respectful to all cultures within the Canadian borders, Canadian multiculturalism is completely disrupted by the overall goal to enhance and maintain whites power in Canada. The fear of losing power and goal to gain and maintain power for whites is subtly hidden underneath the visual beauty of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Beginning his article with respect towards hosting the games an opportunity and a “crucial moment of nation-building and representation for the Canadian nation” Kalman-Lamb seems to be filled with a  sense of hope (5). This hope at the beginning of the ceremony for Canada to successfully show their multiculturalism is quickly lost when Kalman-Lamb critiques the ceremony and compares the representation of indigenous people to the representation of white people. The beginning of the ceremony is dominated by  indigenous people and the end is dominated by whites. This disappearance of natives as the ceremony progressives, as well as the speeches Indigenous make in the beginning saying “we welcome you” makes negatives seem like people of the past (17). This heightens the current importance of whites and the future and possible growth of whites power while further belittling and adding to the idea of a vanishing Indigenous race.

This article makes me question the role of olympics as a whole.I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics and definitely think they are a really awesome way to being together nations, people and the world. But, now I can now more clearly see how so many problems arise along with the good qualities of the Games. I think it is extremely important to criticizes theses events and I agree with most of what Kalman-Lamb says, but I can’t help but wonder, how much is too much?  Kalman-Lamb brings up hockey and winter sports stating that by celebrating hockey, this celebration “ also becomes a celebration of white culture in Canada” (14). I agree that the celebration of hokey is a celebration of whites but then I wonder: is it possible to celebrate anything without putting down another?

Works Cited

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Multicultural Studies, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27, Accessed 6 March 2018.



How Multiculturalism Can Go Wrong

It takes more than welcoming members of Indigenous societies into a box reserved for heads of state to prove you’re a multicultural nation, even if that can be all it takes to convince people of it.

Native performers. 2010 Olympics

Native performers at the 2010 Toronto Olympics opening ceremony

In his article, “A Portrait of This Country,” Nathan Kalman-Lamb argues that “[u]ltimately, the [2010 Toronto Olympic opening] ceremonies are a performance of white pride and hegemony” (Kalman-Lamb 24). The article was published in the 2012 Spring edition of TOPIA, so two years after the ceremonies themselves. As Kalman-Lamb understands it, this ceremony is used by Canada to portray Indigenous people as the nation’s origin, thus firmly rooting them as a multicultural society, and that frees them to portray the modern Canada in whiteness without the need to display or acknowledge the other non-white people of Canada. Kalman-Lamb employs numerous essays and articles to push his points that the Olympic opening ceremonies have become a way for host countries to dramatize their cultural identity and that Indigenous people, unlike other minorities in Canada threaten the multicultural image of the nation by being able to point out that they “continue to be a colonized population” (Kalman-Lamb 14). He also points out that the recognition of First Nations in the beginning of the ceremony is insidious in that it puts forth a narrative Indigenous people being part of the past and complicit with their current situation.

Canadian fiddlers during the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony

After an Indigenous opening, a celebration of diversity in whiteness overtakes the ceremony

There was one essential difference I noticed in the ceremonies in comparison to Kalman-Lamb’s analysis. During the transition from Indigenous to white Canadians, totem poles rise up and become trees (olympicvancouver2010). While I wasn’t aware of the history of their appropriation and it certainly makes me look at the moment differently, I thought it was significant that faces upon the totems cried before they turned into trees. Kalman-Lamb describes this “perpetuating the national fantasy of association between Indigeneity and wilderness,” but while that may be true, I also took it as admitting, in some small way, the pain felt by Indigenous people and the cause of it (Kalman-Lamb 18). And while I did pick up on the sensation of wrongness of the First Nations’ part in the ceremony and the lack of representation of other minorities, I didn’t realize to what extent the ceremony was choreographed to justify that wrongness.


Works Cited

“Complete Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony – Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.” YouTube, uploaded by olympicvancouver2010, 11 April 2010,

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA, no. 27, Spring 2012, pp. 5-27, Accessed 3 Mar. 2018.

Blog Post 4

Is Multiculturalism a Disguise?

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies is supposed to internationally define Canada as a multicultural society, yet, it blankets the racial inequalities associated with multiculturalism. Nathan Kalman-Lamb addresses how multiculturalism benefits “authentic” white Canadians at the expense of minorities in his article, “A Portrait of This Country” (2012).

The article, published in the TOPIA journal, shows that Canada’s multiculturalism is a celebration of racial privilege rather than an attempt to celebrate the diversity of all cultures. The opening ceremonies did not portray Canada as a popular multiculturalist country. It did not even demonstrate how or if Canada breaks down “structural inequalities” (Kalman-Lamb 8). Kalman-Lamb claims that the opening ceremonies encompass official multiculturalism “in which whiteness performs its hegemony through complex and shifting representations of its Others” (8). These shifting representations shows the prominence of Indigeneity and how it progresses misrepresentations of Indigenous “culture, history and identity” (Kalman-Lamb 7).

The goal of this text is to show that even though the opening ceremonies had Indigenous performances, there were still “displays of whiteness” (Kalman-Lamb 23). The ceremonies celebrated “‘authentic’ (white) Canadian identity” instead of focusing on the celebration of Indigenous peoples (Kalman-Lamb 23). This idea is shown through the example of the four totem poles. After the poles had transformed into trees, a ballet troupe performs beneath them. Even though some of the dancers are non-white, the emphasis is placed on the symbolism of ballet since it represents “white European cultural heritage” (Kalman-Lamb 13). Kalman-Lamb provides evidence for the celebration of whiteness that is prominent throughout the ceremony.


Kalhman-Lambs analysis specifies that “whiteness [is] at the core of Canada’s multicultural identity (5). His article causes me to question of whether or not the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies used multiculturalism to “disguise the persistence of [Canada’s] structural inequalities” (Kahlman-Lamb 9).

Works Cited

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27, Accessed 7 March 2018.


Within Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s article “A Portrait of This Country: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies”, he “examines how the performance of Canadian identity in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies reflects the persistence of whiteness at the core of Canada’s multicultural identity” (Kalman-Lamb, 1). Written in 2012, published in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Kalman-Lamb argues that the incorporation of Canada’s Indigenous People was simply a matter of strategic planning. He continues that the narrative of the four host nations during the ceremony cast “Aboriginal people as the first multiculture, but also creates the impression that they are apart of a past that no longer exists” (Kalman-Lamb, 15). Kalman-Lamb dissects the history of the Canadian government with its Aboriginal Peoples and realized that Canada forced this social concept of ‘multiculturalism’ to deny the indigenous of their sovereignty. He notes how Prime Minister “Pierre Elliot Trudeau government’s 1969 White Paper, attempted to eliminate all legal distinctions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada” (Kalman-Lamb, 15). Specifically, by imposing executive, multicultural legislation, that legally equates the Indigenous with all other (im)migrants, then they are no longer respected or valued as a sovereign nation. By equating the Indigenous to every other Canadian, they are robbed of the legal protections and rights granted to them through their treaties.

This article helped me analyze the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics because it provided great background information on Canadian multiculturalism. Given the history of the Aboriginals and immigrants that make up Canada’s society, I was able to thoroughly understand the intentions of the performances performed. Kalman-Lamb’s article consists of lots of imagery to describe the performance scenes during the opening ceremonies. In comparison to Kalman-Lamb’s observation, I’ve suspected the need for the Indigenous presence during the ceremony to represent inclusivity. Upon first watching the ceremony, I felt in a way, uncomfortable with the performance of Canada’s Aboriginal. I’ve sensed this need for Canada wanting to ‘show off’ or put their ‘multicultural’ society on full display. I believe that this performance was at the expense of the Aboriginal. Aside from the fact that a great majority of the performers during the Native contribution visibly weren’t of any Native descent and that the ‘partnership’ depicted between the Natives and the European colonizers was inaccurately portrayed as peaceful and compliant, I was bothered by the fact that the Natives were only limited to the beginning segment of the ceremony. This observation here linked to Kalman-Lamb’s notion that “while Indigenous Canadians are clearly represented as the founding figures in the nation’s history, viewers are shown that they are not the endpoint of this history. Indigenous involvement is featured prominently at the beginning of the ceremonies but is almost entirely invisible at the end” (Kalman-Lamb, 17).


Works Cited:

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27,                      Accessed 7 March 2018.


The Vancouver Opening Ceremonies: A Celebration of the White Canadian Identity

The Olympic Ceremony is an event which extends the opportunity for a country to represent themselves and present their national identity to the world. This can be done in a number of ways, but when it is done, it is obvious and is often critiqued. Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s article, “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies” was written in 2012 and was published in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Kalman-Lamb examines the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and describes what he observed as a reflection of “whiteness at the core of Canada’s multicultural identity” (Kalman-Lamb 5). He argues that the ceremony celebrated white cultures in Canada, and gave the impression that Indigenous peoples are “part of a past that no longer exists” (15). Moreover, Kalman-Lamb admits that there was acknowledgement of Indigenous peoples in the ceremonies, but highlights the disparity between appropriation and appreciation. Ultimately, Kalman-Lamb explains that the ceremonies were a “performance of white pride and hegemony” (24).white Canadian man drinking beer

Kalman-Lamb begins his article by explaining that hosting the Olympic games is “an opportunity…to enact [one’s] national identity” (6). He then critiques the ceremonies, recounting the means by which multiculturalism was highlighted. He explains that “rather than the broad spectrum of cultures that compose the Canadian nation,” there are “repeated representations of Indigenous culture” (7). However, while moving through the piece, it becomes clear that these representations are not repeated, but instead displayed exclusively at the beginning of the ceremony. The majority celebrates Canadian whiteness, and the need of a presence of Indigenous culture in the ceremony is basically checked off. Including Indigenous culture at only the beginning of the ceremony manifests modern Canada as “profoundly white” (17). While the opening ceremonies begin with performances of Indigenous identity, they end with displays of whiteness and thus “function as a” (23). The Vancouver 2010 Olympic ceremonies transform from an enactment of Canadian national identity into a “performance of white pride and hegemony” (24).

USA men looking bored in Canada

Kalman-Lamb effectively explains the faults of Canadian multiculturalism and how they were reflected in their Olympic ceremonies. However, a question arises of whether Canada intentionally proclaimed their whiteness, or if it was asserted inadvertently. Regardless of the answer to this question, Canada is at fault for merely displaying and not celebrating a culture, a fundamental aspect of multiculturalism. Canadian multiculturalism should serve to “attempt to produce equity and social justice by foregrounding and celebrating the ethnic diversity of Canadian society,” but in the context of the 2010 Olympic ceremonies, it “stand[s] in as a code word for imagined racial differences” (9).


Works Cited

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27,                      Accessed 7 March 2018.

Multiculturalism Gone Wrong

Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s article, “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies” was published in TOPIA (2012), two years after the Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremonies. In his article, Kalman-Lamb analyzes the role of Indigeneity in Canada. The article distinguishes between the use of Indigeneity as a way of uniting the country through multiculturalism, and of showing Indigeneity’s exotic-ness, which divides the country. By revealing that indigenous cultures are now considered “exotic” in Canada, the opening ceremonies portrays a generalized, White, Canadian culture that does not include the practices of indigenous people.


Kalman-Lamb brings up Prime Minister Trudeau’s attempts to focus on Canada’s multiculturalism. He says, “multiculturalism has been a central component of Canadian identity since Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau governed the country in the 1970s and 1980s” (6). The article suggests that Canada attempts to portray its emphasis on multiculturalism, that has been a priority for the past 40 years. However, the article states that the Opening Ceremonies do not show the role of Indigeneity in everyday Canadian culture. It states, “moreover, the use of Indigeneity as a symbol of a history of multiculturalism permits the nation to perform its present and future as white” (16). From this perspective, Indigeneity is not encompassed in Canadian culture, but is an outdated part of Canadian history.

Furthermore, Kalman-Lamb’s article continues to reflect the idea that indigenous peoples of the opening ceremonies are not included in the general Canadian culture. By the end of the ceremony,  the “Indigenous presence disappears” (17). The indigenous peoples are recognized only as a way of shifting from a historical indigenous Canadian culture to a modern-day white Canadian culture.

Additionally, Kalman-Lamb states that certain populations of Canadians, such as the Chinese and Indian Canadians, are brought up when the Chinese and Indian teams enter the stadium. By specifically addressing them and comparing them to China and India, the commentators “[position the Chinese Canadian and Indian Canadian populations] as outsiders, underlining their difference from normative whiteness and their consequently precarious status in the nation” (11). This outsider perspective makes the Indigenous people stand apart from the rest of Canada.

From this perspective, Canada wants to recognize the differences of its many inhabitants, while also maintaining  warm relationships with them. That is why Canada actively has the Host Nations welcoming people to the Olympics. Kalman-Lamb’s article reminds the audience that what the opening ceremonies leaves out is that “of the 203 Aboriginal bands in British Columbia, eighty refused to participate in the games” (21). It is impossible for Canada to appear a shining light of multiculturalism if it acknowledges that eighty Aboriginal bands were upset by its actions.

This article makes me question the role of the Host Nations that welcomed people to the Olympics. Did the Host Nations support all elements of the Olympics? Or were the Host Nations told how to act and informed, rather than asked, that the Olympics would use their land for certain events? Was the power left with the Host Nations, or with Canada?


Works Cited

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27, Accessed 6 March 2018.

The Veil of Multiculturalism

The purpose of any Olympic opening ceremony is to provide a snapshot of the host country to an international audience through a projection of culture and history. Undoubtedly, questions and judgment arise in the wakes of such displays to analyze how various topics – like multiculturalism – were presented. Nathan Kalman-Lamb, author of “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies,” uses this article to analyze how Canada’s multicultural society and rich Indigenous ties were portrayed during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In 2012, his article was featured in TOPIA: The Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies as an attempt to critique Canada’s presentation of multiculturalism and its foundation in the whiteness of Canadian society (Nathan Kalman-Lamb). Further, Kalman-Lamb argues how the projection of multiculturalism during these ceremonies was a sort of cover-up to truly portray and exude that evident whiteness.

Throughout the article, Kalman-Lamb directly refers to imagery and scenes during the ceremonies, linking his ideas as a progression through the display. He draws particular attention to Natives, Canadian society, and their proclaimed multicultural identity, while intertwining these notions with broader implications of the inherent whiteness that underscores the ceremonies. Kalman-Lamb makes an important observation of the ceremonies in that “Indigenous involvement is featured prominently at the beginning of the ceremonies but is almost entirely invisible at the end” when the white population appears (17). In citing this transition, he highlights the shift to current Canadian ‘multicultural’ society. Kalman-Lamb argues that “the use of Indigeneity as a symbol of a history of multiculturalism permits the nation to perform its present and future as white” (16). He suggests that the presentation of Natives strictly at the start insinuates that they are just that…a history…not part of present-day society. Kalman-Lamb’s recurring mention of the subtle, yet increasingly obvious, switch in representation demonstrates that whiteness will dominate, undermining efforts to appear culturally comprehensive (13). This assessment stresses the need to reevaluate the deeper implications of such an outward event.

This article, in its entirety, provides layers of new interpretation to these ceremonies. Kalman-Lamb frames multiculturalism as a major topic of conversation and introduces the debate surrounding Olympic ceremonies in general by mentioning how other countries portray themselves (9, 11). Additionally, when watching the opening ceremonies, I questioned why Indigenous peoples agreed to participate in this way. Kalman-Lamb’s answer, regarding money and land, clarifies some of the motivation behind this (20). However, I am still left with questions going forward. In future games, how can we more accurately portray multiculturalism in the context of a broadcasted event?


Works Cited
Kalman-Lamb, Nathan. “‘A Portrait of This Country’: Whiteness, Indigeneity, Multiculturalism and the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Multicultural Studies, no. 27, 2012, pp. 5-27, Accessed
6 March 2018.

Nathan Kalman-Lamb. Nathan Kalman-Lamb, n.d.,
Accessed 6 March 2018.


Canada: A Well-Mannered Nation

Canada is a nation whose citizens are stereotyped for saying “eh” a lot, obsessing over hockey, and for being super polite. It is a country which prides itself over their manners and for not being like America. In her OpEd essay, “Canadians Must Never Take Multiculturalism for Granted,” published in The Globe and Mail in 2016, Erna Paris explains the multicultural aspect of Canada and its beginnings. She explains that Canadian culture has always been multicultural with regard to the ways in which citizens behave and communicate with one another, but states that laws created have served to assure the multicultural aspect of Canada.

Bugs bunny cutting Canada away from the United States

Paris begins her piece by explaining the reason for the need to be a multicultural nation in a historical sense, stating that since most Canadians are immigrants, there have been “quarrels” and “flare-ups” as a result of “a culturally disparate population” and identifies the key of being a stable nation as “steady pragmatism” (Paris 1). A bulk of her essay addresses an ideology of legal Canadian multiculturalism which allows for its evolution, assimilating as necessary to fit with the changing values and ideas of Canadian culture.

Canadians "fighting" over a hockey puck

Paris’ explanation of the way multiculturalism is able to shift with divergent ideas shows to be specifically useful in introducing debates around Canadian multiculturalism because of the way she uses specific historical examples. For instance, Paris references the social atmosphere which existed prior to the beginning of the Second World War, identifying the reason for immigrants from outside Britain being rejected as “inassimilable” (1). Then, she speaks of the man who united Canada, Pierre Trudeau, and states that his policy that “no singular culture could, or would, define Canada” (1). His statements and actions are said to have united Canada, so her referencing such an influential man serves to establish some credibility in her opinion piece.

Although being sufficiently helpful in unpacking the history of Canadian multiculturalism, Paris’ article shows to be limited in its explanation of Canadian citizenship and the social atmosphere which exists within Canada. The only area where she addresses Canadian characteristics is in her hook, where she speaks of other nations and contrasts those nations with Canada, stating that they make Canada look “like an island of stability” (1). She fails to address what makes a Canadian a Canadian and separates them from citizens in different countries. This makes me question the character of herself and Canadian citizens; if people in this nation are so mannered and accepting of different cultures, why does she boast about Canada in this essay and address negative aspects of other countries?


Works Cited

Paris, Erna. “Canadians must never take multiculturalism for granted.” Globe and Mail, 7 July 2016. Accessed 3 March 2018.

Theory to Practice = Books to Actions

Indigenous Communities in the Americas have forcibly lived on the periphery. Native People have historically been excluded from conversations about their people and nations, as though they’re imbeciles. While legally sovereign, Native Communities have had to continually negotiate their sovereignty with the imperial governments occupying their lands. Consequently, Native People incessantly resist their physical and historical erasure. Literature has been a mode of resisting imperialism, reimagining the future of Native Communities, and rearticulating the grand narratives concerning Native People’s histories.

In The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (2014), edited by James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice, Same McKegney, in “Beyond Continuance: Criticism of Indigenous Literatures in Canada,” makes claims about the revolutionary potential of Indigenous Literature. They consider the sentiments of Indigenous authors and how they imagine the politics of literature. McKegney “seeks to map the critical terrain between the anticipatory moment when… the proliferation of Indigenous literary production would foster Indigenous “endurance” and the moment…which… “endurance” no longer an adequate aspiration for Indigenous literary artists or the critics who grapple with their work” (410). McKegney’s interest lie in the ascendancy of Indigenous literature, as an accepted literary genre, and its ontological evolution—one that required more! McKegney consider questions of: (mis)representation, survival, continuance, culture-specific, and endurance.

For an Okanagan writer, Jeanette Armstrong, “‘the task of Native writers’ is to ‘examine the past and culturally affirm toward a new vision for all people in the future” (Cox and Justice 410). Armstrong’s assessment of Native writers’ duty suggests a reimagining of the misrepresented past and ensuring the Native People’s cultural survival, or their cultural continuance. Armstrong says “examine the past.” An examination of the past necessitates deep contextual analysis. But to arrive at a location of cultural affirmation for future generations that requires a reimagining. One must grapple with the historical trauma experienced, whose legacies contemporarily manifest as toxic behaviors. Reimagining here does not mean forget; it means not becoming marred in the terror, but using it as a foundation for the future.

The excerpt illuminates the transition, or demand, from theory to practice. Armstrong’s above quote highlights the theoretical responsibility of Native writers, and by extension Indigenous literature. The term vision amplifies Armstrong’s theoretical understanding of literature. Nevertheless, Armstrong introduces a second “task” of Native writers: to “‘provide an integral mechanism for solutions currently needed in this country’” (410). Armstrong’s second task moves the work of the Indigenous writer from the page and into the world that affronts Native Communities. However, both the theoretical and the practical are equally necessary for the survival of Multiculturalism: without the literature non-Native Persons might not know the histories of Native Nations, but without the action non-Native Persons might not initiate change.

Works Cited:

McKegney, Sam. “Beyond Continuance: Criticism of Indigenous Literatures in Canada.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, edited by James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice, U of Oxford, 2014, pp. 409-412.



Cautioning Canadians

“In a world of closing doors, Canada is embracing inclusion” (John Ibbiston). Toronto native and non-fiction author, Erna Paris, titled her OpEd as a warning that “Canadians must never take multiculturalism for granted”, published in The Globe and Mail on July 7 of 2016. Throughout Paris’ piece, she emphasizes on the parallels between multiculturalism in Canada and America’s rocky stance on immigration given Donald Trump’s blatant “bellowing” of his disapproval of immigrants from ‘shit-hole countries’ such as Haitian and African nations. Paris urges that although Canada now enforces public policies that support the presence of all distinct ethnic groups in Canada, they must realize that the lack of the erasure of deeply rooted bigotry could hinder Canada’s multicultural achievements.  



Erna Paris published this piece with the intent of cautioning Canadians that Canada’s efforts to include and respect multicultural groups within Canada can be quickly snatched away if the leaders of Canada fail to protect it. Paris included former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s, derogatory description of varying Candian ethnic groups as having “barbaric cultural practices” (1). I think Paris mentioned this to suggest that while although “Canada looks like an island of stability” given its implementation of inclusiveness, they can appear just as unstable as America given Donald Trump’s perspective on multiculturalism, with the comments that their leaders publicly make in regards of cultural diversity in Canadian society (2).  

I believe that this article is particularly helpful as an introduction to the debates around multiculturalism in a Candian context because it highlights Canada’s achievements, yet emphasizes how quickly they could be seized. Paris gives credit to Canada for implementing policies that are both inclusive and respectful of different ethnic groups within Candian society while simultaneously urging that those same achievements stand vulnerable if they aren’t protected and valued by the very leaders that represent Canadian society.  

 This article forces me to question the leadership of Canada. I now wonder if the implementation of Multiculturalism was a progressive step that Canadian society wanted to implement and execute, or was it just a policy created to ‘suggest’ that Canada is accepting of ethnic and cultural diversity?  


“In a world of closing doors, Canada is embracing inclusion”. The Globe and Mail. 2016. 


Canadians must never take multiculturalism for granted”. The Globe and Mail. 2017.