Transcript: Like Father, Like Son | Dec 04, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, lilac shirt, and matching striped tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says FOR MANY OF US, OUR
PARENTS LOOM LARGE IN OUR LIVES,
SHAPING WHO WE ARE AND WHO WE'D
LIKE TO BECOME.
JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR WAB KINEW
KNOWS THIS WELL.
LIKE HIS FATHER, WAB IS A
HEREDITARY CHIEF.
AND BECAUSE OF HIS FATHER'S
STRUGGLES, WAB BECAME AN ACTIVE
LEADER IN THE ANISHINAABE
COMMUNITY ACROSS CANADA.
HE'S DETAILED THIS FATHER - SON
RELATIONSHIP IN HIS NEW BOOK,
“THE REASON YOU WALK.”

A picture of the book appears briefly. The cover features a picture of Wab.

Steve continues AND WE WELCOME WAB KINEW TO OUR
STUDIO.

Wab is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket over a gray shirt.

Steve continues I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVEN'T MET
YOU BEFORE THIS.

Wab says YEAH.
GOOD TO MEET YOU.

Steve says WE SORT OF TRAVEL IN
SOME OF THE SAME CIRCLES.

Wab says THE MEDIA,
BROADCASTING WORLD.

Steve says IT'S GREAT TO HAVE
YOU IN HERE, FINALLY.
LET'S START WITH A CLIP, SHALL WE?

Wab says SURE.

Steve says I'M GOING TO ASK OUR
CONTROL ROOM TO ROLL THIS AND
WE'LL COME BACK AND CHAT.
IF YOU WOULD, PLEASE?

A clip plays on screen with the title "Surviving the survivor. June 2010."
In the clip, black and white pictures flash by of a large building and groups of native children posing in school uniforms.

Wab narrates ST. MARY'S INDIAN RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL OPENED IN KENORA,
ONTARIO, IN 1894.
IT WAS RUN BY THE OBLATES UNTIL
1962 WHEN IT CLOSED.
MY FATHER WAS BROUGHT HERE BY
HIS PARENTS WHEN HE WAS 7.
IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET RID OF HIS
ANISHNABE HERITAGE, THE PRIEST
RENAMED HIM.

A man in his sixties talks to Wab in a forest, in the daytime.

The man says THAT'S HOW I GOT THAT NAME
PETER KELLY.
AND THIS IS HOW I WAS
REGISTERED.
THEN AFTER THAT, I WAS GIVEN
THIS NUMBER 54 WHICH STAYED WITH
ME ALL THE YEARS THAT I SPENT IN
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL.
AND THEY WERE LITTLE GUYS JUST
LIKE YOU.

The man holds a little boy.

Wab narrates MY SON IS FIVE YEARS OLD NOW.
HE'S THE AGE KIDS WERE WHEN THEY
WERE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR
FAMILY.
WHEN I LOOK AT HIM AND I SEE HOW
FRAIL HE IS, I WONDER IF HE
COULD TAKE A BEATING FROM AN
ADULT LIKE MY DAD DID.
I HEAR HIM CRY FOR HIS MOM
SOMETIMES AND I WONDER IF HE
COULD SURVIVE FOR 10 MONTHS
WITHOUT HIS PARENTS.

The clip ends.

Steve says FOR A DOC YOU DID
FOR CBC WINNIPEG, I GUESS IT'S
FIVE YEARS AGO NOW THAT YOU DID
THAT.
YOU WEREN'T BORN YET WHEN THE
LAST OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
WAS CLOSED.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Like father, like son. Family ties."

Wab says THE LAST ONE
CLOSED IN 1997, SO ACTUALLY I
WAS A TEENAGER.

Steve says OH, YOU WERE.
OKAY.

Wab says YEAH.

Steve says LET ME -- I GUESS
MOST OF THEM HAD ALREADY --

Wab says THE HEY-DAY
REALLY CONCLUDED IN THE 1960s,
1970s.

Steve says YOU'RE RIGHT.
'97.

Wab says MORE RECENT.

Steve says WHAT NEW
UNDERSTANDING DO YOU HOPE TO
BRING TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH YOUR
EFFORTS NOW?

The caption changes to "Wab Kinew. Author ‘The reason you walk.’ University of Winnipeg."

Wab says WELL, I THINK
THERE ARE TWO MAIN ONES THAT I'D
WANT CANADIANS TO UNDERSTAND A
LITTLE BIT BETTER.
I THINK, FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE
OFTEN HERE ABOUT THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL STORY AND WE UNDERSTAND
THAT IT'S, RIGHTLY SO, A STORY
ABOUT PAIN AND SUFFERING AND
TRAUMA.
BUT WATCHING MY FATHER,
ESPECIALLY IN THE LAST YEAR OF
HIS LIFE, GO ON THIS REMARKABLE
JOURNEY OF RECONCILIATION AND
FORGIVENESS OF SOME OF THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE THE MODERN-DAY
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
INSTITUTIONS THAT HARMED HIM, IT
ALSO REMINDED ME THAT THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL STORY IS NOT
JUST ABOUT PAIN AND TRAUMA, IT'S
ALSO A STORY OF INSPIRATION, OF
PEOPLE WHO OVERCAME INHUMANITY,
WHO EXPERIENCED TERRIBLE THINGS
AS CHILDREN, AND THOUGH IT MAY
HAVE TAKEN DECADES, IN SOME
CASES, IN THE CASE OF MY FATHER,
DID EVENTUALLY BECOME FULLY
FORMED HUMAN BEINGS, DID
EVENTUALLY BECOME FREE AND HAPPY
IN THEIR FINAL DAYS.
SO I THINK THAT'S A POWERFUL
THING FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND,
THAT THIS STORY OF RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE
NEGATIVE, THERE'S ALSO SOME
INSPIRATION AND SOME, YOU KNOW,
HUMAN -- UNIVERSAL HUMAN TRAITS
THAT WE CAN WITNESS THERE.
AND I'D ALSO WANT PEOPLE TO
BETTER UNDERSTAND THE
INTERGENERATIONAL IMPACT OF
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.

Steve says CAN I PICK UP ON
THAT WITH A QUESTION?

Wab says SURE.

Steve says YOU TELL ME IF THIS
ANALOGY IS INAPPROPRIATE, OKAY?
I OFTEN HEAR TALKING, FOR
EXAMPLE, TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS.
SLAVERY MAY HAVE BEEN OUTLAWED
IN THE 1960s, BUT THE FACT IS
WE STILL FEEL THE BURDEN OF THIS
ALL YEARS LATER BECAUSE -- AND
THEY WILL TELL YOU WHY.
IS IT THE SAME STORY FOR
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS FOR YOU?
YOU MAY NOT HAVE EXPERIENCED IT
PERSONALLY BUT YOU STILL FEEL
THE IMPACT OF IT?

Wab says YEAH, I THINK
IT'S COMPARABLE, THOUGH, YOU
KNOW, IT'S NOT EXACTLY 100 percent
SIMILAR.
THERE ARE CERTAIN WAYS IN WHICH
THE POLITICAL STRUCTURES OF THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ERA CONTINUE
TO EXIST IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY.
SO THE WAY THAT EDUCATION ON
RESERVE IS UNDERFUNDED, THE WAY
THAT THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM
TREATS ABORIGINAL POVERTY AS A
SIGN OF PARENTAL NEGLECT, YOU
KNOW, AS THE TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION REPORT
TELLS US.
THOSE ARE KIND OF A HANGOVER
POLICY-WISE FROM THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL ERA.
WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT MORE IS
THE DEFECTS IN MY CHARACTER AS
AN INDIVIDUAL TODAY THAT I THINK
BEAR, YOU KNOW, SOME CONNECTION
TO WHAT HAPPENED IN THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL.

Steve says WHAT DEFECT?

Wab says WELL, YOU KNOW,
I'M A PERSON THAT WANTS TO BE,
YOU KNOW, A SUPER DAD.
I WANT TO BE CULTIVATING
RESILIENCY AMONGST MY CHILDREN.
EVEN THOUGH I HAVE THAT PERFECT
IMAGE OF FATHERHOOD, WHEN
THEY'RE RUNNING AROUND IN THE
GROCERY STORE OR STARBUCKS, I'M
TOO QUICK TO TEMPER, TOO ANGRY,
TOO IMPATIENT.

Steve says WHERE DO YOU THINK
THAT COMES FROM?

Wab says I THINK IT COMES
FROM THE FACT THAT MY FATHER WAS
RAISED BY PRIESTS AND NUNS, BY
PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T LOVE HIM,
STRICT, HARSH DISCIPLINE.
SO HIS WHOLE IDEA OF HOW AN
ADULT SHOULD RELATE TO A CHILD
WAS BASED ON THAT, RIGHT?

Steve says VIOLENCE.

Wab says YEAH, IN SOME
CASES VIOLENCE.
SO WHEN HE RAISED ME, HOW DO YOU
THINK HE RELATED TO ME, YOU
KNOW?
HE WAS NOT AS SEVERE.
IN NO WAY WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY
WHAT I EXPERIENCED IS IN ANY WAY
COMPARABLE TO HIM.
BUT HE WAS VERY ANGRY AND HE WAS
A HARSH DISCIPLINARIAN.
NOW, TODAY, WHEN I'M A DAD, I
SEE TOO MUCH OF THAT REFLECTED
IN MY OWN BEHAVIOUR AS A PARENT.
SO TO ME THE INTERGENERATIONAL
IMPACT OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
THAT I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND
IS THAT, YOU KNOW, OUR FAMILY,
WE'RE NOT ON THE STREET, YOU
KNOW, WE'RE NOT BEGGING FOR
MONEY, WE'RE NOT CAUGHT UP IN
THAT LIFESTYLE OR THAT SORT OF
TRAP OF POVERTY ANYMORE.
BY AND LARGE WE'VE BECOME
SUCCESSFUL AND PROFESSIONAL
PEOPLE, BUT WE'RE STILL IMPACTED
IN THE WAY THAT WE RELATE TO ONE
ANOTHER.
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I BEAR
BECAUSE NO GOVERNMENT IS GOING
TO COME IN AND FIX THAT FOR ME.
NO OUTSIDE GROUP IS GOING TO
COME IN AND FIX THAT FOR ME.
THAT'S ON ME TO FIX.
IF I WANT TO SAY THAT MY
CHILDREN GROW UP FREE FROM THE
AFTER-SHOCKS OF THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL ERA, THEN I'M THE ONE WHO
IS GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK INTO MY
HEART AND MAKE MYSELF A BETTER
PERSON.

Steve says MY HUNCH IS -- LET'S
PUT IT THIS WAY.
DID YOUR DAD TAKE THE BELT TO
YOU AT VARIOUS TIMES WHEN YOU
WERE GROWING UP?

Wab says NO.

Steve says DID HE HIT YOU?

Wab says NO.

Steve says HE NEVER DID.
AND YOU'VE CERTAINLY NEVER HIT
YOUR KIDS.

Wab says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
WE'VE MADE INCREMENTAL PROGRESS.
WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY -- I KNOW
PEOPLE ARE PROBABLY LIKE, WELL,
EVERYBODY'S DAD IS STOIC AND A
LITTLE DISTANT AND ANGRY.
I'M NOT TRYING TO USE THE
AVERAGE AS A WAY TO REASSURE
MYSELF THAT I'M OKAY.
I'M TRYING TO IMAGINE WHAT IS
POSSIBLE, WHAT PERFECTION LOOKS
LIKE, AND I'M TRYING TO USE THAT
AS MOTIVATION TO BECOME A BETTER
DAD.

Steve says YOU MAKE A
DISTINCTION HERE AND I'M CURIOUS
WHY THAT IS.
IN YOUR BOOK YOU REFER TO YOUR
FATHER AS TOBASANAKWAT.
FOR YOUR BROTHERS, YOUR UNCLES,
YOU CALL THEM JOHN AND FRED
KELLY.
YOU USE THE ENGLISH NAMES I
GUESS THEY GOT AT RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOLS.
HOW COME?

Wab says WELL, MY FATHER
WAS VERY INTENTIONAL ABOUT
RECLAIMING HIS ANISHNABE
IDENTITY AS A WAY TO SEPARATE
HIMSELF FROM HIS EXPERIENCE IN
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL.
SO HE LEGALLY CHANGED HIS NAME
BACK TO HIS BIRTH NAME.
AND SO THAT'S WHY I CALL HIM
THAT IN THE BOOK.

Steve says DOES THAT MEAN
SOMETHING?

Wab says WELL, YEAH.
IT'S HIM RECLAIMING HIS --

Steve says NO, I MEAN, IF YOU
TRANSLATE --

Wab says LITERALLY?
LITERALLY IT MEANS “LOW FLYING
CLOUD” IN OUR LANGUAGE AND IT'S
ACTUALLY IMPORTANT TO THE ARC OF
THE BOOK, SO READERS WILL BE
REWARDED IF THEY PAY ATTENTION
TO THAT MEANING.
FOR MY UNCLES, IT WAS ALSO
IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO RECLAIM
THEIR ANISHINAABE IDENTITY, AND SO
THE SURVIVING BROTHER FRED, TO
TODAY HE CALLS HIMSELF -- IN
PUBLIC, HIS ANISHINAABE NAME,
WHICH MEANS “KIND WALKING BEAR.”
HE HAS NOT GONE AS FAR AS MY
FATHER DID TO CHANGE HIS NAME.
I RESPECTED THEIR OWN JOURNEYS
AND HOW FAR THEY WENT ON THEIR
RESPECTIVE PATHS AND USED THE
NAMES COMMONLY USED BY THEM.

Steve says I'M GOING TO READ AN
EXCERPT BECAUSE YOU WERE
ENCOURAGED BY YOUR PARENTS TO
SHARE YOUR CULTURE WITH YOUR
SCHOOLMATES IN WINNIPEG WHERE
YOU LIVE.
YOU GO ON TO SAY, HOWEVER...

A quote appears on screen, under the title “Everyday prejudice.” The quote reads “Having progressive parents didn’t protect me from racism. I saw its ugly face at school, and at the hockey rink.
‘Indians are stupid,’ ‘dirty Indian,’ and ‘stupid effing bogging’ are some of the phrases that stand out.
Part of the reason I hate the word Indian so much is because when I was growing up I never heard it used without an ugly adjective before it. Dumb. Drunk. Dirty.”
Quoted from Wab Kinew, “The reason you walk” (2015).

Steve says OKAY.
ANYBODY CAN GET THAT.
BUT YOU STARTED A HIP-HOP GROUP.
WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE HIP-HOP GROUP?

Wab says DEAD INDIANS.

Steve says HELP ME UNDERSTAND
WHY YOU DID THAT.

Wab says WELL, I'M A
PERSON THAT'S GROWING UP AND
EVOLVING.
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING WRITTEN ON
THE PAGE THERE IS WHERE I AM
TODAY AND HOW I VIEW THINGS
TODAY, AND WHEN I STARTED THAT
RAP GROUP, THAT'S WHERE I WAS A
DECADE AGO OR 15 YEARS AGO.
AND SO AT THE TIME I THOUGHT IT
WAS GOOD TO RECLAIM THE TERM, IN
PARTICULAR TO RE-APPROPRIATE THE
WORDS OF A U.S. CAVALRY GENERAL
WHO SAID THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN IS
A DEAD INDIAN, AND I WANTED TO
TAKE THAT BACK AND TAKE AWAY THE
POWER OF IT BY USING IT.
BUT NOW I'VE EVOLVED FURTHER AND
NOW I JUST FEEL LIKE, WELL,
THERE'S NO SENSE, IF IT'S A
HARMFUL TERM, THERE'S NO SENSE
IN USING IT AT ALL AND LET'S
JUST FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE AND
LET'S FOCUS ON BEING WHO WE
TRULY ARE.
THAT'S WHY IN THE BOOK I'VE
WRITTEN NOW, I DON'T CALL MYSELF
THAT TERM, I CALL MYSELF
ANISHINAABE.

Steve says I'VE HAD SO MUCH
ADVICE ON THIS.
LET ME TAKE YOUR ADVICE AS WELL.
FIRST NATIONS, ABORIGINAL,
INDIGENOUS?
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GO HERE?

Wab says I THINK
INDIGENOUS IS WHERE, YOU KNOW,
THE ACADEMY AND THE CONTEMPORARY
STANDARDS OF POLITENESS ARE
HEADED TOWARDS.
THE OTHER TERMS HAVE SPECIFIC
LEGAL DEFINITIONS, RIGHT?
SO ABORIGINAL IS A CATCH-ALL
TERM FOR FIRST NATIONS, Métis,
AND INUIT.
FIRST NATIONS APPLIES TO, YOU
KNOW, STATUS AND NON-STATUS
PEOPLE WHO ARE DESCENDANTS OF
THE INDIGENOUS NATION.
THE POINT I WOULD MAKE MORE
BROADLY IS THIS IS ALL KIND OF
PART OF THIS WHOLE THING THAT'S
HAPPENED TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
OVER THE PAST FEW HUNDRED YEARS,
AND THAT IS THAT WE ARE ALWAYS
BEING MADE INTO A RACE, RIGHT?
FIRST THEY WANT TO MAKE US INTO
THE RED RACE, THE INDIAN RACE,
THE ABORIGINAL RACE, AND SOON
THE INDIGENOUS RACE.
WE'RE NOT A RACE.
WE'RE NOT A RACE OF PEOPLE.
WE ARE MEMBERS OF INDIGENOUS
NATIONS.
SO I'M ANISHINAABE.
THAT'S WHY I USE THE TERM IN THE
BOOK.
OTHER PEOPLE HERE IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO MAY BE DELAWARE OR
ALGONQUIN.
OUT WEST THEY WILL BE
NUU-CHAH-NU-LUTH.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE IF THEY
REALLY WANT TO GET IT RIGHT,
THEN LEARN THE NAMES OF OUR
PEOPLE.

Steve says GOOD.
AUTHOR JOSEPH BOYDEN HAD THIS TO SAY...

A quote appears on screen, under the title “Is Canada a racist country?” The quote reads “Absolutely. Yeah, of course we are. Let’s put it this way, if you believe Canada is a post-racial society, you’re probably white and you’re probably male. Racism is alive and well, but we’re a much more polite racist than Americans.”
Joseph Boyden, as quoted on huffingtonpost.ca, October 15, 2015.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

Wab says WELL, I DISPUTE
THAT WE'RE MORE POLITE.
WE'RE STILL DEALING WITH SPORTS
TEAMS IN THIS COUNTRY THAT HAVE
LIKE THE “R” WORD AS THEIR
TITLE, WHICH IS A RACIAL SLUR IN
THE DICTIONARY IT'S DEFINED AS
OFFENSIVE AND DISPARAGING FOR
NATIVE-AMERICAN PEOPLE --

Steve says IN CASE PEOPLE DON'T
KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT,
CAN I SAY IT --

Wab says IF YOU BELIEVE IT.
JUST KIDDING.
I DON'T WANT TO SAY IT'S OKAY --

Steve says I ASSUME YOU'RE
TALKING REDSKINS, LIKE
WASHINGTON REDSKINS.

Wab says YEAH.
THERE ARE LOCAL TEAMS IN THIS
COUNTRY THAT STILL HAVE THAT
NAME AS WELL.
SO THE FACT THAT THERE'S STILL
SPACE IN PUBLIC TO USE A SLUR
AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLE -- I
KNOW WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I
STILL HEARD THE VERY UGLY, VERY
OFFENSIVE OVERT RACISM.
SOMETHING HAPPENED IN BETWEEN
THE TIME THAT I WAS 4 FEET TALL
AND 6 FEET TALL WHERE I STOPPED
HEARING THAT AS MUCH, BUT I
STILL HEAR FROM, YOU KNOW, MY
FRIENDS' KIDS THAT THEY HEAR IT
ON ICE AT THE HOCKEY RINK.

Steve says WHAT DO THEY HEAR?

Wab says WELL, YOU KNOW,
THE SAME STUFF THAT YOU JUST
READ IN THE EXCERPT FROM MY
BOOK.

Steve says TODAY?

Wab says YEAH.

Steve says TODAY AT HOCKEY GAMES?

Wab says YEAH.

Steve says SO IT HASN'T CHANGED
SINCE YOU WERE A KID?

Wab says I THINK IT'S
GOTTEN BETTER.
YEAH, I THINK IT'S LESS
ACCEPTABLE IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE,
BUT IT STILL EXISTS.
SO THERE IS STILL THAT KIND OF
OVERT RACISM IN PUBLIC.
BUT I THINK OUR COUNTRY HAS
CHANGED.
THE MAINSTREAM FOR THE MOST PART
I THINK, YOU KNOW, IN SPITE OF
WHERE THEY STAND ON VARIOUS
POLITICAL ISSUES DOES WANT TO
HAVE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
I THINK THERE'S BROAD SUPPORT
FOR THAT.
BUT THERE STILL ARE SYSTEMIC
EXAMPLES OF RACISM, RIGHT?
THE UNDERFUNDING FIRST NATIONS
SCHOOLS, FOR INSTANCE.
THE UNEQUAL FUNDING FOR CHILD
AND FAMILY SERVICES, CHILD
WELFARE ON RESERVE, AND ALSO THE
HEALTH CARE THAT IS PROVIDED TO
FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE IS
DIFFERENT.
LIKE, I WRITE IN THE BOOK ABOUT
HOW MY FATHER WOULD HAVE BEEN
ELIGIBLE IN MANITOBA FOR A
CANCER DRUG COVERAGE, BUT
BECAUSE HE WAS A FIRST NATIONS
MAN LIVING IN THAT PROVINCE, HE
WAS NOT, RIGHT?
THAT'S A SYSTEMIC EXAMPLE OF
INEQUALITY THAT PERSISTS IN THIS
COUNTRY TODAY.

Steve says AND HE WASN'T
BECAUSE HIS RELATIONSHIP IS WITH
A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT
DOESN'T DEAL WITH THIS, IT GOES
TO THE PROVINCE --

Wab says IT DATES BACK TO
THE CONSTITUTION.
YOU'VE GOT IT.

Steve says LET ME DO ONE MORE
FOLLOW-UP ON THIS ISSUE OF
SPORTS TEAMS.
THERE IS A HEIGHTENED
SENSITIVITY I THINK ABOUT IT
NOWADAYS COMPARED TO CERTAINLY
WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP.
I MEAN, NO ONE THOUGHT TWICE
ABOUT SAYING WASHINGTON REDSKINS
BACK IN THE DAY.
THEY KNOW NOW THAT IT'S NOT
COOL.
HOW FAR DO YOU WANT TO GO?
CLEVELAND INDIANS, ATLANTA
BRAVES?
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO DRAW THE
LINE?
EDMONTON ESKIMOS, FOR THAT
MATTER, IN THE C.F.L.

Wab says ANY INUIT PERSON
WOULD TELL YOU THAT THE EDMONTON
NAME IS NOT COOL.
I DON'T LIKE THE CLEVELAND NAME,
OBVIOUSLY.
BUT I DON'T NECESSARILY THINK
THAT WE HAVE TO GET RID OF ALL
OF THEM.
I KNOW THE FLORIDA SEMINOLES HAVE
TALKED TO THAT TRIBE AND GOT
PERMISSION, WHICH YOU CAN DEBATE
THE MINUTE'SSHAH
THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, THAT'S
OKAY.
IF THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE
GREAT LEADER, I'M OKAY WITH
THAT.
I'M MORE NUANCED, NOT GET RID OF
ALL OF IT.
BUT THE TERMS THAT TRIVIALIZE US
AND TURN US INTO A CARICATURE OF
OURSELVES, THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE.
THOSE SORTS OF NAMES MAKE IT
OKAY TO USE THAT TERM ON THE
PLAYGROUND OR THEY MAKE IT OKAY
TO SHOW UP AT THE SCHOOL IN A
COSTUME DRESSED UP AS AN
INDIGENOUS PERSON, AND THOSE
ACTIONS ARE VERY HARMFUL TO A
POTENTIALLY VULNERABLE OR, YOU
KNOW, A YOUNG INDIGENOUS PERSON
WHO IS STILL TRYING TO FIGURE
OUT THEIR IDENTITY, AND I WANT
TO GET AS MUCH OF THAT GARBAGE
OUT OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE AS
POSSIBLE.

Steve says SEVERAL TIMES IN THE
BOOK YOU DO SAY YOU COME FROM A
QUOTE, UNQUOTE, GOOD FAMILY.

Wab says RIGHT.

Steve says YET YOURS IS A
FAMILY THAT HAS EXPERIENCED
ALCOHOLISM, SUICIDE, NEGLECT,
INFIDELITY.

Wab says MM-HMM.

Steve says IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE
A JUDGMENTAL QUESTION, BUT HOW
IS THAT A GOOD FAMILY?

Wab says WELL, IT DEPENDS
WHAT YOU PRESENT.
IF YOU PRESENT THAT DEFINITION
OF IT, THEN, YEAH, MAYBE YOU
MIGHT QUESTION THAT.
BUT WHAT IS THE OTHER IMAGE OF
OUR FAMILY THAT'S PRESENTED IN
THE BOOK?
WHEN MY FATHER RECEIVED A
TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER, I
PUT MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER ON
HOLD TO GO BE WITH HIM, AS DID
MY YOUNGER SISTER.
SHE PUT HER STUDIES ON HARVARD
ON HOLD TO COME BACK AND BE WITH
HIM.

Steve says LOYALTY AS WELL.

Wab says WE SPENT TIME
AND FIXED OUR RELATIONSHIP AND
BY THE TIME MY FATHER LEFT THIS
WORLD, HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND.
EVERYONE HE EDUCATED IS A
PROFESSIONAL PERSON.
I HAVE TWO WONDERFUL SONS.
MY WIFE IS A SAINT, I'M MARRIED
TO A BEAUTIFUL MEDICAL DOCTOR.
WHEN YOU PRESENT THAT STORY,
YEAH, I DO COME FROM A GOOD
FAMILY.

Steve says GOOD.
WE STARTED WITH A CLIP FROM YOUR
DOCUMENTARY FROM CBC WINNIPEG.
I WANT TO SHOW ANOTHER CLIP FROM
THAT, IF WE CAN, RIGHT NOW.
MICHAEL, IF YOU WOULD, LET'S
ROLL IT.

A clip plays on screen with the title "Surviving the survivor. June 2010."
In the clip, Wab and the older man seen before walk on a field. The man picks up a wooden cross.

He says THAT'S MY DAD'S CROSS.

Wab says IS IT?

The man says YEAH.
RIGHT THERE, THAT'S WHERE MY
DAD'S BURIED.

Wab says SO WERE YOU -- WHEN THEY
BURIED HIM, WERE YOU ACTUALLY
OUT HERE, STANDING AROUND THE
GRAVE?

The man points away and says I WAS OVER THERE.

Wab narrates MY GRANDFATHER DIED AFTER
BEING HIT BY A CAR IN 1947 AND
WAS BURIED IN A CEMETERY AT
ST. MARY'S.

A black and white picture shows a group of men carrying an unadorned wood coffin.

Wab continues MY DAD WAS ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE
FUNERAL, BUT AN HOUR LATER, HE
WAS CALLED BACK TO AN ASSEMBLY
AND BEATEN BY A NUN IN FRONT OF
HIS PEERS.
HIS TRANSGRESSION: STANDING
BESIDE HIS FATHER'S COFFIN, AS
IS THE OJIBWAY CUSTOM, RATHER
THAN KNEELING LIKE A GOOD
CATHOLIC.

The man says WHEN SHE STARTED BEATING ME
UP, I RESOLVED, I'M NOT GOING TO
CRY.
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M GOING
THROUGH HERE AND SEEING MY
FATHER BEING BURIED.

Wab says YEAH.

The man says AND THIS PHYSICAL PAIN THAT
I'M FEELING, THAT'S NOTHING
COMPARED TO WHAT I FEEL.

The clip ends.

Steve says I DO WANT TO ASK A
FOLLOW-UP QUESTION ABOUT YOUR
TIME AROUND THIS TIME DOING THAT
DOCUMENTARY, IT'S ACTUALLY A
LITTLE BEFORE.
2008, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AT
THE TIME, IS CONSIDERING AN
APOLOGY, FROM THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO THE SURVIVORS OF
THE INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
SYSTEM.
AND IF I'VE GOT THIS RIGHT, THE
CBC AT THE TIME ISSUED A
DIRECTIVE TO JOURNALISTS
COVERING THAT STORY.

Wab says MM-HMM.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE DIRECTIVE?

The caption changes to "Truth and survival."

Wab says YEAH, IT WAS
ACTUALLY IMMEDIATELY LEADING UP
TO THE APOLOGY.
IT WAS ALREADY CLEAR THE
GOVERNMENT WAS GOING TO
APOLOGIZE TO THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL SURVIVORS, AND IT WAS AN
ALL-STAFF MEMO THAT SAID IN YOUR
COVERAGE OF THIS APOLOGY, YOU
ARE NOT TO USE THE TERM
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVOR, AND
THE RATIONALE THEY GAVE IS
BECAUSE IT'S TECHNICALLY
INCORRECT AND THEY GAVE A
DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE
TERM “SURVIVOR.”
IT WAS VERY OFFENSIVE TO ME ON
THE ONE LEVEL BECAUSE THE VERY
PATERNALISTIC ATTITUDE.
THEY'RE TELLING MY FATHER,
THEY'RE TELLING THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL SURVIVORS SOCIETY,
THEY'RE TELLING THEM, YOU DON'T
KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.
WE'RE THE EXPERTS.
ALLOW US TO EXPLAIN YOUR STORY
TO YOU.

Steve says WE'LL DECIDE.

Wab says EXACTLY.
IRONICALLY, IT'S THE SAME
PATERNALISTIC THINKING THAT
CHARACTERIZED PREVIOUS
RELATIONSHIPS WITH INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE.

Steve says HOW DID YOU REACT?

Wab says I REACTED WITH
FRUSTRATION AND ANGER, GOT ON
THE PHONE RIGHT AWAY AND TRIED
TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT.
IT BECAME CLEAR THAT WOULDN'T
WORK.
I DRAFTED A LETTER AND SAYING,
LOOK, EVEN USING THE DICTIONARY
DEFINITION OF THE TERM, IT IS
ACCURATE.
A PERSON, PLANT, OR ANIMAL THAT
SURVIVES DISASTERS.
MY FATHER, HIS BEST FRIEND DIED
IN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL.
THEREFORE, HE SURVIVED THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL.
LIKE, IT'S AN ACCURATE TERM TO
BE USING.
INITIALLY THIS WAS MET WITH
RESISTANCE BY THE HIGHER-UPS,
THE PEOPLE WHO SET THE
JOURNALISTIC POLICY.
BUT EVENTUALLY, AFTER A BUNCH OF
MEETINGS AND CONFERENCE CALLS
AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES
MACHINATIONS.

Steve says BEHIND THE SCENES
MACHINATIONS.
YOU THREATENED TO QUIT, DIDN'T YOU?

Wab says THAT'S WHAT
KICKED OFF THE MACHINATIONS,
YEAH.
I SAID I WOULD RESIGN IF THE
POLICY WASN'T RESCINDED AND I
FULLY INTENDED TO DO SO.
I ACTUALLY LEFT WORK ON THE DAY
THAT I MADE THAT THREAT.

Steve says DID YOUR DAD GIVE
YOU SOME ADVICE IN THAT REGARD?

Wab says HE DID.
BECAUSE WE HAD SORT OF LIKE THE
FINAL -- THE FINAL MOMENT, THE
BIG CONFERENCE CALL WHERE THE
MATTER WAS GOING TO BE DECIDED
AND, YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT I WAS
GOING TO PAINT MYSELF INTO A
CORNER.
I HAD PAINTED MYSELF INTO A
CORNER, RATHER, AND THAT I WAS
GOING TO HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH
ON THE RESIGNATION.
BUT WHAT MY FATHER SAID IS, YOU
KNOW, WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS RIGHT
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE ON THE
RIGHT SIDE OF THIS, AND SO IT
SHOULD BE SURVIVOR.
BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE ALL
RIGHT IF YOU ALLOWED THEM TO USE
THE OTHER TERM “FORMER STUDENT.”
AS WELL.
AND THE RATIONALE THAT HE TOLD
ME IS HE SAID BECAUSE YOU HAVE
TO GIVE -- EVEN IF YOU'RE ON THE
OTHER SIDE OF THE ISSUE FROM
THESE OTHER PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND THAT THEY'RE STILL
HUMAN AND THEY STILL HAVE
FEELINGS AND SELF-WORTH THAT
NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED AND YOU
HAVE TO GIVE THEM A WAY OUT THAT
ALLOWS THEM TO PRESERVE THEIR
DIGNITY.
SO YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO LOOK
LIKE THEY WERE COMPLETELY WRONG
IN THE BEGINNING, YOU WANT TO
GIVE THEM A WAY TO RESOLVE THIS
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO SAVE FACE.

Steve says THAT'S VERY
MAGNANIMOUS OF HIM.

Wab says THAT'S WHAT
HAPPENED THE NEXT DAY IS THEY
RESCINDED THE EARLIER MEMO, THEY
SAID SURVIVORS IS FINE AND
FORMER STUDENT IS OKAY TOO.
FULL CREDIT TO MY DAD'S WISDOM,
I DIDN'T HAVE TO QUIT, I DIDN'T
RESIGN, AND I WAS OKAY WITH THE
DECISION AS IT ENDED UP PLAYING
OUT.

Steve says CRISIS AVERTED.

Wab says CRISIS AVERTED.
AND SO EVERY TIME I GOT IN
TROUBLE AT CBC, I THREATENED TO
QUIT AFTER THAT.
NO CARROT MUFFINS.
I'M GOING TO QUIT.

Steve says STEPHEN HARPER MAKES
THE APOLOGY ON BEHALF OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA JUNE 2008.
AND YOU QUOTE PART OF WHAT THE
P.M. SAID IN YOUR BOOK AND
HERE'S THE QUOTE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title “A sorry state.” The quote reads “‘The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long,’ the prime minister said, in perhaps the most eloquent passage of the apology. ‘The burden is properly ours as a government, and as a country. There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential school system to ever prevail again. You have been working on recovering from this experience for a long time and in a real sense, we are now joining you on this journey.’”
Quoted from Wab Kinew, “The reason you walk” (2015)

Steve says THAT WAS THE APOLOGY
BACK IN 2008.
HOW WELL DO YOU THINK CANADA HAS
DONE LIVING UP TO ITS END OF THE
OBLIGATIONS MADE BY THE PRIME
MINISTER BACK THEN?

Wab says I WOULD SAY THAT
CANADIANS FOR THE MOST PART HAVE
DONE A GOOD JOB OF LIVING UP TO
THE APOLOGY.
THE HARPER GOVERNMENT DID NOT.
I WOULD MAKE A DISTINCTION
THERE.
THEY PURSUED A LEGISLATIVE
AGENDA THAT WAS VERY ANTAGONIST
ANTAGONISTIC AND THEY WERE
REWARDED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
SHOWING UP IN THE RECENT FEDERAL
ELECTION AND VOTING THEIR
CANDIDATES OUT OF OFFICE.
BUT BROADLY SPEAKING I DO THINK
THAT THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
STORY OFFENDED THE MAJORITY OF
CANADIANS.
MOST CANADIANS AGREE THAT THE
APOLOGY WAS THE RIGHT THING TO
DO.
AND I'VE SEEN EVIDENCE OF THAT
IN THE FINAL MEETINGS OF THE
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
COMMISSION IN VANCOUVER, IN
EDMONTON, IN OTTAWA WHERE TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, MANY OF
THEM NON-NATIVE PEOPLE, CAME OUT
TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE
SURVIVORS, BUT ALSO TO SAY, WE
WANT TO BE PART OF THIS
CONVERSATION OF HOW DO WE MOVE
FORWARD, HOW DO WE FIX THINGS?
AND I SEE MORE EVIDENCE OF THAT
IN THE WAY THAT THE EDUCATIONAL
SYSTEM IS BEING REFORMED.
IN THIS PROVINCE, ACROSS THE
WEST, AND IN OTHER PARTS OF
CANADA, HOW RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
ARE BEING BROUGHT INTO THE
CURRICULUM, HOW INDIGENOUS
KNOWLEDGE IS BEING BROUGHT INTO
THE CURRICULUM, HOW A MORE
INCLUSIVE VIEW OF CANADIAN
HISTORY THAT CELEBRATES
ABORIGINAL PEOPLE IS BROUGHT
INTO THE CURRICULUM, AND I SEE
IT IN THE ENGAGEMENT THAT THE
MAINSTREAM HAS WITH INDIGENOUS
ISSUES.
TO BE FAIR, INDIGENOUS ISSUES
ARE STILL, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT
LIKE WE DOMINATE THE POLITICAL
DISCOURSE IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT
WE'RE NOW A PART OF IT IN A WAY
THAT WASN'T THE CASE A
GENERATION AGO.

Steve says YOU'RE CERTAINLY ON
THE AGENDA IN A WAY YOU WEREN'T BEFORE.

Wab says THAT'S RIGHT.
I THINK THAT'S A SIGN OF
PROGRESS AND IT'S A SIGN THAT
MOST CANADIANS, EVEN IF THEY'RE
STRUGGLING WITH HOW DO I MAKE A
POSITIVE CHANGE, HOW AM I A PART
OF IT, THE INTENT IS THERE.
TO ME, I WOULD SAY THE AVERAGE
CANADIAN HAS, FOR THE MOST PART,
TRIED TO LIVE UP TO THE SPIRIT
OF THE APOLOGY.

Steve says ARE YOU PREPARED TO
GIVE STEPHEN HARPER CREDIT FOR
MAKING THE APOLOGY?

Wab says ABSOLUTELY.
100 PERCENT.
TO BE 100 PERCENT HONEST, THE
TWO PREVIOUS PRIME MINISTERS TO
HIM WERE CALLED ON TO MAKE AN
APOLOGY TO RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
SURVIVORS, AND THEY DID NOT.
SO, YEAH, HE DOES DESERVE THE
CREDIT FOR STANDING IN THE HOUSE
OF COMMONS AND DELIVERING THAT.

Steve says AND HAVING SAID
THAT, I PRESUME YOU'RE NOT
DISAPPOINTED TO SEE THE END OF
HIM EITHER?

Wab says NO, BECAUSE AS I
WAS SAYING, HE STOOD UP AND
DELIVERED THE APOLOGY, WHICH WAS
A GOOD THING.
BUT THEN HE FOLLOWED THAT UP
WITH A SERIES OF ACTIONS THAT
WERE AIMED AT DENIGRATING
ABORIGINAL AND TREATY RIGHTS AND
WHICH TARGETED OUR COMMUNITIES
TO HAVE OUR POLITICAL
YOU KNOW --
POWER LESSENED, TO HAVE OUR
STANDING IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE OF
THIS COUNTRY IGNORED, IF NOT
DEMEANED.

Steve says DO YOU THINK JUSTIN
TRUDEAU WILL DO BETTER?

Wab says I THINK HE
CERTAINLY GOT SOME GOOD PEOPLE
AROUND HIM, SO I THINK HE WILL.
JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD, ONE OF HIS
MPs FROM VANCOUVER GRANVILLE,
SHE'S A FORCE, SHE HAS A RECORD
NUMBER OF INDIGENOUS MPs IN
HIS CAUCUS.
SO I THINK HE'S GOT THE
POTENTIAL.
BUT AGAIN, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN PROMISED THE WORLD
BEFORE, DATING BACK TO THE
SIGNING OF THE TREATIES, AND,
YOU KNOW, WE'RE STILL WAITING ON
MANY THINGS TO BE DELIVERED ON.
I'M OPTIMISTIC, BUT I'M ALSO
CLEAR-EYED.

Steve says OPTIMISTIC AND
CLEAR-EYED.
THAT'S A GOOD WAY TO BE.
LET'S FINISH UP ON THIS: IDLE NO
MORE, WHICH WAS VERY PROMINENT
FOR A PARTICULAR PERIOD OF TIME
AND NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE.
IN YOUR VIEW, WHAT IMPACT DID IT HAVE?

The caption changes to "Closing chapters."

Wab says I THINK IDLE NO
MORE WAS ANOTHER STEP ON THE
JOURNEY.
I THINK THAT THIS JOURNEY THAT
I'M TALKING ABOUT, ABOUT
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE STEPPING OUT
INTO THE PUBLIC SPHERE OF THIS
COUNTRY IN A WAY THAT THEY
HAVEN'T DONE BEFORE, IT WAS
REALLY BEGUN BY THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL SURVIVORS.
25 YEARS AGO WHEN PHIL FONTAINE
STOOD UP AND TOLD HIS PERSONAL
STORY OF ABUSE, WHEN OTHER
SURVIVORS TOLD THEIR STORIES,
THAT HELPED PUT IT IN THE PUBLIC
SPHERE.
THEN MORE AND MORE ON THE AGENDA
AS THE APOLOGY AND THEN THE TRC,
AND THAT CLEARED THE SPACE FOR
THINGS LIKE THE ATTAWAPISKAT
CRISIS TO BE DISCUSSED IN THIS
COUNTRY.
IDLE NO MORE TOOK OVER NEWSPAPER
COVERS IN THIS COUNTRY.
AND MORE RECENTLY WITH THE FIRST
NATIONS EDUCATION AND THE
INTERNAL BICKERING IN THE A.F.N.
TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE MAINSTREAM
MEDIA, ALL OF THAT SPACE WAS
CLEARED BY THE RESIDENTIAL
SCHOOL SURVIVORS.
I PAY HOMAGE TO THEM FIRST AND
FOREMOST.

Steve says HAVE THEY RUN THEIR COURSE?

Wab says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
WE HAVE A SACRED TIME IN THIS
COUNTRY WHERE WE HAVE ACCESS TO THEM.
WE STILL HAVE ACCESS TO A PERSON
LIKE PHIL FONTAINE OR ROBERT
JOSEPH AND WE CAN HEAR THEIR
STORIES DIRECTLY FROM THEM.
I THINK WE SHOULD.
I'M A BIG BELIEVER THAT NOT ONLY
DO THEY HAVE INSIGHT INTO A DARK
ERA OF THIS COUNTRY'S PAST, THEY
CAN ALSO SHOW US HOW A PERSON
CAN RISE ABOVE THAT INHUMANITY
AND BECOME A POSITIVE PERSON,
BECOME A HAPPY PERSON, BECOME A
FREE PERSON, AND I THINK THAT'S
INSPIRING.
RETURNING TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT
IDLE NO MORE, I THINK THAT IDLE
NO MORE, IF I COULD SIMPLIFY IT,
WAS INDIGENOUS PEOPLE MOTIVATED
BY A DESIRE TO PROTECT CULTURE,
LANGUAGE, LAND, FAMILY, STANDING
UP AND TRYING TO GET RID OF
HARPER THROUGH PROTEST.
THAT FAILED.
SO TWO YEARS LATER, THEY DID THE
NEXT BEST THING AND SHOWED UP AT
THE BALLOT BOX, AND IN MANY
RIDINGS WITH HIGH INDIGENOUS
POPULATIONS, IT WORKED.

Steve says I WONDER IF I COULD
IMPOSE UPON YOU IN OUR REMAINING
TIME HERE TO SING US A SONG.

Wab says OKAY.

Steve says AND THIS IS -- THIS
IS AN IMPORTANT SONG.
THIS IS A SONG YOU SANG FOR YOUR
FATHER, I GATHER, ON THE LAST
DAY OF HIS LIFE.

Wab says YEAH.
THIS IS CALLED THE TRAVELLING
SONG.
WE SING AT THE END OF EVERY
GATHERING AND AFTER WE PREPARED
MY FATHER'S BODY FOR CREMATION,
WE SANG THIS SONG.
BUT IT'S ALSO WHERE THE TITLE OF
THE BOOK COMES FROM “THE REASON
YOU WALK.”
BECAUSE THE WORDS TO THE SONG
ARE THE CREATOR SPEAKING TO THE
PERSON LISTENING TO THE SONG
SAYING: “I AM THE REASON YOU WALK.”
AS IT WAS EXPLAINED TO ME, AS
YOU GO THROUGH LIFE, THAT REASON
BECOMES DEEPER AND MORE
FULFILLED.

Steve says SO, YEAH, INDULGE ME.

Wab sings as he gently taps his fingers on the table.

Steve says I'M SO GRATEFUL YOU
DID THAT FOR US.

Wab says THANK YOU.

Steve says I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
IT'S SO GOOD TO GET TO KNOW YOU
A LITTLE BIT HERE.

Wab says THANKS FOR
HAVING ME.

The caption changes to "Produced by Gregg Thurlbeck, @greggthurlbeck"

Steve says “THE REASON YOU
WALK” IS THE NAME OF THE BOOK
VIA THE UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG.
THAT'S WAB KINEW.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR VISITING US
AT TVO TONIGHT.

Wab says GREAT TO BE HERE.

Watch: Like Father, Like Son