The dangerous self-censorship on indigenous issues


Some people think that the scholarly community self-censors when it comes to evaluating and analyzing indigenous policies and governance.

Some people think that the handful of busy indigenous leaders who go to all of the conferences and meetings, and sit on all of the boards and committees, don’t always effectively represent their communities. And couldn’t possibly do so.

Some people think that the level of consultation required to do business or conduct research in the Canadian North is unprecedented, time-consuming, unproductive and expensive. 

Some people think that the 45% of Northerners who are non-aboriginal are not equally represented. 

Some people have been effectively blacklisted from certain presses for being politically incorrect. 

Some people find themselves on the wrong side of tri-Council funding for having spoken out too loudly. 

Some people have given up on researching indigenous issues and affairs because of the politics.

Some people think indigenous people deserve constructive criticism and that academics should respect them enough to believe they can take it.

Some people are right and some people are wrong.  But we will never know which unless we have this debate.

The Emperor Has No Clothes. 

Heather Exner-Pirot

Heather Exner-Pirot is the Managing Editor of the Arctic Yearbook, a Fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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