From guest contributor, author Chelsea Vowel:
At a NATO press conference in 2002, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was widely panned for saying: “Reports that say something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
As ridiculous as Rumsfeld sounded, I actually find his words to be immensely useful. I like to boil it down to a simpler version: there are known knowns, there are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns. I have been having the same conversations for the past 20 years. I challenge “known knowns” about Indigenous people – the myths and attitudes that so thoroughly permeate public perceptions and discourse. I answer the “known unknowns,” questions – like who has Indian status and who the Métis are. Most important, I try to get people to face the fact of “unknown unknowns” – the vast number of things people in Canada are simply unaware of when it comes to Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada is my attempt to gather together these conversations and put them in an easily accessible place, with lots of resources to investigate further if a particular topic catches one’s fancy. Reading this book will give Canadians a basic understanding of Indigenous issues, finally allowing us all to have that “new conversation” so many people have been talking about.
Click here to pre-order your copy of Indigenous Writes.