The issue of racism in popular culture came up this week in Winnipeg, when indigenous educator Tasha Spillett complained to a book store about the images in the hugely popular comic Tintin in America.

While guest hosting Unreserved this week, I had a chance to speak about the incident — and racism in literature — with renowned Tlicho storyteller Richard Van Camp. He's the author of several books and more recently several graphic novels.

Tim Fontaine - old image

Unreserved guest host Tim Fontaine. (Supplied)

Van Camp says he and other indigenous artists have had enough of tired, old, negative stereotypes. He's part of a movement that wants the world to see indigenous people through an indigenous lens.

With an ever-growing number of indigenous authors and artists, Van Camp says maybe the time has come for publishers to update and re-imagine classic works with their help.

This week on Unreserved

Sheila Watt-Cloutier discusses her new book The Right to be Cold. Watt-Cloutier was raised by her mother and grandmother in the small Arctic community of Kuujjuaq, QueAt the age of 10, she was sent away to school in southern Canada and she lost touch with this traditional way of life.

Fifty years later, Watt-Cloutier has become an Inuit leader, an internationally renowned activist and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. 

Winnipeg artist K.C. Adams, who is of Cree, Ojibway and British descent, speaks about her latest project, Perception — born of the need to fight racism in Winnipeg, prior to the Maclean's magazine article proclaiming the city to the be the most racist in Canada.

CBC freelancer Janet Rogers speaks with Art Napoleon, a Cree-language speaker and musician, about sharing his knowledge of the Cree language in an urban community.

David Hart performs traditional music and sings in English and Innu. David`s goal? To play every aboriginal community in Quebec, for starters.

We'll hear music by Hart, as well as Dustin Harder and the Dusty Roads Band, Shawnee, and Art Napolean.


Tune into CBC Radio One after the 5 p.m. news in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut and after the 4 p.m. news in Yukon and the N.W.T. for these stories and more on Unreserved. You can also listen on demand.​