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It’s Debatable: Indigenous rights

The Story

"The biggest crime... is treating us as a problem instead of as people," says Marlene Castellano, a university-educated Indigenous woman. She's on a panel with two white students debating Indigenous rights in this 1968 episode of It's Debatable. When the students suggest Aboriginal people try "bettering themselves," Castellano takes offence. "What you are saying is that the white man's way of life is good and the Indian's way of life is bad, and the Indian should abandon his way of life - and this is the choice that we will not accept."

Medium: Radio
Program: It's Debatable
Broadcast Date: Dec. 13, 1968
Guests: Marlene Castellano, Peter Mills, Dave Thompson
Announcer: George Finstad
Moderator: Elwy Yost
Duration: 29:29
Photo: S.J. Bailey/Library and Archives Canada/PA-167636

Did You know?

• Marlene Castellano became an Indigenous studies professor at Trent University in the early 1970s.

• She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004 after a lifetime of fighting for Indigenous rights. "I'm one of few people who is putting into words what Aboriginal people are telling me," she commented. "If you see me going forward to accept the insignia of the Order of Canada, you can imagine a whole host of people at my shoulders who have given me the words to pass along."


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