Unreserved

Exploring the complicated world of cultural identity

How Indigenous people see themselves in a world that wants to paint them all with one brush. Identity is a complicated and touchy issue in a lot of Indigenous communities.
Unreserved hit the streets and found out this simple question often has complicated answers. 1:03
Listen to the full episode40:02

This week we look at cultural identity and how Indigenous people see themselves in a world that wants to paint them all with one brush. As you might have guessed, identity is a complicated and touchy issue in a lot of Indigenous communities. 

Christi Belcourt's own identity often spills out as paint. The award winning artist is Michif and calls Lac Ste. Anne, Alta., home. She tells the story behind a powerful self-portrait that she created after being told she should not be allowed to apply for funding because she was not Indigenous enough.
Oscar Baker III. (CBC)
 

Amanda Rheaume is a Métis musician based in Ottawa with a very rich family history. And the more she dug into those stories, the more she was inspired to write about her heritage.  

Oscar Baker III grew up in two very different communities. His mother is Mi'kmaq from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick. His father is black and his hometown is St. Augustine, Florida. He was surrounded by addiction, violence and poverty. As an angry teenager he drank and looked for trouble on the streets of St. Augustine. Eventually, it would threaten to swallow his life whole. But Oscar saw an opportunity and made a life-changing decision.

Unreserved's own Kim Wheeler shares what it was like to grow up in an adopted family outside of her culture and how she found her way back. She is Mohawk and Anishinabe and was adopted out as part of the ;60s scoop or the Adopt an Indian or Métis Child program. As part of an assimilation policy the federal government took thousands of Indigenous children from their families, often without consent. 

From "redskin" to Indigenous. Unreserved takes a look at what Indigenous Peoples have been called and what they call themselves. 1:12
Amanda Rheaume. (Sean Sisk Photography)
This week's music playlist:

Indian City - Supernation

Amanda Rheaume - Keep a Fire in the Rain

William Prince - Little Things