Unreserved

Navigating the complexities of Black Indigenous identity

From the complicated history around slavery to mixed race people finding their place in community — this week on Unreserved, we are looking at the Black Indigenous experience. 
Black and Indigenous people often stand in solidarity with one another. This week on Unreserved, we look at the Black Indigenous experience. (CBC)

All eyes were on a courtroom in Minneapolis this week, when Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd.

Black and Indigenous people have long been finding solidarity in these types of moments — and the connections between them are not new.

From the complicated history around slavery to mixed race people finding their place in community — this week on Unreserved, we are looking at the Black Indigenous experience. 

The intertwined history of Black and Indigenous people can be complicated. Robert Keith Collins, an associate professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, talks about the unique history of Indigenous and Black relations on Turtle Island.

Julian Taylor's latest album, The Ridge, was nominated for two Juno Awards this year. Taylor, who is Mohawk and West Indian, struggles with belonging — a conflict that influenced his decision to not include a picture of himself on the cover of his album.

Representation matters, and Etanda Arden hadn't seen it. Arden, who is Black and Indigenous, wrote an essay for the Yellowhead Institute about the lack of Afro-Indigenous representation in Canada's education system. 

CBC is launching a new project called Black on the Prairies, a series of stories focused on the Black experience in Western Canada. Co-lead Ify Chiwetelu shares a peek at some of the stories they helped tell.

As part of the Black on the Prairies series, Melissa Brown shared her story of owning and operating an Indigenous-Caribbean fusion restaurant, and how she connects with both sides of her identity in the kitchen. 

This week's playlist:
Julian Taylor. (Lisa Macintosh)

Mumu Fresh — Say My Name

Julian Taylor — Human Race

Martha Redbone — Future Street

Pamyua — Drum I Carry (Version C)


 

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