Thursday, November 14, 2019

[Honor Song - Jeremy Dutcher]

I've been listening to the music of Jeremy Dutcher lately -- and have heard from several friends who have seen Jeremy in concert in the past few months...

           direct link if video does not appear above

About Jeremy Dutcher
Performer, composer, activist, musicologist — these roles are all infused into his art and way of life. His music, too, transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his home,and teeming with the urgency of modern-day struggles of resistance.

A member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Jeremy first did music studies in Halifax before taking a chance to work in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq songs from 1907 wax cylinders. “Many of the songs I’d never heard before, because our musical tradition on the East Coast was suppressed by the Canadian Government’s Indian Act.” Jeremy heard ancestral voices singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik generations ago.

As he listened to each recording, he felt his own musical impulses stirring from deep within. Long days at the archives turned into long nights at the piano, feeling out melodies and phrases, deep in dialogue with the voices of his ancestors. These “collaborative”compositions, collected together on his debut LP Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, are like nothing you’ve ever heard. Delicate, sublime vocal melodies ring out atop piano lines that cascade through a vibrant range of emotions. The anguish and joy of the past erupt fervently into the present through Jeremy’s bold approach to composition and raw, affective performances enhanced by his outstanding tenor techniques.

“I’m doing this work because there’s only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left,” he says. “It’s crucial for us to make sure that we’re using our language and passing it on to the next generation. If you lose the language, you’re not just losing words; you’re losing an entire way of seeing and experiencing the world from a distinctly indigenous perspective.”

Further reading:

Friday, November 08, 2019

[all people and all genders...]

This is at the top of our church bulletin. I like that it says "all peoples and genders"... nicely includes non-binary people as well as Two Spirit people, which is very appropriate in a Treaty statement. Also a small but fitting indicator of being an affirming parish.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

an affirming and embracing parish

Our parish announced this summer that they are an inclusive parish and that they will perform same-sex marriages. Subsequently, I was asked to be on a committee to help make this a reality.

The following mind map contains some of the ideas I've been thinking about in preparation for our first meeting:

an affirming and embracing parish -- mind map by rob goetze. Too complex to type out. See linked PDF

Click image above for a bigger version.

Click here for a PDF version of this mind map
Note: the PDF version may be more recent.

Friday, October 11, 2019

conference emcee

Hey guys! As good as some of the other resources I highlight have been, I know you've all been waiting for another original cartoon from me -- and here it is!

men's conference cartoon by rob goetze. Image of speaker at podium, welcoming participants: "Gentlemen, welcome to our conference!" Some women in the crowd say, "Hey, what about us women?" Emcee says, "Oh, so sorry. Hey guys, welcome to our conference!" Woman says, "Now that's better."

I work in an office environment where the majority of staff are female, and "guys" is the most common form of address in a meeting of any size. What's worse is "your guys's" as in, "I read your guys's report...".

I remember when the transition from "man" to "human" and from "mankind" to "humankind" was taking place. It was hard for some people to grasp how using the same word for both "all members of a group" and "one specific type of member of a group" should not be done, how it made that one specific type of member the standard for the whole group.

Imagine if there were four kinds of dogs: German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Shih Tzu Bichons, and Dogs. How would that work?

Alternative words to use in welcoming remarks, greetings and more:
Occupational titles as applicable (I.e., Teachers, for a teachers' conference, Social Workers for a social work conference, etc.)
Fellow workers (note that "fellow" here is an adjective, not the noun for a guy. ...)
Members of our community
(Or, simply skip "Guys" and better alternatives, and just say "Welcome to our conference!")

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

[indefinite arts centre]

screenshot of home page for - Our Indefinite Arts Centre. Picture of woman holding up art work.

The Indefinite Arts Centre, based in Calgary, is Canada's oldest and largest disability arts organization. Here's what they say on their site:
We are proud to be Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts organization, founded in 1975 and now serving close to 300 artists per week in our 11,000+ square foot studio and gallery space in southeast Calgary.

Yes, our niche is to serve artists with disabilities, but our vision is to provide them with a platform to stand strong on their merits and their efforts – as artists. Throughout our website, we hope to give you a glimpse into how we provide artistic training, creation and exhibition opportunities for our artists – and at the same time, advocate for more meaningful, inclusive arts policies that shine the light on the creativity of artists living with disabilities.
Read more about them at

Thursday, September 12, 2019

[standing up for people being called what they want to be called...]

Here's an interesting clip from a TV show, which nicely shows the challenges of challenging other people when they use derogatory and disrespectful terms for others. Ironic though not surprising that the person doing the challenging is a QPOC (queer person of colour).

Watch how this discussion evolves, and some of the classic responses that those challenged pull out.

If the tweet and embedded video do not show up above, click here.

Read CBC's article "We need to talk about the dinner party scene in the Tales of the City reboot"

Thursday, September 05, 2019

[stranger god: meeting jesus in disguise, by Richard Beck (book)]

"When Richard Beck first led a Bible study at a maximum security prison, he went to meet God. His own faith was flagging, but Beck still believed the promise of Matthew 25, that when we visit the prisoner, we visit Jesus. And sure enough, God met him in prison.

With his signature combination of biblical reflection, theological reasoning, and psychological insight, Beck shows how God always meets us in the marginalized, the oppressed, and the refugee. And stories from Beck's own life illustrate this truth - God comes to him in the poor, the crippled, the smelly.

Psychological experiments show how we are predisposed to like those who are similar to us and avoid those who are unlike us. The call of the gospel, however, is to override those impulses with compassion, to "widen the circle of our affection." In the end, Beck turns to the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux for guidance in doing even the smallest acts with kindness, and he lays out a path that any of us can follow." (from Amazon)

Read what Richard says about this new book on his blog Experimental Theology.

Read quotes from other things that Richard has written, sometimes with commentary and sometimes with great cartoons (by yours truly), right here on my blog.

Buy the book here:

Monday, July 08, 2019

[150 acts of reconciliation]

One of the 150 Acts of Reconciliation posters. Text says, "Understand and acknowledge that Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, was an architect of genocide."

Crystal Fraser and Sara Komarnisky have written 150 Acts of Reconciliation. "Many of these are small, everyday acts that average Canadians can undertake, but others are more provocative that encourage people to think about Indigenous-settler relationships in new ways." 

The act in the above poster would be one of the more provocative ones. I had already previously been disillusioned about Canada being better than our southern neighbour after reading about our own "lack of human rights" record. Now, seeing our first prime minister was key in starting the Indian residential schools sure puts a different perspective on our country. You can read more about that in this article by Sean Carleton, a professor in Calgary.

Get a printable list of the 150 Acts here.

Read more about this project here.

Order posters here.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

update from Rob

You may have noticed that I am posting far less often than before. That's mostly because of other projects I'm involved in:

  • Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at my workplace, including co-leading the development of Employee Resource Groups
  • Part of the Reconciliation Committee at my parish
  • Reading a lot about Indigenization, Reconciliation, Decolonization, etc. (mostly from Indigenous academics) -- plus reading about Two Spirit peoples (mostly articles by Two Spirit academics). When do I read, you ask? Mostly on the bus to and from work.
Not sure how all this will result in blog content, but I am definitely keeping it in mind.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

[Black Madonna of Czestochowa celebrates Pride...]

Black Madonna of Czestochowa with pride colours in the halos added by Elzbieta Podlesna

... but not everyone is happy.

Elzbieta Podlesna, a human rights activist in Poland who made this poster of the famous Black Madonna of Czestochowa with pride colours in the halos, has been arrested on charges of "offending religious beliefs".

(Read more about it here.)

Personally, I think it's quite beautiful - black and queer together - though I wonder why the Madonna was so sad to begin with...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

ancient and modern

Last Sunday June 16 was Trinity Sunday, and the church bulletin included this picture of The Hospitality of Abraham, painted in 1411 by St. Andrei Rublev. Though showing the the three angels who visited Abraham in Genesis 18, it is considered to be the "quintessential icon" of the Holy Trinity.

The point was made that this icon illustrates the mystery of the Trinity, the three-in-one, and of how the Trinity is about relationship -- the three all share the colour blue, they are looking at each other, they are sitting around the table in mutuality, etc.

What I personally really love about it is how it illustrates the timelessness of the Holy Scripture in the way it also reflects the people of today...

The Hospitality of Abraham, painted in 1411 by St. Andrei Rublev. Shows three angels seated around a table.