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Category Archives: Class Discussions

“A Proposal for Taiaiake Alfred: Stop Believing and Start Thinking”

Albert Howard and Frances Widdowson offer a lengthy critique of Taiaiake Alfred’s review of their book Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry. The critique is embedded in the comments section of a previous post here on Fieldnotes. The first paragraph reads as follows: Taiaiake Alfred has a right to his opinion about our book, and we would […]

Reviews of Widdowson and Howard’s “Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry”

I don’t have time to formulate my own review right now … suffice it to say I have appreciated the frankness of Widdowson and Howard’s Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry. The questions they ask about aboriginal poverty, its reasons and solutions to it should be asked — even if (especially if) they generate widely disparate answers. […]

Widdowson Distances Self, Book from Wente

Frances Widdowson and co-author Albert Howard distanced themselves today from Margaret Wente’s column about aboriginal savagery. Wente had cited Widdowson and Howard at length her her article supporting Dick Pound’s ‘pay du sauvage’ remark. Sphere: Related Content

Class Discussion of the Pound/Savagery Flap

My Anthropology of Canada’s First Nations discussed the Dick Pound savagery issue in class today. I asked them to read Margaret Wente’s Globe and Mail column and Iain Hunter’s Victoria Times Colonist column. I then asked them to develop rebuttals to to Wente where warranted and to offer support for her point of view when […]

More On Savagery, Anthropology and Dick Pound

And Even More News: Indigenous cultures rivalled those of civilizations around the globe (Globe and Mail) Call off the ignoble savaging of Margaret Wente and Dick Pound (National Post) (Includes links to a facebook group against Wente; makes the observation that savages might be noble while forgetting that the term savage does not always refer […]

First Nations Issues in 2008 Election — Interview with Phil Fontaine

Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine answers questions about aboriginal issues in a online interview. The questions come from the public and many of the contributors are aboriginal. Gang problems, land and title rights, hunting rights, and political correctness are all discussed. Sphere: Related Content

Good Examples of Bad Ethnographic Experiences?

A student asked me recently for examples of ethnographies in which the anthropologist ‘had a bad time’. He observed that in all of the anthropological writings he has read, the anthropologists generally present themselves and their experiences positively. I was stumped. The ethnography for the course, a survey of Canada’s first peoples, is Robert Jarvenpa’s […]

On ‘Paying Attention’ in the Classroom

I’ve taken some shots for making public my personal evolution on the use of the internet (and laptops) during lectures. Now, Inside Higher Ed has an article on the University of Chicago Law School’s banning of the internet in its classes. Reactions are mixed, to say the least. Sphere: Related Content


The new Bud Light commercial has me thinking again about Scott Kiesling’s dude research. Dude, the commercial is too funny!

Corporate Anthropology and the Anthropologist as Pain-in-the-Butt

In his recent post titled “The Rise of Corporate Anthropology” (Harvard Business Online), Tom Davenport discusses the value of using anthropological methods in the corporate world. I am drawn particularly to his observation that anthropology and anthropologists can be difficult: Of course, it’s not easy. Anthropologists can be a pain in the butt. They will […]