Monthly Archives: June 2016

What it Means to Roar

In his article, Sparke considers what Chief Justice Allan McEachern meant when he said “we’ll call it the map that roared” when he was beginning to unfold a map of Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en territory. He explores some ideas about what this may be in reference to. The two points that stood out to be was when he suggested the phrase may be in reference to a movie or in reference to a “roaring map.”  I will now begin analyse each of these suggestions.

Sparke smartly considers that Chief Justice Allan McEachern declaring “we’ll call it the map that roared” could be in reference to the 1959 film “The Mouse that Roared” by Peter Sellers, which satirizes Cold War geopolitics. To understand why Sparke made this correlation, it is improtant to understand what the movie is about. Simplified, the movie’s plot revolves around the tiny European country called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, whose economy is almost exclusively dependent on making wine. The country is on the verge of bankruptcy when a knockoff version of the wine is being made by an American winery. The Prime Minister decides to declare war on the United States, expecting defeat. However, by accident, the Duchy actually beats the United States.

I think this is comparable to what happened between the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people and the Canadian government and Chief Justice Allan McEachern, where the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people are akin to the Duchy of Grand Fenwick and the others, like the United States. Initially the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people may have felt they would lose the battle, but that it was worth the effort anyway. To their surprise, McEachern’s judgement was overturned. However, I think McEachern would have to have known this would be the outcome, and it did not seem that way at the time. This correlation also puts the Gitxsan and Wet’sunwet’en people in a more negative light, as we would be comparing them to the fools of Duchy — an unfair and unjust comparison.

Sparke also suggests that this phrase could be referencing a roaring map that “simultaneously evoked the resistance in the First Nations’ remapping of the land.”  The Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people are reclaiming their land through this map and are letting Canada know that they do not agree with their classifications or how they wanted to remap it. They are being loud about it, and are showing them clearly what their beliefs are about the land, exactly how they believe it. Their cartography shows a “roaring refusal” to how Canada wished to map their land.

I think Sparke’s last reference suggestion fits best with the statement “we’ll call it the map that roared,” because it is the map that spoke out against Canadian colonialism on native land. The associations between the phrase and the movie “The Mouse that Roared” seem disrespectful and requires futuristic assumptions.

Works Cited

Clement, Wallace. Understanding Canada: Building on the New Canadian Political Economy. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1997. Print.

“The Mouse That Roared.” AFI: Catalog of Feature Films. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2016.

Sparke, Matthew. “A Map That Roared And An Original Atlas: Canada, Cartography, And The Narration Of Nation”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88.3 (1998): 463-495. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Dichotomies in Stories: How Books are not Always Consistent

King presents to us two different creation stories in “The Truth about Stories” — one regarding a peaceful story about cooperation, the other using an authoritative voice promoting competition. But which one of these is true? Which one should we believe? King uses dichotomies to show the difference between these two stories, and points out how the way these stories are told, and what is in these stories, influences what the reader or listener believes.

It is interesting to note that even the Bible has two different creation stories within it. The first one is told at the very beginning of the book and the second one is in Genesis 2.4-2.5.  The first one sets out the seven days of creation, and how first God created the heavens and the earth, day and night. The next day he separated the waters and the third day he created dry land. Then came the stars, moon, and sun and then water creatures and birds. Finally on the sixth day land animals and humans were created. Then on the seventh day God rested.

In the second story, the days are no specified and the sequence of events is different. The heavens and the earth were created, and then man (but not woman). Then came the garden of evil, with the tree of knowledge that would soon spell doom for the man living in Eden. God tells man about the tree, and not to eat from it, then notices that Man is lonely, so he then makes Woman. Eventually they end up eating from the tree of knowledge and are banished out of Eden for their sins.

In this case, which story are we to trust? They both come from the same book, the same Bible. Both are told in a more authoritative voice. Which one is true?

Both stories are still different from King’s story regarding cooperation. Neither of the Bible stories are really about this — it’s just God creating everything and commanding things to be the way they are. Both are still told in an authoritative way vs. storytelling. But the point here is that there are even dichotomies within the same collection of stories that some believe to be true as a whole.

In the first story, all of creation is said to be good. Even within this story, dichotomies like heaven and earth and day and night are discussed. The second story is more harsh, particularly for humankind. The garden of Eden is a place of work and where things are off-limits. Furthermore, it is an unfair place, as Woman never knew that eating the fruit off the tree was bad.  Furthermore, they would not have knowledge of what was good or bad (like that it was wrong to disobey God) without this knowledge from the tree. There is no such thing in the first story of creation. One may say one story follows from another, but the events in both stories are still different, as is the way the creation of humans is told.

King is trying to show us what we choose to believe, even if we would believe parts of the other story, we overall want to pick the one that makes sense to us and that we trust. We see these opposites being told and it shows that they could be the same story, but that every aspect of it is opposite to one another. But even stories in the same book show dichotomies, so we must be really careful with our biases in choosing what we believe, and be careful of any inconsistencies between stories. Dichotomies can show us what biases we have, and perhaps what we grew up believing, but it is important that we are careful of these things when reading or listening to stories.

Works Cited

Arnett, Autumn A. “Promoting Growth Mindset Means Checking Biases at the Door, Experts Say.” Education Dive. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

“Two Creation Stories.” Bible Wonderings. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

Genesis. Digital image. Biologos. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

King, Thomas. The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2005. Print.

Shared Thoughts on Home


I read a few of the other student’s posts, and I found some interestingly similarities between them. Not only that, they were quite different experiences and feelings than what I considered to be home for myself, and it let me look at things from a new perspective. Not only that, but I realized I actually shared some common themes that I may not have considered before or hadn’t not really gone deeply into.

Given what I have read, I discovered these common things each poster seemed to share:

  1.  Their sense of home was in a person or an object, not a specific place
  2.  They found this out through self-discovery
  3. Home was somewhere they were comfortable in

The most striking similarity I found within all three of the postings I read was the fact that the writer did not identify home as  a specific place but rather home was a person (or in one case, an inanimate object). Upon further analysis, I realized this was a common theme for many people.

In the first post I read, the writer considered their plush toys a home — they would feel comfort and joy whenever she had them with them. Being an alone child who was living in Canada alone without her parents, these were the only things that could connect her to her parents and therefore to her home. She also further considers her husband to be her home, someone who has helped guide her through her life’s journey. The second poster considered her brother to be her home, as they had shared many of the same life experiences together as well. Finally, the third writer also reiterated this idea that “home [was] always been the people [they] have been with.” In this, they meant their two siblings and their mother.

These three posters also shared similar stories about traveling and how this related to their sense of home. They had either moved to a completely new place to continue on their journey, or had just traveled to find their own sense of self. These travels or changes of place made them realize what home actually meant to them, and in that sense found that home wasn’t a specific place, but somewhere where their loved ones were. They felt displaced and homesick without them In this way, it did not matter where they went, or what changes in scenery they experience. As long as the ones they found home in were there, they would be home.

Last but not least, home was also a place they found comfort and joy in. Not only that, but home was where a lot of their life experiences lay. Having shared experiences with other helps with the comfort, I think, as you know someone went through similar things as you did.

Overall, the most evident thing about these posts was that home was connected to a person or a group of people, and wherever they were, they found home.

Works Cited

Gosal, Navi. “Assignment 2:2 – Home.” Web log post. ENGL 470A Canadian Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Hudson, Paul. “You Know You’re In Love When Home Becomes A Person, Not A Place.” Elite Daily You Know Youre In Love When Home Becomes A Person Not A Place Comments. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 2016.

James, Heather. “Home.” Web log post. Heather James: ENGL 470A. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Li, Christy. “MY HOME….” Web log post. ENGL470- CHRISTY’S BLOG. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Buying a home. Digital image. Money Smart. Australian Securities and Investment Commission, n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Tam, Ruth. “Home Is Not A Place.” Thought Catalog. N.p., 2012. Web. 12 June 2016.

A Tale of Two Homes: One Larger Than the Other

I was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC. I have lived in the same house my whole life. In a way, it would be pretty simple for me to determine what home meant to me: it’s the place I had my first birthday, where I learned my first song on the piano, the place I would always bring friends over to, and the room I was consistently messing up. I grew up with my older sister, my mother and father, and my grandmother from my mom’s side, who helped take care of us. I also found a home in my elementary school, where I had many close friends with classmates and teachers. I’m far away from that home now – close in distance but far in memory. But it always feels like an old friend whenever I visit it.

I have another place I consider to be a type of home – a place I didn’t visit until I was 11 but came to know of early on: Poland. The place my mother was raised, along with my father’s grandparents. This place holds a lot of my family heritage, so I also consider it a home. A very distant home to me, but a place my ancestors considered theirs. My father always loved to tell stories about our family in Poland, especially regarding our family tree. In particular, my father loves to talk about my grandfather’s childhood and the place he grew up in: Szczekociny Turns out he had quite the lifestyle growing up, what with living in a mansion with servants, a large front and backyard (perfect for riding horses) and being raised to speak the elegant and universal tongue that was French. Unfortunately, they had to sell the place during the Great Depression, and the insides got burned down after it was converted to a school (the teachers were angry about something or another). It still stands, but looks more like a ruin more than anything. It still looks fantastic and grand, however, and you can imagine where everything was at the time: the ballroom, the great staircases and chandeliers. Some of the side buildings have been rebuilt though.

Me in front of Szczekociny!

Me in front of Szczekociny!

Another interesting place related to my family: the Halpert Chapel in Warsaw! My father always talks about how he wants to be buried there. It was rebuilt in 1975 but unfortunately most of the graves were destroyed. The cemetery surrounding it is very beautiful as well. I always feel a little special going inside. It’s neat being connected to something as historic as this.


Going back to my mother’s side: my grandmother passed away when I was quite young, around 10. I found this led to a loss in my language ability in Polish (which wasn’t too great to begin with). With it, slowly losing touch with my second home. I’ve visited Poland around 3 times now, but I often find it hard to communicate with the older generations of my family. There is someone who I really wish to be able to communicate with, however, and that is my Great Aunt, or my grandmother’s sister. My grandmother had two sisters, but one is quite different from her. The other one reminds me very much of my grandmother though. I would love to hear the stories she has to tell, and actually have a heartfelt conversation with her one-on-one without the need for any translations. I want to hear more about my grandmother and my mother and their life in Poland. I want to learn more about my family’s history. I want to gain knowledge of a life, a different side of my family, which I don’t have. I want to learn about their values and teachings. I think then I will be closer to my second home.

(I do plan on going back there for a few months in the fall, hopefully to become more fluent in the language and experience more of the culture and life in Poland as well!)

I still consider here to be my primary home. But I know I always have somewhere else to go – somewhere I can still feel comfortable in. It won’t be the same as where I have grown up, and where I have spent most of my life, but it’s somewhere to go when home here is too much or when I want to experience something different, just for a bit. But I will always come back to a place I call home.

Works Cited

Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery, Warsaw on Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery, Warsaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
Szczekociny. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.