Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

This is the last of Alexis Coe’s wonderful dispatches from the Russian River. I had a hard time choosing a quote to pull because everything was so good, but this, I think, is the heart of it:

The work I did on the river did more than just keep me alive; it gave me a way to think about being alive. I practiced losing and I got better at it. I learned that I could continue getting better at it.

For the first time in my entire life, I can’t tell you where or how I want to live. But in the midst of losing so many things that were once so important, I’ve also lost something that, it turns out, isn’t that important to me: the need for certainty. I don’t know what comes next. That isn’t strength, but the source of it. I thank the creek for revealing it to me.


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report detailing the history of abuses carried out against Canada’s indigenous children and their families through government-led residential schools, and included sweeping recommendations for “a complete overhaul of the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples, the Crown and other Canadians”:

Through the testimony of residential school survivors, former staff, church and government officials and archival documents, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission pieced together a horrifying history that, despite its ripple effects, has been repeatedly dismissed or ignored.

This includes 3,201 registered deaths of children in the care of residential schools — the cause of death, reported in just under 50 per cent of cases, was most frequently tuberculosis, but influenza, pneumonia, fires and suicide all took their toll.

We may never know the true number of deaths, but Sinclair estimates it to be at least 6,000.

“Consider what it means, what we’re talking about today: the enormity of it. Parents who had their children ripped out of their arms, taken to a distant and unknown place, never to be seen again, buried in an unmarked grave long ago forgotten and overgrown. Think of that. Bear that. Imagine that,” Wilson told the room Tuesday.

Arriving at residential school, children had their hair chopped off and their clothing removed — one survivor recalled having her beaded moccasins, made by her grandmother for her to wear to school, taken from her and thrown in the garbage.

Students were discouraged, and often outright forbidden, from speaking their aboriginal languages.

The quality of the education was often poor: in many of the schools, students spent only half a day in the classroom, the rest of their time devoted to cooking, cleaning and otherwise helping to keep the institutions running at a low cost.

Survivors and archives show that discipline at the schools could be harsh and cruel, and that physical and sexual abuse was rampant.

Lots more reading: #TRC2015#truthandreconciliation


Stacia L. Brown on moms on TV: “there’s still the urge to present motherhood as narrative shorthand for empathy, particularly a crippling empathy.”


In Baltimore schools, free meals for all


THEY OPENED THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT TIME CAPSULE. (Not that Washington Monument, the other one.) I’ve been following this story very closely for an entire day and a half now and HERE is its riveting conclusion!!!


On Patagonia’s attempts to address instances of forced labor, human trafficking, and exploitation within its supply chain:

Though it may seem shocking that a company so publicly committed to fair labor practices could have such violations in its production chain, the news is less surprising when taking into account how the apparel industry operates: with unwieldy, complicated supply chains that reach around the globe. And, considering this, the findings of Patagonia’s audits take on a different cast, a sign not of corporate hypocrisy, but of the near impossibility of treating workers well at every step in the production process, even when a company is genuine in its desire to do so.


The Women’s Media Center‘s annual report is out, and TIME has a writeup here — it’s depressing but important reading. Related, BuzzFeed has found that women directed just 12% of the highest-rated television shows, even though women and men graduate from film school at about the same rate.


I…huh. The latest dog grooming trend in Japan:

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.41.39 PM


Is ballet’s big diversity moment approaching?

In three to five years, no one will be talking about diversity in ballet.

That’s according to Virginia Johnson, a founding member and artistic director of New York City’s famed Dance Theatre of Harlem. In a few years, she thinks it will be a boring topic “because it will have happened,” she says in a light but commanding voice. Soon, she says, the largely white world of ballet will be populated with dancers of color.


…what if you really MEAN IT, THOUGH


Cameron Crowe hopes to tell stories “with more racial diversity, more truth in representation,” sometime “in the future.” SOMEDAY WE’LL FIND IT, THE RAINBOW CONNECTION, CAMERON.


Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again