The McGill Daily: Volume 113, Issue 6

Page 1

Volume 113, Issue 6 | Monday, October 16, 2023 | stagflating since 1911

The McGill Daily is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory.

Published by The Daily Publications Society, a student society of McGill University.


table of Contents

October 16, 2022 | The McGill Daily

Table of Contents 3

10 •Culture Little Simz’s journey as an

Editorial •

Rising Grocery Prices

independent artist Review of Olivia Rodrigo’s album

4 • News Update on Royal Victoria Hospital • • • • •

SSMU General Assembly McGill Pow Wow Anishinaabe Study Group Climate Rage March Yasuni Referendum in Ecuador

12 • Commentary Indigenous Food Accessibility • •

15 • Compendium! Affordable and Delicious Recipes for •

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Drinking Culture on Campus Eviction and Gentrification in Olympic Host Cities

Students Fall Desserts Horoscopes


Volume 113 Issue 1

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


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The Roots of Food Insecurity

The McGill Daily is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory. coordinating editor

Olivia Shan

managing editor

Catey Fifield

news editors

Emma Bainbridge Zoe Lister Robert Muroni India Mosca commentary + compendium! editors

Zoe Mineret culture editor

Eliana Freelund

features editor


science + technology editor


sports editor


video editor


photos editor

Genevieve Quinn

illustrations editor


copy editor

Abe Berglas design + production editor


social media editor

Frida Morales Mora radio editor


cover design

Genevieve Quinn contributors

Eden Saley, Sena Ho, Jason Zhou, Sophie Hill, Maya Law, Gregor McCall, Zoe Lister, Emma Bainbridge, Evelyn Logan, Zoe Mineret, Natalie Dumonceaux, Claudia Efemini, Leila Espinoza Published by the Daily Publications Society, a student society of McGill University. The views and opinions expressed in the Daily are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of McGill University. The McGill Daily is not affiliated with McGill University.

3480 McTavish St, Room 107 Montreal, QC H3A 0E7 phone 514.398.690 fax 514.398.8318


he global inflation triggered by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is beginning to ease, but food prices in Canada remain skyhigh. If you celebrated Thanksgiving last week, you probably noticed an increase in your grocery bill compared to last year: across Canada, potatoes are 6.8 per cent more expensive than they were last year, butter is 9.2 per cent more expensive, and brown rice is 6.3 per cent more expensive. Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanded that Canada’s five largest grocers – Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Walmart, and Costco – come up with a plan to stabilize food prices before the Thanksgiving holiday and threatened repercussions, including increased taxes, if they failed to do so. “Large grocery chains are making record profits. Those profits should not be made on the backs of people who are struggling to feed their families,” he said. On Thursday, October 5, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne announced that all five grocers had agreed to lower or freeze prices “in the coming days and weeks.” Beyond appealing to grocers directly, the Liberals have also tabled a new bill, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act (Bill C-56), that aims to increase affordability by increasing competition in Canada’s heavily concentrated grocery sector. Loblaws, Sobeys, and Metro reported a combined $100 billion in sales and $3.6 billion in profits in 2022. According to a York University analysis, their dominance of the grocery sector hurts not only consumers but also suppliers, who receive lower prices for their goods, and workers, who receive lower wages. Trudeau’s ultimatum and proposed changes to Canada’s competition law are far from unnecessary, but there is good reason to fear that these measures may not be enough to bring food prices under control. Some experts are calling Bill C-56 “useless,” arguing that “competition law, which seeks to prevent monopolies and cartels, is not designed to solve macroeconomic problems like inflation.” A National Post article likewise warns that the changes proposed by Bill C-56 “are very broad and will not directly affect food prices.” While Canada should hold large grocers accountable, it must also work to address the underlying causes of high food prices, including the declining value of the Canadian dollar, supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and labour shortages. Extreme weather and climate change also contribute to high food prices: in 2021, for instance, heat waves in BC destroyed 50 per cent of the berry crop on some farms. A few months later, intense flooding disrupted the province’s food supply, leaving shelves empty. Meanwhile, severe wildfires and

drought conditions across the Prairies affected the prices of meat and bakery products. The responsibility to protect Canadians (and their wallets) in the face of climate change-related disasters as well as major world events lies with the federal government. The blame for high food prices cannot fall entirely on grocers. We must also remember the impact that an increased cost of living has on Canada’s most vulnerable populations. Indigenous communities in northern Canada already pay astronomical prices for their groceries, with basics such as an eight-pack of juice boxes costing well over $40. Nunavut resident Aviaq Poison took to TikTok earlier this year to ask, “So now that the majority of Canada, which is white people who live in the southern part of Canada, are having issues with food security – now you want to talk about it?” Food insecurity isn’t a uniquely financial issue: as the organization Food Secure Canada points out, food sovereignty for Indigenous communities allows these communities to be less reliant on inflated prices. It’s imperative that the Canadian government preserves land that is used for hunting and fishing. Another policy solution put forth by Food Secure Canada is a Canadian-wide school food program. From Nunavut to Prince Edward Island, food banks across the country are struggling to meet demand: Neil Hetherington, the CEO of Toronto’s Daily Bread, remarked that his organization saw an estimated 65,000 client visits per month before the pandemic but now sees an estimated 275,000 visits per month. If you are experiencing food insecurity, there are several services on campus designed to mitigate this struggle, such as Midnight Kitchen, SNAC, and SSMU’s Pilot Grocery Program. Midnight Kitchen has also compiled a list of food security resources across the island. If you are not experiencing food insecurity and have the means to do so, you can support the organizations mentioned above through donations or volunteering.

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October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


“Totally betrayed”

Mohawk Mothers speak out about New Vic

Emma Bainbridge Zoe Lister News Editors


fter losing their bid to halt construction at the former Royal Victoria Hospital site last month, the Kanien’kehá:ka K a h n i st e n s e ra ( Mo h aw k Mothers) have expressed concern regarding the archaeological excavation overseen by McGill and the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI). McGill plans to develop the Royal Vic site into a new research and teaching facility, known as the New Vic Project. However, last year, the Mohawk Mothers entered a legal battle with McGill, fighting for an archaeological examination of the site to find potential burial sites from the MK-Ultra experiments conducted by the CIA and McGill in the 1950s and 60s at the site. After winning their case, archaeological work began last April as part of a Settlement Agreement that was reached between the Mohawk Mothers, McGill, and the SQI. Tensions between the Mohawk Mothers and the parties involved in the construction at the Royal Vic site have continued to rise since the start of archaeological work. The Mohawk Mothers have condemned the actions taken by McGill and the SQI at the site, as the archaeological work is not Indigenous-led. In August, archeological work was halted due to a security incident involving one of the cultural monitors and a security guard. More recently, the Mohawk Mothers filed an emergency court order for construction at the site to be suspended, claiming that McGill and the SQI had been breaching the Settlement Agreement. The hearing took

Emma Bainbridge | News Editor place on September 14 and revolved around the issue of “mapping” and a disregard for archeological techniques by McGill and the SQI. As part of the Settlement Agreement, an independent archaeologist panel was erected to ensure the proper archaeological techniques employed at the site, specific to the mapped-out zones. However, after McGill claimed that the initial stage of the archeological investigation had been completed in September, they disbanded the independent panel. Diane, a member of a solidarity group, told the Daily in an interview: “[the disbandment] was a unilateral decision by McGill. That’s always the way

Emma Bainbridge | News Editor

it works, although, paragraphs 1 and 16 of the injunction state that this investigation should be Kahnistensera and MK-Ultra survivor-led.” Without the archaeological panel in place, McGill and the SQI reserved the rights to interpret excavation results. “McGill is refusing to share the Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data with the Mohawk Mothers as well as the archaeological panel while they were active,” said Diane. The McGill Media Relations Office (MRO) told the Daily that “information is shared between the parties as stipulated in the Settlement Agreement.” During the September 14 hearing, McGill and the SQI told the court to dismiss the request for construction to be halted; the groups stated that the agreement had been followed and construction was occuring in an area where no burial sites are likely to be found. The judge did not grant the Mohawk Mothers their requested emergency injunction. Another focal point in the alleged breach of the Settlement Agreement surrounds the removal and transportation of soil to a private site for inspection. In an October 12 press conference attended by the Daily, Mohawk Mother Kwetiio said that she felt “totally betrayed” by McGill and the SQI’s handling of this process. She argued that if any evidence were to be uncovered, moving these piles instead of examining them on the site would allow McGill to escape accountability. Nevertheless, the Daily observed the piles being removed later that week. The MRO confirmed to the Daily that the piles had

been moved at the request of the archaeologists on October 3 and “was placed in a secure perimeter to allow the archeologists to sift through it.” The MRO claimed that the Mothers were informed of this on October 3. Kwetiio claimed that anomalies in priority zone 11 had not been adequately investigated. Three different teams of historic human remains detection dogs (HHRDD) detected possible human remains in that zone, and detections made by HHRDD are about 95 per cent accurate, reaching up to 15 feet. Kwettio additionally expressed frustration that the Mohawk Mothers were prohibited from investigating the interiors of buildings within the 10 meter radius of where the HHRDD detected possible remains. “We inquired many times if these dogs can smell through [buildings] and they said yes, there’s a pipe leading from inside to outside of the building and yet we still do not know where those three different teams of dogs detected [human remains],” she explained. According to Kwetiio, the reason given for not allowing the Mothers to investigate inside the building was a risk of asbestos. Diane elaborated on the construction happening inside the building in the interview with the Daily. “The Kahnistensera witnessed construction workers inside this building – right where they’re fighting to have access. The workers were demolishing something, and when the Kahnistensera were worried, of course, they asked, ‘what are you doing?’ [The workers] refused to say anything.”

The Mothers are not the only ones upset with how McGill has

“Everything [McGill does] is a misstep, and is not good for reconciliation, and is not Indigenous led.” - Kimberly Murray been handling this case. Special Interlocutor Kimberly Murray, one of Canada’s leading experts on unmarked graves associated with residential schools, told The Eastern Door that “everything they do is a misstep, and is not good for reconciliation, and is not Indigenous led.” Like the Mohawk Mothers, she decried McGill’s lack of transparency as well as a disrespect for her office. At the Quebec Superior Court on October 27, the Mohawk Mothers will detail breaches of the Settlement Agreement made by McGill and the SQI. At the end of the interview with the Daily, Diane said: “We’re calling all supporters, all citizens who are sensitive to this kind of struggle to show support to the Kahnistensera in front of the court.” Names in this article have been changed to protect the anonymity of sources.

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


Up-and-Coming Iniatives Discussed at the Fall 2023 Consultative Forum


Executive board presents plans for 2023-2024 school year despite low attendance Natalie Dumonceaux News Contributor


he SSMU General Assembly (GA) for Fall 2023 took place on the evening of October 2. Attendees had the option to partake in the meeting in-person at the SSMU building or via Zoom, contributing to an estimated total of 25 attendees, excluding executive members and those who viewed the meeting’s livestream. This caused the meeting to become a Consultative Forum due to the failure to meet the quorum of 350 attendees required for a General Assembly meeting. While this is not an unprecedented occurrence, with the Consultative Forums of Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 also seeing a turnout of less than 30 participants, a statement made by President Alexandre Ashkir underlined SSMU’s commitment to continue promoting their General Assembly meetings in hopes of making these meetings more interactive. The meeting began with the unanimous adoption of both the standing rules and the agenda. This was followed by a silent question period where all SSMU members in attendance had the floor to address questions or concerns to executives. The lack of attendance allowed for the meeting to quickly carry on to the following item on the agenda: executive reports. Reports were given by all executive members in attendance; beginning with the

VP Internal, followed by the VP External, VP Sustainability and Operations, VP University Affairs, VP Student Life, and concluding with the President. These reports consisted of general overviews of the respective duties of executives, the work they’ve accomplished since the previous school year, and their upcoming plans and ongoing projects for the year ahead and beyond. While each executive outlined their individual focuses, as a whole, the initiatives and projects discussed in these reports all target the enhancement of student life and engagement on campus and beyond. VP Internal Jon Barlas spoke of SSMU’s implementation of online feedback forms for oncampus events which, while only having begun this year, managed to receive participation from 10 per cent of the attendees of first-year orientation events put on by SSMU this fall. In his report, VP External Liam Gaither detailed promising news regarding accessibility to affordable student housing, stating that the city of Montreal recently approved a $6 million contribution to the construction of a new student housing building that will be available to McGill students, adding to SSMU’s outstanding $1.5 million investment. The building, located at the corner of Ontario and St-Laurent, is set to open in the fall of 2026. Other notable projects for the upcoming year include the launching of a new

The first topic was presented by the VP Student life. Students adressed concerns regarding McGill’s booking system to reserve space on campus for club meetings, which they described as confusing and often frustrating.

Rasha Hamade | Photos Contributor club portal as a central hub for information and applications of clubs and student societies set to take place next year, as well as the start up of a student volunteer program in association with the SSMU’s daycare program, as was stated in VP Student Life Nadia Dakdouki’s report. The meeting concluded with a discussion portion wherein general members had the floor to provide suggestions and questions regarding the following topics: use and accessibility to campus space for students, climate crisis actions and updates, and food insecurity on campus and potential action towards it. The first topic was presented by the VP Student Life. Students addressed concerns regarding McGill’s booking system to reserve space on campus for club meetings, which they described as confusing and often frustrating. Dakdouki responded that while SSMU is not directly associated with the university’s system (and therefore cannot mediate communication between them and students), they are actively working on a guide that will outline the booking process in hopes to alleviate some of the confusion faced by student

societies looking to host their meetings on campus. On the topic of the climate crisis, a general member suggested the collaboration of the many student societies at McGill geared toward climate action that could be facilitated by SSMU. The executive board replied that they would be open to suggestions on strategies to make this collaboration possible. The last topic of discussion on food insecurity included an update from the VP External on the status of the Let’s Eat McGill campaign. The campaign gained much attention over the last school year through social media publicity, calling on the university to better their meal plan for students. While progress has been made with the implementation of McGill’s AllYou-Care-To-Eat Mandatory Meal Plan through Student Housing and Hospitality Services, Let’s Eat McGill still critiques this plan for being unaffordable to lower-income students, and continues to apply pressure to make on-campus food options more affordable overall. This discussion was concluded by encouraging members to keep an eye out for SNAC, a new program at McGill providing free weekly grocery boxes to students in need, as they are hoping to have their referendum passed to receive

university funding at the Legislative Council meeting later this month.

Other notable projects for the upcoming year include the launching of a new club portal as a central hub for information and applications of clubs and student societies [...] The meeting was adjourned after just over an hour with a hopeful spirit for greater attendance for the next General Assembly meeting happening in the winter semester. With new initiatives and worksin-progress underway, SSMU is gearing up for an exciting school year ahead.

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily



22nd Annual McGill Pow Wow Echoed Through Lower West Field Participants share what Pow Wows mean to them

Jason Zhou News Contributor


gentle breeze blew past, lifting the eagle feathers on the dancers’ regalia. The drums were humming, and the audience held their breath. Suddenly, a forceful hymn reverberated through the air, and the dancers’ feet skimmed the ground, mirroring the natural world around them. The vibrant garments on their regalia chimed as they swirled and twirled, mesmerizing all the audiences. This extraordinary energy marked the celebration of the 22nd annual McGill Pow Wow on September 22. Pow Wows are gatherings that are deeply rooted in the traditions of many Indigenous communities in North America. People come together, socialize, sing and dance, and celebrate the history of Indigenous communities. Pow Wows also serve as opportunities for cultural education that helps preserve and raise awareness about Indigenous traditions and heritage. The McGill Pow Wow, organized by the First Peoples’ House, also featured food craft vendors. Indigenous-owned businesses were set up along the perimeter, while dancers of all ages showcased their skills at the center stage of Lower West Field. Handmade jewelry, home decorations, Indigenous clothing, and delicious food were being sold in the Pow Wow arena. Community groups supporting the Indigenous population of Montreal were also in attendance at the Pow Wow. The Native Friendship Centre of Montreal (NFCM) has been working with the McGill Pow Wow for over 10 years. The nonprofit community development agency aims to promote, develop, and enhance the quality of life of the urban Indigenous community of Montreal. Drayton Gilbert, the executive assistant of the NFCM, shared his thoughts as a first-time participant of the McGill Pow Wow: “Pow Wow is a way to celebrate our culture in a really sound space. It’s a sharing of connective energy, value, and practices.” Gilbert added that his biggest takeaway from the Pow Wow is “celebrating who you are, your identity, and being proud of that.” “Our main focus is working directly with the Indigenous

communities that are transitioning to living in Montreal. We hope to bridge the gap between communities and cities,” Gilbert said. Some of the NFCM’s work includes a nursing clinic and legal clinic through partnership with McGill and the Ka’wáhse Street Patrol, which offers supplies, assistance, and referral services to Indigenous and non-Indigenous homeless people in Montreal. NFCM’s food security program, which was featured in the McGill Pow Wow, provides secure access to food, with options for delivery and hot lunches for unhoused people. Gilbert said that the focus on minority groups should not only be present in a specific week, month, or event. He wishes people to “keep the same awareness that’s available today across the 365 days of a year and celebrate from a dayto-day basis.” Matthew Coutu-Moya, administrative supervisor at the First Peoples’ House, took part in organizing the event. He said that Pow Wows are as diverse as Indigenous people all across Canada, and it is nice to have nonIndigenous communities come out and learn about Indigenous cultures especially on McGill’s campus. “My mother was born and raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan and Alberta, with ties to Michif communities of St-Boniface, Petite Pointe du Chênes (Lorette) and St-Laurent in Manitoba as well as St-Pauldes-Métis (St-Paul) in Alberta, but my father is from Santiago, Chile. I am a literal byproduct of international relationships. So, it is really cool to have people who are from all over the world to be at McGill and get to experience the Pow Wow,” Coutu-Moya said. “I also love seeing the little ones dressed up in the regalia, I love seeing them dance. It’s awesome to see the younger generation having stronger sense of identity and culture. I think that’s really empowering.” Coutu-Moya spoke on the challenges that Indigenous communities face and the ways to resolve them. “I think one of the big things that would go a long way is removing barriers to school,” he said. Though he recognizes that this is a systematic challenge, with part of it being governmental, Coutu-Moya thinks there can be more done at McGill. He said that

“When a dancer really dances, we are not a dancer anymore, we become the dance itself.” - Sam Ojeda

the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education or the School of Continuing Studies has strong off-campus programming, and he wishes that other faculties at McGill could better serve Indigenous students by also building similar programs. “One thing that is really important is that the school has more programs that are available at a distance so that folks can be in their community and still access the educational resources of McGill,” Coutu-Moya said. “Maybe a student who’s from [an] Inuit territory far north can’t afford to make the huge trip down here to set up a life, to be away from their community, their home base, their friends, and family, but they are still entitled to the opportunities of McGill.” He thinks that pushing for more educational resources at McGill is really important. In other words, people could have the option to either come to McGill physically, or at a distance back home, rather than being forced to have only one option. “I think the diversity of learning paths would open more pathways for students to come,” Coutu-Moya concluded. Sam Ojeda, from the MayoYoreme land in northwestern Mexico and southern California, stood out in the crowd with his stunning gold and black regalia. “This is to enhance, to honor, [and] to acknowledge who we are,

Jason Zhou | Photos Contributor

and who our ancestors are. Every regalia that the dancer carries has to do with the heirlooms of the family, it runs in the family. It’s passed on,” Ojeda said. His regalia belonged to his grandfather, whom he called the “Black Horse.” Dreams also serve as guidance and instructions in Indigenous cultures. They are not just random occurrences but have deep significance to reality. Ojeda said, “In the dreams we have messengers. That’s what we take into account when it comes to wearing what we wear and carrying what we carry, and usually our ancestors come in those dreams.” As a traditional dancer, Ojeda values the spirit of love and the respect for Mother Earth. He shared that dancing is a way of prayer, to honour all men, women, children, and elders who helped their communities; to honour plants, animals, and the planet; and to keep everything in balance. “When a dancer really dances, we are not a dancer anymore, we become the dance itself,” Ojeda said. Ojeda believes that the celebration of Pow Wows are reminders of their Indigenous identity. He hopes that Pow Wows can bring back the unity of the prophecies: “that one day we could be here dancing together under the flowery tree of life, with all people from the four corners of the world.” In some Indigenous cultures,

the Great Spirit, the concept of a life force, created everything and gave sacred instructions to people from all over the world. Ceremonial prayers are means for the Indigenous people to communicate with the Great Spirit. Ojeda wants to remind people of the teachings of the Great Spirit. “Somewhere along the bad, we forgot what the teachings were. One of the first instructions is to honor the planet, to honor ourselves, to love, and that’s what the Pow Wow does. It brings laughter, it brings celebration, it brings unity, and that’s what we need, all of us, to go on, and make this a better world,” he said with resolve.

[Gilbert] wishes people to “keep the same awareness that’s available today across the 365 days of a year and celebrate from a day-today basis.”


October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily

Aaniin, Boozhoo!


Anishinaabemowin study group returns to McGill Eden Saley News Contributor


he Anishinaabemowin study group has returned for a second year. The group hosted their welcome party on September 27 and will meet every Wednesday for the rest of the semester in Ferrier 408. Anishinaabemowin is the Anishinaabe language, also known as Ojibwe, and is a widelyused Indigenous language with many dialects across (so-called) Canada and the United States. The Anishinaabe people live in what is now known as the Ottawa River Valley, as far west as Saskatchewan, and across North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan. The welcome party featured a drumming and singing performance from Robert Spade, an Anishinabeininii (Anishinaabe man) from the Sturgeon Clan, who explained the meaning behind the greeting boozhoo. Nanaboozhoo is a shapeshifter and central figure in many traditional stories. He is considered one of the cocreators of the world and may return one day. Since we don’t know what form he will take when he returns, we must greet everyone with boozhoo, just in case. Students at the welcome party also had the opportunity to practice introducing themselves in Anishinaabemowin and counting numbers from 1-20 with a game. This year, the club will follow the curriculum created by Jenni Makahnouk, an Anishinaabe student from Lac Seul. Makahnouk created worksheets and activities, and sourced media for the group to use. The syllabus includes conceptual ideas and grammar, along with conversational language, stories,

and cultural learning. Given the vast difference between Anishinaabemowin and English, she has “overhauled the course materials [from last year] to emphasize methods for learning the language.” While there is a developed plan for the year, the group also allows for self-paced learning. Makahnouk described the group as informal and nonjudgemental. At the welcome party, she encouraged all students to join, “even if they just want to learn a little bit.” Member Annika Pavlin says that there is no pressure to already know anything about Anishinaabe. Pavlin was one of the original members who participated in the grassroots creation of the club last year. Each member came in with expertise in different areas, whether that was linguistics, history, knowledge of other Indigenous languages, or education in general. She says, “we are still coming into this from different places and learning all together.” For many members, the best part of the group is the ability to teach themselves in a non-hierarchical learning environment. This flexibility has allowed members to facilitate lessons for others on concepts that interest them. Pavlin and another member taught a lesson last year that focused on talking about time. Teaching the lesson allowed them to learn even more about the concept, deepening their understanding of the language. “I think that there is genuine interest in delving deeper into Indigenous cultures, seeking to understand, appreciate languages of the Anishinaabe. This growing curiosity signifies a hopeful shift towards greater cultural awareness and inclusivity,” said Makahnouk. This was evidenced

For many members, the best part of the group is the ability to teach themselves in a non-hierarchical learning environment. This flexibility has allowed members to facilitate lessons for others on concepts that interest them.

Genevieve Quinn | Photos Editor by the many students who attended the welcome party and the growing number of members in the club. When asked about the support McGill has given to the club, Makahnouk stated, “McGill administration has provided us with a room free of charge. Their support of our study group is appreciated. The Office of Indigenous Initiatives has been generous as well, providing us with free printing for our course materials, connecting us with community Anishinaabemowin speakers and promoting our group in the Indigenous Awareness weeks celebrations.” For students interested in learning Indigenous languages, McGill has some options. There is an Indigenous language revitalization Masters program, which allows graduate students to take relevant courses in different disciplines to develop tools to maintain, document and revitalize their community’s language. There are also general linguistics classes like INLG 210, EDEC 344 and LING 411 which cover the basics of an

Indigenous language. However, these courses are not scheduled for the 2023-2024 academic year. Turning this group into a credit course remains a long-term goal for members. Academic Programs and curriculum are calls to action 29-39 from McGill’s 52 Calls to Action. 10 out of 11 of these calls have been marked as achieved by McGill, including Language Revitalization and Documentation. The university acknowledges that it “should consider where it can add the most value to language teaching and revitalization in Indigenous communities, while heeding the perspectives and needs of Indigenous communities as voiced by their members.” Indigenous studies librarian Kristen Howard recommends students use the Indigenous Studies guide when conducting research on Indigenous languages or beginning their language study. It includes resources for self directed learning such as Lexique spécialisé des études collégiales en français-innu, a French-Innu

resource, and 100 days of Cree, a light-hearted beginner’s guide to Cree. In comparison to other Canadian universities, McGill falls short in offering Indigenous language education. Queens University in Kingston, Ontario offers six undergraduate Indigenous languages courses, open to all students; including two each in Anishinaabemowin, Inuktitut, and Mohawk. Schools like University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia also all offer courses in the traditional languages of the land the universities are situated upon. However, for Makahnouk, the opportunity to teach and learn with the study group is very rewarding. “I’m thrilled about the chance to share my culture and language,” she said. For anyone interested in participating in this club, or learning more about the group, information is shared on their instagram account: @Anishinaabe_McGill.


October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


Montreal Hosts Its Annual Climate Rage Week Students join forces in Montreal to express concern about rapid climate change

Sena Ho News Contributor


hroughout the week of September 23, Climate Rage held a series of workshops and marches dedicated to raising greater awareness on the political sphere surrounding climate change and ecological issues. Their aim, as they have stated, is to “put forward a radical, anti-oppressive, anticolonial and anti-capitalist ecology,” and “act collectively by fighting against this extractivist, colonial and ecocidal system, which prefers profit to life.” Much of the organization’s released content repeatedly stresses that the government is not contributing enough to prevent climate change, but rather budgets for large financial undertakings, such as the creation of new highways. They claim that this week was designed to take action against their politicians’ inactivity; and the week was certainly illuminated by their efforts culminating at the Great March for Climate and the Climate Rage Demonstration that occurred on Friday, September 29. Advocacy for climate justice has been held during the month of September for the past three years, notably after Greta Thunberg’s 2019 appearance in the city, to address seeing little to no progress within the environmental sphere. This time, Climate Rage worked alongside Climate Justice Montreal to organize events throughout the week for those interested in learning more about and getting involved in climate policy. After the Common Front Demonstration for public services that was held on September 23, there were activities that included fundraising for Nehirowisiw land defense struggles, a farmers’ market, a teach-in, a film screening, and several demonstrations—each with their own mission in mind. Many of

Sena Ho | Photos Contributor their activities were geared towards getting members of the community to contribute, as the teach-in hoped to share, “activist knowledge and create connections between people who want to bring about real change.” Climate Rage’s main events were held towards the end of the week, during which the main march and demonstrations were held. Each gathering had their individual goals outlined, such as the “Let’s Crush Car Culture” protest calling out the lack of action being done to expand access to public transportation. Rather than blaming car owners for these habits, the activists want to make it clear how minimal government

intervention makes many dependent on personal vehicles, contributing to the emission of greenhouse gasses. In addition, that Friday, they hosted the main Climate Rage Demonstration alongside Coalition de Résistance pour l’Unité Étudiante Syndical (CRUES), a radical student run association which aims to tackle policy issues within Montreal, as an event to summarize their efforts over the last few days. The march began before the George-Étienne Cartier monument, with thousands of people gathering together from all walks of life. Students from Concordia University, Dawson College, McGill University, as well as others joined forces and gathered at the main protest to express their pressing thoughts and bring awareness to the issue. At about 2:00 PM that day, one could spot the brightly coloured signs decorating the streets in the hands of passionate activists. This demonstration not only addressed climate change, but also highlighted anti-capitalist and anti-colonial discourse, as the chanted phrases “Rage, climate rage, let’s stop the apocalypse!” and “Anti, anti-colonialisme!” rung through the air. The sheer diversity in each protestor’s grievance, displayed through the varying messages on posters such as “End Fossil Fuels Not Our Kids’ Futures,” exhibited the issues that exist within today’s climate advocacy agenda. Some advocated for overarching environmental changes while others highlighted specific problems encroaching on Montreal residents. Amara Habib, a

Their aim, as they have stated, is to “put forward a radical, antioppressive, anti-colonial and anticapitalist ecology,” and “act collectively by fighting against this extractivist, colonial and ecocidal system, which prefers profit to life.” student at McGill University, shared her thoughts about attending the march. “I think there was a general consensus about Climate Rage,” she said. “It was a nice environment to be surrounded by and it is about time that people do something. There needs to be systemic change.” Despite the efforts activists have been putting forth to give climate justice the spotlight, there has also been backlash to the onset of protests that have emerged. Vandalism in the form of slashed tires and fabricated tickets are on the uprise, as anticar discourse is being brought to the forefront. Most of this year’s participants are Montreal’s youth, college and university students who have expressed fear for their future on multiple occasions. Society has already witnessed the effects of climate change for many years, one notable instance being the Quebec wildfires that befell the province this past summer. However, while the recent protests claim that that government has remained inactive amid the rapidly changing circumstances, Quebec has halted its operations

for oil and gas exploration while stressing a switch to clean hydroelectricity. Meanwhile, the federal government’s carbon tax has already been well underway, alongside the country-wide implementation of carbon pricing, all with the aim to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050. These small changes are certainly a start and will guide environmental programs in a positive direction, but the protestors’ worries are rooted in the lethargic fulfillment of climate policy triggered by the capitalist and colonists system that fail to properly address the climate crisis. Beyond the efforts of mobilization, Climate Rage also pushed forth their Sample Strike Proposal: a “fill-in-the-blank” proposal that activists can embellish and send to their respective General Assemblies for a chance to create meaningful change. Although Climate Rage Week is officially over, they hope that the fight towards environmental justice will only grow stronger as the world continues to shift in a warmer direction.

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


Ecuador’s Yasuni Referendum


A Victory for Latin America

Leila Espinoza News Contributor


cuador has long lived with the puzzling dilemma: to preserve a biodiverse region unique to the world or to capitalise its oil reserve to address a substantial fiscal deficit worth millions. Yet on August 20, Ecuadorians marked a revolutionary moment in Latin American history. The electorate voted overwhelmingly in favour of suspending oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park. The park has exceptional biodiversity, and the area is home to many Indigenous communities, including two who live in voluntary isolation: the Tagaeri and the Taromenane. Yasuni Park has been the center of international attention and speculation in years past. In 2007, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa attempted to launch the Yasuni-ITT initiative. He proposed that at least 850 million barrels of crude oil from the IshpingoTambococha-Tiputini oil field (ITT) would be left untouched and unexploited, in the name of preserving biodiversity and Indigenous territories. However, since Ecuador relies heavily on the oil industry, the nation sought $3.5 billion from the global community to fund employment in the renewable energy sector. Only 0.37 per cent of the objective was attained, which prevented the goal of developing renewable energy sectors in the country from being achieved. Without the will of the international community to support this proposal, the Yasuni initiative could not succeed. This prompted the president to exploit the ITT oil field to tackle the country’s growing austerity. As such, corporations were able to extract oil from one the world’s largest biodiverse areas, resulting in at least 689 hectares

Eric Duivenvoorden | Illustrations Contributor of deforestation. On March 6, 2020, the stateowned company Petroamazonas EP, which subsequently united with Petroecuador, granted a $148 million contract for the development of 24 new wells on the ITT field, specifically in the Tambococha field. After awarding the contract to the Chinese corporation, Chuanqing Drilling Engineering Company Limited (CCDC), the government expected an increase of 7,500 barrels of oil per day. However, satellite images rendered by Monitoring the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) observed that the construction of roads in the ITT field was seriously endangering the conservation of the Yasuni Park. In response, Indigenous and environmental activists came together to advocate for the suspension of oil extraction in the park. The YASunidos collective

“This whole situation was an incentive for the creation of the Yasunidos movement, which works against petroleum exploitation in the Yasuni and in favour of a post-petroleum society.” - Xavier Leon Vega

assembled social organizations and movements to defend the Yasuni park and its Indigenous inhabitants. Xavier Leon Vega, member of the Yasuni Collective, wrote extensively about the situation: “This whole situation was an incentive for the creation of the Yasunidos movement, which works against petroleum exploitation in the Yasuni and in favour of a post-petroleum society.” Their objective focused on conducting a referendum that would allow Ecuadorians the possibility to decide whether crude oil should be extracted from the ITT field. This mechanism lies within the rights stipulated in the 2008 Constitution, which recognizes the “plurinational nature of the Ecuadorian State, the rights of nature, but above all the right to participation and the guarantee of participatory democracy.” As such, the movement to preserve the Yasuni National Park gained 750,000 signatures and became recognized as “the first direct democracy initiative” assembled by the people. Regardless, the National Electoral Council annulled more than half of the signatures gathered. Through appeals, mobilizations and peaceful protests, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador ruled the Ecuadorian state violated citizens’ rights through its arbitrary decision to invalidate the petition. The court even went further and granted a referendum on August 20 where

The movement to preserve the Yasuni National Park gained 750,000 signatures and became recognized as “the first direct democracy initiative” assembled by the people. more than 58 per cent voted in favour of preservation efforts of the park. This historic referendum obliges Ecuador’s state-owned oil company, Petraecuador, to suspend all operations within a year . This includes the ceasing of drilling infrastructure and restoring the oil sites of block 43. This event has been appraised as the first time in which a nation’s country has voted resoundingly in favour of leaving oil reserves untapped. However, it is unclear how oil operations in the ITT field would be worthy of foreign and national investment. For instance, “more than 90 per cent of what’s pumped is toxic water that needs to be removed and treated, making operations more expensive.” With struggling debt, the government often views oil operations as the most viable way to gain funds. The irony lies within Ecuador’s financial state, where it holds a USD $5 billion of debt to China, and yet it has been using oil to repay loans by awarding

contracts to Chinese petroleum companies within the oil fields. This can be illustrated through Eduardo Galeono’s famous analysis, The Open Veins of Latin America, where he writes: “Nothing compares with this “black gold” as a magnet for foreign capital, nothing earns such lush profits, no jewel in the diadem of capitalism is so monopolized, and no business wields the global political power of the great petroleum corporations.” Alternatives have been considered to create a sustainable economy such as developing markets focused on local products or the development of carbon offset programs. Recently, Ecuador secured an agreement wherein the country obtained at least $12 million in financial contributions to conserve the Galapagos Islands. As such, the country has solved its dilemma by deciding to preserve Yasuni Park. By taking this step, Ecuador is allowing itself to find other alternatives to support its economy.


October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


I Hate His GUTS and I Want to Get Him Back

An exploration of girlhood in Olivia Rodrigo’s newest album

Evelyn Logan Culture Contributor


here’s something special about Olivia Rodrigo’s first album that I’ll never forget. SOUR (2021) was, just as its name indicates, filled with songs that express raw, abrasive emotion. A scathing story of heartbreak and betrayal, SOUR shows us how it feels to be stabbed in the back and completely disregarded. An album worthy of a follow up act, many listeners were left wondering: what will she do next? A month ago Rodrigo dropped a brand-new album: GUTS (2023). In this album, Rodrigo takes that sour feeling a step further. If she held back at all in SOUR, she definitely didn’t hold back this time; Rodrigo absolutely spills her guts. While SOUR serves as the initial album designed to lift you up when you’re feeling down, GUTS is the sequel that supports you as you pick yourself back up. The media is currently riding a “girlhood” wave. In the film industry, the resurgence of female-led cultclassics like The Virgin Suicides (1999) and the release of stories like The Barbie Movie (2023) and Bottoms (2023), have catapulted the girl experience to the forefront of everyone’s mind. And with the rise of trends on TikTok like “girl dinner” and “girl math,” it seems like girls are having their moment in the spotlight. Before the height of this girlhood craze, Olivia Rodrigo emerged with SOUR, a perfect album with all the right words that nailed how it feels to be a girl being absolutely dragged

Olivia Shan | Coordinating Editor she knows it’s a bad idea she goes for it anyway. “Bad idea right?” plays with the idea of having two conflicting selves, a theme that runs rampant throughout the rest of GUTS. One of the most distinctive aspects of an Olivia Rodrigo song is the contrasting elements of punk rock and very calm acoustic guitar. This kind of dichotomy was present in SOUR, mainly serving to illustrate Rodrigo’s escalating emotions about a particular situation. However, in GUTS this kind of musical contrast also occurs when Rodrigo is showing a different side of herself - typically, her rock style. This sort of switch-up usually slowly emerges from something that was previously hidden in the slower, more emotion-ridden parts of the song. them with less delicacy. In SOUR, The first song of GUTS, “All-american Rodrigo (and us too) were the victims. bitch” is a perfect example. The entire Things were happening to us, and song alternates between acoustic and we had no control. In GUTS, Rodrigo Paramore-esque rock guitar, but at the steps out as a perpetrator. She isn’t very end it resolves to an unplugged, just affected by things that happen to acoustic sound that’s even smoother than the beginning. her; she’s the cause.

Swift’s “You Belong With Me”). She honed in on feelings we’ve all felt when we were younger, stupider, and more susceptible to fall for the kinds of guys that play Billy Joel. SOUR validated us. It gave our most raw, yearning emotions a place to call home. GUTS is different; not in the sense that it doesn’t concern very similar feelings, but it approaches

In GUTS, Rodrigo steps out as a perpetrator. She isn’t just affected by things that happen to her; she’s the cause.

by life. Pain, heartbreak, and jealousy – all themes central to Rodrigo’s first album – are intrinsic aspects of girlhood. With SOUR, Olivia Rodrigo completely aligned her artistic identity with the girl experience. Not only was “Drivers License” incredibly popular commercially – it became a staple “Seeing you tonight / it’s a bad in many girls’ lives by so accurately idea, right?... I only see him as a defining the era that they grew up in. friend / the biggest lie I ever said… I just tripped and fell into his bed” “I wanna key his car, I wanna –- Olivia Rodrigo, “bad idea right?” make him lunch / I wanna break GUTS his heart, stitch it right back up” – Olivia Rodrigo, “get him back!” Songs like “bad idea right?” are GUTS so electric because Rodrigo firmly plants herself as someone who’s doing GUTS has been adored by Rodrigo’s the wrong thing, and for the wrong loyal fanbase, and it has had similar reasons. In this song, her lyrics speak success to SOUR. In her first album, so clearly about the battle between Olivia Rodrigo established herself as delusion and reality – a struggle so the kind of singer who voiced our many young people face. Even though most secret emotions (think Taylor

eyes or show aggression at the lyric “grateful” in “all-american b*tch” to show the effort required for girls to always be saving face. Rodrigo perfectly encapsulates the stress of being forced into the box of the “eternal optimist,” regardless of how she really feels.

more obscure sides of herself, Rodrigo shows her growth as an artist. She can be the innocent girl to whom terrible things happen, but she can also be the girl who does things that she knows are bad for her. She can enjoy the simple pleasures of girlhood, but also experience complex emotions including, and even especially, rage. “I’m grateful all the time (all With GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo pushes the f*cking time) / I’m sexy and the idea of duality within girlhood by I’m kind / I’m pretty when I cry” showing how it really feels to grow up – Olivia Rodrigo, “all-american as a young woman amid conflicting

She can be the innocent girl to whom terrible things happen, but she can also be the girl who does things that she knows are bad for her. She can enjoy the simple pleasures of girlhood, but also experience complex emotions including, and even especially, rage.

“I don’t get angry when I’m pissed / I’m the eternal optimist / I scream inside to deal with it like, ‘ah!’” – Olivia Rodrigo, “allb*tch” GUTS american b*tch” GUTS Here, Olivia Rodrigo claims her identity as an “all-american b*tch,” but acknowledges that sometimes it’s stifling. In the acoustic sections, she sings about the sweeter, frillier parts of girlhood, but reveals some of her frustration with the label when the tempo changes. In a viral trend on TikTok, people would twitch their

mindsets. With girlhood’s potency in the media right now, it’s very GUTS shows the parts of girlhood easy for people to simplify such that aren’t just about innocent an experience, when in fact it’s heartbreak. Rodrigo presents herself anything but. Rodrigo discusses her as a confused, mistake-prone young lived experiences in a way that adult. She’s still able to tap into certain reminds us all that girlhood is aspects of SOUR when she discusses complex – it isn’t a monolith, and her insecurities and anxieties there’s no single right way to be in songs like “lacy” or “ballad of a a girl. homeschooled girl”, but by embracing

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


Little Simz Takes Montreal


How Little Simz is paving the way for independent artistry in 2023 Claudia Efemini Culture Contributor


f you’re currently on the lookout for a new lyrical artist, look no further than the artist listings at Montreal’s very own MTELUS. On October 9, British-Nigerian rapper Little Simz took the stage to deliver a showstopping performance. Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo hails from North London and rose to acclaim through the independent release of her first three albums: A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons (2015), Stillness in Wonderland (2016) and Grey Area (2019). A versatile artist who is influential in both the music and film industries, Little Simz has created a name for herself across the media. Some people might know her for her rap and experimental tunes, whilst others know her as “Shelley” in Top Boy, a popular British drama series. Simz’s two latest albums, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (2021) and No Thank You (2022) have been greatly received by critics and fans alike. The former has been widely regarded as one of the best album releases of the year, and was ranked number one by British music publication The Line Of Best Fit. Little Simz was supposed to tour Sometimes I Might Be Introvert last year in the US,

Making a decision to go independent as an artist can be liberating – it gives you a certain creative autonomy you could not otherwise possess. but had to cancel due to the mounting financial constraints she faced as an independent artist. Studies show that streaming platforms and services are benefiting hugely at the expense of artists, an example being that Universal Music Group is profiting from the 25 per cent cut that Academy Music Group withdraw from merchandise sales in its venues. Little Simz told the Guardian: “Being an independent artist, I pay for everything encompassing my live performances out of my own pocket and touring the US for a month would

Genevieve Quinn | Photos Editor leave me in a huge deficit. As much as this pains me to not see you at this time, I’m just not able to put myself through that mental stress.” These struggles are expressed in her newest album, No Thank You, which has just been toured in the US and Canada. It’s safe to say that Simz has overcome this setback and is ready to perform her moving hits across the UK and North America. Simz has been very vocal both verbally and lyrically about her experience navigating the music industry as an independent artist: “No one wanted to sign me! I was knocking on everyone’s doors … and they wasn’t hearing it,” she told Skalvan, a Norwegian-Swedish talk show host. However, now that Simz’ artistry has been recognised by critics and has achieved financial success, she is being approached by major record labels. In “Angel,” the first song listed on No Thank You, Simz directly alludes to the exploitation of independent artists within the music industry: “I can see how an artist can get tainted, frustrated. They don’t care if your mental is on the brink of somethin’ dark. As long as you’re cuttin’ somebody’s payslip.” This experience isn’t unique to Little Simz. The dismissal of independent artists’ humanity is rampant within various artistic industries, from books to music. Through her lyrics, Simz is echoing these harsh realities that have been

frequently addressed by artists such as Saul Williams in his 2004 album List of Demands. It is no secret that economic success is appealing to major labels. This

independent artists. This summer, fulltime independent musician Sarah King spoke about the financial struggles of touring as an independent artist and

Simply put, Simz’s artistry truly embodies the act of being resilient and trusting that your time will come. These qualities are integral to being an independent artist in the chaotic climate of today’s music industry. often leaves emerging artists conflicted, as they face offers that seem appealing at face-value, but hide the looming threat of exploitation. Simz is one among many who have faced this decision, but she chose to remain independent and dodge the exploitative record labels itching to hop on the ride of her recent critical and financial success. Making a decision to go independent as an artist can be liberating – it gives you a certain creative autonomy you could not otherwise possess. However, it isn’t exactly all happy times. The financial pressures, particularly when touring, can be a nightmare for many

how they have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, King notes that the most difficult aspect of touring is finding a venue in the midst of shutdowns. Even if you can find a suitable venue, available dates are limited for “mid-level artists” due to extensive backlogs. During the course of Simz’s career, she’s made it clear that she is in it for the long run. Even if she is faced with hardships as an independent artist, for Simz the rewarding nature of an autonomous musical journey is what matters most. Reflecting on her journey as an independent artist, Simz told

Music Week that “It always sounds very appealing when you’re being wined and dined and promised things. But I also have friends and peers who are on major labels and I talked to them. It’s not as if they say anything crazy or wild, but I wanted to get all the perspectives. So I don’t actually know what it is to be a signed artist. I mean, I might have it all backwards. I might be missing a trick, but I think I’ve found something that works for me. It’s a lot of hard work, but I’m definitely a stairs person and not on the escalator journey. It’s superrewarding and I get to do what I want.” This has been noticed by the likes of multifaceted artist and director Robert Swerdlow, who told Music Week: “Very rarely do you get an artist who can work in a global, smart and culturally relevant musical space and stand up 100 per cent for independence. And Simz never compromises on any creative level, from music, to marketing, identity, aesthetic and video making.” Simply put, Simz’s artistry truly embodies the act of being resilient and trusting that your time will come. These qualities are integral to being an independent artist in the chaotic climate of today’s music industry. As such, Little Simz’s career is one to be watched. Montreal is honoured to receive her work.


October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


High Food Prices Impact Indigenous People Canada’s settler-colonialism has subjected Indigenous people to food insecurity and unclean water

Maya Law Commentary Contributor


a n a d a ’s Indigenous population is m o re than twice as likely to experience food insecurity than other Canadians. Indigenous people have lived in Canada for 12,000 years. Despite being the first people to live in Canada, they are now some of the least fortunate due to European colonization and ongoing s e t t l e rcolonialism from the Canadian government. Colonization has been heavily detrimental to the culture and sustainability of Indigenous people. Cultural erasure, government control, and insufficient funding have all contributed to the difficult circumstances Indigenous people now face. This historical and systemic inequity and abuse of Indigenous people by Canada has led to severe unavailability of basic resources like food and water. Over the past centuries, power has systematically been taken away from Indigenous people. T h e s e g ro u p s h ave all experienced extreme m a rg i n a l i z a t i o n a n d a b u s e which has resulted in st r u g g l e s t h a t i m p a c t t h e i r health and safety. Since the beginning of European colonization, there have been active attempts to eliminate Indigenous cultures. The Indian Act of 1876 was a significant component of this. In the passing of this act, the Canadian Government took control of policy regarding Indigenous people, resources on reserves, housing, and health services – essentially taking away any sovereignty the Indigenous peoples had. This act was an attempt to ‘assimilate’ Indigenous people into Canadian life and culture, and essentially e ra d i c a t e the cultures they already

had. Re s i d e n t i a l s c h o o l s, which ran from 1831 to 1996, were intended to ‘educate’ Indigenous children by ‘civilizing ’ and Christianizing them. The instruction at these schools was insufficient for any standard of living, with studies focused on religion, basic household skills, and nothing educationally advanced. Students were also not permitted to acknowledge

With Indigenous reservations being located in remote areas, food transportation is required which greatly increases prices. For instance, the average monthly expenditure for food in Attawapiskat is $1,909, more than double the $846 average monthly expense in Toronto[.]

or practice their own cultures or languages. These schools limited the knowledge of Indigenous children wh i l e also preventing and actively p r o h i b i t i n g t h e m from learning their cultural history and way of life. In addition, Indigenous children were fed foreign food of insufficient quantity or quality, rather than their cultural meals and diet, often leading to malnutrition and starvation. Indigenous peoples’ selfsufficient meal preparation knowledge, harvesting and environmentally-respectful agriculture is still being impacted by the Canadian government’s policies. Additionally, the living conditions designated to them by the government are overpriced and unlivable. The water on many Indigenous reserves is not safe to drink. Contaminated water systems have made it incredibly difficult for Indigenous people to access this basic necessity. The Canadian government has committed to resolving this issue. According to the Government of Canada, 143 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted since

Genevieve Quinn | Photos Editor

2015 and today there are only 28 still in effect. Though much progress has been made, 26 reserves that are still impacted by this contaminated water need safe water as well. Initiatives like The Council of Canadians are advocating for an increase in government funding towards the repair and maintenance of the water systems on reserves, citing $138 million in annual funding required to cover these costs. On top of the unsafe water conditions, the cost of basic necessities like food is much higher. With Indigenous reservations being located in remote areas, food transportation is required which greatly increases prices. For instance, the average monthly expenditure for food in Attawapiskat is $1,909, more than double the $846 average monthly expense in Toronto, according to a 2016 report by Food Secure Canada. Though these higher prices are the result of the geographical location of the reserves, they could be improved by Indigenous people farming and hunting for their own foods. However, with very little sovereignty, this

option is unattainable. Policybased and physical barriers make it very difficult for Indigenous peoples to hunt and prepare their traditional foods. “Almost half of on-reserve First Nations households were food insecure and the prevalence was higher than that for non-Indigenous households in Canada,” determined a study from 20082018. There are many initiatives supporting and raising money to fight Indigenous food insecurity and unsafe water. However, there appears to be limited or insufficient intervention from the Canadian government itself, the organization that is primarily responsible for these issues existing in the first place. If the government were to allocate funding to decrease prices of foods, encourage Indigenous consumption of cultural foods, expand Indigenous sovereignty, and maintain reserve water systems, Indigenous food insecurity could be significantly reduced.

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily



Cheers For McGill Drinking culture on campus

Gregor McCall Contributor


t is 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening, yet the desolate basement typical of Leacock is alive and well as a train of eager, stressed, and worn students wait in line to enter Bar Des Arts (BDA) for warm beers and grilled cheeses. Many of them will be thankful for the impending end to the school week in spite of whatever looming assignments are yet to be finished. This phenomenon repeats across campus at other institutions that any good McGillian should know, from other such weekly faculty bars like Blues and 4à7 to the iconic Gert’s Bar open daily during the week. If there is one common denominator for oncampus student life at McGill the shared drinking culture is surely it. However, this culture seems to present a number of problems in relation to how we, as students, are to navigate and balance life at a university such as McGill. On one hand, we are expected to be diligent, serious, and committed students, tasked with succeeding in a rigorous academic environment and upholding the scholastic reputation that McGill has sought to cultivate throughout its existence. On the other hand, we are expected to be able to let loose; to party just as hard as we work throughout the week. Indeed, many of us have encountered the “workhard, play-hard,” attitude taken toward student culture at McGill. Yet when student life becomes inextricable from drinking, unhealthy habits are sure to arise among the student body. The problem with a “work-hard, play-hard” attitude arises out of its

encouragement of an unbalanced lifestyle and coping mechanism. Whether realized or not, such an attitude denotes drinking as a type of “counterbalance” to the normalcy of work. This prescribes a certain ratio in which one should “play” in accordance to how much they “worked.” Thus, the harder one works, the harder one should play. This frames the cure to work, as well as the stress that comes with it, as alcohol. The window in which one is to drink, however, is highly condensed which leads many to over-consumption in the form of binge-drinking, heavydrinking, and dependency, many of which have adverse side effects. Ottawa Public Health defines binge-drinking as consuming four or more drinks in two hours for people assigned female at birth and five or more in two hours for those assigned male at birth. That being said, if one goes to BDA with $5 and drinks five cans of PBR within a two-hour period, they are binge-drinking, which may go unnoticed in the ambience of the crowd. Research into the longterm effects of alcohol use for adolescents aged 10-19 shows that heavy drinking – where one engages in binge-drinking at a minimum of twice a month for at least a year – may hinder the process of synaptic refinement. Synaptic refinement is the process in which the neural connections in the brain are polished until only the most efficient connections remain. As such, halting this process thereby stunts memory, attention, executive decisionmaking, as well as other operations integral to regular functionality. Of course, drinking also has negative short-term effects. Alcohol makes one less aware, can elicit feelings

The problem with a “workhard, play-hard” attitude arises out of its encouragement of an unbalanced lifestyle and coping mechanism. Whether realized or not, such an attitude denotes drinking as a type of “counterbalance” to the normalcy of work.

Inan Zhao | Contributor of hopelessness or depression, and impedes rational choice-making. Those under the influence can be at greater risks of sexual assault, depressive or suicidal thoughts, as well as death by unintentional injury. At the university level, these problems are ever-present. A report by the Boston University School of Public Health found that more than 70,000 students aged 18-24 are victims of alcoholrelated date-rape or sexual assault. In 2010, two students at Queen’s University died in alcohol-related injuries during Queen’s infamous St. Patrick’s Day bash, and in 2011, a student at Acadia University died from alcohol poisoning during orientation week. Furthermore, university-backed drinking events pose problems in principle – that is problems in the messages they impose. Nowhere is this more clear than faculty frosh week. Faculty froshes are introductory experiences to McGill; they work to form our basic impressions about social life and as an apparatus to form meaningful connections and relationships with your peers. In being paired with upper year leaders, froshies engage in a process of corrective learning–a process of observation (whether conscious or not) from a modeled behavior followed by emulation. In consisting of various pregames followed by an alcoholcentered event, froshies learn that connection with their peers manifests through the apparatus of drinking. This is truer for

students who come from other provinces or countries with less relaxed laws around the minimum age to buy and consume alcohol legally; they are, for the first time, learning how to drink. Thus, all froshies who participate in the alcohol-centered frosh events learn - to some extent - that alcohol can serve as the key to social functionality. Should we, however, want this to be the case? Many would not. The university is an authority. Insofar that it has power over the students, its facets – namely the sub-institutions it backs – do as well. This includes SSMU, Frosh, and the Faculty Bars, whose operations are tied to McGill as an institution. The power of student-run institutions within the university consists, partly, in organizing student culture on campus. Thus grounding studentlife on campus in drinkingcentered events encourages unhealthy behavior in a way that punishes deviation in the form of exclusion. Those who do not drink for health, religious, or other reasons, are excluded from these aspects of student-life. And while drinking-centered events do not comprise the whole of studentlife on campus, one cannot deny that they make up a significant portion. Thus, when one cannot participate in this event, it can alienate them from their peers. As a community of students, we should not want to alienate our peers, but foster relations independent from substance-use.

McGill need not become a drycampus to remedy this. Of course not all drinking is problematic. Nights out with friends can foster some of the most sentimental bonds. More importantly, frosh week, faculty bars, OAP, and Gert’s are fun. The problem arises when it is the main source of connection between students, and when information about thresholds wherein these activities become unhealthy habits is not wide-spread.

Furthermore, universitybacked drinking events pose problems in principle– that is problems in the messages they impose In short, one can circumvent the problems drinking-culture imposes – both practically and in principle – by awareness. Pay attention to how much you are drinking, and to whether it is the only way you are connecting with your peers.


October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily


The Hidden History of Eviction and Gentrification

Housing disparities are masked behind the glitz and glamour of the games Sophie Hill Commentary Contributor


he history of the Olympic Games is inextricably tied to the global housing crisis. Beneath layers of economic value and tourism are the oftenforgotten costs that unhoused populations and marginalized communities pay when a city hosts the Olympics. While much buzz has been generated surrounding the sustainability efforts of the Paris 2024 games, little has been reported in regard to Paris’s ongoing housing crisis and the detrimental impacts that Olympic preparations are having on the city’s unhoused population. In March 2023, France began moving the unhoused population out of the capital ahead of its hosting the current Rugby World Cup and the upcoming summer Olympic Games. Prior to the displacement, Paris had been putting up a portion of its unhoused population in lowend hotels as part of its emergency housing plan. However, massive sporting events draw millions of spectators, and hotels are eager to hike up accommodation costs and book at capacity for the duration of the games. The French government – motivated by the economic tourism of hosting the Olympics – has asked other cities and regions around the country to take over the housing responsibilities for Paris’s unhoused population in preparation for these two major sporting events. The government is asking French officials to create “temporary regional accommodation facilities” for Paris’s unhoused population, yet it remains extremely unclear what these housing facilities will actually look like. Concerns regarding cleanliness, location, and capacity are being largely ignored by the government, which is instead choosing to focus on the financial advantages of the displacement. The regions to which the unhoused population are being relocated have also voiced concerns over not having sufficient empty housing for those facing forcible eviction from their temporary housing. Those who support the removal argue that it is a step in the direction of finding permanent housing for Paris’s unhoused population. However, bouncing people from one temporary shelter to another does not constitute permanent housing. With the French government remaining vague in regard to the specific details of these new shelters, the unhoused population has been put in a precarious position. The grey area that comes with forcible evictions by such powerful institutions as the French government is enormous

when promises are made to deliver housing alternatives but there is no higher governing body to determine whether those alternatives are safe and adequate replacements. Paris is not the first city willing to displace a portion of its population for the Olympics. Historically, displacement has always followed major sporting events, including the Olympics. Beijing in 2008 and Rio in 2016 employed the same methods to secure extra accommodation space that could be rented out for elevated prices during the games. The 2020 Tokyo Games are the most recent example of the direct harm that is caused by relocation and the loss that is currently threatening the livelihood of many Parisians. In the leadup to the games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted a “sudden and violent” raid on Meiji Park, forcing out dozens of unhoused people without providing an alternative housing plan. The events that took place in Meiji are strikingly similar to the struggles unhoused people are currently facing in Paris, with forcible evictions from their buildings and even removal from the city itself. This pattern of displacement that haunts Olympics host cities has become so common that it has even been given a name: the “Olympic Legacy”. Despite the need for additional accommodations during the Olympics, it remains the government of the host country’s duty to protect and serve its residents first and foremost, including the unhoused

population. When governments begin backing marginalized communities into a corner, they violate the fundamental human right to housing that countries like France made a commitment to. It is easy for government officials, the media, and the public to sweep these rights infringements under the rug when doing so benefits major sporting events that are so widely publicized and celebrated. In addition to the negative impacts of government policies, a recent Airbnb deal with the International Olympics Committee has exacerbated the problems facing unhoused people during these major sporting events. In 2019, Airbnb signed a $500 million-dollar contract with the Olympics to promote housing and urban development for the games. This contract strengthened the international sporting community through its economic investment in the games, but it also increased the need for housing and fan accommodation. Looking forward to the 2028 Olympic Games, many Los Angeles residents find themselves in a similar position as Airbnb’s contract with the Olympics has resulted in rent spikes and eviction threats of residents living near the Olympic venues. In addition to the displacement of some of society’s most vulnerable members, the Olympic Games are also complicit in gentrification. Sporting events that are broadcast worldwide and that require host cities allow governments to use

Inan Zhao | Illustrations Contributor

these competitions as rationale for urbanization and the development of poorer areas. This gentrification occurs when host cities tear down poorer neighbourhoods to build infrastructure for the games, resulting in the removal of entire communities from the cities they were once part of. Back in 2005, the UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw famously called the 2012 London Olympics a “force for regeneration” as the city incorporated the development of many of East London’s poorer neighbourhoods into the Olympic planning phase. Paris is now using the same disguise of development to hide the gentrification that the neighbourhood of Saint-Denis is undergoing. Saint-Denis is set to house the Olympic Village and the primary Olympic infrastructure, which has resulted in the area becoming more expensive than residents can afford. It has also become increasingly frustrating for those who live in the area to see an Olympic pool and gymnasium being built when Paris has yet to implement more community pools and gymnasiums for the actual residents of the neighbourhood. An opposition group questioning Paris’s

decision to host the 2024 Olympics has called the city “undemocratic” and “oppressive” for not calling a referendum and giving the citizens of Saint-Denis the chance to vote on such a threatening event. The debate over how to handle the housing needs of the Olympic games is a critical juncture in how governments treat their most vulnerable citizens and reveals the extent to which they value all parts of a city, including its less “desirable” neighbourhoods. Ignoring the costs to some of society’s most vulnerable members creates a slippery slope for further encroachment – whether intentional or passive – onto the standard of living that many have fought to prioritize on government agendas. Moreover, the gentrification that occurs with large-scale sporting events opens the door for a wider discussion of privilege and the costs of nationalism. There is, at present, no clear-cut solution that will satisfy all parties involved. Housing is a sensitive and extremely polarizing issue, but it is clear that Olympic host cities need to first fulfill their duties to residents before turning to sports and international affairs.

Beneath layers of economic value and tourism are the often-forgotten costs that unhoused populations and marginalized communities pay

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily




A Mushroom, Leek, and Parmesan Risotto (3 portions)

Hi readers! Here is the perfect recipe for the fall and winter seasons, if you want a heartwarming, easy, and delish meal. This risotto recipe uses the seasonal ingredients leeks and mushrooms and is guaranteed to impress anyone you decide to feed it to. For this recipe you will need: •

2 leeks

A box of mushrooms (227 grams)

1/12 cups of rice (risotto rice, preferably)


Your choice of broth

1/4 cup of Butter

White Wine (if you’re feeling extra fancy)

Parmesan (optional)

Begin by cutting up your mushrooms and then stir-frying them in a pan with olive oil and the spices of your choice. Once your mushrooms are cooked through and have a nice flavour, set them aside in a bowl. Cook your shallots and leek in the same pan you used for the mushrooms. Once your leeks have a nice colour and your shallots are soft, you can add your dry rice. Continue to sauté the ingredients for a few minutes (if you have some wine add 40ml and let it evaporate), while you heat your broth. Once the broth is ready, add little by little your broth to the pan. Stir frequently, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Repeat this step until your rice has cooked through. The act of stirring frequently will create a creamy sauce. Once the rice is cooked add some butter and parmesan. You can now add your mushrooms back to the pan and give them a quick stir before plating your risotto. Adding the mushrooms at the end allows them to retain their delicious earthy flavor. You can top your meal with flavourful parmesan (or the 3 dollar Gran Regale at Segals which works perfectly). You now have a delish meal that tastes amazing, uses fresh seasonal products., and will keep you warm.

Super Secret Special Cookies No meal is ever complete without a little sweet treat. This is why I have decided to share with our readers the most amazing and delicious cookie recipe. This recipe will give you huge cookies with big chocolate chunks that are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. You will need: •

125 grams of softened butter

120 grams of brown sugar

Mix the softened butter with the two sugars. Once you have a paste-like

70 grams of white sugar

consistency, add the egg. When your mixture is homogeneous, incorporate

205 grams of flour

the flour and the baking soda. Your batter should be a little bit sticky but

1 egg

do not hesitate to add a little bit more flour if you’d like to have less of a

1 teaspoon baking soda

sticky consistency. Do not overmix the batter as you risk ending up with

1 chocolate bar or chocolate chips

tough cookies. If you have a bar of chocolate, chop it into big chunks of chocolate and add it to the batter (or the chocolate chips if you choose to use chocolate chips.) To have thin, crispy cookies, cook them for 20 minutes at 300ºF. For big chewy cookies, make two balls, one bigger and one smaller than the other, and layer the small one on top of the big one. Cook them for 20 minutes at 320ºF: this will give you a chewy texture and a big delicious cookie. I encourage you to regularly check your cookies as all ovens cook differently. This recipe makes about 12 big cookies that you can share with friends, roommates, or just for you to enjoy if you are feeling cookielicious!

Zoe Mineret | Commentary Editor

October 16, 2023 | The McGill Daily






(Mar 21 Apr 19)

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get into the fall spirit with some Caramel apples from your local market!




(Jun 21 Jul 22)

(Jul 23 Aug 22)

(Aug 23 Sept 22)


Forget brownies, get some blondies. be unique, Make a statement!





(Sept 23 Oct 22)

(Oct 23 Nov 21)

(Nov 22 Dec 21)


while you prepare for scorpio season, treat yourself to some quality tiramisu.





(Dec 22 Jan 19)

(Jan 20 Feb 18)

(Feb 19 Mar 20)



PLEASE DO YOUrSELF a favour and learn how to make chai from scratch at home, it’s time.

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