Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Lion, the Fox, and the Eagle

I love Canada. I love being a Canadian.


(yeah, you knew there was a "but" coming, you sniffed the wind, you consulted tea leaves and you saw it coming) we don't tell our own stories. I had to watch the CBC to learn about some of the incredible things Canadians have accomplished. Some of what these people achieved wasn't just for the betterment of Canada and other Canadians but for all of humanity. This brings me to my point (you knew the "but" was coming, but you didn't think I'd actually get to a point, did you?), we Canadians do not tell the stories of our heroes. We may complain about how often we are told stories of American heroes, but I don't think the problem is that Americans tell their stories too much, it's that we don't tell our stories enough.

One of my favourite Canadians is Roméo Dallaire . He was the Canadian general in charge of the failed UN mission in Rwanda. In some circles in Belgium he is considered ''careless and unprofessional'', but I love him anyway. Dallaire was in charge of the mission in Rwanda, but the UN would not listen to his assessment of the situation, and so the mission was doomed to failure.

Carol Off tried to tell the story of three Canadians, Roméo Dallaire, Lewis MacKenzie and Louise Arbour, in her 2000 book The Lion, the Fox, and the Eagle (no, that's not a mistake, you're thinking of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis). It's a fascinating read about the influence Canadians have in international politics and justice. In my school library, The Lion, the Fox, and the Eagle is filed in the fiction section. I asked that the decision be reassessed, but the book is still there.

Yup, we Canadians need to tell our stories more often, but we need to figure out if they're fiction or not.
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