Wayne K. Spear
Wayne K. Spear is a National Post and Huffington Post contributor, as well as an entrepreneur working from his home in Toronto. His recent books include Residential School, A Children's History (with Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden) and Full Circle: a story of the Indian residential school legacy, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and reflections on the work of hope, healing, reconciliation and change.

Your correspondence is welcomed at wayne.k.spear@gmail.com.

Entries by Wayne K. Spear

This Is My Truth, This Is My Reconciliation

(5) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 2:04 PM

Will Canadians learn anything of useful value from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada? Will they even be interested in doing so?

These and other questions are on my mind as I prepare for the final closing events of the TRC, from May 31 to...

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Why Does the Fight For Aboriginal Rights Equal a Rejection of Science?

(11) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 7:49 AM

The life-threatening illness of an 11-year-old Brantford-area girl was no business of mine, until it had been made a cultural rights campaign.

I've gotten used to the conspiracy theories and the pseudo- and even anti-science critiques levelled against doctors, hospitals, and modern medicine. It would have been possible, and in...

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Ontario's Liberals Didn't Win: The Other Parties Lost

(63) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 4:56 PM

Earlier this week, on CTV news, I predicted that two political parties would be looking for new leaders if the Ontario Liberals prevailed. Election day had yet to expire when Tim Hudak announced he would be stepping down, fulfilling half of my proposition.

What I didn't say, but had meant...

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The Senate Loses One of Its Best as Romeo Dallaire Departs

(12) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 6:34 PM

The date was Thursday February 15, 2007, and I was on my way to a parliamentary Senate breakfast on Ottawa's Wellington Street. With me was the former long-time CBC national reporter Whit Fraser, a man who is never lacking for a quip of the moment. As I opened the door...

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Do Ontarians Only Vote To Keep the Biggest Liar Out of Power?

(29) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 6:16 PM

I can summon with clarity the celebration of Fall 1990 that inducted the provincial NDP government of Bob Rae. I'd moved to Kingston a month earlier, at the end of August, and like everyone else was shocked to see that the NDP would not only form a government, but a...

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Can the World Do Anything For the Kidnapped Girls of Nigeria?

(4) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 1:27 PM

As I write this, the swell of a Western grassroots outcry against the Nigerian outfit, Boko Haram, appears to be forming across social media.

I'm reminded of the late '90s -- long before Twitter and Facebook -- when progressives took to mass e-mailing of the crimes being committed by the...

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If Shawn Atleo Had Stayed, He Would Have Faced a Rebellion

(4) Comments | Posted May 3, 2014 | 12:41 PM

I've met every Assembly of First Nations National Chief going back to the late 1980s, when Georges Erasmus was the leader. Taken as a group, they cover a broad range of personality and disposition. I've gotten to know Georges the best, having written for him across a decade and more,...

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Let's Not Forget Flaherty's Controversial Political Career

(4) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 12:59 PM

The currency of the word outpouring was notable this week: over at the National Post, Michael Den Tandt has not only described the phenomenon, but indulged it himself. His essay "Former finance minister Jim Flaherty's death leaves a void in the Conservative party" issues high praise, pressing Kipling...

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Nirvana's Musical Legacy 20 Years After Kurt Cobain

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2014 | 3:17 PM

Kurt Cobain was not a generation's representative, a spokesperson, or even a rock star. Many tried to press him into these and other molds, much to his frustration, but it happens that he was a songwriter always on the search for a new sound. When he died, by medical estimation...

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Wanting Fred Phelps to Burn in Hell Makes You No Better

(14) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 9:38 AM

According to a Facebook post of his estranged son, Nathan, Fred Phelps Sr, the founder of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, is dying. There's an undeniable aesthetic appeal in the prospect of Mr. Phelps soon meeting his Maker, but this indulgence presumes far more than I can manage. My own...

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Can Slick Mr. Péladeau Sell Nationalism?

(5) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 2:01 PM

The Quebec election campaign became a bit more interesting this week with the entry of Pierre Karl Péladeau, of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation. Mr. Péladeau is well-known as the owner of a global telecommunications empire that includes many assets, both within and without Quebec. Now...

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When Porn Comes Up Against Puritans

(4) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 5:13 PM

In an xoJane article, headlined "I'm Finally Revealing My Name and Face As the Duke Porn Star," the 18-year-old college freshman Miriam Weeks concludes with a reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter:

The truth of the matter is this: I am one identity...

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Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill Is a Genocide in the Making

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 5:42 PM

The delusion fueling Uganda's homophobes is nicely summarized by Douglas Foster, in a Los Angeles Times editorial headlined "Black, gay and indisputably African."

The theme of homophobic African politicians is that gay identity is a perversion imposed on black people by white oppressors. The historical fact is the...
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First Nations Need Tobacco More Than Harper's Law and Order

(6) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 5:33 PM

Much of the Indian Country coffee-shop chat in southern Ontario these days concerns Ottawa's Bill C-10, "Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act," introduced by the Canadian Government in November 2013. Vocal champions of this bill (apart from the government) include the Canadian Convenience Stores Association and the Retail Council of...

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Your "Feelings" About Sex Work Shouldn't Be Laws

(8) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 9:01 AM

Here's how I imagine it working: The Supreme Court of Canada has declared three Criminal Code provisions unconstitutional, giving the government one year to re-draft its prostitution law. The Conservatives think their law is just dandy, and they figure that if they game a consultation by offering Canadians loaded and...

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The Fatwa on Salman Rushdie, Twenty-Five Years On

(10) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 5:20 PM

On February 14, 1989, precisely 25 years ago, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called upon "all brave Muslims of the world" to murder the apostate Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, a novel condemned as blasphemous. Less noted was the breadth of the fatwa, which included:

"All the editors and publishers...
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Time to Get Our Indian Act Together for First Nations Students

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 8:26 AM

The Israeli diplomat, orator and polyglot, Abba Eban, is today memorialized in the truism that men and nations behave wisely only once they have exhausted all the other alternatives. In the case of Canada's exhausted Indian Act policies, the alternatives to a wiser course have been many as well as...

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Insulting Veterans Is Just the Latest in a Long Line of Fantino Faux-Pas

(9) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 12:26 PM

It can be no mere coincidence that Julian Fantino's 2007 hardboiled memoir, Duty: The Life of a Cop, is an as-told-to composed by the PR consultant Jerry Amernic -- a self-described "developer and executor" of "strategic public relations programs designed to introduce an organization to the media and...

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Want to Know About Residential Schools? Talk to Survivors

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 12:17 PM

The repulsive St. Anne's Indian Residential School at Fort Albany is again in the news. Ontario's Superior Court Judge Paul Perell has ruled that files in the possession of the Ontario Provincial Police, related to their investigation of crimes at this institution, should be turned over to the...

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Ariel Sharon's Life of Vigorous Inertia

(2) Comments | Posted January 11, 2014 | 5:02 PM

A settlement, John Kerry said this week, is better than settlements. Yet for years now, a practical sublation of this withdrawal versus occupation dialectic has been in place, involving the concurrence of ongoing peace talks and settler expansion into the West Bank.

As I write this, news arrives both of...

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