Welcome to Growing Deception!
Updated: Mar 5
Hello and welcome to the Growing Deception website! Why start a blog right now? I'm starting this because I feel the need to get some of my thoughts out there in a more detailed way then just a social media post. Right now there's just so much going on in the world. Here in Canada, we just had our capital city and other border towns occupied by people protesting for freedom from pandemic mandates. All this happening while other under-reported occupations were happening in the British Columbia's unceded Wet'sewet'en territory. And then these past couple of weeks we've have heard much about the war in Ukraine, and very little about the wars in Ethiopia and Western Sahara.
The purpose of this blog (and website) is to engage people about these and other important issues of our time. As mentioned in the mission stated on the homepage, my hope is "to spark conversations about critical issues through a Treaty 4, Canadian Prairie lens." I am a 42-year-old cis white man who has grown up on the Canadian Prairies (both Alberta and Saskatchewan) and now resides in Treaty 4. I recognize the privilege that I have as a result of my sexuality, race and gender. I am trying to learn about this privilege, especially as I consider what it means to be the inheritor of a treaty covenant from my European settler-ancestors.
In addition to this blog, there are two other things that I'd like to share. The first is a podcast that I produced both online and on a local radio show in my hometown of Regina (91.3 FM CJTR Community Radio). The podcast was called Render Unto Caesar and it sought to explore the connection between religion and the public sphere. There are a total of 12 episodes and a wide-range of topics covered. I learned A LOT from the people that I interviewed throughout the podcast and I hope that you can get something out of it as well.
The second is Sirocco: Winds of Resistance, a 30-minute film that I made in 2016. This film was actually the inspiration for the Growing Deception website, which I started in 2014. You can learn more about this project by clicking on the Sirocco Film link at the top of the website.
In the initial stages of the film project, I was trying to think of a name which I would call the production company. I landed on Growing Deception after much thought. The tagline for the film will give you some insight into how I got the name:
How a Canadian company is funding the occupation of Western Sahara.
The company in question was called PotashCorp of Saskatchewan. It later merged with Agrium to form Nutrien, currently the world's biggest fertilizer firm. For many years PotashCorp was the largest purchaser of phosphate—a key ingredient for commercial fertilizer—from a territory known as Africa's last colony—Western Sahara. I liked how the words "growing deception" related to the dubious connection that a fertilizer company had with the illegal occupation of Africa's last colony. The deception part was inspired by the way that PotashCorp constructed its image at a Free the Children charity event in my home province of Saskatchewan. You only need to watch the first couple of minutes of the film to see how this word play went down.
But I digress... After a few years of using the website strictly for more information about the film, I recently decided that it would be a good place to host a blog and a podcast. I still see all of my journalistic work as investigative in nature and a vehicle through which I "dig deeper" into stories of growing deception.
Thanks again for connecting with this blog and website and please feel free to engage with any comments you may have.
All My Relations,
A little bit more about me:
In terms of education and experience I have varied interests. I have four university degrees: three bachelors in science, education and journalism, and one master's degree in journalism. In addition to these I have completed five graduate level courses in theology and one in aboriginal education. I also have a permaculture design certificate. However, my greatest learning has happened as a result of where I have lived and who I have lived with. In 2006 I taught for one year at Aga Khan High School in Kampala, Uganda. I learned a lot about the world during this year of my life. Since 2012 I have lived in an inner city neighbourhood in Regina, Saskatchewan called Heritage. I have also learned much in this community and from my life partner whom is a working journalist. Finally, as a result of living in Treaty 4, I have made friendships with the original peoples of this region and I have learned A LOT as a result of these friendships and teachings.