TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE –
New Ways of Looking at Canada
on the 150th Birthday of the Country
by Brian Arthur Brown with
Maps Curated by Ward L. Kaiser
Printed by Marquis Imprimeur
Published by 3T Publishing
Available from Wood Lake Books
2017. $24.95 CAD. 136 pp.
A Canadian author and an internationally renowned
map maker, both United Church of Canada ministers
team up with Canada’s National Chief of the Assembly
of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde; the leader of the
Green Party, Elizabeth May; David W. Parsons, Anglican
Bishop of the Arctic and other visionaries who want to
see the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (2015) accomplish some
real, tangible results.
About the Author:
Writing is a hobby that has never overshadowed
Brown’s professional ministry, and sometimes
contributed to it.
Noah’s Other Son: Bridging the Gap Between the Bible
and the Qur’an was the first to attract my attention
and I reviewed it for the Anglican Journal in 2009:
January 27th, 2013 http://tinyurl.com/hqn582u
More recently, Brown has published Four Testaments:
Sacred Scriptures of Taoism, Confuscianism, Buddhism,
and Hinduism (2016) to encourage representatives of
the globe’s eastern religions living with us to join and
expand our studies to include their sacred scriptures.
Colleagues List Sept. 25/16 http://tinyurl.com/h5jur9x
Brown has written the 2017 souvenir book,
True North, Strong and Free to contribute to Canada’s
Author’s Prologue (edited extensively) –
Brown outlines how immigration to Canada began
with the arrival of refugees from many European nations.
Later, these were joined by many New Canadians from
the rest of the world. The spirit of hospitality, shown
a continuing flow of immigrants by the established First
Nations hosts at the beginning, continues today.
Blending newcomers has not been an easy adjustment and
there have been many sad stories we wish we could have
avoided. But most New Canadians were able to leave their
pasts behind them in order to create a hopeful future together.
Established Canadians needed only to remember what
their own ancestors had to endure, to accommodate.
How did we create what is the best country in the world
in ways that matter to us? How do we improve it? We
learn to be honest, in this souvenir book, about both
the good and the bad of our history.
The physical beauty of our country, the mutually
respectful and normally tolerant character of our people,
and Canada’s place in the world, are all to be claimed
and celebrated. It is quite amazing, when you consider it.
The final reconciliation with First Nations is a work
in progress in which the sesquicentennial could well
be a turning point.
Review by Dr. Wayne Holst
Changing our perspective about ourselves and the
world seems to be a key intention of the author –
colleague Brian Arthur Brown – and those who helped
him write this book.
That is why mapping is so important. Simply looking
at a number of the first maps in this “souvenir” but
much more than a “coffee table” book, convinces
me that changing perspectives is central here.
As a northern nation looking south, then globally,
our perspective dramatically changes. We are not
simply an extension of the United States. While those
ties will always be there, we are a special nation in
the global family, and we have a unique, significant
contribution to make. History has been preparing us.
I have been used to thinking about Brown as a writer
and scholar who wants to bring our multi-cultural and
multi-faith nation together through sacred scripture
studies in local communities. This book takes us a
major step further and attempts to re-focus our
entire perspective as a people because our’s is more
than a multi-faith quest. Religion is only part of it.
Our experience as inheritors of First Nation traditions
upon which to build, and our attempts to be more
discriminating about European and American influences,
provide us with a unique opportunity to “give back” and
“go beyond” what we have seen ourselves doing in the past.
In the sixty years that I have travelled outside Canada,
first to the United States and then globally, I have been
able to claim an evolving Canadian identity.
Visiting recently in Egypt I was pleasantly surprized
that many of my Islamic hosts were quite familiar with
Canada. I was not an American in their eyes. That, I
took, as a compliment.
At this time in history, we are in a situation that will
make us an increasingly valuable member of the global
family. It could even be a gift to our American friends!
If you want to experience help in changing your
perspective about Canada, I encourage you to
obtain and spend time with this book; then talk
about your discoveries with others!
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