A number of reviews of Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry have recently appeared (posted on The Aboriginal Industry Disrobed page of this blog). Although the reviews do not really engage intellectually with the arguments and evidence that we present, we have submitted our responses to two of them and there is hope that real debate will emerge in the future.
Particularly promising is Niigonwedom Sinclair’s review, “An Ink-Stained Response to ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry'”. Sinclair’s review appeared on Media Indigena – a collaborative blog headed by Rick Harp, a journalist and former anchorman on the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network. I have always found Harp to be interested in promoting debate on aboriginal policy, and so I sent him an email expressing my interest in responding to Sinclair’s piece. Harp agreed, and the response was posted today (see “Co-Author of ‘Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry’ Pens Her Rebuttal” – http://www.mediaindigena.com).
Less certain is the future of our response to the review by Leanne Simpson in the Spring 2010 issue of Wicazo Sa Review. Although Simpson’s review is very problematic – in both its tone and content – we are glad these views are being expressed in an academic journal. This is the first step in ending the self-censorship that exists with respect to the study of aboriginal-non-aboriginal relations. Hopefully the Wicazo Sa Review will recognize that, as a scholarly venue, it has an obligation to allow us to speak to the inaccuracies and vitriol that it has legitimized.