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What you need to know about the cultural appropriation debate

What you need to know about the cultural appropriation debate
Canada
The controversy began when novelist and former editor of the Writers’ Union of Canada’s publication Hal Niedzviecki penned an editorial in Write magazine under the headline “Winning the Appropriation Prize” where he argued that he did “not believe in cultural appropriation” in the context of literature and encouraged writers to “write what they don’t know.”

Niedzviecki promptly resigned as editor of the publication and apologized after his editorial sparked outrage from members of the Indigenous community and others over a lack of understanding about the impacts of cultural appropriation.

The outrage grew when former National Post editor Ken Whyte and other high-profile members of the Canadian media, including The Walrus editor Jonathon Kay, launched into a late-night Twitter conversation around a hypothetical “appropriation prize” which many saw as insensitive and intimidating.

The backlash over the article and the “appropriation prize” has led to a number of retractions, resignations, and reassignments.

Ladurantaye’s reassignment also came a few days after Jonathan Kay stepped down from his job as editor-in-chief at The Walrus magazine. Kay penned an opinion piece in the National Post defending the right to debate cultural appropriation and what he called the “mobbing” of Niedzviecki.

With the debate over cultural appropriation and free speech continuing across social media and elsewhere here is a look at both sides of the argument. A piece by Indigenous artist  A ylan Couchie “” and AM980 host Andrew Lawton ask “ Is cultural appropriation an act of theft or artistic literary exploration? ”
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