CHARBONNEAU – Fiction is not cultural appropriation

Grey Owl. (Image: Collections Canada)

THE FIRES of cultural appropriation were fanned recently when the editor of a small magazine published by The Writers’ Union of Canada wrote, “I don’t believe in cultural appropriation.”

Then he poured gasoline on the fire by promoting a “Cultural Appropriation Contest” in which the winner would be the writer who appropriates culture the most: “. . . the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.” He was forced to resign.

Fiction is not cultural appropriation because storytelling is not the property of any one culture.

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David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at

About Mel Rothenburger (5785 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on CHARBONNEAU – Fiction is not cultural appropriation

  1. -When does this ‘cultural appropriation’ thing become legal in, say, the taking of land -through the use in court settings? Lands that were deemed to be bought and sold through a process of historical legal precedence…something defined and set up _by_ the court themselves in the first place, forming civil society, et al.

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