Jul 8, 2020
Indigenous Mascots
Play • 32 min

Before COVID-19 took over our news headlines, Canadians were worried about other issues. There were bushfires in Australia, impeachment in the United States, and royals leaving the United Kingdom. Here in Canada, one of the growing issues making headlines was the spreading demonstrations in support of the Wet’suwet’en protest against Coastal Gaslink Pipeline in BC.   

At the time, Brock’s Centre for Canadian Studies was hosting a researcher in Indigenous activism as part of the international Fulbright program. Dr. Jason Black from the University of North Carolina was at Brock to work on research for his new book project.   

Today’s episode features a conversation with Jason we recorded in February, when the Kansas City Chiefs had just won the Super Bowl and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis had not yet disrupted the school year. At the end of our conversation, we have an update from Jason on how the pandemic situation is impacting Indigenous activism.  

Dr. Jason Black was the 2020 Fulbright Research Chair in Transnational Studies with the Centre for Canadian Studies at Brock University. He visited from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he is a professor and the chairperson. He holds a PhD in Rhetorical Studies from the University of Maryland and has researched and published extensively on rhetoric and discourse around LGTBQ and Indigenous activist movements. His most recent publications include Mascot Nation: The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports (co-authored with Andrew Billings) and Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric: Communicating Self-Determination. While at Brock, he taught CANA3V92 “Social Activism and Culture in Canada and the United States.” 

 Find a full transcript at


 Mascot Nation: The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports (co-authored with Andrew Billings,  University of Illinois Press, 2018)

Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric: Communicating Self-Determination (co-edited with Casey Ryan Kelly, Peter Lang Publishing, 2018)

Brock welcomes Fulbright Chair in Transnational Studies (Brock News)

Superbowl reignites debate over Chiefs' name (Brock News)

Professor says SuperBowl will reignite conversation around 'controversial' Chiefs name (CBC Hamilton)

Why won't the Kansas City Chiefs change their logo and symbols (CBC Here and Now)

Centre for Canadian Studies, Brock University



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Foreword is hosted and produced by Alison Innes for the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University.

Sound design and editing by Serena Atallah. Theme music is by Khalid Imam.

Special thanks to Brock University’s MakerSpace and Brock University Marketing and Communications for studio and web support.

This podcast is financially supported by the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University.

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