Share this!

Tomson Highway performs "A Cree Cabaret" at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, June 2017. (Red Works/Luminato) When writer, musician, laureate, professor, curator, polyglot, composer and raconteur Tomson Highway tells you he’s happy for Canada on its 150th birthday, you believe him.

Think of the most joyful person you know, triple them and add the Dalai Lama and you begin to approach Tomson Highway’s level of rapture.

It can be disconcerting, but there’s a steeliness to his commitment.

"You know, somebody once told me to base a life in bitterness and anger is a surefire recipe for failure and unhappiness," Highway tells me on Day 6 . "Contrary-wise, to base your life on a foundation of joy and happiness, this is a surefire recipe for success."

Tomson Highway is happy for Canada. Why challenge happiness? "I had the most positive life in the history of the world. You cannot pull me down." Well, Canada 150 has more than a few detractors in the community.

Two years after the Commission delivered its devastating report on the legacy of residential schools, there’s a growing national reckoning of the country’s colonial legacy.

Many Indigenous people have chosen to resist the celebrations. Why is Tomson Highway different?

"Well, I’m not the only one who’s different, by the way," Highway tells me this week on Day 6 . "There are happy people in the community, and personally it doesn’t take much to make me happy. You know, it really doesn’t."All I had to do is have a heart that beats. And for me, that’s reason enough to be happy. The fact that my eyes work, that my ears work, that I can walk on both very perfectly healthy legs, that gives me happiness — a tremendous amount. It’s real for me… reason enough to go dancing down the […]

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Share this!