Mohawks watching Oka crisis news on barricades.

From the Archives: Canada in Crisis, July 1990

In July 1990, a land dispute broke out between a Mohawk community and the small town of Oka, Quebec. Tensions mounted when the Mohawk community protested, creating road blockades. Then president of PEN Canada, John Ralston Saul, addressed the crisis in PEN’s September 1990 newsletter.

From the Archives: A Report on the Eli Langer Trial

In October 1993, PEN Canada’s Writer in Prison chair, Marian Botsford Fraser, attended and reported on the trial of Eli Langer, an artist whose works were seized on the basis of a newly amended definition of child pornography that was extended to include any visual representation of a person under the age of 18 engaged in “explicit sexual activity”.

From the Archives: A Writer’s Journey

Martha Kumsa came to Canada in 1991. As a journalist from Ethiopia, she had been held in prison under atrocius conditions for nine years and eight months before being released in 1989 with the help of PEN Canada. The following is a reflection on fractured identity, from being Oromo, to Ethiopian, to a Black writer in Canada.

From the Archives: Free Press has Obligations

In September, 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten published editorial cartoons that satirized the prophet Mohammed. PEN Canada recommended restraint in order to create a space for critical debate, while defending the right to publish the cartoons.

From the Archives: Three Wishes Challenged

On March 20, 2006, PEN and a coalition of organizations appealed the Toronto District School Board’s restriction of Three Wishes. Lawrence Hill offers one parent’s view and Evie Freedman provides a young reader’s view.