Real Talk: Point of View

Stories from Montrealers about how they live, see and understand race

CBC News

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Why conversations on race matter 0:57

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As part of our series Real Talk on Race, CBC Montreal asked 10 people to share their personal stories about race.  These stories are in their own words.

We will be publishing their stories over the course of the series and will add them to this page.

Share your reactions or your own point of view with us on FacebookTwitter or email

Day's Lee

Chinese or Canadian? One Montrealer’s identity crisis

By Day’s Lee

I remember my first identity crisis like it was yesterday. I was about eleven years old and watching a Habs game. The Canadians scored. I cheered. My parents asked who was winning. “We are!” I said. My parents laughed. “That’s not us. We’re Chinese.”

Nakuset POV

‘Change her name. Don’t tell her she’s native’

By Nakuset​

My parents chose me out of a catalogue of First Nations children. It was the trend in 1970 to offer First Nations children to non-Aboriginal homes. It was a government imposed initiative which has become known as “the 60’s scoop”— the solution to the enduring “Indian problem.

Dania Suleman

The weight of the veil 

By Dania Suleman

Dania Suleman says she never decided to stop wearing the hijab, but felt it came with a heavy burden — “that somehow, since you wear the veil, you are an ambassador for this vast religion called Islam.”

Svens Telemaque

Broken crayons still colour

By Svens Telemaque

Arrested six times in his youth for drugs and weapons, Svens Telemaque once fit an all-too-common stereotype. But now he’s working to arm others with the knowledge that you don’t have to be confined by your past and other people’s perceptions.


Growing up as the white minority

By Coltrane McDowell 

As a child in Sub-Saharan Africa, Coltrane McDowell was very aware of his own “whiteness.” In Montreal, where his skin colour made him less conspicuous, he became even more aware of the role his minority status played in his early life.

Real Talk on Race is CBC Montreal’s special series exploring personal conversations and experiences around race in the city. 

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