Day: February 1, 2015

Call for Applicants – Indigenous Writer in Residence, Feb 16, 2015

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The School for Advanced Research, with the generous support of the Lannan Foundation, is seeking applicants for the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence fellowship. The purpose of this fellowship is to advance the work of an indigenous writer pursuing their creative project while enabling them to interact with local scholar, artist, and Native communities. The fellowship runs from mid-June to early August and is open to writers indigenous to the United States or Canada. The fellow is provided with a $6,000 stipend, on-campus housing, studio space, supplies allowance, library support, and travel reimbursement to and from SAR.

Application Deadline: Monday, February 16
For more information, please visit sarweb.org
and click on the Programs link or call
Maria Spray at 505-954-7237.

There Are 120 Years of Lakota History on This Calendar

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There Are 120 Years of Lakota History on This Calendar

The visual recording of life in the nation sheds light on a vanished culture

Smithsonian Magazine
January 2015

The old man Poolaw gave me my Indian name, Tsoai-talee (Rock tree boy), when I was an infant. Poolaw was a notable figure in the Kiowa tribe, an arrow maker and a calendar keeper. He died soon after I was born, and I regret that I did not come to know him. Nonetheless I feel close to him, for I have being in the name he gave me.

Tsoai, the rock tree, is what the Kiowas call Devils Tower, the monolithic outcropping in the shape of a tree stump, rising from the plains on the edge of the Black Hills in Wyoming. Tsoai is a principal landmark on the old migration route of the Kiowas from the Yellowstone River to the Southern Plains. According to Kiowa legend, it is the tree that carried seven sisters into the heavens where they became the stars of the Big Dipper. The story links the Kiowas forever to the stars, to relatives in the night sky.

Some years later my father and I went to the house where Poolaw had lived. In a bureau drawer in Poolaw’s bedroom, preserved by his family, were two items of interest—a human bone and a ledger book. Of the former my father said, “This is the forearm of a man named Two Whistles. I know nothing more about it.” Who was Two Whistles, I wondered, and how did the bone come into Poolaw’s possession? I encountered unrecorded history, if that is not a contradiction in terms… Read more.

“No Band Councils or Tribal Councils have jurisdiction over Unist’ot’en territory”

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Since 2010, the Unist’ot’en have occupied and defended their traditional territory from pipeline development in defiance of industry, the province of British Columbia, and the government of Canada. Recently they exposed secretive talks between the Moricetown Band Council and the Pacific Trails Pipeline (PTP).

Brett Rhyno, Media Coop

Freda Huson, Unist’ot’en Camp

BR Would a deal between Moricetown Band Council and PTP have any jurisdiction over Unist’ot’en traditional territory?

FH No Band Councils or Tribal Councils have jurisdiction over Unist’ot’en territory. We’re a heriditary system which has five clans and each of those clans are broken into house groups. The only one that doesn’t have house groups but just has a description of the terriory is my clan which is known to the Delgamuukw as the Gilseyhu but people better know my family as Unist’ot’en. We’re probably one of the largest families and the largest group. We have jurisdiction, have proved in in the Delgamuukw, and we’ve never given over that juridiction to the province, the federal government, band councils or tribal councils.

BR What would you like to say to any Band Council members that might be considering such a deal with PTP

FH I’ve already said it right to their face that Band Council is a system that was imposed by the federal government just so they can try to take over management of our land and resources. It’s not even a system where they have any decision making power. It’s just implementing policies and programs that are developed by Indian Affairs and white society. Basically they are just implementing whatever they decide.

One and formost they are Wet’suwet’en and one and formost they belong to a clan. They are that before they are a band councilor or a chief councilor and each and every one of them belong to a clan whether it by Tsayu, Laksilyu, Gitdumden, Laksamshu or Gilseyhu. They are that foremost and according to Wet’suwet’en law you can’t make decision on another clan’s territory. The only people that can make a decision on Unist’ot’en territory is Unist’ot’en people. Nobody from any other clan can decide for us what happens on our land… Read More.

“We Will Be the Ones to Stop This”: Grand Chief Voices Impassioned Opposition to Energy East

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“We Will Be the Ones to Stop This”: Grand Chief Voices Impassioned Opposition to Energy East

Thu, 2015-01-22 17:05 by DEREK LEAHY
“I do not want to be the grand chief who consented to a pipeline that’s going to destroy 30 per cent of the fresh water in Ontario, in Treaty 3 territory,” Treaty 3 Grand Chief Warren White said in a speech outlining his objections to TransCanada’s proposed Energy East oil pipeline last week.

“I did not come here for consultation. I came here to let everyone know what Energy East is all about…In unity in Treaty 3 we will be the ones to stop this. Our communities, our youth, our leadership are being called on by other nations,” White, while presenting at a public meeting hosted by the Ontario Energy Board in Kenora, Ontario, stated.

TransCanada “low balled” and “tried to pull a fast one” on Treaty 3 chiefs, according to White. The pipeline company agreed to participate in a consultation process based on Treaty 3 Resource Law or Manito Aki Inakonigaawin in Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), but failed to actually engaged in the process. TransCanada was a no-show for a meeting with Treaty 3 chiefs on December 21st last year.

“We Will Be the Ones to Stop This”: Grand Chief Voices Impassioned Opposition to Energy East

“I am very upset right now and you put that in your report that Energy East, TransCanada whatever you wanna call it, are there for the dollar signs, and nothing about the land, nothing about how we survive,” White said.

“I do not want to be the grand chief that’s remembered as, ‘all he wanted was the money.’ I do not want to be the grand chief known as the destroyer of the lands, waters, sacred sites, rivers, trees, animals, birds…We are going to get another Grassy Narrows situation, an oil spill will happen no matter how safe you guys say it is.”

If approved, the 1.1 million barrel a day pipeline stretching from Alberta to New Brunswick would operate on Treaty 3 territory. The Treaty 3 First Nation represents over twenty-five Anishinaabe First Nations whose traditional territory covers an area of northwestern Ontario larger than Newfoundland.

White’s speech was part of the ongoing public consultations Ontario’s energy regulator – Ontario Energy Board – is conducting with communities and First Nations along Energy East’s proposed route in northern and eastern Ontario. The board will be in Ottawa Thursday… Read More.


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By Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez
Posted in – Voices Rising on April 17th, 2014 1 Comments
Tehuantepec Isthmus Land Protectors – frontlinedefenders.org photo
My father was sitting quietly in a hammock eating corn on the cob, he had just finished the first harvest. He was lean and tall. Behind him, my nieces and nephews were busy chewing their corn and drinking fresh atole. My father turned and looked at them saying: “my parents and grandparents and their grandparents have lived in this land and eaten what we grow and gather. We have worked hard but it has been a good life, how is growing your own food not a good thing? When my grandparents died, they said: “do not abandon this land.” As I write this, eight years have passed since my father first asked me to research on the impact of wind power generation on our people’s traditional livelihoods in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, the narrowest chunk of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Golf of Mexico. He was concerned with leasing our community’s lands to wind-power corporations and the prospect of not being able to be self-sufficient. Like my father, many Zapotec and Ikoot peasants and fishermen have a strong sense of belonging and respect for the land and water that have sustained them. Like Elsipogtog and other Indigenous nations around Turtle Island, the peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus are defending their lands against large-scale wind power parks, the new face of colonial dispossession.

Some like to believe that prosperity for Indigenous communities comes from international corporations and their ever-expanding need to accumulate wealth. Some others like to think that Indigenous people’s defense of their land and their traditional livelihoods are things of the past. Some like to think that our circumstances can get better when our communities conform to the norm of being part of a reservoir of cheap labour force. But as Cherokee scholar Jeff Corntassel notes in his post, “Indigenous peoples’ sense of belonging is what breaks through the colonial confines.” Like Cherokee or Nishnaabeg peoples, Zapotecs have their own word to describe belonging as responsibility. The word guendaliza means that we all are relatives and as such we have reciprocal responsibilities. When we say thank you in Zapotec we say chux quixely, which means ‘I will reciprocate’. Reciprocity is not limited to human beings but extends to the land and other beings visible or not. While governments, financial institutions, and the media insist that Indigenous peoples are backward, violent, and inefficient, the latter insist on maintaining their responsibility to defend their land. In the same way that Canada does not own the land in Elsipogtog, Indigenous lands in the Tehuantepec Isthmus belong to the Zapotec, Ikoot, Mixes and other peoples. Resource extraction and land dispossession without prior and informed consent and without benefits for Indigenous communities is at the heart of these conflicts… Read More

Call for Contributors – 50 Events That Shaped American Indian History, May 15, 2015

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Call for Contributors
50 Events That Shaped American Indian History
$100 per entry,  up to 2 entries per contributor, payment upon publication. Greenwood Publishers.

Please email donna.martinez@ucdenver.edu for a list of the Table of Contents.  Please respond with your top four topic choices. Editor will confirm your assignment (up to 2 choices) within 1-2 weeks.  Entry outline and style guidelines will be sent. First draft due date is May 15th.

Job – Indigenous Programs Liaison at UBC Farm, Due Feb. 11, 2015

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Deadline Wednesday, February 11: Indigenous Programs Liaison Job Opportunity at UBC Farm

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, on unceded ancestral Musqueam territory at UBC Farm, is seeking an Indigenous Programs Liaison. This individual will work closely with the Indigenous Programs at the UBC Farm, UBC Farm staff, UBC community, and community at large to support and enhance communication and relationship-building among these groups. Ideal candidates will have experience facilitating cross-cultural dialogue or consultation, will be comfortable working in both University and community settings, and will have awareness of, respect for, and sensitivity to Indigenous worldviews, spiritualities, histories, daily realities, and relationships with the land.

For full posting details, visit here: http://ubcfarm.ubc.ca/about/careers

Call for Submissions – The Thunderbird Circle: Indigenous Social Work Educators Network is seeking a logo, Due Mar 13, 2015

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Thunderbird Circle – Indigenous Social Work Educators Network – Call for Logo $500

The Thunderbird Circle: Indigenous Social Work Educators Network is seeking a logo.

Please share the attachment among your Indigenous contacts and community based artists.

The artist whose logo is chosen will receive $500

All logos must be received by Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:00 PM.

Shelly Johnson . Mukwa Musayett
Assistant Professor
Faculty Associate l Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
T 604.822.9647 l F 604. 822.8656
2080 West Mall l Vancouver BC l Canada V6T 1Z2

A guide to Indigenous Toronto

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A guide to Indigenous Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / January 25, 2015

indigenous torontoToronto has a long Indigenous history that we aren’t always aware of. The name Toronto is derived from a Mohawk word “tkaronto,” which means “where there are trees standing in the water.” The marker was originally ascribed to The Narrows, between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, but later became associated with Toronto because it was there that the passage between Lakes Ontario and Simcoe existed.

When Europeans began settling the area we now call home, the Indigenous people on the land were the Mississaugas, who settled on the Credit River. There had been earlier settlement in southern Ontario by Wendat people and other Iroquoians – archaeological sites dot the city. The land was purchased from the Missisaugas by the British Crown in a deal later known as the Toronto Purchase.

Like many others land purchases, it was a shoddy deal for the Indigenous peoples who believed the agreement was for the lease of the land, and not the outright purchase. A land claim in 2010 sided with the Mississauga, and paid them $145 million. Today the Mississaugas of New Credit live next to the Six Nations of Grand River near Brantford, and are recognized as the host First Nation for the Pan Am games later this year.

It isn’t clear how many Indigenous people call Toronto home today. While the City puts the number around 19,000, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada put the number closer to 37,000. Some Indigenous groups in the city put the number even higher. In the past, it sometimes seemed that Indigenous people had very low visibility in this city, but this is no longer the case. Toronto has many places where one can learn about Indigenous history and culture… Read More