Month: March 2015

Sarah Harmer concert to raise funds for First Nations’ fight against Enbridge

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Sarah Harmer concert to raise funds for First Nations’ fight against Enbridge

Juno award-nominated singer and songwriter Sarah Harmer joins Chris Brown for a concert at the York Theatre in Vancouver to raise funds for First Nations’ legal defence against Enbridge and the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Sarah Harmer will be performing for Pull Together in Vancouver on March 24, 2015. Photo courtesy Sarah Harmer.

Juno-nominated singer/songwriter and activist Sarah Harmer will join Chris Brown of the Citizens Band on March, 24, for a performance at the York Theatre in Vancouver to benefit the Pull Together campaign. Also performing will be the Git Hayetsk Dancers and Kristi Lane Sinclair.

The Pull Together campaign, launched by Sierra Club BC and RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs) raises funds to support First Nations in their legal fight against the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Phase one of the campaign raised $350,000, and the second phase has just started.

“It’s very important,” says Harmer of the need to raise funds to do case prep and research for the court battles against the federal government and Enbridge.

“We’re on the deciding point for a lot of important long range visions for our future, economically, and obviously environmentally,” she says.

Harmer toured the Northern Gateway pipeline route and the various communities affected from the Athabasca tar sands, to Fort Chipewyan through to Kitimat. Read More…

First Nations vow legal challenge of anti-terror bill

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First Nations vow legal challenge of anti-terror bill

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde: 'This is not an abstract argument for our people.'
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde: ‘This is not an abstract argument for our people.’The Canadian Press

Canada’s First Nations will challenge the constitutionality of Bill C-51 unless the Conservatives withdraw the divisive security legislation and consult aboriginals before drafting any new bill, the head of the Assembly of First Nations vowed Thursday.

“We want the whole bill gone,” AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde told reporters after testifying at a turbulent House of Commons committee on the proposed omnibus bill, which would give extraordinary powers to federal spies, government departments and the RCMP to thwart national security threats.

The authorization to launch a Supreme Court challenge would first need the permission of AFN chiefs.

Bellegarde said the government has created grounds for a court action by not meeting its so-called “duty to consult” when its actions could adversely affect potential or established aboriginal or treaty rights enshrined in the Constitution. The common-law duty was upheld in Supreme Court decisions in 2004 and 2005.

“Unfortunately, the process for developing this legislation did not meet the federal government’s duty to consult and accommodate and on that point alone is subject to challenge in the courts if the government tries to impose it on us,” said Bellegarde, elected national chief in December. “We had no input at all.” Read More…

Manitoba elders say 2011 flood devastated lives, communities

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Manitoba elders say 2011 flood devastated lives, communities

First Nation evacuees continue to face mental health issues and suicide

CBC News Posted: Mar 17, 2015 2:13 PM CT

Elders, families still suffering from 2011 flood. CBC’s Meagan Fiddler reports.

It’s been four years since a devastating flood hit Manitoba, but those who lost their homes and communities are still suffering, their families say.

Feelings of isolation, mental health issues and increased suicide rates are only some aspects of reality for those who were forced out of the life they knew, elders from four Manitoba First Nations said Tuesday at a gathering held to share their stories.

Marshall Ross says he misses being able to take care of his home.

“I’m getting sick of it now; nothing to do, just sleep and eat where I’m staying. I had my own house, I had a few things to do outside, cleaning up my yard,” he said.

Sharon Pruden

Sharon Pruden looks on as elders share stories at gathering about the effects of flooding. (CBC)

​Sharon Pruden was at the event to speak for her mother.

“She always talked about not wanting to leave her home,” she said. “And she always talked about not wanting to go home in a coffin. … That is how we had to take her home when she passed away on January 30th.”

The gathering, which was organized by the health directors of Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Pinaymootang and Dauphin River, is first of its kind: Elders came specifically to talk about the effects flooding has on their lives.

“I always feel like the evacuees aren’t being heard and I always refer to them as the forgotten people,” said Gwen Traverse, health director for Pinaymootang.

Traverse says she hears of crises from evacuees on a daily basis. Read More

Ireland Pays Tribute to Choctaw Nation’s Kindness

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Ireland Pays Tribute to Choctaw Nation’s Kindness

By Toyacoyah Brown on March 15, 2015

Joe McCarthy, East Cork’s municipal district officer, explained the reason for the project to the Irish Examiner: “These people were still recovering from their own injustice. They put their hands in their pockets and they helped strangers. It’s rare to see such generosity. It had to be acknowledged.”

each feather is unique.jpg

Of course the acknowledgement could not be small in stature. Officials chose a unique idea from sculptor Alex Pentek to pay homage to the Choctaw. See the artist’s rendering below of the Kindred Spirits sculpture.

Alex Pentek. Kindred Spirits. 2013. Memorial to the Choctaw Nation’s aid to Ireland during the the great Famine. from Alex Pentek on Vimeo.

On his Vimeo page Alex Pentek writes this:

By creating an empty bowl symbolic of the Great Irish Famine formed from the seemingly fragile and rounded shaped eagle feathers used in Choctaw ceremonial dress, it is my aim to communicate the tenderness and warmth of the Choctaw Nation who provided food to the hungry when they themselves were still recovering from their own tragic recent past.

I have also chosen feathers to reflect the local bird life along the nearby water’s edge with a fusion of ideas that aims to visually communicate this act of humanity and mercy, and also the notion that the Choctaw and Irish Nations are forever more kindred spirits.

I would love to see this in person! I am sure a representative from the Choctaw Nation will be on hand later this year to witness the unveiling of the statue. We will keep you posted if so!

Read more:

March 23, 3-5 pm: eco-poetics & community engagement, at UBC

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Monday, March 23: Eco-Poethics & Discussion Around Community Engagement

Join the Faculty of Education Community Engagement for collaborative performances and discussions about the companion-planting of ideas (poetic, storytelling, movement, design, music, dramatic, etc.) to explore critical and ethical ways of community engagement and agency.

Community includes: human, non-human and more-than-human.

Three sharing circles will be shaped by the following themes:

local & global
equivalency of epistemologies & methodologies
social & eco-justice


UBC’s GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award for Graduate Students

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GSS cIRcle Award

Graduate students may submit exemplary non-thesis manuscripts or projects that are related to graduate coursework to the GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award, with approval from their course instructors.

The Award is based on a lottery system held twice a year. A random selection will be made from items submitted to cIRcle during the previous 6 month period – four awards will be made per annum, two in April and two in October.

This collection is NOT for UBC Theses and Dissertations which must be submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) into the Electronic Theses and Dissertations collection in cIRcle. Please contact the G+PS for authorization to submit your thesis or dissertation.


The GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award is a lottery based award for graduate students at UBC Vancouver which went live on July 9, 2012. The first two awards were presented on October 18, 2012.

Background & Purpose

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award is a five-year (2012-2016) collaboration of the Graduate Student Society and cIRcle/UBC Library. The Award was the brainchild of Francisco Grajales, the GSS Senator at the time. He worked closely with Hilde Colenbrander (cIRcle Coordinator), the GSS Executive and others to implement this Award. The Award was approved by the UBC Vancouver Senate in late 2011, and technical implementation by cIRcle staff was completed in late June 2012.

The purpose of the Award is:

  1. To feature UBC as a leader in the open dissemination of graduate student work
  2. To create an incentive for graduate students to populate cIRcle with material beyond theses and dissertations

The Open Scholar Award is an excellent representation of both UBC and its graduate students’ dedication to showcasing our unique intellectual output. It gives graduate students an opportunity to showcase their knowledge outside of their normal networks while encouraging the spirit of collaboration and interdisciplinarity.

– Christopher Roach, GSS President (2013-14)


Each Award is worth $500 and will only be awarded to UBC Vancouver graduate students, not to supervisors or course instructors. If an award winning project has more than one graduate student author, each of these authors will receive an equal proportion of the award money.

First Nations Languages Conference 2015 – Call for Workshops, Due: Apr 7, 2015

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CFP - FNESC Language Conference

Call for Workshop Proposals 

Apply by April 7, 2015 

The First Nations Education Steering Committee’s First Nations Languages Conference happens every two years and offers a major networking and professional development opportunity for BC’s school and community based First Nations language educators and advocates.

Workshop proposals are now being accepted. They must relate to the conference theme, In the Spirit of Sharing, and fit one of the following broad categories:

 Language teaching – creating and using language curriculum, resources, effective teaching methods, assessment and planning

 Language revitalization and advocacy

 Technology – tools and applications to assist in language teaching and revitalization

To apply, please use the application form on our event page at

Travel and hotel benefits, plus a waiver of the conference registration, may be provided for up to two presenters per workshop. Workshops are typically 1.5 hours long, presented twice, but we also welcome proposals for multi-part and linked workshops.

Mark Your Calendar! 

Conference registration opens in May 2015

Language Champions 

Watch for a call for Language Champion nominations soon!


Exhibit tables will be available for this event.


Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites, 1763 Comox Street


Event News

Summer Institute: Teaching and Leadership for Human Rights Education, University of Manitoba

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Summer Institute: Teaching and Leadership for Human Rights Education, University of Manitoba

Students must register in a total of six (6) credit hours of EDUB 5220 T05 (crn 30936) and EDUA 5080 T02 (crn 30937). Pre-reading will be required. Class times may be adjusted to accommodate some evening events that may be scheduled as part of the institute. For more details, see class schedule at

Individuals wishing to take courses must be admitted to the University of Manitoba.


the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education (PBDE)

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Canadian Western Dean’s Agreement

Visting (Graduate Students)

Other degree and non-degree programs, such as the General Studies Program of Extended Education at the University of Manitoba, or undergraduate Visiting Students

Course registration is completed through Aurora Student ( only after admission has been granted.

Questions regarding registration should be directed to the Student Services Office at 204 474 7886 or

CFP – Cutting Edge: An Interdisciplinary Online Journal

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Call for Papers: Cutting Edge – An Interdisciplinary Online Journal

Cutting Edge is soliciting manuscripts on students’ reflections on past, recent and current aspects of interdisciplinary research, as well as thoughts on the future of interdisciplinary studies. Towards this end, papers may focus on questions that address methods and methodologies in interdisciplinary studies, theory and practice in interdisciplinary studies, and the role of academia in facilitating interdisciplinary researches. The journal may also focus on themes including, but not limited to, public health, inequality and justice, colonial and postcolonial studies, or any question that addresses marginalized groups or minorities. The journal will accept papers:

·         In multiple formats including reports of empirical research, conceptual and theoretical issues in interdisciplinary studies, book reviews, interviews, and literature reviews.

·         And in multiple media formats such as audio and video clips, graphics, poetry and memories, and photography.

Written submissions should be a maximum of 1300-2000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography, and will be peer-reviewed by our editorial committee. The first footnote should include a short statement (max. four lines) about you, including faculty, university, and any information pertinent to your submission. The footnote will be removed, along with the author’s name, before the article is peer-reviewed to facilitate anonymity, but will be included when the article is published online.

Submissions to the journal may not be under review or currently published by another publication or under copyright elsewhere. The papers and references must be consistent with either APA or MLA style guidelines. There is no charge for submission and publication. Contributions should be submitted through email at indicating ‘Cutting Edge’ in the subject line.

For more information about the ISGP program visit or write to