Month: May 2015

Nainoa Thompson Honored at 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

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Nainoa Thompson Honored at 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Washington, D.C. – Nainoa Thompson was honored at the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards ceremony yesterday alongside Prince Albert II of Monaco and other awardees at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC. President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and captain of the legendary voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa, Thompson was recognized for Excellence in Exploration.


“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my teachers who came from some of the greatest explorers our Earth has ever seen,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS. “Their resolve and solution-focused perspective is what drives our Worldwide Voyage on Hōkūleʻa today. Our destination is navigating to a place where we see better protection of our oceans through collaboration with people and entities epitomized by the Benchley Awards and their partners.”


These awards–the world’s preeminent ocean honors–are named after lifelong marine conservationist Peter Benchley. The awards program was co-founded by Wendy Benchley, an ocean conservation and policy advocate, and David Helvarg, author and executive director of Blue Frontier. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards” for the ocean, the Benchley Awards recognize excellence across a range of expertise, including national leadership, policy, science, media, youth and grassroots activism.


Thompson was honored for his contributions to marine conservation and exploration as the first Hawaiian in seven centuries to practice the ancient Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation known as “wayfinding”. United States Senator Brian Schatz, who is a powerful voice for marine protection, presented the award to Thompson.


“I can think of no one more deserving of the Award for Excellence in Exploration than Nainoa. Decades ago, Nainoa found the deep seeded strength and beauty of discovery. He worked it, collaborated with others, and actualized it. What’s remarkable is that the energy of this vision grew from a Hawaiian vision, to a Pacific Islands vision and now to a global vision. His life’s work, the Hōkūle‘a, has become a symbol and a tribute to the art of voyaging and the enduring Native Hawaiian culture,” the senator stated.

“As he mentioned, it’s really an honor to all the people of Hawaiʻi, [and] the thousands of volunteers that have made Hōkūleʻa and her many voyages happen.”


Read the Daily News article for more information about Thompson and the Worldwide Voyage.

Livestream: Hōkūleʻa’s Sydney Arrival

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Livestream: Hōkūleʻa’s Sydney Arrival

Join us live when Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa and her crew make landfall in Sydney, Australia. Voyagers on this portion of the 47,000 nautical-mile Worldwide Voyage will meet and exchange with one of the oldest cultures in the world, and discover and celebrate stories of hope from Australia.

Live-streaming anticipated to begin at the following time. Please check back for updates based on weather and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for the most up-to-date information on this landing:

  • 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 18 – AEST (Sydney time)
  • 3 p.m. Monday, May 17  – HST (Hawaii time)

To learn more about the Australian leg of the Worldwide Voyage, click here.

LLED Writing Workshop with Dr. Ahava Shira, June 11, 1 to 3pm at DLC

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Writing Alone Together: A Multi-Literacy Practice for Our Times

Thursday, June 11

From 1 to 3pm

Ponderosa Digital Literacy Centre

Join poet, author and educator Dr. Ahava Shira as she celebrates her new book Writing Alone Together. Offering a process for sharing, listening and paying attention to our own and each other’s lives, Writing Alone Together transforms writing into a catalyst for meaningful conversation, storytelling, mindfulness, artistic expression and mutual support.

In a world that is becoming increasingly virtual, how do we help ourselves and our students sustain our physical connections to each other? Experience the warmth and intimacy of Writing Alone Together. Pull yourself back into the present and into the vital nourishment of face-to-face expression and conversation. Write your stories authentically, boldly and honestly.

Dr. Shira will share how this transformative writing pedagogy is being used with k-12 students in two school districts in BC to encourage students’ self-awareness, self-compassion and resilience and with adult learners at the Centre for Loving Inquiry.

Through the support of the four practices of Writing Alone Together, Ahava will create a space for participants to attend to their emerging inquiries and pay attention to the inquiries of others. Originally conceived for women writing in a circle, Ahava has adapted these practices to be supportive of diverse writers’ needs.


Poet, performer and creative mentor, Dr. Ahava Shira completed her PhD at UBC with the playful and poetic support of Professors Carl Leggo, George Belliveau and Karen Meyer. Founder of the Centre for Loving Inquiry, on Salt Spring Island, where she mentors a vibrant community of artistic women, Ahava is the writing mentor for Let’s Get ExperiMental, a program in the Gulf Islands School District, funded through Artstarts Artist in the Class Program, Salt Spring Arts Council, BC Arts Council and the Province of BC.

Known for creating playful, non-judgemental spaces for creative expression and collaboration, Dr. Shira is the author of a book of poetry Weaving of My Being, a poetry CD Love is Like This and co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection with Lynda Monk and Wendy Judith Cutler. She is also the editor of three anthologies of students’ words: Scattered Change, Paper Airplanes and the forthcoming Writers of the Square Table. Her poems and articles on Loving Inquiry have been published in several journals and books including Educational Insights, The Art of Poetic Inquiry, Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast and A Heart of Wisdom: Life Writing as Empathetic Inquiry.

Recommended Reading

Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection. Butterfly Press, 2014.



Job – Director of Aboriginal Education, Due: June 1, 2015

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Director of Aboriginal Education

A critical leadership role in helping our First Nations, Metis and Inuit students excel.

The successful candidate will be part of the District Management Team and will report to the Superintendent of Schools.

School District No. 22(Vernon) resides in the territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) people and serves approximately 8100 students in the communities of Vernon, Coldstream, Lavington, Lumby and Cherryville. There are 14 elementary, 5 secondary and 5 alternate programs in which more than 1100 Aboriginal students are enrolled.

The Director will have major responsibilities to:

  • Lead the implementation of the recently developed Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement
  • Develop stronger relationships and improve networking and communication between all Aboriginal communities and School District No. 22
  • Continue to build a respectful and productive relationship with our Aboriginal students, families and communities
  • Implement the Story of Our Ways II (Story of the Okanagan People – territory, history, language and relationships)
  • Work as a member of the Aboriginal Education Committee and Local Education Agreement Committee
  • Supervise and support Aboriginal Education staff
  • Be a champion for Aboriginal Education throughout the District
  • Work closely with the Director of Student Learning to help integrate First Peoples Principles of Learning in all schools and courses
  • Assist schools in the development of annual school plans that support their Aboriginal learners
  • Liaise with Ministry of Children and Family Development – Aboriginal Services and other community agencies
  • Coordinate with the Director of Student Support Services to provide supports for students facing multiple challenges
  • Increase Okanagan language programs
  • Liaise with Okanagan Indian Band, First Nations Friendship Centre, and Vernon and District Metis Association
  • Work with the Ministry of Education including 1701 reporting requirements
  • Prepare and report on annual budget

You have extensive credentials including a Masters degree in Indigenous Studies, Curriculum, Administration or related experience. You have a minimum of five years experience in a leadership role with a deep understanding of Aboriginal history and superior knowledge of best practices in Aboriginal ways of learning.

Ideally you are Aboriginal with a good understanding of the Okanagan Nation and the many other Aboriginal Peoples we serve.

To apply, please send your resume, statement of philosophy, supporting documents, including references, by June 1, 2015 to:

Joe Rogers

Superintendent of Schools

1401-15th Street

Vernon, BC   V1T 8S8

Email: jrogers@sd22.bc.ca

Summer Medicine Workshop Series at UBC Farm

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Summer Medicine Workshop Series at UBC Farm

From June to September, the Medicine Collective, a group of Indigenous Elders and knowledge-keepers, will host workshops to reconnect and restore relationships to lands and peoples. These workshops will give hands on experience of harvesting and making medicines.June 13, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Salve Making
July 21, 2:00 – 4:00 PM: Tea Harvesting
August 25, 4:00 – 6:00 PM: Tea Making
September 29, 3:00 – 5:00 PM: Tobacco Pipe Mix Making

All workshops will be at the UBC Farm, Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden
$10 – 20 sliding scale

RSVP or learn more, contact Hannah.lewis@ubc.ca.

Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, May 15, 2015

IndigenEYEZ – A Participatory Youth Leadership Program on the Land, June 3, 2015

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IndigenEYEZ – A Participatory Youth Leadership Program on the Land

Join this UBC Learning Circle session organized by IndigenEYEZ with Kim Haxton, Potowatomi and First Nations facilitator, along with six youth. IndigenEYEZ is a First Nations-led initiative that aims to build the capacity of First Nations in BC to empower youth and build cultural connections with a focus on creative expression. This session will give some creative activities combined with cross-cultural systems for teaching.June 3, 3:30 – 4:30 PM
Participate via videoconference or computer webinarRegister for this FREE event.Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, May 15, 2015

1st Annual Indigenous Language Revitalization Summer Institute, Northern Arizona University, July 06-09, 2015

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1st Annual Indigenous Language Revitalization Summer Institute

July 06-09, 2015
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona

Download Printable Flyer

How to Create and Sustain Successful Indigenous Language Immersion Programs

A 4-day hands-on, how-to workshop for creating a new language immersion program or re-energizing an existing immersion program by converting weaknesses into strengths.

Who’s Invited

  • Those committed to saving at-risk indigenous languages.
  • Those wanting to start a language immersion school or program.
  • Those wanting to improve the academic achievement of American Indian students.
  • Those currently working in a language immersion school or program who want to ensure its success and longevity.

In this workshop:

Founder and former Director of Puente de Hozho Tri-lingual School, Dr. Michael Fillerup, guides you through his 10-step process for creating and sustaining an indigenous language immersion program for the ages.

Additionally you will learn:

  • How to develop the Five Essential Elements of a language immersion program.
  • How to maximize the 4 P’s – Promotion, Publicity, Public Relations, and Parent Participation.
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of a language immersion program.
  • Potential obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Troubleshooting and practical advice.
  • How to Light Two Candles with One Flame  (i.e., revitalizing the indigenous language while boosting student achievement)

Enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Reserve your place now.
Early Registration (by May 15th) $450; Regular Registration (after May 15) $500
Special Discount if registered for the 2015 AITEC Conference $375

FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Dr. Michael Fillerup@ 928.853.1393 or Michael.Fillerup@nau.edu.


‘Haida Gwaii’ film wins top prize at Hot Docs

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‘Haida Gwaii’ film wins top prize at Hot Docs

Blessing of the Gwaii Haanas legacy totem pole Haana Edenshaw tosses feathers during the blessing of the Gwaii Haanas legacy totem pole before being raised in Windy Bay, B.C., in Haida Gwaii, on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Cassandra Szklarski , The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 1, 2015 9:10PM EDT

TORONTO — A film about the aboriginal rights activists, ecologists and locals who have worked together to rejuvenate British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii has won the best Canadian feature documentary award from the Hot Docs Festival.

Director Charles Wilkinson’s “Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World” claimed the $10,000 prize as the jury praised its “stunning cinematography.”

A $5,000 special jury prize went to Sophie Deraspe’s “The Amina Profile.”

And the emerging Canadian filmmaker award went to director Ryan Mullins, whose “Chameleon” concerns a Ghanaian journalist famous for his unique methods.

Meanwhile, the first-ever Hot Docs short film pitch contest awarded a first place prize of $30,000 to “Cree Code Talker,” pitched by Alexandra Lazarowich and Cowboy Smithx of Edmonton. It’s about Second World War code talker Charles (Checker) Tomkins, who used the Cree language to help Allied forces.

Read More…

Source: http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/entertainment/haida-gwaii-film-wins-top-prize-at-hot-docs-1.2355245