Great News

Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school

Posted on


Attorney and professor brings a wealth of experience in Indigenous law, say university officials

CBC News Posted: Jan 13, 2016 6:40 AM ETLast Updated: Jan 13, 2016 11:43 AM ET

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal
scholar.

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar. (Supplied)

Listen to audio recording…

A northern Ontario university says the new dean of its law school will be the first aboriginal woman to hold that position in Canada.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., has appointed Angelique EagleWoman to lead the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law starting in May, a month before the fledgling law school’s first class is set to graduate.

EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar.

She told CBC News she’s impressed with the Lakehead faculty’s focus on rural and small-town practice, environmental law, and Indigenous law.

“Those three areas are all areas I’ve taught in and I have experience in, and I write a lot of articles about,” she said. “So I just thought ‘what a perfect match.'”

EagleWoman has taught in the areas of Tribal Nation economics and law, and Native American natural resources law. She has also published articles on topics like tribal economics and quality of life for Indigenous peoples, according to a Lakehead University press release.

Wants to build ‘distinguished’ law school

She takes over the position in Thunder Bay from the school’s first dean, Lee Stuesser, who resigned in 2015.

EagleWoman said she doesn’t feel that being relatively new to Canada will be an issue, adding that things like environmental law and Indigenous law share common traits on both sides of the border.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations coming out are very common issues with people that are both in the United States and in Canada who are Indigenous,” she said.

“So there’s a real commonality there, and the land doesn’t know political boundaries.”

EagleWoman said she wants to see the school grow and continue to be a forward-thinking institution.

“I hope to move the law school from the start-up phase to taking its place as a distinguished law school, along with the other Ontario and national law schools,” she said.

A biography posted on the school’s site says one of the highlights of her career was serving as general counsel for her own tribe, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in Dakota.

with files from The Canadian Press.

Reference:

(2016, January 18) Audio – Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/law-school-canada-aboriginal-dean-1.3400903?__vfz=tc%3D7c4KA0bOGi9

Skwomesh language activist to launch ‘trailblazing’ immersion course at B.C. university

Posted on Updated on

Students to be taught indigenous language 5 days a week at Simon Fraser University

By Duncan McCue, CBC News Posted: Jan 14, 2016 6:38 PM ETLast Updated: Jan 15, 2016 11:36 AM ET

"My heart just soars when I have opportunities to speak to others in my language. Right now, I don't have enough people," says 26-year-old Khelsilem.

“My heart just soars when I have opportunities to speak to others in my language. Right now, I don’t have enough people,” says 26-year-old Khelsilem. (Kwi Awt Stelmexw)

A young man’s determined efforts to revive his ancestral language — which started with grassroots language nights in his father’s home five years ago — reached a new milestone this week with the announcement that he’ll be leading a full-time adult immersion program for the Skwomesh language at Simon Fraser University in September.

“My heart just soars when I have opportunities to speak to others in my language. Right now, I don’t have enough people,” says 26-year-old Khelsilem (his traditional Skwomesh name).

The program would like to have 15 students learning Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim (the 7 represents a glottal stop or a slight pause) — or in English, the Skwomesh language — seven hours a day, five days a week.

Khelsilem teaching

Khelsilem will be one of two lead instructors of an innovative indigenous language program at Simon Fraser University, which is now accepting applicants. (Kwi Awt Stelmexw)

Khelsilem will be one of two lead instructors of the program, which is now accepting applicants. After completing 1,000 classroom hours, students graduate with a certificate in First Nations language proficiency.

It’s modeled after similar indigenous language programs in Canada and New Zealand. Khelsilem says he was inspired by a trip to the community of Kahnawake in Quebec, where he learned about Mohawk immersion efforts.

“I was able to see how many years of running an adult immersion program has created a community of language speakers … that permeates through many institutions in the community, whether schools, community centres, hospital, daycares or administrative centres,” says Khelsilem.

“When I saw that, it was clear to me what was really needed in my community.”

The Squamish Nation has a population of 4,000 members with a vast traditional territory that ranges from North Vancouver to the city of Squamish, 60 kilometres north of Vancouver.

But a 2014 report on the status of B.C. First Nations languages listed Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim as “critically endangered,” with only seven fluent speakers remaining.

Immersion-based approach

Until now, the options for Squamish Nation members interested in learning the language have been limited to Skwomesh classes in local elementary and high schools. There are also evening classes for adult learners, which are university-accredited but sporadic. Khelsilem says a few hours a week of language instruction can’t turn a student into a language speaker.

“You might become knowledgeable in aspects of the language, but it won’t make you into a conversational speaker that can talk to fluent speakers, or describe events, people and locations.”

Marianne Ignace

“It’s a trail-blazing project (in British Columbia),” says Professor Marianne Ignace, director of SFU’s First Nations Language Centre. (SFU)

Professor Marianne Ignace, the director of SFU’s First Nations Language Centre, believes the Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim immersion project has exciting prospects for revitalizing the language.

It’s a trailblazing project (in British Columbia),” says Ignace, a community member of the Skeetchesen First Nation and fluent speaker of secwepemctsin.

“We know in our hearts it’s nearly impossible for somebody who studies their First Nations language at the pace of two to three hours a week — and they need to pump in 1,000 hours to get good at it.”

SFU has certified over 200 students in 15 indigenous languages over the past two decades, says Ignace but only recently began offering opportunities to learn in immersion settings.

The centre ran a four-month immersion “boot-camp” for the Haida language in Haida Gwaii last winter. It’s also piloting a “language house” project with the Osoyoos First Nation and Penticton Indian Band, immersing 15 students in the Okanagan language, known as nsyilxcen, for two-days per week.

“We can see how much faster learners are able to progress, if it’s the full-time immersion based approach,” says Ignace.

“It’s hard to sustain that energy, but we’re losing our elders so fast. We’re in a desperate situation to produce intermediate and advanced speakers as fast as we can.”

Funding indigenous language learning

Khelsilem, a semi-fluent speaker of Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim, began learning from cassette tapes as a teenager. Once he became more proficient, he launched an online language blog in 2011, designed to reach and teach Squamish Nation members in any location with his self-designed podcasts and YouTube videos.

That evolved into a Language House, where three residents lived and spoke Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim daily.

Khelsilem 'language house'

Khelsilem was once part of ‘Language House,’ where three residents lived and spoke Sk̲wx̱wú7mesh sníchim daily. (Duncan McCue)

All these efforts were do-it-yourself volunteer affairs, supplemented with contributions from crowdfunding campaigns. But Khelsilem says he recognizes the key to developing a community of language speakers is to make it financially viable for language students.

“A couple ofpost community members have indicated their boss would give them a year leave of absence to take the program, but they won’t be earning income during that time. We want to make language learning financially accessible to people.”

The partnership with Simon Fraser University means students who are First Nation members will be eligible to apply for post-secondary funding to cover tuition costs, as well as a monthly living allowance.

Khelsilem has founded a not-for-profit organization called Kwi Awt Stelmexw, hoping to raise $30,000 for student scholarships, and plans to hold a gala fundraiser this March in North Vancouver.

Reference:

(2016, January 18) Skwomesh language activist to launch ‘trailblazing’ immersion course at B.C. university. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/skwomesh-language-activist-b-c-university-launch-immersion-course-1.3404541?__vfz=tc%3D1m3KDoFKsn9

Justin Trudeau signals new approach to relationship with Indigenous people

Posted on Updated on

Justin Trudeau signals new approach to relationship with Indigenous people

Ceremony included recognition of traditional Algonquin territory and performances from Indigenous children

By Connie Walker, CBC News Posted: Nov 04, 2015 4:34 PM ETLast Updated: Nov 04, 2015 5:51 PM ET

Media placeholder

The first sign that this government is taking a new approach to its relationship with indigenous people came when Theland Kicknosway, a 12-year-old Cree drummer, led the way into Rideau Hall today for the swearing-in of Justin Trudeau and his cabinet.

There has been indigenous participation in the past, but today’s ceremony was clearly meant to symbolize a new relationship with indigenous people and the government of Canada.

The Cree boy’s song ended and was quickly followed with an acknowledgement the gathering was on traditional Algonquin territory.

The ceremony also featured giggling Inuit throat singers who stole the show and wrapped up with three Métis jiggers.

Two indigenous ministers were sworn into Trudeau’s cabinet: Jody Wilson-Raybould (Kwakwaka’wakw) was named minister of justice; and Hunter Tootoo (Inuit) is the new minister of fisheries and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett Nov 4 2015

Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett is sworn-in during the ceremony at Rideau Hall. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

But perhaps the most symbolic change was the renaming of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs to Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

The new minister is longtime aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett, who held an eagle feather and a braid of sweetgrass as she was sworn in.

Hayden King, professor of Indigenous governance at Ryerson University, says the name change will be welcome in the indigenous community.

cree drummer cabinet

Cree drummer Theland Kicknosway, 12, leads the procession into Rideau Hall before Justin Trudeau is sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

“Obviously Trudeau wants to be sensitive to indigenous people and the name change reflects a change in approach — it’s adopting our language. In that sense it’s hard to critique the change.”

King said the term indigenous has become preferred over aboriginal.

“I think indigenous is a term that actual native people, indigenous peoples, originated themselves. It comes from us as a people, so I think that’s one reason that people prefer it.”

“Aboriginal is kind of a status, legal, domestication of indigenous concerns, whereas indigenous or indigeneity is kind of sovereigntist, more authentic term used by indigenous people themselves.”

A video of Theland’s drumming posted on Facebook  quickly gained thousands of views and shares.


And many of the comments contain the word hope.

But King is not convinced the symbolism will result in the “real change” that Trudeau has promised indigenous Canadians.

“Everybody wants to be hopeful. I want to be hopeful, I want to be optimistic, but I am a student of history and my reservoir of cynicism is deep. There do seem to be some positive signs, but at the same time, we know what is going to happen.”

Media placeholder

Inuit throat singers at swearing-in ceremony 0:54

CBC News Aboriginal: http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/justin-trudeau-signals-new-approach-to-relationship-with-indigenous-people-1.3304234?cmp=abfb

Movement replacing Columbus Day with events honoring Native Americans gains steam around US

Posted on Updated on

Movement replacing Columbus Day with events honoring Native Americans gains steam around US

Travis Mazawaficuna of the Dakota Nation (Sioux) Native American tribe arrives with others to the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples outside the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, in this file photo taken August 9, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/Files

About four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land.

The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend “powwow” on Randall’s Island in New York’s East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.

Organizers hope to call attention to issues of social and economic injustice that have dogged Native Americans since Christopher Columbus led his path-finding expedition to the “New World” in 1492.

The powwow has been held for the past 20 years but never on Columbus Day. It is part of a drive by Native Americans and their supporters throughout the country, who are trying to rebrand Columbus Day as a holiday that honors indigenous people, rather than their European conquerors. Their efforts have been successful in several U.S. cities this year.

“The fact that America would honor this man is preposterous,” said Cliff Matias, lead organizer of the powwow and a lifelong Brooklyn resident who claims blood ties with Latin America’s Taino and Kichwa nations. “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

But for many Italian Americans, who take pride in the explorer’s Italian roots, the holiday is a celebration of their heritage and role in building America. Many of them are among the strongest supporters of keeping the traditional holiday alive.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to drop Columbus Day, replacing it in 1992 with Indigenous Peoples Day. The trend has gradually picked up steam across the country.

Last year, Minneapolis and Seattle became the first major U.S. cities to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This month, Portland, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Bexar County, Texas, decided to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with the new holiday. Oklahoma City is set for a vote on a similar proposal later this month… Read More

Source: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/movement-replacing-columbus-day-with-events-honoring-native-americans-gains-steam-around-us/

Muskogee Creek Joy Harjo Wins Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize

Posted on Updated on

MUSKOGEE CREEK JOY HARJO WINS $100,000 POETRY PRIZE BY LEVI RICKERT / CURRENTS / 12 SEP 2015

Joy-Harjo-photo-credit-Karen-Kuehn
Joy Harjo (Photo by Karen Kuehn)
Published September 12, 2015

NEW YORK — American Indian poet and activist Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek) has been selected to receive the Wallace Stevens Award for “proven mastery” by the Academy of American Poets. The award was announced on Thursday, September 10, 2015. With the award comes a $100,000 stipend.

The prestigious Wallace Stevens Award is given annually “to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry” for lifetime achievement. No applications are accepted; recipients are chosen by the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors.

“Throughout her extraordinary career as poet, storyteller, musician, memoirist, playwright and activist, Joy Harjo has worked to expand our American language, culture, and soul,” stated Academy of American Poets Chancellor Alicia Ostiker. “

“HARJO IS ROOTED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN THE NATURAL WORLD, IN EARTH—ESPECIALLY THE LANDSCAPE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST— AND IN THE SPIRIT WORLD. AIDED BY THESE REDEMPTIVE FORCES OF NATURE AND SPIRIT, INCORPORATING NATIVE TRADITIONS OF PRAYER AND MYTH INTO A POWERFULLY CONTEMPORARY IDIOM,  HER VISIONARY JUSTICE-SEEKING ART TRANSFORMS PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE BITTERNESS TO BEAUTY, FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS, AND TRAUMA TO HEALING,” CONTINUED OSTIKER.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo, 64, received a BA degree from the University of New Mexico before earning an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1978.

Her books of poetry include How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002); A Map to the Next World: Poems (W.W. Norton & Co., 2000); The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W.W. Norton & Co., 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; In Mad Love and War (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award; Secrets from the Center of the World (University of Arizona Press, 1989); She Had Some Horses (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1983); and What Moon Drove Me to This? (Reed Books,1979). She has also written a memoir, Crazy Brave (W. W. Norton & Co., 2012), which describes her journey to becoming a poet, and which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction.

Also a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam in venues across the U.S. and internationally. She plays saxophone with her band Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CD’s of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

Harjo’s other honors include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Most recently, she received the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry by the Academy of American Poets. About Harjo, said: Harjo is Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

First Nations Cree Ashley Callingbull Named MRS Universe 2015

Posted on Updated on

Ashley Callingbull, a members of Cree First Nations, has been crowned MRS Universe 2015 in Minsk, Belarus. Mrs. Callingbull represented Canada in the pageant on the other side of the globe.

Ms. Callingbull posted on Facebook the following message: I’m so proud to say I am now the new MRS Universe 2015 !!! I am the first First Nations woman to win this title! I am also the first Canadian Delegate to win as well!! Sooooooo happy right now!”

MRS Universe 2015 – Mrs Canada 1st Runner up – Mrs South Africa 2nd Runner up – Mrs Ukraine 3rd Runner up – Mrs Costa rica 4th Runner up – Mrs Gibraltar

As a veteran pageant participant who rated highly in Miss Universe Canada and Miss World Canada competitions, Callingbull was undoubtedly one of the favorites among the delegates convened in Minsk.

Ashley Callingbull is a 23 year old Cree First Nations woman from the Enoch Cree Nation in the province of Alberta. She is currently enrolled at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Television Program. She is very devoted to her culture and people, and takes pride in her Native Cree heritage, and has shown this through her volunteer work with community elders and aboriginal youth. By the time Ashley reached 10 years old; she had consecutively won all Enoch’s princess crowns. She is a professionally trained dancer in tap, ballet, jazz, pointe and performed in the Nutcracker.

Original Article: http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2015/08/first-nations-cree-ashley-callingbull.html

Prince Rupert students must learn indigenous language from September

Posted on

Prince Rupert students must learn indigenous language from September

Students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 will learn Sm’algyax, language of the Tsimshian First Nation

By Daybreak North, CBC News

This is one of the Prince Rupert schools where children will be required to learn some of the language of the Tsimshian First Nation.

This is one of the Prince Rupert schools where children will be required to learn some of the language of the Tsimshian First Nation. (Google Streetview)

Starting in September, all Prince Rupert, B.C., students enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 4 will be required to learn Sm’algyax, the language of the Tsimshian First Nation.

The language program has been available at two of the district’s schools for the past decade, but it will now expand to every primary classroom in the city.

Roberta Edzerza, the Aboriginal Education Principal for School District 52, says the program is designed to teach small, simple aspects of the language that can be used in song, activities and outdoor learning.

“We are on traditional Tsimshian territory and the Sm’algyax is the language of the territory,” she told Carolina de Ryk on CBC Radio One’s Daybreak North.

“We are so proud and we would like to share our language and culture with everybody.”

While learning a second language has been shown to be beneficial to the developing brain, Edzerza adds that this particular program can act as a bridge between cultural communities.

“It’s one avenue to address racism. Education is key. Learning the language and sharing in the learning and the culture,” she said.

“Our students are really proud and they look forward to learning the language.”

To hear the full interview with Roberta Edzerza, listen to the audio labelled: Students in Prince Rupert to learn indigenous language.

Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald Honoured With the Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Posted on

UBC Professor Honoured With a Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Our congratulations go out to Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, recipient of a 2014-15 UBC Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

The Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring recognizes outstanding mentorship by a UBC faculty member of numerous graduate students over a period many years.  This 2015 award recognizes a faculty member in the senior category – that is, with 12 or more years of university service.

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald
Professor, Department of Educational Studies
Associate Dean of Indigenous Education and NITEP Director, Faculty of Education

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald has an international reputation as an outstanding scholar, and through her mentorship and leadership of numerous initiatives, has helped transform Indigenous education in Canada.  The many graduate students she has mentored consistently praise her for her holistic approach to mentorship, engaging their physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs in ways that transcend their often isolating programmatic experiences.  Her high standards, wise and caring counsel, and commitment to instilling in her students a sense of responsibility for others have contributed to her students’ success in making a positive impact as leaders in their fields and communities after graduation.

Dr. Archibald received the award during the May 21, 2015 graduation ceremony.

Original article: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/about-us/news/ubc-professor-honoured-killam-award-excellence-mentoring

Hawaiian Canoe Hōkūleʻa Sets Sail for Sydney Guided by Ancient Navigation

Posted on Updated on

Posted by Marisa Hayase in Worldwide Voyage on May 1, 2015

The Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa and her crew have departed New Zealand, on its way to leaving the Pacific Ocean for the first time in her 40-year history. The canoe’s master navigator, Bruce Blankenfeld, will use traditional Polynesian navigation techniques to sail to Australia. The crew of 14 are expected to arrive in Sydney in mid-May. The journey is part of Hōkūleʻa‘s 47,000 nautical-mile sail around the world to bring attention to the importance of protecting environmental and cultural treasures for future generations.
“Australia is on our sail plan because of its incredible natural and cultural treasures, and our desire to explore a part of the world that is new to us,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society president and master navigator, Nainoa Thompson. “It is a place that we can relate to because of the potential of bringing together diverse sectors to care for our ocean. In Hawaii, blending indigenous stewardship practices with other best practices can help us find positive ways forward, and we are seeking to learn from similar approaches in Australia so we can share that knowledge with other communities as we continue to voyage around the world.” ...Read more.

Now Online! Webcast of the 2015 Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium Keynote

Posted on

SAGE is excited to announce that a webcast of the 2015 Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium keynote by David Newhouse, and responses by Ethel Gardner and Amy Parent is now available on the UBC institutional repository, cIRcle (under the Xwi7xwa Library community and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre community).

The webcast can be accessed here: https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/52447

Enjoy!