Great News

Musqueam Post dedicated at UBC Vancouver campus

Posted on

Mainphoto770

Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr. carved the new Musqueam Post during UBC’s Centennial year. Photo credit: Reese Muntean

The Musqueam people and the University of British Columbia acknowledged their developing partnership today with the dedication of a striking cedar post installed prominently on the Point Grey campus, which is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

Carved by talented Musqueam artist, Brent Sparrow Jr., the post tells an origin story of the Musqueam involving a two-headed serpent.

“We cherish the relationship between the university and the Musqueam,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “As UBC is on our traditional territory, it’s important that we work together closely to share our culture and look for opportunities to work together.”

The new Musqueam post is now installed, facing east towards the new Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre and the campus entrance, at the foot of a cascading water feature at University Boulevard and East Mall.

“This beautiful post will serve as a permanent welcome to all visitors to these grounds and as a reminder of our relationship with the Musqueam people who were here long before UBC’s history began,” said Interim President Martha Piper. “Its dedication, one of the closing events of UBC’s Centennial year, points towards renewed—and stronger—relationships in the future.”

The land upon which UBC and the post are situated has always been a place of learning for the Musqueam people, where culture, history, and traditions have been passed from one generation to the next.

A time-lapse video of the installation of the Musqueam post can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/1ii_DjN1kz8

A photo gallery of the creation of the Musqueam post can be viewed here: http://100.ubc.ca/galleries/musqueam-post/

For more on the post and the history of the Musqueam-UBC relationship, see http://centennial.aboriginal.ubc.ca

For more about partnership between the Musqueam and UBC, including academic courses and youth programs, visit: http://aboriginal.ubc.ca/community-youth/musqueam-and-ubc/

Brent Sparrow Jr. speaks about the Musqueam Post:

“This qeqən (post) tells the story of the origin of our name xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). The old people spoke of a small lake called xʷməm̓qʷe:m (Camosun Bog) where the sʔi:ɬqəy̓ (double-headed serpent) originated. They were warned as youth to be cautious and not go near or they would surely die. This sʔi:ɬqəy̓ was so massive its winding path from the lake to the stal̕əw̓ (river) became the creek flowing through Musqueam to this day. Everything the serpent passed over died and from its droppings bloomed a new plant, the məθkʷəy̓. For this reason the people of long ago named that place xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam – place of the məθkʷəy̓)

This qeqən represents our xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) ancestors and our ongoing connection to them and this land through their teachings. The figure is holding the sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s tail to showcase this sχʷəy̓em̓’s (ancient history) passage through generations, relating how we became known as xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people – People of the məθkʷəy̓ plant. The scalloping reflects the sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s path and trigons represent the unique məθkʷəy̓ plant. The sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s stomach is said to have been as big as a storage basket, designed here as an oval. I drew upon these traditional design elements to depict this rich history.”

Significant Musqueam-UBC milestones

1927: A pair of Musqueam house posts are presented to UBC: http://100.ubc.ca/timeline/musqueam-house-posts-are-presented-to-ubc/

1993: The First Nations Longhouse, built in consultation with Musqueam and many other Aboriginal groups, opens as a gathering place for Aboriginal students and a place of learning for people from the broader community.

2006: The University of British Columbia and the Musqueam Indian Band sign a historic memorandum of affiliation to further the sharing of knowledge and the advancement of Musqueam and Aboriginal youth and adults in post-secondary education.

Advertisements

2 Native Women Elected to National Academy of Education

Posted on

henrietta-mann
Henrietta Mann, Tsetsehestaestse (Cheyenne), is one of 11 elected to the National

2 Native Women Elected to National Academy of Education

3/10/16

Dr. Henrietta Mann, Tsetsehestaestse (Cheyenne), and K. Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke/Creek Nation) were recently elected to the National Academy of Education.

Mann is the now retired founding president of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College, and Lomawaima is a professor of justice and social inquiry, and distinguished scholar of indigenous education at the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University.

They were among 11 elected for membership by Dr. Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University and President of the National Academy of Education (NAEd).

NAEd celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, and has 199 U.S. members and 11 foreign associates who are elected based on outstanding scholarship related to education.

“I was astonished to be elected to this body of esteemed educators, just as committed to education as any one of them, yet, in my own unique cultural-based way. As my daughter once described me, education has always represented the true north on my compass,” Mann told ICTMN. “I came from a people who valued education, which was nurtured in me, and became my joy as a teacher and later as a university professor. It was an educational journey from the home of a great-grandmother, who was a healer of horses for peoples who pursued bison across the northern and southern plains to a journey throughout the halls of learning in such places as the University of California, Berkeley; Graduate School of Education, Harvard University; University of Montana; Montana State University; and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College located on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. What a fulfilling educational experience and contribution. Now, membership in the National Academy of Education—my heart sings.”

Mann was the first person to occupy the Katz Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Montana State University, Bozeman, where she is Professor Emerita, but continues to serve as Special Assistant to the President.

In 1991, Mann was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 leading professors in the nation, and in 2008, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Indian Education Association.

The College Board, Native American Student Advocacy Institute presented Mann with its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and has since created the Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award to acknowledge and thank leaders for their advocacy in improving lives within Native communities. In 2014, MONEY Magazine named her a MONEY Hero Award Winner, one of 50 Unsung Heroes/50 States, conferred for her extraordinary work with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College in improving the financial well-being of others.

Lomawaima joined Arizona State University in January 2014. From 1994-2014 she served on the faculty of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, serving as head from 2005-2009. From 1988–1994, she was a member of the Anthropology & American Indian Studies faculty at the University of Washington.

K. Tsianina Lomawaima is one of 11 elected to the National Academy of Education.
K. Tsianina Lomawaima is one of 11 elected to the National Academy of Education.

Lomawaima has received numerous teaching honors, including the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She also served as 2012-2013 President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association/NAISA, which she helped found in 2007. She was also awarded the Western History Association Lifetime Achievement Award for American Indian History in 2010.

“It’s a tremendous honor… As someone who works in indigenous studies and as a historian it took me by surprise,” Lomawaima told ICTMN. “I’m amazed that it happened, and just deeply honored.”

The full list of those elected to the NAEd is below:

Ron Astor, University of Southern California

Joan L. Herman, National Center for Research

Glynda A. Hull, University of California, Berkeley

Deanna Kuhn, Teachers College, Columbia University

K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Arizona State University

Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College

Russell Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara

Anna Sfard, University of Haifa

Carola Suárez-Orozco, University of California, Los Angeles

William F. Tate IV, Washington University in St. Louis

“It is my pleasure to welcome these leaders who represent the rich diversity of fields that study education,” Feuer said.

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/03/10/2-native-women-elected-national-academy-education-163697

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA, Is 1st First Nations Woman Elected To B.C. Legislature

Posted on

 |  By
Posted: 02/03/2016 8:55 am EST Updated: 02/03/2016 9:59 am EST
MELANIE MARK

Melanie Mark grew up in one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, bouncing around the social housing system while her mother struggled with addiction and her siblings lived in foster care.

Decades later, she’s about to become the first indigenous woman to be elected to B.C.’s legislature in the province’s history.

Mark, a New Democrat, snagged a seat in her party’s stronghold of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in a byelection Monday. She handily defeated Liberal Gavin Dew and Green candidate Pete Fry with over 60 per cent of the vote.

The mother of two will be replacing Jenny Kwan, who moved into federal politics as NDP MP for Vancouver-East last October.

melanie mark
Mark at a campaign launch event in April 2015. (Photo: Facebook)

Mark was a frontrunner throughout the campaign, which was an experience that provided a stark contrast from a childhood marked with hardship.

Now 40, the politician grew up in social housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — an impoverished neighbourhood known for high levels of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.

Mark’s mother — now 10 years sober — was an alcoholic. Her father was also an addict and died from an overdose when she was in her 20s, the MLA wrote in a letter published by the Georgia Straight last week.

Mark, who is of Cree, Nisga’a, Gitxsan, and Ojibway descent, also had several siblings living in foster care. The future politician said she was left to support them for 16 years, working with “relentless passion” while her mother struggled with addiction.

melanie mark
Mark at a campaign event before winning the byelection in her riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant on Feb. 2, 2016. (Photo: Melanie Mark’s Campaign/Flickr)

Mark was shuffled into “over 30” different homes growing up in the neighbourhood, she told the Straight.

But her takeaway from it all, according to her website, wasn’t frailty.

It was “warrior strength.”

Youth advocacy and provincial politics

Mark, who studied political science at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, spent years advocating for children and youth in the province and across Canada. She worked with organizations such as Covenant House Vancouver, Save the Children, the RCMP, and co-founded Vancouver’s Aboriginal Policing Community Centre.

She also volunteered as president of the city’s Urban Native Youth Association, which helps indigenous youth settle into city life.

Before her foray into politics, Mark worked with B.C. children’s watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond for nearly a decade.

The politician announced her bid for B.C. legislature in April.

“There was no chance in hell I was going to stand on the sidelines.”

Throughout her campaign, Mark focused on youth advocacy, affordable housing, poverty reduction, and education.

“I’ve never worked so hard to get a job,” the candidate told the Vancouver Courier last year.

Mark’s First Nations heritage was also at the forefront — a part of her identity that shows how far the MLA-elect has come.

“My early days weren’t easy. There was a lot of struggle, and there certainly wasn’t a lot of pride. I faced so much racism in school, and bullies, and really had to fight — whether that [was against] the experiences that my family confronted [or] how my brothers were treated in care,” Mark said at a campaign event on Sunday.

“There was no chance in hell I was going to stand on the sidelines.”

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/