Indigenous People

Indigenous Voices Unifying Central America: First Central American Indigenous Radio Conference to Take Place in Panama

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Indigenous Voices Unifying Central America: 
First Central American Indigenous Radio Conference to Take Place in Panama
From January 16-18, 2016 Cultural Survival, Fundación Comunicándonos, AMARC (Central American Sub region), Voces Indígenas Panamá, the General Guna Congress, Asociación Sobrevivencia Cultural and Indigenous community radio representatives will bring together representatives from Indigenous community radio stations in every country in Central America for the First Central American Indigenous Community Radio Conference: Indigenous Voices Unifying the Region. The event will spearhead a regional Indigenous community radio network for sharing resources, technologies, good practices, political strategies, and building international political support, all with the goal of supporting Indigenous Peoples’ struggle in defense of their identity, land, and human rights.

“We believe that this conference is an opportunity to come together as Indigenous Peoples and unify efforts to maintain our voice in the promotion of our cultures as a human right,” said Anselmo Xunic, Program Manager for Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program. Indigenous Peoples have a unique need for their community media, since it is through the media that they can communicate about issues that affect them, organize themselves, and strengthen their languages and cultures.

Community radio legislation in Central America is very limited. Throughout the region, both television and radio frequencies are monopolized by the commercial media, and the States in the region see communication not as a human right but as a commercial good, despite resolutions by UNESCO and the United Nations and the Organization of American States Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression.
Many Indigenous community radio stations throughout Central America already function as members of networks, which has benefited their communities’efforts. In Guatemala, community radio stations have been working for over 16 years to pass a law that would give them a legal means of accessing radio frequencies, despite the fact that Guatemala’s constitution and Peace Accords require democratic access to radio frequencies. As they wait, Guatemala’s Indigenous community radio stations operate under the threat of raids, attacks, and closures by the police.
“Without freedom of expression, no other rights can be guaranteed. Indigenous Peoples demand radio frequencies to have their voices heard and to strengthen our languages, self-governance, information, and education. The Conference will serve to analyze these issues and collaborate to demand that the States in the region provide equal access to media, which is a human right, not a right of businesses,” said Cesar Gomez, Cultural Survival.
“This Conference provides motivation to share experiences and find strategies that make the right to freedom of expression more viable.  Putting our efforts together at the international level reverberates locally. It opens doors to women’s participation, both young and old,” said Rosy González, Indigenous Rights Radio Producer.
The First Central American Indigenous Community Radio Conference will take place January 16-18, 2016 in the Comarca Guna Yala in Panama with the participation of over 40 Indigenous leaders from the Kuna territory, Indigenous women and active members of community radios from throughout Central America. Half of the participants are women who demonstrate a strong commitment to the democratization of media for Indigenous Peoples and women, two sectors who have historically not been given sufficient voice in public media.
“The Conference will be a space for those of us who continue to work towards democratization of communication in the region to get to know each other better and to recognize the work that each is doing. It is a space to reflect on and share experiences and most importantly to continue weaving dreams and actions for an inclusive, just and democratic Central America. We come from every country in the region with the will to work, synergize, and most importantly spread the word on our fight against commercial media oligopolies,” said Oscar Pérez, Director of Fundación Comunicándonos.

The participants will develop a follow-up plan and draft an Outcome Document to record shared principles, conclusions, and follow-up.

Partners: Cultural Survival, Asociacion Sobrevivencia Cultural, Fundación Comunicándonos,  AMARC Central America, and Voces Indigenas Panama
Join us virtually:
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Be a part of the conversation by using the hashtags #voicesindigenasCA #IndigenousvoicesCA
For more information on the Freedom of Expression and Community Radio in Central America, visit www.cs.org.
Contact: 
Angelica Rao:
 angelica@cs.org, +1-647-624-3084
Teresita Mendoza: teresita@culturalsurvival.org, 505-87734907 505-85285412 (en espanol)

Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers

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Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers

From navigating inquiries to defending the land, 5 indigenous lawyers are making a difference

CBC News Posted: Dec 29, 2015 5:00 AM ET

Armed with a law degree, Caleb Behn is emerging as one of the fiercest defenders of Dene territory against the fracking industry.

Armed with a law degree, Caleb Behn is emerging as one of the fiercest defenders of Dene territory against the fracking industry. (Two Island Films)

There was a time in Canada when indigenous peoples weren’t allowed to hire lawyers without the permission of government officials, and First Nations people couldn’t enter law school without first renouncing their “Indian status.”

That all changed in 1954 when the late William Wuttunee graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, becoming Western Canada’s first status Indian lawyer.

Since then, many indigenous people across the country have followed in Wuttunee’s footsteps, graduating from law school, being called to bar and succeeding in a field that was until recently off-limits to them.

Here’s a look at five indigenous people who are using the legal profession to change Canada.

Donald Worme

Donald Worme

Cree lawyer Donald Worme is from the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan. (CBC)

A founding member of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, Donald Worme is a Cree lawyer based in Saskatoon.

From the Kawacatoose First Nation, Worme first rose to prominence for his work in the Neil Stonechild inquiry in 2003, during which he represented Stonechild’s family.

Since then, Worme has represented many families and groups who often find themselves at odds with police and the justice system. These include the family of Matthew Dumas, shot and killed by Winnipeg police in 2005, and Kinew James, who died in Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre in 2013.

Worme was also commission counsel between 2004 and 2006 at the Ipperwash Inquiry — which was tasked with investigating what led to the shooting death of unarmed Anishinaabe protester Dudley George — was more recently, for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Jean Teillet

Jean Teillet

A great-grandniece of famous Métis leader Louis Riel, Jean Teillet has emerged as a staunch legal defender of indigenous rights. (University of Toronto)

A great-grandniece of famed Métis leader Louis Riel, Jean Teillet had two-decade career in theatre – dancing, acting, teaching and choreographing – before entering the University of Toronto’s law school at age 38.

When she graduated in 1994, she quickly established herself as a staunch defender of indigenous rights.

In 2003, Teillet won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court of Canada for Métis rights. The case centred on Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., resident Steve Powley who was charged with hunting moose without a licence.

Now a partner with Pape Salter Teillet LLP, Teillet specializes in aboriginal rights law, a field in which she’s won numerous awards, including the 2011 Indigenous Peoples’ Council award by the Indigenous Bar Association and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Outside the courtroom, Teillet helped create the Métis Nation of Ontario and has served as vice president and treasurer of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada, and founding president of the Métis Nation Lawyers Association.

Christa Big Canoe

Christa Big Canoe

In 2014, lawyer Christa Big Canoe testified before a House committee reviewing C-26, the government’s controversial prostitution law. (CBC)

A member of the Georgina Island First Nation, an Anishinaabe community in Ontario, Christa Big Canoe is the legal advocacy director of Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto.

Big Canoe, known as a passionate advocate for First Nation children and women’s rights, has appeared before all levels of court in Canada where she’s provided an aboriginal perspective and representation on issues that most affect aboriginal people in Canadian law.

While at Legal Aid Ontario, she led the province-wide Aboriginal Justice Strategy aimed at removing barriers to accessing justice for First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Most recently, Big Canoe is representing six of the seven families of the students whose deaths are the subject of an inquest in Thunder Bay. All of the young people came to the city from remote First Nations to attend high school.

Katherine Hensel

Jonathan Rudin, Katherine Hensel

“There needs to be a 360 degree analysis of what happens in Canadian courtrooms, in the Canadian justice system,” lawyer Katherine Hensel told the CBC. (Law Society Gazette )

Katherine Hensel was called to the bar in 2003.

Just a year later, the member of the Secwepemc nation began to serve as assistant commission counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry.

After working with a prominent litigation firm for several years, Hensel left to establish Hensel Barristers in 2011. She’s since been involved with several cases involving indigenous rights, and served as counsel for the Native Women’s Association of Canada during the British Columbia’s Missing and Murdered Women’s Inquiry.

Hensel often speaks to the media about issues surrounding indigenous peoples, including a recent appearance on CBC’s The Current, where she offered pointed criticism of the justice system in the wake of a controversial not-guilty decision in the Cindy Gladue murder trial.

“There needs to be a 360-degree analysis of what happens in Canadian courtrooms, in the Canadian justice system,” Hensel said.

Caleb Behn

Caleb Behn

Caleb Behn hasn’t been called to the bar yet, but plans to use law to defend his traditional territory against fracking. (Zack Embree)

He’s not even been called to the bar yet, but Caleb Behn is already planning to use the law to defend the traditional territory of his people, the Dene.

Behn was born into in a very political family, with several close relatives serving as chiefs. He grew up in northern British Columbia, a land increasingly changed as the oil and gas industry grows.

Driven by a responsibility to protect that land and water, Behn entered law school at the University of Victoria.

Before officially entering his chosen profession, Behn has seen that goal — and his life — become the subject of a critically acclaimed 2015 documentary, Fractured Land.

“Anybody who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org founder.

(2015, December 29) Legal warriors: Profiles of 5 indigenous lawyers. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/legal-warriors-five-indigenous-lawyers-1.3371819

Stolen Land: First Nations, Palestinians at the Frontline of Resistance

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Stolen Land: First Nations, Palestinians
at the Frontline of Resistance

With Robert Lovelace
Queens University Lecturer & former Anoch Algonquin Chief

Friday, November 27 @ 1pm

Room 098, Henry Angus Building
2053 Main Mall, Unceded & Occupied Musqueam Territory

For more information: sphr.ubc@gmail.com

Stolen Land : Stolen Voices Canada and Israel are both built on land and resources stolen by European settlers; both are still sustained by the ongoing repression of indigenous peoples. The indigenous peoples of Canada and Palestine are on the front lines resisting the destruction of the land by militarism and industrial extraction. In the mainstream media and the halls of power, indigenous activists’ voices and stories have been silenced – they are treated as terrorists or historical curiosities. This event will explore the commonalities of indigenous struggles for land and freedom in Canada and in Palestine as well as connections to the global fight for a decolonized world.

Robert Lovelace is an adjunct lecturer at Queen’s University specialising in Aboriginal Studies, Re-indigenisation and De-colonisation. Robert is an anti-colonial activist and retired chief of the Anoch Algonquin First Nation. He spent 3½ months in jail as a political prisoner for defending the Ardoch homeland from uranium exploration. Robert has sailed twice on the Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza. He lives at Eel Lake in traditional Ardoch territory.

UBC Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights • sphr.ubc@gmail.com

Sponsored by UBC Social Justice Centre, Seriously Free Speech Committee. Endorsed by Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Canada Palestine Association/BDS Vancouver, Canadian Boat to Gaza, Independent Jewish Voices – Vancouver, Mobilisation Against War and Occupation, North West Indigenous Council, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Streams of Justice, United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.

Indigenous conference compare differing research approaches

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Indigenous conference compare differing research approaches

By Lailani Upham

Dr. Bagele Chilisa, University of Botswana in Africa and author of “Indigenous Methodologies” is keynote speaker at the Indigenous Research Conference. (Courtesy photo)
Dr. Bagele Chilisa, University of Botswana in Africa and author of “Indigenous Methodologies” is keynote speaker at the Indigenous Research Conference. (Courtesy photo)

PABLO — Salish Kootenai College is the home of an Indigenous Research Conference where hundreds of researchers from around the world gather to compare notes.

All share a common philosophies – indigenous research methodologies differ from a western approach.

Western approach is where the researcher is separated from the data and the project, and is merely an observer.

Indigenous research flows from relationships.

Nearly 300 participants attended the third annual Indigenous Research Conference on October 22 – 24 at the SKC Joe McDonald Health Center.

The purpose is to educate and promote and incorporate methodologies into all research that engages indigenous peoples and communities around the worlds.

The new philosophy is that research is gained through relationships and the researcher knows the story or can tell it from a personal standpoint.

Participants came from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, South Africa, Sweden, and from across the United States.

Dr. Bagele Chilisa, author of Indigenous Methodologies (2012), of University of Botswana was one of the keynote speakers along with Dr. Patricia Cochran, Inupiat, from Alaska Native Science.

A researcher from Russian, Dr. Lilian Alissa was the banquet speaker.

Dr. Shawn Wilson, author of “Research is Ceremony” was part of a pre- conference workshop titled: Implementing the Indigenous paradigm into the proposal. Read More…

Artist Conversations at MOA, UBC. Nov. 22, 1 pm–2:30 pm

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Artist Conversations at MOA

MOA invites you to participate in a conversation between artists. In conjunction with the new exhibit (In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art, Walis Labai, Yuma Taru and Anli Genu will engage in conversation with Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, an artist from Haida Gwaii, and MOA Curator Fuyubi Nakamura. Join them for a discussion concerning issues of identity, indigeneity, and cultural heritage in contemporary art. This event is free with with your free student card admission.Sunday, November 22, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
Museum of Anthropology, UBCFor more information, contact MOA Reception or call 604-827-5932.

 

Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, November 16, 2015

Highway of Tears film screening and panel discussion, at the Norm Theatre, Nov. 30, 2015

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Monday, November 30: Highway of Tears film screening and panel discussion

The Women’s Centre at UBC is screening Highway of Tears, followed by a panel discussion. Since the late 1960s, at least eighteen young women — many of them from First Nations communities — have disappeared or been found murdered along the 724-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. None of these cases were ever solved. Matt Smiley’s hard-hitting documentary, Highway of Tears, not only movingly relates the personal stories of the victims, but investigates how the legacy of generational poverty, high unemployment and endemic violence in their communities contributed to their tragic fates — and how contemporary First Nations leaders are striving to cure those ills.

Monday, November 30, 5:458:30 PM
The Norm Theatre, 6138 University Blvd (the old SUB)

Registration is required for this free event. Light refreshments will be served.

Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, November 16, 2015

CFP – INDIGENOUS INTERVENTION into “INDIGENOUS NARRATIVE”, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Due: Dec. 11, 2015

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CALL FOR PAPERS

The Institute of American Indian Arts Indigenous Liberal Studies Department

is sponsoring an INDIGENOUS INTERVENTION into “INDIGENOUS NARRATIVE”

March 31-April 2, 2016

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Indigenous Liberal Studies Department is convening an interdisciplinary conference exploring the idea of “Indigenous Narrative.” The Indigenous Intervention on Indigenous Narrative is being convened to bring forth ideas related to the Indigenous experience with the concept of “Narrative” in culture, literature, philosophy, history, politics, economics, film, television, art, music, social theory, business. The concept of Indigenous Narrative has many applications and responses in the Indigenous world including assimilation, economic development, education, cultural change, artistic expression, evolution/devolution, language, psychology, and more.

Please submit a one-page abstract or a panel proposal with abstracts by December 11, 2015. Organized panels are encouraged. Special Undergraduate Research sections for papers and panels are available (please indicate on your proposal/abstract if yours is undergraduate research). All presenters will be required to register for the conference. Registration details will be forthcoming.

To submit your proposal or abstract: email: ILS@iaia.edu, mail: Indigenous Intervention, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Institute of American Indian Arts, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508-1300. For more information: Stephen Wall, 505.424.2376 or swall@iaia.edu.

IAIA has been working to develop an online journal of papers from the Indigenous Interventions work continues as we seek to digitally publish all works that are submitted by the scholars for publication.

 

Indigenous Speakers Series: Top Down vs. Community-Driven: Indigenous Health Policy In Canada. NOV. 25, 2015, 9 am–12 pm

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Dr. Shannon Waters and Dr. Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest will share their extensive experience with the development and implementation of Indigenous health policy in Canada. Presenters will discuss the roles of traditional knowledge, politics, community-driven approaches and research & surveillance in the development of Indigenous health programming and Indigenous health policy at federal and provincial levels. As Indigenous peoples reclaim their health, and with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care (the Romanow Report), the presenters will discuss the complexities that arise when efforts are made to incorporate multiple voices in the creation of Indigenous health policy from the grassroots level.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25

9:00am – 12pm

Franklin Lew Forum

Allard School of Law 1822 East Mall, Vancouver, BC

Register at our website: health.aboriginal.ubc.ca

 

ISS_Poster_Nov_6

 

Justin Trudeau signals new approach to relationship with Indigenous people

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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

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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.”

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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

A ‘Really Cool Squash’ Makes A Comeback In Wisconsin After 800 Years

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A ‘Really Cool Squash’ Makes A Comeback In Wisconsin After 800 Years

Gete Okosomin Was Only Recently Discovered By Archaeologists
By Cheyenne Lentz
Friday, October 30, 2015, 2:05pm

Gete (GATE-ay) Okosomin (oh-COHS-suh-min) is Ojibwe for “really cool squash.” According to Kevin Schoessow  — an agricultural development agent with the University of Wisconsin-Extension — it’s the perfect name to describe an ancient kind of squash that was only recently discovered in Wisconsin.

“The story goes, about 10 years ago, there was an archaeological dig somewhere in the Green Bay area or in Menominee territory, and they found a clay vessel — a clay ball,” said Shoessow. “And they picked it up, and lo and behold, it had a little rattle.”

When the researchers cracked the ball open, Schoessow said, they found squash seeds within. They estimated that the ball had been preserving the seeds for about 800 years.

But perhaps even more remarkably, researchers also found that the seeds were still viable. Flash forward to today, and five generations of the squash known as Gete Okosomin have been produced.

Having been given one of the fruit as a gift from the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe, Schoessow likened the flavor to that of an acorn squash, but much sweeter. The shape, he said, is similar to that of a banana squash.

“The one I had was only six-and-a-half pounds, but they grow closer to 18 or 20 in the first generation,” Schoessow said.

The seeds thus far have been shared with just a select few in order to protect indigenous culture and foods, he said. However, people will soon be able to see the squash on display at the Teaching and Display Garden at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station.

“We really just want to kind of just honor the heritage of this particular squash,” Schoessow said. “There’s a lot of cool heirloom varieties that we need to bring back and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with this one.”

Notably, the All-America Selections organization recently awarded the Spooner research station second place in the National Landscape Design Contest. Read more about the station’s garden here.

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