Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Red Revolution's Wars of Influence & the Required Ultimate Sacrifice of Chief Spence

In any revolution which involves the emancipation of peoples, there are a number of required stages needed to complete a successful revolution. The Red Revolution in Canada is the most interesting case because it will be the first time Indigenous peoples in a minority situation have the potential to force a level of reckoning with the dominant settler population. The Red Revolution really started in 1969, but it has been a long unfolding revolution that has been unable to find full resolution. There have been many episodes in this War of Influence, but we have not had much drastic movement in a number of years. Canada it seems has been stuck in the stage of negotiation since 1969, after the issue of the infamous White Paper. It is a revolution in stasis where only the basic needs for negotiation have been meet without any real attempts to find long term solutions to issues facing Indigenous peoples in Canada. Various programs may have been put into place, but many of these programs have not erased the long standing issues surrounding what sociologist Michael Mascarenhas terms 'White Privilege.'

In 1969 Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien attempted to eliminate the concept of treaty rights and Indigenous peoples by off loading the Indian problem onto provincial governments and assimilating all Indians into the body politic. After the debacle of 1969 and the Liberal Government's retreat in the face of mounting Indigenous opposition, the Canadian government felt that they would no longer use the shock and awe method, but a progressive method in order to bring Indigenous peoples into greater integration in the Canadian state. They also set about to negotiate this incremental change while still maintaining the overall system.

The current Conservative Government's attempts to introduce slow change has hit a major road block because they have attempted too much change in too short a time period. They have a made a strategic error, but they have done so in a modern communications age. which may prove fatal. They failed to learn from the past and have potentially galvanised a generation. Their attempts to create incremental change as outlined in a parliamentary private members bill by Conservative Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke  ignores the needs of agency of the very young Indigenous population in Canada. Rob Clarke who interestingly enough is also Cree is seen by many to be a Judas. It is the young educated urban and reserve Aboriginal youth who truly believe that together they can change Canada to become a more equal and respectful nation. The incremental change was not sufficiently incremental and became a shock and awe method imposed upon Parliament and First Nations in Omnibus bills.  

Revolution Needs Violence Real or Symbolic

There is a problem with any revolution though, it can only succeed through the use of violence. Because Canada has reached a certain level of development as a liberal democracy there is no need to pose bombs, or use weapons, but only to use the ultimate modern democratic nuclear weapon, the moral weapon. Two circumstances have come together to push the uncompleted Red Revolution to a finish; the twitter #idlenomore movement of the youth and the hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence. I am not sure Chief Spence realised that these two elements for  successful revolution would come together like they have. It is undeniable you need a cause, a movement, a people, a martyr and real or symbolic violence. Theresa Spence the chief who been on a hunger strike has become for all intense purposes the future potential martyr symbol of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

What is Idle No More

The Idle No More movement for myself is about equal opportunity to education, to jobs, to making a living, to supporting a family; it is about culture and regaining stolen languages; it is about our children who continue to be taken by child and family services and made wards of the state; it is about resources and the equitable sharing of resources; it is a belief that self-Indigenous government was not ceded or given up, that Indigenous peoples have a HUMAN RIGHT to decide upon their own affairs; it is a belief that Canada, our country, our Native land does not need to have winners or losers, but that we all can share equally in what this country can offer and that we can respectfully live together a create a nation which does not live with an apartheid system of structural violence, but is a true liberal democracy which respects difference, encourages difference and different ways of viewing the world. It is in essence a dream I hold for all our children.

Ultimate Sacrifice Required of Chief Spence

As in any war or revolution people must die or be hurt. The only real question one need ask is how long it takes until one becomes willing to sit down and truly negotiate and to find a solution? No Canadians will actually die in this revolution, though many Aboriginal peoples would say Indigenous people are dying literally and figuratively on reserves and in cities in poverty and neglect. Canadian democracy will be tested, this has become the moment of truth for our nation. Where do we stand as a people, the Canadian people?

For the success of the Red Revolution, Chief Spence must make the ultimate sacrifice for the Indigenous population in Canada. If Chief Spence gives up or does not increase her demands to include the  500 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommendations of 1996, the current movement of social media and flash mobs will become passé. She must become that beacon that will demonstrate the structural violence that too often exists within society, yet goes unrecognised by too many Canadians. If we hope to find a solution to this 'Indian Problem' we need moral violence that will test the moral compass of Canada and all Canadians.

I Dream that all Canadian people truly believe in the words of our Constitution and all Canadians can live together in respect.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

White Man's Water, Alcoholics Anonymous & the 12-steps in First Nations

For the past half century, Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step recovery program has been the dominant method for treating alcohol abuse in the United States. Reservation communities have been no exception. Erica Prussing describes in her research White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community (University of Arizona Press, 2011), a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment does not, in fact, fit all. We discuss how communities try to make sense of the changes that have been forced upon them and the differening choices made by different generations. There is also a sexual difference in the way alcohol is used and the repercussions it has on people, families and the meaning behind who controls sex and the implication that drinking has upon social norms within a nation.

Prussing lived for three years on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, working with community organizations, building long-lasting relationships, and gathering testimonies of alcohol’s often disruptive impacts on the lives of many Northern Cheyenne. While many young women have embraced the 12-step program, others – particularly of the older generation – find its moral assumptions foreign and unhelpful. What emerges from Prussing’s account is not a reductive and totalizing “Cheyenne culture” but rather a complex negotiation of tradition, community, and recovery in the face of persistent colonial challenges.  This nuance and attention to detail makes Prussing’s call for indigenous self-determination in health care all the more powerful.

Erica Prussing is a medical and psychological anthropologist with special interests in the cultural politics that surround health and health care for indigenous peoples.  She is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology and Community & Behavioral Health, and serving as Academic Coordinator for the American Indian & Native Studies Program, at the University of Iowa.  She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at San Diego in 1999, and an M.P.H. specializing in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000.  She completed postdoctoral training in mental health services and health outcomes research at Children’s Hospital and Health Center in San Diego.  Her recent publications about sobriety on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation appear in journals such as Ethos, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, and Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, as well as in the monograph White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community (published in the First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies series at  University of Arizona Press, 2011).  Her current research examines how anthropology can shed critical light on the concepts and reasoning used in epidemiology, and provides an international comparison of how indigenous peoples are increasingly using community-based epidemiological research to achieve greater local control over how their health needs are defined and addressed.

To Learn More (podcast & Interview)


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Saving Anishnaabe one app at a time, Darrick Baxter and Ogoki Learning

This is another late night stairwell interview and conversation I had with Darrick Baxter, the dynamic President of Ogoki Learning Systems who developed an app or application for the Ojibway/Anishnaabe language. We discuss why he would do such a thing, the importance of language, and why he has made the source code free to all Indigenous language users who want to create their own language apps to save their languages. We had just heard the Chief Clarence Louis speak at the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce Gala Dinner on Nov 14, 2012.
In 2008 the United Nations dedicated it as the International Year of Languages, warning that thousands of languages face eventual extinction. Canada a rich nation and a member of the G8 has done little since then to save the cultural treasures which were born of our native soil. Around the world a language dies on average every two weeks and many aboriginal languages in Canada are among those considered in peril.
I was so inspired after having spoken to him that I decided to use his source code and create the same app for Michif and Nehiyaw (Cree). I hope we can have the same impact on our young Cree and Michif people. The image comes from Darrick's web-site and as you can see he is able to create some great looking stuff. Now I just need to find the money!!!
More information can be found on his web-site Ojibway People and Language – The new native language app from Ogoki Learning Systems Inc.


Monday, 10 December 2012

Longest Blockade in Canadian History - Grassy Narrows First Nation, 10 years on

The longest running blockade in Canadian history still continues today in Ontario. In December 2002 members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation blocked a logging road to impede the movement of timber industry trucks and equipment within their traditional territory. The story of the blockade is a story of convergences and relationship. There has been a growth among the people of Grassy Narrows about their own identity and that of their relationship as a community to the dominant culture and to other Indigenous Nations and peoples.

In Strong Hearts, Native Lands, Anna J. Willow demonstrates that Indigenous people’s decisions to take environmentally protective action cannot be understood apart from political or cultural concerns. By recounting how and why one Anishinaabe community was able to take a stand against the industrial logging that threatens their land-based subsistence and way of life, Willow offers a more complex “and more constructive” understanding of human-environment relationships.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

First Nation Water Rights at the Centre for Human Rights Research

Journalist Helen Fallding discusses the crises facing First Nation communities in Canada about lack of safe and reliable drinking water. too many communities do not have running water and must get it old style from the lake or river. This lack of water when surrounded by lakes causes health problems and issues because people are unable to bathe properly. These situations are especially egregious for families with young children. People become sick and ill and often it is possible to catch a skin disease. I discuss how some First Nations have pulp and paper mills which dump chemicals into the local water making for possible high cancer rates and death within a community. Helen talks about the new initiatives of the Centre for Human Rights Research as well as her work with water and her work as a journalist.

Helen Fallding is a lifelong human rights activist who ran women's centres at the University of Toronto and in Victoria, B.C., helped the Carcross Tagish First Nation negotiate a land claim and co-founded Yukon's first gay organisation. Her first job as a reporter was with Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon — the Beat of a Different Drummer. She joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1998, where she was Western Manitoba regional reporter, legislature bureau chief and then science reporter before becoming assistant city editor. Helen has won awards for feminist activism and for journalism, most recently for a series of stories about lack of running water on Manitoba First Nations, published shortly before she joined the University of Manitoba and the Centre for Human Rights Research as it manager.

To Learn more Interview (Podcast):


Monday, 3 December 2012

Thomas King & the Stairwell Interview: The Inconvenient Indian

This is an incredible stairwell interview with intellectual Thomas King about his thoughts on those Inconvenient Indians. There are the Indians that are destroying the natural order of things and getting in the way of progress. Civilisation has come the point where it can no ignore the effects of these creatures upon the natural world and its economy. History is full of individuals who have faded from history it is time for something to be done. Thomas King (Cherokee) looks at the history of North America. The book starts as a humorous account while looking at the story of Canada and the United States. As the book progresses you hear the voice of King as it becomes angrier and angrier on the treatment reserved for too many of the Indigenous populations on Turtle Island, it is a true crescendo. For Thomas history is the stories of our past, a past that hold a great power over the present because they exist in the present. History exists today.

Thomas King & Robert Falcon Ouellette
in a dirty old stairwell Nov 2012

The interview was completed during a fire drill at the radio station. We were forced to flee with his wife and his driver Mr Bruce in tow in search of a quiet place to discuss his thoughts and reasons behind his book. We eventually settled on the stairwell of the Pharmacy building. I sat on the floor while Mr King spoke above the din of passing students. It was quite the spectacle and students hushed as they passed realising they should be sending a text message instead of speaking.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Law of Discovery and the Maori Experience with Dr Jacinta Ruru

Dr. Jacinta Ruru (Faculty of Law, Otago University) gave a public lecture on "The Constitutional Indigenous Jurisprudence in Aotearoa New Zealand" at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law's Distinguished Visitor Lecture Series on Monday, October 22, 2012.

We discuss Dr. Ruru research in the areas of Indigenous peoples' legal rights to own, manage and govern land and water, her work into the Common Law Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous rights to freshwater and multidisciplinary understandings of landscapes, national parks, power and place, differences between Maori and settler concepts around land, Maori land courts, the alienation of land (selling of land). 

She is co-director of the University of Otago Research Cluster for Natural Resources Law and the recipient of significant research awards including the University of Otago prestigious Rowheath Trust and Carl Smith Medal for outstanding scholarly achievement across all disciplines (2010) and the Fulbright Nga Pae o te Maramatanga Senior Maori Scholar Award (2012). 


Friday, 23 November 2012

Academics say cuts to Aboriginal organizations are hurting crucial research projects

Open letter from Academics sent to the Minister of INAC

Exchange in the House of Commons Hansard

November 22, 2012

The Hon. John Duncan
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Duncan:

We are writing to express our dismay over unprecedentedly deep funding cuts for Canada’s Aboriginal Representative Organizations, including the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and tribal councils across the country. This follows the forced closure of the National Aboriginal Health Organization. As researchers, we work with these organizations and others in research partnerships to tackle some of the most pressing issues Canada faces. Grant funding agencies supported by your government consistently identify Aboriginal research as one of the top priorities for research in Canada. They also make it clear that this research can only be done in partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

As minister, you are well aware of the health, education and infrastructure issues that are preventing Canadian First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities from reaching their full potential. Innovative research partnerships between the people affected and the brightest minds at Canadian universities offer hope for resolving these issues in an effective and fiscally responsible way. In many cases, these bright young minds are First Nations citizens themselves.

We partner with the organizations whose funding you have cut on practical issues such as clean drinking water and community planning. We also partner with individual First Nations that rely on these umbrella organizations for training and support that enables them to engage meaningfully in research. Dedicated staff at these larger organizations, with whom we have developed relationships over years, are named as co-applicants and collaborators on our research grants. However, these people may not be able to carry through on their commitments because they may lose their jobs.

The potential loss of expertise is staggering and could take a generation to recover. Canada cannot afford to wait another generation for solid research on urgent issues. We urge you to rethink these ill-advised cuts to organizations that have been doing excellent work in their communities that benefits Canada as a whole.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Controversies of Ruth Phillips, Museum Pieces: Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums

Dr Phillips discusses her new book Museum Pieces: Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums and the controversies surrounding museums and their obligation to First Nations political and spiritual demands in North America. The ways in which Aboriginal people and museums work together have changed drastically in recent decades. This historic process of decolonization, including distinctive attempts to institutionalize multiculturalism, has pushed Canadian museums to pioneer new practices that can accommodate both difference and inclusivity. Drawing on forty years of experience as an art historian, curator, exhibition critic, and museum director, she emphasizes the complex and situated nature of the problems that face museums, introducing new perspectives on controversial exhibitions (1967, 1988) and moments of contestation (1997). We discuss an uncle of mine Noel Wuttunee who was one of the principal artists at the contested Montreal 1967 Expo. We also discuss the 1988 Calgary Olympics and how much I enjoyed her work (I was 12) even though it boycotted by the some First Nations in Alberta (Lubicon Cree Nation) because they are still without treaty and the oil and resources are being stolen from them.

Ruth Phillips argues that these practices are "indigenous" not only because they originate in Aboriginal activism but because they draw on a distinctively Canadian preference for compromise and tolerance for ambiguity. Phillips dissects seminal exhibitions of Indigenous art to show how changes in display, curatorial voice, and authority stem from broad social, economic, and political forces outside the museum and moves beyond Canadian institutions and practices to discuss historically interrelated developments and exhibitions in the United States, Britain, Australia, and elsewhere.

To Learn More (Podcast):

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Story of Betrayal, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn From the Rivers Edge

This is one of Elizabeth Cook-Lynn finest fiction books From the Rivers Edge. In our discussion we talk about how the characters serve as proxies to the larger debates within society between settler and indigenous cultures. Ideas of love, privacy, honesty, traitors to a people, ageism and concepts of justice are all intertwined in this account which highlights the changes in the 1950-1960s First Nation culture. A culture which was forced to suffer in their dealings with the domineering white society.  It is published by Living Justice Press.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe, was born in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, and raised on the reservation. She is Professor Emerita of English and Native American Studies at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington.

She was one of the founding editors of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal of Native American Studies (Red Pencil Review). She is also a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals and the Authors Guild. Since her retirement, Elizabeth has served as a writer-in-residence at universities around the country. She has been a very prolific writer since her retirement having published over a dozen hard analytical books in as many years. Review

Liz says “The final responsibility of a writer like me … is to commit something to paper in the modern world which supports this inexhaustible legacy left by our ancestors.”

To Learn More (Interview Podcast)   

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

North American Aboriginal Hide Tanning: The Act of Transformation and Revival, by Dr Morgan Baillargeon

Robert Falcon Ouellette discusses with Dr Morgan Baillargeon his book and work North American Aboriginal Hide Tanning where Morgan shows his profound understanding of traditional hide tanning techniques and the discoveries he made concerning spirituality and the spirit of transformation.
Dr. Morgan Baillargeon is French/Metis from southwestern Ontario.  He obtained his PhD from the University of Ottawa, where his studies centred on Great Lakes and Plains Aboriginal spirituality. His research includes areas such as Plains Cree beliefs about death and the afterlife, traditional Plains arts and culture, urban Native life and contemporary Aboriginal performing and visual arts, and aspects of material culture among the Blackfoot, Cree, Metis and Ojibwa.  Earlier research resulted in the Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibition Legends of Our Times: Native Ranching and Rodeo Life on the Plains and Plateau and the companion publication Legends of Our Times: Native Cowboy Life.  Dr. Baillargeon is currently working on an exhibition focusing on urban Native life and the impact arts plays on the survival of Aboriginal culture, language and traditional knowledge in urban settings.  Since 1992 he has been Curator of Plains Ethnology , and in 2008 additional duties included  the First People’s Hall, at the Canadian  Museum of Civilization.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

For King and Kanata Canadian Indians and the First World War

In honour of Remembrance Day on November 11, this is a discussion with Dr Timothy Winegard and his new book For King and Kanata about the roles that Status Indians played in the WWI, their treatment during and after the war, racism, conscription, drinking, Duncan Campbell Scott (great Canadian poet and architect of the Indian Residential Schools), Indian Affairs and the use of their service for purposes of assimilation. 

Timothy C. Winegard received his doctorate in History from the University of Oxford in 2010. He served nine years as an officer in the Canadian Forces, including a two-year attachment to the British Army. He is the author of Oka: A Convergence of Cultures and the Canadian Forces (2008) and Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War (2011). His main areas of interest, research, and writing include: military history, global indigenous peoples and cultures, North American colonial history, and the comparative history of British settler-societies.  Dr. Winegard recently moved to Colorado, where he is professor of history at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. He teaches a variety of courses in history and political science. He has traveled extensively across the globe for research, pleasure, and with the military, and is an avid Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings fan. 

Xavier Ouellette 11 Nov 2013

To hear the interview

To Learn More: radio (interview) podcast  

Friday, 2 November 2012

Leo Baskatawang, March4Justice: dragging the Indian Act into the 21st century

Researcher and activist Leo Baskatawang (Anihnaabek) is back to discuss how he has taken applied research to new level. Leo is a Masters student at the University of Manitoba in the Native Studies department. Leo looks back at his March 4 Justice where he marched over 3000 km across the country in his efforts to abolish the Indian Act and replace it with Indigenous Laws that respect Aboriginal people. He marched across Canada from Vancouver to Ottawa.  

To Learn more (podcast)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Aboriginal Language Courses for Families, starting January 2013

Aboriginal Conversational Language Courses for FAMILIES:

Cree, Anishinaabe, Michif courses

Starting January 2013-April 2013
9 classes (3 hours) evening or weekends
Location: Winnipeg MB
Cost: 195$

Families are encouraged to join

Learn and practice together to protect our cultures

Language is the outward expression of an accumulation of learning and experience shared by a group of people over centuries of development. It is not simply a vocal symbol; it is a dynamic force, which shapes the way a man looks at the world, his thinking about the world and his philosophy of life. Knowing his maternal language helps a man know himself; being proud of his language helps a man to be proud of himself (National Indian Brotherhood, 1972, p14-5, Indian Control of Indian Education).
Miriam Christoph administrator

After the release of the stats on languages by Statscan I was stunned by the continued eroding of Aboriginal languages. As a Program Director of Aboriginal Focus Programs, I felt it would be better to start offering a set of language courses through my faculty not offered in the traditional university manner, but more in keeping with a traditional Aboriginal learning environment. I want to have the entire family learn in a holistic manner. Meaning, you learn as a family and you practice as a family. We need to start involving the children and grandparents in passing on our languages.

I don’t know what the success rate will be, but I hope that students will be able to learn to communicate simple words, commands, music greeting, and occupations and discuss these issues with their children and grandparents.

Aboriginal peoples in control over their education.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Gang Graffiti Serving as Utilitarian Tags vs Traditional Graffiti & Tags of Winnipeg

Here is some interesting graffiti around Winnipeg that I found in the downtown area. It is interesting because it apparently indicates gang presence in the area and the gang is marking their territory. Graffiti can be a form of linguistics and discourse to indicate a number of elements. It seemed that what I found in the gang ridden areas was very plain and dull. For instance you will see the very utilitarian tag of PK meaning posse kill. This is a warning to the Indian posse to stay away from this territory, because they will be killed. There is no art to this graffiti. It is utilitarian and in fact was a little dangerous that as I was taking photos, two large gentlemen both heavily tattooed came out of some dark hovel to stare at my colleague (U of Winnipeg) and I while they started to transport a large nondescript bag.

It was near the University of Winnipeg, but they did not look like the usual students one would normally encounter in a class.  I will not mention the name of my esteemed colleague for he fears assassination from his colleagues at the U of Winnipeg for working with his colleague from the U of M. I will maintain his anonymity during our afternoon exploration gang discourse. 

This back alley had one of the homes busted in a Drug Op by Winnipeg police in Aug 2013. A 12 year old was arrested for being part of the gang and in the crack house. Quite the scene and image. The use of young children brings to mind the experiences of youth in war zone and the conversion of these youth to child soldiers. I suspect that many of the same indoctrination techniques used by rebel forces in Sierra Leone and Gangs in Winnipeg are the same. CTV Aug 15, 2013 

PS I did not take a photo of the gang members, though I did say Tansai, I received no response, but a very cold and chilling stare. perhaps they are in the army and have been posted!

The following is more traditional graffiti Art with tags attached. I found this in Osborne village just outside of the downtown core. I did not find art like this on my walk; it seems that this art is not expressed during a gang war. That is always the case of art and war. It is much more artistic, but still causes blight upon the community, but at least you know that you will not be shot or beat-up by taking photos. Many of the biz associations are taking measures to remove graffiti from their respective areas in order to maintain appearances of law-abiding orderliness. This would make for an interesting study, but......

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Gerorge Erasmus, Greatest Canadian Speech, Bringing Canadians Together

This is an example of the fiery speeches that former Grand Chief George Erasmus was well known for and perhaps one of the greatest speeches in Canadian history. This is the 20th anniversary of when Erasmus spoke to a group of prominent Canadians during a panel called “Bringing Canadians Together” during the 125 anniversary celebrations of the founding of Canada held in 1992. During the speech he discusses South Africa and Apartheid. This speech is what inspired me as a 17 year old to travel to South Africa and observe the first free elections in that country. I had the chance to see Nelson Mandela and feel the hope of the Indigenous peoples of that country in their demands for FREEDOM. 
Listen to how he builds the rhythmic cadence as the speech continues, reaching multiple climaxes. Hearing the speech gives me chills down my spine.

Georges Henry Erasmus (born August 8, 1948, in Rae Edzo, Northwest Territories) is a strong Canadian aboriginal politician. Erasmus was born in a Dene community of the Northwest Territories to a family of 12 children. He attended high school in Yellowknife. He became president of the Dene Nation in 1974 and while president fought against the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. It was his involvement in Indigenous politics of this period which allowed his rise to prominence. He was the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations from 1985 to 1991. Erasmus was national chief of the Assembly of First Nations during the Oka Crisis. After serving two terms as national chief he co-chaired the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. If you compare these speeches from the current speeches given by the current AFN Grand Chief you will see major differences in style. Is this method of confrontation the best means to obtain the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada? Are the people of Canada prepared to hear Erasmus and the words he has to say? Would you ever give a speech like this today or have current leaders moved to more professional negotiated discussions over resources and social services? 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Dr Kim Anderson, Life Stages and Native Women: Memory Teachings and Story Medicine

Dr Kim Anderson (Cree/Métis) is an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford. In her new book Life Stages and Native Women, Kim shares the teachings of fourteen elders (Métis, Cree, and Anishinaabe) to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders explore the four life stages of women as they share stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women’s roles in managing death. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Kim explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

To Learn More (Podcast):  

different files

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Vanada Fleury, Mamawi Apiketan Decolonization and Community Based Education Paradigms

This is a conversation with the very interesting Vanda Fleury (Métis). Vanda grew up around Hamiota and attended Brandon University before going to the University of Manitoba to work on a master's degree in native studies. She gave a presentation at the University of Manitoba about her work called Mamawi Apiketan Decolonization and Community Based Education Paradigms. Vanda's work steams from her desire to break down stereotypes.
While working for the Manitoba Museum she spent 16 months working with northern schools and elders to come up with 12 education kits for middle and high school students. Her research deals with the theories behind objects, perception, education stereotypes and colonization.
To Learn more (podcast):