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):

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Jamie Wilson Manitoba Treaty Commissioner and the Racism of lower expectations

James B. (Jamie) Wilson is the second Treaty Commissioner for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. He was at the University of Manitoba to speak about racism during the recent homecoming events. He was a guest speaker at the Presidents Visionary Conversations: We Need To Talk About Racism on Wednesday, September 12. This is a double header where we attempt to tread lightly around the themes of racism, family, role models, success, thoughts on the racism of lower expectations that we project on Aboriginal youth, and Jamie's work building trust between communities across Manitoba.

To Learn more (Podcast):
part I:  ttp://
part II: