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UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – 8th Session

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The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

Eigth Session 18-29 May 2009
More info and documents: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/session_eighth.html

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger published on No Comments on UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

The online edition of the Atlas includes all of the information in the print edition (soon to be released) and much more. Using this interface, you can browse through the endangered languages listed in the 2009 edition of UNESCO’s Atlas, using combinations of search criteria and/or zooming in the map below (see. browsing functionalities). For more detailed information, please consult the Language names and locations, Contribute your comments and FAQ pages.

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

Parents proud, son Barack Black Eagle (Obama) enters White House

Parents proud, son Barack Black Eagle (Obama) enters White House published on No Comments on Parents proud, son Barack Black Eagle (Obama) enters White House

from Indiana Country Today by Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Special to Today

HELENA, Mont. – While the world celebrated as an African American assumed the highest office in the United States, Barack Obama was accompanied by his adopted parents, brother and clan members of the Apsaálooke, or the Crow Nation.

Twenty-four Crow members traveled from Montana to Washington D.C., hauling horse trailers and traditional regalia to participate in the inaugural parade Jan. 20, after Obama became the first U.S. president to belong to an Indian tribe.

Last May, then-presidential candidate Obama paid a campaign visit to Crow Agency, arguably the first stop at an Indian reservation by any presidential candidate since Robert F. Kennedy’s visit in 1968 to Pine Ridge, S.D.

Before the rally Mary and Hartford Black Eagle formally adopted Obama into the Crow Nation, conferring an honorary tribal membership. They gave him a family name, Barack Black Eagle, and a Crow name, Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuuxshish, which translates as “one who helps people throughout the land.”

more: http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/plains/38693927.html

Article/Report: Indigenous Peoples knowledge society: Transformations and challenges

Article/Report: Indigenous Peoples knowledge society: Transformations and challenges published on 2 Comments on Article/Report: Indigenous Peoples knowledge society: Transformations and challenges

Budka, P., Fiser, A. 2010. Indigenous Peoples knowledge society: Transformation and challenges. Report and introduction to the section Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Society. TRANS – Internet Journal for Cultural Studies, 2010(17). Online: http://inst.at/trans/17Nr/8-2/8-2_sektionsbericht.htm

This introductory text and a collection of papers, which were presented at the “Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Society” workshop at the “KCTOS: Wissen, Kreativität und Transformationen von Gesellschaften” conference in December 2007 in Vienna will be accessible online in the 17th issue of TRANS: Internet Journal for Cultural Studies.

Of the more than 300 million Indigenous People recognized by the United Nations, a growing minority is actively shaping indigenous visions of a knowledge-based society (e.g. UNHCHR 2001, 1997). These visions are not simply indigenous responses to global mainstream debates over post-industrial development or techno-scientific culture, etc. More importantly, they articulate the actual deployment of new media and information communications technologies (ICTs) by indigenous communities to forward their own policies and practices. They frame how indigenous communities are mobilizing over the internet and on the web to communicate their lived experiences and extend their local networks to global audiences, including and most importantly, a global indigenous audience.

Continue reading Article/Report: Indigenous Peoples knowledge society: Transformations and challenges

Canadian government apologies to residential schools’ survivors

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Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologies to Aboriginal students and survivors of residential schools:

 

“Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian residential schools. The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history.
In the 1870’s, the federal government, partly in order to meet its obligation to educate aboriginal children, began to play a role in the development and administration of these schools.
Two primary objectives of the residential schools system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture.
(…)”

from CBC News.

Video from Harper’s Office:

 

Steve Cisler passed away

Steve Cisler passed away published on No Comments on Steve Cisler passed away

Steve Cisler, internet activist and librarian passed away this month. He was a very active guy, co-editing and co-writing, e.g., one of the first publications about indigenous groups and the internet in 1998 (Cultural Survival, 21.4). Unfortunately, I met him only once at the Incommunicado Conference in Amsterdam in 2005. (Steve also wrote a nice report on this event.)

Some of his friends and colleagues collected and posted their thoughts and memories about Steve:

Steve Cisler – first Internet librarian
Steve Cisler is gone
Steve Cisler RIP
Steve Cisler Passes

Pelican Falls First Nation High School

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Auf dem Gebiet der Lac Seul First Nation befindet sich die Pelican Falls First Nation High School, die ausschließlich für Schüler aus den indigenen Gemeinschaften der Nishnawbe Aski errichtet wurde. Administrativ und organisatorisch ist die Schule somit dem Northern Nishnawbe Education Council unterstellt.

Neben Fächern wie Englisch oder Mathematik werden auch Kurse angeboten, die speziell für die First Nation SchülerInnen entwickelt wurden, wie Sprachunterrricht zum Erlernen der indigenen Sprachen (Ojibwe, Ojicree und Cree) oder Werkzeugunterricht zum Erstellen von traditionellen Werkzeugen und Produkten, wie Kanus oder Tierfallen. So soll indigene Kultur und Wissen auch im institutionellen Rahmen einer Schule weitergeben werden.

Neben der Schule gibt es in Pelican Falls auch Unterkünfte in denen die Kinder in kleinen Gruppen untergebracht sind. Jedes dieser Häuser wird von speziell geschulten SozialarbeiterInnen betreut, die den Schülern helfen sollen sich in der ungewohnten Umgebung zurecht zu finden und wohl zu fühlen.

Wichtige Bestandteile dieser Unterkünfte sind Computerarbeitsplätze, die vor allem genutzt werden um mit Freunden und Familie in den Heimatgemeinschaften in Kontakt zu bleiben. Das von K-Net angebotene Homepage-Hostingservice MyKnet.org spielt dabei eine ganz entscheidende Rolle.

Lac Seul First Nation

Lac Seul First Nation published on No Comments on Lac Seul First Nation

Lac Seul First Nation (Obishikokaang) liegt etwa 40 km nordwestlich von Sioux Lookout und besteht aus den drei Gemeinschaften/Siedlungen Frenchman’s Head, Kejick Bay und Whitefish Bay. Lac Seul ist das älteste Reservat im Sioux Lookout District und gehört der Independent First Nations Alliance an.

Während im Sommer Kejick Bay ausschließlich über den See – den Lac Seul – mit Booten zu erreichen ist, wird im Winter der zugefrorene See als Straße verwendet. Auch die kleinste Gemeinschaft – Whitefish Bay – ist im Winter wesentlich einfacher und schneller zu erreichen.

Bis 1929 bildeten Kejick Bay und Whitefish Bay eine gemeinsame Siedlung am Festland. Durch die Überflutung großer Teile des Festlands durch “Ontario Hydro”, einen regionalen Stromerzeuger, wurde Kejick Bay zu einer Insel und viele Familien verließen die Siedlung und das Reservat. Heute leben etwa zwei Drittel der Mitglieder der Lac Seul First Nation nicht mehr im Reservat sondern beispielsweise in den Städten Red Lake und Sioux Lookout.

In Kejick Bay befindet sich im Gebäude der ehemaligen Band Office das sogenannte “Access Center”, das Mitgliedern der Gemeinde Computer und Internet zur Verfügung stellt, etwa um mit Freunden und Verwandten in anderen Gemeinschaften und Regionen in Kontakt zu bleiben. Die Räumlichkeiten werden aber ebenso für Workshops und Schulungen verwendet.

Australia apologies to Indigenous Peoples

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From the New York Times:

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia’s tortured relations with its indigenous peoples on Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs and a call for bipartisan action to improve the lives of Australia’s Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

“The Parliament is today here assembled to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia,” Mr. Rudd told Parliament.
(…)

From the National Indigenous Times:

They jumped, whooped and hollered on the lawns of Parliament in Canberra following the apology to the Stolen Generations read by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this morning.

The long overdue apology was the one of the first issues of business for the 42nd Parliament of Australia.

The declaration itself read concisely and made its message clear, yet as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s voice wore on with more personal anecdotes, the mood of the 5,000 strong crowd turned from one of quiet celebration to one of outright sorrow.

Tears were hard to hold back as members of the Stolen Generations that weren’t inside Parliament House openly wept during the speech that will be remembered for many years to come.
(…)

Rudd’s speech on ABC.
The full apology in The Sidney Morning Herald.

Der kälteste Ort in Kanada?

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In Winnipeg, der Hauptstadt der Provinz Manitoba, liegt angeblich der kälteste Ort Kanadas. Und das liegt vor allem am Wind, der aus der kalten Prärie kommend, genau an der Ecke Main Street und Portage Avenue am stärksten zu spüren sein soll. Für die Einheimischen ist also der Wind Chill, der gemeinsam mit der eigentlichen Aussentemperatur die gefühlte Temperatur ausmacht, von großer Wichtigkeit. Gemütliche -28 Grad Celsius werden so schnell zu eher ungemütlichen -35 bis -40 Grad Celsius.

Ob diese Ecke in Winnipeg wirklich der kälteste Ort im ohnehin schon ziemlich kühlen Kanada ist, darf bezweifelt werden. Es ist aber auf jeden Fall kein Ort an dem man sich im Winter länger als unbedingt notwendig aufhalten möchte.

K-Net in Sioux Lookout

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Nach fast 30-stündiger Zugfahrt endlich in Sioux Lookout angekommen, statte ich natürlich K-Net, dem Internet Service und Netzwerk Provider des Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Councils, einen meiner ersten Besuche ab. Die Organisationen hat nun das gesamte Gebäude in der King Street übernommen und auch sein Team mit neuen MitarbeiterInnen verstärkt.

In Sioux Lookout sind im Winter einige Geschäfte und Restaurants nicht geöffnet, da diese entweder nicht für die eisigen Temperaturen ausgerüstet sind oder sich auf den Sommertourismus spezialsiert haben. So ist etwa das Kino, oder das Restaurant Knobby’s geschlossen. So geht es im Winter in der Stadt etwas ruhiger zu als im Sommer, auch wenn es genügend kulturelle Veranstaltungen oder Möglichkeiten gibt sich etwa sportlich zu betätigen.

Zurück in Kanada

Zurück in Kanada published on No Comments on Zurück in Kanada

Meine Forschung führt mich wieder zurück nach Kanada und noch dazu im Winter – was kann es schöneres geben?

Bevor ich mich per Zug in den Nordwesten Ontarios – die Nishnawbe-Aski – aufmache, verbringe ich ein paar Tage in Toronto, treffe Freunde und betreibe Literaturrecherchen in der Robarts Library der Universität von Toronto.

Leider ist es nicht allzu kalt, so zwischen -3 und +3 Grad Celsius, und der Schnee in der Großstadt Toronto verwandelt sich so relativ rasch in braunen Gatsch und rießige Wasserlacken, die oft nur sehr schwierig zu umgehen sind.

Nach meinen obligatorischen Besuchen kulinarischer Natur in China Town und in einem englischen Pub – Rindfleisch-Nudel-Suppe bzw. Fish and Chips – spazierte ich in der Stadt umher, besuchte die Casa Loma, das Winterfestival vor dem Rathaus und die Queen Street, auf der auch im Winter kräftig eingekauft wird.

Section/Workshop: Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Society

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The section “Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Society” of the KCTOS conference will take place at the 7th of December at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna.

More detailed information can be found in the workshop’s program:
fiser_budka_program.pdf

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples approved by UN General Assembly

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The UN General Assembly passed a declaration on the human rights of the world’s indigenous people. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States rejected the document, stating it went too far in giving indigenous peoples ownership of their traditional lands and veto rights over national legislation and local management of resources. The declaration, which had been debated for 30 years, is nonbinding. Voting in favor were 143 nations, and 11 countries abstained.

(derived from the New York Times)

Official reaction of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada:

AFN Press Release …

AFN National Chief Applauds Today’s Passage of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Recognizing 30 Years of Work in the Making

OTTAWA, Sept. 13 – The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations called today an important day for Indigenous people around the world, including First Nations in Canada.

“While the Declaration is not perfect, it is a step toward setting minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous people everywhere. It’s a day to celebrate.

“This recognition was a long time coming,” National Chief Phil Fontaine said. “The Declaration recognizes our collective histories, traditions, cultures, languages, and spirituality. It is an important international instrument that supports the activities and efforts of Indigenous peoples to have their rights fully recognized, respected and implemented by state governments.”

However, the National Chief said he is gravely concerned that the Government of Canada chose to vote against the UN Declaration and, in effect, opposes fundamental human rights protections for Indigenous peoples. Canada lobbied hard to convince other countries to not support the Declaration. It is the first time Canada voted against an international human rights instrument. Despite Canada’s efforts, many countries decided to vote in favour of the United Nations Declaration.

“The Assembly of First Nations and other representatives of Indigenous peoples in Canada offered to work with the government to address the concerns it had and to come to a solution, but that offer was refused,” National Chief Phil Fontaine said. “Canada prides itself as a protector of human rights. It is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, yet it is disappointing today to see this government vote against recognizing the basic rights of Canada’s First Peoples. This is a stain on the country’s international reputation.”

First Nations Chiefs and First Nations representatives invested an enormous amount of work into the Declaration over the last 30 years.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

(from K-News)

Background information about the Declaration can be found on the website of IWGIA (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs): http://www.iwgia.org/sw248.asp and in the Spring 2007 issue of Cultural Survival Voices.