Indian Country Today

It’s important to keep up to date on current Indigenous issues and events and Indian Country Today is a great resource with which to to do that.  The major focus is on national (American) stories in the U.S., however, there is coverage of global issues as well.  The top Canadian story: “Government kills abalone project” in Bamfield, B.C.

I feel sometimes I get overwhelmed with the seemingly limitless amount of information on the web, so having a resource like this one to trust to keep track of things as they happen is somehow a relief.

October 30, 2010   No Comments

Listening to Our Past

“Listening to Our Past” is a collaborative effort about Inuit Culture in Nunavut involving the Qikiqtani Inuit Association,  Nunavut Arctic College, Association des Francophone du Nunavut, and Heritage Canada. There is a lot of information presented in a format that I think would be appealing to students – plenty of interesting pictures.  Why is this important? Because teachers can create a group name for students to log in individually and complete questionnaires. An excellent learning resource.

Be sure to flip the pictures (bottom, right hand side) – I had been to the site a couple of times before realizing this!

October 30, 2010   No Comments


So, it is over this year (October 20-24, 2010) and it was in Toronto, however, the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival is annual. In fact it just celebrated its 11th year.  AND there is still lots to look at and discover on their website. Check out the short clip on the Best Dramatic Feature festival winner “Boy” – guaranteed to make you want to see the film!

October 30, 2010   No Comments

Biopiracy & the ETC Group

“Biopiracy refers to the appropriation of the knowledge and genetic resources of farming and indigenous communities by individuals or institutions who seek exclusive monopoly control (patents or intellectual property) over these resources and knowledge. ETC Group believes that intellectual property is predatory on the rights and knowledge of farming communities and indigenous peoples.”

Since I am directly involved in dishing out pharmaceuticals and training others up to do so, biopiracy is a concern that strikes home with me. I have taught the origin of aspirin (from willow tree bark) in the classroom for years and found it curious how some textbooks would cite indigenous knowledge as being the reason for its discovery, while others did not. Hmm. And what about Lakota arthritis therapy, who is profiting from that exactly?  The ETC Group fights for issues related to Erosion, Technology, and Concentration (e.g. corporate) thus the shortform. There are many issues to focus on but there is also global representation on the board – Canada, U.S., Mexico, Africa, South America, Phillipines and U.K. – to help tackle them.

“What we do: We address the socioeconomic and ecological issues surrounding new technologies that could have an impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. We investigate ecological erosion (including the erosion of cultures and human rights); the development of new technologies (especially agricultural but also new technologies that work with genomics and matter); and we monitor global governance issues including corporate concentration and trade in technologies. We operate at the global political level. We work closely with partner civil society organizations (CSOs) and social movements, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

October 30, 2010   No Comments