I believe very firmly that Indigenous populations had a really good, intuitive understanding of why we're here. And we're trying to gain that same understanding through psychology and intellect
in modern civilization. Serj Tankian)
We like the idea of Canada where all cultures are encouraged
to develop in harmony with one another ~ to become part of the great 'mosaic.'
If we are to be part of the Canadian mosaic, then we want to be colourful red tiles ~
taking our place where 'red' is both needed and appreciated.
(Harold Carpenter: a lifelong student of First Nations Law
as practised by Cree and other aboriginal Elders.)
The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans.
Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans. (Robert Mugabe)
An Inspirational Breakfast
John Rennison from The Hamilton Spectator submitted a colourful photo of happy musical women:
Leanne Rego holds her drum up as she performs with the Nya:weh Cathedral Drumming Group
at the Totally Awesome Young Women's Breakfast at LIUNA Station.
YWCA Hamilton, brought together 500 women in Grades 9 to 12
from both Hamilton school boards to share breakfast and be inspired.
Keynote speaker Jamie Medicine Crane, a board member with World YWCA, is a Blackfoot member from the Kainai and Piikani Nations. She is an educator, motivational speaker, a dancer, musician and a strong advocate for women and youth.
Tour of Ancient Indigenous Village Offers Unique B.C. Vacation
Huu-ay-aht First Nation, one of many opening up areas to tourism.
Bamfield, B.C. Surrounded by old-growth rainforest against the rocky shoreline on the south-west edge of Vancouver Island lies a centuries-old-Indigenous village where traditional longhouses accessible only by foot remain undisturbed. The Huu-ay-ahat First Nation began offering tours of the ancient capital Klixin ~ pronounced kee-hin ~ last year in an effort to share their cultural heritage with the world and revitalize the quiet coastal town of Bamfield.
Trevor Cootes, a member of its executive council, says,
“Opening up the rare archeological site to the world has been years in the making.
Truth and reconciliation has to do more with ourselves and how we put our own culture back into our day-to-day lives.” The Huu-ay-aht is among several Vancouver Island First Nations to sign a treaty in 2011 and is self-governing. The Canadian government declared the village and fortress,which dates back to the 19th century, a National Historic Site in 1999.
In roughly a 3-hour tour, guides tell stories reflecting the beliefs and traditions of the Huu-ay-aht people, including a tale of how their warriors reclaimed the land from a neighbouring nation and spiritual beliefs rooted in the land, the water and stars.
“In our culture, when you come to our territory and we share something with you,
a part of that responsibility is that you now are a witness to who we are
as Huu-ay-aht people,” Cootes says.
“Visitors can also learn about significant plant life in the area used for cutltural and medicinal purposes.
Visitors can also take trips hiking in the forests, kayaking or boating from Bamfield.The number of Indigenous cultural activities across B.C. has grown significantly with more than 400 new tourism businesses taking off between 2012 and 2017. Tracy Eyssens, chief executive officer with Indigenous tourism BC states: “No, we don't live in igloos, no, we don't live in tepees. We are changing those cliches...or those myths...or the perceptions that consumers have about Indigenous people in B.C.”
A wonderful mature forest, lushingly invites visitors to view
and experience life in an Indigenous village.
A smaller colour photo depicts guides like Robert Dennis Junior (Wiisqi) sitting atop a high rock while holding a drum. Small islands can be seen in the adjacent coastal waters.
(The foregoing are excerpts written by Linda Givetash published by The Canadian Press)
Insights from Indigenous Artists
Tanya Tagaq (Inuk throat singer): I trust myself and my instincts and my emotions. Every day, I do everything I can to be a good and better person.
Rebecca Belmore (mixed media artist): As someone who grew up with very little access to our history through the education system, I feel compelled to witness and articulate and in some way, visually mark current history.
Adam Beach (actor): We put our minds and our hearts to succeed ~ and success isn't about money ~ success isn't about the biggest house in the world. Success is about loving your family and taking care of your child.
Jeff Barnaby (film-maker): I couldn't care less about my audience ~ what stereotypes or prejudices they bring into the theatre. I'm there to be honest to the characters that I created and the people I grew up around.
Tomson Highway (musician, storyteller and eternal optimist): Native theology works in a different way: There is no heaven ~ there is no hell ~ there's just a circle. The circle of life and death interconnect ~ and when we pass away, we don't go up or down. We stay in another part of the circle.
WWII Navajo CodeTalker ~ Samuel Tom Holiday Dies at Age 94
(Recently, my son forwarded the following to me)
From St. George, Utah published in The Associated Press: Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died, at age 94, in southern Utah, surrounded by family members. Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code, based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke the code.
The accompanying colour photo: Samuel Tom Holiday and Peter McDonald (U.S. Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers), both Navajo dressed, wave to the crowd before an Arizona Diamondbacks vs.Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game at Chase Field, Phoenix, September 11, 2015.
After the war, Holiday returned to the Navajo reservation
and worked as a police officer, a ranger and later, started his own equipment company.
In 2013 he wrote a book about his experiences as a Code Talker
called “Under the Eagle.”
Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr: April 25, 2018