Monday, 31 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 28

We call upon law schools in Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and antiracism.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action #27


We call upon the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal– Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #26:



We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to review and amend their respective statutes of limitations to ensure that they conform to the principle that governments and other entities cannot rely on limitation defences to defend legal actions of historical abuse brought by Aboriginal people.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Writing Quotation

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.

-- Robert Frost

Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

This TRC Call to Action is the first in the Justice section:

25. We call upon the federal government to establish a written policy that reaffirms the independence of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate crimes in which the government has its own interest as a potential or real party in civil litigation.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

Here is the last Call to Action in the Health section:

24. We call upon medical and nursing schools in Canada to require all students to take a course dealing with Aboriginal health issues, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, and Indigenous teachings and practices. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

#WordWednesday

wisdom

Yes, of course wisdom means what you probably thought of right away.
But did you know that a bunch of wombats is a wisdom?
A wisdom of wombats.

Such an appealing phrase for an appealing-looking creature! 



Tuesday, 25 July 2017

TRC Call to Action 23

We call upon all levels of government to:

i. Increase the number of Aboriginal professionals working in the health-care field.

ii. Ensure the retention of Aboriginal health-care providers in Aboriginal communities.

iii. Provide cultural competency training for all healthcare professionals.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Call to Action #22

We call upon those who can effect change within the Canadian health-care system to recognize the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders where requested by Aboriginal patients.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

TRC Call to Action 21


We call upon the federal government to provide sustainable funding for existing and new Aboriginal healing centres to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harms caused by residential schools, and to ensure that the funding of healing centres in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories is a priority.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action #20

In order to address the jurisdictional disputes concerning Aboriginal people who do not reside on reserves, we call upon the federal government to recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs of the M├ętis, Inuit, and off-reserve Aboriginal peoples. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

TRC Call to Action 19

So far, the first seventeen posts of the TRC's Calls to Action have covered Child Welfare, Education and Language & Culture.

The Health category began yesterday with #18. Here is Call to Action #19:

We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal peoples, to establish measurable goals to identify and close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, and to publish annual progress reports and assess long-term trends. Such efforts would focus on indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

#WordWednesday

The silent "b" at the end of about 20 English words comes from ancient words in which the final b was pronounced: climb was Old English climban, and bomb comes from Italian bomba. By about 1300 the "b" sound was lost. Traces of the final silent "b" can be found in pairs like climb-clamber and crumb-crumble.

Here's a partial list I had fun thinking up: lamb, plumb, dumb, tomb ~ Before you read the rest of the post, list any others you can think of without consulting a dictionary.

Now here's a thing. These pairs work in English: crumb/crumble, plumb/plumber, limb/limber, climb/clambor

These pairs do not work in English: limb/limble, lamb/lamble

And while we're at it, I wonder why the heck the first of each following pair isn't actually a word: 

mumb/mumble, nimb/nimble, ramb/ramble, tremb/tremble, grumb/grumble, tumb/tumble, stumb/stumble, rumb/rumble, thimb/thimble, humb/humble, shamb/shambles, fumb/fumble, gamb/gamble/gambol, bramb/bramble, jumb/jumble, bumb/bumble, bimb/bimbo

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

TRC Call to Action #18

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action are divided into two major sections: LEGACY and RECONCILIATION. Within the Legacy section, the first 17 Calls to Action (and, therefore, these posts) covered the sub-categories of Child Welfare and Education.

Call to Action #18 begins the Health category in the Legacy section:

18. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to acknowledge that the current state of Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools, and to recognize and implement the health-care rights of Aboriginal people as identified in international law, constitutional law, and under the Treaties.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 17

We call upon all levels of government to enable residential school Survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents, such as birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, health cards, status cards, and social insurance numbers.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Walking & Writing - a surprising combination

This past Tuesday I offered a creative writing/shore walk workshop for 4elements Living Arts . Seven of us lucky souls scrambled and meandered along the south shore of Manitoulin Island at Providence Bay, Ontario. We wrote little snippets that flowed from the sensations we were experiencing that lovely afternoon. Mist and waves, sunshine and cool breezes blessed us.

On these excursions we're not looking for perfect writing form or brilliant verse. We play with sensations and ideas and the interplay between ourselves and nature. And then we write some of that down and see what we come up with. There is no "right" and no "wrong." Just exploration.

Here are two of the little snippets I wrote:

1) hidey holes, safe in ancient rocks -- rounded, scaled, chipped, stepped. Solid beneath my feet...or not.
2) Open hearts, open minds, open skies and freedom to explore. In, out, like water against the shore.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Writing Quotation

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
                           - Annie Proulx

TRC Call to Action 16

We call upon post-secondary institutions to create university and college
degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.



Thursday, 13 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Call to Action 15


We call upon the federal government to appoint, in consultation with Aboriginal groups, an Aboriginal Languages Commissioner.
The commissioner should help promote Aboriginal languages and report on the adequacy of federal funding of Aboriginal-languages initiatives.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 14

We call upon the federal government to enact an Aboriginal Languages Act that incorporates the following principles:

i. Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.

ii. Aboriginal language rights are reinforced by the Treaties.

iii. The federal government has a responsibility to provide sufficient funds for Aboriginal-language revitalization and preservation.

iv. The preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of Aboriginal languages and cultures are best managed by Aboriginal people and communities.

v. Funding for Aboriginal language initiatives must reflect the diversity of Aboriginal languages.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

#WordWednesday

Hot diggity dog!

In 1928 Al Jolson reportedly exclaimed , "Hot diggity dog! Hot kitty! Hot pussycat! Didn't I tell you you'd love it?” after he performed the song "There's A Rainbow Around My Shoulder.” Then in 1956, Al Hoffman and Dick Manning wrote the song “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom),” which was made popular when Perry Como started to sing it.

Hot diggity, dog ziggity, Boom! what you do to me…

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Call to Action # 13


We call upon the federal government to acknowledge that Aboriginal rights include Aboriginal language rights.

Monday, 10 July 2017

TRC Call to Action # 12

We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #11

We call upon the federal government to provide adequate funding to end the backlog of First Nations students seeking a post-secondary education. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

TRC Call to Action 10

Chief Justice (now Senator) Murray Sinclair speaking after the
Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa on May 31, 2015.
Photo by KJT
We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:

i. Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation.

ii. Improving education attainment levels and success rates.


iii. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.

iv. Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses.

v. Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems.

vi. Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children.

vii. Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Writing Quotation

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. - Henry David Thoreau 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

TRC Call to Action #9

To reiterate my intention and reasoning about this and some future posts:

In the interests of promoting awareness, understanding and, hopefully, reconciliation among peoples, I have been posting the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. I began these small acts last week and commit to posting at least five Calls to Action each week until I have posted all 94. 

It is my hope that by doing so, I am providing another forum in which people can learn and think and feel and discuss. Ask questions. What can I do to bring action to my ideas and feelings about the history of indigenous and non-indigenous people? How can I do more than just feel badly about the past, so that I can help improve the present and future? What do I need to know? How do I learn to listen? What do I do? What don't I do? ...and so on.

 So, here is Call to Action #9:

9. We call upon the federal government to prepare and publish annual reports comparing funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves, as well as educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non- Aboriginal people.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

#WordWednesday

kairos - A friend of mine sends me wonderful words from time to time. This time I am actually remembering to use it in a post. Thanks very much, Helene!

Kairos is an ancient Greek word that means the moment when conditions are just right for making a crucial decision or taking decisive action. It is a qualitative word, as opposed to the Greek word chronos, the quantitative word that refers to measurable time -- clocks, chronology, etc.

Often I have wished for kairos -- though I didn't know this word -- for clarity about a decision I needed to make. Sometimes I have had that clarity, and those have been energizing "ah-haaaa" times for which I'm grateful. In general, now, I have learned to wait if the decision does not have to be made right then, and by the time it does need to be made (or when I am ready to see the best decision), kairos seems to happen. It's a wonderful combination of patience and trust.

At other times kairos just appears out of the blue. What a gift! When have you experienced kairos moments?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

TRC Call to Action #8

We call upon the federal government to eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those First Nations children being educated off reserves.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action #7


We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Saturday, 1 July 2017

TRC Call to Action #5

5. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Aboriginal families.