"L'éveil au Cercle" - "Awakening to the Circle"

Friday, November 26, 2010

We have much to learn from our elders
By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola
(from canoe.ca, November 16th)

As I approach my 75th birthday, I find myself often thinking about mortality. I’m in the last part of my life, and that’s reality. This is the time when we must fulfill our most important duty: to reflect on a lifetime and then sift through the detritus of experience, observation, and thought in order to winnow out lessons to pass on to coming generations.

The most influential elders in my life were my parents. Although they were in their 30s and 40s when I was a child, they seemed much older and wiser. They taught me lessons that have guided me and that I have tried to pass on to my children:

“Respect your elders.” They weren’t referring to themselves but to older people, who by virtue of having lived a life, deserved respect.

“You are what you do, not what you say.” With today’s barrage of information, spin, and propaganda from politicians and corporations, it’s important to look at a record of action rather than be deceived or confused by words.

“If you want everyone to like you, you will not stand for anything.” When I was in high school, I was elected president of the student body. I told my dad that I wanted everyone to like me. He told me that no matter what one stands up for, there will always be those who disagree with you.

“Whatever you do, whether it’s washing dishes, scrubbing floors, or working at a job, throw yourself into it with all your energy.” I have learned that when I do a half-hearted job, I get a half-hearted experience.

My parents lived through the Great Depression, which shaped their values and outlook. They taught me those values:

“Save some for tomorrow.” This was a recurring theme and, of course, a value held by any true conservative.

“Live within your means.” This meant that if you didn’t have the money to buy something today, you saved until you could. This notion goes against today’s easy access to credit, which encourages going into debt.

“Share, and don’t be greedy.” Implicit in this lesson was the notion that helping someone today was in your interest – to build relationships for the inevitable day when you would need someone to help you.

Perhaps most importantly, they taught me that I had to work hard to earn money to buy necessities in life, but that I mustn’t run after money as if having more than others would make me better or more important.

I’m lucky to have arrived at a time in my life when I am freed from the encumbrances of making money, seeking fame and power, and showing off. We elders have no hidden agenda and can speak the truth. One of the most influential groups in the peace movement was the Retired Admirals and Generals Against Nuclear War, warriors who had played by the rules through the military ranks, but once retired, could speak openly and honestly.

During the ’80s and ’90s when battles raged over forestry practices, one of my most formidable opponents was the CEO of a large forestry company. Arguing that dioxin production in pulp mills was minuscule and that his clear-cut logging was allowed by government, he bellowed, “My job is to make money for my shareholders. If you don’t like the way my company operates, your complaint is with the government because everything we do is within the law.” On retiring and being freed from the corporate game, he became a generous supporter of my foundation. Maybe someone should start a Retired Corporate CEOs and Presidents for the Environment.

In First Nations communities, elders remain the bedrock of society. In conversations with First Nations people, I am struck by how often they tell me, “The elders say…” or “I have to ask the elders.”

In today’s youth-obsessed world of rapid technological developments, we too often marginalize elders when their experience is most important.

Elders remember a world that changed more slowly, when “disposable” was not a description of products, when sharing, reusing, and recycling were simply the way we lived. Elders remember a time when family and social activities were the central focus of life, not shopping and owning stuff. Elders remind us that life can be rich and fulfilling without all the toys.

Learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

International Human Rights Day: Event

The Netherlands Embassy is hosting an event on Friday, December 10, together with the Native Women's Association of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The event marks International Human Rights Day and particularly focuses on the rights of Indigenous women.

L'ambassade Royaume des Pays-Bas est l'hôte d'un événement le vendredi, Décembre 10, avec l'Association des femmes autochtones du Canada et le Musée canadien des civilisations. L'événement marque Journée internationale des droits et se concentre particulièrement sur les droits des femmes autochtones.

Click Here to View Poster

Cliquez ici pour voir l'affiche

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BIll C-311 (Climate Change Accountability Act) Defeated in Senate

This is a big step back for our Mother Earth. It is very sad for thoughtful and compromised people living on Turtle Island.
Please read below,

Prof. Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas
Programme d'études autochtones/Program of Aboriginal Studies
Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa
(613) 562-5800, poste/ext. 1165

Some very sad news
. Tonight [Tuesday Nov. 16th] the country’s only federal climate change legislation in Parliament, the Climate Change Accountability Act, was defeated in the Senate 43 to 32.
What happened? In an unprecedented move, the Conservatives called for a surprise vote on Bill C-311 in the Senate while many Liberal Senators were missing. While that isn’t a first, the fact that the bill was called for a vote before any debate or consideration could be held is unprecedented. Conservative Senators were ordered not to speak to the bill during the 193 days it was in the Senate, and even the Conservative Speaker of the Senate was told to vote against the bill (when the Speaker’s role is to vote to continue debate in the case of a tie).
Needless to say, it’s incredibly undemocratic of an appointed Senate to kill a bill passed by a majority of elected MPs, representing two-thirds of Canadians, without even giving it due consideration or debate. It’s also colossally hypocritical of Harper to use the unelected Liberal Senate to kill bills passed by our democratically-elected House, when he has spent most of his political career railing against this very tactic.
Tomorrow at 11am, Bruce Hyer will join Jack Layton and others in front of the doors to the Senate to hold a press conference. Any of you in Ottawa are invited to attend.
What does this mean? Canada now heads to the UN climate change negotiations in Cancun without a single law on the books or bill in Parliament tackling greenhouse gas pollution. Worse, all the work thousands of Canadians across the country have done to advance this climate legislation and the climate cause federally is put on hold. Rest assured, however, that it will only be a delay of a couple of years: we passed this climate bill through the House twice already, and will pass climate legislation through the House again after the next election if necessary. The education campaigns people have held are a solid foundation to build on, and we will win eventually. We must.
What can we do? Tell everyone you know about what happened here, and why it’s important. Make some noise. Write in your blogs, in your newsletters, or contact the media. Politicians only change their behaviour if there is a cost to doing things the same. So far, they are hoping this assault on our future will go unnoticed. Let’s prove them wrong.

(Courtesy of Andy Blair Legislative Assistant │ Adjoint législatif)
follow the links here http://www.parl.gc.ca/ to contact your MP, your PM, the opposition..
before Cancun we've got to make some noise.

A Four Arrows Summary

UN Rapporteur Warns Against Treating Declaration of Rights As 'Non-Binding';
Water, Water...But Not a Drop to Drink;
And in the North, Aboriginal-Free Devolution?

Implement Declaration; Water, Water...

(Courtesy of Four Arrows)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Third World Canada Ottawa Movie Premiere

Ottawa Premiere of the documentary film: 3rd World Canada

Nov. 30th, 2010 at the National Arts Centre

Public Screening & Panel discussion: 7:30 P.M. Tickets: $18.00
Paypal online or reserve & pay at the door

RSVP strongly recommended

(Toronto event at the ROM was sold out)
andree@andreecazabon.ca (613) 755-5315

Engage with National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo,
Participants in the film from remote Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (K.I.), and Gemini-nominee local filmmaker, Andrée Cazabon

An invitation to all Canadians to support the reconciliation movement and close the gap in standards of living

Parts of proceeds to go to:
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and ONEXONE breakfast program

Through intimate testimonies, ‘Third World Canada’ reveals an impoverished First Nations community and its struggles to care for eight children left behind by their parents’ suicides. A catalyst for wholesale rethinking, this film has the power to sow the seeds of reconciliation and renewal and engage with Canadians.

Reserve Tickets Online at: www.thirdworldcanada.ca/ottawa-premiere

Click Here to View Poster

A Four Arrows Summary

Canada Signs The UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (well, sort of...)

(only as an 'aspirational document', with conditions, may not override Canadian law)

Canada Signs UN Declaration; Living With The Doctrine Of Discovery

(Courtesy of Four Arrows)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Four Arrows Summary of an Old and Modern Debate

The Government's Drive to Convert Reserves
to Private Property: An Old Dream Revived;
Remembering On Remembrance Day

Reserves to Private Property Summary

(Courtesy of Four Arrows)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Free film at National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Drive
Aakideh: The Art and Legacy of Carl Beam (2010)
Sunday November 14 at 2 pm, 65 min

In this film avant-première, discover an intimate and revealing look at Carl Beam's rich art legacy. His wife Ann and daughter Anong, both artists, talk about his life and career. Followed by a discussion with directors Paul Eichhorn and Robert Waldeck, artist Ann Beam and curator Greg Hill. In the Auditorium. Free admission.

The film is presented in conjunction with the current exhibition on Carl Beam's work. Here are details on the exhibition. Note that admission is free on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm:

Carl Beam
22 OCTOBER 2010 – 16 JANUARY 2011
GALLERIES B102, B103 AND B104Carl Beam (1943-2005) is renowned for his powerful combinations of highly charged images from his personal Anishinaabe aesthetic, which is more akin to the expressive layering of Rauschenberg than the traditional forms of Anishinabek “Woodland School” painters. The exhibition features a selection of 50 of Beam’s most remarkable works spanning his 30-year career, from his monumental-scale paintings and constructions, to his ceramics and video.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tomson Highway at the University of Ottawa

Tomson Highway will be speaking at Tabaret Hall on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Also, there are still tickets available for the Cabaret performance at the NAC, 4th Stage on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 9th. and 10th. Tickets are $25.00 each.

Tomson is amazing, so I hope you will be able to attend. Here’s a link to his website. www.tomsonhighway.com

Books and CD launches at the University of Ottawa

Great news for Tomson Highway: two of his plays will finally be published in Cree, his mother tongue. Fitzhenry & Whiteside will publish The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, two legendary plays now known worldwide. The book launches will be held in Tabaret Hall at University of Ottawa on November 8th at 7 pm. This will also be the occasion to launch Highway’s new CD entitled, “Patricia Cano sings Tomson Highway Live at the N.A.C.” recorded live at that venue during their last appearance in Ottawa, which was in June of 2009. The launches will be followed at 8 pm by a lecture presented by Mr. Highway on Native Literature in Canada.

On November 9th and 10th, come and enjoy a magical evening of music in the company of Patricia Cano and Tomson Highway as they perform in Kisaageetin: A Cabaret at the National Art Centre Fourth Stage at 7: 30 pm.

The show features 12 new songs with music and lyrics both written by acclaimed Cree playwright, novelist, and cabaret artist (as pianist/songwriter) Tomson Highway. 'Kisaageetin', a Cree word meaning "l love you,” suitably describes the production comprised of love lullabies and theatrical pieces. The performance features sensational Peruvian-Canadian vocalist Patricia Cano with Mr. Highway himself on grand piano and Ottawa-based saxophonist Vince Rimbach.

(Courtesy of Patricia LaCroix Chef, Centre de ressources autochtones / Manager, Aboriginal Resource Centre (SASS) University of Ottawa)

A Four Arrows Summary of Current News:

Pot Pouri of News: "Devolution" in NWT;
Feds Refuse to Support Biodiversity Rights;
Oil Sands & native Environmentalism;
Star Attacks Indian Affairs Management

e-notes News Summary Oct. 30, 2010

Norway House Fisherman Win In Tax Court;
Broken People, Broken Policies: Toronto Star;
'No Running Water,: Winnipeg Free Press;
Biodiversity Protocol Passes, Falls Short

e-notes Nov. 1, 2010

Courtesy of fourarrows@rogers.com