December 8, 2017
Great People Doing Great Things: First Inuk Heart Surgeon Hopes to be Inspiration
Donna May Kimmaliardjuk's grandfather was born in an igloo in Nunavut and lived off the land for years.
Now his granddaughter is Canada's first Inuk heart surgeon. Kimmaliardjuk, 28, a fourth-year cardiac surgery resident at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, says her grandfather couldn't be happier to see her pursue her passions.
Becoming a heart surgeon is an achievement worthy of accolades in and of itself. But becoming Canada's first Inuk heart surgeon recently earned Kimmaliardjuk an Indspire Award, which honours outstanding First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals. Kimmaliardjuk will receive her award at a ceremony in March.
There are a number of barriers — geographical, cultural, and societal — to pursuing higher education in the Inuit population, which is likely why Kimmaliardjuk is the first heart surgeon, she said. For one, you're in such an isolated, remote area, and to then go south for higher education can be a culture shock and quite difficult for some people, she noted.
"It's also kind of hard to expect someone to want to pursue university, post-graduate, or professional degrees when things like housing and food security are such an issue," Kimmaliardjuk said.
Since she started her training at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 2014, Kimmaliardjuk has been profiled by Nunatsiaq News, CBC North, and the Queen's Gazette, and her story has been shared by The University of Ottawa Heart Institute and across several Indigenous Facebook groups such as the Queen's Native Student Association.
Kimmaliardjuk says she's happy to share her story if it will inspire other Inuit and Indigenous children to dream big.
Senate Approves Expanding AMBER Alerts to Reservations
On Thursday night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill to expand the AMBER Alert warning system on Native American reservations.
The bill will now be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act of 2017 would expand the abduction warning system to clarify that tribes are eligible for Department of Justice grants in order to help law enforcement assemble the alerts. The bill would also help to enhance how the grants are used.
The DOJ will now be able to assist state and local governments to develop and implement AMBER Alert communications plans in order to expedite child abduction alerts to the public.
Currently, the DOJ runs a pilot program for AMBER Alert training for Native American tribes, but the new bill would make the program permanent.
The FBI reports that more than 7,500 Native American Children are listed as missing in the US., according to McCain.
“We must protect the most vulnerable individuals in Indian Country, and this legislation is an important step forward in that effort,” Heitkamp said.
Also in Native youth news:
New England Black Wolves Celebrates Native Heritage as the only Professional Native-owned La Crosse Team
Some people argue that football was born in Connecticut. The first person to give the game its structure of downs and the line of scrimmage, to put order on the chaos of what it had been, was Walter Camp, a man from New Britain who coached at Yale. The sport of basketball was born just up the road in Springfield, Massachusetts, invented by a gym teacher named James Naismith.
Lacrosse is different. Long before Europeans arrived on this continent, the game was already being played by the Onondaga, the Oneida, the Mohawk, the Cayuga, the Seneca and the Tuscarora — the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Also known as the Haudenosaunee, the people of the confederacy stretched across the places that we today call Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario and Quebec. The indigenous people of North America refer to lacrosse as the Creator’s game, its roots flowing back since time immemorial, a gift from the Creator himself. French Jesuit missionaries who observed the game in the 1600s called the game la crosse,meaning “the stick.”
Kevin Brown, the chairman of the Mohegan tribe, describes the 2014 decision to purchase and relocate the Philadelphia Wings franchise: “Wouldn’t it make sense to bring the Creator’s game onto the Mohegan Reservation, and have the sport played here, where you know the sport originated in our native American land. That’s where it sort of commercially and culturally collided as feeling like the right thing to do,” Brown says.
Things to Check Out this Week:
By intertwining today’s issues of homelessness, missing and murdered Indigenous women and the overdose crisis, Bah Humbug! – a spin on Charles Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol – takes the western European classic and makes it relevant to Indigenous peoples.
The heads on the shelves belong to 72 individuals from the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Caddo Nations who were detained by the U.S. military at Fort Marion, Florida in the mid-1870s as prisoners of war. They are not real heads but three-dimensional plaster casts, or “life-masks”—masks made from living subjects (as opposed to “death-masks,” which are cast from the faces of corpses).
Four months ago, Tim Fontaine was what he calls a "serious journalist" — he was the lead reporter for CBC Indigenous, but he decided to walk away from that to start something new. That's how Walking Eagle News was born. It's a satire news page, similar to The Beaverton or The Onion, but with an Indigenous twist.
BLOOM is a language learning web tool that (in conjunction with Nations/programs) offers language courses in a host of global Indigenous and minoritized languages.
From the beginning of their development of Potlatch, Jeanette Bushnell, Tylor Prather, and Jonathan Tom have set out to create a game using a different mindset and approach. Each round players gift cards to other players’ house cards to meet their needs, trying to fulfill obligations using the least amount of resources. The game ends when one player has met all of their house needs.