April 14, 2017
Great people doing great things - Native after-school programs
“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Phil Gover said. “I want to create something for these students to where they have the kind of chances that I had. I want them to get to go to law school. We need native students who know who they are, and who use it to make themselves better people.”
Now, he heads up the Adams 12 district’s burgeoning Native Education program, an after-school and extracurricular organization where Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian students can get tutoring and learn cultural practices and crafts honoring their ancestral heritage.
Library Appoints First Elder in Residence
In an effort to further reconciliation with First Nations people, Edmonton Public Libraries has appointed its first elder in residence.
Wilson Bearhead, from the Paul First Nation, will serve as an Indigenous leader in library branch locations across the city.
Bearhead will help patrons reconnect with Indigenous culture through public education programs, spiritual ceremonies, and one-on-one meetings.
The program is a first for the library. Part of a one-year pilot project that concludes in Feb. 2018, the appointment is designed to continue the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Indigenous Company Brings Renewable Energy
W Dusk is helping to install renewable energy sources in First Nations across the country, providing an alternative to diesel and gas.
The Vancouver-based company launches renewable energy projects, often in First Nations, with a focus on adding to the beauty of the environment and hiring locals to help with the installation. It specializes in renewable energy projects involving solar, wind and hydrokinetic energy.
"Renewable energy re-establishes our relationship with the land in a more harmonic and a more fitting way that our ancestors would choose," said David Isaac, Mi'kmaq.
Read more here
Practicing Medicine and Art
Dr. Chip Thomas, also known by his artist name Jetsonorama, lives in Tuba City, Arizona, on Navajo land. For thirty years, he’s worked as a doctor in the Painted Desert region, treating patients with common health issues as well as older patients suffering from mining exposure during uranium extraction.
Seeking to bring awareness to the issues faced by people in this region, Thomas began using a lifelong photographic hobby to create “wheatpaste” posters—large photos of Navajo residents glued with a water-flour mixture to water tanks, grain silos, and roadside art stands. I spoke with him recently in Joshua Tree, California, where he was working on a new installation.
Quick history lesson: The Inuit of Greenlands East Coast made portable, waterproof, floating maps out driftwood to navigate the shoreline.