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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana

  

No. 055, December 2015

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Contents

Witness to Spirit Now Available
FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AT COP21, THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Justin Trudeau says he'll engage Pope
Beyond Recognition - San Francisco Green Film Festival
Cherokee Man Receives Patent...
The History of the United States is a History of Settler Colonialism...
Ice melt highlights Inuit plight
Indigenous Healing Prayer in front of Bataclan Theater in Paris
Kings Canyon landowners want protection...

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Now Available

The American Indian Institute founder Robert Staffanson's memoir, Witness to Spirit: My Life Among Cowboys, Mozart and Indians is now available.

The book is, "Exquisitely designed with over 50 of Bob's photographs; a foreword by Oren Lyons -- Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation and a Chief of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy -- Staffanson, co-founder of the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth; and an introduction by Todd Wilkinson, co-author with Ted Turner of Last Stand, Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet."

For more information and to order your copy of Witness to Spirit  Click Here.

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Note: The American Indian Institute in collaboration with Pull Together Now helped send a delegation of Indigenous Spiritual Leaders to the COP21.

FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AT COP21, THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

Bringing the Indigenous climate concerns to an international stage


Published December 9, 2015

PARIS, FRANCE - "During the first week of the UN Climate Change Conference, Indigenous Peoples representatives advocating for the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the proposed binding Agreement faced considerable challenges. A delegation of over 200 indigenous Peoples representatives including Tribal leaders, elders, community organizers, and youth overcame strong resistance by some States to include the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the draft Agreement's preamble. In order to deal effectively with the global climate crises, however, the delegation, representing Indigenous Peoples from around the world, continues to demand that the recognition of their rights be featured in the operative section of the final COP21 Agreement...." Read the entire article

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Justin Trudeau says he'll engage Pope on apology for church's role in residential schools

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will seek a formal apology from Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church's role in residential schools, a day after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made public its final report into the legacy of the schools.

"The commission, in its 94 calls to action, called upon the Pope to apologize to residential school survivors and their families for the Catholic Church's role 'in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.'..." Read the entire article.

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Beyond Recognition - San Francisco Green Film Festival

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Cherokee Man Receives Patent for Language Software,
Makes Cherokee Easier to Learn

By Barbara R. Duncan
"John Standingdeer Jr., a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has received a patent for his new and unique method for decoding the inherent patterns in the Cherokee language, making it simple and easy to learn this endangered language. The U.S. Patent Office issued Patent Number US 9,158,762 B2 on October 13, 2015 for a 'new and useful invention' for the 'Deconstruction and Construction of Polysynthetic Words for Translation Purposes.'... " Read the entire article.

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Outgrowing the United States Theology of Progress & Exceptionalism

The History of the United States is a History of Settler Colonialism Driven by Genocide and Land Theft

"An 1872 painting by John Gast called 'American Progress' shows a white woman floating across the plains of the United States. The female figure is a depiction of Columbia. She wears the Star of Empire on her forehead, carries a School Book under her right arm, and is the herald of techno-logic perceptional reality, driving Indigenous people, bison, and other animals out of the picture and into oblivion. Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, writing in An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2014), describes the significance of the Columbia personal:

The Columbus myth suggests that from US independence onward, colonial settlers saw themselves as part of a world system of colonization. 'Columbia,' the poetic, Latinate name used in reference to the United States from its founding throughout the nineteenth century, was based on the name of Christopher Columbus. The 'Land of Columbus' was - and still is - represented by the image of a woman in sculptures and paintings, by institutions such as Columbia University, and by countless place names, including that of the national capital, the District of Columbia. Read the entire article

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Ice melt highlights Inuit plight

Greenland's glaciers indicate warming that leaves humans and ecosystems vulnerable.
Image: Ville Miettinen via Wikimedia Commons

"COP21: As Arctic peoples' leaders appeal for unity to halt global warming, scientists report that Greenland's glaciers are now melting at a speed not seen since the last Ice Age.

"PARIS, 9 December, 2015 - The glaciers of Greenland are retreating two to three times faster now than at any time since the last Ice Age ended 9,500 years ago, according to new research.

"The news comes as indigenous peoples from the northern polar region staged an Arctic Day at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris...." Read the entire article.

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Indigenous Healing Prayer in front of Bataclan Theater in Paris

Click to watch this video.
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Kings Canyon landowners want protection from mining: 'What happens if the water gets messed up?'

The 105,200 hectares of land in the Watarrka national park is under the custodianship of the Martutjarra-Luritja people. Photograph: Dean Sewell/Oculi

"Traditional owners of the land encompassing Kings Canyon in Australia's central desert are petitioning the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, to guarantee their protection against mining operations.

"Under Northern Territory legislation, the Watarrka national park has no real protection from oil and gas exploration or mining operations, according to David Morris, the principal lawyer of the NT Environmental Defenders Office (EDO)..." Read the entire article.

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