1968 – 2008: From Vietnam to Concordia

For many of those who are 40 and older, 1968 stands out as an emblematic year for the transnational politics of dissent, for the development of countercultures and various avant gardes, for the emergence of non-class social movements, and the appearance of what some call the “revolution of the forgotten peoples” in the social sciences […]

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National Aboriginal Solidarity Day: Montreal

Today, June 21, 2008, the first day of summer, the summer solstice, is National Aboriginal Solidarity Day in Canada. I attended the advertised event for Montreal, incorporated into the Montreal First People’s Festival, and dubbed the Solstice of Nations. This was the fourth annual Solstice of Nations. The weather was excellent: deep blue sky, cool […]

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Navajo Nation Steelpan, and Aboriginal Reggae

It seems that Trinidad’s steelpan has “gone native” in the Navajo Nation in the U.S. (Yes, the “steelpan” is a Trinidadian invention, reportedly the only new musical instrument to have been invented in the 20th century.) Navajo Nation youth, organized into a steelpan orchestra, played at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in […]

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Aboriginal Film Festivals, 2008: Montreal, Winnipeg, London, San Francisco

Montreal, currently underway: FESTIVAL PRÉSENCE AUTOCHTONE 2008 FIRST PEOPLE’S FESTIVAL, 2008 June 12 – 22 This is the 18th year of the festival. ••••••• Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, 2008 November 20 – 23 Call for entries ••••••• London – Native Spirit Festival, 2008 October Call for entries ••••••• 33rd Annual American Indian Film Festival American […]

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Apology to Native Americans in the U.S.: current discussions

Thanks to Native American Minnesota, I was introduced to some public discussions and documents concerning efforts to obtain a national apology to American Indians in the United States, and Geff Wigley at NAM considers how Minnesota might learn from and adapt Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission — see “Does Minnesota needs its own Truth and […]

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Rapsure Risin

My people will sleep for 100 years, but when they awaken, it will be the artists who will give them their spirits back — Louis Riel Dear people, that 100 years is up, and the bell is ringing, we are here to represent the 7th generation and ourselves — Rapsure Risin A big thanks is […]

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Canada’s Apology to Aboriginals (3.1)

Left, Prime Minister Harper in the House of Commons delivering the apology, and in front of him, seated, are Patrick Brazeau (Congress of Aboriginal Peoples), Mary Simon (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami), and Phil Fontaine (Assembly of First Nations). Today (June 11, 2008) saw many packed venues around Canada (not in quotes this time, the point has […]

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“Canada” — Dealing with the Hate Crime: Prime Minister’s Apology to Aboriginals this Wednesday (2.2)

Following up on the last post about “Canada,” there was news today that “Canadian” Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be making a formal apology to aboriginals this coming Wednesday, at 3:00pm, in the parliament in Ottawa. This apology is specifically for the treatment of aboriginals in the residential schools. Aboriginal leaders are asking the wider […]

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Decolonizing Japan?

The headline is obviously optimistic, but the Japanese state is being increasingly forced to deal with the realities of Japanese society, its imperial legacy, and its aftermath. From proclaiming itself in official ideology as a homogeneous state, the Japanese government has now moved to recognize the Ainu people as “indigenous.” On June 6, Bloomberg (“Japan’s […]

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Questions about Race, Indigeneity, and Photography

Given the debate surrounding the proposed ban of “mixed-blood” marriages among Dominica’s Caribs, and the unexplained assertion that 1,000 “full blood Caribs” remain there, added to assertions made in the Taino Revival book that contemporary Tainos are really black people trying to deny their blackness by choosing a Taino identity, there seems to be a […]

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Revolution (3 Canal): “This land is ‘mines’ “

Another of my favourite Rapso pieces from 3-Canal, a visually very attractive video in my eyes, one that manages to bring out the revolutionary shades of the Trinidadian flag itself, in an act of reinterpretation. The last quarter of the video, showing the singers and dancers splashed in black oil, paint, and beating biscuit tins […]

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