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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs

Weekly current affairs roundtable focusing on Indigenous issues and events. Hosted by Rick Harp.
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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs
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Feb 21, 2021

Medically-assisted death. It’s a controversial subject to say the least, precisely why any effort to legislate it has proven just as contentious. So it is in Canada, where laws have been challenged and critiqued, both in and out of court, as either too broad, too narrow or even both, depending on who’s doing the talking—and whom they’re talking about. And with the federal government poised to re-codify medical assistance in dying (MAID), there are those concerned the law’s expansion of access to it will do more harm than good, and that the gap between intent and outcome will see those already put at risk placed into even greater peril. One such critic is Andray Domise (aka Q), who in a recent Globe and Mail editorial argued that proposed changes to the law risk the reinscription of the Canadian colonial logic of eugenics. And Q is our special guest this episode, joining host/producer Rick Harp and roundtable regular Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Jan 31, 2021

A new brief from the Yellowhead Institute has shone a light on yet another Canadian government attack on the spirit if not the letter of a human rights order demanding equity for First Nations kids. Issued by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the order supports the right of First Nations children to access the same essential public services as any other kid in Canada, free of delays due to disputes over who should pay for it. It's known as Jordan's Principle, named for the late Jordan River Anderson, whose all-too-short 5 years of life was marred by such jurisdictional disputes.

Although everyone says they agree with the principle, their actions tell a different story, a new chapter of which is well documented in the recent Yellowhead brief, "Happy New Year To Everyone But Non-Status Kids: Jordan’s Principle & Canada’s Persistent Discrimination." In this episode, we sit down with Yellowhead Associate Fellow Damien Lee to learn more about what's driving federal moves to restrict the principle to Status Indian kids only—in other words, to only those kids Canada deems 'legitimately' Indian, regardless of who First Nations themselves claim as citizens.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Jan 27, 2021

Repping the Queen. With Canada’s last Governor-General stepping down due to scandal, there are those who say her replacement ought to be a First Nations person. And while the idea seems innocuous on its face—what with the bulk of their day-to-day duties confined to ribbon-cutting and rubber-stamping—there is one potential complication: the fact the role literally represents a foreign monarch whose assertion of dominion over Indigenous territories is still kind of controversial.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp are roundtable regulars Brock Pitawanakwat, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University, and Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Jan 22, 2021

This week, the back half of our two-part foray into fish farms. Part one discussed the myriad problems with such aquaculture; this time around, we look at proposed solutions. Might they swap one set of issues for another, or represent a genuine step toward a truly sustainable future for species so central to coastal First Nations?

Back with host/producer Rick Harp are Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment, as well as Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic; additional music by Andy. G. Cohen ('In Awareness') appears under a CC BY 4.0 license.

Jan 19, 2021

Fish farm phase-out. And with the end of aquaculture as we know it in sight on British Columbia’s central coast, there is hope it could help spark a revival in the region’s once rich wild salmon population. Or, at the very least, halt the decline of species said to be at the foundation of numerous Indigenous cultures.

But not everyone’s glad to see the farms fade away. In fact, there are those First Nations with a stake in the industry. Wading into these troubled waters with host/producer Rick Harp this episode are Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and Candis Callison, associate professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Dec 26, 2020

A second sit-down with Suzuki. In the first half of our discussion with Dr. David Suzuki, we learned how COVID inspired a return to his spoken word roots and why it was important to include Indigenous knowledge and voices in his new podcast. This time around, we explore whether the coronavirus is a kind of dry run for how we might—or might not—respond better to climate change going forward.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp once more are Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC, as well as Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

// CREDITS: Our opening/closing theme is 'nesting' by birocratic; '#1 Wish' by Jahzzar. SFX: 'FireBurning' by pcaeldries.

Dec 24, 2020

Scientist, broadcaster, activist, author, grandfather: David Suzuki has worn many hats over his eight-plus decades on the planet. A planet he continues to be both amazed by and concerned for as it faces catastrophic climate change. A trajectory made all the more challenging amidst a global pandemic. But it's precisely that pandemic that indirectly inspired Suzuki to do something he's never done before: start a podcast.

It's a series featuring plenty of Indigenous voices—from Autumn Peltier to Jeannette Armstrong to Winona LaDuke—just one of many reasons we're honoured to welcome David as our special guest for this double-episode year-end discussion. In part one, David sits with host/producer Rick Harp as well as roundtable regulars Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and Candis Callison, associate professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic. SFX: "Campfire...' by YleArkisto

Dec 23, 2020

Imagine what it would be like to live in a country where roughly half the population is Indigenous, said to be the highest such proportion in all of South America. Imagine too that, for over a decade, your president was himself Indigenous. Well, in Bolivia, that’s been the reality—and a fascinating one at that. A reality we delve into further with a special guest who’s written extensively about the ways in which Indigenous-led social movements have dramatically and fundamentally altered the mainstream political landscape.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp this week are roundtable regular Brock Pitawanakwat, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University, and Carwil Bjork-James, author of The Sovereign Street: Making Revolution in Urban Bolivia.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme music is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Dec 9, 2020

A western Canadian premier denounced by critics for bungling the province’s COVID response has now come under fire for questionable comments about immunizing Indians. We’re talking Manitoba, where Brian Pallister’s gone on-record as saying that federal moves to ensure First Nations get vaccines would somehow leave less for everybody else...?

Trust us: that's only mildly paraphrased. Joining host/producer Rick Harp to review the real rhetoric used by the premier are Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama, and Brock Pitawanakwat, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Nov 30, 2020

A Heiltsuk grandfather in British Columbia has recently launched a pair of human rights complaints almost a year after he and his young granddaughter were forced to stand outside a downtown Vancouver bank handcuffed for upwards of an hour. They’d been detained there by police after a bank manager suspected their Indian Status Cards were fake and called 911 to report a potential fraud-in-progress. Now a transcript of that call has come to light, and wouldn’t you know it, someone from Indian Affairs Canada may have actually contributed to this mess. Back at the roundtable with host/producer Rick Harp are Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University Brock Pitawanakwat, and assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama, Ken Williams.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. SFX: duck quack by dobroide; whistle by InspectorJ. MUSIC: 'nesting' by birocratic (podcast theme); 'Happy Feet,' by Twisterium.

Nov 24, 2020

Decades of disruption and destruction later, massive portions of northern Manitoba have been effectively sacrificed for hydro mega-projects, to the seemingly exclusive and enduring benefit of urban interests to the south. Which makes it all the more urgent for a northern Indigenous coalition working to prevent such a fate for what’s said to be one of the last great wild places on Earth, the Seal River watershed. A pristine 50,000 square kilometre expanse of tundra, wetlands and forests, the area’s home not only to caribou and polar bears, birds and belugas, but to the people of the Sayisi Dene First Nation.

In this episode, host/producer Rick Harp sits with Stephanie Wood—Cultural Editor with The Narwhal—to discuss her latest piece, "The last free river of Manitoba," her look at how the Sayisi Dene and the rest of this unique coalition hope to protect the watershed from industrial development forever.

// CREDITS: Episode edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Nov 3, 2020

Voting day is just hours away in the USA, a day featuring a good number of Indigenous candidates at various levels: 111 in all, according to Indian Country Today. But even as some do their best to influence the outcome, others have serious questions about their effect, the kind of questions we got deep into over part one of our discussion. Here in part two, we talk about organizing vs. mobilizing, what some call ‘Voteps’ (and their possible Indigenous equivalents), how US and Canada Indigenous politics compare, economic democracy and more—including tentative efforts at predictions about what this week may bring.

Back at the table with host/producer Rick Harp are recovering Democrat Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, as well as special guest Trevor Beaulieu of the US-based podcast, “Champagne Sharks.”

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Nov 2, 2020

Election and Empire: with U.S. voting day just around the corner, what will November 3rd bring? Will it be a worsening of the Republican shit-show that is the Trump presidency or will it be a slide over to that other party? You know the one, the party that can’t even commit to a fracking ban during a climate crisis, much less health care for all its citizens in the midst of a pandemic? And yet, though the outcome may not be immediately clear come election night, what arguably won’t change is where non-Settler interests fit into the big picture of American politics. Be they Black, Indigenous, or people of colour, most such voters are not kidding themselves about whether settler colonialism or white supremacy are on the ballot. So what does that mean then for any marginalized population’s participation in the electoral process? How far does it go, and could or should these energies be more productively invested elsewhere?

Joining host/producer Rick Harp for the first half of this special, extended look at American politics are Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, as well as lawyer and podcaster Trevor Beaulieu, the driving force behind “Champagne Sharks,” a US-based current events program on race, politics, and pop culture, as seen through the lenses of humour and psychology.

// CREDITS: This episode was co-edited by Stephanie Wood and Rick Harp. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Oct 29, 2020

Back to the border: part two of our extended look at a court case that should be getting more attention, but continues to fly under the radar of major Canadian media. At issue: the cross-border hunting rights of the Sinixt people, a people whose territory long pre-dates Canada, the U.S. and the man-made, imposed divide between them. A case in which Canada’s core argument rests on its claim that the Sinixt people are 'extinct.' But the Sinixt say reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated.

Back at the roundtable with host/producer Rick Harp are Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, and Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood and Rick Harp. SFX: rattle by sandyrb; hawk cry by reidedo. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Oct 24, 2020

Beyond borders: It’s the shot that continues to be heard across time and states. And it was roughly 10 years ago that an un-licensed Sinixt hunter named Rick Desautel took down an elk in what’s now called British Columbia, thus landing himself in provincial court. Thing is, he lives in what’s now called Washington state, south of a dividing line that does precisely that to ancestral Sinixt territory. In this episode—the first of a two-part discussion on this notable case (one seemingly under-covered in Canada)—host/producer Rick Harp is joined by Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta as well as Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC, as our show re-visits a fight for rights which precede the imposed border between the US and Canada.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood and Rick Harp. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Oct 16, 2020

It’s a gut-wrenching, even agonizing video. As a distraught, bed-ridden Joyce Echaquan pleads for help, a nearby nurse and an orderly at a Quebec hospital do not seem particularly concerned with her condition.

"You're stupid as hell," one can be heard saying in French: the other tells the mother of seven she’s made bad choices in life, asking what her children would think of her behaviour. Those comments—streamed live to Facebook by Echaquan herself—have sparked a firestorm of reaction. But the sad truth is, it’s only the latest example of a Canadian health care system that fundamentally, and fatally, fails Indigenous people. And yet, despite all evidence, there persists a stubborn refusal to see racism as a systemic, social determinant of Indigenous ill-health.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp this week to share their thoughts on this horrific incident and the reaction in its wake are Brock Pitawanakwat, York University Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies, and Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Oct 9, 2020

New sounds of the city. One of Canada’s largest centres—amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (aka Edmonton)—could be on the verge of Indigenizing the nomenclature of its political sub-divisions. Drawing on languages such as Blackfoot and Cree, the suite of newly-proposed names for Edmonton's 12 wards were recently voted on by city council, with a two-thirds majority favouring the switch. But there’s still a ways to go before it’s official, not to mention those critics who’d like these new names nullified.

At the roundtable this week with host/producer Rick Harp—who himself proudly called Alberta's capital city home for almost two years while at CBC—two Edmontonians extraordinaire: Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama, and Kim TallBear, associate professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Native Studies.

// CREDITS: This episode was edited by Stephanie Wood and Rick Harp. SFX: Rimshot by Simon_Lacelle. Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Sep 30, 2020

THIS WEEK: 'Chapter 2' of The Anti-Indigenous Handbook. A look into the "constellation of corporations, special interest organizations, politicians, lobbyists, and hate groups work[ing] to limit or eliminate… [Indigenous] self-determination,” the ‘Handbook’ gathers together reports from the US, Canada and Australia. In part one of our sit-down with two of its contributors, we discussed Guåhan (aka Guam), as documented by Leilani Rania Ganser, a CHamoru and Kānaka Maoli writer, storyteller, and organizer.  This time ‘round, we focus mostly on the story by Tristan Ahtone, a member of the Kiowa tribe and the editor in chief at The Texas Observer, who tells us how a university there shunted Indigenous people to the side.

// Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic

Sep 30, 2020

The Anti-Indigenous Handbook: A collective effort spanning three countries, this 'Handbook' is the joint product of four media outlets: the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, The Guardian Australia, High Country News, and The Texas Observer.

And though each case embodies anti-Indigeneity in its own particular way, what they have in common are concerted, systematic efforts to "undermine [Indigenous] rights to land, resources, language, and culture … by relying on a variety of doctrines and practices that find root in scientifically false, racist, and legally invalid arguments."

In this first of a two-part discussion, host/producer Rick Harp sits down with two of the contributors to this initiative: Leilani Rania Ganser, a CHamoru (Jeje and Romeo Clans) and Kānaka Maoli writer, storyteller, and organizer who works to include traditional Pasifika methods of storytelling into journalism, research, and water, land, and medicine protection, as well as Tristan Ahtone, a member of the Kiowa tribe and the editor in chief at the Texas Observer.

// Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Sep 24, 2020

Settler panic in the Atlantic. Why do opponents of a new Mi’kmaq fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia speak as if it’s illegal when it has the support of a 21-year-old Supreme Court ruling? Why do they persist with arguments that the fishery could endanger the stock when not even 10 licenses are involved—an iota compared to the millions of pounds caught by the industry every year? And what might the UN Declaration on Indigenous rights have to say about all this?

Joining host/producer Rick Harp this episode to discuss these questions and more are roundtable regulars Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment, as well as Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.

// Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Sep 18, 2020

This week: Indigenous Gender and Sexuality Studies. A subject at the center of a talk delivered this past March by Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita. Historic figures with a direct connection to Denetdale, as their great-great-great-granddaughter. But, as she argues in her presentation, it’s a history non-Diné often get wrong, especially on matters of gender and tradition. Yet her work isn’t confined to the academy; Denetdale also chairs the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. We hear about both this episode—our final installment of the 2019/20 Weweni Indigenous Scholars Speaker Series, run by the University of Winnipeg’s Office of Indigenous Engagement.

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic.

Aug 31, 2020

On this week’s collected, connected conversations (the last of our summer-long series), we bring you part two of our resource resistance retrospective. Yet, as part one revealed, these issues are hardly historical. Indeed, it was only six months ago that the Royal Canadian Militarized Police—in full riot gear and armed to the teeth—raided Wet’suwet’en activist camps for the second time in as many years to enforce an injunction secured by the Coastal GasLink corporation.

And though the raid signaled another setback to grassroots efforts to stop the pipeline, things seemed different this time around, both during and after the raid.

// CREDITS: Creative Commons music in this episode includes “Headway” and “Tumult” by Kai Engel, plus the following tracks by Andy G. Cohen: “Sheffield Hall” “Space (Outro),” “Scramby Eggs,” plus “Humming and Strumming.”

Aug 23, 2020

This week’s collected, connected conversations (the seventh in our summer-long series) make up the first part of a double-episode look at resource resistance, inspired by a struggle too big to ignore, one punctuated by striking video of back-to-back raids by militarized police against small Indigenous encampments in what's now known as interior British Columbia.

Yet these dramatic events of 2019 and 2020 in ancestral Wet’suwet’en territory are but part and parcel of a much bigger picture. Their resistance to resource extraction—pushback on a pipeline that, if built, would move 2.1 billion cubic feet of fracked natural gas per day—carries loud echoes of battles across the world, battles against a fossil-fueled climate catastrophe.

Featured voices this podcast include (in order of appearance):

• Hayden King, executive director, Yellowhead Institute at Ryerson University.

• Angela Sterritt, CBC Vancouver reporter and artist

• Wawmeesh Hamilton, journalist/photographer

• Ken Williams, Assistant Professor of Drama, University of Alberta

• Brock Pitawanakwat, York University Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies

• Kim TallBear, Associate Professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment

• Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the School of Journalism, Writing and Media at UBC

// CREDITS: Creative Commons music in this episode includes “Headway,” by Kai Engel, “Time” by Pedro Santiago, “Time to go home” by Anonymous420, “Habit” by Nctrnm, “One March Day” by smallertide, and “Aurora” by Kevin Hartnell.

Aug 15, 2020

On this episode’s collected, connected conversations (the sixth in our summer-long series): we get down with data and tight with tech, tackling topics that range from social media to social services.

Featured voices this podcast include (in order of appearance):

• Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta

• Ken Williams, assistant professor, University of Alberta department of drama

• Karyn Pugliese, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University

• Lisa Girbav, broadcaster and podcaster

• Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the School of Journalism, Writing and Media at UBC

• Jennifer Walker, Canada research chair in Indigenous Health at Laurentian University; core scientist and Indigenous lead with IC/ES North

// CREDITS: Creative Commons music in this episode includes “Headway” and “Harbor” by Kai Engel, The Institute Laboratories and Careful now, Stalker by ROZKOL, RENDER ME - Single by Nctrnm, Robot is chilling by Frederic Lardon, “Black & Blue” by Breath Before the Plunge, and “Sector Vector”, by Little Glass Men.

Aug 7, 2020

On this episode’s collected, connected conversations (the fifth in our summer-long series): navigating the harms and hopes associated with drugs. From alcohol to opioids, taxes to testing, you could say we’ve explored our fair share of substances on this show. Featured voices this podcast include (in order of appearance):

• Kim TallBear, associate professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta

• Tim Fontaine, head honcho at satirical news site Walking Eagle News

• Solomon Israel, cannabis industry reporter

• Ken Williams, assistant professor with the University of Alberta’s department of drama

• Brock Pitawanakwat, Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University

• Patrice Mousseau, entrepreneur

• Colleen Simard, freelance writer, clothing designer and filmmaker

• Conrad Prince, Indigenous health and child welfare advocate

• Lakota activist and communications professional, Taté Walker

// CREDITS: Creative Commons music in this episode includes Headway,” by Kai Engel, No Moon” by Unheard Music Concepts, “Mechanics Of Leaving” by Haunted Me, The Apotheosis of All Deserts, by ROZKOL, “Open Door” and “The Jewel and Me” by Little Glass Men, “The Pear In The Garden” by Kevin Hartnell, as well as “Ride to the party” by Anonymous420.

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