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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs

Current affairs roundtable focusing on Indigenous issues and events in Canada and beyond. Hosted by Rick Harp.
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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs
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Now displaying: December, 2023
Dec 28, 2023

On this week’s round table: colonial carbon culpability. Calling it a “first-of-its-kind analysis,” a recent study by Carbon Brief has crunched the numbers on some 170 years of emissions, seen through the lens of climate justice. Entitled, “How colonial rule radically shifts historical responsibility for climate change,” the report adds a critical dimension to addressing the question of what—and who—has brought us to the brink of depleting our cumulative carbon budget, the maximum CO2 our planet can handle before global temperatures rise to dangerous levels.

Among those carbon culprits with a gigatonne to answer for: the former British Empire, so vast it’s said every week a country somewhere celebrates their independence. So brutal that to factor in its era of extractive violence nearly doubles the UK’s contribution to (and thus responsibility for) climate change.

On this episode, host/producer Rick Harp and MI regular Candis Callison sit with study co-author Simon Evans to discuss this tally of twin legacies many still struggle to navigate and repair.

// CREDITS: Our intro/xtro theme is 'nesting' by birocratic. Episode edited by Cassidy Villebrun-Buracas and Rick Harp.

Dec 14, 2023

This week: where there’s smokes, there’s fire. Does a recent ruling by Quebec’s Superior Court have the potential to dramatically alter Canada's constitutional landscape? Known as R. v. Montour and White, the case takes its name from a pair of Mohawk tobacco traders who refused to pay millions in excise taxes on goods brought across the Canadian border. Import duties the defendants said violated the Covenant Chain, a series of treaties with the Haudenosaunee dating back to the mid-1600s. A defense the court not only accepted, but built upon to breathe new life into these centuries-old treaties, adopting the more recent lens of UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A Declaration the Court held to be both binding and the floor of section 35 protections for Indigenous rights in Canada. And the Court didn’t limit the scope of its findings to just tobacco, or even the Mohawks. As some observers note, it affirmed the right of any and all First Nations to freely pursue economic development by their own chosen means, a view that goes well beyond the familiar, racist shackles of mere subsistence or moderate livelihood.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp to smoke out the potential ramifications of this mammoth, 440-page judgement—a ruling (spoiler) Canada appealed days after our recording—Brock Pitawanakwat (Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University) and Candis Callison (Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.)

* 100% Indigenous-owned, we're 100% listener-funded: learn how you can help keep our content free for all at mediaindigena.com/support *

CREDITS: 'Forest Heartbeat' by malictusmusic (CC BY); our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic. Edited by Cassidy Villebrun-Buracas and Rick Harp.

Dec 3, 2023

This week: controversy at the Congress. The National Congress of American Indians, that is. And according to its website, NCAI is “the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.” A little too representative, claim critics, who allege entities are permitted if not encouraged to join the Congress as tribes with insufficient claims to being tribes. 

The core concern: recognition. Not just how, but by whom. A concern which came to a head last month at NCAI’s 80th annual convention, when a pair of resolutions pushed to restrict full membership rights to federally-recognized tribes, thereby limiting state-recognized tribes to non-voting associate membership. But is federal recognition the be-all and end-all of what makes a tribe truly tribal? Isn’t outsourcing who you are to outsiders itself oppressive? And why would the approval of a colonial country hellbent on your destruction be of help to anyone? 

Leading host/producer Rick Harp and Ken Williams (University of Alberta department of drama associate professor) through the nitty-gritty of this divisive debate is fellow MI regular Kim TallBear (U of A Faculty of Native Studies professor).

100% Indigenous owned + operated, MEDIA INDIGENA is 100% audience funded. Learn how you can support our work to keep our content free for all to access. 

// CREDITS: Our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic. Edited by Rick Harp and Cassidy Villebrun-Buracas.

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