Posts Tagged ‘Four Host First Nations’

A Native American canoe  flotilla leaves Belle Isle, Mich., to head to Windsor Canada and back in celebration of heritage and the demonstration of treaty rights. According to Dennis Banks, Co-founder and Leader of The American Indian movement, the shores of the Detroit River are one and the same for Native Americans. According to the 1796 treaty they are guaranteed free passage. Banks also complained about the harassment and intimidation that Native Americans face when they try to cross the border. (AP Photo/Marcin Szczepanski - Detroit Free Press)

A Native American canoe flotilla leaves Belle Isle, Mich., to head to Windsor Canada and back in celebration of heritage and the demonstration of treaty rights. According to Dennis Banks, Co-founder and Leader of The American Indian movement, the shores of the Detroit River are one and the same for Native Americans. According to the 1796 treaty they are guaranteed free passage. Banks also complained about the harassment and intimidation that Native Americans face when they try to cross the border. (AP Photo/Marcin Szczepanski - Detroit Free Press)

It wasn’t the 500 canoes organizers had hoped for, but the Native American and First Nations people from Canada and the United States who showed up yesterday to cross the Detroit River by canoe made their point.

About a half-dozen canoes and some kayaks made the trip between the United States and Canada to emphasize that tribal members are sovereign people and have a right to cross the border on their own terms.

As the Detroit Free Press reported:

    Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, said such crossings are guaranteed by the Jay Treaty of 1796.

    “I come here to support an idea that this territory that we are standing on and the territory across the river are one and the same,” said Banks, a longtime activist. “I have sons and daughters on this shore and that shore.” …
    He said activists have tried for 20 years to persuade U.S. and Canadian authorities to allow them to use a sticker for easy passage between the two countries. Banks, who carries an identification card of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota, said “our brothers and sisters” are often harassed by border officials and have to carry pounds of documents. He said carrying a U.S. or Canadian passport “assaults our sovereign status.”

Gwen Florio

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Tonight’s show is called Crossing Bridges, featuring Jason Burnstick, who is Cree from the Duffield reserve in Alberta.

Here’s the official blurb on him:

Jason Burnstick is a remarkable guitarist whose eclectic range and musical wit make him a favourite of the national Aboriginal recording and producing arena. This evening, Jason unpacks a whole new show featuring all kinds of tunes, guitars, pedals, gadgets and gizmos.

Check out his MySpace page, here.

And enjoy the video above, which shows Burnstick accompanying Tinsel Korey at the 2008 Aboriginal Achievement awards.

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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The promo for tonight’s performance at the First Nation’s Pavilion describes it this way: An explosive evening of DJs, rappers and hip-hop royalty. Don’t miss as artists such as Feenix, Team Rez Official, Ostwelve, Kaiva and Def 3 rip it up on stage.

We say, we defy anyone to to listen to this and not dance.

Watch Feenix on the video above.

And, you can watch a video of Team Rez Official below (warning: not safe for work!).

Nunavut’s Kaiva, led by Li’l Bear, brought break dancing to the youth of Nunavummiut. Find out more, here.

Vancouver’s Ostwelve, aka Ron Dean Harris, was born into Coast Salish and Sto:Lo territoritory, according to his MySpace page, which has all sorts of other interesting information about him.

And here’s the MySpace page for Def3, who’s based in Regina, Saskatchewan.

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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Blues Indigo is the theme, with yet another lineup that gives us the blues because we aren’t there.

Murray Porter, who is Mohawk from the Six Nations Reserve, starts off the evening. Porter’s performance on the Steinway piano designed especially for the Olympics is featured in the video above. Here’s his MySpace page.

Then there’s Leanne Goose, who is Dene/Inuvialuit from the Arctic Circle town of Inuvik in the far western Northwest Territories, just a slice of the Yukon between it and Alaska. Experience her high-energy roots music in the video below, or on her Web site.

Rounding out the evening are performances by Shakti Hayes, Jared Sowan (also on MySpace), and Pat Braden, (here, on MySpace).

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin displayed their First Nations blankets as they receive their scores for the compulsory dance during the ice dance figure skating competition Friday at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin display their First Nations blankets as they receive their scores for the compulsory dance during the ice dance figure skating competition Friday at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)


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Will they or won’t they? Olympics viewers find out tonight if Russian ice dancers stick with aboriginal costumes
Domnina and Shabalin in their controversial costumes. (AP photo)

Domnina and Shabalin in their controversial costumes. (AP photo)


Russian ice dancers Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina made a point – after winning the compulsory portion of their competition – of showing off the red, white and black blankets given them by members of Canada’s Four Host First Nations. The pair met with First Nations representatives who talked to them about cultural sensitivity after a furor arose over their Australian aboriginal-style costumes and music during an earlier competition, the AP’s Nancy Armour writes here. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge even said he might intervene. But, says Shabalin, “Our routine was very fair, and we respect this culture.” He and Domnina remain coy as to whether they’ll wear the costumes – consisting of dark body stockings, white aboriginal-style markings, and large leaves – tonight in the Olympics.

No curse on Norwegian athletes, First Nations leader says
In fact, Bob Chamberlin, chairman of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council and secretary treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says cursing has never been part of First Nations tradition. Nonetheless, the Montreal Gazette reports here, there have been suggestions aboriginal people put a curse on the Norwegian Olympic team because of Norwegian-owned fish farms along wild-salmon migration routes.

Native ranchers praise settlement of black farmers’ suit; urge quick action on their own
The Obama Administration announced late last week that it will settle untimely civil rights claims of black farmers for $1.25 billion. Now, those involved in the 12-year-old case of Keepseagle v. Vilsack regarding Native farmers and ranchers urge the administration to follow up on talks it started in the fall with a quick eye toward resolving that suit, too, Farm Forum reports here.


Storage of nuclear waste on Indian reservations “economic racism akin to bribery”

Health News Digest says here that it gets why some impoverished tribes host hazardous waste on their sovereign reservations – which are not subject to the same environmental and health standards as U.S. land – as a way to bring in money. But Bayley Lopez, of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, says that “in the quest to dispose of nuclear waste, the government and private companies have disregarded and broken treaties, blurred the definition of Native American sovereignty, and directly engaged in a form of economic racism akin to bribery.”

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe launches telephone system
The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe’s lephone system is up and running on the reservation, according to the AP, here. Tribal leaders say the telephone and advanced broadband services provided by Native American Telecom-Crow Creek will pave the way for business, economic, social and educational development on the reservation.

Gwen Florio

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Tonight’s theme at the First Nations Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Games is “The North South Dialog,” featuring DJ Mad Eskimo, Taqralik Partridge, electronic bassist Phillipe Brault and Pacific Curls.

Taqralik Partridge (video above) is an Inuk spoken-word artist and throatsinger who performs in both English and Inuktitut. Here‘s a CBC story about her, appropriately headlined “Quiet is Not Silent,” and here‘s her MySpace page.

DJ Mad Eskimo, whose real name is Geronimo Inutiq, grew up mostly in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, and now lives in Montreal, where he performs a blend of electronica and roots music, featuring songs like “Seal Flipper” and “Inuit Sivuniksanga.” Read a Nunatsiaq News story about him here and check out his music here on MySpace.

And finally, the Pacific Curls (video below) are a Maori group who add contemporary influences to traditional music.

For a complete schedule of events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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Tonight’s theme at the First Nations Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Games is Independent Power Projects.

Inez, a Sto:lo singer songwriter (video above), is termed one of Canada’s leading aboriginal musicians, whose music blends hip-hop and R&B. Here‘s her Facebook page.

The rock band Bitterly Divine (video below) is playing on its home turf. Five of its seven members are Squamish, one of the Four Host First Nations for the 2010 Winter Games. Here‘s their MySpace page.

Finally, Tjupurru, a member Djabera Djabera tribe of the West Australian Kimberleys, is back with his electronic slide didjeridu. See previous post, with video, here.

For coming events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.


Gwen Florio

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It’s International Indigenous Day at the First Nations Pavilion in Vancouver!

Up tonight: Tjupurru, Adjagas, Kinnie Starr and the Borealis Quartet.

Tjupurru is a member Djabera Djabera tribe of the West Australian Kimberleys, and performs on a slide didjeridu. It’s wild! Check it out on the video below. Would love to hear his take on the Russian ice dancers and their controversial aboriginal routine. You won’t get that on his Web site, but you’ll find out everything else about him, along with more music, here.

The members of Adjagas are Sami joikers (or chanters) from the indigenous peoples of northern Scandinavia. Watch the video (above) and check out their MySpace page, here.

Kinnie Starr is back tonight (read about her and watch a video in yesterday’s post, here.)

For coming events at the First Nations Pavilion, click here.

Gwen Florio

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Russia's Oksana Domnina, left, and Maxim Shabalin, right, last month  in Estonia. (AP photo)

Russia's Oksana Domnina, left, and Maxim Shabalin, right, last month in Estonia. (AP photo)

World champion ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin raised quite a ruckus when they competed in Estonia wearing dark body stockings with aboriginal-style paint, and danced to aboriginal music.

Aboriginal groups in Australia said it was offensive and amounted to cultural theft, and First Nations leaders in Canada met with the pair for a talk about cultural sensitivity. (See previous post, here.)

There are rumors, Associated Press National Writer Nancy Armour writes here, that the two will appear in new costumes during their Olympic routines.

“Maybe, maybe,” Shabalin said yesterday. “You will hear, you will see on the day of the original dance.”

As Armour reports:

    In the original dance, couples can create any kind of dance that falls within an assigned theme. This year’s theme is country/folk, and skaters are doing routines to everything from Indian music to country-western to a Japanese fan dance.

    “Two years ago, when we had the folk dance, 70 percent did it to Russian or Ukrainian music. It was like a competition of Russian dance or Ukrainian dance,” Shabalin said. “We thought (the Aboriginal theme) would be interesting, and we like this. We like the way they dance and their costumes.”

Shabalin tells Armour that Monday’s meeting with members of the Four Host First Nations went well, describing it as “very warm, very friendly.” The group gave them one of its traditional blankets, he says.

Gwen Florio

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Two widely disparate acts are featured tonight at the First Nations Pavilion at the Vancouver Olympics.

Kinnie Starr (video above), who is of Mohawk and European heritage, performs her blend of hip-hop and alternative songs. Her music has been performed on the TV show “The L Word.” Read an interview with her here, and check out her MySpace page here.

Then there’s Soul Paua (video below), who’ve come all the way from New Zealand to perform their contemporary music with Maori and Polynesian influences. You can find out more about them on their Web site.

For coming events at the First Nations Pavilion, check here.

Gwen Florio

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