Friday, February 20, 2009

World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network Seeks New Members


A global network of indigenous television broadcasters is inviting like-minded organizations to join the international alliance.

The World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (WITBN) aims to unify television broadcasters worldwide to retain and grow indigenous languages and cultures.

The nine foundation Council members are National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia; Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Canada; TG4, Ireland; Māori Television, New Zealand; NRK Sámi Radio, Norway; BBC ALBA, Scotland; South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa; Taiwan Indigenous TV (TITV) / Public Television Service (PTS), Taiwan; and S4C, Wales.

WITBN chairman Jim Mather – chief executive of Māori Television – says there are two levels of membership: Council and Associate.

Council members must be indigenous television broadcasters that have a mandate to promote and revitalise the indigenous languages and cultures of their countries, or be non-indigenous broadcasters able to demonstrate commitment and a proven record of contributing to retention and development of indigenous languages and cultures. Broadcasters can include content providers and aggregators.

Associate members are organisations that meet the Council membership criteria but do not wish to participate in the leadership of WITBN or are other key stakeholders who wish to support the objectives of the network.

Mr Mather says the network promotes partnerships and co-operation between member broadcasters, and builds capacity and capability within the indigenous television broadcasting sector by identifying opportunities for development, staff exchanges, training, bursaries, scholarships and networking opportunities.

As well as a new logo, WITBN will launch a dedicated website by the end of this year. The aim of the website is to facilitate sharing amongst indigenous television broadcasters and will include information and links on member organisations, membership application forms and latest news.

“WITBN also facilitates the sharing of programme concepts, content for broadcast and news and current affairs materials, and an indigenous current affairs programme is in development,” Mr Mather says.

Taiwan Indigenous Television – supported by the Public Television Service – will host the next World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference in 2010 followed by S4C in Wales in 2012 and APTN in Canada in 2014.

Membership application forms for WITBN are available on the website


For more information, contact the WITBN secretariat co-ordinator Vanessa Horan at Māori Television on +64 9 539 7159; fax: +64 21 928 007; mobile: +64 21 928 007



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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education

Strengthening Aboriginal Success

Moving Toward Learn Canada 2020

February 24-25, 2009

TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and Minister of Education for New Brunswick, the Honourable Ken Krawetz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education for Saskatchewan, the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour for Saskatchewan, invite the members of the media to the CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education, to be held on February 24 and 25, 2009, at the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The summit will bring together all the ministers of education from across Canada, representatives of the federal government and of national and regional Aboriginal organizations - the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Métis National Council, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Native Women's Association of Canada - to discuss strengthening Aboriginal successes in education.

Preliminary Media Program (all times and events to be confirmed)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. Press conference - Opening of the CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education (Adam Ballroom)

The press conference will be web-cast, and a link will be provided for members of the media prior to the day.

9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Plenary - Opening Remarks (Adam Ballroom)

Members of the media will have the opportunity to take pictures or video images at the beginning of the plenary session, during Minister Lamrock's and Ministers Krawetz's and Norris' opening remarks.

6:30 p.m. (tent.) Remarks by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (Battleford Ballroom)

The Premier of Saskatchewan will provide remarks during the evening. Members of the media will be invited to take pictures and video images.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1:00 - 1:30 p.m. Press conference - Closing of the CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education (Adam Ballroom)

The press conference will be web-cast, and a link will be provided for members of the media prior to the day.

1:30 - 3:30 p.m. School visits

All participants are invited to participate in one of the following visits:

  • K-12 visit: Oskayak High School, Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division (919 Broadway Avenue) Saskatoon Public School Division (310 21st Street East)
  • Postsecondary Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) (229 4th Avenue South) University of Saskatchewan, Native Law Center (Room 160 Law Building, 15 Campus Drive)

Media Work Room

The Cypress Room at the Delta Bessborough will be made available for members of the media. This room will be equipped with Internet access and power outlets.

Media Interview Room

The Carlton Room at the Delta Bessborough will be made available to members of the media for individual interviews with ministers of education and Aboriginal leaders. This room will be equipped with microphones and a media feed box.

Media Accreditation

Members of the media attending the CMEC Summit on Aboriginal Education will be accredited starting up to an hour before each press conference in front of the Cypress Room.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, the ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.

/For further information: Tamara Davis, Coordinator, Communications,
Tel.: (416) 962-8100, ext. 241, E-mail:, Web site:

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February 11-17, 2009: Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues for the Week of February 11-17, 2009

Colombia: President Pledges Tough Response To FARC Killings

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe pledged on Tuesday to step up the fight against terrorism after FARC rebels said they executed eight Colombian native Indians for passing intelligence to the army.

"Our decision today is to reinforce our anti-terrorist policies," Uribe said during a visit to Brazil.

"They want to win prestige with some releases, and at the same time they cynically bloody the streets of several Colombian cities with car bombs and cynically assassinate Indians," Uribe said during a joint news conference with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Car bombs went off in the city of Neiva in January and in Cali at the start of February, killing two people and wounding 39. The government blamed the FARC, which stands for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

On Tuesday, the FARC took responsibility for the death of eight Awa indigenous people near the border with Ecuador.

"All eight men admitted they had been working with the army for two years in this," the FARC said in a statement posted on a website regularly used by the rebels,

"As a result of the military operations, their responsibility in the deaths of numerous guerrillas and their undeniable active involvement in the conflict, they were executed," the statement said.

The Colombian army, which has been pummeling the guerrillas in the past few years, denied the villagers were spying on the FARC and condemned the group for murders it said would further erode its credibility. Read more about the Colombian killings here....

Australia: Warren Mundine Joins Australian Uranium Association To Act As Go-Between For Aborigines

FORMER national ALP president and Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine says he'll act as a go-between to ensure indigenous communities benefit from uranium mining on their land.

Mr Mundine has become a board member of the Australian Uranium Association (AUA), which has established a "dialogue group" to discuss how indigenous land owners might benefit from uranium mining.

The chief executive of Native Title Services Corp said the ALP, at its 2007 conference, scrapped its policy opposing the establishment of new uranium mines.

"And so that is an opportunity for development of the industry here for larger mining activity to happen," he said.

"We know that most of these mines are going to be on indigenous land and we need to ensure that indigenous people receive the benefits that they so rightly deserve in the social and economic area."

He denied his role as an indigenous representative in the dialogue group had been compromised by his acceptance of an AUA board position.

"I'm there for the indigenous people, to put their viewpoints forward," he said.

AUA executive director Michael Angwin refused to say what deals might be done with native title holders to secure future mining sites.

"It's just a bit too early for that. We're only just about to have our first meeting," he told a news conference in Adelaide today.

He denied the group was borne out of any frustrations in gaining access to future mine sites or locations suitable for low-level nuclear waste. Read more about AUA and Aboriginals here....

Nepal: Forms And Origins Of Discrimination

There are several historical markers of domination and discrimination against indigenous peoples and other minorities in Nepal. These are as follows:

The main historical marker of Hindu domination begins with caste restructuring by King Jayasthiti Malla in the Kathmandu Valley in the fourteenth century. The King invited five Brahmin priests from India to Kathmandu. Based on their advice, the King restructured the Newars, the indigenous peoples of the Kathmandu Valley, into 64 castes based on occupational division of labor. These caste divisions were neither based on hierarchic Hindu varna model, that is, Brahmin at the top followed by Kshyatriya, Vaisya and Sudra at the bottom, nor on inscription. It indeed paved a way for intensification of the processes of Hinduization or Sanskritization of indigenous peoples of Nepal (Jijima 1963).

The second historical marker of Hindu Bahun-Chhetri domination is the conspiratorial attack against the Magar King of Lig-Lig Kott by King Drabya Shah, who later won a war against the Khadka King of Gorkha in 1559A.D.. This was the beginning of the downfall of independence of indigenous peoples in Nepal. Read more about discrimination in Nepal here....

Taiwan: Indigenous Population Up 2.05%

The number of aboriginal people in Taiwan totaled 494,107 as of the end of last year. That's up 2.05 percent from the previous year.

According to statistics released by the interior ministry on Friday, the increase was about six times that of the rate of growth of Taiwan's overall population.

Taiwan's indigenous people were also younger on average than other ethnic groups, averaging 31.93 years of age as of the end of last year. That's 5.23 years younger than the country's population averaged as a whole

Of the 14 tribes in Taiwan, the Amis were the most populous with 177,909 people, followed by the Paiwan and the Atayal tribes. The three tribes accounted for nearly 70 percent of the total aboriginal population. Read more about Taiwan's indigenous population here....

Russia: Putin Petitioned To Kill Plans For Siberian Hydropower Station

A petition against the construction of a giant hydroelectric power station in Siberia that critics say would threaten the indigenous population and an entire larch forest ecosystem was handed to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week.

Signed by more than 8,000 people, the petition was organized and presented to Putin by WWF-Russia, Greenpeace-Russia, and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North as well as other nongovernmental organizations.

The construction project, in the Evenk municipal district, could drive as many as 2,000 Evenki out of their homes and reindeer pasture lands and, according to the evaluation data, one million hectares of unique larch forest would be flooded.

To generate power, a dam would be constructed on the Lower Tunguska River. The environmental and indigenous groups warn that one of the three radioactive underground nuclear explosion areas in the Tunguska flood plain would be flooded as a result of the construction.

Russian engineers say the Evenk hydroelectric power station would be the largest in Russia, and with the project capacity of 20,000 megawatts, one of the largest in the world. The construction is expected to take 18 years to complete. Read more about the Siberian power station here....

Last weeks Five Key Indigenous People's Issues can be found here.

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Cultures and Peoples of the Sahara: UNESCO Project

In the context of combating poverty (Millennium Development Goals), the objective of the project "The Sahara of Cultures and Peoples is to assist the member states of the Sahara in the elaboration and implementation, especially by lessons learned from field pilot projects, of strategies for sustainable development and the fight against poverty, based on the protection and enhancement of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage and Natural Heritage.

The Saharan States concerned are: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia.

Following the Millennium Declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000, all agencies of the United Nations system are required to contribute as a priority to the struggle against poverty and extreme poverty. In this context, UNESCO's General Conference, at its 31st session (November 2001), adopted the intersectoral project "The Sahara of cultures and people".

The project falls also in line with the follow-up of the World Summit on Eco-Tourism held in Quebec, Canada (19-22 May 2002), of the Rio+10 Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa (26 August - 4 September 2002), of the WTO global code of ethics on tourism and of the Plan of action of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

As a crosscutting activity, tourism can be a real tool in sustainable development and struggle against poverty , in particular in the Sahara which is a desertic ecosystem, characterized by a rich cultural, human and natural wealth, and great fragility.

Issues addressed:

  • Strengthening of capacity-building for local actors;
  • Safeguarding and enhancement of heritage for the benefit of populations in situations of poverty;
  • Promotion of the cultures and civilization of the Sahara;
  • Improvement of the conditions of preservation of the Saharan ecosystems;
  • Support for responsible tourism policies;

Promotion of the local participatory governance and the strengthening of partnerships at the local, national and international level (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper PRSP), United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Islamic Educational , Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Indigenous Culture Support Program Funds for Indigenous Communities

The Indigenous Culture Support program (ICS) supports the maintenance and continued development of Indigenous culture at the community level, and Indigenous culture as a dynamic part of Australian culture and identity.

ICS funds activities that encourage culturally vibrant Indigenous communities and contribute to the cultural identity and wellbeing of Indigenous individuals and communities.

The program supports activities that:

  • maintain Indigenous culture through community involvement;
  • support new forms of Indigenous cultural expression;
  • increase public awareness of Indigenous culture, including through the presentation and exchange of culture; and
  • support the sustainable development of community organisations involved in cultural activities.

Applications for the 2009-10 round of funding will be advertised on 12 December 2008 and will close at 5pm 20 February 2009.

For the first time, triennial funding will be offered in the 2009-10 funding round for organisations that meet the eligibility requirements. Please make sure you read the 2009-10 Indigenous Culture Support program guidelines carefully and discuss this funding option with your local Indigenous Coordination Centre prior to applying.

Who can apply?

Any person or body may apply for funding in accordance with program guidelines for the purpose of furthering the economic, social or cultural development of Indigenous peoples.

The applicant must also have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST.

Who to contact?

For enquiries or assistance in lodging a submission please contact your nearest Indigenous Coordination Centre, which has information sheets on these programs and an Electronic Submission Kit (eSub) that you should obtain to lodge your submission.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

American Indians Of Indiana Meeting At Center: Strength In Unity


Friday, March 6 th , 2009; 1 pm - 4 pm

Eiteljorg Museum ( Downstairs Canal Level Education Suites)

500 W. Washington Street , Indianapolis , IN 46201

Indiana is home to an estimated 43,000 residents of American Indian heritage, or just under 1% of the state´s total population of 6.3 million (American Indian whether full- or mixed-blood, and including those who are Alaska Native). American Indians of Indiana experience considerably greater social, economic, health, and cultural disparities than the state´s population overall, based on Census 2000 statistics. More detailed and up-to-date information is needed on American Indians of Indiana, especially in regard to their health and educational needs. Such information would assist and empower these persons in various ways, including but not limited to: coordination of comprehensive and community-based services, and of the public/private funding thereof. A key goal of this meeting is to bring together the American Indian Communities across Indiana through mutual respect for each other, by gathering together to discuss a major project: The Health & Education Needs Assessment Survey of American Indians of Indiana.

Since I moved to Indianapolis about three years ago, I have participated in many Native American events across Indiana. I, personally, and also as the Project Coordinator of the American Indian Center of Indiana, have observed divisiveness among the American Indian Community of Indiana, whether based on individual or tribal disagreement. We have become our own worst enemy: Indian(s) against Indian(s). This diminishes the spiritual protection for the individual and the community. I ask you this question, "How long have you talked, or felt, and/or listened to this divisiveness among us?" And, "How much longer do you want it to last, for your ancestors, yourself, your family, friends, and the future our children?"

If you plan to attend this meeting, I ask that we each start the healing of our community before you come, with whatever form of healing deemed appropriate (smudging, sweat lodge, singing, meditation and prayer, reading...). Also, I ask that we can agree to disagree, and despite our differences, we can nevertheless listen to the other and engage in constructive dialogue. We will keep within the timeframe and guidelines of the meeting. Walk in beauty, aho


1 pm Opening prayer and drumming

1:15 Tony Showa, AICI Project Coordinator and Meeting Facilitator

1:30 Dr. Johnny Flynn, IUPUI Associate Professor: Need for survey, esp. the educational needs

2:00 Jolene Burtrum, CEO Citizens Health Clinic: Why the health needs

2:30 Drumming, Pow Wows Concerns and break

3:00 Questions, advice, suggestions, understanding, and unity

3:45 - 4 Ending prayer and drumming

Please RSVP and for further information, please contact Tony Showa of the American Indian Center of Indiana at (317) 917-8000, option 4; or via email at:

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Field Readers and Call for Presenters: Office of Indian Education

Office of Indian Education Seeking Presenters and Field Readers

National Conference Call for Presentations

The 2009 Partnerships for Indian Education Conference will be held April 17-19 in Norman, OK. Proposals for presentations and workshops are invited on the following education-related topics that may focus on students, schools, and family and community:

  • Current Research
  • Interagency Partnerships
  • Innovative Program Practices
  • Safe and Healthy Communities

Individuals interested in presenting or organizing a panel/workshop should submit:
  • Title of presentation proposal (75-minute sessions)
  • Brief description of session topic and outcomes
  • Abstract of panel, session, or workshop
  • Brief bio of the presenter(s)
  • Audio/visual technology needs for the presentation
  • Conference registration fee of $195

Presenter submissions due by February 25.

More information for presenters


The 2009 Partnerships for Indian Education Conference will be held in Norman, OK at the Embassy Suites Norman - Hotel & Conference Center. For hotel reservations, visit the Embassy Suites Norman website or call 405-253-3547 . Purchase orders are accepted for hotel lodging accommodations. Please contact the Groups Room Coordinator at 405-253-3547 for more information.

Office of Indian Education Seeking Field Readers

The Office of Indian Education is soliciting highly qualified individuals to assist in the review process for two discretionary grant competitions - Demonstration Grants for Indian Children and the Professional Development Programs. Both programs are administered under Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended. If you are interested in participating in this grant review process, please apply online , and submit your resume and brief cover letter with contact information by February 25 .

The discretionary grant review is scheduled to take place in Norman, OK from April 23-26 with the initial travel day to Norman scheduled for April 22. Prospective candidates should confirm their availability for these dates prior to submitting their application.

More information

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