Link to jeanne's Birdie Page Indigenous Peoples and Discourse

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Indigenous Peoples and Discourse

Created: October 5, 2000
Latest update: December 24, 2000

Native Peoples

  • Elder Abuse in Indian Country

    • The Yanomami:
    • Legacy of Racism:
      • Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Acknowledges "Legacy of Racism"

          American Indian Links
          of the Sociology Corner. Link added July 13, 1999.

          The Anasazi and a Validity Claim of Cannibalism

          Ignorant Bad Faith in the Academy
          Perception of refusal in academy to listen to
          Anthropologist Christy Turner's explanation that
          the Anasazi may have experienced cannibalism.
          Link added June 11, 1999.

          Chaco Canyon Report
          Site of major Anasazi cultural center. June 12, 1999.

          Bibliography on the Anasazi by John Kantner at UC Santa Barbara
          Essential if you want to get an inkling of the literature of the Anasazi
          and the extent to which Christy Turner's theory on cannibalism departs from the
          privileged academy claims. Link added on June 12, 1999.

          "Sipapu--Evaluation of Chaco Anasazi Roadways."
          Site of John Kantner, UCSB, []. 6/12/99
          Link provided through Encyclopedia Britannica on-line article: added on June 12, 1999.

          UCSB Anthropology Web Site

          Aboriginal Cannibalism
          Link to Indigenous Issues, then to Writings, then to this article.
          Another perspective, from Australia.

          The Inuit of Canada and Their New Constitution

          New York Times, Archives
          Search for "A New State for the Inuit," by Anthony dePalma on January 29, 1999.
          News item on the granting of self-government to the Inuit of Canada.
          Added January 29, 1999.

          Brief essay on Iqaluit, Inuit Capital
          Added January 29, 1999.

          Nunavut Territory Debates Women's Vote
          Earlier piece.

          The Innu Nation Web Site
          Link added June 12, 1999.

          Native American Issues

          Native American Web Resources
          California Educator Issue on Teaching Native Americans External Site

          Fool's Crow

          Sites Maintained by Native Peoples

          African Issues

          African Tribe Stops Cutting of Genitals
          New York Times
          Search archives for article by Barbara Crossette on "A Uganda Tribe Fights Genital Cutting,"
          July 16, 1998.

          Iqaluit, Inuit Capital in Canada, Readies for Self-Government

          A new territory, a new capital, will take over the government of its own people, the Inuit, on April 1, 1999. Article and photos by Anthonyde Palma, "A New State for Inuit: Frigid but Optimistic," New York Times, January 29, 1999. This bustling young capital is part of a new trend of the granting of sovereign rights to native peoples. But Nunavut, with the construction of its new capital, Iqaluit, is ahead of them all.

          The photographs in the story are good, and make it worth your while to visit the New York Times Site and hunt for the article. Follow the story. This is surely a trend, and one that may help resolve some of the bad faith of the past. So it has tremendous potential for public discourse and the good faith hearing of all.

          Nunavut Territory Debates First Government

          This story went up months before the news item on Iqaluit, Nunavut's new territory. Self-government for the territory is now to begin on April 1, 1999. (Added on January 29, 1999.)

          The material here is all from the Nunavut debates. It needs to be cut and commentary added. Will do later. But visit the site. There is much that is fascinating there.

          The Nunavut Territory and Government

          Publications of the Nunavut

          Table of Contents

          How Large Should The Nunavut Legislative Assembly Be?
          Why Is Equal Representation For Women In Politics An Issue?
          Are Women Full Participants In Decision-Making In Nunavut?
          What Has Been Done To Try And Achieve Balanced Participation In Politics Between Men And Women?
          How Could The Design Of The Nunavut Legislative Assembly Guarantee Balanced Representation Of Men And Women?
          Can Two-Member Constituencies Work?
          Conclusion: Simple, Fair, Effective, And "Made in Nunavut"
          Appendix: In Response To Critics
          Map: Electoral Districts of the Northwest Territories for the 1995 Territorial Election"

          Why is Equal Representation for Women in Politics an Issue?

          "The answer to this question has been neatly summed up by Canada's Deputy Prime Minister, Sheila Copps:

          "The main answer is obvious. Plain fairness. (3)
          (Footnote 3: Copps (1992), p. 3.)

          "Women make up just over half the population, but are systematically under-represented in politics not just in Nunavut, but across Canada and all around the world. Why? The Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing agreed that women face a number of barriers to participation in politics, including: sex-stereotyping, the difficulty of juggling career, family and political responsibilities, including: inadequate child-care facilities, and a tendency to hold jobs that are less flexible with respect to taking time off to participate in political activities, negative attitudes within political parties, the fact the men tend to have better political 'networks,' and negative stereotypes of women in the media.

          "Because these barriers form part of a system of 'systemic (or structural) discrimination,' practices and attitudes that have, whether by design or impact, the effect of limiting an individual's or group's right to the opportunities generally available because of attributed rather than actual characteristics, they are often referred to as 'systemic barriers': barriers to people realizing opportunities or receiving equal protection/benefit of the law. These barriers are understood to be communicable to the social, economic, political and cultural arrangements in a society.

          "f these systemic barriers could be completely eliminated, then one can assume that women would run for - and be elected to - political office in equal numbers with men. But we must be clear: nowhere in the world have these systemic barriers been eliminated, and as a result nowhere in the world is there balanced participation in politics between men and women.

          "As groups, men and women have had different relationships with the laws and institutions created through public policy, and have had different life experiences. As a result, there are differences in the ways in which men and women approach politics. Collectively, women place greater emphasis on the ways in which public policy impacts on the family and the community. Some individual men and women do, of course, have different opinions.

          "These points suggest that women have shared interests in their day-to-day lives, and therefore have shared interests in seeking equal representation in politics.

          "One can go a step further, however, and acknowledge that women's under-representation in politics helps explain why they are more likely to be poor (especially if they're single parents) than men are, earn lower wages for work of equal value, face other forms of discrimination in the workplace, are discriminated against by pension systems, and have limited access to affordable child day-care.

          "The call for balanced representation in politics is therefore more than a call for recognition of shared interests, it is a call for recognition for equality for a historically mistreated group in society.

          "Canadian society has long recognized that certain groups of people - the Quebecois and Francophones outside Quebec, for example - should be recognized as having group rights. More recently, Canadian society has recognized the existence of aboriginal rights: the Nunavut Land Claim and the future Government of Nunavut are in fact products of that recognition. The human rights of women can also be understood - and implemented - as a form of group rights.

          "Some critics of equal political representation for women criticize the idea by asking whether there shouldn't be equal representation for other groups in society: elders and youth, the disabled, etc. Some even try and make a bad joke out of it by adding tall and short people, long-haired and short-haired people, blue-eyed and brown-eyed people, etc. to the list.

          "This discussion paper is premised on the idea that our gender differences overlay all of our other individual, cultural or socio-economic characteristics. The male/female grouping is unique in that men and women exist in roughly equal numbers, tend to approach politics somewhat differently, have different levels of access to the political system, and are currently able to participate in politics to very different degrees.

          "This is not to say that human beings identify solely as men and women, or that all men and all women think exactly the same way. Not at all. But society as a whole can hardly benefit from a political system that fails to provide balanced representation for as universal, abiding and numerically equal subsets of humanity as men and women.

          "This model presented in this discussion paper is therefore not an attempt to create divisions in society - rather, it is an attempt to recognize differences and address the systemic inequality and unfairness which already exists in society." From the Nunavut site. Remember that this is 1996. The issue of gender is real.

          Sites Maintained by Native Peoples

          Native Search Engine
          The Greenfield Review: Multicultural Books and Recordings
          North American Native Authors Catalog A Project of the Greenfield Review Press.

          Has a map search with very nice maps and with links to books by native authors about the regions highlighted by the maps. Nice graphics also. Unfortunately books are available for sale, but no online material that I saw. There is a message board that has some good information about resources for teaching. You might want to check it out for ideas to teach discourse to our own kids on Dear Habermas KIDS" Page.

          Navajo Sources

          Navajo Site - Seems to have some good links, and good reporting, but my machine crashed, and I couldn't check. Let me know what you think.

          African Tribe Changes Tradition Through Discourse

          Local news story soon to go up as illustration of how even tribal ways are changing because of discussions within the group about the relevancy of traditions that maybe need to be considered in light of new understandings.

          For the Sabiny people of eastern Uganda, 1998 is a circumcision year -- as are all even years -- when girls as well as boys would normally be expected to endure a painful rite of passage to young adulthood. But not this time, said G. W. Cheborian, ch ...

          "A Uganda Tribe Fights Genital Cutting"
          By Barbara Crossette
          July 16, 1998, Thursday
          Foreign Desk , 989 words Search archives of New York Times for article title. Cut and paste title into little SEARCH dialog box in upper left hand corner of NY Times Site.

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