State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009

July 24, 2009 at 11:18 am | Posted in Education, Organization, Research | Leave a comment
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A new report on minorities has just appeared. It has been published by the Minority Rights Group in collaboration with Unicef, and it’s called State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009.

In addition to the report, you can also download some special articles, some of them only available on-line. Enjoy!

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SSILA: studying the indigenous languages of the Americas

January 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Alaska, Language, Organization | Leave a comment

A arrived to this site via Talking Alaska. They were announcing the SSILA 2009 Annual Meeting, with the following topics:

  • Acoustic correlates of stress in the Inland dialect of Dena’ina Athabascan (Siri Tuttle, University of Alaska, Fairbanks)
  • The phonetics of tone in two dialects of Dane-zaa (Julia Colleen Miller, University of Washington)
  • A H+L% boundary tone in Athabaskan (Sharon Hargus, University of Washington)
  • Landscape and landscape at the intersection of Athabascan and Eskimo (Gary Holton, University of Alaska Fairbanks)
  • The morphosyntax of Navajo comparatives and the degree argument (Elizabeth Bogal­Allbritten, Swarthmore)
  • Aspiration as phonation: An acoustic analysis of aspirated affricates in the Dene languages (Joyce McDonough, University of Rochester; Jordan Lachler, Sealaska Heritage Institute; Sally Rice, University of Alberta)
  • Coordination in Pribil of Islands Aleut (Anna Berge, University of Alaska Fairbanks)
  • A contrastive feature account of Inuit ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ /i/ (Richard Compton and B. Elan Dresher, University of Toronto
  • Navajo degree constructions and the decompositional analysis of gradable predicates (Elizabeth Bogal­Allbritten, Swarthmore)

After reading that, I keep looking for more information:

The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA)

The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) was founded in December 1981 as the international scholarly organization representing American Indian linguistics, and was incorporated in 1997. Membership in SSILA is open to all those who are interested in the scientific study of the languages of the native peoples of North, Central and South America. The Society has approximately 900 members, more than a third of them residing outside the United States.

All members receive the SSILA Newsletter, a quarterly publication that contains news, announcements, notices of recent publications, current journal contents, a listing of recent dissertations, and several other regular features. (The Newsletter is sent at the airmail rate to all members residing outside the United States, at no additional charge.) If you would like to purchase previous volumes of the SSILA Newsletter, most are still avaliable for US $3.50 per issue. A “SSILA Bulletin” with late-breaking news, job openings, etc.,is also e-mailed to all members (and to others on request) every two to fourweeks. The “SSILA Bulletin” is archived on this website in pdf format.

Other activities and benefits of the Society include:

  • SSILA holds an annual winter meeting, featuring several topical sessions on various aspects of American Indian linguistics, usually meeting jointly with the Linguistic Society of America. We will next meet in Chicago, Illinois in January, 2008.
  • The Mary R. Haas Book Award is presented annually to an unpublished monograph that the Society judges to be a significant contribution to our knowledge of American indigenous languages. Manuscripts receiving the Haas Award are eligible for publication under the Society’s sponsorship.
  • A Membership Directory is published yearly in February, and includes an index of the language specializations of the Society’s members, as well as postal and e-mail addresses. The Directory is available to members for US $3.50 (or $5.00 Canadian) in addition to basic dues. A searchable web version of the Membership Directory, with postal and e-mail addresses, is kept current. The membership directory is available only to members.
  • Mouton de Gruyter regularly offers substantial discounts to SSILA members on its publications in American Indian linguistics and allied topics.
  • The SSILA Bulletin with late-breaking news, job openings, etc., is posted regularly (at least once a month, and sometimes more frequently) on the Internet. Back issues are archived at the SSILA website.

Do not miss the bulletin, the newsletter and the links pages! And if you find it interesting enough, you may decide to apply as a member here.

Tunngasugitti, and Welcome to Nunavut!

August 24, 2008 at 8:35 pm | Posted in Canada, History, Organization | 1 Comment
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More facts about Nunavut from a PDF document of their site.

GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT
Tunngasugitti, and Welcome to Nunavut!
Our Land

Nunavut (the Inuktitut word for “our land”) was created April 1, 1999 as a result of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. For millennia a major Inuit homeland, Nunavut today is a growing society that blends the strength of its deep Inuit roots and traditions with a new spirit of diversity.

It is a territory that spans the two million square kilometres of Canada extending north and west of Hudson’s Bay, above the tree line to the North Pole. With landscapes that range from the flat muskeg of the Kivalliq to the towering mountain peaks and fiords of North Baffin, it is a Territory of extraordinary variety and breathtaking beauty.

With a median age of 22.1 years, Nunavut’s population is the youngest in Canada. It is also one of the fastest growing; the 2001 population of just under 29,000 represents an increase of eight per cent in only five years. Inuit represent about 85 percent of the population, and form the foundation of the Territory’s culture. Government, business and day-to-day life are shaped by Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, the traditional knowledge, values and wisdom of Nunavut’s founding people.

Our 26 communities range in size from tiny Bathurst Inlet (population 25) to Iqaluit, the capital (population almost 6,500). Grise Fiord, the northernmost settlement, lies at 78 degrees north: the hamlet of Sanikiluaq in the Belcher Islands is actually further south than Ontario’s northern border. None are accessible by road or rail; everything, from people to fuel to food, arrives by plane or sealift. This physical isolation accounts for the highest cost of living in Canada, reflected in prices throughout the Territory.

The largest employer in Nunavut is government – federal, territorial, and municipal. But new jobs are rapidly emerging in the mining and resource development sectors. Important growth is also occurring in the tourism sector, in fisheries, and in Inuit art such as carvings and prints.

The realization of Nunavut’s full economic potential will, in part, be contingent upon the improvement of the territory’s infrastructure. Existing housing, sewage and waste management, transportation and telecommunications systems are already stretched beyond their limits, and will come under even greater pressure from Nunavut’s growing population.

With four languages (Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English and French), an area one-fifth the size of Canada, and a population density of one person per 70 km sq., the creation of Nunavut has called for innovative approaches to the delivery of virtually every aspect of government programs and services.

From health to education, from justice to the structure of the Legislative Assembly, the institutions and structures that define Nunavut are designed to meet the needs of a unique people in a unique land.

The challenges are many; but in partnership with Canada, and building on the strength and energy of its people, Canada’s newest Territory looks to the future with confidence and hope.

So it seems that I have been missing one language, Inuinnaqtun. And I do not know if there are more non-official languages. And I also have to look for more information about the Cree people, I do not know if they share the same territories or not. So homework for the next days!

Nunavut Government

August 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Canada, Demographics, Organization | Leave a comment
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A quick look to the Inuit Government of Canada, Nunavut:

Tunngasugitti – welcome to
the Government of Nunavut

Nunavut — “our land” in the Inuktitut language – has been home to Inuit for millennia and part of Canada for more than a century. Embracing both traditional knowledge and values and the new opportunities presented by technologies like the Internet, the Government of Nunavut now provides a wide range of services tailored to the unique needs of approximately 29,500 residents.

Facts About Nunavut

Read about our people and culture, wildlife, official symbols, background about Nunavut Land Claim, and much more.

Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

Look up MLA contact information, read up on Acts and regulations, Throne Speech, Hansard, status of Bills and more.

Nunavut Business Information

Nunavut is a place of great economic growth. Read the latest Requests for Proposals about the Inuit/Northern Preference and information about Starting a Business.

2007 Western Premiers’ Conference

July 4 to 6, 2007 Iqaluit Nunavut

Commissioner’s Arts Award

Annirusuktugut – Suicide Intervention and Prevention Strategy

The site includes a map of Nunavut, a list of the communities, and some interesting fact sheets.

Quite an interesting site! Though a bit more of information an maps would be interesting.

Indigenous People Issues & Resources

August 15, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Education, Links, News, Organization | Leave a comment
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Thanks to a comment, two weeks ago I found this site, dedicated to indigenous people. It does not have information about all the tribes, but it keeps growing and its future seems promising!

Welcome to Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resource

Today, our world is experiencing a rapid decline in cultural diversity. One in five people in today’s world speak the same language: the Mandarin Chinese spoken by the largest single ethnic group in the world – the Han – whose 1.3 billion population represents 92 percent of the mainland Chinese population and 19 percent of the world’s population. Likewise, in India – the world’s second most populous country – there are 415 living, recognized languages, but the majority of people speak either Bengali or Hindi. Linguists recognize some 6,000 to 7,000 spoken languages, of which 5,000 or so are spoken by indigenous peoples who represent an estimated 6 percent of the world’s population.

Many of these people, and their language and culture, face a questionable future. The relatively rapid decline in language diversity parallels the decline in cultural diversity. These changes are due in part to the product of both historical relationships – imperialism, colonialism, Cold War economic development, and militarism – as well as cultural beliefs that rationalize or justify actions that serve the powerful at the cost of lands and livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources is a new site that is slowly developing. Our goal is to provide information and resources for those concerned about, and for, indigenous peoples around the world. We recognize that our actions in the West effect indigenous peoples in all parts of the world – the consequences of water diversion and hydroelectric energy projects, militarization, global and national events, and consolidation of natural resource access, and the like are all having an unprecedented impact on the world’s indigenous peoples. But we can do something.

It is our belief that cross-cultural communication and understanding – as well as easily accessible information and resources – is one of the keys to helping indigenous peoples maintain their language, culture, and identity. We hope that you also share this belief. Diversity is one of the strongest components to a healthy world. Together we can help and make a difference – from large to small.

I will dig into it later on. Looks promising, doesn’t it?

Avataq Cultural Institute

August 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Canada, History, Language, Organization, Traditions | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I found this interesting website from Avataq Cultural Institute:

Avataq Cultural Institute

Avataq Cultural Institute provides a strong foundation for the living culture of today’s Inuit. Since its inception in 1980, Avataq has built a solid reputation as the cultural leader for Nunavik Inuit and as an important resource for Inuit culture in Canada and beyond. Our goal is to ensure that Inuit culture and language continue to thrive into the future, so that our descendants can benefit from the rich heritage passed down to us through the wisdom of our ancestors.


About Us

Founded in 1980, Avataq Cultural Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the language and culture of Inuit in Nunavik (Northern Quebec). The organization has its head office in Inukjuak, Nunavik, and an administrative office in Westmount, Quebec.

Avataq receives its mandate directly from Nunavik Inuit at the biennial Nunavik Inuit Elders’ Conferences. Avataq has a board of directors comprising five Inuit members elected for two-year terms.

The programs and services of the Avataq Cultural Institute include: an Inuktitut promotion and preservation program, a genealogy program, a Nunavik museums program, a Nunavik Inuit art collection, an archaeology department, an artists’ support program, a documentation and archives centre, local cultural committees, traditional skills courses, as well as a research and publications service.

Through its language, heritage and cultural programs, the Avataq Cultural Institute is striving to support and preserve Inuit culture for present and future generations.

I have a photographic day, as you see 😉 I copied a lot of nice photos they have on their website. They have a very very interesting section about the Inuit in Nunavik, as well as maps. This will be for another post tonight! As an extra, you can download the Inuktitut fonts for your computer too! The link is here!

Produced by Nutaaq

August 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Canada, Education, Organization | Leave a comment
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Last week I found a production company settled down in Québec, Canada, called Nutaaq. As they explain, they are specialized on multi-cultural and indigenous subjects. This is quite interesting, isn’t it?

Nutaaq Média

Nutaaq Média, Inc. was incorporated in 1991 with the goal of producing both independent and sponsored film, video and interactive media projects.

Although most of Nutaaq productions concern the Arctic or northern issues, Nutaaq has also shot many projects in southern Canada, as well as one project in South America. Our multi-cultural experience is indeed one of our great strengths.
Nutaaq Média represents many years of production experience which allow it to create broadcast programming intended for a mass audience or sponsored projects tailored to a specific few.

Working with a team of talented professionals and state of the art facilities for digital non-linear editing and multi-media authoring, Nutaaq Média produces effective multi-media, sponsored or broadcast programming tailored to client and audience needs in whichever languages are required. In the past, Nutaaq has produced programs in French, English, Inuktitut and Cree, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, German and Italian. Nutaaq can also title and sub-title programs in any language. We also do closed captioning.

Recent Productions

Finding My Talk:A Journey through Aboriginal Languages This one hour documentary follows the journey of Cree filmmaker Paul M. Rickard as he searches for his own language roots and discovers the tireless efforts of many individuals who are promoting, reviving and preserving the use of Aboriginal languages within their communities. Distributed by Mushkeg Media Inc.

Broken Promises: The High Arctic Relocation In the summer of 1953, the Canadian government relocated seven Inuit families from Northern Québec to the High Arctic. They were promised an abundance of game and fish – in short, a better life. The government assured the Inuit that if things didn’t work out, they could return home after two years. Two years later, another 35 people joined them. It would be thirty years before any of them saw their ancestral lands again. Distributed by Nutaaq and National Film Board of Canada.

Nunavik Heritage CD-ROM The photographs reflect the life and people of Northern Québec (Nunavik) from the 1880’s till the present. The flexibility of the CD-ROM software allows the images to be organized and retrieved by thematic categories such as specific individuals or families, geographical locations, time periods, historical events or photograph contents. The disc design maximizes user interaction and allows images to be printed or incorporated into other documents. Distributed by Avataq Cultural Institute.

Running the Midnight Sun To their friends they’re eccentric, to the Inuit they’re bizarre, but they consider themselves just ordinary people who like to push themselves to the limit. They are ultra runners. Once a year, under a sun that never sets, they gather from all over North America to challenge an 84 kilometer gravel road located 700 kilometers above the Arctic Circle. Distributed by Nutaaq.

North to Nowhere: Quest for the Pole In North to Nowhere, nine adventurers from five countries attempt the Polar trek. They include Shinzi Kazama, a motorcyclist from Japan; Pam Flowers, a ninety pound dogsledder from Alaska; Nicholas Hulot and Hubert de Chevigny, ultra-light pilots from France and Dick Smith, an Australian helicopter pilot. As well, a planeload of American tourists fly to the Pole for a very expensive one hour photo opportunity. No Distributer (unavailable).

They produced some documentaries in Inuktitut and Cree, this is interesting. I contacted them since living in Barcelona it is impossible to watch their programs, but the only option was to buy them, and that was really expensive for me too! I may wait when a relative or friend travel there, to see if they find something!

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