7th Cowichan International Aboriginal Film Festival (April 13 to 17, 2011)

Cowichan International Aboriginal Film Festival 2011 – Immerse yourself in the worlds of the people of the land in this sharing of aboriginal culture, teachings and realities through film, art, song, dance and ceremony.  Make your destination Duncan, Vancouver Island from April 13-17, 2011. Youth FX Workshops & Awards April 13-16, 2011. Film, music, performance workshops, youth film screenings and awards ceremony. Cowichan Interational Film Festival of Film & Art, 200 Cowichan Way, Duncan B.C.

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Mackenzie Delta: Partnership signed to protect char

Northern News Services – John Carmichael watched intently as representatives from the federal government, the Gwichin and the Inuvialuit passed around official papers calling for the conservation of char in the Mackenzie Delta. He knew their signatures meant theyd listened to him. Carmichael, an Aklavik elder, began monitoring Dolly Varden char around the community 16 years ago and was one of the first fishermen to alert officials when he noticed the fish were dwindling. Dolly Varden char stocks have been decreasing significantly around Aklavik and Fort McPherson for the past 30 years. Last week the Gwich’in, Inuvialuit and federal government heeded residents’ advice and officially took a step to protect the fish by signing an integrated fisheries management plan in front of an audience of about 30 people in Aklavik Nov. 3.

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CBC Ideas: Mr. Justice Berger (On Courts and Aboriginal Rights)

CBC Radio – In 1977, a Royal Commission looking into proposals to construct a pipeline from the Arctic Ocean to Alberta recommended a 10-year moratorium on pipeline development in the Mackenzie Valley until native land claims could be settled. That was only the beginning. Paul Kennedy talks with the head of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, justice Thomas Berger.  Click on link for CBC broadcast, or listen to podcast below.

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Film Review: Greenland’s ‘Nuummioq’ a stunning triumph

Reuters – More than just a curiosity item as the first feature from Greenland, “Nuummioq” is a startlingly accomplished piece of filmmaking, all the more so considering many of the cast and crew are non-professionals. Anchored by a riveting performance by Lars Rosing as a robust young man diagnosed with terminal cancer, the film is not easy going or for all audiences, but those willing to venture there will be rewarded with a deeply-felt, finely realized film. Obviously not a multiplex item, “Nuummioq” should be a welcome entry on the festival circuit and a natural for a discriminating audience at home. Filmed in Inuit and Danish around Nuuk, the capital of Greenland the title means a resident of Nuuk, “Nuummioq” calls to mind Ingmar Bergman and other somber filmmakers from the North Country.

Watch Trailer (YouTube)

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Wolf: Jack London’s Dark Side (Book Review)

Slate – The United States has a startling ability to take its most angry, edgy radicals and turn them into cuddly eunuchs. The process begins the moment they die. Mark Twain is remembered as a quipster forever floating down the Mississippi River at sunset, while his polemics against the violent birth of the American empire lie unread and unremembered. Martin Luther King is remembered for his prose-poetry about children holding hands on a hill in Alabama, but few recall that he said the U.S. government was “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

But perhaps the greatest act of historical castration is of Jack London. This man was the most-read revolutionary Socialist in American history, agitating for violent overthrow of the government and the assassination of political leaders—and he is remembered now for writing a cute story about a dog. It’s as if the Black Panthers were remembered, a century from now, for adding a pink tint to their afros.

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Slideshow: Surveying Wildlife in Arctic Alaska

New York Times – The Utukok River, emerging on the north side of the Brooks Range, as seen from our plane, braids through Arctic uplands. Here, well north of the tree line, the landscape is open and immense — we are in the most remote region of North America.  We are in the Utukok River Uplands Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve.  It is here that caribou in Alaskas largest herd, now some 380,000 in number, migrate to calve their young.  And it is here that perhaps one of the most dramatic predator-prey spectacles anywhere plays out, with grizzlies, wolves and wolverine preying on the caribou — and yet few Americans are aware of it.

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Study: Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity

Reuters – “Threats to human water security and biological diversity are pandemic,” Charles Vorosmarty of the City University of New York, co-lead author of the report in the journal Nature, told Reuters. The international team of scientists estimated that almost 80 percent of the world’s population — or about 5 billion people — lived in areas with high levels of threat to water security, caused mainly by river mismanagement and pollution. “Rivers in Crisis,” Nature said on its front cover. A map (view here) showed high levels of threat, in red, for much of the United States including the Mississippi basin, along with almost all of Europe, India, including the Ganges basin, and eastern China with the Yangtze River were also shown in red.

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A Troubling Decline in the Caribou Herds of the Arctic

Yale Environment 360 – But the icing problem is only one of a host of warming-related effects now plaguing caribou. In a paper published last year in Global Change Biology, Vors and Boyce detailed these impacts. As spring arrives earlier and earlier, “the flush of highly nutritious plant growth” has advanced. Yet caribou reproduction and calving are not occurring earlier, meaning the calves are born past the peak of prime forage availability. In addition, the lichen and other tundra plants favored by caribou are gradually being replaced by shrubs and trees that are advancing northward as the Arctic warms. Vladislav Nuvano, an expert on the history of reindeer herding in Chukotka, in the Russian Far East, told me recently that reindeer herders there are seeing woody shrubs expand at the expense of lichens and other reindeer food.

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Nunavut Grapples With Controversial Uranium Mine

The Epoch Times – Controversy over a proposed open-pit uranium mine has prompted the Nunavut government to hold a series of forums in communities across the territory to get the public’s opinion on the mining and milling operation. The Kiggavik Project, a massive $1.5 billion mine operated by a Canadian subsidiary of Areva—the French multinational and nuclear energy giant—is slated for the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake. Although the government refused to hold a public inquiry on the issue despite petitions tabled in the Nunavut legislature by several communities demanding one, Premier Eva Aariak has announced the public forums, to start later this year, as a way to tap into grassroots opinion. “A public forum would have more people involved in voicing their opinion,” Ariak told the Globe and Mail. “An inquiry is more restrained in the process. It is more formal, would take longer and is much more rigid.” The project is the first uranium mine to be proposed in the territory and one of at least a dozen more awaiting review.

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Gilles Boutin: A Look at the Northern Lights (Photos)

Nunatsiaq News – Gilles Boutin spent years staring up at the night sky, never thinking it would produce Quebec’s first book on the northern lights. Earlier this year, the amateur photographer launched Les Aurores Boréales: Québec-Nunavik, a 200-page collection of some of the most stunning skyscapes the north and south of the province have to offer. Photos aside, Boutin covers some science, folklore, personal anecdotes from his travels and a section of how-to for the aspiring night sky photographer.

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