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Why We Must Save Dying Languages*

Why We Must Save Dying Languages*

By Max J Rosenthal

Is Common Language Killing off Ancient Ecological Knowledge?

You probably know that much of the world’s environment is under threat. But a new study says languages are disappearing alongside plants and animals.

The study, from the World Wildlife Fund, measured the threat to languages using a scale that tracks how threatened species are. Not only are many languages steadily losing speakers, says co-author Jonathan Loh, but “the rate of decline, globally, is actually very close to the rate of decline in populations of wild vertebrate species.”

There’s the obvious threat of in-demand languages, which many people start speaking more and more, as the speakers of smaller languages dwindle.

“Thousands of indigenous languages spoken around the world are being replaced by one of a dozen or so dominant world languages like English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese,” he says.

But Loh, who’s also a research associate at the Zoological Society of London, says that languages are dying off due to many of the same issues that plants and animals face. He comments:

“Some of the drivers that are driving the extinction of biodiversity — such as increasing global population, increasing consumption of natural resources, increasing globalization and so on — are applicable to languages as well…”

And that’s no coincidence. Loh explains that languages have a lot of specific local knowledge built in.

The vertical axis represents the number of nearly extinct indigenous languages; the number in blue its relation (in percent) to the total number of native languages still spoken in same country. (Source: National Geographic, 2013)

The Knowledge Embedded in Languages

“The cultures have evolved in a particular environmental context, so they have an extraordinary amount of traditional ecological knowledge — knowledge of the local species, plants, animals, the medicinal uses of them, the migration patterns of animals behaviour,”

So when the languages die off, much of that knowledge goes with them.

Then children stop learning the language, they also stop acquiring that traditional knowledge,” Loh says.

There are plenty of linguists who are studying and trying to preserve native languages, but Loh wants to see them work with biologists to make sure that valuable ecological history isn’t missed.

 “Linguists often don’t have the knowledge of natural history that’s necessary in order to be able to record an endangered language because so much of the lexicon is tied up with names of species or types of ecosystems,” he says.

He argues that:

“…if we can recognize that culture and nature are inextricably interlinked, then working on a biocultural diversity as a whole, as a subject, would be a more fruitful way of looking at conservation.”

The Link Between Culture and Nature

“One of the interesting findings was that where a species goes extinct — because the population of the species declines away to nothing — a language doesn’t go extinct because the population of speakers declines away to nothing, but usually because the speakers shift from their mother tongue to a second language, usually a more dominant one.”

An Aboriginal man from Laura, QLD; part of a Northern Australian ‘hotspot’ of dying languages.

 

Loh says languages are disappearing most quickly in Australia and the Americas.

“About three-quarters of the languages of the Americas are under the threat of extinction,” he says, and “95% of the indigenous aboriginal Australian languages are … declining extremely rapidly.”

“And, as with species,” he warns, “when a language is lost, it’s gone forever. You can never get it back.”

“There’s this extraordinary wealth of traditional ecological knowledge that’s bound up with a lot of the world’s indigenous languages, and I think it would be really useful to biologists in understanding how to manage natural ecosystems.”

Integrating Language and Knowledge

Over the past century alone, around 400 languages – about one every three months – have gone extinct, and most linguists estimate that 50% of the world’s remaining 6,500 languages will be gone by the end of this century, with some putting the figure as high as 90%. Today, the top ten languages in the world are spoken by around half of the world’s population. We could even be facing a future world where only one language is spoken globally, but while it’s important for everyone to understand each other, perhaps there’s a way we can preserve the wisdom of ancient languages at the same time.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

My Language is the Window to My Soul

Amazonian Elders Conclude Completion of First Indigenous Medical Encyclopaedia*

Muslims Launch the World’s First Islamic Sign Language Book*

Four Year Old Russian Girl Speaks 7 Languages, including Chinese and Arabic*

Indigenous Australia MP Gives Maiden Speech in Native Language*

Battle On To Keep Ambiguous Language about Family Out of Major UN Agreement*

Turkey-Iran: An Ancient Language Rediscovered

Basque: A 7,000 Year Old European Language and a People Exist

 

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

It Took a Nine-year-old Muslim Boy 35 Seconds to Rumble Theresa May*

By James Wright

 

It looks like even nine-year-olds can see through Theresa May. On ITV News, Hasnain Nawaz questioned the sitting Prime Minister’s ‘strong and stable’ sloganeering and called on her to “actually do something”:

Weak and wobbly?

Nawaz specified that he is not “following” May. In a display of raw, childhood common sense, he pointed out that May’s rhetoric does not match her actions:

“She’s not really doing anything to be honest, all she’s saying is ‘oh, this, oh, that, I’m strong,’ and all of this.

Well she’s not really doing anything by saying all of that is she?”

ITV invited Nawaz on the show after he asked Jeremy Corbyn a question about “strong and stable leadership” in Peterborough. He also explained why he felt “inspired” by Corbyn:

“He helps the homeless. Everyone talks about needing to help the homeless, well Jeremy Corbyn does it. School education… he does it all for me”

By contrast, May wants to take away free school meals for primary school pupils like Nawaz. She will replace them with breakfast, which amounts to another cut of £650m per year. Meanwhile, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) confirmed reports from teachers and parents that the Conservatives are bringing the  ‘deepest cuts’ to education for 30 years.

Joining Nawaz, a BBC Question Time audience member also hit out at the lack of substance in the Conservative campaign. The audience member said he’d bet his wife £10 that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green would say “coalition of chaos” and “strong and stable government” during his first contribution. It might be the easiest £10 he’s ever earned.

Robot rhetoric

The Conservative campaign indicates that his wife was up against terrible odds. During an interview with Radio Derby, Theresa May epitomised this. Host Chris Doidge asked the Prime Minister if she knew what a ‘mugwump’ was. Boris Johnson had used the word to personally attack Jeremy Corbyn earlier that day. Then, like a robot, May responded:

“What I recognise is that what we need in this country is strong and stable leadership.”

The collective face-palm was tangible. Journalists from The Sun and The Guardian alike expressed utter disbelief. The mindless catchphrase only highlights the Prime Minister’s inability to defend her party’s record:

Even nine-year-olds can see through May’s electioneering. From pretending opposition parties are blocking Brexit, to scapegoating E.U. interference in the election, almost all of the Conservatives’ movements amount to naked electioneering. Brexit is happening. It’s about what type of country we want to build outside the E.U. A civil meritocracy where everyone has the opportunity to succeed through universal education, healthcare and housing. Or a rigged economy where we rent our essential services from the already rich. Nawaz hasn’t reached double figures yet, but he gets it.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K PM to Create New Internet that would be Controlled and Regulated by Government*

U.K. PM Bows to Pressure to Spell out ‘Brexit Plan’ Details*

U.K’s New PM a Very Jewish Coup*

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Theresa May Alone in the Trump Debate U.K. Parliament Unites to Send its own Message*

Criminal Investigation Into U.K. Conservative Government*

Young Mothers are going Hungry so their Children can Eat in Theresa May’s Britain*

Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border*

The U.K. Establishment Toppling the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn*

Corbyn Triumphs as Cameron Fears Failure to Achieve Mandate on Invading Syria*

Corbyn Keeps his Promises to his Constituents, even if it means keeping the Queen Waiting*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Corbyn Turns PMQs into the People’s Question Time, and Cameron Flounders*

Why Corbyn Gained the Unlikely Support of Business*

U.K. Brexit Election 08 June 2017*

 

Sex Trafficking Victim Receives Compensation from Indian Gov’t*

Sex Trafficking Victim Receives Compensation from Indian Gov’t*

By Brianna Acuesta

This teenager, who was sold for sex by traffickers, just got paid by the government to go to school.

When Devi was a young girl, her life took a horrific turn when she became a victim of trafficking was sold for sex in Mumbai before being rescued. With the help of a shelter that saves and rehabilitates girls that have been trafficked for sex, Devi has recovered from this tragic part of her life as best she could and is now looking forward to the future.

Despite the taboo nature of women having sex before marriage in India, even if the intercourse was a result of rape or trafficking, Devi remains hopeful that she can still lead a fulfilling life doing what she loves by not allowing her past to define her. She has high hopes for her career, and has even declared that it’s her dream to become a doctor.

“I want to study science after high school. I know it is difficult, but I have the will to study. I was only unsure of the money,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Devi is currently living at the shelter that has helped her move forward from her time as a sex trafficking victim and was one of thousands of girls to send a request to the government of the western state of Maharashtra for compensation to pay for her schooling. The government recently deposited 75,000 rupees ($1,150) into Devi’s bank account to help pay for school, and she will receive another 225,000 rupees when she turns 18.

 

Maharashtra is one of the many states in India that has a high rate of girls and women being trafficked and sexually abused or sold, some as young as 6 years old after being abducted or sold by their own parents. As India faces pressure, both externally and internally, to crack down on perpetrators of trafficking and sexual violence as well as provide safe havens and compensation for victims, each state has developed its own program for how to combat these horrible crimes.

The state developed a financial aid scheme in 2013 to compensate victims of rape, sexual assault, and acid attacks, but its scheme is set to be reviewed as it isn’t yielding the results that human rights advocates hoped for. In the last few years, the state has received 7,500 requests for compensation and they have offered payments to 4,500 girls. However, Devi was one of the first to actually receive her payments, as with most other cases the government has claimed that there is a lack of funding. Devi’s success can in part be attributed to the International Justice Mission, who has worked with her for the last two years by following up endlessly with different departments.

“This is the first time compensation has come through for a case with our follow-up. We are now encouraged and are pursuing compensation for four to five other cases of minor victims who are eligible for compensation,” said Melissa Walavalkar, IJM’s director of Justice Solutions.

This is especially promising for the others that the IJM is representing, but for the thousands of other girls still waiting for financial aid, the wait could be endless. Human rights groups also point to some of the restrictions in the scheme as being unfair, like the rule that only girls who were abused during the time that the scheme started and onwards are eligible. One lawyer, Wesley Menezes, has been tirelessly fighting this stipulation because he is representing a then-13-year-old girl who was raped and forced to marry her rapist to ‘avoid shame’ in 2012, just before the scheme started.

However, the fact that a payment has been made at all proves that the scheme could be promising, though not in its current form. Critics are hoping that a review of the scheme will open up the payments to more women and girls and that more funding will be made available to actually deliver the payments.

Source*

Related Topics:

India’s Top Court Upholds Death Sentences for 2012 Delhi Gang Rape Convicts*

Rape, Jews, and Bollywood*

10-Year-Old Schoolgirl Set on Fire, Thrown into Dry Well for Fighting Off Gang Rape

Rape in India Gains Its Rightful Status*

 

Britain Collapses to 156th Place for the Human Rights of Children*

Britain Collapses to 156th Place for the Human Rights of Children*

This is quite extraordinary. At first, I thought this was some sort of ‘fake news’ article. Worryingly, it isn’t. Austerity – a Conservative ideology that recklessly bailed out banks then socialised the debt has had dramatic effects upon civil society, demonstrated no better than the plummet in the overall welfare of Britain’s children in recent years. But this increase in child poverty is now of epidemic dimensions – and should be treated like one.

Nearly half of children are now living in poverty in some parts of the U.K., research by the End Child Poverty coalition has found. An unbelievable 100,000 are unfortunately added to this miserable category each year, and the government’s own statistics now show one third of all children in Britain are living in poverty.

No mention of a concerted effort by politicians to bring this scandal to an end in any manifesto; itself a damning indictment of those in power.

“Austerity measures have reduced provision of a range of services that protect and fulfil children’s rights including health and child and adolescent mental health services; education; early years; preventive and early intervention services; and youth services. “

By Kitty Jones

The Index gathers data from UNICEF and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to identify global trends in the arena of children’s rights protection. It comprises a ranking for all U.N. member states that have ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, a total of 165 countries.

The report says that a nation’s prosperity does not always guarantee children’s rights. Interestingly, economically better performing countries are not necessarily doing a better job when it comes to safeguarding the rights of children.

This year’s overall worst performing countries are the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Vanuatu, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Central African Republic.

Very serious concerns have been raised about structural discrimination in the UK. Muslim children are facing increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures, and a rise in discrimination against gypsy and refugee children in recent years.

The KidsRights Index is comprised of 5 domains: 

  1. Right to Life
  2. Right to Health
    3. Right to Education
    4. Right to Protection
    5. Enabling Environment for Child Rights

Marc Dullaert, founder and chairman of the KidsRights Foundation, has urged the U.K. government to treat non-discrimination as a policy priority, and to speed up the process of aligning its child protection laws with the Convention on the Rights of the Child at both the national and devolved levels, as well as in all crown dependencies.

He said: “Discrimination against vulnerable groups of children and youths is severely hampering opportunities for future generations to reach their full potential.” 

“Following the general election, the new government should demonstrate to the world that it will not allow the retreat from the E.U. to adversely affect the rights and opportunities of its children.” 

In light of the findings, Lord Philip Hunt, shadow deputy leader of the House of Lords and shadow health spokesperson, accused the Government of “inactivity” and “inadequate service provision”, urging it to do more to protect the rights of the child.

He said: “This report exposes the inactivity of the current U.K. government and inadequate service provision in this most important area of policy making; rights of the child.” 

“The U.K. is the sixth largest economy globally and therefore has the resources at its disposal to ensure that our children are adequately protected and cared for across multiple disciplines. Our children are our future and the barometer of our approach to social justice and the state of our society.”

Although many states have adopted new children’s rights policies in recent years, the Index reveals that implementation is often not evident, and many new policies fail to fully comply with the principles and provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Index rates and ranks the extent to which a country has implemented the general principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child while taking into account the basic infrastructure for making and implementing children’s rights policies. Portugal is this year’s global top ranking nation, with France, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Spain also ranking in the top ten.

The Index methodology means that extremely poor performances in one domain cannot be compensated by higher scores in other domains, as all of areas children’s rights are deemed to be equally important.

The report concluded that many industrialised nations, and especially the U.K., are falling far short of allocating sufficient budgets towards creating a stable environment for children’s rights, by neglecting their leadership responsibilities and failing to invest in the rights of children to the best of their abilities.

Human rights and the impact of childhood poverty

Earlier this month, another damning report published by the Royal College of Paediatrics, Child Health (RCPCH) and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) revealed that more than two-thirds of paediatricians believe poverty and low income contribute “very much” to the ill health of children that they work with.

The report – Poverty and child health: views from the frontline – is based on a survey of more than 250 paediatricians across the country, whose comments provide an insight into the grave reality of life for the millions of UK children living in poverty.

Latest figures show that more than one in four (nearly 4 million) children in the U.K. live in poverty – with projections suggesting this could rise to 5 million by the end of the decade.

The report explores number of areas including food insecurity, poor housing and worry, stress and stigma – and the effect of these issues on the health of children.

The report reveals that:

  • more than two-thirds of paediatricians surveyed said poverty and low income contribute ‘very much’ to the ill health of children they work with
  • housing problems or homelessness were a concern for two-thirds of respondents.
  • more than 60% said food insecurity contributed to the ill health amongst children they treat 3
  • 40% had difficulty discharging a child in the last 6 months because of concerns about housing or food insecurity
  • more than 50% of respondents said that financial stress and worry contribute ‘very much’ to the ill health of children they work with

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“Day in, day out doctors see the damage rising poverty does to children’s health. Their disquiet comes through in the survey findings and should sound alarms for the next government. Low family incomes, inadequate housing and cuts to support services are jeopardising the health of our most vulnerable children.

“We can and must do better to protect the well-being of future generations. reinstating the U.K.’s poverty-reduction targets would be an obvious place to start.” 

Professor Russell Viner, Officer for Health Promotion at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

“Poverty has a devastating effect on child health and this report makes disturbing reading. The health impact on children living in poverty is significant – whether that’s increased likelihood of respiratory problems, mental ill-health or obesity – than children living in more affluent areas.

“Worryingly, almost half of those surveyed feel the problem is getting worse, with the combination of increasing poverty, housing problems and cuts to services meaning more families are struggling.”  

The RCPCH and CPAG are calling on whoever forms the next Government to tackle poverty urgently through:

  • the restoration of binding national targets to reduce child poverty, backed by a national child poverty strategy
  • the adoption of a ‘child health in all policies’ approach to decision making and policy development, with Her Majesty’s Treasury disclosing information about the impact of the Chancellor’s annual budget statement on child poverty and inequality
  • the reversal of public health cuts to ensure universal early years services, including health visiting and school nursing, are prioritised and supported financially, with additional targeted help for children and families experiencing poverty
  • the reversal of cuts to universal credit which will leave the majority of families claiming this benefit worse off.

As one survey respondent said: “We cannot expect to have a healthy future for the U.K. if we leave children behind. Poverty makes children sick.”

There were 3.9 million children living in “relative poverty” in 2014-15, up from 3.7 million a year earlier, according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The report follows the release of  figures from the DWP which revealed one in four (nearly four million) children in the U.K. live in poverty – with projections suggesting this could rise to five million by the end of the decade.

It’s not as if the government have been unaware of the consequences of their policies and the implications of a consistent failure to uphold the UK’s human rights obligations towards children. In 2014, the Children’s Commissioner warned that the increasing inequality resulting from the austerity cuts, and in particular, the welfare reforms, means that Britain is now in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is supposed to protect children from the adverse effects of government economic measures.

In 2015, the Children’s Commissioner criticised the Conservative’s tax credit cuts and called for measures to reduce the impact that the changes will have on the poorest children. Anne Longfield, who took up her role on 1 March 2015, called on the government to exempt 800,000 children under five from tax credit cuts and to offer additional support to families with a child under five-years-old.

The role of Children’s Commissioner was established under Labour’s Children Act in 2004 to be the independent voice of children and young people and to champion their interests and bring their concerns and views to the national arena. The Commissioner’s work must take regard of children’s rights (the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and seek to improve the wellbeing of children and young people.

However, the government rejected the findings of what they deemed the “partial, selective and misleading” Children’s Commissioner report. The Commissioner wrote to the Chancellor to call for children in the poorest families aged under five to be protected from the cuts.

However, George Osborne shamefully remained brazenly unrepentant.

A damning joint report written by the four United Kingdom Children’s Commissioners for the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child’s examination of the U.K.’s Fifth Periodic Report under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), dated 14 August 2015, says, in its overall assessment of the U.K.’s record:

“The Children’s Commissioners are concerned that the U.K. State Party’s response to the global economic downturn, including the imposition of austerity measures and changes to the welfare system, has resulted in a failure to protect the most disadvantaged children and those in especially vulnerable groups from child poverty, preventing the realisation of their rights under Articles 26 and 27 UNCRC. 

The best interests of children were not central to the development of these policies and children’s views were not sought. 

Reductions to household income for poorer children as a result of tax, transfer and social security benefit changes have led to food and fuel poverty, and the sharply increased use of crisis food bank provision by families. In some parts of the U.K. there is insufficient affordable decent housing which has led to poorer children living in inadequate housing and in temporary accommodation.

Austerity measures have reduced provision of a range of services that protect and fulfil children’s rights including health and child and adolescent mental health services; education; early years; preventive and early intervention services; and youth services. 

The Commissioners are also seriously concerned at the impact of systematic reductions to legal advice, assistance and representation for children and their parents/carers in important areas such as prison law; immigration; private family law; and education. This means that children are denied access to remedies where their rights have been breached.

The Commissioners are also concerned at the future of the human rights settlement in the United Kingdom due to the U.K. Government’s intention to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law; replace it with a British Bill of Rights (the contents of which are yet to be announced), and ‘break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights’.

The HRA has been vital in promoting and protecting the rights of children in the United Kingdom and the European Court of Human Rights has had an important role in developing the protection offered to children by the ECHR.The Commissioners are concerned that any amendment or replacement of the HRA is likely to be regressive.”

In another regressive and punitive policy move by the government, from April 6 2017, child tax credits and universal credit across the U.K. will be restricted to the first two children in a family. This measure will affect all households with two or more children that have an additional child after this date.

Analysis by consultancy Policy in Practice revealed a low-income family whose third or additional child is born before midnight on the day before the policy came into force would qualify for up to £50,000 in tax credit support over 18 years whereas a similar family whose third child is born on April 6 will miss out.

The government says it wants to save money and make the tax credit system “fairer”. It intends the two-child restriction to “influence the behaviour” of less well-off families by making them “think twice” about having a third child. But it also accepts there is no evidence to suggest this will happen.

This is an extremely regressive eugenic policy, with its emphasis being on social class. Eugenics was discredited following its terrible escalation and consequences in Nazi Germany.

The two children only policy also a reflects a politically motivated form of crude behaviourism –  behaviour modification through the use of financial punishments. It’s probably true that all authoritarians and tyrants are behaviourists of sorts.

Critics say that at current birth rates, 100,000 third or subsequent children will not qualify for tax credit support over the next 12 months, inflating child poverty figures by at least 10% by 2020.

Social Darwinism is linked closely with eugenic ideas – a view that society and economics will naturally “check” the problem of dysgenics if no welfare policies are in place.

The Conservative government has steadily dismantled the welfare state over the past seven years, so that now, there is no longer adequate support provision for people both in work and out of work, to meet their basic living needs.

The current retrogressive, draconian approach to poverty needs to radically change if we are to be a nation that respects and upholds the human rights of all its citizens.

Source*

Related Topics:

Quest to Kill Human Rights Act in U.K.*

U.K. is at Bottom Of O.E.C.D. In Healthcare – But Leaders Still Deny Austerity Is to Blame*

If the Noose is Still Tightening and, you Still Think It’s Austerity, the Former Governor of the Bank of England Will Tell You*

Engineered National Health Service Meltdown in the U.K.*

Bank Bail-outs Behind Behind U.K.’s Collapsing Public Services*

Police Chief Confirms Fmr U.K. Prime Minister Raped Dozens of Children and Govt ‘Covered it Up’*

Thousands of U.K. Parents to take Children out of School in Protest*

U.K. Secretively Scraps Free Meal Grants for Poorest Primary School Children*

U.K. to Put Fluoride in Milk for School Children*

U.K. Police Target Schoolchildren as Young as 4 with Tax Payer Funded, Transgender Propaganda*

Sexual Assaults on Children Rise to 85 a Day in the U.K.*

U.K. Setting Children up for Failure*

Being Driven Insane, Mentally Ill Children Kept in U.K. Prisons*

Young Mothers are going Hungry so their Children can Eat in Theresa May’s Britain*

Britain’s Hunger Crisis Sparks First Student-Led Food Bank*

Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins

Among First Nations Youth, Hip-Hop Is a Tool for Self-Expression and Cultural Preservation*

Among First Nations Youth, Hip-Hop Is a Tool for Self-Expression and Cultural Preservation*

 

By Eduardo Avila

 

Recording session for the “Home to Me” song – Grassy Narrows First Nation.

 

Young people from First Nations communities across Canada are reflecting on issues that are important to them through hip-hop, thanks to a series of travelling workshops.

As part of the N’we Jinan tour, workshops leaders have been taking mobile music studios directly to schools and youth centers to teach songwriting, recording, audio and video production, and live performance to youth groups since 2014.

The original workshops were led by David Hodges, a Montreal-based educator, who worked with 10 Cree communities in Northern Quebec, and later started to collaborate with the Cree hip-hop group The NorthStars. The workshop model starts off with conversations with the young attendees to explore topics such as “cultural identity, language, struggle, love, self-acceptance,” or whatever else is on their mind. They then use these issues as inspiration for songs and videos, with the youth in starring roles. Due to the workshops’ popularity, the team also has been working with other First Nations communities in British Columbia, and was invited to organize a similar workshop with the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska in the United States.

For example, this video from the ‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School in Kitsumkalum First Nation, British Columbia, tells the story of the Highway 16 or the “Highway of Tears,” a stretch of road in Western Canada where almost two dozen young women, mostly indigenous, have disappeared or have been murdered. The cases mostly remain unsolved.

This next video from Nemaska Cree First Nation uses a video game theme to communicate the importance of maintaining traditional customs and practices despite globalization’s influences.

And while there are varying degrees of First Nations language fluency among the youth that participate, many of the song titles are in the native language. In this song recorded in Whapmagoostui Cree First Nation, the song’s chorus is sung in the Cree language. The young people involved received some help from Gary Jolly from the Northstars hip-hip group, who lent them a verse in Eastern James Bay Cree.

On the N’we Jinan Facebook Page, a transcription of the verse was provided, along with the English-language translation:

Sometimes I feel like no ever cares about me,
but I’m still going to try to continue to walk my days on earth
this is the day you’ll hear our scream,
cause we lost our way in life as youth
but I believe that one day we will rise
I don’t want to see them live a bad life
so they can grow and lead our youth as well
so they can do as the creator destined them to

Within the same comments section, reader and Cree-language advocate Kevin Broussard also made a contribution of the transcription of the verse using the syllabics writing system (also published on his blog and republished with permission):

ᒬᐦᒡ ᐁᑳ ᒥᑐᓐ ᐁ ᐱᓯᔅᑳᑎᑲᐎᔮᓐ ᐁ ᐃᑌᔨᐦᑕᒫᓐ
ᓲᐦᒃ ᒫᒃ ᓂᑲ ᑯᒋᐦᑖᓐ ᐆᑕᐦ ᐊᔅᒌᐦᒡ ᒉ ᐱᒧᐦᑌᔮᓐ
ᐊᓄᐦᒌᔥ ᒋᑲ ᐯᐦᑕᐎᓈᐙᐤ ᐁ ᐊᔮᔑᐦᑴᔮᐦᒡ
ᒬᐦᒡ ᐊᓐᑌ ᐁ ᐗᓂᔑᓂᔮᐦᒡ ᑖᓐ ᐁᔑᓈᑯᓯᔮᐦᒡ ᐁ ᐅᔥᒋᓃᒌᐎᔮᐦᒡ
ᒥᒄ ᓂᑖᐺᐦᑌᓐ ᐯᔭᑯ ᒌᔑᑳᐤ ᒉ ᐸᓯᑰᑣᐤ
ᒨᔾ ᓂᐐ ᐙᐸᐦᑌᓐ ᓇᑕᐐᔾ ᐁ ᐃᔑ ᐱᒫᑎᓰᑣᐤ
ᒉ ᓂᐦᑖᐎᒋᑣᐤ ᐁ ᓃᑳᓂᔥᑲᐙᑣᐤ ᐅᔥᒋᓃᒋᐤᐦ ᑲᔦ ᐐᔭᐙᐤ
ᒉ ᑑᑕᐦᒀᐤ ᑖᓐ ᑳ ᐃᑕᔓᒥᑯᑣ ᒋᔐᒪᓂᑑᐦ

It was difficult to choose just three videos to feature that showcase the creativity of these First Nations communities. All of the songs from the project can be found on the N’we Jinan YouTube channel. Five compilation CDs from the various workshops have also been released.

Source*

Related Topics:

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Ex-NYPD Cop Gets 15 Months for Pimping Hundreds of Women to Elite*

Ex-NYPD Cop Gets 15 Months for Pimping Hundreds of Women to Elite*

Michael Rizzi was arrested last year when it was discovered he operated 58 escort service websites.

By Jack Burns

There are only eight counties in the United States where prostitution is legal, all in Nevada. But that didn’t stop one retired police officer, who was drawing disability and receiving a pension, from starting up his own escort service, raking in millions of dollars in the process.

Unfortunately for Michael Rizzi (45), his fellow law enforcement officers found out about it and put a stop to it. Rizzi was arrested last year when it was discovered he operated 58 escort service websites.

The Department of Homeland Security investigated Rizzi and arrested him at his Brooklyn home in May of 2016. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 14 months in prison for money laundering.

After he serves his time, the dirty ex-cop will spend four months in home confinement and two years probation. He forfeited over $120,000 in cash as well as his Florida vacation home.

Reportedly, Rizzi raked in millions upon millions of dollars and laundered the money through a vast system of shell corporations connected to organized crime. DHS can hardly be pleased with only recovering a little over one hundred thousand dollars. All of which begs the question, “Where’s the rest of the money?”

Also concerning to some was the fact the former police officer wasn’t charged with running an illegal prostitution ring. His lawyer reportedly defended his client’s actions saying the only business with which he was engaged was an escort service and the women knew there were not obligated to perform sexual favours for clients.

Rizzi’s business was called BJM Manhatten Stakes and Entertainment and directed interested Johns to call booking agents to set up the dates with high paid escorts earning as little as $600 per hour with one reportedly bringing in $25,000 in one 24 hour period.

Judge Carol Amon presided over the criminal case and ordered his assets seized, which included the websites as well. U.S. Attorney Bridget Rhode reflected on the life of the former law enforcement officer.

“Michael Rizzi left behind a life of law enforcement for a new career in which he flagrantly disregarded the law and exploited others for his own enrichment…This office is committed to dismantling money laundering organizations, including those which promote and capitalize on illegal prostitution.”

If it’s true Mr. Rizzi took in millions; then the Feds walked away with very little to show for their investigative efforts. Web sites can be replaced, as well as the home and the chump change confiscated.

But those who are caught up in human trafficking, who may have unwillingly worked for Rizzi at one time or another, may be the real victims in the former law enforcement officer’s shady schemes.

For those who want to go down the rabbit hole into conspiracy theories, one could ask the question why the Feds chose not to investigate the prostitution ring, and its connections to wealthy clients, such as politicians, billionaires, etc.

After all, in the very beginning, the Feds made it clear they were only concerned with the money laundering, a crime for which the federal government receives no revenue. Homeland Security Investigations Assistant in Charge Steven Schrank said, “At the end of the day, we’re focused on the money laundering and organized crime connections to this investigation.”

Schrank claimed Rizzi “moved multiple millions of dollars through shell corporations that operated in and out of New York, and in the financial crime arena, we’re very concerned about the movement of illicit proceeds through shell corporations.”

Absent from his concerns were any mention of the human assets who, one could say, were trafficked from John to John, whether or not they did so willingly or not.
Maybe the answer to the question of why the Feds chose to go after the money instead of The Who’s Who of clients comes from Rizzi’s own admission. He reportedly bragged, “I’m number one for a reason…I get the most business, my girls make the most money, my clients are the wealthiest people in the world.”

In the Land of the Free, it is against the law to get paid to have sex, unless that sex is filmed, distributed on DVD, and taxed. One of the least talked about systems of oppression in the U.S. is that of persecuting prostitutes.

When referencing prostitution, we are talking about the mutually beneficial exchange of sexual favors for money by two or more consenting partners; not forced human trafficking.

It’s called the “oldest profession in the world” for a reason. Sex is a basic human need. One need only observe the explosive population growth of humans in the last 10,000 years to see that desire to mate is inherent in each and everyone one of us.

When one takes this into consideration, the notion of outlawing consensual sex is seen for what it is, sheer insanity.

Just like the war on drugs creates crime by pushing the unending demand for illicit substances into the black market, the war on the sex trade creates crime in the same manner.

Because the demand for sex is pushed into dark alleys and late night street corners, a woman working in the sex trade becomes far more vulnerable than if they were legally allowed to operate out of brick and mortar setups. This danger of working on the street drives the need for protection from pimps who are often more abusive than any customer would be.

Despite the tens of thousands of arrests each year, the market has found a way to provide the service of sex using safer solutions. In spite of the laws, sellers of sex have found ways to safely conduct business by setting up “massage” parlors, using phone books, and, of course, the internet — like Rizzi.
Besides being an immoral gang of thieves, the state is also relentless. They have deep pockets of extorted tax dollars of which to dig in to enforce their distorted will on the people.

Despite prostitution arrests dropping from 2001 to 2010, the cost of arresting people for sex remains staggeringly high. Individual cities continue to spend up to $23 million a year stopping people from having voluntary sex.

Meanwhile, involuntary sex goes uninvestigated at an alarming rate. Hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting in police departments across the country — collecting dust, as cops petition the government to allow them to have sex with prostitutes so they can then bust them.

In police state USA, truth is stranger than fiction.
Source*

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Uruguay Confiscates 500 Policemen’s Guns over Gender Violence*

She was a Sex Slave to Europe’s Elite at Age 6*

Motherhood and Marginalization: The Oppressive History of the Birth Industry*

Motherhood and Marginalization: The Oppressive History of the Birth Industry*

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout

 

By Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez

To say that the birth industry is mostly white would be an extreme understatement. Less than 4 percent of registered nurse midwives are African American, around 1 percent are of Asian descent and less than 1 percent are Latina according to a recent survey. A low level of representation is an issue in many industries, but in the birth world it is particularly problematic. The pervasive whiteness of the birth industry leads to culturally incompetent care that fuels the negative outcomes that women of colour face both directly and indirectly. Low levels of cultural awareness lead to stereotyping and assumptions that fail to consider Black, Latina, Asian American, Arab American and Indigenous women’s unique circumstances and perpetuate ineffective methods of care. As a result, white values and experiences have interpenetrated the birth world and further isolated women of color.

Black mothers in particular have a maternal mortality rate that is more than four times the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is an average of 12.1 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women, 40.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women, and 16.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for “women of other races” (the CDC report does not break this number down further). Meanwhile Black babies have an infant mortality rate that is more than two times the national average.

Despite efforts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat maternal and infant mortality, maternal mortality rates in the United States continue to worsen, unlike those in other wealthy countries.

Among the multitude of factors that have created this health crisis, toxic stress and the emotional manifestations of racism are key elements. Women of colour are substantially more likely to deal with poverty, face language barriers and have limited access to health care. All of these make it difficult to receive adequate care. These environmental…

Among the multitude of factors that have created this health crisis, toxic stress and the emotional manifestations of racism are key elements. Women of color are substantially more likely to deal with poverty, face language barriers and have limited access to health care. All of these make it difficult to receive adequate care. These environmental stressors are often overlooked by white birth workers who work with women of colour.

This oversight was perfectly illustrated when Ina May Gaskin, a well-known natural birth advocate, answered questions about race and maternal mortality during a Birth Roundup hosted by Texas Birth Networks. After registered nurse Tasha Portley inquired about the connection between race and maternal mortality, Gaskin gave a roundabout answer that ultimately denied the impact of systemic racism on maternal care for mothers of colour. Instead of addressing the combination of race and poverty, she spoke to the issues of poor white women, saying:

“You couldn’t look at our numbers and have anything useful to say about it because the number of African American women would’ve been rather low. Poverty, we’ve got that covered. We were some of the poorest.”

After she danced around the question, Portley informed her that once nutrition, smoking and finances were accounted for, race was a strong influencer of outcomes. In response, however, Gaskin merely emphasized the importance of prayer in managing stress. In reflecting on how unresponsive Gaskin’s comment was, Portley later commented,

“We [Black women] are one of the most religious people on the planet.”

Gaskin’s icon status has the ability to pass this culturally insensitive rhetoric on to the next generation of white birth workers. As a matter of fact, the room, filled with white birth workers, was unfazed and chuckled in affirmation of Gaskin’s comments.

One Black birth worker speaking out in a sea of whiteness is a sample reflective of the birth industry. The lack of awareness and the cultural insensitivity that was displayed here is symbolic of the experiences of women of color across the nation. White birth workers are often unfamiliar with the consequences of systemic racism and look to class alone as the cause of health disparities. Even when women of color give firsthand accounts of our experiences, the birth industry ignores us.

Clearly, the high mortality rates are much more than a class issue — Black women with advanced degrees are more likely to lose their babies than white women with high school diplomas.

Nikia Lawson is a birth worker of colour located in Fort Worth, Texas, where the Birth Roundup took place. According to Lawson, above all else, it is most important to “trust Black women when it comes to their bodies.” Lawson works to fight health disparities in the birth community by educating mothers on pregnancy and postpartum care.

“Birth workers of colour have found ourselves in a position to really educate and shift the final birth outcomes of the expectant woman, who pretty much looks like us, who have experiences similar to ours — and we primarily understand the situations that our expectant mothers face,” Lawson told Truthout.

After hearing Gaskin’s comments, Lawson took to her Facebook page, which is filled with both Black and white birth workers from around the world, to address the importance of collaborative effort in creating change.

What would change look like? For Black women, we need birth workers who understand we exist at the intersection of history, race, gender and reproductive health.

In Texas, where Lawson lives, the maternal mortality rate is not only the highest in the United States, but also the highest in the industrial world. Black women account for 11.4% of births in Texas but 28.8% of deaths.

Upon speaking to Lawson, it became clear the birth industry was not created with women of colour in mind. She explained that the birth industry was established by white men and women, who “researched the impact of birth support [in] Indigenous culture, then brought the concept back to western society and began training women to serve.” Indigenous women and other women of colour already had traditional methods for supporting birthing women that the newly trained white midwives drew upon heavily. In the early 1920s when many of these changes in the birth industry began, white women were in a better position to afford birth services outside of the home. As a result, the new developments in the birth industry mostly impacted white women.

The Rise of the Professional (White) Midwife

Birth workers of colour have always existed.

Prior to 1921, in the south, Black lay midwives — often known as “granny midwives” — provided medical care to poor and rural pregnant women. The Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921 was an attempt to create a more professional education path for birth workers that reduced mortality. Instead, it resulted in more obstacles for midwives, particularly Black women, to continue their work. Suddenly, a smear campaign portrayed lay midwives as dirty, uneducated and unqualified to handle births. Not unexpectedly, the discrediting of midwives was often rooted in racist ideas.  “Filthy and ignorant and not far removed from the jungles of Africa,” were the descriptors used by the director of the Board of Health, Felix Underwood, in 1926 in reference to Black midwives. (Strangely, Underwood himself facilitated midwifery programs.) In other words, racially based preconceptions, in addition to attacks from “professional” obstetrics, played a key part in the downfall of lay midwifery.

The newly emerged professional midwife was portrayed in a pristine white uniform to signify both sterile practices and a lack of individuality. It was apparent that midwives were now regulated followers of modern medicine. Even after training, Black midwives served as a placeholder until enough nurses were trained to assist obstetricians with births.

Midwives were also expected to serve as race gatekeepers during birth. Walter Plecker, a physician, county registrar and later state registrar of [Bureau of] Vital Statistics in Virginia enlisted midwives to “police the women they assisted so that no mixed-race children got the opportunity to ‘pass’ into the white world.” Filling out birth registers became primary concerns, and those who did this “incorrectly” lost their licenses.

Black midwives were placed between two contradicting systems. On one hand, they were supposed to assist in reducing maternal and infant mortality in their communities of origin. On another, they were used within the oppressive system that created these disparities to ensure no racial mixing. As expected, a system that gives high levels of effort to segregation of races has no time for culturally-sensitive care. From the institutionalization of midwifery, all matters of culture would be expected to take a back seat to enforcing systemic oppression. The numbers of Black midwives dwindled, but prior to this, the culture and spiritual nature of midwifery had already receded. The percentage of births attended by midwives in Richmond, Virginia, fell from 41 percent in 1907 to 18 percent in 1922. At the same time, doctor-attended births increased from 59 percent to 82 percent, according to “Maternal Mortality in Richmond: A Preliminary Survey” published in 1923 by C.C. Hudson and M.P. Rucker in the Virginia Medical Monthly. Over time, lay midwives were replaced by white nurses with higher levels of medical training.

Eventually, the industry became overwhelmingly dominated by white birth workers and practices that aligned with whiteness. Moreover, this shift decreased representation of midwives of color in the field and limited women of color’s access to midwives, since they could no longer afford home birth services. Soon the industry shift led to nearly 99 percent of US babies being born in hospitals.

In the face of these changes, what can be done to support birth parents of colour in the current moment?

“I think the best way to combat the issue of maternal mortality is to continue to educate moms about their options for their childbirth experience,”

Lawson said, explaining that many people are unaware that it’s possible to access birth support outside what is offered in the hospital.

However, in the last 30 years, the birth industry has been changing.

“Now, birth workers of colour are seeking to support marginalized, disadvantaged, disproportionately affected communities that have adverse birth outcomes,” explained Lawson.

Black birth workers and other birth workers of color must not only create spaces to work within their own communities — they must reclaim a tradition that was wiped out by hate-based standardization. Ina May Gaskin’s comments were neither surprising nor unusual — they were the product of an industry that wasn’t established with Black women’s benefit in mind. The birth industry was never intended to serve women of color. It was created to police and reinforce an oppressive system. Acknowledging the whiteness of the birth industry means coming to terms with this fact and finding a way to transform an anti-Black institution.

Source*

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