1$ VOLUME 3, EDITION 1
OPIRG’S Zine Editorial collective:
Rewa Mourad, Ishmaella Janvier, Mohamed Mehdi, Cassandra Sinot, Mohamed Kechacha, Ronda, María & Marcelo
Maria Camila Segura Camacho & MSV
Fida Abou-Nassif (Organizational Development and Financial Coordinator); María Basualdo (Research Coordinator); Ronda Brock (Action Groups Coordinator); Padraic O’Brien (Campus Relations Coordinator); and Jacob (Mowega) Wawatie, Rachèle Prud’homme, Dorothy Meness & Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas (Circle of Elders)
Visit our website: www.opirg-gripo.ca Find us in Facebook: Opirg-Gripo Ottawa Find us in Twitter: @opirggripo
Contents Ontario Public Intereset Research Group................................. 3 Indigenous deep Constitutional instructions............................. 4 Sanctuary cities....................................................... 12 Statelessness review ONU............................................... 14 Chaudière Falls, international case study.............................. 17 Ecology of Chaudière Falls............................................. 20 Pollinators and Bumblebees............................................. 21 Spatial Technologies for social change................................. 23 Trans Femenine Spectrum Project........................................ 25
ONTARIO PUBLIC INTERESET RESEARCH GROUP OPIRG is a student-levied organization based on uOttawa campus that works on research, education and action around social, environmental and economic justice. We facilitate and support campus and community activism and strive to work under an anti-oppressive framework. We are run with the help of five permanent staff and an elected Board of Directors. In this specific Zine magazine we offer a guide with basic information on some of the main ongoing social struggles in the area, as well as available non-oppressive and nurturing spaces and resources. We also include the wisdom of other Indigenous nations, as well Algonquin teachings.
INDIGENOUS DEEP CONSTITUTIONAL INSTRUCTIONS BY MARCELO SAAVEDRA-VARGAS Dedicated to my Jachajila1 Jacob Mowegan Wawatie
Indigenous cultures who have been living in peace and harmony with their surroundings are Mature Cultures. If you are reading this Zine, it is highly probable you are on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory. This portion of Turtle Island has been inhabited by the Anishinaabe mature culture for thousands of years, and have understood and embraced their prudent ways; I call them Mature Cultures as contrasted with the young Western industrial civilization, that behaves like an arrogant and (self-) destructive adolescent. We just know that Anishinaabe culture has been on the land from the beginning and know it very well, as any child knows her/his mother. Our Great Mother has always blessed their passage through these lands and provided everything they needed. This is why a core subset of the original instructions are love and respect, which they devoted to the land for all this time, until the European invaders came and imposed their way of life and thinking on the land. The Alqonquin nation constituted themselves by following the sacred instructions contained in their cosmic constitution that is the land herself. They call this land: Turtle Island. According to what my beloved friend and brother Jacob (Mowegan) Wawatie showed and taught me, all the parameters to become “good humans”2 were found on how the land and the waters relate to the mystical Turtle. It was a fascinating experience being led by Jacob when he was walking on his territory, usually travelling to Kokomville Academy (where he shared with younger generations the Anishinaabe way of a living educational system). Jacob would use the medium-sized shell of a turtle to recognize where he was and set his complete itinerary. Yes, you read right! He didn’t use maps or GPS devices other than the shell of a humble snap turtle and he could understand all the features of the land and walk accordingly. We never got lost. Because our Indian minds are more concerned with precision (and not with exactitude, like the Western mind), Jacob would sometimes need the teachings of the tree nation to make sure the 1. Jachajila, in aymara, wiser and older brother. 2. Anishinaabe basically means the good people.
shell was not mistaken, and he would just grab any maple leaf and make sure where we were.
Turtle Island is not only a metaphor (and a beautiful one, for that), it is also the Constitution of Indigenous Peoples living on the back of the Turtle. The original instructions Gitchie Manitou left for the Good People to become proper people of the land are to be found and precisely interpreted by people who are mature enough to live lovingly and respectfully on the land. By contrast, Eurocentric minds have been on these lands for no more than 500 years and have managed to bring our own species, along with many others, to the brink of extinction. They call this the Anthropocene, the geological era named after a fraction of humans that began their stay by believing all the blessings of Mother Earth were there for grabs, calling them ‘resources’ and automatically transforming them into merchandise to be bought and sold in the vile capitalist market. The Anthropocene, for my Indian self, is more like the era of profanity and I actually call it the Stultuscene.3 In the same manner, Andean and Amazonian Indigenous peoples walk lightly and lovingly on our Mother (Pachamama, in Aymara), in the Abya-Yala (mistakenly called “Latin America”4. Our Constitution as Andean/Amazonian humans is found and ‘read’ in the skies. For peoples below the equator, it is very clear in the skies in what is known in Western cosmological depictions and nomenclature as the Crux or Southern Cross. To be precise we found it close to the “zone of avoidance” near what is known as the Great Attractor (we still need furhter investigation of this), but we call this cosmic space Ticcsi Muyu and believe our Creator 3. The geological era of stupidity. 4. The original peoples of the Abya-Yala did not have anything to do with Latin roots, and America was named after an Italian financier and cartographer claimed to have been on the Brazilian coast. His name was used in the feminine form in the Waldesemuller map, the first European map that depicted the so-called “New World”).
and Nurturer inhabits there (Wiraxocha). The Constitution of our Indigenous nations is found and can be “read” in the skies. We observed that the Crux had two arms and the relation of the longer arm was such that a sacred measurement was precisely taken, and we called it e’ka. This sacred measurement was used throughout the Inka Confederacy to build our buildings and design all aspects of our culture (from meals to dances). The e’ka is the square root of 2, it couldn’t be otherwise, because extracting the root of something is trying to understand its essence: thus, √2. We have known this since ancestral times because even before the establishment of the Inka Confederacy, my Andean ancestors, including the Aymara people, use to utilize the sacred geometry to make their precise calculations in the skies. Circular constructions and/or buildings were dedicated either to the female or male force fields. Those that followed a circular design were meant to acknowledge Mother Earth and those in square dispositions to Father Cosmos or Taqpacha. By doing some gymnastics with the Andean mathematical system (very different from the Euclidian or Western system of mathematics) we derived a symbol that we called Chakana. This ancestral symbol is supposed to represent the Southern Cross where our original instructions were deployed by our Creator, Wiraxocha. It’s noteworthy to mention that our Creator`s expresses itself through parity relations. That is why at the center of the Chakana we can find a space (square) in a united symbol of opposing but complementary forces. This is a clear original, primordial instructions thatthings to exist they must first pair up with Ticci Muyu their opposing but complementary `self`. Puquina
In this we greatly differ from the Western mind that is in the pursuit of singular, individual building blocks, because they assume that
by knowing the individual aspects of any phenomenon with exactitude they can derive the complete sum of individual parts, not understanding that by doing so they are just fragmenting the world and the universe.
It is so easy to see that Creation is a dance between two opposing but complementary forces; like the mountains that have one side illuminated by the sun and the other not; the oceans pulsation make the waves expand and then contract much as our hearts. Our bodies are nothing but a fractal natural design of both archetypes dancing a cosmic tune.
Infinite number of squares within & without
Within the Chakana (our Constitution), we find a precise explanation of who we are and what we are here for. We also find the principles that will assist us in walking these lives in the proper, responsible way. We can be free to the extent that we live our responsibilities in a full manner. The Chakana also shows us the three realms of existence which converge, at every single instant, in the Kay Pacha, or the here and now, by means of our actions. We are what we do, we are a reflection of our actions. The Hanan Pacha (or the realm of the spirits and higher thoughts) comes together with the Uku Pacha (or the realm of instincts) as we walk through our personal journeys, which are just our societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s communal journeys in a magic living fractal.
We begin deriving the Southern Cross by acknowledging our Creator, Wiraxocha (in Aymara) by geometrically showing the puquina symbol at the core center of our pichu (mandala). We understand that that is the precise source of all that exists and the creation of all our original teachings. As you can perceive the puquina symbol amounts to the Andean/Amazonian Taoist yin yang. Our Creator and Nurturer (Wiraxocha, Aymara or Thunupa, in Quechua) comes Ticci Muyu, a place of harmony and perfect and dynamic equilibrium and has left original instructions everywhere in Creation/Nature; be it in the small realm of things, the macro deployment of celestial bodies, A
or the complex relations of everything that has spirit. Andean and Amazonian ancestors have understood this and have found sacred geometries, based on a harmonious relation between the most fundamental ones: the Circle and the Square, one implying the other in perfect and precise (not exact) existence. Within our primordial circle there is an infinite number of squares that come into existence from Wiraxocha, our Creator. This source is the center of basic sacred geometry, the circle and the square. A circle implies a parity relationhip between itself and an outer square as well as an inner square, in the same manner as you, as a human, imply an outer environment and an inner selfscape. They both need to be in harmony and equilibrium so you can be realized as a true human being; these were the intentions of our Creator and are the constant teachings in our Constitution. Or as Dr Scholten explains: “… for Andean people everything real or conceptual implies Alax Pacha its pair, this being its fundamental paradigm. For the Andean being ‘all’ and everybody have been Aka Pacha given birth (paridos, in Spanish), that is that the primordial cosmic origins IS NOT the unit like in Manqha Pacha the Western system of thought but ‘parity’.”
n ña aq ap wa Qu allu ekk Ch’
Even more, as you can see there is an infinite iteration of squares within and without any given circle. And because of the law of parity, these geometrical symbols must also be understood and symmetrical if linked by its halves. We call that linking diagonal Pachatússan, or link or support for existence, as in Runa Simi, or the Quechua language spoken by people. The epistemological implications of these teachings take a lot of space/time to properly explain and understand. Keeping with explaining the geometry of our cosmovision, read attentively the following table that gives the different names to the three realms of existence, in the most spoken Andean languages.
Pacha Mankha Pacha
Tendency Proper feelings
Disposition Allin Yachay: proper thinking
‘Time’ frame What has gone by - ‘past’
Reptile – Amaru, Katari, Serpent.
Instincts, intuitions Ka Pacha
Proper behaviour and equilibrium
Allin Ruay: proper actions, do things well, prudent actions
Here and now ‘present’
Alli Munay: feel compassionately
What is to come - ‘future’
The intermediate zone or Taypi
The rational principle
To build the CHAKANA we need to elongate the paths that imply the creation of the Manqua Pacha (the realm of instincts, the underworld, where the origins of live dwell, where our ancestors find a place of peace and rest, and so on). These elongated imaginary paths are projected bidimensionally, first of all, they nurture a square that will imply the circle that represents the Manqha Pacha. If projected long enough, they will find a natural limit which is given by the realm of higher thoughts, spirits and celestial existences, including our Creator that is found in all three infinitudes (the small, the big and the complex). So these paths of existence need to cease when they reach what we can understand as humans or children of Mother Earth or Pachamama. Beyond the Alax Pacha, we need different vessels other than our human bodies to gain higher understanding (Buddhists would say, gaining the state of Buddhahood). This is the Andean/Amazonian constitution, to be found in the cosmos in the same manner as Anishinaabe people find their constitution on the back of the mythical Turtle. These modes of perception are not only true and found in Nature, they are also beautiful. If you are living on the back of the Turtle, what constitutional system of beliefs are you going to choose? This choosing might imply a perception shift that will help you achieve harmony with your surroundings and your inner habitat. Trying to become a good ancestor? Choose well, the survival of your kids might depend on this. As you can see in the following graphic, which is a juxtaposition of the constitution CHAKANA and a Google Earth map of the Abya-Yala, the Quapaqq ñan, or the diagonal of the noble or just, is at 23o30’ in relation to the Ch’ekalluwa, the diagonal of Truthful-
ness. This is the ‘ideal’ axis of rotation of our Mother Earth, and it is within the habitable belt where life can occur, as far as we know, in the whole universe.
n ña 0’ o 3 aq ap 23 luwa Qu al ekk Ch’
If you choose to see and have a keen eye, you will notice that the major cities and villages built during the Inka Confederay by many Andean and Amazonian mature cultures coincides beautifully with one of the central teachings of the CHAKANA: along the diagonal of the just. My ancestors were sustaining a cosmic dialogue with the stars, with the constellation. We also claim that the original teachings came from the skies and we tried to follow those original instructions until the Great Cataclysm occured. Europeans invaders decided to go after El Dorado and destroy what they found as they made their way to these territories of sentient beings and systems. They imposed profane time and pretended to make us forget our original instructions. They accomplished this only partially. We are still alive and ready to offer our bodies and existences to offer our children and to other nations’ resilience. Our culture is resistance, our resistance is our culture. How did my ancestors know this? And how did they made calculations about the sacredness of the axis of rotation, calling it Ch’ekalluwa and then wondering “Imatak ch’ekari” or “What is, then, the truth?” The Ch’ekalluwa is the truth, because outside of this sacred habitable belt, all life will immediately cease to exist. We must preseve this axis of rotation at all costs. The first collective action we must engage in, is to get rid of a socio-economic order that has forgotten sacred teachings5 and is implementing the 5. These teachings are still guarded by mature cultures all over the planet, eventhough industrial capitalist civilization is doing all that it can to exterminated these wise nations and peoples.
greatest experiment of all time to bring to extinction not only our species but all life and life systems on the planet.
We have the great fortune of living on Algonquin territory. We are guests to a very wise culture that has been forced to host the settler people. We have the undeniable responsibility to respect Anishinaabe ethos and learn their wise ways. Anishinaabe elders are very willing to share their teachings with everyone, if we just approach them with humility and courage. We are also meant to become prudent allies to their defense of the land and their culture. Actually, this is, perhaps, the last chance we have to make this world a livable place for our children up to the seventh skin (generation). The keepers of sacred knowledge are amidst our society and we should revere these harmonious and blessed ways. We should humbly embrace the Story of Turtle Island, the Teachings of the seven grandfathers, and fill our hearts with those beautiful teachings. 0This we should, we must do not only for ourselves but, most importantly, for our kids. Let us follow the way of the true warrior and live according to our original instructions and become our responsibilities. Jallalla! (a salutation of joy and victory of Aymara peoples) Meegweetch.
SANCTUARY CITIES By: Alyssa Harvey, Joshua Lalonde and Jamie Rathwell
‘Sanctuary Cities’ is a term used to describe cities that protect undocumented immigrants from being detained or deported. The Sanctuary City movement began in San Francisco in the 1980’s when refugees migrated from many South American countries to the United States due to U.S. supported violence in South America. The original ordinance dictated that city employees were not allowed to aid federal immigration agents, unless they were required to do so by law (Schreiber, 2012). From this, the modern Sanctuary City was born. Over time, through political activism and the aid of sympathetic local police forces, legislation was slowly but surely created in order to outline the rules and conditions of Sanctuary Cities. “Common to all sanctuary movements are two central principles: first, the ‘Access without Fear’ principle aims to allow all
non-status people access to city services without having to fear being detained or deported to their country of origin; second, the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ approach, which predates the former, implements policies where no person should have to show proof of citizenship status in order to access a service” (Ellis, 2015). The purpose of a Sanctuary City is to provide access for residents without legal status, to municipal services such as access to food banks, health care, and education (Hannan & Bauder, 2015). In 2004, No One Is Illegal (NOII) launched the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) campaign in Toronto to raise awareness about barriers that illegal migrants face regarding accessing city services (Bauder, 2016). NOII pushed the municipality of Toronto to adopt Sanctuary City Policies in order to provide services to residents without demanding proof of status. In 2013, Toronto became Canada’s first Sanctuary City. However, barriers still exist for residents who wish to access local services that are provided by provincial or federal entities, such as community housing, social aid and higher education (Nursal, 2014). There are a few additional barriers to the application of Toronto’s policy as a Sanctuary City: Primarily, the city lacks a singular official policy. It only has guidelines which are open to interpretation and which failto define action. Specific items that the Toronto City Council passed, include the following: allowing immigration/citizenship information to be collected only when required by provincial and federal law, as well as the inclusion of immigration status in the city’s human rights and anti-harassment/discrimination policy (Keung, 2014). But in practice, Toronto is struggling to ensure protection of undocumented individuals from status checks performed by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). A report led by NOII revealed that TPS makes 31% of all requests to the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) Warrant Response System, where 83.4% of these requests are for status checks (Moffette & Gardner, 2015). From a legal standpoint, police officers in Ontario are not required to disclose information to CBSA but may choose to do so (Moffette & Gardner, 2015). Therefore, police reporting on non-status individuals is still actively occurring in Toronto, which has led to sentiments of distrust of not only the municipal police but all municipal services, given that the entirety of the supposed ‘Sanctuary City Policy’ does not exist in practice.
CANADIAN CENTRE ON STATELESSNESS INTO THE UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW By: Maxime Belleau
Our group was tasked with conducting research for OPIRG and the Canadian Centre on Statelessness into the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), in order to further understand the structures and practices of their system. Placing a specific focus on countries of the Americas, our research addressed the basics of the UPR process, as well as investigating the countries that have recently undergone their UPR. Our results are summarized in the paragraphs below.
The United Nations Universal Periodic Review is a tool used by the United Nations The purpose of the Human Rights Council (HRC), is to review the ‘human rights performance’ of each of its 193 member states. During their examination, they evaluate the fulfillment of each of the member states’ human rights obligations and commitments, provide solutions to various human rights disputes that greatly affect certain groups of people, and aim to bring human rights injustices to light. To do so, they plan to bring any outstanding countries up to par with current global human rights standards. The reviews were conducted by a group of 47 working members of the Council of Human Rights, on three separate occasions throughout the year (the last two weeks of January, April and October of each year). During each review period, an average of 14 member states undergo their two-week UPR. Any United Nations member state can take part in discussions with the state(s) under review, and each of these reviews is assisted by groups of three member states who serve as rapporteurs, also known as “Troikas” (who are selected through a drawing process). Countries currently under review include Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, with Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, and Guatemala also scheduled for review in 2016. Review criteria is based on: information provided by the State under review (in their “National report”), information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups (Spe-
cial Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, other UN entities), and information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions and NGOs. All this information is included as well in the United Nations’ research process.
Moreover, the NGOs are allowed to submit information which can be later added to an “other stakeholders” report, and referred back to by any State that took part in the discussion. Furthermore, NGOs can attend UPR Working Group Sessions and later make statements during the meetings of the Human Rights Council once the outcome of a state’s review is considered. Following that evaluation, the United Nations Council for Human Rights constructs a formal list of recommendations that the state in question is strongly urged, but is not bound to, implement. The state has a primary responsibility to execute the recommendations contained in the final outcome. The process continues with a second review period, providing the state an opportunity to divulge information concerning their action plan to fulfill the recommendations. The UPR aims to ensure that all countries are accountable for progress or failure in implementing these recommendations, and the Council of Human Rights will subsequently address the cases of the member states that are not cooperating. The most recent Canadian UPR review came in February of 2013, and included advanced questions regarding nationality and citizenship, while also placing emphasis on the rights of Aboriginal people. Strong recommendations were presented in order to address the broader issues pertaining to Aboriginal peoples, protecting women and children from violence, poverty and homelessness, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, access to justice,
and the promotion of social inclusion and equality, to immigrants, refugees and temporary foreign workers. Interestingly, Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National report (ahead of their 2013 review) did not discuss the issues concerning statelessness or stateless people. However, included in the recommendations of the Council of Human Rights was an urge to ratify the convention relating to the status of stateless persons in Canada.
CHAUDIÈRE FALLS: AN INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDY OF EXPLOITATION OF ALGONQUIN NATIONS SACRED LAND
By: Amanda Lagace, Naima Lindrerson and Marlee McKinnon The recognition of Indigenous rights and land claims has become a central and sensitive topic in today’s society, for many countries including Canada. Many countries and governments are trying to find ways to recognize and work with their Indigenous populations and their claims, while still trying to maintain and promote economic development and stability. The Algonquin Nation is currently trying to reclaim their rights for the Chaudière Falls land, as it is set to be developed by the Windmill Development Group and Dream Unlimited Corporation. The development group is planning on building new world-class condominiums and low rise buildings on Victoria Island. Victoria Island holds special and important meaning to the Algonquin Indigenous people. This island was a meeting place for negotiating peace between Indigenous populations from across
Canada. Victoria Island and the Chaudière Falls were, and still are, considered a sacred site to these Indigenous populations, and specifically to those of the local Algonquin Nation. There are numerous groups involved in trying to prevent the development of this island, which in addition, is slated to host an expansion of the hydroelectric facility at Chaudière Falls. There are numerous groups currently involved in saving the falls, these include: Free the Falls, Circle of All Nations, Algonquin Nation of Ottawa River Watershed (ANORW), NABRO (from Montreal), Capital Greenspace Alliance, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Ottawa chapter), Ottawa Field Naturalists, various student and labor groups, Stop Windmill Group, Public Service Alliance (National Capital Council), IPSMO, RSM, R!R!R! and Carleton University Student’s Union. Currently, these groups are working together to prove to the various levels of courts that the land in question is not privately owned – as the development groups are claiming, but is a key component of Algonquin identity. It is important to note that the city of Ottawa itself is also located on unceded Algonquin territory. The development of Victoria Island and Chaudière Falls is seen a crucial and pivotal barrier against the reconciliation process, and is thought by some to be setting a bad precedent for future reconciliations between the Federal Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples of Canada. Conclusion Around the world there are many Indigenous Peoples still waiting for reconciliation. Although progress has been made in recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples in many countries, in many cases the rights and history of the Indigenous populations are ignored or overlooked. More often there are new cases of Indigenous rights and land being violated. Some countries and Indigenous Peoples have chosen to try and resolve disputes between themselves, while other Indigenous groups have felt the need to seek assistance from the international community. It is important that nation-states around the world learn from each other›s experiences and mistakes, and find a way to cooperate and respectfully work with Indigenous populations. As previously mentioned, various groups are trying to prove that Victoria Island is part of the unceded Algonquin land, and should be developed according to the wishes of the Algonquin and the
Indigenous populations of Canada. The Algonquin Nation would like to see the land developed into various centers and spaces to both unite and recognize the Indigenous peoples of Canada. They also seek to highlight the history and the importance of the sacred site (Stockdale, 2016). It is important for the groups and associations involved in the Chaudiere Falls dispute to examine cases from other countries around the world dealing with similar situations. Outcomes and processes from disputes and scenarios from other nation-states could provide a new outlook and approach for the Chaudiere Falls case.
ECOLOGY OF THE CHAUDIÈRE FALLS VICTORIA By:Fin and Annie
The recognition of Indigenous rights and land claims has become a central and sensitive topic in today’s society, for many countries including Canada. Many countries and governments are trying to find ways to recognize and work with their Indigenous populations and their claims, while still trying to maintain and promote economic development and stability. The Algonquin Nation is currently trying to reclaim their rights for the Chaudière Falls land, as it is set to be developed by the Windmill Development Group and Dream Unlimited Corporation. The development group is planning on building new world-class condominiums and low rise buildings on Victoria Island. Victoria Island holds special and important meaning to the Algonquin Indigenous people. This island was a meeting place for negotiating peace between Indigenous populations from across Canada. Victoria Island and the Chaudière Falls were, and still are, considered a sacred site to these Indigenous populations and specifically those of the local Algonquin Nation. There are numerous groups involved in trying to prevent the development of this island, which in addition, is slated to also have an expansion of the hydroelectric facility at Chaudière Falls, such as Free the Falls, Circle of All Nations, Algonquin Nation of Ottawa River Watershed (ANORW), NABRO (Montreal), etc. Currently, these groups are working together to prove to the various levels of courts that the land in question is not privately owned – as the development groups are claiming, but belongs to the Algonquin’s. It is important to note that the city of Ottawa itself is also located on unseated Algonquin territory. The development of Victoria Island and Chaudière Falls is seen a crucial and pivotal piece in the reconciliation process, and is thought by some to be setting the precedent for future reconciliations between the Federal Government of Canada and in the Indigenous groups of Canada. As previously mentioned, the various groups are trying to prove that the island in question is part of the unceded Algonquin land, and should be developed according to the wishes of the Algonquin and the Indigenous populations of Canada. The Algonquin Nation would like to see the land developed into various centers and spaces to both unite and recognize the Indigenous people of Canada.
POLLINATORS AND BUMBLEBEES Small and seemingly insignificant pollinators like the bumblebee are actually fundamental to properly functioning ecosystems, as they play a major role in the reproduction of most flowering plants. However, many studies have shown that the environmental impact resulting from human â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;progressâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is causing pollinator populations to plummet rapidly. For instance, changes in land use, due to advancements in agriculture and urbanization, have caused an increase in the spread of pathogens, pesticide use, and habitat loss for many species of fauna and pollinators. Since this sort of shift in plant cover and land use has been happening globally over the past thirty-five years, the consequence is that many regions around the world have seen a substantial decrease in bumblebee communities.
Parasites, who were accidentally introduced into North America, as new species and global warming are also factors influencing the disappearance of certain species. In fact, the new species affect the native populations in many ways, mainly by becoming competition for resources, by transmitting diseases, as well as disrupting pollination habits. Furthermore, global warming is said to affect the growth of the pollinatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food by flooding the area or causing a drought. Climate change can negatively affect the population of small mammals who create burrows in the soil, in which pollinators can nest. Rising water levels threaten these burrows, as flooding may eliminate them completely.
Gardens are crucial to the conservation of bumblebees, as they provide an ideal habitat for nesting. Working from this premise, the University of Ottawa Learning Garden plants specific endemic flora in order to ensure that Ottawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s native bees will pollinate the plants. Any decrease in pollinator species will greatly impact plants and animals, as well as provoke a reduction in agricultural production. A decline of this sort would diminish the spread of seeds and outcrossing, resulting in a loss of reproduction of flora in the surrounding areas. If this were to occur, a domino effect could be set in motion: first the plant species would be impacted, which would negatively alter the herbivoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food supply, in turn affecting carnivorous species and so on up the trophic levels. Though pollinators may seem to leave little evidence of their interaction with the environment, it has been proven that they are vital to the survival of ecosystems and plant reproduction. We must all work together to change the future of these bees, and to make sure they continue to thrive.
SPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGEÂ By: Karine Saboui and Peter McLaren Our workshop, entitled SIG without SIGâ&#x20AC;Śspatial technologies for social change, was organized during the World Social Forum (WSF), which took place in Montreal, QC in August 2016. It was planned with the aim to address issues under the WSF thematic axis of democratization of knowledge and the right to communication. The workshop included two main activities, first, the panel presentations addressed questions relating to the roles open data can play in producing social change, as well as the barriers associated with using these technologies, such as steep learning curve, prohibitive costs, and difficulty gaining access to closed data sources. Our panellists were selected for their diverse range of experiences; Dr. Lauriault is an Assistant Professor of Critical Media and Big Data at Carleton University and is an expert in critical data studies. During her presentation, Lauriault challenged workshop participants to reconsider normative assumptions and that those are the essential characteristics of data and technologies alone. Her aim was to provoke a critical discussion about data politics, agencies and the role of data and technological citizenship. Sarah Simpkin is a GIS, Geography and Computer Science Librarian. She advocates for open data in education and in the community. Simpkin discussed the importance of promoting basic data literacy as a prerequisite to developing sustainable communities around open data projects. Jean-NoĂŠ Landry is the Executive Director of Open North. Landry shared lessons learned from his experience working with community technology initiatives that bring together different practices, mindsets, understandings and data needs. He spoke about a new initiative that he is developing using data from the extractive sector in collaboration with indigenous peoples, the Canadian government, and other advocacy organizations. Michael Lenczner is the founder and CEO of Ajah. Lenczner
drew on his 17 years working in technology for the public interest and shared lessons learned on how to create sustainable initiatives and organizations using community wireless, open data, and civic tech. The second half of the workshop consisted of a round table discussion with the audience around the central theme of open data. The panelists made a distinction between top-down approaches to open data policy often pursued by government, in which the open availability will create the right context for a democratic exchange, and the bottom-up approach, which characterizes many community-led open data initiatives with a focus on crowdsourcing information. The panellists identified the need for democratic deliberation between different stakeholders in the outcome of any given issue. This deliberation is essential to creating open data initiatives which respond to the needs and concerns of the community. Further, the panelists identified a need for capacity building within organizations and the community to ensure the ongoing success of open data projects. It is important to recognize that technical solutions to social and environmental problems are not created in isolation, but rather are conceptualized, developed, and implemented within a specific social, political and environmental context. The panellists suggested that we can refocus the open data conversation away from the pitfalls of technological solutions and towards a concept of engaged data citizenship that is aware of and sensitive to various needs when attempting to address social issues.
PIR TRANS FEMININE SPECTRUM PROJECT
By: DJ Freedman,MSW PIR [Public Interest Research] Trans Feminine Spectrum Project disrupts the frame ofunderstanding imposed upon trans feminine spectrum lives by substituting a class and demographic category for an Identity: Of those coercively assigned male at birth, it is all of us who say NO! The reason why people choose any as the Trans-PULSE Project: Some some “transsexual.” Some change. above, at the same time. This is Project.
self-description is irrelevant—exactly choose “non-binary,” some “transgender;” Some choose several, all, or none of the given and NOT a matter of concern to the
In the AIDS Committee of Ottawa Policy Working Group—2006-9—we knew something was quite wrong, beyond the historic exclusion and de facto sex segregation of trans feminine spectrum persons from the “founding institutions” of the Ottawa “community.” In 2009, the GLB ‘community’ filed a Human Rights Complaint against the Government of Canada on their health. This group of cis people had previously been part of an NGO claiming service to trans people; NO TRANS PEOPLE were ever represented. In 2012, Namaste, Butler-Burke, and Marshall’s Open Letter to the Canadian AIDS Society called it out for excluding trans feminine spectrum persons from its programs since the beginning of the epidemic—confirmation of our worst fears. As with ANY OTHER CLASS OF EXCLUSION/SHAMING not only the lives of trans feminine spectrum persons have been exterminated, but our voices, also, have been silenced. Hence the categories of participation/exclusion in the Ottawa ‘community’ from the beginning: “women & trans people”/ “men in dresses.” Even after a decade of human rights and hate crime activism, we are demonstrably worse off on any measurable scale —EVEN WHEN QUALIFIED— than trans masculine spectrum persons. The ‘community’ frame of understanding, a noose around the neck, has erased us for more than 50 years —and is the foundation for our extermination, and the exclusion from the ‘public life of the community’ for decades of those who are left. The reaction to our participation is routinely, “This is not for you.” The Project disrupts silence/erasure through SpeechArts! The decision to transition makes our bodies public in a way that male bodies are not, rendering us ‘unfit’ for publicness and participation. SpeechArts! is less an art than a method of reading and writing, of pick-
ing up pieces of our oppressors’ language, changing its tempo, making it stutter. Within this disruption, we may live, uncramped. The Project presents two examples of “minor rhetorics:” • SpeechArts!DJ! an individual approach to be presented regularly,and • SpeechArts!Frankenstein! A staged reading of Susan Stryker’s My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage, a group approach, to bepresented during Pride season, and looking for trans feminine spectrum participants only.
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