26 June 2024

Page 1


News -4-

UMSU updates

President provides peek into upcoming year

Editorial -8Memes to movements

Canadian consumers call out callous corporations

Comment -11Sprouting change

Youth speaks out on climate justice

Wilfred Buck film is out of this world Arts &

Sports -15-

Star guy to screen star

Soccer spectacular

All out for the Manitoba African Cup of Nations

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

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Palestine solidarity encampment ongoing at U of M Communities demand universities sever ties to Israel, U of W encampment disbands

Students and community members at the University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), established an encampment on the quad on May 7.

The campus encampment is one of dozens which have been established around the world in recent months. Many are demanding that post-secondary institutions disclose their investments and divest from arms manufacturers and Israeli companies.

SJP initially announced the protest as a temporary daytime encampment, but announced on May 9 that the encampment would continue indefinitely, until their demands were met by the university.

According to a post on its Instagram account on May 15, SJP stepped down as organizers, passing the responsibility on to “students at large,” and saying it will focus instead on “negotiations with the University of Manitoba and UMSU.”

The encampent demands include that the university enforces “rigorous accountability measures” for anti-Palestinian discrimination and adopt a definition of anti-Palestinian racism in the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy.

The university and UMSU are called to “participate in the global academic boycott of Israeli institutions implicated in human rights violations.” Further, they are called to dis-

close any existing investments with “organizations complicit in genocide against Palestinians” and financially divest from any such organizations.

The organizers also made demands that the university cease exchange programs with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and other Israeli institutions.

The university made a statement on June 11 regarding many of the demands made by the encampment organizers. In response to boycotting universities and other institutions connected to Israel, the university stated it “values academic partnerships for their diversity and for the ways in which cross-collaborations between academics and students can enhance learning, spur innovation and solve problems.

“The only international partnership restrictions UM upholds are those imposed by the federal government.”

The university mentioned in the same statement that it “commits to public disclosure of its investment holdings by Fall 2024.” The response ended with the university “[encouraging] students to dismantle the encampment and continue dialogue and advocacy through the many avenues that are in place for meaningful student engagement.”

an encampment, beginning on May 9.

“UM commits to public disclosure of its investment holdings by Fall 2024”

— statement by U of M administration

Students at the University of Winnipeg also established

The U of W encampment, titled the People’s University for Palestine, posted a statement on Instagram demanding that the U of W disclose all of its

investments, divest “from all companies complicit in Israeli apartheid and illegal occupation.”

The organizers called for the U of W to sever “all academic and economic ties with Israeli institutions” as per the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Organizers at the U of W

also demanded that students, staff or faculty at both the U of W and U of M do not face repercussions for any pro-Palestinian advocacy.

The U of W encampment voluntarily disbanded on the afternoon of June 25. At the time of publication, the U of M encampment is ongoing.

Presidential interview: 2024-25 UMSU outlook

New UMSU president discusses plans for upcoming year

The 2024-25 UMSU executive was inaugurated on April 25 and has begun planning for the upcoming academic year.

UMSU president Divya Sharma said UMSU’s biggest goal this year is a year-long mental health campaign.

“It’s abundantly clear that post-secondary students are struggling with their mental health. The stress caused by the pandemic has had a lasting impact, the majority of which remains at the top of students’ minds,” Sharma said.

A recent literature review of 32 studies analyzing student populations around the world confirmed increases in stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicidal ideation in university students during the pandemic.

Sharma said there are particular struggles facing international students, as “they’re away from their family, it really has an impact on their mental health.”

CASA conference

In May, several members of the UMSU executive and the Indigenous students’ representative travelled to Ottawa to attend Foundations Conference, an annual conference with Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). This conference introduces newly-elected student leaders from CASA member organizations, such as UMSU, to the federal government’s role in post-secondary education.

Sharma said at the conference, UMSU representatives “learned a lot of different things, from understanding how policies are made, [and] how to lobby in a good way, but in a way that can achieve results.”

CASA’s 2024-27 strategic plan was presented by former UMSU president Tracy Karuhogo. Prabhnoor Singh, UMSU vice-president external affairs, “highly” suggested in his report to the UMSU board of directors that “UMSU follows a similar plan.” CASA’s strategic plan has not been posted publicly yet.

According to Sharma, UMSU has “already actually started working on that,” and plans to share more information on its strategic plan at the next board meeting.

“Every year a new executive team comes in, and they have their own priorities and that’s fantastic, but when we think about a critical organization like UMSU, we need to think about that long-term side of things,” said Sharma.

The University of Manitoba released its strategic plan for 2024-29 this April.

Ad hoc committee struck to write definition of anti-Palestinian racism

On June 13, UMSU approved motion 0615 which will create an ad hoc committee to recommend a definition of anti-Palestinian racism for inclusion in the UMSU position statements book.

The committee is tasked with consulting students, staff and faculty at the university, examining how other universities have addressed anti-Pal-

estinian racism and using this to write a definition. The committee will present its final report with recommendations to the UMSU board of directors by Dec. 9.

A previous motion, motion 0597, brought forward on March 14 called on UMSU to adopt the Arab Canadian Lawyers’ Association’s (ACLA) definition of anti-Palestinian racism. This definition includes “denying the Nakba” – an Arabic term meaning “catastrophe” which refers to the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel in 1948 – and “failing to acknowledge Palestinians as

an Indigenous people with a collective identity, belonging and rights in relation to occupied and historic Palestine.”

According to Sharma, UMSU decided to strike an ad hoc committee rather than adopt ACLA’s definition because it wanted to make sure “student voices were represented.”

The ad hoc committee will be composed of five anonymous UMSU board members. Board members interested in joining the committee must submit a resume and cover letter to the UMSU selections committee.

Providing support for Indigenous students

U of M launches draft Truth and Reconciliation Framework

For UMSU Indigenous students’ representative Michaela de Hoop, connecting Indigenous students with resources and communities on campus is vitally important.

“A lot of Indigenous students like myself come from northern rural communities, so imposter syndrome is a really big one,” de Hoop said.

The U of M states there are around 2,600 Indigenous students at the university and aims to recruit more Indigenous students in the future.

As part of her role as Indigenous students’ representative, de Hoop will put on workshops throughout the year for people to learn more about Indigenous history and cultures. This year, she plans to host bead making and leather working workshops along with land-based education. She is also trying to connect with students interested in bringing back the Métis university students’ association.

In addition to workshops, de Hoop said “this year, one of our big plans is a mural, hopefully, in the UMISA [University of Manitoba Indigenous stu-

dents’ association] lounge.”

Fall is a crucial time for de Hoop to connect with students, between Orange Shirt Day and outreach to students in September, and Indigenous Students’ Month in November. This month includes weekly activities organized by the Indigenous students’ representative and is capped off by the Indigenous Leaders Gala.

Between serving these communities and educating non-Indigenous students, de Hoop explained that her resources are limited. “Funding too is another big issue. We need to get outlets in this room [UMISA lounge]. Our community initiative funding is like $15,000 to $16,000, but getting new outlets in this room alone is $4,000.”

The Indigenous students’ representative’s community initiative funding is determined by UMSU.

Once a month during the school year, the Indigenous students’ representative holds a community assembly. Indigenous and non-Indigenous students can come to learn and talk about what events they would like to see. De Hoop explained that

“community initiative funding has to be voted on by the community, so this is where we’ll approve funding for the month.”

De Hoop also spoke about the U of M’s draft of the Truth and Reconciliation Framework: Time for Action — 20242029, which was launched on June 10. The purpose of the framework is to serve as a guiding document in collaboration with Indigenous staff, faculty and students to help academic and administrative units develop their own plans for advancing reconciliation.

The advisory committee for the draft framework was chaired by Angie Bruce, vice-president of the university, who is herself Indigenous, and included de Hoop and past Indigenous students’ representative Ishkode Catcheway. De Hoop said “right now, each faculty is kind of doing their own thing when it comes to reconciliation [...] this is meant to be an overall [...] framework for the university to follow.”

She expressed confidence in the process of creating the framework, saying that “it was done in the correct manner.”

The framework lays out

a timeline from the present going back to 1877 which de Hoop described as the “history of Indigenous students and a university that wasn’t meant for us.”

The framework is currently going to the senate and there is an online survey for students to submit feedback. This framework survey is open until July 12.

For de Hoop, this framework will serve as a measure to track how much progress on reconciliation is being

made over time.

“I’m curious to see when we go back in 2029 and reflect on this document, how much progress has ensued since 1877,” she said.

Students interested in submitting feedback on the draft Truth and Reconciliation Framework can do so before July 12 at umanitoba. ca/about-um/truth-and-reconciliation-framework-feedback-form.

photo / provided
graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

Understanding blood stem cells

U of M researcher receives NSERC grant to explore blood development

Every day, the body’s hematopoietic system supplies the blood with more than a 100 billion mature blood cells. The process of hematopoiesis, or blood cell production, begins with a sparse population of originator cells called blood stem cells.

“This very small number of cells is able to divide and replenish itself, but also to produce all the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout our bodies, all the platelets that allow us to clot when we have a cut and all the immune cells that protect us against infectious disease,” said Yale Michaels, assistant professor in the Max Rady college of medicine.

By making downstream cells that are needed for the human body to continue functioning, blood stem cells play a critical role in our health.

“The way in which the single stem cell knows how to choose which one of those downstream types of cells to become is not fully understood,” Michaels said. “How does it choose to become a red blood cell instead of an immune cell? How does it choose to become an immune cell instead of a platelet?”

With the use of different genetic technologies, these are the questions that Michaels aims to answer in his research project, “exploring the gene expression programs and cell fate decisions that underlie human blood development.”

The project received over $50,000 in funding through the discovery grants program offered by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

While the focus of the grant-funded project is to solely understand the inner workings of stem cell differ-

entiation, Michaels noted that future research may utilize that knowledge to manipulate the process and produce types of cells that could be medically useful.

Similar topics are being explored in Michaels’s lab at the U of M. The Cell Programming Lab explores both how stem cells determine what cells to differentiate into, and how to use living cells to treat diseases.

The lab focuses on “reading” certain genes that control the fate and function of a cell.

This is done using genomics, the study of an organism’s entire genome, and computational modelling, which generates models to analyze and predict how a gene is used to make RNA and proteins.

Researchers can then “write” specific instructions in a stem cell’s DNA using genome engineering and synthetic biology. Genome engineering adds, removes and alters DNA in an organism’s genome to change it, while synthetic biology refers to a field of research that constructs new, artificial biological systems. These methods can modify the differentiation of a stem cell, causing it to develop into very specific cells desired by the researcher.

“Our focus at the moment is on cancer but I think, longterm, living cells can be used as medicines for a variety of different diseases, including cancer and autoimmune diseases,” Michaels said.

In a 2022 publication, he

and several scientists examined how to turn pluripotent stem cells — stem cells found in early human embryos that can produce any cell or tissue needed in the body — into T cells. T cells are a part of the immune system and fight infections. While studies show that T cells attack cancer, obtaining them from individual donors is challenging, expensive and laborious.

The study defined an efficient method of turning human pluripotent stem cells into cells called hematopoietic progenitors with T cell potential. “This new method will contribute to robust, clinically compatible manufacturing of pluripotent stem cell-derived T cell therapies,” the research article stated.

Another study by Michaels focused on the transition of cells into different states during development. These transitions are coordinated by certain molecular regulators. Researchers engineered the state transitions of human pluripotent cells.

This, they noted, “will enable numerous applications in regenerative medicine.”

“We’re interested in engineering living cells as medicines,” Michaels said. “The ultimate goal would be to be able to create safe, effective and affordable living medicines that can help patients in Manitoba, Canada and around the world.”

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

The intersection of exercise, frailty and heart surgery

Exploring the benefits of physical activity for frail patients with cardiac disease


railty is a state of reduced health that may result from aging. Frail older adults tend to experience weakness, have reduced muscle mass and low activity levels. Relatively minor events, such as a fall or a bout of influenza, can bear dangerous health implications.

The 25 to 50 per cent of heart surgery patients who are frail face increased risks in and out of the operating room, ranging from longer post-operative stays to higher mortality rates.

Todd Duhamel is a professor in the U of M’s faculty of kinesiology and recreation management. His research looks at physical activity to improve the health outcomes of patients with frailty and cardiovascular disease.

One focus of Duhamel’s work is assessing patients’ frailty to create better clinical care plans. Tests measure frailty on an index using metrics like walking speed and grip strength. These assessments can be used to predict which patients will have worse outcomes following heart surgery.

“When we know that people who are more frail tend to have worse outcomes, […] we can actually screen people for frailty and then offer them programming that’ll maybe help reverse frailty and, in that way, they’ll have better outcomes after cardiac surgery,” he said.

In one of Duhamel’s studies, a thousand women participated in non-invasive heart health screening. The process involved cardiac assessment of resting blood pressure, blood pressure response to exercising for three minutes and elasticity of arteries.

Women that are frail are two and a half times more likely to have an elevated Framingham risk score than those who are robust. The Framingham risk score estimates ten-year cardiovascular disease using risk factors like older age, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Duhamel also explores interventions that improve patients’ health.

asked. Instead, he suggested, you might seek out interventions prior to your operation to “get a little bit [healthier]” and improve your odds of a successful surgical outcome.

Duhamel noted that a wide variety of interventions exist. Nutritional interventions, for example, may include incorporating more protein in the


The more you move, the more you reverse frailty”

— Todd Duhamel, U of M professor in the faculty of kinesiology and recreation management

“If you were told you needed to have heart surgery, and you were told you were going to have a bad outcome, would you go ahead with that heart surgery?” Duhamel

diet to build muscle mass, as many older adults awaiting heart surgery have low protein intake.

Exercise also presents a means of improving patient

According to research from 2014, Canadian elective patients who require cardiac surgery are placed on a waiting list for one to four months. Though the wait time is found to be generally safe, studies show that patients awaiting surgery participate in little to no physical activity. In patients who are frail, this extended period of minimal exercise can cause further deterioration of their health.

A 2014 study co-led by Duhamel aimed to address this issue by utilizing the pre-surgical wait period to engage patients in exercise. The pre-operative rehabili-

tation for reduction of hospitalization after coronary bypass and valvular surgery (PREHAB) study recruited elective cardiac surgery patients and found that those who participated in an eightweek exercise intervention before their operation had shorter hospital stays.

“Walking speed actually predicts how many days you’ll be in the hospital after surgery,” Duhamel said. “Something as simple as starting a walking program to get more physically fit, theoretically, should improve your health outcomes after surgery.”

Through the PREHAB program, patients with a slow walking speed, who were at risk for poor heart surgery outcomes, were able to improve their walking speed through consistent exercise at a fitness

centre. This moved them from a high-risk to low-risk zone prior to their cardiac surgery.

“It’s important to know that frailty is detectable in people of all ages,” Duhamel said. “We all know somebody who’s frail […] but we also know older adults who are actually quite robust and in really good health. They tend to be people who move more.”

He added that while many university students lead healthy and active lives, others are not as physically fit. Later in life, a lack of exercise may result in frailty. Eventually, frailty can lead to poor health outcomes.

Duhamel encouraged everyone to incorporate physical activity into their lives.

“The more you move, the more you reverse frailty.”

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

A nation hungry for change

Canadians are ready to fight greedy corporations and we shouldn’t stop there

While strolling the trenches of the grocery aisles, I am comforted by my rows of emergency soup cans, beans and chickpeas not-so-neatly piled up in my pantry. Grateful for stocking up on these staples, I always think, “just in case I go broke.” The reality is that many Canadians feel a sense of impending doom due to the rising costs of living. It is not just my personal struggle, it is a pervasive issue echoed across campuses and communities. And Canadians are actually doing something about it.

A survey conducted by Academica Forum showed that an alarming proportion of Canadian post-secondary students rely on food assistance. Last year, 24 per cent of domestic students and 49 per cent of international students disclosed their dependency on food supports such as food banks and soup kitchens. During that same year, the University of Manitoba food bank saw over 600 students seeking assistance monthly, an increase from the typical 100 to 200 students per month. The student plight is a slight peek into a larger national crisis, where Canadians feel the pinch of empty wallets, and their rumbling stomachs hungrily anticipate a modest bowl of chickpeas.

In response to rising costs, a group of Canadians have decided to boycott Loblawowned grocery stores.

In November of 2023, Emily Johnson launched the Reddit community r/loblawisoutofcontrol to discuss food prices in Canada, particularly at Loblaw-owned stores. Initially, a place to share memes and vent, by January 2024, discussions shifted toward a boycott in response to Loblaw’s significant profits — $459 million in the first quarter alone, a nearly 10 per cent increase from the previ-

ous year.

The community grew rapidly and collectively decided to boycott Loblaw in May — then indefinitely.

While Loblaw has agreed to sign the Grocery Code of Conduct, CEO Per Bank insisted the choice to sign is unrelated to the boycott. However, Loblaw’s commitment depends on Walmart and Costco also signing. Until then, progress remains stalled.

The Grocery Code of Conduct aims to ensure market transparency and fairness, potentially impacting food prices across Canada.

But it’s not just food eating at our wallets. Public concern has also grown over secondhand stores, particularly the major outlet Value Village. Shoppers have been post-

ing pictures online, showcasing shocking price markups on second-hand goods compared to their original prices when new — another display of corporate greed adding fuel to the fire.

Additionally, a 2023 Academica Forum survey shows that an overwhelming number of students are feeling crushed by the cost of housing. The housing market in Canada has been spiralling out of control, showing little sign of improvement.

It points to a larger issue. Across the board, we are dealing with the impact of what some experts call “greedflation.” Greedflation is a term describing a post-pandemic phenomenon where companies can raise prices and expand profits under the guise of inflation. Experts haven’t

settled on whether greedflation is a reality, but the boycott clearly shows Canadians are frustrated with skyrocketing prices and are eager to take action.

There is a skeptical buzz surrounding the Loblaw boycott in major news coverage and in the digital pits of Reddit. But I, and many like me, believe the Loblaw boycott is a success on many fronts.

It has sparked a nationwide conversation, highlighting that this is a collective issue. It caught the attention of Loblaw’s CEO and led to a meeting between him and Johnson. Whether related or not, Loblaw has agreed to sign the Grocery Code of Conduct.

While I do share doubts about the long-term economic impact on Loblaw, for some,

the main point of the boycott is to deal a financial blow to the company. I fear this may lead to disappointment if the boycott does not significantly dent Loblaw’s profits. But even if it does not, so much is still being accomplished. We are witnessing the first step toward a nationally cultivated goal – affordable living. While we maintain pressure on Loblaw, we should also turn our attention to the government for action. While the boycott against Loblaw underscores the power of collective action in challenging corporate greed, it also highlights the urgent need for government intervention to ensure fair prices and affordable living for all Canadians.

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

Universal design for learning for an accessible classroom U of M professor advocates for equitable and inclusive classroom design

lassroom design issues

Care important from an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) perspective. If we want a just campus at the University of Manitoba where everyone is welcomed and included, we need to create classrooms for all our faculty, staff and students. As an educator, I am influenced by the universal design for learning (UDL). UDL is interested in removing elements of instruction design, curriculum design and course delivery that create unnecessary barriers for students with learning and physical disabilities.

issues or who are neuroatypical, however, excessive distracting noises can create real processing issues that make focusing difficult.

Recently, I had the pleasure of teaching in the Fletcher Argue building. I enjoyed working with my students and loved having complex discussions about literature and culture. I did not, however, love the classroom itself. There were frequent times when the noise in the hallway made teaching impos -

cator and host of the room.

Part of my job is welcoming students to my discipline in first-year classes, which is hard to do when they are distracted. They wondered if I would say anything to the people talking in the hallway. The mental effort put into dealing with these questions was time when they were not thinking about Renaissance poetry. If we just had the class in another room, these students would

a fatademic, I get through most spaces in life without any issues. But to listen to this lecture, I needed to sit down, with the students, and watch the lecture. The classroom had those small, black chairs with a writing surface on the right side. To my great embarrassment, I could not fit in the chairs with the desk down.

Suddenly, I understood why so many of my larger students were not taking notes in my class. I work with student athletes who are often too tall for these desks. I work with students who have normal, prairie-sized

students have legal accommodations, say for a wheelchair accessible or standing desk. But being overweight or tall is not automatically grounds for accommodation and asking because you are fat can be embarrassing. We must ask how much cogni- tive bandwidth is taken up by stu -

Many of the accommodations that students need can be given to all students. Rather than waiting for students to go through the sometimes complex process of gaining accommodations, an instructional UDL perspective will build flexibility and reasonable accommodations for everyone.

For instance, allowing flexibility on assignment deadlines helps students with ADHD and anxiety issues, and helps any student who is struggling with balancing work, life and their academic careers.

However, UDL can only be as strong as the physical limitations of the teaching environment. Many will consider the classroom an inherently neutral space — but it isn’t. The physical classroom environment privileges some bodies who seem to fit the environment while creating burdens for others.

The sonic environment of a classroom may be noisy and distracting. Some of these distractions are momentary, like hallway noise, and some are omnipresent, like a loud ventilation fan that is always on.

The sounds may not impact some students who can easily ignore non-essential noises in the learning environment. For some students with hearing


While some of this is a student etiquette concern, some is a question of installing sound dampeners.

This may seem like a small concern, but like many of my students, I am neurodivergent and often struggle with attention and anxiety issues in a university setting. These seemingly small distractions had an outsized impact on my ability to deliver my lectures and, in turn, on my students’ ability to pay attention while we were speaking to each other.

This meant that I had trouble delivering my lectures because I was anxious about the extra noise in the learning environment. Was I speaking loud enough? Was I rushing to get the lecture over with so that I could get away from the distracting noises? Did I need to go into the hallway and ask the people speaking to be quiet? If I did, what kinds of conflicts might arise, and how would those conflicts impact the classroom learning environment?

Each question was cognitively demanding for me as an educator with processing issues. I have learned how to re-centre, process, and address the issues as an edu-

have had more time and cognitive bandwidth to engage in active learning.

We can also take desks as an example. If a student fits the desks in a classroom, that privilege is invisible to them. They don’t have to think about it. That means they can focus on learning. In contrast, if a student does not fit in the desks, they are painfully aware that their body is uncomfortable. That is time spent dealing with their discomfort and not time paying full attention, thinking about what the professor is saying, nor time processing big ideas in a collegial environment.

Recently, in that same Fletcher Argue classroom, I had the enormous pleasure of watching one of my teaching assistants give an engaging lecture. As an educator, I was proud to watch a student I had mentored give a brilliant lecture, and I was excited for my students to participate in a discussion with an emerging scholar.

As a person with a body, however, I was filled with shame during the lecture that I needed to hide from my students. I am a prairie-sized academic, and I would say that I am far wider and taller than the average person. As

bodies, who are sometimes too wide or too long to sit comfortably in these desks. During the winter, I see students struggle to fit in these desks with all their winter clothing. These desks are not built for the bodies of our students, and we should have desks in the classroom that are accessible to everyone.

Now, I am sure that some readers will be sympathetic to the acoustic concern I have raised. But, perhaps some will be less sympathetic to my concerns about making spaces useful for students with prairie-sized bodies. We moralize so much about weight in our culture.

Statistics Canada reported in 2022 that 30 per cent of all Canadians aged 18 and older, and 34 per cent of Manitobans, were obese. We also know that weight tracks with race and class, so many students who are going to face barriers in the classroom because of their weight are already dealing with racial and class barriers.

Right now, we can address the desk issue on a case by case basis with classroom services. In practice, this means a student needs to ask for accommodation. This is fine when

dents who don’t fit their desks who are otherwise thinking about how to sit comfortably in the classroom? A bigger student may not be taking notes in the classroom because doing so would be physically uncomfortable. We can fix these sonic and size issues with relative ease. These changes will not hurt the students who fit the desks and are not distracted by excessive noise in any meaningful way. Yes, this will be expensive. Yes, this will be time consuming. Creating a learning environment that fits everyone is about making difficult choices. We already know how to do this work because we have lots of classrooms on campus with appropriate sound dampening and desks that fit prairie-sized students.

All classrooms should be designed intentionally to remove unnecessary barriers to permit an engaging and accessible classroom environment for everyone. This is the only way we can ensure we have classrooms that are inviting for all students, staff and faculty.

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

Youth are fighting the climate crisis

Developing green skills in the middle of climate catastrophe

Climate change is something that a lot of people can get away with ignoring until they come face to face with it.

My first clash with climate change was when I went to summer camp at 12 years old. We were on an island and everything we did was influenced by the drought that year. Our water intake was monitored and we had rules for how to use the toilets and sinks. It was the first time I realized how hot the summers were getting.

Then when I was 13, I skipped school to attend a climate protest which was my first taste of activism. The amount of people that were there was a beacon of hope that people actually wanted to make a difference.

In the summer of 2022, the mountains in Kelowna were blanketed in grey smoke. I couldn’t help but feel a comfort in the smoky serenity, pushing the fear that this is what the mountains are known for now, out of my head.

The next year, I went back to Kelowna, and on the way to a campsite, we passed by an entire mountainside that had been burned. Grey and charred trees spanned for as far as I could see. It was the first time I had ever witnessed anything like it in person. There was a weight on my chest, grieving for the mountain.

aunt sent me a picture of the West Kelowna wildfires. Having to read the news knowing that all anyone could do was sit and watch was terrifying. Then I got the text that the fires had reached the other side of the lake and there was nothing that any regular person could do.

The fires moved closer to the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus and that evoked a different kind of terror. I was terrified for the future generation. My generation.

Kids and young adults are being forced to recognize climate change pretty early in our lives. We have noticed its effects on the world in our dayto-day lives, as climate change has been present and worsening throughout our entire childhoods. A lot of the ways our planet is affected are the faults of generations before us. Young people are expected to know how to adapt and know what changes need to be made, and we are not going to get there on our own.

critical attitude. We need to keep our heads up and be optimistic while being critical of the things that are contributing to climate change around the world.

leaders. We need to be able to listen to each other and science and think of our futures, if we want to make real sustainable changes to our world.

practice is to repair, especially with clothing and the fast fashion industry.

But as of right now, what can we as young people do in our own homes?

One day last summer, my

According to the United Nations, “green skills” are technical knowledge and skills that “enable the effective use of green technologies and processes.” Here are some examples that current climate activists think will be useful for the next generation to learn:

Second, quantitative reasoning. There is a lot of information out there about climate change and learning how to make sense of it will help us to move forward and act either reactively or proactively.

Something needs to be done and we can be the ones to do it if we put in the effort and time

Last, non-violent communication. This sounds obvious but our world leaders obviously have not mastered this. Communication and learning how to be active listeners will be the ultimate tool in creating a world that works together toward sustainability.

First, maintaining a healthy

These skills will be useful in the long run, when our generation starts to become world

Some of us are not in charge of our homes and the accommodations in them, but there are ways that you can make a difference even if it is just minor.

You could consider alternate forms of travel. For example, taking the bus or carpooling to work or school. Biking is a great and healthy way of transportation, and of course walking shorter distances instead of driving when you don’t need to is a good option.

Reduce, reuse, recycle is something we are taught all throughout school. Considering just how much unnecessary waste is being produced, these three practices should be more common. Another

Participating in community cleanups can help reduce the amount of waste polluting our water and plant life. It also just happens to make our city look nicer at the same time.

One last piece of advice I will leave with you is to speak up. Sure, we can make a difference in our own lives, but we can also encourage others to join us. Ask community representatives about what they are contributing to climate action.

We all need to realize that climate change is not just affecting the cold climates and the icebergs. People are losing their homes to both flooding and fires. Something needs to be done and we can be the ones to do it if we put in the effort and time. Even through small changes, like saving water in your home or switching your mode of travel, we can make a difference.

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff
photo / Ebunoluwa Akinbo / staff

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column, and 3x3 box contains every number uniquely. In Straights, like Sudoku, no single number 1 to 9 can repeat in any row or column. But rows and columns are divided by black squares into compartments. Each compartment must form a “straight.” A straight is a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black cells remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. Glance at the solution to see how “straights” are formed.

June tunes A playlist and a plea to reimagine the sound of summer

The phrase “song of the summer” gets thrown around a lot this time of year.

But something that has always annoyed me is that only the newest pop hits seem to be eligible for consideration! Why can’t, say, a Sun Ra composition from 1973 qualify for the song of the summer sweepstakes of 2024? Are we as a culture so ruthlessly committed to the here-and-now that we must immediately discard anything older than six months?

We need not be afraid to think bigger! To that end, here is a playlist of ten songs I listened to for the first time this month. Each would be a worthy candidate for the distinguished title of “song of the summer,” if only we could open our minds.

“Ghost Pathway Toward Midgard”

— Natural Snow Buildings, Between the Real and the Shadow (2008). Because every

good playlist has to start with 56 unrelenting minutes of psychedelic drone.

“In the Dry”

— Ivan the Tolerable, Time Is a Grave (2024). It opens with a discordant synth line matching the tone of the preceding song and then unfurls into a breezy slow jam.


— Debashis Sinha, Anudrutam (2010). I first encountered Sinha’s music through his inclusion in this year’s Cluster Festival lineup and I am glad I did. This skittering, staticky electronic piece is infectious.


— Annie-Claude Deschênes, Les Manières De Table (2024). A dancepunk heater featuring audio of a restaurant reservation being booked over the telephone. I am unsure whether Deschênes intended this to make a broader point about

society or whether the dullness of the situation is meant exclusively as a joke, but either way, I’m groovin’.

“Mysterious Love”

— Geese, 3D Country (2023). Geese is right. Sometimes love does feel like “20 pounds of glass in my eye.” I’m sure that this is normal.

“Side A”

— Peter Brötzmann, Milford Graves and William Parker, Historic Music Past Tense Future (2022). There is almost nothing more exhilarating than a trio of free jazz legends chopping it up. Graves’s work here is especially impressive. Despite the musicians’ lack of rehearsal prior to recording, the drummer somehow knew exactly when to hang back and when to grab the spotlight for himself.

“Blueprint” — Fugazi, Repeater (1990). The chorus (“Never mind what’s been selling / It’s what

you’re buying / And receiving undefiled”) is a useful reminder of the importance of interrogating our desires and sources of information.

“Sympathy Is a Knife” — Charli XCX, Brat (2024). My inner need to feel cool and interesting often leads me to reject popular music out of hand. This is why it took me until just this month to finally listen to Charli XCX on purpose. Reluctantly, I am forced to admit that her fans were right the whole time.

“Hyperconfessional and Over-

whelmingly Sincere,” — Alex Walton, I Want You to Kill Me (2023). Walton’s brand of depressing garage rock about being a self-conscious transsexual woman who cries at the slightest of provocations isn’t for everyone, but it sure resonated with me!

“Old Melody” — Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Keyboard Fantasies (1986). After a heavy dose of abrasive and/or emotionally intense songs, it is crucial to calm yourself down with a relaxing synthesizer instrumental.

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff

Encouraging “ecological empathy” Architecture

Astudent reconnects the public with its rivers in multimedia installation

s you walk into a darkened room, you are greeted with the sound of dripping water — at first slow and delicate, then increasingly insistent and dissonant.

It is not raining, nor has the roof sprung a leak. Rather, the sound is emanating from the walls of the Poolside Gallery. You have entered the Environment Machine Shop.

A featured installation of this year’s Cluster Festival, the Environment Machine Shop is an interactive exhibit containing pumps, copper pipes, LEDs and “Victorian-era inspired” scientific instruments. Six Petri dishes with water samples pulled from the Red, Assiniboine and Seine Rivers are lined up along the back wall. Lit from below, their shadows shimmer and quake. Combined with the eerie soundtrack, the effect is at once haunting and mundane.

Michael Lucenkiw, the artist behind the exhibit, said that the Machine Shop is an attempt to generate “ecological empathy.” He has

been “kinda frustrated” with the “general attitude of Winnipeggers towards the Red River … that it’s polluted, it’s bad, it’s unsafe.” He stressed that, while the river has been impacted by sewage dumping, it “isn’t this gross cesspool that we make it out to be.”

This assessment is corroborated by a visual inspection of the samples, which — apart from a few nondescript floating bits — are much clearer in colour than the river’s murkiness would suggest.

And yet, the exhibit’s most intriguing feature is a testament to the presence of environmental contamination. The “pollution piano” is a synthesizer-like instrument where each key is hooked up to a test tube of water. When pressed, the tubes light up purple and emit a tone corresponding to the water’s conductivity.

“Many water samples will have some natural ability to conduct electricity” due to sedimentary accumulation, Lucenkiw explained. Samples with high levels of salt or heavy metal content will have

greater conductivity and thus produce a higher pitch on the piano.

In Winnipeg, he was surprised to find that “most of the samples were pretty similar [in pitch].” By contrast, while testing his creation at the University of Windsor, the Detroit River’s tonal variation was considerably more pro-


The artist is now pursuing a Ph.D. in architecture at the University of Manitoba.

To Lucenkiw, art and architecture “play off of each other quite a bit.” The exhibit has allowed him to field test his research on DIY biomaterials. He hopes this research will eventually “empower com-

munities” to carry out their own architectural projects cheaply and more sustainably.

The Environment Machine Shop is on display at Video Pool Media Arts Centre (300 – 100 Arthur St.) until July 12, 2024. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wilfred Buck: from stargazer to screen star Cree astronomer and educator commemorated in new documentary film

The “star guy” has become a movie star.

Hailing from Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), Wilfred Buck — a U of M graduate — works for the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre as a science facilitator. He teaches astronomy to children with the use of an inflatable dome. A recently released feature film now bears his name.

Directed by Lisa Jackson, Wilfred Buck is a hybrid documentary-biopic. Jackson displays her commitment to formal experimentation right from the beginning. The opening shot is of the night sky accompanied by narration from Buck about how “the stars are a part of us, and we are a part of them.”

This quickly transitions into a live-action scene of Buck taking a phone call in his car. The unseen caller invites him to speak at a conference in Quebec. Buck replies, “holy smokes,” immediately establishing the protagonist as a friendly and humble character.

From there, the film weaves together these cinéma veritéstyle clips with archival footage, photographs and staged reenactments of episodes

from his youth.

As Buck puts it in voiceover, “This is my reality fiction.”

At best, the film inspires awe and anger in equal measure. Mesmerizing shots of lunar meteorites and a swimming sturgeon overlaid on the Milky Way — combined with Buck’s recounting of Cree (Ininew) star stories — reawakened my long-dormant fascination with space.

The anger, meanwhile, stems from the movie’s discussion of colonial dispossession.

In the film, Buck alludes to a 1906 land surrender that compelled many OCN residents to relocate and which, according to Buck, was enforced at gunpoint.

In the 1960s, the construction of the Grand Rapids hydroelectric station added further injury to the community. Vast swaths of traditional trapping and fishing ground were flooded in the name of economic development. In the film’s most poignant scene, Buck breaks into tears while describing the effect the flooding had on his grandfather’s livelihood, framing this displacement as a form of social murder. “They [the Canadian state] killed my grandfather,” Buck said.

Buck then details his strug-

gles with substance use, homelessness and the carceral state before a pivotal encounter with an Elder in Morley (Mînî Thnî), Alberta, changed his outlook on life. His experience building a sweat lodge there gave him a renewed appreciation for ceremony and the preservation of culture.

He carried this lesson into his astronomical storytelling practice. In a 2016 interview with the CBC, Buck explained that the only cosmic tales he learned about in his youth were those from Roman and Greek mythology, “implying that they were the only ones who understood […] the stars.” Eurocentrism within the Canadian education system contributed to a loss of culture that Buck has spent decades helping to reverse. He stresses that Indigenous star knowledge never disappeared, but rather “went to sleep.”

In gathering this knowledge and weaving together stories from Cree, Anishinaabe and Lakota cosmologies, he came to realize the sacredness of life. The film underscores this point with footage of a younger Buck contending with the implications of this understanding. Smiling, he remarks, “everything is sacred — even these little bugs […]

Maybe I don’t have to kill them if they’re not bothering me, but I’m not there yet.”

Chrussy (Mystery) Byrd, assistant location manager for the film, agreed with the sentiment. The experience of using insecticide while working on a different movie “was horrible and […] totally changed my outlook on bugs,” she said. To her relief, on the set of Wilfred Buck, she was tasked with using a more humane deterrent, garlic spray.

Although I found that the film’s back half dragged in places — especially the scenes of Buck attending academic conferences — the clips of him conversing with friends and family while helping pre-

pare for a Sun Dance were crucial to the narrative, situating him within a larger community by giving his friends and loved ones a chance to speak. Overall, Wilfred Buck’s exploration of the interconnectedness of all things and its emphasis on cultivating joy in the face of adversity make the documentary an engaging and spiritually enriching work.

I would highly recommend seeing it in theatres.

Wilfred Buck will be playing on July 6 and 7 at the Dave Barber Cinematheque. Tickets are available at davebarbercinematheque.com.

graphic / Teegan Gillich / staff
photo / Nischal Karki / staff

2024 Manitoba African Cup of Nations kicks off Sixteen teams compete for the ultimate trophy and enviable positions

The annual Manitoba African Cup of Nations has been ushered into play as 16 teams play for accolades and bragging rights.

Players and technical members are expected to perform their respective duties in the competition which takes place at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex in Winnipeg.

In the maiden edition, six years ago, four teams featured to demonstrate their playing and technical prowess. The four teams included

Ghana, Senegal, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Some of the competing teams for this year’s edition include Canada, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The remaining teams involved consist of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Egypt, Eritrea, Tanzania, South Sudan, Ivory Coast and Morocco.

Canadian African Cup of Nations president Gode Katembo explains the motive

behind the tournament.

“The tournament is about bringing communities together, creating that safe space for where youth, but also athletes can have a platform where they can showcase what they’re capable of doing,” he said, as reported by CBC News.

“Africa is a big community, it’s a big continent, but if there’s one language that we all can understand it is the language of soccer,” he added.

In some opening games, Ghana defeated Tanzania 2–1

to make a statement of intent for the competition. Ghana took the early lead and later doubled it, but Tanzania managed to place a ball into Ghana’s net, through a sumptuous volley as the goalkeeper was caught ball watching before the close of the game.

Nigeria went all out to delight their fans and spectators by walloping Cameroon in a seven goal thriller, emerging the high scoring team in the opening day.

Ivory Coast announced their presence following a 4–1

Sports teams’ schedules

Valour FC

Valour FC vs. York United FC

Valour FC vs. Cavalry FC

HFX Wanderers FC vs. Valour FC

Atlético Ottawa vs. Valour FC

Pacific FC vs. Valour FC

Valour FC vs. Forge FC

Valour FC vs. York United FC

Valour FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC

Valour FC vs. Vancouver FC

Cavalry FC vs. Valour FC

win over Kenya.

Uganda and Rwanda were involved in a five goal game, ending 3–2 against the latter. Egypt recorded a clean sheet over Eritrea after scoring two unanswered goals. Canada and Senegal split honours 1–1.

Congo and South Sudan both had a 2–1 win over Somalia and Morocco, respectively.

The competition began in June and will continue into August.

June 27 – 6:30 p.m.

July 7 – 4:00 p.m.

July 18 – 5:00 p.m.

July 21 – 1:00 p.m.

July 28 – 4:00 p.m.

August 4 – 2:00 p.m.

August 11 - 7:00 p.m.

August 17- 2:00 p.m.

August 25 – 2:00 p.m.

August 30 – 8:30 p.m.

Manitoba African Cup of Nations

Rwanda vs. Eritrea

Egypt vs. Uganda

South Sudan vs. Cameroon

Nigeria vs. Morocco

Tanzania vs. Canada

Senegal vs. Ghana

Ivory Coast vs. Somalia

Democratic Republic of the Congo vs. Kenya

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Bombers vs. Calgary Stampeders

Ottawa Redblacks vs. Bombers

Calgary Stampeders vs. Bombers

Bombers vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders

Bombers vs. Toronto Argonauts

BC Lions vs. Bombers

Bombers vs. BC Lions

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Bombers

Bombers vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders

June 29 – 3:30 p.m.

June 29 – 5:15 p.m.

June 29 – 7:00 p.m.

June 29 – 8:45 p.m.

June 30 – 3:30 p.m.

June 30 – 5:15 p.m.

June 30 – 7:00 p.m.

June 30 – 8:45 p.m.

June 29 – 6:00 p.m.

July 5 – 7:30 p.m.

July 12 – 7:30 p.m.

July 19 – 8:30 p.m.

July 27 – 6:00 p.m.

August 1 – 7:30 p.m.

August 18 – 6:00 p.m.

August 23 – 7:30 p.m.

September 1 – 6:00 p.m.

Winnipeg Goldeyes

Chicago Dogs vs. Goldeyes

Gary Southshore Railcats vs. Goldeyes

June 27 – 6:30 p.m.

June 28 – 6:45 p.m.

Gary Southshore Railcats vs. Goldeyes June 29 – 4:00 p.m.

Gary Southshore Railcats vs. Goldeyes

June 30 – 2:00 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 2 – 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 3 – 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 4 – 7:05 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks

July 5 – 7:00 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks July 6 – 6:00 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks July 7 – 1:00 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Kansas City Monarchs July 9 – 6:30 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Kansas City Monarchs July 10 – 6:30 p.m.

Goldeyes vs. Kansas City Monarchs July 11 – 6:30 p.m.

Sioux Falls Canaries vs. Goldeyes July 12 – 7:05 p.m.

Sioux Falls Canaries vs. Goldeyes July 13 – 5:35 p.m.

Sioux Falls Canaries vs. Goldeyes July 14 – 1:05 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 16 – 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 17 – 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City Explorers vs. Goldeyes July 18 – 7:05 p.m.

Winnipeg Sea Bears

Niagara River Lions vs. Sea Bears June 27 – 7:00 p.m.

Edmonton Stingers vs. Sea Bears July 3 – 7:00 p.m.

Sea Bears vs. Montreal Alliance July 5 – 7:00 p.m.

Sea Bears vs. Saskatchewan Rattlers July 11 – 8:30 p.m.

Vancouver Bandits vs. Sea Bears July 13 – 7:30 p.m.

Sea Bears vs. Vancouver Bandits July 18 -9:00 p.m.

Saskatchewan Rattlers vs. Sea Bears July 20 – 7:30 p.m.

Calgary Surge vs. Sea Bears July 23 – 7:00 p.m.

Sea Bears vs. Calgary Surge July 25 – 8:00 p.m.

Sea Bears vs. Edmonton Stingers July 29 – 8:00 p.m.

All Times in CDT*

Recap of Bisons’ 2023-24 season

Herd excelled at U Sports, CanWest championships last season

The University of Manitoba Bisons delivered remarkable accounts following the wrap of the 2023-24 sporting season. The women’s volleyball team was a force to reckon with, clinching the bronze medal at the U Sports championship.

After losing to the University of Alberta Pandas in an epic semi-final clash, the Bisons gathered momentum through stellar performances to snatch the bronze medal over Acadia University’s Axewomen.

The herd kept composure to triumph over the opponent in all three sets, with the first, second and third sets ending in 25–18, 25–13 and 25–17, respectively.

Bisons Light Uchechukwu, Andi Almonte and Brenna Bedosky overshadowed opposing players through individual brilliance to seal a third-place spot at the U Sports championship.

Aside from the bronze medal feat, the U of M women’s volleyball team chalked promising statistics with 27 wins and five defeats.

Elsewhere, the U of M women’s volleyball team was in the spotlight after emerging as winners of the 2024 Canada West championship for the first time in the university’s history, following a 3–2 narrow win over the University of British Columbia.

The first, second and fifth sets propelled the Bisons to victory, ending 25–17, 25–17 and 15–13, respectively, while the third and fourth sets were a close call of 26–24 and 25–23

going to the University of British Columbia.

“It was such a great match by two great teams and a great crowd,” said Bisons head coach Ken Bently, as reported by gobisons.ca.


Last season ended on a memorable note for Ella Howe and Kelsey Fillion, members of the Bisons women’s swim team, after the duo had put up a five-star performance to win gold medals at the Canada West championship.

The gold medal triumphs earned Howe and Fillion a spot in the Olympic trials.

Georgia Pengilly, a member of the swim team, encouraged athletes to overcome any potential fears during competition and to be proud of what the sport represents.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” she said.

The men’s team had a resounding swimming adventure at the Canada West championship by capturing the bronze medal in the 4x100metre. Through cohesion, Eric Dupre, Carson Beggs, Ty Unrau and Andriy Usan made a pleasant time of 3:53.04.

Through individual effort, Usan was pronounced MVP after bagging three individual medals. With a time of 2:09.62, Usan emerged victorious in the 200-metre butterfly, second with a time of 56.24 in the 100-metre butterfly and wrapped up in third with a time of 25.41 in the 50-metre butterfly.

Track and field

For the Bisons women’s track and field team, Lara Denbow rose to the occasion through an indelible display to win the gold medal with a

jump of 1.78 metres at the U Sports championship.

The men’s team was a step away from the ultimate target as they ended with a secondplace finish to improve in the standings. The team

Valour faces York United in home game Thursday

Points at stake for both teams

Abdul-Jalilu Ahmed, staff

Winnipeg-based Valour FC is set to host York United FC in a matchday 12 game at Princess Auto Stadium this Thursday. The upcoming game serves as an opportunity for the two teams to play for points in the Canadian Premier League.

Valour FC currently occupies the seventh position in an eight-team league standing while York United FC remains resilient to unseat league leaders Atlético Ottawa from the table’s summit.

Valour FC – after snatching a 2–0 win over Vancouver FC at home on June 2 – has gone two matches without a win at home. The last two home matches for Valour FC ended in defeat

to league leaders Atlético Ottawa and Pacific FC on June 9 and 14, respectively. Valour FC lost to Atlético Ottawa by two unanswered goals and lost to Pacific FC 2-3, scoring two goals and conceding five goals during these matches.

Shaan Hundal and Jordi Swibel fetched the two goals for Valour FC in 46 and 62 minutes, respectively, while Sean Young and Andrei Tircoveanu got goals for Pacific FC in 18 and 32 minutes, respectively. Young’s goal was through a penalty kick and Hundal scored an own goal in the 74th minute.

Valour FC lost to Pacific FC at home in front of 3,032 spectators at the Princess Auto Stadium in south Winnipeg.

The GM and head coach of

Valour FC Phillip Dos Santos sees a new team with young players that needs to grow.

“Yes, we could be a very good team; we could play against anyone in the league. It’s still a new team and a young team and there’s still some things where we need to grow,” he said, as reported by valourfc.canpl.ca.

Valour FC’s opponents in Thursday’s game, York United FC, have won and lost one game during their last two matches away from home.

York United FC encountered a disappointing 0–3 loss to Forge FC on June 1, but later resurfaced to manage a 2–1 narrow victory over table toppers Atlético Ottawa on Saturday two weeks later.

Toronto-based York United

FC have netted two goals and conceded three goals in their last two matches away from home.

Ahead of this clash, York United FC kept title ambitions alive with a 2–0 success over Pacific FC at York Lions Stadium on June 19. amassed 82 points. Max Speiser exhibited endurance and agility to become a heptathlon winner with a total of 5,270 points across all events.

York United FC is five points adrift of front-runners Atlético Ottawa and a point above Pacific FC. York United FC arrive in Winnipeg with five wins, two draws and four losses, scoring 17 goals and conceding 17 goals.

photo / Cameron Bartlett / provided
photos / Matthew Merkel / staff

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