For anyone interested, here is the URL to the Albertan Canadian Paraplegic Association’s online newsletter Wheel-E. You can subscribe to Wheel-E via email or phone (780-424-6312 for local calls or 1-888-654-5444 for toll free phone calls outside of Edmonton). If you have announcements you would like to post, you can submit them via the email address (the deadline for submission is the 26th of each month).
Eva Feder Kittay, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University and Senior Fellow of the Stony Brook Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete a book tentatively titled Disabled Minds and Things that Matter: Lessons for a Humbler Philosophy. The prestigious fellowship, which places Professor Kittay in the company of many illustrious names, which also includes a lengthy list of noble prize laureates (Czeslaw Milosz being a particular favourite of mine), was established in 1925 and is granted to individuals whose work makes substantial contributions to education, literature, art, and science. Professor Kittay’s work pushes philosophical discourse beyond the inadequate rationalistic framework that has traditionally been utilized to measure the worth of persons. She urges that actual relationships of care and love characterize who we are and why we are morally considerable. Equipped with both the argumentative and analytic tools of a philosopher and the personal experience of being a parent of a child with severe cognitive disabilities, Eva Kittay is in a unique position to play the part of a competent judge whose insights have great philosophical, and more saliently, educational value. Although Disabled Minds and Things that Matter: Lessons for a Humbler Philosophy will be a philosophically rigorous contemplation on the place of disability in philosophical discourse, it will nevertheless be aimed at the educated lay reader, meaning that it will not only shape future philosophical projects, but will also serve to educate the public.
Why is a focus on disability important to the future of philosophical research? Taking severe cognitive disabilities into account when formulating questions in philosophy will force us to reframe both traditional and contemporary inquiries. For example, the rationalistic model of personhood inherited from Aristotle and Kant as well as the numerous individualistic psychological accounts of diachronic personal identity that have been developed since Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding will have to give way to other, more inclusive models and accounts that better represent the relational nature of memory, personhood, and moral status of human beings. Relational personhood and an extended account of personal identity, which is the focus of my own research is indebted to such fundamental reframing of philosophical questions by placing the interests of individuals with severe cognitive disabilities at the centre of our philosophical contemplations regarding the moral status of persons. If placing disability at the centre of philosophical inquiry helps philosophy transcend its current theoretical bounds, then not only is Eva Kittay correct in suggesting that disability is at the frontier of philosophy itself, but Professor Kittay and those her research project inspires to work at the intersection of philosophy and disability studies are forging a new philosophical direction in the time honoured spirit of philosophical innovation and transformation.
If you missed the recent broadcast of We Were Children you can still watch the full movie online. It will be available for viewing until April 23.
We Were Children is a 2012 Canadian documentary film about the experiences of First Nations children in the Canadian Indian residential school system. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada. For over 130 years, Canada’s First Nations children were legally required to attend Government-funded schools run by various orders of the Christian faith. ‘We Were Children’ is based on the testimony of two survivors.
A 24 hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is posted at the beginning of the film offering assistant to anyone who is distressed by the broadcast: 1-866-925-4419
The film was shot in Manitoba, in Winnipeg, St-Pierre-Jolys and at the former Portage residential school, now the Rufus Prince building, in Portage la Prairie. It was produced by Kyle Irving for Eagle Vision, Loren Mawhinney for eOne Television, and produced and executive produced by David Christensen for the National Film Board of Canada. The executive producer for the Eagle Vision was Lisa Meeches, whose parents and older siblings were sent to residential schools.
Meeches, who spent over seven years travelling across Canada to collect residential school survivors’ stories for the Government of Canada, has stated that the idea for the film originated from a discussion she’d had at the Banff World Media Festival. It was Meeches who approached director Wolochatiuk with the project. CBC Manitoba reporter Sheila North Wilson assisted the production by translating material in the script from English to Cree.
We Were Children premiered on October 2, 2012 at the Vancouver International Film Festival, followed by a screening at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto on October 18. It was broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in March 2013, followed by a DVD release from the National Film Board of Canada on April 12, 2013. (background information taken from the wikipedia article written on the film).
Today, March 27, 2014 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada begins hearings at the Shaw Conference Centre. The hearings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged. As the TRC Mandate (1998) stated, it is not only the sincere “acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Aboriginal people” but also the community’s step for “continued healing” and “[paving] [of] the way for reconciliation” that is the overall aim of testimonies through the the context of the TRC.
The program for the TRC in Edmonton can be found here:http://www.trc.ca/websites/alberta/index.php?p=766
NO REGISTRATION NEEDED TO ATTEND.
Those wishing to provide a statement to the Commission may register onsite during the event.
CAN’T COME? The Alberta National Event will be livestreamed at http://www.trc.ca.
March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day, and 2014 is the ninth year in which it has been held, and the third in which it has been recognized by the United Nations. I want to start this post with an already-widely viewed video from CoorDown that has been up for less than a week, and step back from there. The video is called “DEAR FUTURE MOM”:
At the time of writing, this video had been viewed over 1.6 million times in 6 days, with over 500 comments on it. It’s clearly designed to be emotional and to directly send a number of messages, including at least these: anxieties about having a child with Down syndrome are understandable but overblown; children with Down syndrome will likely bring much joy and richness to the lives of any family they are in, and particularly to mothers; and Down syndrome does not obliterate or subhumanize the person who has it.
The need for those messages, and perhaps others, to be sent, loud and clear, is grounded in the sad fact that parental fears associated with potentially having a child who will have Down syndrome are amongst the highest risk factors for people with Down syndrome. This is because Continue reading
For 116 years, thousands of Aboriginal children in Alberta were sent to Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government and run by the churches. They were taken from their families and communities in order to be stripped of language, cultural identity and traditions.
Canada’s attempt to wipe out Aboriginal cultures failed. But it left an urgent need for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.
There were more Indian Residential Schools in Alberta than in any other province. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) is holding its Alberta National Event in Edmonton this year.
Come and share your truth about the schools and their legacy. Witness and celebrate the resilience of Aboriginal cultures.
(excerpt from TRC.ca)
Alberta National Event – March 27 – 30, 2014 will be held in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre 9797 Jasper Avenue. No registration needed to attend. Those wishing to provide a statement to the Commission may register onsite during the event.
You can download the program click here
On Thursday March 20 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the University of Alberta, Lister Centre, Maple Leaf Room
Understanding the TRC: Exploring Reconciliation, Intergenerational Trauma, and Indigenous Resistance featuring:
Commissioner Dr. Wilton Littlechild
Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson
Dr. Ian Mosby
Dr. Keavy Martin
Moderated by Jodi Stonehouse
Reception 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Tea, bannock and berries. Event is free.
Gala Reading featuring:
Daniel Heath Justice
Anna Marie Sewell
Richard Van Camp
Friday, March 21 from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm in Humanities Centre L-1 (111th Street and Saskatchewan Drive)
Giveaways. Books for sale. Free Admission
You find this information and links to campus maps here
Peru will not prosecute former President Alberto Fujimori and his cabinet over a sterilization campaign that was part of a birth control program in the 1990s, the country’s public prosecutor’s office said Friday in a statement.
Prosecutor Marco Guzman concluded there were no crimes against humanity committed by Fujimori’s government during the campaign carried out in a rural region of the country.
But human rights groups and victims may beg to differ.
They allege that sterilization was forced upon more than 2,000 women under Fujimori’s government in an attempt to reduce poverty by lowering the birthrate.
Some women told stories of having their tubes tied without their knowledge or consent.
At the time, roughly 300,000 women participated willfully in the birth control campaign, human rights groups and government officials said.
The government’s role in possible abuses related to the campaign involved the establishment of a quota system imposed upon doctors and nurses to sterilize at least three women per month, said Peruvian human rights attorney Rossy Salazar in 2011.
The original investigation into allegations of forced sterilization was shelved in 2009 but reopened again in 2011.
Fujimori, who led Peru from 1990 to 2000, is currently serving four concurrent sentences for corruption and human rights abuses. The longest is 25 years.