In the Exaltation of Links post yesterday, I noted the CBC story about Maggie MacDonnell, who was nominated for the Global Teacher Prize. (And that comes with a whack of money.) Maggie teaches in Salluit, in a remote community in northern Quebec.
From The Tyee: Guaranteed Basic Income on Verge of Take-off in Canada.
Guy Caron is not a household name in Canadian politics. Yet.
Caron kicked off his campaign for the New Democratic Party leadership this week with a policy proposal that’s becoming the subject of a lot of political chatter in Canada and beyond: a guaranteed basic income.
The idea could well become the sleeper issue in Canadian politics in 2017 — not just in the NDP but across the political spectrum, drawing in non-partisan advocates as well. [continue]
If you have your DNA tested for genetic concerns, should the results be private? Or should you be forced to share that information with insurance companies and your employer? That issue is in the news this week. The USA moved in one direction (Guess what they decided – I know you can!) and Canada did the opposite.
Here’s what the US is doing:
- New bill would let companies force workers to get genetic tests, share results – Ars Technica
- Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We’ve got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans – The Register
- House GOP approves bill allowing companies to force genetic testing on workers – Boing Boing
And in Canada:
Over the objection of their own government, dozens of Liberal backbenchers voted Wednesday night in favour of a bill banning genetic discrimination.
In voting for what is known as Bill S-201, the backbench Liberals, along with all Conservative, NDP and Green Party MPs made it a crime for, among other things, insurance companies to demand potential customers provide a DNA test in order to get a policy. Additionally, no company will be able to deny someone a job if they fail to have their genes tested.
Protection from discrimination because of an individual’s genetic makeup will now be written into the Canadian Labour Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. [continue]
That’s from the National Post article, Liberal backbenchers vote against Trudeau, pass law banning genetic discrimination.
Thank you, Canadian MPs.
The image on the computer screen looks innocent enough: A ledger showing a list of names, ages and descriptions of physical stature — all of it written in a precise script that hasn’t been practised in more than two centuries.
But a closer examination of the Book of Negroes online reveals a time when black people were — legally speaking — nothing more than property.
The book was compiled in New York between April and November of 1783 at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War.
It is a record of the 3,000 black refugees — all of whom sided with the British during the war — who were loaded on ships bound for Nova Scotia, then a British colony. [continue]
What did Europeans see of the native people when they first arrived in BC? From the National Post: Everyone was dead: When Europeans first came to B.C., they stepped into the aftermath of a holocaust.
Everywhere they looked, there were corpses. Abandoned, overgrown villages were littered with skulls; whole sections of coastline strewn with bleached, decayed bodies.
“The skull, limbs, ribs and backbones, or some other vestiges of the human body, were found in many places, promiscuously scattered about the beach in great numbers,” wrote explorer George Vancouver in what is now Port Discovery, Wash.
It was May 1792. The lush environs of the Georgia Strait had once been among the most densely populated corners of the land that is now Canada, with humming villages, harbours swarming with canoes and valleys so packed with cookfires that they had smog.
But the Vancouver Expedition experienced only eerie quiet.
They kept seeing rotting houses and massive clearings cut out of the Pacific forest — evidence that whoever lived here had been able to muster armies of labourers.
And yet the only locals the sailors encountered were small groups of desperately poor people, many of them horribly scarred and missing an eye. [continue]
- Voices of Disaster: Smallpox around the Strait of Georgia in 1782 – jstor.org
- The Spirit of Pestilence: The Smallpox Epidemic in Victoria in 1862 – uvic.ca
- Smallpox in the Pacific Northwest: The First Epidemics by Robert Boyd – UBC Library
- Smallpox Epidemic of 1862 among Northwest Coast and Puget Sound Indians – historylink.org
- The smallpox winter for B.C.’s Indigenous Regimes: the St’at’imc – shawnswanky.com
- Smallpox -MuseumOfHealthcare.ca
From The Tyee: Senator Larry Campbell Vows Push to Legalize Opioids.
The former Vancouver mayor who oversaw the installation of the city’s first open safe injection site says he intends to push for the legalization of opioids, even if it means introducing the legislation himself. (…)
Campbell is a proponent of the so-called “Four Pillars” initiative, which advocates balancing harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and enforcement to help ease Vancouver’s addiction troubles.
But although Metro Vancouver could use more safe injection sites, Campbell said Canada must go further to tackle its opioid problem as the fentanyl crisis spreads across the country.
“I’m beyond that now,” Campbell said of injection sites, which he said keep people alive but don’t address the underlying causes of addiction. “We should be actually supplying opioids to addicts within facilities.” [continue]
This makes so much sense.
These are fish-hooks more interesting and beautiful than any I’ve seen. From phys.org: Team examines the evolution of wooden halibut hooks carved by native people of the Northwest Coast.
The Tlingit and Haida, indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast (NWC), have used carved wooden hooks to catch halibut for centuries. As modern fishing technology crept into use, however, the old hooks practically disappeared from the sea. But they thrived on land—as decorative art.
The hook’s evolution from utilitarian tool to expression of cultural heritage is the subject of a paper by Jonathan Malindine, a doctoral student in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Anthropology. In “Northwest Coast Halibut Hooks: an Evolving Tradition of Form, Function, and Fishing,” published in the journal Human Ecology, he traces the arc of the hook’s design and how its dimensions have changed over time.
“I used to be a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and also lived in a Tlingit and Haida community,” Malindine said. “So, the intersection of fisheries and Alaska Native art has always fascinated me. These NWC hooks are really effective at catching halibut, and also are intricately carved with rich, figural designs. Between the technology and the mythological imagery, there’s a lot going on.” [continue]
No one will say “Happy Efisga Day” next July 1.
But as we look ahead to Canada’s 150th year, we are reminded that we are Canadians because — as the story goes — Jacques Cartier coined the term in 1534 from a lost-in-translation conversation during his first meeting with the Iroquois.
We could have been Cabotians, Tuponians or Hochelaganders.
Here are some of the other names that were considered when this country was just a fledgling dominion. [continue]
Have you heard about Freedom Cove? It’s a floating home on the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Tofino. But “floating home” doesn’t do it justice. These guys have a four greenhouses and a garden, for instance, all on floats in the middle of the cove. Mashable describes it as a floating sanctuary that provides artistic inspiration:
Walking through their home for the first time is a bizarre experience. You enter through a front gate made of two whale ribs. You sit and relax in the living room, with a hole cut in the floor so Wayne can catch fish from his couch. The whole house, tethered to the land and floating on armored foam, is always moving with the ebb and flow of the tide. [continue]
OK, that fishing-from-the-couch thing sounds really fun.
What do you think? Could you live like in a floating home like this one?
Here are some more articles about Freedom Cove, some with fantastic photos.
- This family lives on a floating fortress of greenhouses in the middle of the ocean – theplaidzebra.com
- Self-sufficient couple builds their own floating off-grid island (Video) – treehugger.com
- Couple Dedicates 20 Years To Building A Self-Sufficient, Floating Island To Live Off The Grid – demilked.com
- Freedom Cove: An Off-the-Grid Floating Island Home – greenoptimistic.com
- This Incredible Floating House Complex is Truly Off-The-Grid – interestingengineering.com
From sciencemag.org: Ancient underwater garden discovered in Canada.
Archaeologists have discovered the earliest known garden in the Pacific Northwest—and it was underwater. The site, about 30 kilometers east of Vancouver, Canada, on land belonging to the Native American group Katzie First Nation, was once part of an ecologically rich wetland. It was divided into two parts: one on dry land, where people lived and built their homes, and one that was underwater. In the underwater section, people had arranged small stones into a [continue]
Interested in the history of Canada’s north? This is for you, from the CBC: Archaeologists document Dene caribou fences in N.W.T.
Researchers are documenting Sahtu Dene caribou fences in the Northwest Territories, marking a physical record of Indigenous history in the area.
Tom Andrews, an archeologist with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, is documenting a kilometre-long wooden fence believed to have been used about 100 years ago in the Sahtu region.
“It’s a real smart hunting strategy that’s probably been used for thousands of years,” Andrews said.
Hunters used the fence to corral caribou, making it easier for them to hunt them in large numbers. [continue]