North American Indigenous Games are not just sports but a cultural exchange

first_imgThe 2017 North American Indigenous Games are bringing a message of healing to Toronto, not just through participation in sports, but a cultural exchange.Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, the CEO of the Games, emphasizes the cultural exchange that will happen not just between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people, but First Nations from across the continent. That process starts with Sunday’s opening ceremony at the Aviva Centre on York University’s campus.“Reconciliation is a two-way street,” Trudeau-Bomberry said Monday. “It’s about non-Indigenous people taking that step to learn about Indigenous people, about the culture, about learning about some of the athletes and where they’ve come from and what they’ve gone through to make it Toronto.“Everyone’s got a different story to tell, different challenges and different barriers.”Running from Sunday to July 23 in Toronto, Hamilton and nearby Six Nations, Ont., the North American Indigenous Games — NAIG for short — are for athletes 19 or younger competing in 14 sports including track and field, basketball, baseball, boxing, golf, lacrosse, swimming and soccer, among others. Canadian teams are broken up by province or territory, while the United States are broken up into 13 regions.Although the inaugural NAIG was held in Edmonton in 1990, this summer’s edition has taken on new importance after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action No. 88 requested that all levels of government support the Games to help heal the legacy of residential schools and ongoing systemic racism in First Nations communities.On the surface, NAIG encourages the physical health of its competitors, but Trudeau-Bomberry sees the event as a multi-layered approach to healing Aboriginal communities.“When we look at the path to wellness, we look at it from a holistic point of view, that all your various elements of being need to be well,” said Trudeau-Bomberry. “We look at physical well being as just as important as your spiritual well being, as your emotional well being, your mental well being.”Part of that is helping non-Indigenous people experience Aboriginal culture and sports. To that end, all competition and cultural events except the opening and closing ceremonies have free admission.But NAIG is also an opportunity for Indigenous youth to meet each other, share their common experiences and appreciate that they’re not alone.“You introduce a kid to a sport and they thrive and they have this community and this feeling of inclusion that will stay with them for a lifetime,” said former Olympic boxer Mary Spencer, who competed in basketball at NAIG in 2002. “These Games give these kids who are left out of so many different areas that opportunity to feel that sense of belonging in the realm of sport.“It’s an absolutely incredible event that’s happening in Toronto and all of us in Ontario, Indigenous or not, can be proud that we’re hosting it.”The NAIG opening ceremonies in Cowichan, B.C., (2008) and Regina (2014) reflected the culture and history of the coastal and plains Indigenous peoples respectively. Trudeau-Bomberry and the Toronto NAIG organizing committee have had to meet the challenge of representing all the different Indigenous experiences within Ontario in Sunday’s ceremony.“We want to give it due justice,” said Trudeau-Bomberry, pointing out that the province contains sizable Metis and Inuit populations in addition to First Nations. “As we deliver the Games we want to give a good representation of Indigenous cultures across Ontario.“We also understand that in contemporary Canadian culture that urban centres have become home to a large number of Indigenous cultures that are from all over (North America).”Saskatchewan has the most medals all time with a total of 1,894, well ahead of Alberta (1,056) and Manitoba (849).___Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitterlast_img read more

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Following in Sashas paw prints

first_imgHarry Kiick had a certain expectation in mind when he began looking for a new service animal after the death of his beloved dog Sasha earlier this year.He thought he might end up with another German shepherd. He envisioned an adult dog with a calm, confident, loving demeanor.In other words, Kiick was looking for another Sasha. What he found was something very different.Meet Carter, a rambunctious bull mastiff/Shar-Pei puppy with plenty of affection and loyalty — and a lot to learn.“Our relationship is very different,” said Kiick, who lives with an uncontrolled seizure disorder. “Sasha came in and she was in charge from Day One. We were partners from Day One. With this relationship, I have to take charge more.”Six-month-old Carter is still going through obedience training with regular sessions at a Petco store in east Vancouver. With trainer Paula Ercoli at his side, Kiick and Carter walked a loop around the store one day last week, working on various commands.Carter’s youth showed at times. He perked up excitedly whenever he spotted another dog. He pulled his leash, occasionally becoming distracted.“Heel,” Kiick said, easing Carter back to his side. “That’s it. Just like that. Stay with Dad.”Kiick admits working with Carter has been frustrating at times. But he’s seen significant improvement in a relatively short time, he said. The two were only paired May 6 — 12 years to the day after Kiick and Sasha became partners in 2002.When Sasha died in February, she left big paw prints to fill. The dog made a profound impact on Kiick and many others in the community. A memorial service for Sasha packed dozens of people into the chapel at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, where Kiick has volunteered for years.last_img read more

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Fikry might have been indifferent to my work

first_imgGabrielle Zevin’s The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long long time. It doesn’t pander to baseless emotions to make the thoughts and feelings work, nor does it deal in excesses. The story of book shop owner A.J Fikry and how his life changes with the sudden entrance of a child he adopts and names Maya, flows out as incredibly as the stories of the books he makes Maya read as she grows up. Thus, when it came to interviewing Zevin, I knew I would not miss it for the world! Read… Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Let’s start with a bit about you. Tell us how you started writing.My grandmother had an electric typewriter that I was obsessed with as a little girl. When we would visit her, she would always set me up with paper, and I’d spend hours and hours typing a few words, basically nonsense. I liked the satisfying clatter of the keys and the scent of ink on paper. I always tell people that before I liked to write, I liked to type.How did The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry come into being? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSince I was first published almost a decade ago, I’ve wanted to write a book about that experience and the way publishing a novel changes your relationship to books. I played with this novel—my book about books—for many years, but I could never quite work it out. It was originally focused on what would become the Maya character, the fledgling writer. After about seven years, I realized that the book would be much better if it were about the bookseller and not the writer. And once I knew that, the writing went very quickly!  And A.J Fikry. How did he come about? Were you inspired by someone into creating this character? At nearly every bookstore I go to, someone tells me that they know a person just like A.J. Fikry. But no, he wasn’t consciously based on anyone. There are many A.J.’s in all aspects of bookselling and publishing. And even when these people aren’t fans of my books, I don’t mind them. We need A.J.’s. There are A LOT of books published every year, and we need people to tell us what is good and what is not. My dad, who I adore, is probably a bit of an A.J. He is a runner like A.J., and he has many, many, many opinions. My mom, incidentally, is a bit of an Amelia. She always studies the menus before she goes to restaurants. Besides A.J who is your favourite character? I’ll make it a little harder – besides Maya as well! Probably poor Daniel Parish. The first time someone called him a villain at an event I was doing, I remember feeling a bit sad. I know his shortcomings, but I have empathy for him. For many years, the most successful book I published was the first one, the one I wrote when I was 25. Daniel has a similar backstory though I should mention that my personal life is a lot less complicated than his.The books A.J notes down for his daughter – are those books that made an impact on you some way or the other? Are they your favourites?They are not my favorites, and I wouldn’t necessarily say they were A.J.’s either. They are a broad selection of short stories that A.J. thinks would be instructive for a young writer to have read: a mini-cannon. But the truth is, that’s only what the stories are from A.J’s point of view. From my point of view as the novelist, the stories had to do quite a few other things as well. They had to provide a way for A.J. to tell Maya about his life. They had to work thematically with the events of the novel. They had to be good chapter titles, too! And so I will tell you that the business of choosing them was quite complicated. If they aren’t – what are yours? And what would your comprehensive list of ‘what-my-daughter-must-read’ look like?Oh, my favorites change all the time! I’m always finding new favorites. My three favorite books I read this year were The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, The Dinner by Herman Koch, and Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.  It’s funny. I feel like a lively reading life should include a degree of randomness, a degree of discovery. So…I probably wouldn’t make a list like A.J.’s in the first place. I do think short stories are a good place to start with young writers (and readers), though. My list would probably include more female writers, more twenty-first century, more genre. A.J. doesn’t have, for instance, any sci-fi. When I was a kid, one of my favorite short stories was Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt. It’s an early virtual reality story, and I remember that it blew my tiny child mind. There’s a list A.J. makes for Maya when she has writer’s block. That list, which includes Z.Z. Packer and Amy Hempel, is closer to my taste. Tell us about the best and the worst times you faced while writing this book. Once a book is finished, I have the mysterious ability to block out almost the entire process of writing it. I know I’ve done a good job when I’m finished writing, and I feel a sense of loss. I know I’ve done a good job when I feel like the characters are people I used to know, but who I won’t be seeing anymore. Anyway, I sometimes find it hard when I’m finished to move on to the next thing! I But in a way, this is the best and the worst part. You are always meeting new colleagues and having to say goodbye.Would your book make the cut at A.J’s bookshop?Depends on what day it crossed A.J.’s desk and what kind of mood he was in. Depends on how much the sales rep sold it to him and how much he trusted his or her opinion. As I was writing, I knew that A.J. would probably not have read anything I had written and if he had, he wouldn’t necessarily have liked it anyway. I made peace with A.J.’s indifference to my work very early on in the process. A delightful discovery for me has been that it is not required for all your characters to approve of you. Someone said to me that the A.J. of the beginning of the story would not like the book, but the A.J. at the end might. I agree with this assessment.last_img read more

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Celebrating Innocence

first_imgThe 12th edition of National School of Drama’s Jashnebachpan- the biggest children theatre festival, is here to enthrall children from all walks of life including the underprivileged. Over 1000 underprivileged children from Delhi NCR area witnessed the commencement ceremony in the NSD campus. NSD has also roped in Zonal Cultural Centers  to further encourage and support regional participation.Jashnebachpan 2014 was inaugurated by Shripad Yasso Naik, Minister of Tourism and Culture on Sunday, 2 November at Abhimanch in the Capital’s National School of Drama. The inaugural ceremony was followed by Bal Rang, a performance of various artists was guided by Laique Hussain. This performance included participants from various states like Orissa, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.  1000 underprivileged children including girls and boys from various age groups eagerly awaited the ceremony. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jashnebachpan was started in 1998 by Theatre In Education Company (T.I.E Co.), NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of children’s theatre across the country, and has now come to be regarded as one of the largest and most important theatre festivals in India for Children. Theatre personality and chairman NSD society Ratan Thiyam inaugurated the festival with Himani Shivpuri renowned theatre and cine actress. T.I.E. Co that has staged over 1200 shows, 350 workshops catering to more than 11 lakhs children with their plays celebrates its glorious 25 years.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixCelebrating some of the best children’s flavors and a distinct palate back on stage, every autumn National School of Drama organizes a festival of theatre for children. This year, of Jashnebachpan, from 2 to 14 November, will make sure that children are treated to the best through theatre for children.Jashnebachpan 2014 will be featuring various performances in 8 languages – Assamese, Bengali, English, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Manipuri, Hindi and 1 non-verbal from 14 States/Union Territories at the NSD Campus. Celebrating its Silver Jubilee year, T.I.E. Co. is also organizing its first ever three-day seminar from 12 to 14 November. This three day educational seminar, titled, ‘Theatre for children; who’s need is it?’ will have known theatre personalities like Rudraprasad Sengupta, Feizal Alkazi, Kanchan Sontakke, Bansi Kaul and many more.last_img read more

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Quantum theory may explain why jokes are funny

first_imgWhy was 6 afraid of 7? Because 789. Whether this pun makes you giggle or groan in pain, your reaction is a consequence of the ambiguity of the joke. Whether we find puns and jokes funny can be predicted using quantum theory, say scientists who are developing a mathematical model that can help decode the complexity of humour.Aiming to answer the question of what kind of formal theory is needed to model the cognitive representation of a joke, researchers suggest that a quantum theory approach might be a contender. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfResearchers at University of British Columbia in Canada outlined a quantum inspired model of humour.This new approach may succeed at a more nuanced modelling of the cognition of humour and lead to the development of a full-fledged, formal quantum theory model of humour, researchers said.This initial model was tested in a study where participants rated the funniness of verbal puns, as well as the funniness of variants of these jokes (eg. the punchline on its own, the set-up on its own). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe results indicate that apart from the delivery of information, something else is happening on a cognitive level that makes the joke as a whole funny whereas its deconstructed components are not, and which makes a quantum approach appropriate to study this phenomenon.For decades, researchers from a range of different fields have tried to explain the phenomenon of humour and what happens on a cognitive level in the moment when we “get the joke”.This is the first time that a quantum theory approach has been suggested as a way to better understand the complexity of humour, researchers said. Previous computational models of humour have suggested that the funny element of a joke may be explained by a word’s ability to hold two different meanings (bisociation), and the existence of multiple, but incompatible, ways of interpreting a statement or situation (incongruity).During the build-up of the joke, we interpret the situation one way, and once the punch line comes, there is a shift in our understanding of the situation, which gives it a new meaning and creates the comical effect.However, researchers said that it is not the shift of meaning, but rather our ability to perceive both meanings simultaneously, that makes a pun funny.This is where a quantum approach might be able to account for the complexity of humour in a way that earlier models cannot.”Quantum formalisms are highly useful for describing cognitive states that entail this form of ambiguity,” said Liane Gabora from the University of British Columbia.”Funniness is not a pre-existing ‘element of reality’ that can be measured; it emerges from an interaction between the underlying nature of the joke, the cognitive state of the listener, and other social and environmental factors,” said Gabora.The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Physics.last_img read more

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