Billboard

Fri, 2014-04-25 18:00 - 19:30
Inuit Cree Reconciliation will screen Friday April 25th, at 6pm at the 2014 Cine Las Americas Film...
Thu, 2014-05-01 (All day)
 w/ Michael Red & Jesse Zubot
Fri, 2014-05-02 (All day)
Performing with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Sat, 2014-05-03 (All day)
 Performing with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Thu, 2014-05-08 (All day)
 Performing with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

DID in the News!

Isuma TV set to broadcast Mary River hearings

Nunavut Impact Review Board hearings scheduled for Jan. 27 to Jan. 31 in Pond Inlet

BY PETER VARGA

Isuma TV will do live coverage of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s public hearings on Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s scaled-back Mary River project, set to take place Jan. 27 to Jan. 31 in Pond Inlet.

NIRB’s hearings will assess the potential impacts of Baffinland’s revised plan to extract and ship iron ore out of a mine some 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet.

Plans drafted in 2012 called for the ore to be transported south by rail to Steensby Port, and out of Steensby Inlet south of the mine.

After public hearings by the NIRB, the Baffinland received a project certificate for the first version of their proposal.

The corporation changed those plans at the start of 2013.

To cut costs and earn sales revenue more quickly, Baffinland proposed instead to transport the material north of the mine and out of Milne Inlet, at the north end of Baffin Island. This plan calls for ore to be shipped out of a facility called Milne Port, near Pond Inlet.

As it did in 2012, IsumaTV will broadcast NIRB’s next hearings via online radio and video through its Digital Indigenous Democracy site.

“These hearings are likely to be more contentious than the first round in 2012,” IsumaTV stated in a news release announcing its broadcast plan, Jan. 20. “Both the Hamlet of Pond Inlet and the community’s Hunters and Trappers Organization as well as two individuals from the community, have filed formal interventions.”

The online broadcaster announced it will stream each day of the NIRB hearings live in Inuktitut and English, starting Jan. 27 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, through Igloolik’s online radio hub.

Also, Zacharias Kunuk of IsumaTV will host a live bilingual TV talk show every evening after each day’s hearing “to address issues raised at the hearings with community members and participants,” the broadcaster said in the release.

Live video coverage and additional footage will also be available on the site.

IsumaTV’s live audio coverage and Kunuk’s daily webcast “will also be broadcast through local community radio channels and IsumaTV’s television network in Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Igloolik, Taloyoak, and Pond Inlet,” the broadcaster said.

NIRB’s hearings take place at Pond Inlet’s Community Hall every day, Jan. 27 to 31, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Nunavut Planning Commission has already held public hearings on the project in five communities, Jan. 7 to 10, to verify that the revised transport route for the ore complies with the North Baffin regional land use plan

www.nunatsiaqnews.com

Final hearing on Meliadine mine will be in Rankin Inlet

The final hearing on the proposed Meliadine gold mine will be held in Rankin Inlet, likely in August.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board decided Rankin Inlet was the best location since the site is only about 24 kilometres from the community.

Agnico-Eagle is proposing to mine five gold deposits there, year-round. It's expected to produce about 3 million tonnes of ore each year for 13 years.

If approved, Meliadine would be Agnico-Eagle's second gold mine in Nunavut. The Meadowbank mine near Baker Lake opened four years ago and is now Agnico-Eagle's largest gold producer.

Before the final hearing, NIRB wants more information from the company on things such as dust mitigation, the impact of marine traffic, and where the workforce will come from.

Agnico-Eagle said its final Environment Impact Statement will be ready by mid-April.

Then NIRB will set the date for the final hearing.

www.cbc.ca

21 years of Televisón Serrana

On January 15th, Television Serrana (“Television of the mountains”) celebrated its 21st year of operation, from the highest mountain system in Cuba. Founded in 1993 by journalist and documentary filmmaker Daniel Ten Castrillo, and supported by the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT), this community project seeks to reflect and defend the identity, human values and culture of the inhabitants of the Sierra Maestra mountain range. 

As a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote the knowledge and use of audiovisual media for social, educational and cultural advancement, Television Serrana joined the Latin American Coordination of Film and Communication Indigenous Peoples (CLACPI) in late 90s, thanks to a partnership with the Center for Training and Filmmaking of Bolivia, CEFREC.

Commitment to the people of Sierra Maestra and their distinct identity, experiences, needs, customs, philosophy and worldview, as well as the ambition to produce solid and aesthetic documentaries that reveal a collective imagery, have always been the fundamental pillars of Television Serrana, as part of their aim to create a community initiative promoting popular participation in media and allowing the Serrano people to not only be spectators but complicit participants in the medium.

In a recent interview, Daniel Ten summed up the organization’s work: "Perhaps the one who helped us the most to understand how to make Serrana TV was Martí […] Martí talks about the need to bring passion and advocates for education into the mountains and remote areas to work at enabling the link between education and culture." 

This work is perfectly in synch with the aspirations of the indigenous producers at CLACPI, who join in celebrating a new year for Television Serrana.

By Gabriela Gamez

www.claclpi.org

 

DID in the National News!

Celebrated son of Igloolik creates cultural Internet for his people

BY ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN

The Globe and Mail

The current, community-curated Arviat playlist includes videos of last summer’s Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival in Igloolik; the recent Kunuk documentary Inuit Cree Reconciliation; and Madeline Ivalu’s 2007 film Umiaq, about a group of elders who decide to build a traditional sealskin-covered boat. The playlists change, but the content is overwhelmingly about Northern lifestyle and language – two things that the resource rush stands to change drastically.

“We’re experimenting with how you can cross not just a digital divide, but a divide in perception and world view,” Cohn says. “To have the [resource] debate all in the extraction language, rather that in the land language, already makes it a lopsided debate. You have very limited ways in which local opinions can be expressed. [DID] can completely change the rules of the participation game, the way the Berger Inquiry did in the Northwest Territories 40 years ago, when it levelled the playing field between indigenous communities and the Alaska pipeline.” It’s not enough, he says, to write information pamphlets in Inuktitut syllabics, which were invented by missionaries as a way to teach the Bible and aren’t widely understood among people under 60.

It can be tricky to set up a DID channel in a small place that you can’t reach by road and that is seldom visited by cable technicians who may be based in Winnipeg. A media player was installed in a public library in an Arctic Bay school last summer, for example, but in October the library abruptly moved to a different location, and there was no one around who could move the service, which will probably stay down until spring. “When it’s minus 40, you may not want one of your guys climbing a pole to attach a cable,” says Stéphane Rituit, a producer at Isuma TV’s Montreal office.

In Arviat, the connection was delayed while Isuma worked out the contractual details with cable provider Arctic Co-ops, which balked at the idea of letting local people (“third parties,” in contract language) upload their own content directly to the system.

“My biggest frustration was to ask Arviat to slow down,” says Rituit. “You get people totally enthusiastic. They say, ‘Hey, let’s do it, go live on air, play music,’ and then you have to call them and say, ‘I’m sorry, guys, actually we can’t do that,’ ” – because it wasn’t in the cable contract. More recently, uploads in Arviat have been stalled by a technical glitch that Rituit is trying to sort out from Montreal via Skype.

Digital Indigenous Democracy got started after Kunuk made a formal intervention at the 2012 hearings into the proposed Baffinland iron mine at Mary River, at which he presented 71 Isuma call-in radio shows and video interviews about the proposal. He argued that this kind of multimedia conversation was key to the legal obligation to inform and consult with indigenous people. Isuma did live audio broadcasts of the hearings in Igloolik and Pond Inlet, allowing anyone to listen to proceedings that are usually restricted to bureaucrats and industry reps. The licence for the Baffinland mine ultimately included conditions mandating multimedia consultation throughout the project. (Isuma will broadcast a second round of Baffinland hearings from Jan. 27 to 31, with evening talk shows about each day’s proceedings hosted by Kunuk.)

That summer, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association asked Isuma to set up community channels in Cambridge Bay and Taloyoak, where mining activity is heating up. Julia Ogina, KIA programs co-ordinator, says four or five filmmakers in Cambridge Bay have been trained to make broadcast-ready content with community-owned equipment. “It started with the idea of getting our languages and culture more into the home,” she says, referring both to Inuktitut and to Inuinnaqtun, a dialect spoken around Taloyoak.

She knows people are watching, because the moment something goes wrong with the feed, the station’s Facebook page fills up with complaints. The current playlist in Cambridge Bay includes a show about walrus hunting in the Baffinland mine area and Picture of Light, Peter Mettler’s 1994 documentary about the northern lights.

Cohn says DID is inexpensive and scalable, and could extend into any number of indigenous communities here and abroad, if money and volunteers are available. One source of future funding could be the resource companies themselves. “One million dollars doesn’t go very far if you’re thinking about 10 communities, or all 26 Nunavut communities, or all the Northern communities that could or should be wired into this network,” he says. “But we’ve been counting out the pennies and wondering if we can meet next week’s payroll, for the last 25 years.”

The current, community-curated Arviat playlist includes videos of last summer’s Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival in Igloolik; the recent Kunuk documentary Inuit Cree Reconciliation; and Madeline Ivalu’s 2007 film Umiaq, about a group of elders who decide to build a traditional sealskin-covered boat. The playlists change, but the content is overwhelmingly about Northern lifestyle and language – two things that the resource rush stands to change drastically.

“We’re experimenting with how you can cross not just a digital divide, but a divide in perception and world view,” Cohn says. “To have the [resource] debate all in the extraction language, rather that in the land language, already makes it a lopsided debate. You have very limited ways in which local opinions can be expressed. [DID] can completely change the rules of the participation game, the way the Berger Inquiry did in the Northwest Territories 40 years ago, when it levelled the playing field between indigenous communities and the Alaska pipeline.” It’s not enough, he says, to write information pamphlets in Inuktitut syllabics, which were invented by missionaries as a way to teach the Bible and aren’t widely understood among people under 60.

It can be tricky to set up a DID channel in a small place that you can’t reach by road and that is seldom visited by cable technicians who may be based in Winnipeg. A media player was installed in a public library in an Arctic Bay school last summer, for example, but in October the library abruptly moved to a different location, and there was no one around who could move the service, which will probably stay down until spring. “When it’s minus 40, you may not want one of your guys climbing a pole to attach a cable,” says Stéphane Rituit, a producer at Isuma TV’s Montreal office.

In Arviat, the connection was delayed while Isuma worked out the contractual details with cable provider Arctic Co-ops, which balked at the idea of letting local people (“third parties,” in contract language) upload their own content directly to the system.

“My biggest frustration was to ask Arviat to slow down,” says Rituit. “You get people totally enthusiastic. They say, ‘Hey, let’s do it, go live on air, play music,’ and then you have to call them and say, ‘I’m sorry, guys, actually we can’t do that,’ ” – because it wasn’t in the cable contract. More recently, uploads in Arviat have been stalled by a technical glitch that Rituit is trying to sort out from Montreal via Skype.

Digital Indigenous Democracy got started after Kunuk made a formal intervention at the 2012 hearings into the proposed Baffinland iron mine at Mary River, at which he presented 71 Isuma call-in radio shows and video interviews about the proposal. He argued that this kind of multimedia conversation was key to the legal obligation to inform and consult with indigenous people. Isuma did live audio broadcasts of the hearings in Igloolik and Pond Inlet, allowing anyone to listen to proceedings that are usually restricted to bureaucrats and industry reps. The licence for the Baffinland mine ultimately included conditions mandating multimedia consultation throughout the project. (Isuma will broadcast a second round of Baffinland hearings from Jan. 27 to 31, with evening talk shows about each day’s proceedings hosted by Kunuk.)

That summer, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association asked Isuma to set up community channels in Cambridge Bay and Taloyoak, where mining activity is heating up. Julia Ogina, KIA programs co-ordinator, says four or five filmmakers in Cambridge Bay have been trained to make broadcast-ready content with community-owned equipment. “It started with the idea of getting our languages and culture more into the home,” she says, referring both to Inuktitut and to Inuinnaqtun, a dialect spoken around Taloyoak.

She knows people are watching, because the moment something goes wrong with the feed, the station’s Facebook page fills up with complaints. The current playlist in Cambridge Bay includes a show about walrus hunting in the Baffinland mine area and Picture of Light, Peter Mettler’s 1994 documentary about the northern lights.

Cohn says DID is inexpensive and scalable, and could extend into any number of indigenous communities here and abroad, if money and volunteers are available. One source of future funding could be the resource companies themselves. “One million dollars doesn’t go very far if you’re thinking about 10 communities, or all 26 Nunavut communities, or all the Northern communities that could or should be wired into this network,” he says. “But we’ve been counting out the pennies and wondering if we can meet next week’s payroll, for the last 25 years.”

 

www.theglobeandmail.com

 

Iqaluit councillors wrestle with public works capacity

Mining projects may lure trained staff away from city, director warns

BY PETER VARGA

Iqaluit’s director of public works says the city should brace itself for the start of the Mary River iron project in north Baffin, because it could draw qualified public works staff away from the city.

Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s long-awaited iron mining projectat Mary River in north Baffin awaits final approval this year.

Public works director Keith Couture told city council Jan. 10, during discussions on the city’s 2014 budget, that if Baffinland offers better benefits, public works staff, especially heavy equipment operators, could be drained away.

City councillors at the meeting said they’re concerned about possible staff shortages in the public works department, and asked Couture if more money should be budgeted for additional staff for road maintenance and repairs.

“What we need is not just staff — we need trained staff, which is a different thing. We’re trying to upgrade our operators,” Couture told council. “I’m trying to get a bigger pool of trained people.”

The director pointed to other difficulties his department faces, related to shift work and the narrow window of opportunity to in the summer for repair work, which amounts to just two months.

“You’ve got to get trained staff. You’ve got to get staff that know the city,” said Couture, who took the job in mid-2012. He came to Iqaluit with more than 30 years’ experience with municipalities in Ontario, mostly in the north of the province.

“It’s taken me a year or more to finally know where the roads are, with the numbering system and all that,” said Couture. “And the drivers have to know that too. Its an education, from both perspectives, from management and the fact that we’ve got to get people and offer them the opportunity to advance here with the city.”

Mayor John Graham and Coun. Kenny Bell said the department’s priority should be the upkeep and improvement of the city’s roads.

“Our roads are in major disrepair, and we need to at least start correcting that. And [added] staff will help with that,” Bell said.

Bell described poor staffing of road crews as “a massive failure by this council — and it has been for 40 years.”

Couture highlighted that, in addition to a staff training program in the works with the city’s training director, he is drafting a public works plan tailored specifically for Iqaluit, which will give clear guidelines on maintenance of roads, signage, snow removal, and staff hiring.

“The plan is my vision of what the city needs, and I’m trying to put it into play,” he said. “If it’s not written down, nobody wants to do it.

“I want it so that if I ever leave, here’s the book. Here’s the way it should be done,” Couture said. “It’s going to be cut and dried. We will still have to make decisions, but the majority of what we do will be written as policy.”

The director said his goal is to have a complete set of guidelines ready for the city “within a year.”

Coun. Simon Nattaq agreed on the importance of guidelines unique to the city, noting that Iqaluit’s roads are built on soils not found in other parts of Nunavut.

www.nunatsiaqonline.ca