Honouring Life Network Blog

Welcome to the HLN Blog! Here you will find postings about news items, positive youth programming across the country and beyond, job postings, resources, websites, scholarships/awards, research funding and other things that we think might be relevant to youth or youth workers visiting our site. If you’re looking for something specific, check out the tags at the end of each post and on the right-hand menu. The HLN blog should be interactive, so please feel free to leave a comment about any of the postings, or to email us if you have an idea for an HLN blog posting.

First Nations Artists Go Hip and Urban at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Beat Nation exhibition

Sonny Assu and other First Nations artists go hip and urban, challenging stereotypes at a new Vancouver Art Gallery show

Sonny Assu is a child of the ’80s who spent his formative years soaked in television, sugar, and Spider-Man comics. Describing his youth with his Kwakwaka’wakw mother and grandparents in the suburbs of North Delta, the 36-year-old artist, who recently relocated from Vancouver to Montreal, speaks fondly of “reading comic books and [watching] movies and advertising and Star Wars, and [eating] sugary cereals.…All that stuff was as much my culture as my traditional heritage was.”

His art, a kind of hybrid of aboriginal and pop, could not come out of any other upbringing. Assu is perhaps best known for his Coke Salish piece (the words Enjoy Coast Salish Territory spelled out in the iconic Coca-Cola script) and his riff on familiar cereals, boxes boasting names such as “Treaty Flakes” and “Salmon Loops”, which, at first glance, could easily be mistaken for their Post and Kellogg’s counterparts.

“It’s definitely really interesting to see that this urban aboriginal identity is really starting to take hold—which is really indicative of what the conditions are like in Canada, because most aboriginal people do live in urban settings,” he observes, in conversation with the Straight in the VAG library.

The always witty and often cheeky Assu, an Emily Carr University of Art + Design grad, is fast gaining recognition for works that use pop-culture references and biting satire to bring attention to First Nations issues. He is also part of what could be dubbed a new wave of aboriginal artists—highlighted in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Beat Nation exhibition—melding urban, street, and hip-hop culture with their traditional heritage. These young artists are ushering in a new kind of culture, redefining what it is to be Native in a media-saturated world, and challenging stereotypes with double-edged humour.


Source: First Perspective


The signs of suicide: It's time to talk, now

Being a teenager can be rough - relationships, hormones, parties, school - there are lots of things to feel stressed or even depressed about. But how do we know if a friend or family member is severely depressed and maybe even thinking about suicide? James Thomas thought his sister's depression was just a result of normal teenage stuff, but she committed suicide a year after highschool. For the last 8 months James has been working with Annmarie Nicholson from the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group to help other people recognize suicide risk and learn how to talk about it. This article from the Brockville Recorder & Times tells James' sister's story and what he has been doing to try and prevent other people from losing their loved ones.

The signs of suicide: It's time to talk, now

By Megan Burke , STAFF WRITER

The Brockville Recorder & Times

"Back in 2005, my family was devastated by the death of my younger sister. She was 18."
James Thomas, with microphone in hand Wednesday night at Brockville Collegiate, began to tell the story about his younger sister Chantal Thomas. The girl he thought had everything going for her. The girl who did well in school, was athletic and was popular.
The story of the girl Chantal, whom Thomas said could still be with us today if we had known more about mental health issues back then.
On Friday July 8, 2005, Chantal took her own life.
After his sister's death, Thomas began to uncover clues to help him figure out what led his sister down the path of suicide..."

Read complete article here


AFN and MissingKids.ca Announce Outreach to Aboriginal Families

Partnering with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Royal Canadian Police Force (RCMP), the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is starting an outreach program to let First Nations citizens know what resources are available not only for when children go missing but also how to prevent their getting lost in the first place.

The measure was announced on February 21 on the first day of the AFN’s National Justice Forum.

“We are announcing a joint effort to help ensure that all First Nations and aboriginal communities in Canada know where to turn when a child is missing,” said Christy Dzikowicz, director of MissingKids.ca, in a statement. “We are living in a more complex world, and our children are facing new risks. In addition to providing step-by-step guides and tools, MissingKids.ca’s specially trained staff is always there to support families in their search to find their missing child.”

The Canadian government is supporting the initiative through its Department of Justice Victims Fund. The program enables the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to reach out to First Nations and Aboriginal people via several avenues.


Source: Indian Country

National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation (NIEFF) Scholarship

The National Indigenous Economic Education Foundation (NIEEF) provides scholarships, training and research funding for students involved in Aboriginal community economic development.

NIEEF is the charitable organization of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO). The NIEEF Aboriginal Scholarships will be awarded to two successful applicants at CANDO’s 18th Annual National Conference & AGM. Deadline to apply is July 29, 2011 (must be post marked). Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Selection will be based on passing Grade 12 marks or post secondary GPA (Grade Point Average). To qualify for this scholarship, you:

  1. Complete the NIEEF Scholarship Application Form.
  2. Submit CANDO Student Membership Form ($25 membership fee).
  3. Must be attending or currently enrolled in an CANDO accredited program (preference is given to students enrolled in these programs) or at another post secondary institutions. Provide proof of enrolled.
  4. Studying in the fields of: Business Administration/Economics, Business Finance, Business Management, Natural Resources or CED.
  5. 2 Letters of Support from a Professor and current/former Employer.
  6. Submit a cover letter and a short essay (no more than 500 words) outlining a personal introduction, educational level achieved to date and your community involvement.

Mail completed scholarship application to:

2011 NIEEF Scholarship Application
9635 - 45 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6E 5Z8
Toll Free: 1-800-463-9300
Phone: (780) 990-0303
Fax: (780) 429-7487
E-mail: cando@edo.ca


New Aboriginal Youth Program at the Haliburton School of the Arts (Fleming College)

Haliburton School of The Arts (Fleming College), Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, and the Aboriginal Research Institute are pleased to announce the upcoming collaborative program in Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship.

The Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program centres on developing young Aboriginal entrepreneurs in the arts, crafts and music sectors. It also focuses on developing or expanding a micro-enterprise, and enhancing participants' understandings of the arts, crafts and music businesses and supply chain elements.

Click here to read the rest of the article about this innovative program.