Amid the subdued lighting and cool air of the atmospherically-controlled room at the Ulster American Folk Park, a dramatic head-dress stands out, its vivid colours shining. It is part of a pow-wow costume and like much of the material on display, it has never been seen before. As well as the pow-wow regalia, the exhibition includes tomahawks, pipes and a replica warrior society costume. There are also detailed drawings, taken from ledgers kept by different tribes in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Wikipedia is partnering with three universities in Pune, India, offering course credit to students in exchange for their writing articles on a certain theme. So far, students have written on topics both large and small, from ideas in economics to obscure committee meetings on Indian monetary policy. The goal, as The Economist puts it, is to "encourage the indigenous creation of information and to lessen reliance on imports from outside." The article isn’t specifically referring to what we think of as indigenous peoples, but the sentence still gave me an idea: Asking indigenous peoples in the Arctic to contribute to Wikipedia could be a great way to increase the flow of information between Aboriginal and Western traditions.
This week the Department of Justice held a special event in the Great Hall commemorating National Native American Heritage Month. Each November, the department honors the cultural traditions, contributions and history of America’s indigenous peoples in honor of their many sacrifices and contributions to our nation’s well-being. The theme for the department’s commemoration was “Indians and the Law: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” During the commemoration, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli delivered special remarks. Deputy Attorney General Cole spoke about the department’s enduring promise to support and safeguard tribal communities and enhance tribal justice.
The next time someone tells you that carbon money is a giveaway from rich countries to poor countries, ask them to google Almir Surui – or to google both him and “google” at the same time. He’s the young chief of the Surui people, a tribe of Amazon Indians who have decided to forego the certain income of farming and preserve their rainforest in the hopes of earning credit for the carbon their forest captures in trees. His efforts earned him a spot on this year’s Fast Company list of the 100 most creative people in business – and death threats from people who want illegal logging to continue in the Amazon.