QUOTE(Paul @ Jul 3 2007, 11:56 PM)
Thanks for your comments on this forum and on the other one where I was also having a dummy spit.
Nice to get some news from someone in Australia who knows about the situation.
Hi Aopaq, thanks also for some info on the Inuit. Thanks for the work you are doing to help. It is sad to hear that a similar experience seems to be occurring there. Do you work by yourself or a you a part of an organisation? If the second what is the name?
Is it also the Inuit in Northern Norway? I know the native people up there also suffer similar problems.
Just out of interest for tourists to Canada - is there any way they can help or go and visit the Inuit (in a positive way - not as in a zoo exhibit way) and learn about their culture and situation?
Same question for Australia and for that matter to any country where native people aren't having a good time.
I am actually working for the Inuit (Nunavut) government in the Department of Education where I am involved in writing K-12 curriculum that are more culturally and language appropriate for Inuit students. I work with Elders and Inuit educators who are all trying to make a difference in our small (population-wise), large (area-wise) territory.
The biggest challenge facing this new government is trying to create a system that doesn't just mirror those in the south and is therefore more attuned to the needs of the Inuit. This is a major undertaking because right now I think the leaders (who are mostly Inuit) are trying to do too much. This is my personal feeling but I think trying to create a government the same as any southern one but for a population of only 30,000 people is not practical. I would rather see priorities set so that major issues can be dealt with more effectively and efficiently. But who am I to say ….I guess that is why I am not a politician!
However, this is part of the teething pains we are going through. As I said earlier, I truly believe we have to consider a long-term time frame rather than expect things will change for the better over night. However, the biggest concern right now is finding a way to ensure that the Inuit language and culture is not lost. This is a tough battle when up against satellite TV and the internet.
With this all said, the most positive thing about the Canadian situation is that unlike the Australian Aboriginals, the Inuit have been given the autonomy to make the changes they want.
As for the Norwegian situation, it is probably the Sami people and although I am not familiar with their challenges I would not be surprised if it is similar to the Inuit. Chatting with a Russian friend, she informed me that the people in the north of her country are also struggling with alcohol abuse as a result of people being relocated to communities.
It is definitely possible to visit Inuit hamlets in Canada's Arctic but for most people, the cost of travel is just too extreme. I can travel from Vancouver to Hong Kong for about the same cost as it takes to go by turboprop from my community to the nearest southern city (a 3 hour flight). However, I agree with Opachelle, for those that are able to venture to the north, buying art (prints, carvings, wall hangings or jewelry) will definitely help the local economy.
BTW, Great job with the Thailand updates Paul!