#LibraryOfCongress; #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth; #Divdrsity; #NativeAmericanCultures
This is a guest post by Megan White, Visitor Services Specialist in the Library of Congress.
Library of Congress, Washington/Canadian-Media: November is Native American Heritage Month. The resources below from the Library’s collections celebrate the diversity and vivacity of Native American cultures.
Image credit: Website
Some of these resources are rooted in deep tradition, others are modern takes on long-practiced customs, but they all offer an opportunity to foster conversations with family.
Learn about the current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo, and other Native American poets: Start by reading the Poetry and Literature Office’s introduction to Joy Harjo or listening to Harjo’s conversation with former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. Then explore Harjo’s most recent project as Poet Laureate, Living Nations, Living Words, an interactive map featuring poems written by contemporary Native poets from all over the country.
Image credit: Library of Congress
Find out what Indigenous Territory you live in: Check out “Indian Tribes, Cultures, and Languages”, a digitized map from the “National Atlas of the United States of America” created by the Department of the Interior and held in the Library’s Geography and Map Division. You can also explore Native-Land, an interactive map created by a nonprofit organization in Canada, that illustrates the complexity of Indigenous boundaries in your area and throughout the world.
Watch a world champion hoop dancer perform: View a recorded webcast of Nakotah LaRance, a nine-time winner at the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. You’ll see three other hoop dancers in this webcast, including one who performs a hip hop style hoop dance.
Listen to Native American flutes: One of the most unexpected collections in the Library is the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection. It contains nearly 1,700 flutes and other wind instruments, statuary, books, music, and other materials related to the flute. Learn more about the Native American flutes in the collection with Native American instrument-maker and performer Barry D. Higgins. Then watch world-renowned musician R. Carlos Nakai’s performance at the Library as part of the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series.
Tell your own story: Story Corps and the Library of Congress work together to collect humanity’s stories. Listen to this heartwarming recording with Diane Tells His Name and Bonnie Buchanan and consider sharing your own story with Story Corps Connect.
You can find many more resources on this portal, a shared resource between the Library, the Smithsonian, the National Park Service, and other cultural institutions. In particular, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has a wealth of resources, including Native Knowledge 360 and the Essential Understandings for important considerations when talking to children (or anyone!) about American Indians.
The post was first published by Library of Congress
#Canada; #WorldAntimicrobialAwarenessWeek; #CollectiveAction; #GlobalHealth; #WHO
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: On the observation of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) from November 18-24, Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada said in view global issue of the increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) posing public health threat in Canada and worldwide, requires global consideration and innovation.
Image credit: PAHO
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites resist the effects of medications, making common infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Antimicrobials are agents that are critical tools for fighting diseases in humans, animals and plants and include antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal medicines. Multiple factors – including overuse of medicines in humans, livestock, and agriculture, as well as poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene – have accelerated the threat of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
WHO said that "following a stakeholder's consultation meeting in May 2020 organized by the Tripartite Organizations (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and WHO) the scope of WAAW was expanded, changing its focus from "antibiotics" to the more encompassing and inclusive term "antimicrobials". Expanding the scope of the campaign to all antimicrobials will facilitate a more inclusive global response to antimicrobial resistance and support a multisectoral One Health Approach with increased stakeholder engagement. The Tripartite Executive Committee has decided to fix WAAW dates to 18-24 November every year starting from 2020.The slogan for 2020 will be "Antimicrobials: handle with care" applicable to all sectors. The theme for the human health sector for WAAW 2020 is “United to preserve antimicrobials".
A global action plan to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines was endorsed at the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015. One of the key objectives of the plan is to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training.
Tam Theresa said "AWWR provides us with an opportunity to learn about the important actions we can take to maintain the effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs that protect the health of people, animals and their shared environment...The Council of Canadian Academies report on antimicrobial resistance suggests in 2018, 5,400 deaths were directly attributable to antimicrobial resistance, and that more than 20,000 hospital patients acquired infections that are resistant to available antimicrobial drugs."
To tackle this issue, Theresa Tam said , "We all have an important role to play in minimizing the impact of this global public health challenge to limit the development and spread of resistance. Unnecessary antimicrobial use, the failure to complete or follow prescription guidelines, and improper disposal methods threaten the availability of effective antimicrobials to combat infections. Understanding antimicrobial prescription and use in the context of sociocultural drivers is also pivotal to facilitating action, which is further explored in my second public health spotlight report--Handle with Care: Preserving Antibiotics Now and Into the Future.
We must take collective action today, and make wise choices to safeguard our ability to treat infections in the future. By seeking and following appropriate medical advice, avoiding the unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs, and following guidelines for safe disposal, we can all reduce the impact of antimicrobial resistance and contribute to healthier outcomes for everyone. More information on the safe use of antimicrobial drugs is available at Canada.ca/antibiotics."
#LibraryOfCongress; #GISDay; #COVID19Outbreak; #Documentation; #GeospatialAnalysis
GIS Day 2020 would be observed by the Library of Congress on Nov 18 with special programs featuring geographic information science professionals and analysts who are documenting the outbreak of COVID-19, Library of Congress reports said.
First published by Library of Congress
GIS DAY 2020. Image credit: Twitter handle
GIS Day — held during Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 15–21) — is an annual, global celebration of GIS and mapping technology, with events held by organizations around the world. Since 1999, GIS Day has served as a forum to promote the benefits of GIS research, demonstrate real-world applications of GIS, and foster open idea sharing and growth in the GIS community.
For cartographers and epidemiologists tracking the spread, evolution, and mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the distribution of a potential vaccine and personal protective equipment, the outbreak of COVID-19 has presented a geospatial analysis challenge like none other.
Experts from multiple institutions will discuss their findings and examine how mapping and geographic information science technologies are helping public health officials, emergency rooms, epidemiologists, and the general public as they struggle to understand the spread of the disease and work to allocate precious resources.
The following presentations will premiere on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. ET with closed captions on both the Library’s YouTube page and website. Presentations will also be available for viewing at a later day.
GIS Day 2020 at the Library of Congress: Mapping a Pandemic
Keynote: Este Geraghty, chief medical officer, Esri, discussing “The Role of GIS in Fighting the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic”
The following presenters will discuss new methods for tracking and mapping COVID-19:
Ensheng Dong, Center for System Science and Engineering, John Hopkins University, presenting on building the Johns Hopkins COVID dashboard, “Historic First: Mapping the Pandemic in Real Time”
Mike Schoelen, Esri Health, and Human Services discussing the distribution of vaccines and personal protective equipment, “Driven by GIS: A Resilient Supply Chain for COVID-19”
John Hessler, Library of Congress and Johns Hopkins University, discussing how mutations of the virus are being tracked globally, “More Than Just Cases: Mapping the Genome and Mutations of SARS-CoV-2”
The Library has made a concerted effort to document the pandemic’s impact on American society and the future of public health. Library specialists have focused efforts on capturing real-time geospatial data from official sources, such as Johns Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering, that map transmissions of the virus and genomic data, ensuring data and maps for future analyses are preserved in the Library’s collections. Specialists are also collecting geospatial data and analysis associated with the use of newly developed machine learning and other AI techniques used by scientists to track COVID-19.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
#UN; #WorldCitiesDay; #EconomicalValue; #InnovationValue; #EnvironmentalValue
United Nations, Nov 1 (Canadian-Media): The observance of World Cities Day on
31st of October was designated by the United Nations General Assembly by its resolution 68/239, UN reports said.
A general view of the city of Bern, Switzerland. Image credit: ©UN/Rick Bajornas [# 697218]
Expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, the day with its 2020 Theme: Valuing Our Communities and Cities pushes forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.
People who live in cities are just as willing to help strangers as people who live in small towns.
Urbanization provides the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including greater equality, access to services and new opportunities, and engagement and mobilization that reflects the diversity of cities, countries and the globe. Yet too often this is not the shape of urban development. Inequality and exclusion abound, often at rates greater than the national average, at the expense of sustainable development that delivers for all.
"When urban communities are engaged in policy and decision making, and empowered with financial resources, the results are more inclusive and durable. Let’s put our communities at the heart of the cities of the future," said António Guterres.
The impact of COVID-19 has re-shaped urban life around the world. Local communities have played a key role in contributing to keeping people safe and maintaining some economic activities.
Community value encompasses local volunteering and people organizing in their own neighbourhoods as well as social movements that challenge poverty, systemic discrimination and racism. In informal settlements and slums in particular, communities are making a significant contribution while individual households in urban areas are providing an enabling environment for work and study in the home.
UN-Habitat’s latest World Cities Report reinforces the benefits of cities that engage all stakeholders, including local communities to foster sustainable cities. The Secretary-General has identified cities and communities as being on the frontline of the COVID-19 response. Collectively, we can truly foster sustainable cities for all.
Community activities can no longer be taken for granted or under-resourced. Policy makers and urban managers need to engage communities systematically and strategically in urban planning, implementation and monitoring to co-create the cities of the future.
The recognition of communities’ value must be maintained beyond the virus outbreak. In the transition to a new sustainable urban normality, local communities must play an expanded role supporting government stimulus packages for employment creation, delivery of essential services, ensuring a green-economic transformation, the provision of adequate shelter and public space and reestablishment of local value chains.
COVID-19 has hit global and local economies hard. In many areas it is the informal and invisible economies, such as those of local communities and households which have, to a large extent, sustained local lives. This includes the unpaid care and domestic work carried out by women along with public health and support services provided by community organizations and faith based groups.
Informal employment constitutes 44 per cent of work in all urban areas and 79 per cent in the developing world’s cities and towns. Home based workers, casual labourers and street vendors help urban economies function often putting their own health at risk.
Economists, local and national governments and other stakeholders need to recognize, engage and value community work alongside other sectors and recognize the overall economic contributions made by communities.
COVID-19 has shown the value of local communities in building urban resilience, including neighbourhood volunteer groups, local associations of youth, women, faith-based groups and slum dwellers, teachers and students who volunteer, share information and support vulnerable individuals and groups.
Cultural diversity contributes to the social value of urbanization through increased tolerance and understanding. This encourages inclusivity and participation which fosters social cohesion, builds community social values, fights racism and improves safety. Culture can also make an important contribution to poverty reduction, resilience and economic development.
Community engagement must become an integral part of urban planning processes and the development, design and implementation of new ideas through policy change. The outcomes of such engagement are more sustainable and representative.
Local communities are also best placed for collecting neighbourhood level data as they have the networks and understand the changing socio-economic conditions and should be engaged when deploying responses and in recovery and resilience planning.
Communities play a key role in preserving and restoring the environment including developing innovative and context specific responses such as greening initiatives, river cleaning and public space reclamation, and sustainable building cooperatives. Community action can also result in policy change to support urban sustainability from the environmental perspective.
COVID-19 has underscored the importance of urban innovations and the capacity of cities through local initiatives to respond, adapt quickly and develop new systems and approaches. Cities which have engaged communities to set up quarantine sites and community spaces, have been more likely to manage the pandemic than others which fail to do so.
Cities that attract innovative individuals and foster creative engaged communities via education, culture and the space for interactions, are finding solutions to urban challenges. Some cities have worked with communities to successfully transform low-cost, under-utilised urban areas into creative places and vibrant centres for innovation.
#InternationalReligiousFreedomDay; #Religion; #Freedom, #US
United States, Oct 27 (Canadian-Media): During the observation of International Religious Freedom Day, Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State made the following statement.
Twenty-two years ago today, the United States enacted the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, reaffirming our commitment to promote and defend the fundamental right to religious freedom for all people everywhere. Born of the vision of America’s founders, our government understood that an individual, irrespective of their religion or beliefs, should be free to organize their lives in accordance with their consciences. Religious freedom and other themes of human dignity are – and will always remain – a core U.S. foreign policy priority. And the world has taken notice.
Office of International Freedom Day. Image credit: Twitter handle
Yet today, three of the world’s most egregious religious freedom abusers – the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Iran, and North Korea – have tightened their coercive measures to silence their own people. Worse, the PRC has sought to eradicate all forms of faith and belief that don’t align with Chinese Communist Party doctrine.
Conversely, since the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) launched in February 2020, 31 nations have pledged their commitment to this like-minded network dedicated to addressing challenges around the world. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have released individuals, wrongfully imprisoned on account of their beliefs, allowing them to reunite with their families, and we urge others to follow suit.
A global movement on religious freedom is now a reality – one rich in regional, cultural, and political diversity – testifying to a universal, unequivocal truth: every person, everywhere, has the right to believe or not believe, change one’s beliefs, speak one’s beliefs, gather and teach. On this International Religious Freedom Day, the United States is proud to promote and protect religious freedom.
#UN; #InternationalDaytoProtectEducationfromAttack; #Covid19
UN, Sep 9 (Canadian-Media): On the observance of the first 'International Day to protect education from Attack' attention is being drawn to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support and over the effects of continued violence on these children and their ability to access education, UN reports said.
Ehsanullah at his school in Zheray, a district in the southern province of Kandahar, Afghanistan. The school, which once served around 1,300 students now has less than 400 pupils, and some classrooms remain unusable. Image credit: UNICEF/UN0309055/Kocic
These consequences require special attention beyond the needs of learners whose establishments were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In proclaiming the International Day to Protect Education from Attack to be observed for the first time in 2020, the UN is sending a clear message regarding the importance of safeguarding schools as places of protection and safety for students and educators and the need to keep education at the top of the public agenda. This remains a priority while governments continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to school closures for more than 90% of the world’s student population.
"As the world fights to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, children and youth in conflict zones remain among the most vulnerable to its devastating impact. We must ensure our children have a safe and secure environment in which to learn the knowledge and skills they need for the future,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Education is a fundamental human right and an essential driver for peace and development, yet armed attacks targeting teachers, students and education facilities are on the rise, with some 11,000 incidents reported between 2015 and 2019, the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday.
António Guterres shared the startling figure in an address to mark the first observance of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
“In addition to depriving millions of vulnerable learners from accessing education, this violence has serious adverse effects, including increased drop-out rates, prolonged educational disruption, child recruitment into armed groups, early pregnancy and sexual violence”, he stated, adding “These attacks simply must not continue.”
‘Military occupation’ of the playground The President of the UN General Assembly outlined the magnitude of the problem, noting that most incidents involve direct attacks on schools, including arson, ground and airstrikes, raids, looting and use of explosive devices.
“We are witnessing the military occupation of schools which causes the campus to lose civilian status, thus facing threats of attack as a lawful military target”, said Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
“Furthermore, proximity to weapon-bearers places students at risk of forced recruitment, sexual violence, and abduction.”
Though he was able to complete his studies, Faisal Nor Ali, a social worker in Somalia, experienced first-hand the devastation caused by an attack on a school facility.
“I have witnessed fellow students jump out of school buildings in fear of attacks and violence”, he said. “We must commit to making classrooms a safe space where learners can flourish and look to a bright future.”
Education for all The UN Secretary-General underlined that governments must ensure that everyone can continue to learn, even during times of conflict.
While more than 100 countries have endorsed a Safe Schools Declaration, Mr. Guterres insisted that more action is needed.
“I urge all United Nations Member States to ensure the provision of education for all, even in times of conflict, and particularly for the most vulnerable, such as refugees and displaced persons”, he stated.
Furthermore, he said education must also be a force to prevent attacks. To that end, the UN has been using education as a tool to counter violent extremism.
“We are helping young people rise above radical messages to build more peaceful societies,” Mr. Guterres continued. “By giving them more autonomy and raising awareness of human rights, we are building the foundations of durable peace.”
Additionally, governments must also work to improve knowledge about attacks on education through enhanced monitoring, reporting and investigation so that perpetrators can be brought to justice.
Learning from the pandemic With the COVID-19 pandemic exposing inequalities and injustices, the UN chief emphasized that recovery must prove to be an opportunity to build a better world.
“The pandemic has shed an important light on the fault lines running through our societies. One of these is unequal access to education”, he said.
“As we work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the coming decade, we must ensure no one is left behind. For that, we need quality education for all, and safe places for students to learn.”
UNEP, Sep 3 (Canadian-Media): What if we could see the invisible air pollution that kills more than 7 million people each year? Would it make us act?
On 7 September 2020, for the first time ever, the world will join together to mark the UN's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The theme for 2020 is "Clean Air for All".
Air pollution is now the greatest environmental threat to health, but it is preventable. We have solutions and technology. To improve our air quality we need everyone on board –from individuals to private companies to governments.
Air pollution doesn’t have to be a part of our collective future. Cleaner air will make us healthier, protect nature and help achieve global climate change goals.
What are you doing to clear the air?
Tell us: #CleanAirForAll
#Ottawa, #IOAD2020; #OverdoseAwareness
Ottawa, Aug 31 (Canadian-Media): International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), a global event that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death is being observed Aug 31 across the globe.
Image credit: Twitter handle.
"The ongoing opioid-related overdose crisis in Canada has claimed the lives of over 15,000 Canadians from all backgrounds since 2016 leaving too many members of communities across the country mourning the loss of loved ones, each with their own unique story...the majority of overdose deaths in Canada occur at home alone... Stigma plays a significant role...People who use drugs need our compassion and support..," said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer in a statement and added that all Canadians have a role to play in helping address the drug overdose crisis.
IOAD was initiated by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St Kilda, Melbourne in 2001.
Since 2001, events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose have been held by many community members as well as government and non-government organisations.
Since 2012, IOAD has been coordinated by the not-for-profit Australian public health organisation Penington Institute.
"To those living in recovery from addiction, we encourage you to share your experience, strength and hope to help others. Talk to your friends and family; share the message on social media using #endoverdose or #recoveryispossible. Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to recover from addiction and achieve overall physical, mental and emotional wellness," Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan said in a statement.
“To commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, purple lights will glow at BC Place in Vancouver in memory of those we have lost. Other parts of B.C. will recognize the day with lighted walkways and buildings, memorial gardens, virtual candlelight vigils, awareness campaigns, social media promotions and the annual Moms Stop the Harm purple ribbon campaign,"Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions said in a statement.
#Ottawa; #JustinTrudeau; #BlackRibbonDay; #Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; #Atrocities
Ottawa, Aug 23 (Canadian-Media): Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe is observed annually on Aug 23 to mark the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939 to divide Central and Eastern Europe setting the stage for the appalling atrocities these regimes would commit, media reports said.
Black Ribbon Day 2020. Image credit: Facebook page
Many countries were stripped of their autonomy, forcing families to flee their homes, tore communities apart, including Jewish and Romani communities, and others.
Untold suffering were imposed upon people across Europe by The Soviet and Nazi regimes resulting in senseless murder of millions and denied their rights, freedoms, and dignity.
Paying tribute to the to the survivors and victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe in the wake of this pact, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said Aug 23,
“We also stand in solidarity with all those around the world who continue to fight against the brutality, viole, and repression of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.
“Many people who escaped found refuge in Canada, bringing with them the hope of a better future for themselves and their families. Despite all they had endured, many shared an unshakeable belief in the power of individuals to make positive change and influence society for the better. They, along with their children and grandchildren, have helped build the strong, diverse, and prosperous country we all call home.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, Trudeau urged everyone to safeguard human rights, protect freedom and democracy to make sure such crimes never recur and encouraged all Canadians to honour the victims and survivors of Communism and Nazism and added,
"It is in their name that we will continue to defend human rights, and uphold the inherent dignity of every human being.”
Alberta, Aug 15 (Canadian-Media): Alberta Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement in recognition of India’s Independence Day.
Jason Kenney. Image credit: Facebook page
“The largest democracy in the world was born on this date 73 years ago. In a world of turmoil, that democracy has endured just as Mahatma Gandhi’s belief in non-violent protest has inspired people everywhere.
“Today, India combines ancient traditions with 21st century innovation to stand as one of the pre-eminent developing economies. Its growing businesses reach global markets as more of its citizens attain ever-higher levels of education.
“I look forward to once again visiting India to strengthen our commercial and cultural ties. More than 175,000 Albertans of Indian heritage contribute immensely to our province, and I am proud to join with them in celebrating India’s Independence Day.
“Bharat ke chauhatarvey swatantrata diwas ki bahut shubhkamnayen.
“Best wishes on India’s 74th Independence Day.”
India's Independence Day. Image credit: Pinterest