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Secure Land Rights for Climate Resilience by Karina Kloos, 10 December 2018

Land Rights

What is needed to equip rural women and men with secure rights to the land they farm? One route could be through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which includes a mechanism for member states to make commitments for taking action on climate change.


Each of the 184 parties that have ratified the Paris Agreement – the UN’s landmark agreement to combat climate change – committed to producing national climate action plans, referred to as “Nationally Determined Contributions,” or NDCs. These NDCs map out each country’s strategy for fulfilling national commitments codified in the Paris Agreement. Yet only a handful of NDCs mention land rights or tenure security as a key intervention for building climate resiliency and adaptation. Land rights are an important way to confront this immense inequality and promote a more secure world for all.



A Native Perspective on Thanksgiving by Anoush Ter Taulian, 22 November 2018

Solidarity with Native-Americans

As Armenians, we are no strangers to denial. Yet in this country, perhaps no community has been dealt the hand of denial more severely than the Native Americans. As Thanksgiving approaches, a day in which Native Americans are so central to the narrative, I decided to delve deeper and investigate the myths that perpetuate this denial, one that continues to traumatize this community in America.

During this trip, I met Moonanum James, a co-leader of the United American Indians of New England (UAINE). He explained that for Native Americans, Thanksgiving is not a joyous holiday. Among other things, the UAINE is known for founding the National Day of Mourning, which falls each year on Thanksgiving Day, as a way of protesting the holiday. The origins of the Day of Mourning date back to 1970, when Wamasutta Frank James, a member of the Wampanoag tribe, was invited by Plymouth town officials to give a speech on Thanksgiving Day, but when officials read a copy of it before the ceremony, they told him it was prohibited, because he had planned to speak at length about the violence that occurred against native peoples.

Every year since then, the Wampanoag people gather on Cole's Hill in Plymouth. Hundreds of supporters join in their ceremony to honor their ancestors and protest the ongoing racism and oppression they experience and to tell their true history. They stand facing different directions, and blow a conch shell. The directions they blow the conch represents the “directions” of Mother Earth. They tell of how in 1637, William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, ordered the killing of the Pequot people, another tribe which was based in Connecticut. At night, when Pequot women and children were sleeping, his soldiers burned their villages and when they returned, Bradfort gave them a dinner in honor of their bloody victory and safe return. He proclaimed an official Day of Thanksgiving.

Native Americans decry the myth of “the friendly Pilgrims” and the 1621 Pilgrim-Native dinner. Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag community, had heard gunfire and sent 60 of his soldiers who discovered the settlers were celebrating their harvest. He decided to bring food and joined them even though he knew the Europeans had robbed his mother's grave, stolen their corn and had already enslaved some of his people.



Why France's 'gilets jaunes' protesters are so angry by Claude Poissenot, Université de Lorraine 12/04/2018

FRANCE

These are the sentiments felt by couples who say they "can't get by" despite having two jobs, or young workers who still live with their parents because their income is insufficient or too unstable for them to move out.

Fueling more anger

Political parties and trade unions also once controlled and channelled this anger. Now, they no longer can. They've been accused of trying to use the gilets jaunes movement or even trying to subvert a point of view that is deeply personal. Those in power are confronted with groups of people acting individually, some of whose self-esteem is centered around their anger.

Learning to be oneself

When the anger subsides, France must learn lessons from the unprecedented gilets jaunes movement. The crisis of representation is deeply affecting the way people are defining themselves politically.




Great Movies

A Film on the Revered Ganges River in India

NYIHA MEDIA is pleased to release the best in Indian cinema. In a beautifully shot non-fiction film, Director Vinit Parmar presents an up-close look at the pollution that has been an ecological scourge troubling the revered Ganges River in India.

The film delivers a rarely seen and authentic view of the life at the river's edge and the people struggling to compel change. With unprecedented access, the film brings to light an age-old industry of leather production in jeopardy, bringing in USD$4 Billion to the Indian economy at a cost of degradation of the environment and the health of the residents.


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