Friday, October 22, 2010

A Kunuk Outlook?

Or should I say, Elders outlook.

“Kunuk’s done what no one else has: listened to the elders.
The Fast Runner director skips the “experts,” going directly to Inuit elders, and discovers their alarming views on climate change.”

Many of you will likely remember Kunuk’s first feature film, “Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner.” It was another project that no one else, let alone an Inuk, had ever done. That story went against the patronizing notion that Inuit are non-confrontational. Imagine…human beings non-confrontational?

Now, with Kunuk’s latest documentary, he has captured the perspective of Inuit Elders regarding the issue of climate change. An issue, in recent years, that has gained international attention especially where the effects will “hit the hardest…the Arctic.”  A lot of “experts” have given their perspective whether for or against the idea of climate change.

Kunuk says, “Over the years, nobody has ever listened to these people. Every time (the discussion is) about global warming, about the Arctic warming, it’s scientists that go up there and do their work. And policy makers depend on these findings. Nobody ever really understands the people up there.”

Apparently now though…guess what?

After a presentation on the elders’ views at a Copenhagen conference on climate change, “We had a litany of scientists come back to us, responding after seeing this news…”

As an Inuk myself, can’t wait to see this documentary. Will likely end up in true Kunuk style…telling it like it is.

“ The documentary deals strictly with the elders’ observations and their belief that they simply have to adapt.”

This perspective, of course, coming from a people who have adapted to the harshest climate on earth. I guess climate change is just another challenge…Elders’ style.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nelson Mandela, what a fella.

“A conversation with himself, an inspiration for us.
This collection of letters, notes and fragments confirms Nelson Mandela as an icon for the age.”

So read the headline in the GLOBE published in the October 16, 2010 edition and written by an Isabel Nanton.

Anyone who has read his first book including myself entitled, “Long Road to Freedom” will likely be as impressed with this man and his new book entitled, “Conversations with Myself.” Although, I have not read it yet, I will certainly check it out.

His first book outlines and chronicles his incredible journey growing up in the dark period of apartheid to his eventual ascent to Prime Minister of South Africa. Now, as an icon for diplomacy, he has come out with his “inner most thoughts of the private man almost universally considered to be the world’s pre-eminent statesman.”

One example or excerpt includes a view “On human weakness.”

“You have to recognize that people are produced by the mud in the society in which you live and that therefore they are human beings. They have good points, they have got weak points. Your duty is to work with human beings as human beings, not because you think they are angels. And therefore, once you know that this man has this virtue and the has got this weakness, you work with them and you accommodate that weakness and you try and help them to overcome that weakness. I don’t want to be frightened by the fact that a person has made certain mistakes and has got human frailties. I can’t allow myself to be influenced by that.”

I look forward to reading more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Catholic repetition?

Did you know Jesus voiced against repetitive prayer? Yet, the Catholic Church is so repetitive in its rituals. How many times do you have to repeat the Lord's Prayer, your Hail Mary's and Holy Mary's? At meal time, they always have to repeat "Bless us oh Lord with these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our our Lord, Amen." Seems nothing comes from the heart. I know, I spent 13 years in a Catholic residential school. I think I can express my negative opinions on that church.

And, when praying, Jesus said to do it in private. Yet, how many times do you see Catholic athletes kneel and give the sign of the cross in public: just watch a CFL or NFL game.

Repetition does not earn Respect. Catholics....don't feel guilty, guilt has been taken away.