A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981

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Others endeavoured to pursue programs of community-based research in partnership with Aboriginal organizations under the rubric of applied anthropology. A few opted to combine teaching with paid consultancy, an arrangement that effectively permitted them to conduct undisclosed forms and amounts of ethnographic research without having to submit these undertakings for institutional ethical review by their universities.

Still others moved to take up ethnographic research projects in other fields. Regardless of the path selected by those involved in the study of Aboriginal-state relations, none could be said to be unaware of the possibilities for or implications of conducting interdisciplinary or collaborative research. The transfer of a wide range of administrative and service provision functions from the federal government to band and tribal authorities along with substantial amounts of funding has in turn enabled Aboriginal governments to purchase services from private consultants, service providers, and suppliers.

Moreover, measures taken to facilitate the presentation and settlement of Aboriginal land claims have been accompanied by federal financial loans to Aboriginal authorities to underwrite the soaring costs of research, legal advice, and administrative services.


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Although determination by Canadian courts of the nature and extent of Aboriginal land rights continues to be contested both legally and politically, large-scale natural resource development projects in many parts of Canada are now in practice subject to being blocked or delayed until agreements are reached with Aboriginal communities whose land and resources are affected.

All in all, there are now very substantial financial interests of both a short-term and long-term nature that hinge upon the collection and control of knowledge about the circumstances and organization of Aboriginal peoples and communities in Canada. The political operatives and business consultants who control the greatest part of the research now done in this sector are not subject to the types of monitoring applied to anthropologists and other academic researchers.

Nor are their careers based upon the expectation that they make their findings freely and readily available. The extension of neoliberal practices both with respect to the management of Aboriginal issues as well as to the supervision and control of academic inquiry into them appear to negate the likelihood of a latter-day repetition of anything like a free-ranging and potentially disruptive Hawthorn-Tremblay Commission. Accordingly, the establishment in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries of Indian residential schools, which took girls and boys away from their parents and communities for years at a time, was undertaken to equip young Indians with supposedly civilized habits and beliefs that would allegedly facilitate their assimilation into Canadian society.

The Evolution of Internally Displaced Persons Policy

As a parent, listening to the sometimes extravagant claims made by coaches and community sport organizers about the capacities of sport to prepare young athletes to become highly successful adults, I was reminded of the roughly analogous assertions recited by generations of Indian administrators. From the outset, more than a few colleagues were perplexed by this shift in research focus. Moving from the study of Aboriginal-state relations to the dynamics of community sports in urban and suburban settings was read as retreating from the mainstream of the discipline to its outermost margins.

Nor was there much in the way of published literature on this topic beyond that produced by physical educators for their own use.

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To read their publications and attend their conferences is to enter a congenial zone where no apology is made for taking sport seriously and investigating the myriad ways in which it is implicated in contemporary life. Moreover, some of those active in the sociology of sport began their academic training or professional careers as anthropologists before taking positions in programs or units that have been more welcoming of the study of sport than the vast majority of anthropology departments. Yet should they prefer to frame and pursue their studies in ways that although familiar to anthropologists do not always coincide with sociological preferences, they are likely to be met with challenges and criticisms that can become wearing.

Subscribing explicitly and vocally to the tenets of multidisciplinarity likely offers anthropologists of sport more leeway than does wrapping themselves into knots to fit the ambit of one or another faux version of interdisciplinarity. The other, the study of childhood, has in recent decades emerged from being controlled primarily by psychologists and educators to become a vibrant and expanding field of transdisciplinary inquiry.

Anthropologists have made key contributions to childhood studies both within and beyond their discipline by illuminating the varying ways in which childhood has been constructed across space and time. In consequence, comparative and ethnographic approaches enjoy relatively wide acceptance within this field.

Recognition of the political dimensions of relations between children, parents, social institutions, and states makes it possible to link childhood studies ethnographically and conceptually to, for instance, the study of Aboriginal-state relations. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the popularity and institutional growth of childhood studies might result in concentrating the study of children and childhood within an increasingly specialized and, potentially, ghettoized sector.

As Strathern has noted, the extent to which the principle of interdisciplinarity is attained in any given undertaking or field depends upon the persuasiveness of testimony to this effect by those involved. This general point comes into sharper focus when we look into more specific areas of research, especially those where researchers from smaller disciplines find themselves working between emerging academic fields whose practitioners are quick to defend the territories that have recently been occupied. Depictions of children and of childhood that bob up from time to time within the sports studies literature take scant account of analytical advances registered within the field of childhood studies.

Within sport studies, conventional developmental psychology and socialization studies are still deferred to as the authoritative sources on all matters pertaining to children. Play might be categorized as a definitive feature of childhood, but sport tends to be treated more ambivalently, fostering the impression that the upshot of extensive and intensive participation in sport by some children and youths can be either ignored or taken for granted. They are obliged to take cognizance of agendas and approaches developed within each of these fields without being seen to neglect or slight the priorities of either.

On the other, governments at all levels as well as businesses and corporate foundations are energetically staking out their respective claims to marshal and commoditize athletic activities for boys and girls. As it happens, anthropologists have examined some examples of these developments. Similarly, Dyck traces the manner in which the management of community sport for children in Canada is being co-opted by government initiatives and entrepreneurial philanthropy that aims to privatize this traditionally volunteer, non-profit sector.

The practical implications of procedurally required interdisciplinarity and extradisciplinary collaboration may prove to be rather less beneficent than anthropologists might have imagined. The particular examples considered here are, of course, drawn in large part from Canada and may not, therefore, be equally pertinent to the circumstances of anthropologists elsewhere.

Suffice it to say that readers will recognize which of the practices and problems reported here resemble those found within the settings they know best. Bearing this caveat in mind, I argue that if anthropologists do not take steps to safeguard the practice and integrity of their discipline, then either or both of these may potentially be effaced within the emerging academic order.

Anthropologists can no longer afford to deal with interdisciplinarity as though it represents merely a neutral or disinterested opportunity for contemplative reflexivity and innovation. It can, indeed, sometimes serve as a Trojan horse. Therefore, the continued provision of opportunities and resources that permit the practice of anthropology depends upon our ability to articulate what it is we do and why it is important to our universities and societies that we continue to do it. Instead, we need to articulate reasoned, principled, but blunt critiques of the inherent contradictions bound up with administratively routinized forms of faux interdisciplinarity.

The insights provided by Gluckman, Strathern, and others can be put to good use in framing these arguments. When practitioners of different disciplines choose to work together to examine various problems or questions, each of them bringing to this collaboration their own disciplinary insights, methods, and perspectives, they cannot help but take note of similarities and differences between their respective forms of practice.

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Whether and to what extent the pooling of their respective insights into a particular problem or question represents a step forward or a frustrating waste of time is a matter to be determined when all the results are in. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre. Vancouver, Talonbooks.

Toronto, University of Toronto Press. DYCK, Noel ed. Halifax, Fernwood Publishing. New York and Oxford, Berghahn, Wilmsen ed. Berkeley, University of California Press, Winnipeg, University of Manitoba Press. Toronto, Peter Martin Associates. Skalnik ed.

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Waldram eds. Interdisciplinarity like disciplinarity always comes with institutional politics. The Grand Council of the Crees has been active in asserting the right of the Cree Nation to determine their own future, in the event that Quebec secedes from Canada. A few days prior to the October 30, province-wide referendum on secession from Canada, the Grand Council facilitated a referendum within Eeyou Istchee on the question of whether the Crees should be authorized to separate from an independent Quebec , in order to remain part of Canada.

Cree Regional Authority

La Presse. La Presse Canadienne. Retrieved Nemaska, Quebec, Toronto: ECW Press, , p.

Climate, Environment and Cree Observations

Power To Change. I became chief of our Cree community when I was I used this position to help my people develop. We modernized the villages, built housing and schools and encouraged health and economic development. I was very successful in this position. But like all successes, it had it's sic drawbacks, especially in my personal life. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Gnarowski, Michael.

James Bay Territory, Canada

Kemptville, Ont: Golden Dog Press, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie. Morantz, Toby Elaine.

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