February 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 68  

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NEWS

News Briefs

February the month of love, black history
February contains many important events for those anxious to learn about the contributions of black people in Canada, according to Harold Usher, London Ward 6 Councillor and a member of the London Black History and Resource Committee.

“What we need to tell people is that this is a unique month, an opportune month to learn a little bit of the history of our country that seems to be fading into the background of everything that is happening,” Usher said.

Some of the events at Museum London include a display of artifacts that focus on historically important black people and events in the community over the last 200 years, Usher said.

He added the opening ceremony for Black History Month, hosted by Western’s Black Students’ Association, will take place in the University Community Centre atrium tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Shane Heywood, a political officer for the BSA, said the ceremonies will include poetry, music and dancing. “[There will be] a focus this year on Canadian black history,” he noted.

—Kate Daley

Get some action
Free movies, a rally and [no] beer are all to be found tomorrow under the banner reading, “Your education shouldn’t be a debt sentence.”

Feb. 4 is the Canadian Federation of Students’ sponsored national day of student action; Western’s version, however, will be staged through a collaboration of the UWO Public Interest Research Group and the Society of Graduate Students, said UWOPIRG member and fourth-year media, information and technoculture student Toben Alexander.

The rally will be less political than in recent years, he said, noting the purpose of the rally is to demonstrate the need for public education to remain accessible to lower income families. In the past, he said, increases in federal transfer payments have not kept up with inflation.

The film My Student Debt will be aired at 11 a.m. in the University Community Centre’s CentreSpot lounge, followed by a rally on Concrete Beach at noon.

The event also includes live entertainment and speakers from several groups at Western, and organizers are asking students to come show support.

—Dan Perry

Churchill (no, not THAT Churchill) lectures
Interested in the contributions and struggles of the First Nations people in Canadian society, past and present?

The Student Development Centre, in conjunction with the department of anthropology, are hosting a lecture entitled A ‘New World Order’? Colonialism, Genocide and the Canadian State, with award-winning speaker and rights activist Ward Churchill from Colorado University.

“People need a historical reference with regard to First Nations people by the government and subsequent governments,” said Vivian Peters, co-ordinator and counsellor for First Nations Services of the SDC, citing the treatment of native Americans.

“The point is to foster a welcoming environment where anyone can learn about the true facts of the First Nations people,” she added.
The event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. in Rm. 315 of the University Community Centre. Admission is free.

—Richmond Wong

Not unoriginal, AB-original
A new degree at Brandon University is opening doors for those looking to study Aboriginal art.

The first of its kind in Canada, the bachelor of fine arts degree in visual and Aboriginal art studies educates students in the ancient arts of beading, teepee building and carving.

Students are now able to pursue four-year majors or minors in Aboriginal art, ceramics, painting and digital media and design. With funding from the provincial government, “lots of hard work, and many, many years,” the program is now underway, said program co-ordinator Colleen Ketchel, adding that the response has been positive.

“Last year we had 92 students, and this year, I think [we have] 192,” Ketchel said. Approximately one quarter of the university population is Aboriginal, but Ketchel noted classes consist of a full range of students.

—Hema Parmar

 

 

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