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Live at Gathering Wisdom!

By David Ng On October 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

Photo credit: FNHA

Kat and I are attending the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey conference at the Hyatt in foggy Vancouver this week!

The conference also commemorates the inaugeration of the new health authority - the First Nations Health Authority - and began with an emphasis on ceremony. 

Today I attended my first session which was a youth panel on HIV and harm reduction - some of our friends from Chee Mamuk and the First Nations Health Authority were there presenting the Around the Kitchen Table video that we made.   We heard a youth panel talk about HIV and harm reduction, and how HIV is a virus, just like a cold and flu virus, except it has alot of stigma attached to it. It made me think about the first Star in Your Own Stories video project that we did with Chee Mamuk, and how the Haisla youth identified rumours as a major problem in their community, particularly around the issue of HIV. 

The First Nations Health Authority is emphasizing a wellness approach, and destigmatizing HIV is part of this wellness approach.  Instead of spreading misinformation and assumptions, supporting people with HIV in our communities can ensure that our communities are well.

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David Ng is a Hello Cool World veteran with experience going back a decade. David first worked with us when he was just 14 years old as a participant in the youth advisory group for the sexual health education program Condomania. Now an accomplished videographer passionate about the issues of gender and power, he is currently on sabbatical in South Africa while he pursues a Masters in Gender Studies with a focus on international development.

Technology and Culture

By David Ng On October 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

Over the past few months, the Hello Cool World team has had the privilege of working with the First Nations Technology Council - an organization dedicated to building capacity and increasing accessibility to technology for First Nations communities throughout British Columbia. We're thrilled that the Technology Council has come on board as a community partner for our book 'Picturing Transformation, Nexw'ayantsut' which they have featured on their portal site.

Our work with FNTC began when we were invited to the #STRONG2013 conference back in May, where we did media engagement (i.e tweeting, blogging and posting to Facebook!) a photoshoot and video interviews. We produced three short films out of the conference footage we shot, that describe FNTC's goals.

I've been really amazed to see the innovative ways that technology is being used to preserve language and culture.  The issues of language and culture have been in the media lately, with the ongoing Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commissions that are happening all around the country.  The Commission is mandated to facilitate healing across the country, from the scars of the Indian Residential School system, in which the government forcibly removed First Nations children from their homes and forced them into schools, where they were assimilated, and where Aboriginal language and culture was illegal.

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Picturing Transformation - last 24 hours for our pre-sale price!

By Katherine Dodds On October 14, 2013 | 1 Comments

Picturing Transformation Nexw'ayantsut was a labour of love, and a long time in the making! The books are almost here, but you only have until midnight October 15 to get it for the pre-sale price! Buy the book now! 

Before I formed Hello Cool World in 2001 I was a witness to a slice of history first known as the Witness Project, and later as 'Uts'am Witness.' 'Uts'am' is the Squamish word for the Coast Salish Witness ceremony that was at the centre this project.

From it's early days, and for over a decade I watched the project grow from a small 'group with no name" into a community of 10,000 people that saved a rainforest -- and a whole lot more. In 1997, when I wrote  one of the first articles about the Witness Project (for the Vancouver Courier) I had no idea Witness would last so long, and turn out to be so important.

Uts'am Witness was co-founded by my dear friends artist and photographer Nancy Bleck, the late mountaineer and conservationist John Clarke, and Squamish Nation Hereditary Chief Bill Williams. I've been deeply honoured to have been entrusted by them to write this book -- Picturing Transformation, Nexw'ayantsut' -- which is about to come out next week. Working on this book project has been a four-year project, but the process of looking back has been so enlightening. 

Uts'am Witness was an amazing transformational cross-cultural project that brought together members of the Squamish Nation, artists, environmentalists and the public to experience a Coast Salish Witness Ceremony, on the land, in what was at the time a contested part of the Squamish Nation Territory. It was the days of the infamous 'war in the woods'. The area was known by loggers as "tree farm license 38', by eco-activists as the "Randy Stoltmann Wilderness Area", and by participants in the Witness Camping weekends simply as - Sims Creek. Today, that area has been returned to it's ancestral name of 'Nexw'ayantsut' — place of transformation. -->

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Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of Good Company Communications and Trained in renegade advertising & branding through her work with Adbusters in the '90s, Kat's early induction into the possibilities of the web-world was inspired by the term hypertext, which she immediately found comforting. She is dedicated to cause-related communication and to the development and use of tools that promote democratic processes.

Project Management at #STRONG2013

By David Ng On May 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

The #STRONG2013 conference is ending tomorrow, but today will be our final day being here twittering and social media-ing.

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#STRONG2013 conference Wednesday

By David Ng On May 08, 2013 | 0 Comments

What an intense - but fun - 3 days it's been at the #STRONG2013 conference!  We've had a great response from participants who have been actively tweeting and responding to all the online action!

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