Reclaiming the Thunderbirds sports team name at the University of British Columbia

At UBC, the athletics department is working with local First Nations to decolonize and Indigenize sport. They have a new tagline and are introducing renewed storytelling about how the Thunderbirds—the school’s varsity teams—got their name. The post Reclaiming the Thunderbirds sports team name at the University of British Columbia appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Reclaiming the Thunderbirds sports team name at the University of British Columbia

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

At the heart of the University of British Columbia campus at University Boulevard and East Mall, the excitement is palpable. Orientation leaders gather with small groups of students to provide guidance for all things campus and class-related. Above the steady stream of traffic stands the highly visible Musqueam house post, sʔi:ɬqəy̓ qeqən, created by Brent Sparrow Jr. and representative of the Musqueam Nation and its history. It serves as a reminder that UBC resides on stolen and unceded Musqueam territory.

Today, I am on campus, learning about UBC’s history and meeting with fellow alumnus Kavie Toor, who was appointed managing director of athletics and recreation in March 2020. Toor hopes to bring a different way of thinking about the impact of varsity sports to the UBC community. “Not sport for sports’ sake, but an agent for excellence, health and well-being, community building and reconciliation,” he says.

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

Across campus at Brock Hall stands the Victory Through Honour pole. At the top is a figure known as the Thunderbird, a powerful mythical creature. Lou-ann Neel, a curator for the Royal B.C. Museum, says the pole was created by her grandmother, Ellen Neel, and based on the Kwikwasut’inuxw origin story of the five tests of Tsikumayi (Cedar Man). She understands this story to be about the human condition and overcoming great challenges.

MORE: How Indigenous institutes are reclaiming education

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

“Thunderbirds” is the name first chosen by student athletes in 1933 without consultation or permission from Indigenous communities. But in 1948 Chief William Scow of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people gave the school permission to use the name with a traditional ceremony during a homecoming football game and Ellen Neel gifted her carving of the Victory Through Honour pole. “It was and still is, unfortunately, a common practice for people to borrow or appropriate native names,” says Neel. “My grandmother obtained a copyright certificate for the written legend, so [copyright] prevents others from reinterpreting it away from the original story.” The pole was originally raised with the permission of the Musqueam people, and after repeated vandalism and decay, a replica carved by Calvin Hunt, Mervin Child and John Livingston was raised in 2004 and again given permission at a rededication ceremony.

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

This year, UBC is introducing a new tagline for its athletics programs—“Together, we take flight”—along with renewed storytelling about the Thunderbird name. Toor hopes to continue its legacy by helping revitalize pride in its rich Indigenous history. He hopes this pride will fuel a new approach to reconciliation within his department: decolonizing and then Indigenizing sport.

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

“Decolonizing is stripping away barriers to access that would normally exist within this institution,” says Toor. For instance, collaboration with the Musqueam community led to the creation of the Musqueam family night aquatics program, where each week, Indigenous leaders provide lessons that focus on water safety and promote sport. To Indigenize, Toor says the first step is for UBC—administration, faculty, staff, students and graduates—to acknowledge its part in perpetrating harm toward Indigenous people, even through unconscious complicity.

RELATED: The Nunavik village transforming a local church—a complex symbol of colonialism

(Photograph by Felicia Chang)

Toor intends to have the department align with UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan and carry out initiatives in equitable partnership with the Musqueam people. The Great Trek Festival is an annual running race through Musqueam territory to celebrate the shared history between UBC and the Musqueam people; a run clinic to promote healthy activity is hosted within the Musqueam community as a part of this partnership. Students are also invited to performances by Indigenous artists and presentations from the university’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre. “This collaborative work should be part of the legacy we create and uphold,” Toor says.


This photo essay appears in print in the 2022 University Rankings issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “Taking flight, together.”

The post Reclaiming the Thunderbirds sports team name at the University of British Columbia appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Source : Maclean's More   

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Ontario will double fines and order takeovers at nursing homes that break new rules

Nursing homes breaking the rules would see maximum fines doubled and the worst performers could face temporary takeovers under long-awaited legislation proposed Thursday in the wake of a pandemic that saw almost 4,000 vulnerable residents die. The bill, called the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, follows angry and anguished calls from families of loved ones in long-term care and government watchdogs for reforms and repairs to a system Premier Doug Ford admits is “broken” from years of neglect and weaknesses laid bare by COVID-19. Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips said this is a “watershed moment” for long-term care in Ontario, where more than 15,000 residents living in close quarters and thousands more nursing home workers caught COVID, with about a dozen staff deaths. “This, of course, is a highly emotional issue,” he told the Star’s editorial board, acknowledging there will be “skepticism” as to whether the reforms will bring the improvements and enforcement necessary.“As my mother would have said, the proof will be in the pudding.”The legislation, if passed, would grant the government powers to appoint supervisors for troubled homes — as the province now does with dysfunctional school boards and hospitals. “In any system there’s going to be some bad actors, and we will, as required, make sure that those actors feel the full force of these rules,” Phillips added.“We expect quality of care and quality of life to be the focus.”Maximum fines double to $200,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations on a first offence and to $400,000 and $1 million for second offences.Members of boards running for-profit nursing homes could be on the hook with maximum fines of $200,000 and $400,000 on first and second offences, with lower maximum fines of $4,000 for not-for-profit homes.The higher fines are intended to get the attention of for-profit operators amid a push from some opposition parties and activists for them to be phased out of the system after several for-profit homes such as Orchard Villa in Pickering experienced severe outbreaks and high death tolls from COVID. Ford called in Canadian Armed Forces medical teams to assist at the hardest-hit homes, where staffing levels dropped as low as 20 per cent because of illness and absenteeism. A military report later exposed horrible living conditions and poor care, such as residents force-fed to the point of choking, or malnourished and dehydrated.“We have to have real financial teeth,” Phillips said, calling the penalties “an effective tool to correct organizations that are not fulfilling their obligations.”Among other things, the bill would enshrine in law Ford’s promise to provide four hours of daily hands-on care to nursing home residents daily by 2025 and sets interim targets, double the number of inspectors with new powers to lay charges on the spot, mandate a properly trained infection prevention and control lead for every home, require every home to improve palliative care and ban anyone convicted of an offence under the new law from working, volunteering or sitting on the board of any nursing home. Palliative care is an important component because one-third of nursing home residents die every year in normal circumstance, said Phillips, who, as minister, could also hear appeals of licencing decisions made by the ministry. A government source told the Star this means a minister of long-term care could overrule the ministry, most likely to deny a licence.The legislation would replace the existing Long-Term Care Home Act passed in 2007 in a previous attempt at reform by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.Phillips is introducing the bill as long-term care homes continue to grapple with staffing shortages and the government scrambles to get more personal support workers and nurses in the pipeline to meet the four-hours-of-care standard, up from an average of under three hours today.The government has almost promised 30,000 new long-term care beds by 2028, with thousands already in development. But that development will also fuel the need for more nursing home workers. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Thursday that a taxpayer-funded top up of $3 hourly for 50,000 personal support workers in nursing homes will be extended to next March 31 to help attract and retain PSWs who perform the bulk of care for residents in nursing homes, such as toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing and feeding.The same top-up is being provided to PSWs in home care and those in services for children, community and social services. Hospital PSWs will continue to get an extra $2 hourly. Critics have been calling on the government to make the increases permanent to provide a sense of certainty instead of a series of temporary extensions. New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath has promised to bump PSW wages by $5 hourly if elected premier next June 2. In other pandemic news, the province is lifting “capacity limits for outdoor organized public events” such as Santa Claus parades and Rem

Ontario will double fines and order takeovers at nursing homes that break new rules

Nursing homes breaking the rules would see maximum fines doubled and the worst performers could face temporary takeovers under long-awaited legislation proposed Thursday in the wake of a pandemic that saw almost 4,000 vulnerable residents die.

The bill, called the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, follows angry and anguished calls from families of loved ones in long-term care and government watchdogs for reforms and repairs to a system Premier Doug Ford admits is “broken” from years of neglect and weaknesses laid bare by COVID-19.

Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips said this is a “watershed moment” for long-term care in Ontario, where more than 15,000 residents living in close quarters and thousands more nursing home workers caught COVID, with about a dozen staff deaths.

“This, of course, is a highly emotional issue,” he told the Star’s editorial board, acknowledging there will be “skepticism” as to whether the reforms will bring the improvements and enforcement necessary.

“As my mother would have said, the proof will be in the pudding.”

The legislation, if passed, would grant the government powers to appoint supervisors for troubled homes — as the province now does with dysfunctional school boards and hospitals.

“In any system there’s going to be some bad actors, and we will, as required, make sure that those actors feel the full force of these rules,” Phillips added.

“We expect quality of care and quality of life to be the focus.”

Maximum fines double to $200,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations on a first offence and to $400,000 and $1 million for second offences.

Members of boards running for-profit nursing homes could be on the hook with maximum fines of $200,000 and $400,000 on first and second offences, with lower maximum fines of $4,000 for not-for-profit homes.

The higher fines are intended to get the attention of for-profit operators amid a push from some opposition parties and activists for them to be phased out of the system after several for-profit homes such as Orchard Villa in Pickering experienced severe outbreaks and high death tolls from COVID.

Ford called in Canadian Armed Forces medical teams to assist at the hardest-hit homes, where staffing levels dropped as low as 20 per cent because of illness and absenteeism. A military report later exposed horrible living conditions and poor care, such as residents force-fed to the point of choking, or malnourished and dehydrated.

“We have to have real financial teeth,” Phillips said, calling the penalties “an effective tool to correct organizations that are not fulfilling their obligations.”

Among other things, the bill would enshrine in law Ford’s promise to provide four hours of daily hands-on care to nursing home residents daily by 2025 and sets interim targets, double the number of inspectors with new powers to lay charges on the spot, mandate a properly trained infection prevention and control lead for every home, require every home to improve palliative care and ban anyone convicted of an offence under the new law from working, volunteering or sitting on the board of any nursing home.

Palliative care is an important component because one-third of nursing home residents die every year in normal circumstance, said Phillips, who, as minister, could also hear appeals of licencing decisions made by the ministry.

A government source told the Star this means a minister of long-term care could overrule the ministry, most likely to deny a licence.

The legislation would replace the existing Long-Term Care Home Act passed in 2007 in a previous attempt at reform by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.

Phillips is introducing the bill as long-term care homes continue to grapple with staffing shortages and the government scrambles to get more personal support workers and nurses in the pipeline to meet the four-hours-of-care standard, up from an average of under three hours today.

The government has almost promised 30,000 new long-term care beds by 2028, with thousands already in development. But that development will also fuel the need for more nursing home workers.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said Thursday that a taxpayer-funded top up of $3 hourly for 50,000 personal support workers in nursing homes will be extended to next March 31 to help attract and retain PSWs who perform the bulk of care for residents in nursing homes, such as toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing and feeding.

The same top-up is being provided to PSWs in home care and those in services for children, community and social services. Hospital PSWs will continue to get an extra $2 hourly.

Critics have been calling on the government to make the increases permanent to provide a sense of certainty instead of a series of temporary extensions. New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath has promised to bump PSW wages by $5 hourly if elected premier next June 2.

In other pandemic news, the province is lifting “capacity limits for outdoor organized public events” such as Santa Claus parades and Remembrance Day services.

But masks will be mandatory if physical distancing of two metres is not possible.

For all other outdoor social gatherings, there are still limits of 100 people.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1

Source : Toronto Star More   

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