Wabanaki-State TRC to name commissioners Tuesday

The Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation (TRC) Selection Panel will announce its commissioners at a news conference scheduled for Tue., Dec. 18, at 1:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Nick Sapiel Building, large conference room, 27 Wabanaki Way, Indian Island, Maine.

The TRC Selection Panel has been tasked by the Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to select five commissioners to serve on the TRC. Tuesday’s announcement completes the TRC Selection Panel’s work. Many selection panel members and TRC commissioners will be on-hand.

The TRC represents a historic agreement between Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to:

  • Uncover and acknowledge the truth about what happened to Wabanaki children and families involved with the Maine Child Welfare system;
  • Create opportunities to heal and learn from the truth;
  • Collaborate to operate the best child welfare system possible for Wabanaki children, a goal shared by all the signatories to the TRC Mandate.

The TRC process represents the first truth and reconciliation effort within U.S. territory that has been collaboratively developed between Indian nations and a state government.  The work to organize a tribal-state TRC has been carried out by the Truth and Reconciliation Convening Group; individuals representing Maine Tribal Child Welfare; Maine State DHHS Office of Child and Family Services; and staff from the Muskie School of Public Service; American Friends Service Committee; and Wabanaki Health and Wellness.

In June, all five Wabanaki Tribal Government Chiefs and Governor Paul LePage signed the Mandate document, along with the accompanying Selection Panel description, describing how the TRC Commissioners would be selected.

Source: Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission
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Charlie Rose ‘Brain Series’ tackles post-trauma stress

Update: The “Post-Traumatic Stress” episode is now available to view in its entirety (54 min.) on The Charlie Rose Show website.

Tonight, The Charlie Rose Show will focus exclusively on PTSD/PTSI as part of its two-year Brain Series. MPBN is scheduled to air “Post-Traumatic Stress” (Series 2, Episode 12) at 11 p.m. ET on Fri., Dec. 14, with the re-broadcast on Monday, 4:30 p.m.

Guests include:

  • Dr. JoAnn Difede of the Weill Cornell Medical College, principal investigator of a Department of Defense clinical trial that tests if virtual reality can help speed PTSD recovery among U.S. service members;
  • Dr. Lisa Shin, a psychology professor at Tufts University who specializes in brain function in PTSD;
  • Dr. Kerry Ressler,  an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University; and
  • Dr. Murray Stein, a psychiatry professor at the University of California – San Diego, where he conducts the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders Program.

PTSD/PTSI was also discussed during The Brain Series 1, Episode 8, “The Anxious Brain.” The episode can be viewed in its entirety at CharlieRose.com and is available for purchase on DVD.

To find broadcast times for The Charlie Rose Show in your area, follow the instructions on the PBS Stationfinder.

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A chance to see ‘Half the Sky’ this week

“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” a four-hour documentary, will air tonight and tomorrow, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on MPBN. The two-part series is part of the Half the Sky movement, inspired by the book, Half the Sky, by journalists/authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

The documentary accompanies Kristof, along with several actors/activists, to six countries where women – facing formidable oppression – are creating change.

The PBS website has extensive resources on the documentary, including behind-the-scenes extras and interviews.

[Trigger Alert: Documentary contains accounts of gender-based violence.]

Sources: Half the Sky Movement, PBS
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Doc Channel frames war in two lenses tonight

Tonight, the Documentary Channel pairs two documentaries that deliver unique perspectives on conflict.

War Photographer” (2001), a film by Christian Frei, follows Massachusetts-born James Nachtwey, a world renowned photojournalist and winner of the 2012 Dresden Peace Prize. For two years, the Swiss author/director/producer Frei joined Nachtwey as he documented war and conflict across Indonesia, Kosovo and Palestine.

The Oscar-nominated documentary features an intimate point-of-view technique – a special micro-camera attached to Nachtwey’s own camera.

Nachtwy’s commentary in the trailer from First Run Features NYC is especially chilling in how the audio track could be directly applied to today’s homemade videos posted by the army of citizen journalists of Homs and other cities across Syria.

In “War is not a Game” (2010), director Lode Desmet outlines the ideals set out in the Geneva Conventions and frames them against the reality faced by eight soldiers in different corners of the globe. They experience a fog of war that only grows thicker in the rapidly changing nature of armed conflict.

War Photographer airs at 8 and 11 p.m. ET; War is not a Game follows at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

“For me, the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke a sense of humanity. If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war.” – Photographer James Nachtwey

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Come hitch a ride and ‘Fly Over Egypt’

This one goes out to the artists, the human rights advocates and the hybrids among us.

Amidst the struggle, it feels a little bit like hope.

“Fly Over Egypt” is from The Narcicyst, aka Yassin Alsalman, a Montreal-based author, actor and hip-hop artist, raised by Iranian parents in Dubai. The man is on a mission to challenge stereotypes about Arab people.

Amenian-American artist Bei Ru, a Los Angeles-based producer/DJ who fuses hip-hop with vintage Armenian melodies, produced the video. He said it commemorates “a year of revolution and change in Egypt.”

Directed by Egyptian-American Wesam Nassar, it was shot by Nassar and a group of artists – native Egyptians and those from away – during the year that saw Hosni Mubarak abdicate. It features photography by Ridwan Adhami and Tamara Abdul HadiSundus Abdul Hadi was behind the concept, and Nik Brovkin created the typography.

Definitely worth a look, the lyrics are rich, dotted with provoking homonyms:

In the light of day you are more than just a knight 
seeking for a right of way asking is it just to fight
I feel the winds of change, but everything is still the same
Even though I fear the sun, I can only see the reign

It debuted on VIBE in January, extending Happy Birthday wishes to Mas’r – the word for “Egypt” in Egyptian Arabic.

For more on Mas’r as it continues to find its footing on brave new ground, follow journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Twitter @sharifkouddous and the blog Egypt Reports.

Also of interest is today’s Egypt Independent article by Ahmad Shokr, “Was 11 February a failure?

Shuk’ran to Kouddous for the heads-up.


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