Author: Veronica Smith

22 Nov Friday, November 26 is Native American Heritage Day

November is Native American Heritage Month.  This month was established to honor and recognize Native Americans as the first people of this nation and to celebrate both their cultural heritage and integral importance to our past, our present, and our future.  November 23 is Native American Heritage Day.  Please read here for more information on the importance of this day. As we wrap up our month dedicated to the celebration of Native Americans, we wanted to share with you the real truth behind Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, there are always two sides to a story.  Generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools but what does Thanksgiving mean to Native Americans? Please read here for some historical truths and opinions about Thanksgiving, from the perspective of Native Americans.    ...

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15 Nov What are land acknowledgements and why do they matter?

Chances are, you’ve seen or heard a land acknowledgement at some point in the past few years. Maybe this was during the introduction to an art, sporting, cultural, academic or civic event, or at one of the 160 Toronto bus shelters that now ask transit users to think about who first lived on the land they’re commuting across. We know that Columbus did not discover the Americas, nor did the other European seafarers who preceded him. This land was—and still is—Turtle Island, already inhabited for well over 10,000 years by thriving traditional territories, bands and confederacies of Indigenous people. And we’re still here, in spite of intense and prolonged attempts by church and state to assimilate and colonize Indigenous peoples into white/Eurocentric society. But maybe you don’t totally understand why land acknowledgements are so important. That’s understandable—we can’t know what we weren’t taught, right? So, here’s what you need to know. Indigenous writer Selena Mills illustrates the importance of land acknowledgements—and shares perspectives about this newly popular form of reconciliation....

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08 Nov Monday, November 8th is National STEM/STEAM Day!

There’s no way around it: children are significantly better off with strong science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics skills. That’s why STEM and STEAM education programs are so important. It’s undebatable that these subjects push society forward, and these programs help to find fun and engaging ways to teach them to students, which is all worth commemorating. So, on November 8, we celebrate STEM/STEAM DAY! More on our monthly feature on Indigenous Communities As COP26 (the annual UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland) comes to an end, we would like to feature an article that asks the question:  "What can we learn from Indigenous communities about safeguarding the environment?" ...

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01 Nov November: Native American Heritage Month & US State/Local Elections

November is Native American Heritage Month so for the next 4 weeks, we at data2insight will share some thoughts, ideas, recipes, and videos highlighting the history, struggles and aspirations of this cherished community. Native American Heritage Month has evolved from its beginnings as a week-long celebration in 1986, when President Reagan proclaimed the week of November 23-30, 1986 as "American Indian Week." Every President since 1995 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as the time to celebrate the culture, accomplishments, and contributions of people who were the first inhabitants of the United States. Celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in a special collection of films, short stories, and resources from Public Television. Through dance, family traditions, and music, these stories show the diversity and long history of Indigenous people across the United States. November is US election month. Imagine an American democracy remade by its citizens in the very image of its promise, a society where the election system is designed to allow citizens to perform their most basic civic duty with ease. Imagine that all could vote without obstruction or suppression. This report - Lift Every Voice: The Urgency of Universal Civic Duty Voting -  proposes universal civic duty voting as an indispensable and transformative step toward full electoral participation. A very interesting read.  ...

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25 Oct October 25 is International Artist Day

Did you know that the Mona Lisa only gained notoriety after she was stolen in 1911! For about 350 years only a few critics and scholars celebrated and acknowledged this painting!  And that ​Picasso could draw before he learned to walk, with the first word that he spoke being "pencil!" Today, October 25, we celebrate International Artist Day. Art as a creative human expression encapsulates myriad things. It portrays the beauty of life or a bitter reality. It records history, revolutions, rebellions, and sometimes is a means to escape them. In short, there is no history or culture without art. This day celebrates all forms of art — paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture, music, and more. Through this celebration we show our respect for the passion and creativity in all artists.  Please read here to find out more about the history and timeline of international artist day....

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04 Oct Data2insight Founder Attends and Presents at Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment Conference Sept 29-Oct 1, 2021

The 2021 conference theme was Cultural Responsiveness against the Backdrop of Racism and Colonialism. The purpose of the theme is to highlight that people of color are increasingly experiencing the world as an unsafe and inhospitable place. The burden of racism and colonialism is steadily increased by those in positions of authority who fail to speak out and name acts of racism and hatred for what they are. We are committed to culturally responsive evaluation, measurement, and assessment. This commitment requires courage and strategizing to ensure that the lives of People of Color are accurately and visibly represented. We also need to interrogate ourselves as practitioners of assessment and evaluation to ensure that we are interrupting rather than perpetuating systems of power that are marginalizing. Veronica Smith led a roundtable at the conference to discuss some work team data2insight did in 2018 to develop and evaluate a data science education program called Waterhackweek, a week-long intensive attracting a diverse group of water science researchers from around the United States, to develop their technical knowledge and skill on using cyber infrastructure to leverage data science and their culturally responsive team work knowledge and skill. For more information about CREA, go to the website of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment. https://crea.education.illinois.edu/   ...

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