Rise Against Drummer Says No To Animal Tests At CUBoulder

first_imgRise Against drummer Brandon Barnes has sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to his alma mater, the University of Colorado–Boulder (CU-Boulder), urging the school to replace all experiments on live animals in undergraduate science classes with modern simulation methods.As Barnes points out in the letter, students at CU-Boulder currently decapitate frogs, force frightened rats to swim in water mazes, and cut open live rats to expose their hearts, even though superior non-animal methods exist and undergraduate science classes at CU-Denver are taught without using, hurting, or killing any animals.“As a Colorado native and alumnus of CU-Boulder, I was horrified to learn from my friends at PETA that in undergraduate science classes at my alma mater, students cut off frogs’ heads and experiment on their organs, force terrified rats to swim in water mazes, and cut open live rats to observe their exposed beating hearts. After spending the last 14 years playing drums in the band Rise Against, whose primary messages are about fighting injustice, I feel compelled to weigh in on this important issue.“Treating other sensitive, intelligent beings like disposable laboratory equipment is wrong, and—although I was a business and music major at CU-Boulder—I know that there must be better ways to teach undergraduates than by having them needlessly torment, maim, and kill hundreds of animals. In fact, apparently even CU’s campus in Denver, where I grew up, does not include any experiments on live animals in similar courses. I understand that experts such as CU-Boulder emeritus biology professor Dr. Marc Bekoff have provided your faculty members with information on interactive computer simulations and other humane methods available to teach students—a growing majority of whom now oppose animal testing—without hurting animals.“As you know, CU-Boulder states that its institutional vision includes “[t]ransforming how we teach, discover, and share knowledge” and “[b]uilding a 21st-century learning environment.” It’s time for CU-Boulder to fulfill this vision by replacing archaic and cruel teaching methods with ones that are more modern, effective and humane.”Source:PETAlast_img read more

Crowdfunding making the world a little smaller for Nunavut

first_imgAPTN National NewsEverything costs more in Nunavut and fundraising isn’t always easy.Especially considering Nunavut’s remote communities don’t have a lot of money in the first place.APTN’s Kent Driscoll reports crowdfunding on the Internet is changing that.last_img

Edmonton soon to be largest Aboriginal population embraces reconciliation aims

first_img(Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, centre, last September with Treaty 6 chiefs. Brandi Morin/APTN Photo)Brandi Morin APTN National News EDMONTON – The choke cherry trees that were planted last year in front of every Anglican Church in the Edmonton diocese to commemorate healing and reconciliation are now blossoming. It is a good sign, says Bishop Jane Alexander – perhaps symbolic of what’s to come. Reconciliation in Alberta’s capital city, which will soon be home to the largest Aboriginal population in Canada, began when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission held a national event there in March 2014. Alexander said her diocese is working to implement the apology the Anglican Church made to residential school survivors through various initiatives. They include providing education to clergy members, community outreach and welcoming cultural practices within the church. Although things are happening, Alexander acknowledges that change will not come overnight. Lewis Cardinal’s parents attended residential school. Cardinal lives in Edmonton and is the co-chair of the Alberta commissioner on human rights and justice, he never expected to see an apology from the government let alone a TRC during lifetime. “So this comes as a pleasant step forward,” said Cardinal in light of the final TRC event held Tuesday. “This is a new chapter. What we heard (Tuesday) is the foreword of that new chapter.” Cardinal resounded TRC Commissioner Wilton Littlechild’s statement that reconciliation is a process that will take generations to unfold. “We’re talking about generational work here – in the sense that we’re not going to change everything in my lifetime. But what we’re going to see is a softening and an acceptance of the Indigenous people in our cities,” said Cardinal. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, an TRC honorary witness, was in Ottawa Monday and then flew home to be present at city hall council chambers where a live broadcast of the TRC final report streamed to a packed audience. Following the release, Iveson said he is looking forward to his children being able to learn a more truthful story about the history of Indigenous people, including the injustices of residential schooling. “Frankly, saying Ottawa has to fix this isn’t enough,” said Iveson. “The call has to come from all Canadians so that it is heard by all federal leaders, regardless of the party, so that we can develop a national consensus to take action to address particularly the resource gaps that exist in terms of funding to support the health and well-being, welfare and education of Indigenous people on reserve or in the cities where they reside. Those are treaty obligations.”Boyle Street Community Services cultural advisor Gary Moostoos is optimistic about reconciliation efforts within Edmonton. “I’ve seen that there’s a lot of attempts being made to build relationships with the Aboriginal people,” said Moostoos, who pointed out that Iveson and council members have gone as far as participating in sweat lodges with area chiefs and consult with Indigenous elders. Moostoos also works with residential school survivors and provided support to them in Ottawa this week. He said he’s noticed a shift in their attitudes towards reconciliation. “A lot of anger and frustration and fears have kind of dissipated and they’re feeling safer to be who they are,” he said. He added Mayor Iveson takes his role of honorary witness seriously, which has a big impact on reconciliation for the city, and that Edmonton is setting a precedent for other municipalities. “Other cities have made progress, however, with the leadership we have in place I think Edmonton is going to take lead in being the city that other cities can look up to and will be able to follow suit,” said Moostoos.After declaring a year of reconciliation last year, Iveson announced three main priority areas the city would undertake:–          Educate city staff on the history and impact of residential schools–          Commit to higher Aboriginal youth participation in civic programs, fill gaps in city programming and allow youth to explore careers in the public service–          Create a public space in the city for Indigenous ceremonies and cultural practicesIt’s difficult to measure the effects of initiatives such as educating staff, said Mike Chow, director of Aboriginal relations with the city. “It’s not like mainstream society where you have a semester, a test and then you get a grade. One of the things that we’ve learned about our Indigenous cultures is that learning is lifelong. And it’s never ending,” said Chow. The city is working with various partners and youth to give opportunities to provide leadership training and to become involved with reconciliation. The Sacred Earth project is the first of its kind in Canada and will provide an area within Edmonton where Aboriginal people can practice cultural and ceremonial activities. The project is estimated to cost $6 million and expected to be completed by 2017. Chow said these are a taste of Edmonton’s more long-term “transformational” reconciliation actions to come. The city will review the final TRC reports and recommendations so that further steps can be taken. “I’m really excited about the TRC reports because we were waiting for what the findings would do so we can catalyze with more action. I think with the release we’re going to be taking a look at that in more detail to make sure that our programs, services and activities going forward can align with it,” said Chow. bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more