Brian Rice

  • Bridging academia and indigenous environmental philosophy

    During periods of colonization, empires tend to reinforce their knowledge systems over indigenous peoples.

  • Education brings fear for some current aboriginal leaders

    As someone who teaches aboriginal education to students, the content of my courses includes the devastating effects of colonial policies on aboriginal peoples, such as the residential school system and how it contributed to the loss of aboriginal languages and culture.

  • Aboriginal leadership and its responsibility to the environment

    As an aboriginal scholar, I feel lucky to have been taught by some of the great aboriginal leaders and elders of the past generation.

  • A pitfall of cultural appropriation

    Recently in Phoenix, Arizona, 19 people became sick and three died after attending an “aboriginal” sweat box. At least, that is what some of the local media referred to it as.

  • Forgotten history

    I have been fortunate to have taught quite a few students from Sudan in my classes. One of the things that surprises them the most is when I tell them that aboriginals from Canada were on the Nile River during 1884 and 1885 on an expedition to try and save British Maj.-Gen. Charles Gordon from the rebel armies of the Mahdi, who were attempting to drive the British from Sudan.

  • Make it official

    During the years I have been teaching, it has often been mentioned that aboriginal children have poor language skills.

  • When revenge trumps justice

    The outcry over the recent release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted Lockerbie bomber, made me wonder whether it really mattered if the man was guilty or innocent of the crime. The fact that there was scant evidence used to convict him, including the use of an informant who was paid $2 million by the American government to testify against him, makes it appear more important that the authorities had someone to convict in order to appease the public.

  • The original Gitmo

    As U.S. President Barack Obama begins the process of closing down the prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in part due to allegations of the illegal torture and abuse of prisoners, it reminded me of a similar situation that involved Native American leaders during the 19th century.

  • A loss of culture that has been lost in history

    Often when beginning my aboriginal education class, I will ask students where their families originally come from. This often leads into discussions about ethnicity, cultural background and language.