Its not forgotten Mikmaq bounty never rescinded

first_imgTrina Roache APTN InvestigatesThe statue of Edward Cornwallis is gone. But for many Mi’kmaq and Indigenous people across Canada, the question remains: Is the bounty still on the books or not?In late January, Halifax city council voted to remove the statue. It was taken down immediately afterwards.Cornwallis, celebrated as the founder of Halifax, issued two scalping proclamations after he arrived in Mi’kma’ki in 1749. “Ten guineas for every Indian taken or destroyed.” He rescinded both bounties by the time he left in 1752.But four years later, Governor Charles Lawrence issued another cash bounty on the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia.“…a Reward of Thirty Pounds for every male Indian Prisoner above the Age of Sixteen Years brought in alive or a Scalp of such Male Indian Twenty five Pounds and Twenty five Pounds for every Indian Woman or Child brought in alive…”This proclamation was never rescinded.“It’s still there and what’s the big problem with revoking it?” asked Dan Paul, a Mi’kmaw Elder and author of “We Were Not the Savages.”“I kind of think it’s got more to do with legalese than anything else, since the moral thing would be to revoke it and make a big splash in the media about doing so,” said Paul, “Rather than letting it sit there and smolder.”Back in 1999, Mi’kmaw chiefs in Nova Scotia asked the province to repeal the bounty. By March of 2000, Michael Baker, the provincial minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs at the time, put forward a resolution in the house, calling the bounties “repugnant and offensive.”“Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Assembly invite the Government of Canada to confirm that the 1756 Proclamation is no longer of any force or effect; and Be it further resolved that we invite the Government of Canada to join our province as we express our sincere regret over past hostilities.”The federal government responded by the following summer. Robert Nault was minister of Indian and Northern Affairs at the time. He sent letters to the province and Mi’kmaw chiefs assuring them that the bounty “is no longer of any force or effect.”Nault wrote that the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760-61 “…commanded British officers and settlers to ‘forbear all acts of Hostility’ against these tribes of Indians…” rendering the “…1756 Proclamation inoperative.”But there was little coverage of this at the time. Aside from APTN, the National Post ran a brief story with the headline, “Nova Scotia: Bounty officially ends.” And DanPaul wrote a column for the local newspaper, the Halifax Chronicle Herald, calling the federal response “All doubletalk, no action.”And so the question of whether the bounty is still on the books has persisted.“I can tell you one thing; it’s not forgotten,” said Paul. “And the Mi’kmaq don’t intend to forget it.”Whether the bounties were rescinded or made moot by subsequent treaties, the larger issue for many Mi’kmaq is the commemoration of a man who issued them.The statue of Edward Cornwallis was erected in 1931, part of a tourism drive by CN Rail.Newspapers at the time wrote about “British sovereignty” and how the people of Halifax “have been faithful to the traditions of the British race.”For decades, the bronze statue stood proudly on its granite pedestal overlooking a park also bearing Cornwallis’ name.But after Paul added the Mi’kmaw narrative of history to bookshelves in 1993, the monument became a flashpoint for division and a symbol of genocide to the Mi’kmaq.“I want people to know that he committed genocide against our people. He ordered, he wanted us wiped out,” said Mi’kmaw activist Rebecca Moore. “What kind of a man is that and why do we have a statue of him in the park?”A common argument when Mi’kmaq challenge the colonial historical account of Cornwallis is that the bounties were acceptable in a time of war.“It’s bullshit, okay?” said Paul. “And it’s a white supremacist argument in my opinion.”There were hostilities between the British, and the Mi’kmaq and French, who were allied.Cornwallis wrote to the British Lords of Trade about  “the Mic-Macks” behaving  “…of late in a most treacherous manner.”When Cornwallis built a sawmill across the harbour to mill wood to build the garrison city of Halifax, the Mi’kmaq attacked and killed five or six men.He asked permission from Whitehall in London “to take or destroy the savages commonly called Mic-Macks wherever they are found…to root them out entirely.”Jon Tattrie is a journalist and author of “Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax.”“He’s sailing into three different worlds at once,” said Tattrie. “To the French it is New France. To Mi’kmaw people, it’s still Mi’kma’ki. It’s still held physically by them, it’s still seen conceptually by them as their homeland.”“To Cornwallis, it’s Nova Scotia. His mission is to found a fortress city which becomes Halifax to thwart the French ambitions here, to protect the British interests.”To the Mi’kmaq, cutting down trees and building the saw mill, said Tattrie, “It was another occupation of their territory at an important river and seen as a deep act of aggression.”“The British were invading and stealing Mi’kmaq territory,” said Paul. “The Mi’kmaq were people who had occupied this area of North America for over 10,000 years. They had a culture they were defending.”Paul has often questioned why a bounty in warfare would extend to women and children, if the intent was not extermination.And there was no bounty issued for French soldiers.In the handwritten council minutes for Halifax, unfolds one story of the scalps being collected in 1753. Cornwallis was gone from Halifax. Governor Hobson had taken his place. And the bounties had been rescinded, though not everyone would have known that.The account tells of two men who “arrived yesterday in this Harbour in an Indian Canoe and brought with them six Indian scalps.”John Connor and James Grace tell of how they were attacked by Mi’kmaq, taken hostage and escaped. In doing so, they “first killed the woman and the boy” and four Mi’kmaw men.Tattrie points to other records of Cornwallis dealing with bounty hunters like John Gorham and his rangers, a group of mercenaries that came up from New England to Nova Scotia in the mid-1700s.Rebecca Moore, who traces her ancestry back seven generations to Mi’kmaw Chief Jean Baptiste Cope, who signed the Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1752.“I’m really proud to still be here,” said. “Because if [Cornwallis] had his way, I wouldn’t even be here.”In late January, she stood for hours in the cold to watch crews work to remove the statue of Cornwallis.A celebratory moment for the Mi’kmaq.“It’s a new day, it’s a new time,” said Moore. “And it’s the true spirit of peace and friendship.troache@aptn.calast_img read more

Stephen Currys Bombs Are Too Good To Be True

One of the reasons Stephen Curry’s 2015-16 season has been so magical is that it has been about more than just dominance — that’s more LeBron James’s turf — it has been about doing things in basketball that we didn’t really know were possible.Last week we published “Stephen Curry Is The Revolution,” in which I discussed how Curry’s unique skill set — particularly his seeming immunity to defensive pressure — suggests that this historically great Warriors team could be even better if it let Curry take even more shots, with the upper limit for just how many he should take still completely unknown.But the idea that “you can never have too much Curry” was pretty much true even before this season. The 2015-16 Curry is on another level. Not only has he gotten better at the things he was already good at, he has also started dominating at things that add new dimensions to the analysis. For example, as my colleague Kirk Goldsberry has written, Curry is now one of the most efficient shooters close to the basket, after struggling from that range early in his career.But the most dramatic change in Curry’s game is his suddenly impossible-seeming range. If you’ve spent more than 30 seconds watching “SportsCenter” in the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard about Curry’s newfound affinity for ridiculous bombs — like that time he scored three baskets from 29-plus feet in 90 seconds.And it’s true, Curry’s long-range shooting has been off the charts. Here’s how he has done from various ranges in the past two seasons1For this analysis, I used the shot-tracking data from NBA.com, current through Dec. 7 (though it may miss a game or two here and there for technical reasons). I then added in Curry’s shots through the Warriors’ game on Dec. 8, and his shots that had been missing because their Nov. 12 game against the Timberwolves wasn’t in the data.: So Curry is taking a lot of last-ditch threes from long distance and has been hitting them at the second-best rate of any player in the past three seasons, despite taking about five times as many shots as the player with the best rate, Damian Lillard, did in 2013-14 (the dot in the upper left).Shooting 38.5 percent in these circumstances is, of course, ridiculous — the league average is just 12 percent, and Larry Bird’s career 3-point average (from regular distances and under regular conditions) was 37.6 percent — not to mention it supports the idea that, for Curry, no number of shots is too great, regardless of how they come.Perhaps more importantly, Curry is taking a lot of these shots “voluntarily” — that is, even when there’s enough time left on the clock to try to set up a normal shot, he’s still tossing the bomb: Last season Korver beat Curry at virtually every distance — yet his distance drop-off was normal (perhaps even a little steeper than the league as a whole), as was Curry’s.This season, of course, Curry has blown past Korver in efficiency as well as volume. Curry’s 13 makes from 28-42 feet (“bomb range”) this season are more than he and Korver had combined last season (12).So what’s going on? On the face of it, these don’t look like big numbers. Most of the hullabaloo is over 13 made shots in 31 attempts, which is not outside the range of luck. But it would take a lot of luck: Curry made shots from bomb range about 17.3 percent of the time in the previous two seasons. If that were his true rate, he would make 13 of his first 31 shots about once every 500 years. One-in-500 events aren’t impossible in sports, but with all the ways that Curry has defied basketball norms already, it behooves us to look for nonrandom explanations. For example, an interesting segment of ESPN’s Sport Science recently broke down Curry’s unusual shot mechanics on these bombs:Normally I’d take those kinds of stats as just fun trivia, but the observation that most NBA players generate velocity for their long shots by changing how they jump, while Curry does it entirely with his wrist, is exactly the kind of thing that could explain how Curry is doing things that previously seemed impossible.Another thing we’d like to do is compare how big Curry’s phenomenon is relative to other hot long-range-shooting seasons. But to do this we have to break things down a little bit further. Not all bombs are created equal. Most NBA players are smart enough NOT to take these kinds of shots unless they’re necessary. About 68 percent of shots from 28 to 42 feet come with the shot clock turned off or with time about to expire (less than four seconds remaining). We’ll call shots taken under those conditions “involuntary.” Here are all the player-seasons for such shots over the past three seasons: His shooting improved basically across the board. For the most part, he is still shooting worse when he’s farther away. You can beat other humans, but you can’t beat science. (I think.) But relative to the league, as well as to his own recent history, his distance curve this season is incredibly flat: He’s shooting 43 percent on shots taken 26 to 28 feet from the basket and 42 percent on shots from 28 to 42 feet. (The 42 feet corresponds roughly to half-court, though most of his shots are much closer to the bottom of that range.)Not only is this not normal for Curry, it’s nowhere close to the norm for anyone, even other great 3-point shooters. For example, Kyle Korver is one of few players who, on a shot-by-shot basis, could brag about being more efficient than Curry last season — albeit with a significantly smaller shooting burden. Here’s how he stacks up to Curry, then and now: The NBA as a whole has seen about one voluntary shot from 28-plus feet every two games over the last three seasons. This relative scarcity has been wise. Even though these are “voluntary” shots — where players presumably thought they had good looks — they’ve been made at a rate of only 25.4 percent (corresponding to 76 points per 100 attempts, well below the efficiency of the worst offenses in history). The undisputed king of the long shot over the last few years — indeed, the only other player to take a substantial number of such shots over full seasons — is Lillard, who has taken 98 voluntary bomb range shots in the past three seasons and has made 32.7 percent of them (corresponding to a respectable 98 points per 100 shots). Curry, on the other hand, had not shown any inclination for these shots and hit them at an average rate — before this season. Now he is averaging just less than one such attempt per game and has hit 47.1 percent — corresponding to 141 points per 100 attempts — far beyond what any offense has ever managed in overall efficiency. In other words, Curry’s typical voluntary shot from more than 28 feet is worth more than most players’ layups.Moreover, note that Curry’s break from his own precedent is also stunning: He is attempting these shots at three times the rate that he used to, yet he’s making them twice as often!This is a thrilling development, but its lack of precedent makes its consequences unknown. If Curry is now a legitimate threat from 30 feet, it will do more than just give defenses fits, it will disrupt the balance of the game in unanticipated ways. And my half-joking argument that he should be taking “all the shots” would drop to more like a quarter joking.But as much as I admire Curry’s skills, this simply MUST be too good to be true. Consider the fact that the game has never seen it, and that Curry himself hasn’t shown anything like it before, and it seems like a prototypical case of a thrilling phenomenon destined to come back down to earth.Then again, the more absurd things we see from Curry, the more they corroborate each other. All is possible. Either this narrative or the game itself will unravel.Check out our 2015-16 NBA Predictions. read more

New pint sized particle accelerator leads the way to clean nuclear energy

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at Daresbury science park in Britain have offered a glimpse into what might be the future of nuclear energy production by showcasing a scaled down particle accelerator; one, that when combined with others just like it, could produce nuclear energy based on thorium, rather than uranium. Dubbed the Electron Machine with Many Applications (EMMA), the accelerator, a much smaller version of the kind used in physics research, such as the Large Hadron Collider, could be used to provide an accelerated beam necessary for the type of nuclear reaction used in a theoretical thorium plant. The EMMA ring in relation to the main ERLP (ALICE) accelerator. Thorium, named for the Norse god of thunder, is a silver-white metal found in abundance all over the planet, and is only very slightly radioactive and as such is a member of the elements known as actinides which, like uranium, occasionally spin off particles which make it useful for energy production. But unlike uranium, thorium is relatively clean because it decays much faster leaving far less reactive byproducts behind; and because it requires a constant bombardment of particles to keep it reacting, is incapable of producing a meltdown; something on the minds of people in the aftermath the Fukushima disaster.That’s where EMMA enters the picture. To produce the constant stream of particles needed to keep a thorium reaction going, an accelerator is needed, but it wouldn’t have to be the huge billion dollar kind, more like the kind you could fit in your garage, or in this case in a lab on the boggy Cheshire flatland, just east of Liverpool, where reporters from the U.K. newspaper Mail, were recently given a tour. They report that EMMA is “an object of scientific beauty…” Scientists have known since the 1950’s that thorium could be used to produce electricity, just as uranium is today; what kept them from doing so was the desire to use technology that could be used in conjunction with atomic weapons, which pushed thorium research aside due to its impracticality for such applications. Today however, things have obviously changed, several countries besides Britain are taking a very hard look at thorium and the ways it could be put to good use and at small particle accelerators too; the team in Britain is also currently at work designing the Particle Accelerator for Medical Applications (Pamela) to be used to help treat hard to reach cancer in patients. © 2010 PhysOrg.com A future energy giant? India’s thorium-based nuclear planscenter_img Explore further Citation: New pint sized particle accelerator leads the way to clean nuclear energy (2011, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-pint-sized-particle-nuclear-energy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more