CBCradio

May 5, 2008

Pt 1: Native Gangs - People who study crime in Canada say aboriginal gangs are the fastest-growing criminal groups in the country, and some native communities believe they are some of the biggest challenges they face. At the beginning of May 2008, members of the Piapot First Nation in Saskatchewan held a two-day workshop on gang awareness.

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Pt 2: Genetic Mutation - Developments in the field of genetics are revolutionizing the way we think about illness and leading to tests that can predict our vulnerability to certain kinds of disease. It's a medical breakthrough to be sure. But sometimes knowing about these genetic flaws can mean difficult choices for the people who have them. CBC Radio's health reporter Pauline Dakin looked into a dilemma facing some families in Newfoundland.

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Pt 3: Music Education - May 5, 2008 is Music Monday, and CBC Radio celebrated with an entire day of programming looking at the ways music and music education enrich our lives, including playing a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest and most prestigious orchestras in the world.

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It's Monday, May 5th.

An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says the health risks posed by Tasers need to be studied further.

Currently, the RCMP agrees ... and will continue tasering a random sample of unarmed people.

This is the Current.


Native Gangs

People who study crime in Canada say aboriginal gangs are the fastest-growing criminal groups in the country, and some native communities believe they are some of the biggest challenges they face. At the beginning of May 2008, members of the Piapot First Nation in Saskatchewan held a two-day workshop on gang awareness.

In April 2008, aboriginal gang violence made headlines when a two-year-old girl on the Hobbema reserve in Alberta was shot in the crossfire during a gang fight. She survived, but the incident sparked native communities across Canada to find new ways to confront the problem.

Aboriginal gangs usually traffic in drugs, but some are also involved in prostitution, fraud and robberies. Others work as local enforcers for larger groups like the Hells Angels.

For his perspective, we were joined from Winnipeg by Joseph Quesnel, editor of Drum and First Perspective newspapers in Winnipeg.

Reserve leaders and police officials say they are trying to reign in the problem of aboriginal gangs. But Serge LeClerc, a former gang member who is now a member of the Saskatchewan Legislatur, says they could and should be doing more. He's written about his experiences in an autobiography, called Untwisted.

But to better understand the scope of the problem and how aboriginal gangs fit in to the broader context of organized crime in Canada, we were joined in Toronto by Michael Chettleburgh, author of Young Thugs: Inside the Dangerous World of Canadian Street Gangs.

We also spoke to Charlene Daniels, a former member of the Indian Posse in Winnipeg.


Listen to Part One:

 

Genetic Mutation - Documentary

Developments in the field of genetics are revolutionizing the way we think about illness and leading to tests that can predict our vulnerability to certain kinds of disease. It's a medical breakthrough to be sure. But sometimes knowing about these genetic flaws can mean difficult choices for the people who have them.
CBC Radio's health reporter Pauline Dakin looked into a dilemma facing some families in Newfoundland.


Listen to Part Two:

 

Music Education

May 5, 2008 is Music Monday, and CBC Radio celebrated with an entire day of programming looking at the ways music and music education enrich our lives, including playing a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest and most prestigious orchestras in the world.

But for much of its history, it was also one of the more controversial. Up until 1997, the orchestra refused to allow women, no matter how talented, to be full members in its ranks. For many years, it maintained that its superior sound was the result of an exclusively male lineup.

That kind of gender prejudice and stereotyping seems out of tune with 21st Century social norms. But according to a study released in April 2008, it's not the only place where old attitudes about gender and music are dying hard. Susan Hallam is a Professor at the University of London's Institute of Education and the lead author on a study that looked at how boys and girls in music classes view different instruments, and how that affects what they decide to play. She joined us from Milton Keynes, England.


Music Education - Panel

While children may see certain instruments as either masculine or feminine, Susan Hallam's study also found that some instruments -- African drums for example -- are appealing to both boys and girls. So The Current Producer Sandra Ferrari went out to talk to a few young prodiges at an after-school world drumming class at the Garden Avenue Public School in Toronto.

The fact that children attribute gender to musical instruments raises all sorts of questions about how those attitudes get developed and whether they have broader consequences. For their thoughts about that, we were joined by two people: from Montreal by Marc Lafrance, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Concordia University who is researching representations of gender in the music industry; and from Kingston, Ontario by Roberta Lamb, a Professor in the School of Music at Queen's University.


Last Word - Gender Symphony

All this talk of musical instruments and gender got us wondering how a symphony would sort out which instruments are male and which are female. We therefore closed the show with an imagined conversation, courtesy of our friends at The Content Factory.


Listen to Part Three:

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