March 17, 2008 – With the Ontario legislature resuming sitting this week, over 30 groups and organizations are urging the government to overhaul its outdated mining laws and policies. In an Open Letter to the Premier, a wide range of social justice organizations, faith groups and environmental groups express their deep concern that the Mining Act in Ontario is taking precedence over human rights and ecological concerns.
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, March 18, 2008 — Families and individuals in Alberta working to break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty and building a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.
Mr. Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced funding for 37 projects worth over $25 million in Alberta under the government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, March 18, 2008 — Families and individuals in Saskatchewan working to break free from homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.
Mrs. Lynne Yelich, Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Blackstrap, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced that during the first year of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), the Government has funded 19 projects worth over $3.6 million in Saskatchewan.
EDMONTON , AB – March 18, 2008 – Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have laid three charges against the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the federal Fisheries Act.
CN is charged with one count under subsection 5.1(1) of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, for allegedly depositing a substance harmful to migratory birds in water frequented by birds, and two charges under subsection 35(1) of the Fisheries Act for the alleged harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat.
On Thursday, March 13, 2008 the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples held a community meeting at Masonic Lodge in Happy Valley – Goose Bay. The meeting was held to raise awareness about the Powley Decision and Powley Implementation, as well as to gather comments and concerns from various Metis communities.
“Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and this year’s theme Dignity and Justice – the Cornerstones of Combating Racial Discrimination, deeply resonates with First Nations people in Canada.
This past year, Common Experience Payments (CEP) to residential school survivors have been processed. While these payments do not erase the grave injustice experienced by many First Nations children and their families, its aim is to address the past indignity and injustice endured by many generations of First Nation children in residential schools. It is hoped that residential school survivors can work towards healing and strengthening their families and communities and begin to move forward.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2008
“The Union of BC Indian Chiefs finds the jailing of Chief Donny Morris and all six council members of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation to be completely outrageous. Once again the Province of Ontario has jailed community members for protecting not only their territories but their fundamental human rights,” said Grand Chief Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “Such brutal, heavy-handed and highly provocative sentencing by the Courts of Ontario shall only serve to exacerbate an already dangerously volatile situation.”
To: Local Government Mayors, Chairs, and Administrators BC First Nations Chiefs and Administrators
From: UBCM Executive and First Nations Summit Task Group
Date: March 19, 2008
The Union of BC Municipalities and First Nations Summit are pleased to announce that funding for Regional Community to Community (C2C) Forums is now available for events between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009. This is an exciting opportunity and we invite you to respond by organizing an event in your area.
Lac La Croix First Nation partnership with Gemini Power Corp. On November 8, 2007 the final agreements were executed with Gemini Power Corp. to establish Gemini Power Corp. as an equity partner on the Namakan River Hydro Development Project. A ceremony was conducted on November 11th in the Lac La Croix Community roundhouse to bring life to the agreements.
Cultural Advisor and Elder, Kalvin Ottertail conducted the spiritual ceremony on behalf of the Council and Chief Leon Jourdain, that formally established the High Falls Development Partnership.
OTTAWA, ON —Participants at a roundtable on the health effects of resource extraction in the North are calling for more research to look into the impacts that such development has on the well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Please be advised, the Chiefs of Ontario is holding a Health Planning Forum in Toronto to be held on April 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2008. This Forum will be held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen Street, West, Toronto, ON.
The Chiefs of Ontario are inviting 2 reps per First Nation, the Chief or Proxy and the Health Portfolio Holder of the community. We will be covering rooms for this Forum. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided for the first two days, and a hot breakfast on the last day with mid morning snacks.
Manitoba News Release
March 18, 2008
Workshops in Winnipeg and Thompson yesterday and today were focused on finding solutions to child sexual exploitation, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Makintosh said today.
The Manitoba Child Sexual Exploitation Summit: Front Line Voices workshops are bringing together youth service workers, police and justice officials, community groups, educators, Aboriginal groups and government agencies to develop strategies to support young people who are making positive changes in their lives and to help prevent others from being exploited, especially youth who are vulnerable and at risk.
TORONTO, March 17 – The Canadian Television Fund (CTF) will provide approximately $275 million to Canadian television producers for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Through the Broadcaster Performance Envelope (BPE) system, the CTF will allocate $173 million to English-language broadcaster envelopes and $79 million to French-language broadcaster envelopes. These funds will support English and French programming in the genres of Drama, Children’s and Youth, Variety & Performing Arts, and Documentaries. The 2008-2009 BPE allocations are listed on the CTF website, www.ctf-fct.ca.
Native leaders sentenced to jail in mining protest
Aboriginal umbrella group breaks off talks with provincial government over decision
From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
March 18, 2008 at 4:21 AM EDT
OTTAWA — Native leaders from a remote Northwestern Ontario reserve were sent to jail in handcuffs yesterday for opposing mining on their traditional lands, as an opposition leader blamed the Ontario government for failing to resolve the conflict.
The Ontario government won’t give up trying to find common ground between an exploration company and a remote Northern Ontario First Nation despite the sentencing of an Aboriginal chief and five other members to jail on contempt of court charges, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant said Monday.
B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch wants judicial review of ruling in Frank Paul case
March 17, 2008
THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Canadian Press, 2008
VANCOUVER – The B.C. Criminal Justice Branch wants a judge to review a ruling made at an inquiry into the death of an aboriginal man about why two Vancouver police officers weren’t charged in the incident.
Four B.C. bands upset with ruling that sets aside aboriginal title argument
(BC News) Monday, 17 March 2008, 16:33 PST
Greg Joyce, THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER – The chiefs of four Interior bands are angry after a B.C. Court of Appeal ruled their claims of aboriginal title can’t form part of their defence against charges they logged in 1999 in contravention of provincial laws.
Caledonia dispute costing taxpayers more than $50M
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Ontario taxpayers have shelled out $50 million and counting for costs associated with the two-year aboriginal occupation of a housing development in Caledonia, including almost $500,000 to pay for the aboriginal negotiating team.
Aboriginal affairs minister ‘won’t give up’ after chief jailed over mining dispute
March 17, 2008
THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Canadian Press, 2008
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Ontario government won’t give up trying to find common ground between an exploration company and a remote northern Ontario First Nation despite the sentencing of an aboriginal chief and five other members to jail on contempt of court charges, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant said Monday.
An essay by Michael Patenaude on the sentencing of the Ardoch Algonquins and Paula Sherman and Bob Lovelace, and ahead of the sentencing of Shabot Obaadjiwan and settler (non-Native) protesters: “Sometimes in life one must look back in history for inspiration. This is especially true when current events overwhelm us and threaten to make us lose perspective.”
The Near North District School Board wishes to extend congratulations to the students selected as ‘Students Who Make a Difference.’ Students have been selected from three elementary schools and seven schools at the secondary level in celebration of being positive role models who demonstrate leadership in social justice issues. The Near North District School Board is taking part in the initiative through anti-racism education, events in the schools and an anti-racism poster contest.
By Mark McLaughlin
We believe our children deserve to be “Forewarned” and thus “Forearmed” about Crystal Meth. Without knowledge about meth, kids become sitting ducks for the dealers and other uninformed associates. The workshop includes “Video by Jib” with strong graphic nature. Question and answer section about crystal meth will take place. Workshop open to all ages.
Congratulations to Chief & Council who have all been re-elected to serve the 2008-2010 term. Returning to Council this term includes the following:
Lawrence Paul – 269
Colin Bernard – 230 votes
Loretta Bernard – 224 votes
Alexander Cope – 235 votes
Adrian Gloade – 232 votes
Barry Gloade – 221 votes
Clara Gloade,- 219 votes
Peter Gloade – 283 votes
Robert Gloade – 255 votes
Vernon Gloade – 200 votes
Lloyd Johnson – 236 votes
Barry Martin – 272 votes
Chris Nasson – 202 votes
20th Arctic Winter Games close in Yellowknife
Nunavut wins Hodgson Trophy, Games go next to northern Alberta
Last Updated: Monday, March 17, 2008 | 9:10 AM CT
More than 2,000 athletes from nine regions around the circumpolar North have gone home with medals and memories after the close of the 20th Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife, with the Alaskans taking home the most medals but Nunavut winning the games’ top prize.
NORTH VANCOUVER, March 17 – On Sunday, March 16, 2008, Gerald Johnston, claiming to be a hereditary chief of the Squamish Nation, participated in the disruption of a church service at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver.
The Squamish Nation disassociates itself with Mr. Johnston’s actions and wishes to clarify that his actions were in no way representative of the Nation. Further, Kevin Annett, who purported to speak on behalf of the Squamish Nation, is not a member of the Nation and has no association with the Nation whatsoever.
OTTAWA, March 17 – For the first time an Award of Excellence will be presented to First Nations Health Managers who have made a difference in their community through their hard work and dedication. First Nations Health Managers are frontline workers who manage staff, health programs and policy in First Nations communities. Winners were nominated by their peers and selected by the National First Nations Health Managers Advisory Committee.
MUNCEY, ON, March 17 – Munsee-Delaware Nation has written to City of Toronto Mayor David Miller recently seeking settlement of its claim for consequences to be suffered by the First Nation community because of Toronto’s new garbage dump. Munsee-Delaware Nation is located southwest of London, and is near Toronto’s new garbage dump site; and, while Toronto has provided compensation to Oneida of the Thames Nation and Chippewa of the Thames Nation, it has not offered any compensation to Munsee-Delaware Nation.
Chief Patrick Waddilove of Munsee stated, “We did not participate in the discussions between Oneida and Toronto”.
THUNDER BAY, ON, March 17 – Anishinabek Nation leadership are demonstrating their support for a Treaty 9 community whose chief was prepared to go to jail for refusing to allow a mining company to conduct exploration activity on traditional territory.
Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare represented the 42 member communities of the Anishinabek Nation at the Ontario Superior Court building today where Judge Patrick Smith sentenced Chief Donny Morris of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and six council members to six months in prison for contempt of court. The councillors of the fly-in First Nation about 600 km north of Thunder Bay defied an Oct. 25 court order granting Platinex Inc. access to Big Trout Lake, which the First Nation claim as ancestral land.
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2008
Ministry of Community Services
OSOYOOS – Osoyoos is the latest community to sign an agreement under the B.C. Resort Municipality Initiative with the Province, allowing it to share a portion of hotel room tax to invest in local resort-oriented projects that promote the local wine industry and support a greener, healthier environment, Community Services Minister Ida Chong announced.
“This agreement will give Osoyoos the tools it needs to attract more visitors and entice them to stay longer,” said Chong. “Through this program we’re helping create vibrant, sustainable resort-based communities across B.C., which in turn, provide tourism options, jobs and economic development opportunities.”
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA–(Marketwire – March 17, 2008) – The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, will be in Halifax to meet with his provincial counterpart, community groups and stakeholders to promote the Government of Canada’s commitment to creating racism-free workplaces.
Minister Blackburn will also meet with reservists at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Scotian to inform them about the proposed legislation to protect the civilian jobs of reservists.
Cornwall, Ontario – On March 5th, 2008, at 7:44 a.m., an officer from the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service observed a 2002 Chevrolet Express cargo van and a Dodge Durango on Island Road in Akwesasne, Ontario speed off northbound on International Road towards Cornwall, Ontario. When the officer attempted to catch up to the vehicles, he was slowed down by the driver of the Durango in an attempt to prevent the officer from stopping the Chevrolet van. The van was observed travelling at a high rate of speed on the Seaway Bridge on very slippery road conditions. Once in Cornwall, the officer activated his emergency lights to pull over the van when the driver of the Durango continued to block the patrol vehicle. The officer did not continue the pursuit and located the van parked and locked on Notre Dame Street in Cornwall, Ontario. The officer detected a strong odour of tobacco and contacted officers from the Central St. Lawrence Valley RCMP Detachment- Cornwall Office to attend the scene. The driver of the van could not be located. RCMP officers attended the scene and seized 4,200 re-sealable bags of cigarettes that were manufactured in the United States. This represents 840,000 cigarettes worth $92,400 that were not properly packaged or stamped and were destined to be sold illegally.
The week of March 16 to 22 has been proclaimed REDA week in Saskatchewan to celebrate the achievements of the Regional Economic Development Authorities (REDAs) in the province.
There are 27 REDAs in Saskatchewan that promote and develop strategies to encourage economic growth. The organizations work in partnership with communities, local governments, businesses, co-operatives, youth and Aboriginal groups.
Vancouver, B.C.—Manitoba talent will take to the world stage at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games as part of a contributing province agreement between the Province of Manitoba and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
Premier Gary Doer signed the agreement here today with John Furlong, Vancouver 2010 CEO, at the VANOC offices.
Seton Lake Indian Band (March 17, 2008) – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Chief Larry Casper Jr. of the Seton Lake Indian Band and the Honourable Michael de Jong, British Columbia Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation are pleased to announce a final agreement on a longstanding claim dating back to the early 1900s.
“Settlement agreements not only promote reconciliation and respect, but they bring hope, certainty and new economic opportunities to First Nations,” stated Minister Strahl. “I am pleased to announce the completion of this final agreement with the Seton Lake Indian Band and the Province of British Columbia. By working together through respectful negotiation, we have achieved a balanced solution of a very longstanding claim.”
Support for Municipal Infrastructure Improvements in the City of Whitehorse through Gas Tax Funding
Whitehorse, Yukon, March 17, 2008 – The governments of Canada and Yukon today announced the signing of a Framework Agreement under Building Canada, the Government of Canada’s new long-term infrastructure plan. This investment will help address public infrastructure needs and priorities in Yukon.
The Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, with the Honourable Dennis Fentie, Premier of Yukon, and the Honourable Glenn Hart, Minister of Community Services, Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, and Minister responsible for French Language Services for the Government of Yukon, participated in today’s announcement worth $242.91 million.
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2008
Ministry of Forests and Range and Minister responsible for Housing
Ministry of Children and Family Development
ABBOTSFORD – Provincial and community partners gathered today to celebrate the official opening of the first development completed under the Province’s Aboriginal Housing Initiative, Spirit Bear Center, a 10-bed transition house in Abbotsford for young Aboriginal women in recovery from addictions.
“Spirit Bear Center will make a real difference for both the young Aboriginal women who will call it home and for our greater community of Abbotsford as a whole,” said Ed Fast, MP for Abbotsford. “It will give women new hope and provide them with safe supportive housing when they need it the most.”
OKANAGAN INDIAN BAND
ADAMS LAKE INDIAN BAND
NESKONLITH INDIAN BAND
SPLATSIN FIRST NATION
The Chiefs of the Okanagan, Adams Lake, Neskonlith, and Splatsin Bands are bitterly disappointed with Friday’s BC Court of Appeal decision to sever Aboriginal Title issues from the ongoing case of British Columbia v. Okanagan Indian Band. This decision prevents the Okanagan from raising their Aboriginal Title to advance recognition, and leaves undecided the central issue of how the Crown got its title, which was for the first time placed squarely before the Court.
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy is suspending bilateral discussions with the Government of Ontario until further direction from NAN leadership, describing this morning’s sentencing of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) leadership a criminalization of Aboriginal law and custom and a complete disregard for the ‘new relationship’ the McGuinty government is trying to establish with First Nations.
Police officers from across Northwestern Ontario will be participating in an innovative project about literacy and policing. The focus groups are being hosted by Nishnawbe-Aski Police Acting Chief John Domm and will be held at the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Headquarters in Thunder Bay Tuesday and will be followed by a workshop Wednesday on targeting crime with literacy.
Raising literacy in the community contributes to reducing crime and lowering re-offending. The focus groups and workshop are part of a literacy project of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Acting Chief Domm is a member of the CACP and its Crime Prevention Committee.
7th National Michif Conference
The Gabriel Dumont Institute hosted the 7th National Michif Language Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The conference unfolded over three days and over 150 delegates attended from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
National Inuit leader Mary Simon says the latest major climate change study again highlights the need for specific measures to assist Inuit and other aboriginal peoples adapt to the effects of global warming in Canada’s Arctic regions. The report titled, From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007, was released last Friday.
“This report provides an up-to-date snapshot of how climate change is affecting Canada,” says Mary Simon. “Inuit contributed to this report along with scientists. Again, we have clear evidence of the Arctic being the most affected region of Canada, and its peoples the most vulnerable, with tangible effects on human health. The report supports what Inuit have been saying for years regarding the melting of permafrost, increased species coming into the Arctic, increased navigability of Arctic marine waters, and the increased pressure on Inuit to maintain our way of life.”