GOVERNMENT OF CANADA STILL FAILING FIRST NATIONS CHILDREN: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issues THIRD Compliance Order on Jordan’s Principle

OTTAWA, ON (May 26, 2017, 2:00 p.m.) – The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) has issued a third compliance order finding Canada’s approach to Jordan’s Principle to be unlawful and discriminatory. In a decision released today, the Tribunal concludes that little has changed since its January 2016 ruling that found Canada to be racially discriminating against 165,000 First Nations children. Today’s ruling finds that the current government has adopted the same approach to Jordan’s Principle as the former government in 2009-2012, resulting in unnecessary and unlawful bureaucratic delays, gaps and denial of essential public services to First Nations children. Despite frequent good-will statements by the Ministers of Health Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (“INAC”), the Tribunal found that the federal government has failed to comply with even the simplest part of the January 2016 decision, which ordered Canada to immediately adopt a broad definition of Jordan’s Principle.

In the words of the Tribunal, “the definition of Jordan’s Principle adopted by Canada was a calculated, analyzed and informed policy choice based on financial impacts and potential risks rather than on the needs or the best interests of First Nations children, which Jordan’s Principle is meant to protect and should be the goal of Canada’s programming” (para. 55). The Tribunal notes that even the urgent request of the Wapakeka First Nation, which demonstrated the existence of a suicide pact within the community, was not addressed in a timely manner and two children died by suicide.

In response to today’s decision, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (“Caring Society”), is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to intervene to ensure the Tribunal’s orders are finally met: “It is vital that the Prime Minister personally intervene to ensure INAC and Health Canada fully comply with Jordan’s Principle. Today’s ruling includes evidence from the Tribunal hearing that shows the deaths of at least two children are related to Canada’s non-compliance. It should not take four Tribunal orders and counting to get Canada to treat First Nations children lawfully and equitably.”

Professor Sébastien Grammond, one of the lawyers representing the Caring Society, adds, “This is a remarkable decision for First Nations children. Given Canada’s lack of compliance with previous orders in this case, the Tribunal had to adopt a proactive approach and be very specific as to what Canada needs to do to implement Jordan’s Principle.”

Named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle to ensure First Nations children can access government services on the same terms as other children. Today’s order comes on the heels of two previous non-compliance orders issued by the Tribunal in April 2016 and September 2016.


About: The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (“Caring Society”) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the wellbeing of First Nations children and their families.


Cindy Blackstock, PhD., R.S.W., M.J.
Executive Director
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
Professor, McGill University
Languages: English only
Twitter: @Caringsociety #Witness4FNKids

David Taylor
Power Law
Legal Counsel, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Languages: French and English

Sébastien Grammond
University of Ottawa
Legal Counsel, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Languages: French and English

Background: In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the government’s provision of First Nations child welfare services to over 165,000 children created perverse incentives to place First Nations children in foster care and failed to reflect their distinct needs and circumstances. The Tribunal also found Canada’s narrow interpretation of Jordan’s Principle, a measure to ensure First Nations children can access government services on the same terms as other children, was discriminatory on the basis of race and national ethnic origin. The Tribunal ordered Canada to cease its discriminatory conduct immediately, reform First Nations child welfare programming and implement Jordan’s Principle in compliance with the order.

To read the Tribunal orders and for more information on the case:


Dissecting a dark Indigenous past – CBC

Friday May 26, 2017


Her worth and identity have always been under the microscope, but now Canada’s first Indigenous forensic pathologist is facing even more pressure from her own community. Just over a year into her job, Dr. Kona Williams is confronting some of the most sensitive autopsy cases around – the missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Growing up, even though Kona’s racial identity would continuously be questioned throughout school, her grades never wavered. She excelled academically, and especially loved science. It eventually led her to a gruelling application process to try and get into medical school, where her credentials, worth and identity would yet again, be dissected. Hear the story of how Kona earned her place in the cutthroat world of medical school, and went on to reconnect with her Indigenous past through the work of pathology.

Read more:

Canadian Justin Trudeau To Ask The Pope To Issue An Apology For TRC – Perspectives Daily

Credits: Salt and Light

Published on May 23, 2017

Imagine your surprise if your doorbell rang only to find Pope Francis at your door? So you can imagine the surprised faces of the families living in the public housing complex outside of Rome when the Pope decided to spend last Friday visiting residents in that area.
Continuing the “Mercy Friday” visits he began during the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis chose a public housing complex in Ostia, last Friday, to spend an afternoon going door to door to bless homes. The pastor of the local Stella Maris parish, put up signs earlier in the week announcing a priest would be visiting the neighborhood to bless houses, signs which are common in Italy before and after Easter.

The Pope joking apologized to residents for disturbing them, however he reassured them that he had respected the hour of silence for a nap after lunch in accordance with the sign posted at the entrance to the building. With great simplicity, the Pope interacted with the families, blessed a dozen apartments” and left rosaries for the residents.

The Pope is continuing his “Mercy Friday”, an activity which he begun during the 2015-2016 Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. And although the Year of Mercy ended in last November, the pope started making Mercy Friday visits again back in March when he visited a home and educational center for the blind and visually impaired.
Now here in Canada, local media is reporting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to ask Pope Francis to issue a formal apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the Residential School Abuse scandal during his one-on-one meeting with the Pope when he visits the Vatican at the end of the month.

(May 25, 2017) Regional Chief Isadore Day Statement: For the sake of our children and youth it’s time to put Reconciliation into Action

First Nation children and youth are dying senseless and needless deaths in ever increasing numbers. The latest incident was the discovery of a 14-year-old child’s body last Thursday in a Thunder Bay river, where far too many of our peoples have died mysteriously over the past decade.  We need both Ontario and Canada to act upon last year’s recommendations from the Thunder Bay Inquest into the deaths of seven First Nation youth.

Last August, our Political Confederacy sent a letter to INAC Minister Carolyn Bennett requesting that “immediate steps” be taken to implement the recommendations that fall under Canada’s responsibility.  Quite simply, end the root causes of poverty and despair. Provide the necessary supports for our children to remain in their communities.

The letter stated:

“The jury recognized that First Nations children and youth require holistic support inside and outside the classroom and from an early age. First Nations children often have additional needs and challenges arising from the legacies of residential schools, government neglect, assimilation policies, and other aspects of colonialism past and present. To provide the necessary support, the jury recommended new programs to ensure that every First Nations child has comprehensive access to pre-school education (recommendation 18), cultural and traditional activities (recommendation 19), and extracurricular programs (recommendation 20). It also recommended a process to eliminate the gaps in services such as health, social services, and housing (recommendation 24). In each of these areas, the jury recommended a robust program to identify the gaps, develop targets and timelines, and publicly monitor the results (recommendation 24).”

The province is already working with us on a Strategy for a Safer Ontario. Our leaders, youth and elders have participated in roundtables held this spring. The four priority areas in regard to policing are:

1)    Enhance accountability and strengthen civilian governance of police services boards as well as ensure police oversight bodies are effective and have clear mandates;

2)    Improve interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians, including enhancing frontline responses to those in crisis;

3)    Clarify police duties, modernize training programs and deliver services using a range of public safety personnel; and

4)    Develop a provincial framework for First Nations policing to ensure equitable and culturally responsive policing for the province’s First Nations communities.

True Reconciliation requires action. We need Ontario and Canada to work with us now.  Achieving prosperous First Nations communities requires investment now, to ensure a solid foundation for growth is created. This foundation includes proper infrastructure, such as clean water, healthy homes and schools. It also includes appropriate social, health and educational supports to ensure personal growth, so that our citizens are able to become who they were intended to be as First Nations people. Every child deserves the right to a prosperous future.

We extend to all levels of government – First Nations, Ontario, Canada and municipalities, in a four cornered approach, through our work as leaders, in securing a safe and secure future for our children.


The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy forum, and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada.

For more information, please contact: Bryan Hendry, Policy and Strategic Communications

Phone: 613-863-1764 E-mail:


Missing Person – Request For Public Assistance – Sabrina Roy, 36

May 25, 2017

Saskatoon Police are requesting assistance in locating a 36-year-old woman.

Sabrina Roy, 36, was reported missing on May 16, 2017. Through investigation, Police believe she was last seen on May 13, 2017 in the 1000 block of Avenue J South. Police are concerned as she may be in a vulnerable state.

Ms. Roy is described as being Indigenous, 5’11” in height and approximately 110 lbs with shoulder-length brown hair that may be dyed blonde. A clothing description is not available.

A photo is attached for distribution.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Sabrina Roy is asked to contact Saskatoon Police at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

(Occurrence Number: 17-47907)


Canada’s Youth Share 150+ Reasons We Love Canada with Hand-Painted Murals

Art Created By Youth From Every Province and Territory Unveiled Today At Scarborough Town Centre

SCARBOROUGH, ON, May 26, 2017 – VIBE Arts, an award-winning charitable arts education organization and Scarborough Town Centre (STC), the largest shopping centre in the east GTA, recognize Canada’s 150th birthday by unveiling 60 awe-inspiring murals hand-painted by youth from every Province and Territory. The national 150+ Reasons We Love Canada project was created by VIBE Arts. The artists, aged 9 to 29, come from thirty community organizations across the country including homeless shelters, under-resourced schools and youth agencies. Their hand-painted murals express the spirit of Canada from their many unique perspectives.

“The 150+ murals represent the creative ability and leadership of 500 young Canadians, brought together to transform public space and inspire a nation through their collective art making,” says Julie Frost, Executive and Artistic Director of VIBE Arts. “As muralists, youth are making new connections for themselves, their communities and country, while creating an impressive public art legacy.”

The murals express meaningful stories of Canada through the eyes of Canada’s youth acknowledging the diversity, culture, character and strength of our nation. Today, the original murals will be unveiled at STC with beautiful large scale reproductions on exhibit until July 3, 2017, for everyone to experience. The original murals (4’x 6′) will be installed in Toronto subway stations throughout July and August, with digital displays in 15 airports and on more than 300 PATTISON Outdoor billboards across Canada.

“This impactful initiative commemorates our nation’s 150th birthday and recognizes Canada’s future cultural leaders,” says Robert Horst, Director and General Manager, Scarborough Town Centre, Oxford Properties Group. “We want to celebrate with our community by creating a unique, memorable art space we can all enjoy.”

“It’s a great feeling to share this experience with so many others,” says Jacob Carter, a student at the Urban Aboriginal School in Sault-Ste-Marie. “Everyone put so much into the project. It’s fantastic the way it’s come together.”

The 150+ Reasons We Love Canada project is funded by Pattison Outdoor Advertising, KPMG, TD Canada Trust, Toronto Pearson Airport, the Hal Jackman Foundation, the Chawkers Foundation, CIBC Mellon, and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th: a collaboration between the Government of Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, the Laidlaw Foundation and 191 community foundations across Canada.

About VIBE Arts
VIBE Arts is an innovative and award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high quality community and school based arts education programming. With a 20+ year trajectory, VIBE Arts has become one of the most celebrated community arts organizations in Toronto. For more information, please visit:

About Scarborough Town Centre and Oxford Properties
Scarborough Town Centre (STC) is the largest regional shopping centre on the eastern edge of the Greater Toronto Area, with 1.6 million square feet of retail space. Located at Hwy 401, between Brimley Road and McCowan Road, STC is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 9 pm; Saturday 9:30 am to 9 pm; and Sunday 11 am to 7 pm. STC is managed by Oxford Properties Group and owned by AIMCo and OMERS Realty. For more information, please visit:

About Oxford Properties
Oxford Properties Group is a global platform for real estate investment, development and management, with approximately 2,000 employees and more than $40 billion worth of real assets that it manages for itself and on behalf of its co-owners and investment partners. Established in 1960, Oxford has regional offices in Toronto, London and New York, and the company’s portfolio includes approximately 60 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, and multi-family and hotel properties. Oxford is the real estate arm of OMERS. For more information, please visit:

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Sara Beckford, Strategic Objectives; Tel: (416) 262-7241, Email:


Local libraries benefit from provincial funding

The Alberta government is providing $50 million this year to improve access and services at libraries.

The funding includes increased operating grants to help libraries keep pace with the province’s growing population and to ensure that all Albertans have a welcoming space to learn, play, share and research.

The money, from Budget 2017, also strengthens support for rural library services by increasing funding for regional library systems boards and maintaining funding for rural Internet connectivity.

“Our government sees strong support for libraries as another way we are making Albertans’ lives better. Libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed—especially our children and those developing skills and knowledge for the job market. As a champion for rural communities, I am particularly proud of the increased support for regional systems that will benefit Albertans in smaller communities.”
Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs

In 2016, the Alberta government started a new chapter to improve library access for Indigenous families by providing funding to cover non-resident fees. That funding continues this year; with the province dedicating $700,000 to ensure Indigenous communities have the same resources and opportunities as other Albertans.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that Indigenous people in Alberta have the same access to library services as any other Albertan. This funding will ensure that non-resident fees are no longer a barrier for those Indigenous people living on reserve who want to access their local municipal library.”
Richard Feehan, Minister, Indigenous Relations

Budget 2017 also includes $12.7 million in one-time capital spending to help maintain and renovate the headquarters of six regional library systems and the Edmonton Public Library main facility. The funding recognizes the important role regional library systems play in providing a high standard of public library service to Albertans and their families.

“This funding is exceptionally good news. Parkland Regional Library’s headquarters has been in need of significant infrastructure upgrades for a number of years, and our ability to fund such a large-scale capital undertaking with our partner municipalities has been a challenge. We are very grateful the Alberta government recognizes the important role regional systems play in supporting library services for rural Albertans.”
Ron Sheppard, director, Parkland Regional Library

“We’re very pleased the government recognizes libraries as a vital part of communities. Libraries are used more and more in dynamic new ways by families and individuals, including newcomers. Regional library systems make valuable contributions to those library services, and this capital funding will help modernize our building so we can continue to effectively support our libraries.”
Howard Paulsen, chair, Chinook Arch Regional Library Board

Quick facts

  • The total operating budget for public libraries is $37 million. Of that, $30 million goes out in operating grants, while the remainder pays for SuperNet service and access to a growing number of e-books and resources though the provincial library network – including those for the print-disabled.
  • In 2016, the Alberta government provided $670,000 to six regional library systems and large urban libraries to cover non-resident fees for individuals living in Indigenous communities. Funding this year for Indigenous patrons from First Nations reserves or Métis settlements is $700,000.
  • The $2 million in one-time capital funding to help renovate the Stanley Milner Library in Edmonton is Alberta’s contribution that is contingent on matching federal funding.
  • A total of $10.7 million in one-time capital funding will support required maintenance on:
    • Chinook Arch Regional Library headquarters in Lethbridge
    • Marigold Library System headquarters in Strathmore
    • Parkland Regional Library System headquarters in Lacombe
    • Peace Library System headquarters in Grande Prairie
    • Shortgrass Library System headquarters in Medicine Hat
    • Yellowhead Regional Library headquarters in Spruce Grove

Media inquiries

Melinda Steenbergen

Press Secretary, Municipal Affairs


Alfred Moses: Aboriginal Languages Framework: A Shared Responsibility 2017

May 26, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories made a commitment in its mandate to strengthen culture and heritage in the NWT by working with partners and stakeholders to update the 2010 NWT Aboriginal Languages Plan.

I am pleased to share with Members that later today I will be tabling the 2017 Northwest Territories Aboriginal Languages Framework: A Shared Responsibility. This is the product of extensive engagement across the territory, with Indigenous governments, language communities, cultural organizations, Elders and regional language coordinators. The Official Languages Board and Aboriginal Languages Revitalization Board members worked very hard in reviewing past recommendations Standing Committees had put forward during their reviews of the Official Languages Act. They discussed and debated which recommendations would best serve to help shape the future of language preservation and revitalization and they are the primary architects of the Framework. I thank them for their clarity, commitment and valuable advice as we move toward a future where all official languages are supported, respected, and thriving.

This Framework, and the soon to be released Action Plan, reflects the Government’s new partnership approach to language revitalization and promotion, where regional Indigenous Governments are funded and responsible for managing their own language revitalization efforts. It also includes measures to ensure all partners in language revitalization remain accountable.

Mr. Speaker, we have a monumental task ahead of us. Many of our languages are in a critical state, in danger of disappearing as we lose language speakers across the North. Languages are the foundation of culture.

If we are to preserve and invest in our many cultures across the North, we must be focusing on preserving and teaching, which will aid in rebuilding the foundations.

Earlier today, our MP Mr. Michael McLeod, representing Canadian Heritage, and I announced much needed investments in Indigenous languages over four years, totalling $19,600,000.

This will allow us to increase funding for Indigenous Governments’ regional language plans, and provide more support for the regional language coordinators.  We will also be appointing a new territorial linguist to assist Indigenous Governments in their work, investing further in the interpreter/translator program, offering professional development, increasing funding to community radio stations, and providing support to communities to deliver Indigenous language and culture programming.

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the Territory we live in, and welcome people from all cultures to visit, and hopefully stay. Multiculturalism in the North is constantly expanding and becoming more vibrant. Language is the key to thriving cultures, and supporting and revitalization efforts in partnership with language communities and key partners are critical.

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.


Together Against Bullying, A Shared Responsibility Concerted Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Bullying 2015-2018

Fourteen projects chosen to prevent and counter bullying in Aboriginal communities

QUÉBEC CITY, May 26, 2017  – In an effort to prevent and counter bullying, the Québec government is supporting 14 projects as part of the new financial support program for indigenous initiatives.

Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, and Francine Charbonneau, Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying, made the announcement today.

The Ministère de la Famille is contributing to the program’s implementation with $100,000 in funding for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and $150,000 for 2017-2018, while the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones will see to the program’s administration. In addition, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the Ministère de la Sécurité publique are participating in the implementation of the financial support program and, together, were responsible for selecting the projects.


“The quality and calibre of the many projects submitted by Aboriginal communities and organizations reflect a strong desire to take action against the bullying phenomenon. It comes down to raising awareness among as many youths as possible—as well as adults—about the importance of being involved. I’m convinced that these initiatives will have a positive impact on many lives and will help foster a safe and healthy environment in our communities.”

Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs

“This program aims to reinforce the steps taken by Aboriginal communities to prevent and counter bullying. It will help bring to fruition initiatives rooted in these communities, that respond to their needs in concrete terms and that are relevant to their reality. I would like to thank all of the organizations involved in carrying out the 14 projects selected. These efforts will help make Québec an open, equal and inclusive living environment. Together, we can stand up to bullying.”

Francine Charbonneau, Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying


  • The 14 selected projects are as follows:
    • Kitigan Zibi Anighinabeg Bullying Disengagement Curriculum: Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Band Council;
    • Counteract bullying!: Conseil tribal Mamit Innuat;
    • Tsi Tekaiahnon:ni Satén:ti – Walk in the Footsteps: Kanesatake Mohawk Council, in collaboration with the Crime Prevention Committee;
    • Let’s fight bullying!: Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre;
    • Mobilization facilitator for the fight against bullying: Centre de santé Tshukuminu Kanani, in collaboration with the Natashquan school;
    • Bullying awareness and prevention campaign for Aboriginal youth: Lanaudière Native Friendship Centre;
    • Preventing Discrimination, Preventing bullying: Promoting Inclusivity and Fostering Self-Esteem: First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Québec;
    • Adjusting educational resources to create a safe, tolerant school environment adapted to the realities of Aboriginal students in an urban setting: First Peoples Innovation Centre;
    • Kaskina Mamo Mackwesitaw – Bullying awareness campaign: Attikamek community of Obedjiwan social services;
    • Putting a stop to bullying is everyone’s business!: Algonquin community of Pikogan health centre;
    • Awareness campaign to promote a healthy community environment: Centre Santé et mieux-être collectif de Mashteuiatsh;
    • Action plan to counteract bullying: Mikizicec school in the Algonquin community of Kitcisakik;
    • Taking measures to fight bullying together: Saguenay Native Friendship Centre;
    • Laleu sharing circle on bullying: Université du Québec à Chicoutimi’s Centre des Premières Nations Nikanite.
  • The call for projects was launched last September by the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones and the Ministère de la Famille. Aboriginal organizations and communities had until November 26 to submit their projects.

For further information: Mylène Gaudreau, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, 418 454-1226; Marie-Pier Richard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying, 418 643-2181



Unprecedented Support for Indigenous-Language Services in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut

YELLOWKNIFE, May 26, 2017

Michael V. McLeod, Member of Parliament (Northwest Territories), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced that agreements have been ratified with the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to support the preservation of Indigenous languages. The announcement was made alongside the Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories.

These agreements, with a total of $19.6 million for the Northwest Territories and $15.8 million for Nunavut, cover the period from 2016 to 2020 and were made possible by new funding in Budget 2016. While the Government of Canada has supported the preservation of Indigenous languages in the territories for more than three decades, the level of support reached in these agreements is unprecedented.

Negotiations and ratification of these agreements took place over the course of 2016–17 and are part of the federal government’s commitment to provide increased support for Indigenous languages.


“There is no relationship more important to our government then the one with Indigenous peoples. That is why we are proud to take concrete measures to protect and preserve Indigenous languages. The unprecedented level of support for Indigenous-language services in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut announced today is just one way that our government is living up to this important commitment. We will continue our efforts to support Indigenous languages across the country.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“In the Northwest Territories, there are many partners working together to focus our efforts to build a strong foundation for the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. We are focused on ensuring the cultural identity of the North will thrive for generations to come. Language plays a critical role in identity, and with the new agreement in place, we will be able to further support and enhance the excellent work already underway in our language communities.”

—The Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories

“We have accomplished more than just the ratification of a number of territorial agreements. We are strengthening relationships between our governments and between our people. This is the type of agreement where all parties are winners; where it is the citizens whose languages and cultures are being promoted who are the primary beneficiaries.”

—Michael V. McLeod, Member of Parliament (Northwest Territories)

“We are thrilled with this new multi-year agreement. This is an initial positive step toward the establishment of a new partnership with the federal government with regard to the protection and promotion of Nunavut’s official languages. We need adequate and sustained resources to remedy the decline of Inuktitut and to revitalize and support Nunavut’s education, professional and community sectors. With this agreement, we will be better able to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act and at the same time strengthen our collaborative relationship with Canada.”

—The Honourable George Kuksuk, Minister of Languages, Government of Nunavut

Quick Facts

  • Territories grant special status to Indigenous languages.
  • This agreement model was fully indicated as a means of responding to the territories’ needs for supporting Indigenous languages.
  • These agreements allow for full financial support for each territory:Northwest Territories:

    2016–17                                      $1,900,000

    2017–18                                      $5,900,000

    2018–19                                      $5,900,000

    2019–20                                      $5,900,000

    TOTAL                                       $19,600,000


    2016–17                                      $1,500,000

    2017–18                                      $4,100,000

    2018–19                                      $5,100,000

    2019–20                                     $5,100,000

    TOTAL                                       $15,800,000


For more information (media only), please contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9140 ext. 11092

Jacqueline McKinnon
Communications and Public Affairs
Policy, Legislation and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352 ext. 71073

Dan Pimentel
Communications Manager
Department of Culture and Heritage
Government of Nunavut


UNBC launches major fundraiser – Prince George Citizen

May 25, 2017

UNBC has launched its largest ever fundraising campaign .

The public phase of the $15 million Northern Leadership Campaign brought out speakers from the UNBC community and beyond Thursday to help boost UNBC’s leadership to ‘educate, innovate and lead’ as one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities.

“This is the largest campaign in the history of the university,” said UNBC president Daniel Weeks.

Weeks announced $13 million has already been raised in support of the campaign.

Read More:

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in New Grants to 30 High-Needs Schools, Bringing Total Funds Committed to Over $25 Million Since 2004

TORONTO, May 26, 2017 – Yesterday, 30 Canadian high-needs elementary schools across the country learned they are the 2017 recipients of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s annual Literacy Fund grants. The high-needs elementary schools that applied for the 2017 Literacy Fund grants are profoundly dedicated to building literacy at their schools but struggle to provide books that are relevant and engaging to their students when their limited budgets mean that the average age of a book in their library is 20 years old. These 30 schools will now receive their portion of the $1.5 million Literacy Fund grant over a three year period to invest in their school libraries. To date, the Foundation has committed over $19.5 million dollars to over 245 high-needs elementary schools since 2004 through its Literacy Fund grant, and an additional $5.5 million through its other programs.

“Over the past 13 years, we have seen the positive impact of these grants in communities across Canada. They have been hugely beneficial in cultivating literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading in kids from coast-to-coast,” said Heather Reisman, Chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. “We’d like to thank our customers and employees for their generous support as they are instrumental in making this day possible.”

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation believes that regardless of socioeconomic conditions, all children deserve access to books. One of the most important predictors of higher achievement is a student’s love of reading1. However, in a country where school library budgets continue to shrink, and teachers each year spend over $200 million of their own money to make up for this funding gap2, it is the students of high-needs elementary schools that face the harshest consequences of neglected school libraries.

To learn more about the literacy crisis in Canada, all Canadians are invited to watch the powerful documentary, Read Between the Lines, produced by Emmy-Award-winning documentarian, Ms. Ric Esther Bienstock. Read Between the Lines takes viewers to the frontlines of Canada’s sorely underfunded school libraries, and shows the power of what a Literacy Fund grant can accomplish. To view, please visit

As a result of this year’s Literacy Fund grants, over 9,000 students across the country will attend schools that have funds to purchase more than 150,000 books over the next three years.

The 2017 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund Grant Recipients (by province):

  • Vilna School, Vilna, Alberta
  • Mee-Yah-Noh Elementary School, Edmonton, Alberta
  • St. Rita Elementary School, Calgary, Alberta
  • Alexander Elementary School, Duncan, British Columbia
  • Lord Strathcona Elementary School, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • William Konkin Elementary School, Burns Lake, British Columbia
  • Forsyth Road Elementary, Surrey, British Columbia
  • SenPokChin School, Osoyoos Indian Band, British Columbia
  • Victor H. L. Wyatt School, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Niji Mahkwa School, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Priestman Street Elementary School, Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • École Carrefour Beausoleil, Miramichi, New Brunswick
  • École acadienne de Truro, Truro, Nova Scotia
  • We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School, Waycobah First Nation, Nova Scotia
  • Aqsarniit Middle School, Iqaluit, Nunavut
  • Ataguttaaluk Elementary School, Igloolik, Nunavut
  • St. Michael School, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Essex Public School, Toronto, Ontario
  • Munden Park Public School, Mississauga, Ontario
  • Regent Heights Public School, Toronto, Ontario
  • St. James Catholic School, Toronto, Ontario
  • Amherstburg Public School, Amherstburg, Ontario
  • Hillcrest Elementary, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Parkdale Elementary School, Hamilton, Ontario
  • General Mercer Junior Public School, Toronto, Ontario
  • Central Queens Elementary, Hunter River, Prince Edward Island
  • St. Dorothy Elementary School, Montreal, Québec
  • École Saint-Rédempteur, Gatineau, Québec
  • John Diefenbaker Public School, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • St. Frances Cree Bilingual School, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Since its inception in 2004, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has donated more than $25 million to more than 3,000 schools, benefiting more than 900,000 Canadian children. Schools interested in applying for the 2018 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy Fund grant can learn more at

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation & First Book Canada Grant Day Partnership

In addition to the 2017 Literacy Fund grants, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has once again partnered with First Book Canada, which provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. As part of this partnership, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation and First Book Canada will provide more than 1,500 new books to each of the 30 runner-up schools that applied for the Literacy Fund grant, a donation of more than 45,000 books in total. This year books will be generously donated from Bayard, Les Editions Heritage, Disney Worldwide Publishing, Marvel Press, Disney Press, Lucasfilm Press, and Hyperion Press.

To learn more about the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, please visit

About the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation
Indigo Books & Music Inc. founded the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in 2004 to address the underfunding of public elementary school libraries. To date, the Foundation has committed over $25 million to more than 3,000 high-needs schools, impacting over 900,000 children. The Foundation runs two signature programs each year.  In May 2017, the Indigo Love of Reading Literacy Fund grant provided transformational support of $1.5 million to 30 high-needs elementary schools that lack the resources to build and maintain healthy school libraries. To date, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s Literacy Fund has committed $19.5 million to more than 245 schools nationally. Additionally, each fall, the Foundation’s annual grassroots Adopt a School program unites the Foundation with Indigo, its employees, its customers and their communities to raise funds to support high-needs elementary schools across Canada and put even more books into the hands of children. In October 2016, Indigo Adopt a School contributed over $800,000 to more than 500 schools. To learn more about the Foundation, visit

About First Book Canada
First Book Canada provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. By making new, high quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book Canada is transforming the lives of children and elevating the quality of education in the country. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed over 5.5 million brand new books to children in need across Canada. All funds raised in Canada go to programs serving children from low-income families. For more information, or to register with First Book Canada, visit us at and follow our latest news on Twitter and Facebook.

1 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). (2009). Learning to learn: Student engagement, strategies and practices (Volume III). Paris, France: OECD; People for Education. (2011). Reading for Joy.
2 Canadian Teachers’ Federation, News Release: Teachers go out of pocket $453 on materials and activities for their students (July 12, 2010); Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey – Occupation, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 99-012-X2011033.

For further information: For media requests please contact: Kate Gregory, Indigo Books & Music Inc., O: 416-364-4499 Ext. 6659; Marni Zaretsky, MSLGROUP Canada, O: 416-847-1300


Minister McKenna Explores Elk Island National Park with Elementary School Students

May 26, 2017                   Elk Island National Park, Alberta                 Parks Canada Agency

National parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, participated in conservation activities with students from the Lamont Elementary School. The Minister was joined by Alan Nursall, President and CEO of Telus World of Science, and Beverly Crier, Samson Cree Nation Historian and Resource Manager. They had the chance to see firsthand all the work that is done to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural heritage, such as the plains bison. It is in Elk Island National Park that the storied plains bison was brought back from near extinction, and visitors today are privy to the behind-the-scenes story of how this icon was saved and continues to thrive.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada’s gift to Canadians is free admission to all Parks Canada places in 2017. Canada’s national parks and historic sites enable Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way and will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150. Parks Canada is encouraging visitors to plan their trips and discover new and exciting destinations in 2017 by consulting Parks Canada’s website and using the Parks Canada Mobile App.

Associated Links


Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency


By the end of May these youth will have shared the Blanket Exercise 29 times to over 1000 people in Saskatchewan – Kairos

May. 26th, 2017

Although he is just finishing his Grade 12 education, Michael Cardinal is already teaching five centuries of Indigenous history.

“Assimilation, residential schools, the 60s scoop, Canada’s history,” said Cardinal.

Cardinal is one of eight Bert Fox Community High School students presenting the KAIROS blanket exercise at Fort Qu’Appelle’s provincial courthouse. Staff from the courthouse, social services and the local town hall were just some of the participants.

The exercise is a teaching tool to educate participants about the historic and ongoing relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Read More:

Join us for World Environment Day 2017 – David Suzuki

On June 5, Canada is hosting World Environment Day and Blue Dot is planning a series of actions in the lead up to this international event!

Across the country, we’ll continue using email and social media to let decision-makers know people in Canada want their right to a healthy environment recognized.

You can help! Here’s how:

  1. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Retweet or share Blue Dot messages on June 5.
  3. Use hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #Right2HealthyEnv on social media (don’t forget to set your Facebook post to “public”).
  4. Use the same tags to explain why nature matters to you and why you support the right to a healthy environment.

Read More:

Bob McLeod: Progress in Negotiating Land, Resources and Self-government Agreements

May 26, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories made a commitment in its mandate to work to resolve outstanding land, resources and self-government agreements during the term of our government. I would like to update Members today on the work our government is doing to fulfill that commitment.

Concluding these agreements and bringing increased certainty to land and resource management in the Northwest Territories is one of the most important challenges facing the 18th Legislative Assembly. Over the last year, all parties have made renewed efforts to tackle the remaining challenges and finalize agreements. As a result, I am confident that the 18th Legislative Assembly will see success in this area.

Last fall, negotiators completed a full draft of a self-government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Tulita. On May 16, 2017, negotiators for the parties initialled the Tulita self-government Agreement-in-Principle in Tulita. Work is now underway to arrange for the formal approval and signing of this self-government Agreement-in-Principle. Once signed and approved, negotiations toward concluding a Tulita Final self-government Agreement will begin.

Negotiators for the parties have also completed an initial full draft of a Gwich’in self-government Agreement-in-Principle. Negotiators will be meeting next week to address issues that arose in consultations and in internal reviews of the draft Agreement-in-Principle.

Mr. Speaker, negotiators for the parties have also completed a full draft of a self-government Agreement-in-Principle for the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Norman Wells. Each party is currently reviewing the draft agreement and consultations with other potentially affected Aboriginal parties have begun.

I am also pleased to report that negotiators for the parties are working on the last few remaining issues to complete a full draft of an Inuvialuit self-government Final Agreement.

Self-government negotiations with the Sahtu Dene and Métis of Colville Lake are working on text of a self-government agreement, and the parties have struck a working group to deal with important land related matters in the community of Colville Lake. Similarly, self-government negotiations are underway and a community information session is scheduled in June to hear from the community and keep them informed on these self-government negotiations.

Final Agreement negotiations with the Acho Dene Koe First Nation of Fort Liard and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation have reached the point where key decisions on the central aspects involving settlement lands and land quantum and the approach to governance are before them. The GNWT looks forward to hearing from the Acho Dene Koe First Nation on how they wish to proceed following their recent Band Council elections.

Mr. Speaker, working with Canada, Minister Bennett and I appointed two Ministerial Special Representatives to provide us with independent advice on whether agreements with the Dehcho First Nations, the Akaitcho Dene First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation are possible and how to approach concluding such agreements.

Mr. Speaker, on April 5thMinister Bennett and I met in Ottawa with leaders from the Akaitcho Dene First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation to discuss the report of the MSR. These meetings went well, with all parties acknowledging the helpful advice contained in the report. With the parties having common ground on the approach to negotiations and generally supporting the Ministerial Special Representative’s recommendations, Minister Bennett and I committed to providing revised offers to the Akaitcho Dene First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation.

I am pleased to advise Members that government negotiators tabled a revised offer to the Northwest Territory Métis Nation on May 24 and a revised offer to the Akaitcho Dene First Nations yesterday. These revised offers were informed by the Ministerial Special Representative’s recommendations and is flexible so that it can be aligned to meet the priorities of the parties.

Mr. Speaker, enhanced workplans are also being developed with the Akaitcho Dene First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation to conclude a negotiator’s drafts of an Akaitcho Agreement-in-Principle and a Métis Final Agreement in the next 18 – 24 months.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to these enhanced workplans, government will also propose new approaches to negotiations, approaches that make use of facilitators to assist all parties in finding solutions to issues involving overlapping interests between the Akaitcho Dene First Nations and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation.

Mr. Speaker, while I cannot go into specific details regarding the contents of the offers or what was discussed during negotiations because all parties have agreed to keep negotiating positions confidential, I can report that additional meetings and negotiations are being planned over the next few months to build a consensus among the parties on key elements each party need to conclude agreements.

Mr. Speaker, Minister Bennett and I also met with leaders from the Dehcho First Nations on April 5th to discuss the report of the Ministerial Special Representative appointed to review those negotiations. Following that meeting, Minister Bennett and I wrote to Dehcho leadership asking them to confirm basic principles that are already accepted at other tables: that negotiations are trilateral and that a Dehcho Final Agreement will include the Dehcho portion of the single integrated system of resource management in the Mackenzie Valley.

The GNWT respects that the Dehcho First Nations must come to their own conclusions on these important matters, which are fundamental aspects on how to approach negotiations.  We continue to await the Dehcho’s response and look forward to being able to get back to the table with them if we agree there is a path forward.

Once the Dehcho First Nations provides confirmation that there is common ground between the parties on these matters, Canada and the GNWT will provide the Dehcho First Nations with a revised offer shortly thereafter.

The certainty provided by final land claim and self-government agreements is central to the health of our communities, our economy and our environment. Concluding these agreements is an essential step towards providing certainty on how land in the NWT can be used for economic development, for conservation, for recreation and for traditional activities. The GNWT remains committed to doing its part to finalize land, resources and self-government agreements as quickly as possible in a manner that is fair, balanced and continue to promote workable and affordable agreements that respect Aboriginal rights.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Four Gowling WLG lawyers distinguished in Lexpert/ROB Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers guide

May 26, 2017

Lexpert has recognized four Gowling WLG partners as leading business law practitioners in its annual guide, “Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers” — published as a special edition in the June 2017 issue of Report on Business.

Based on the results of extensive peer surveys, Lexpert’s corporate rankings distinguish lawyers across select practice areas, including corporate commercial, corporate finance and securities, corporate tax, energy, mergers and acquisitions, mining, and restructuring and insolvency.

The following Gowling WLG partners are listed in “Canada’s Leading Corporate Lawyers”:

From local startups to global powerhouses, Gowling WLG’s Corporate Commercial Group offers unparalleled expertise and efficient service that covers a full range of corporate and commercial law matters. Learn more


CCRC: Upcoming Review of Children’s Rights in Canada

May 26, 2017

Governments in Canada are starting to prepare for the next review of children’s rights and so is the CCRC.  July 2018 is the deadline for Canada to submit an official report on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada.  A key focus is action on the recommendations Canada received in 2012.  Many of the recommendations reflected proposals made by the CCRC in its alternative report.

Action on the previous recommendations will be the focus of a CCRC campaign in the fall.   The first step is collecting information from young people’s organizations across the country.  The CCRC is looking for information and analysis that relates to all aspects of children’s rights in Canada. This will inform the fall campaign in Canada before the official report and an alternative report for use by the UN Committee when they review Canada’s record.

Read about the CCRC plans and how to become part of this process.  This is the way to hold our governments accountable for progressive realization of children’s rights across Canada.  Previous reports and updates are available on the  Children’s Rights Monitoring Page.


Tlicho Government: Community Government of Whatì – Amended List of Nominees

Notice is given to the voters of of Whatì –  the list of nominees for one (1) Chief and eight (8) Councillors Council for general election on June 12, 2017.

For more information please contact:

Caroline Jeremick’ca

View Notice


New national report card provides comprehensive snapshot of the sustainability of Canada’s food systems

May 26, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON

Researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University, Lakehead University and the University of Toronto have taken a first step toward producing a comprehensive report card on the sustainability of Canada’s food systems.

Their new report, “Food Counts: A Pan-Canadian Sustainable Food Systems Report Card” brings together 61 existing measures of social, environmental, and economic well-being to examine food systems at the national level. Unlike existing food systems report cards, which focus on isolated perspectives such as economic productivity or individual health outcomes, Food Counts builds on existing efforts to create an integrative set of measurements to assess whole food systems, taking a range of relevant factors into account, from ecological, economic, health, labour, and educational points of view. There are plans to update it regularly to track trends.

“The Food Counts report card highlights the limitations of existing indicators and the need to reassess the way we approach and advocate for social justice, ecological regeneration, regional economies and active democratic engagement,” said Dr. Charles Levkoe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and an assistant professor at Lakehead University. “There is a lot more research needed to understand the path towards sustainable food futures and this report card is a vital step in that direction.”

Some areas where Canada is doing well, from a social justice point of view, include that agricultural wages are going up while fatalities among farm workers are going down. More farms are using water conservation measures and more households are composting.

Areas where Canada is not doing as well include that fruit and vegetable consumption is going down and is lower than average among Indigenous peoples. A set basket of food is becoming more expensive and household food insecurity is going up, with food bank use also on the rise. There are fewer, older farmers on fewer, larger farms and they are in greater debt. Farmers are using more chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are going up.

“Developing sustainable food systems is complicated,” said Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer, director of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Centre for International Governance Innovation Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and an associate professor at Laurier and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. “We need to think about how our food is grown or harvested, who has access to healthy food, and how these things impact our environment and local economies. This report card helps us understand where we are doing well, where we can improve, and where we need more information.”

The report was produced with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada by the FLEdGE (Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged) research and knowledge-sharing partnership, which is hosted at Laurier. The report can be accessed online at Twitter: #FoodCounts.


Dr. Charles Levkoe, Assistant Professor
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems
Lakehead University

Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer, Associate Professor
Centre for International Governance Innovation Chair in Sustainable Food Systems
Wilfrid Laurier University

– 30 –

Media: For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer, at (807) 343-8177, or

Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. In 2016, for the second consecutive year, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities. Visit


Following in the footsteps of their Métis ancestors – UBC

Nearly 150 years after their ancestors Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont fought against Canada’s first federal government, two students graduating from the Peter A. Allard School of Law this week are carrying on their families’ tradition of advancing Indigenous rights.

Carly Teillet, 33, and Mark Stevens, 34, met by chance on their first day at the UBC law school during a class icebreaking exercise. As they spoke, Teillet revealed she is the great, great grandniece of Louis Riel while Stevens explained he is a descendent of Gabriel Dumont. Riel and Dumont fought and worked together for the preservation of Métis rights and culture in what is now commonly known as the 1885 Rebellion at Batoche, Saskatchewan.

The law students’ shared history came as a surprise.

“It was wonderful to not feel alone, we were on the same path – both of our families fought for Métis people to have a say” said Teillet.

“The idea of resistance informs how I think about my place in law,” noted Stevens.  “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a voice.”

Teillet is the inaugural articling student at the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic in the Downtown Eastside, while Stevens is articling at Ratcliff and Company, a North Vancouver law firm that specializes in legal issues around Indigenous rights.

They both credit their semester at the UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic for channeling their legal interests into areas where they can help their communities and advance the legacy of their ancestors.

“The Clinic was our first opportunity to be legal advocates and to use the knowledge to give back to the community,” said Stevens.

“Becoming lawyers we are fulfilling a traditional role,” said Teillet. “Métis people have acted as translators, negotiators, well armed fighters and strategists. Our families have always stood between our community and things we thought are unjust. I hope I am moving that story forward.”

Teillet and Stevens will cross the stage May 27 at the annual First Nations Longhouse graduation ceremony at UBC at 11 a.m.

Public Affairs
310 – 6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel 604 822 6397
Fax 604 822 2684


New land claims offers provide flexibility to reach final agreements

YELLOWKNIFE (May 26, 2017) – Premier Bob McLeod announced today that government negotiators have new land claim offers to both the Akaitcho Dene First Nation (ADFN) and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation (NWTMN) that incorporate recommendations from the Ministerial Special Representative, Tom Isaac. The two offers provide for flexibility so that the priorities of all parties can be achieved.

The Government of the Northwest Territories has made a commitment to resolve outstanding land, resource and self-government agreements during its term. Concluding these agreements will bring increased certainty to land and resource management in the Northwest Territories and create economic opportunities and prosperity for communities and regions across the NWT.

Negotiations are scheduled to further discuss these offers and the other remaining outstanding issues in the draft agreements. Both Akaitcho Process negotiations and negotiations with the Northwest Territory Métis Nation will continue as they have to date, on a confidential basis.


“The Government of the Northwest Territories is a national leader in relationship building with Indigenous governments, which are essential partners in shaping the future and creating opportunities for all residents, and each level of government has an important role to play and responsibilities to deliver upon. We are committed to concluding the remaining land claim and self-government agreements in the Northwest Territories by taking innovative, flexible approaches that will result in fair and equitable agreements to recognize and protect Indigenous and treaty rights consistent with their aspirations.”
– Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories

Quick Facts

  • On April 5th, Premier McLeod and Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Carolyn Bennett met with leaders from the ADFN and NWTMN to discuss the report of the Ministerial Special Representative.
  • Government negotiators tabled a revised offer to the Northwest Territory Métis Nation on May 24 and a revised offer to the Akaitcho Dene First Nations on May 25.

Related Links

Stages of land claims negotiations

Overview of Akaitcho Dene First Nation negotiations

Overview of Northwest Territory Metis Nation negotiations

Overview of Dehcho First Nations negotiations

Media Contact

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092


Assembly of First Nations 38th Annual General Assembly


Assembly of First Nations
38th Annual General Assembly

Evraz Place, Regina, Saskatchewan | July 25-27, 2017

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 38th Annual General Assembly (AGA) will take place on July 25-27, 2017 in Regina, Saskatchewan.  The AGA will be held at Evraz Place located at 1700 Elphinstone Street, Regina, Saskatchewan.


Charlottetown Announces Major Programming for Canada Day, Canada 150 Celebration

May 26, 2017

Canada Day in the Birthplace of Confederation and the Capital City of Prince Edward Island will be an electrifying, family friendly, nation building experience! The City of Charlottetown, with financial support from the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada 150 Fund – Major Events, is pleased to announce major programming details for its special all-ages Canada Day activities and Canada 150 celebration.

“The Fabric of our Country: A Celebration of Canada” will celebrate Canadian culture and heritage in historic Victoria Park by building upon the City’s traditional Canada Day activities, expanding to include amplified, free-of-charge festivities that shine a spotlight on the Canada 150 themes through partnerships with cultural, youth, aboriginal, francophone and multicultural organizations. Additionally, the City will offer residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in several unique, national Canada 150 initiatives.

“We’re so excited to be hosting this spectacular Canada Day event to mark the 150th birthday of the country,” said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “It makes sense that such a celebration be held in the very location the Fathers of Confederation first conceived the idea of this great nation. We are a city steeped in history; we feel and live it every day and that is going to be evident in our festivities. We invite our residents and visitors to join us for what is sure to be a very memorable occasion.”

Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy and renowned Canadian singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant and will headline the Canada Day stage at the new cultural pavilion in Victoria Park.

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy have won multiple JUNO and East Coast Music awards for their highly distinctive Celtic-rooted musical styles. Natalie, a Cape Breton native who is rumoured to have started step-dancing before she was walking, and Donnell, the oldest brother of the acclaimed family group Leahy, married in 2002. Their first recorded collaboration in 2015, One, was followed closely by 2016’s A Celtic Family Christmas. These albums cemented the couple’s status as powerhouses on the seasonal circuit and confirmed they were as dynamic working together as they were working apart. MacMaster and Leahy have six musical children and, when they aren’t travelling the world, they live on 120-acres of ancestral land in Lakefield, Ontario.

Lennie Gallant, a native of Rustico, PEI, has recorded eleven albums, which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the JUNOs, the East Coast Music Awards, and Les Prix Eloizes. His album, When We Get There was nominated for a Juno Award and went to the International Space Station aboard Shuttle Endeavour with Canadian astronaut Julie Payette. His songs have been recorded by more than 30 artists and have also appeared in feature films, television series, and numerous theatrical productions. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Lennie is an international touring artist who has represented Canada on songwriter events in Nashville, London and Texas, entertained troops in Kandahar, performed at Canada Day events in Washington and London, and on the world stage at the Winter Olympics.

Charlottetown’s cultural pavilion stage in Victoria Park will also showcase several other artists on Canada Day, including the 2017 ECMA Indigenous Artist of the Year, War Horses; Island Traditional Acadian Band Gadelle; rising stars Logan Richard Band; Victoria Children’s Choir, and Canada’s Rockin’ the Hits featuring the powerful vocals of Joey Kitson, Catherine O’Brien, and Caroline Bernard with Don Fraser on keyboard, Perry Williams on guitar, Devin Hornby on bass, Alan White on drums and a three-piece horn section, The Keppoch Horns. They will play top-of-the-chart hits by Lighthouse, Blood Sweat and Tears, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Steppen Wolf, The Guess Who, Trooper, Prism, Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, Celine Dion and the Powder Blues Band.

“In this momentous Canada 150 year, Canada Day celebrations will highlight what makes our country so unique, diverse and vibrant,” said The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “I invite all people of Charlottetown to participate in the activities taking place on July 1. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to celebrate this important milestone with your family, friends and neighbours.”

The free Canada Day celebrations will start in Victoria Park with the Official Opening Ceremonies at 12:30 p.m., which will include a Citizenship Reaffirmation program presented by CIBC, a living flag activity featuring members of HMCS Charlottetown, and, of course, birthday cake! Children’s activities will take place from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. with Victorian carnival inspired activities, face painting, and balloon twisting. There will be vendors, buskers and a pop-up artisan market, along with the City’s new water refill station – H20 on the Go.

Other national Canada 150 initiatives available for public participation include ParticipACTION Canada 150 Playlist, the official unveiling of a community mural mosaic, Canada C3 at Port Charlottetown and ART EXPRESS’D, an initiative of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

“As a proud Canadian company celebrating 150 years of history this year, CIBC is very excited to be a part of this year’s Canada Day celebrations in the birthplace of Confederation,” said Monique Giroux, Vice President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “Our involvement on July 1 complements our ongoing support of the Confederation Centre for the Arts, where this year, we are honoured to co-host a Canadian citizenship ceremony, helping to create a new generation of proud Canadians.”

Throughout the day, the public is also invited to Port Charlottetown and Queen’s Wharf for a chance to admire the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta – nine cathedrals of the high seas. On-ship tours, supporting vessels HMCS Charlottetown and Canada C3, Québec City cultural performers, and the Pirates of Halifax will add a lively air to this free celebration.

From 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at Victoria Park’s West meadow, catch the top professional Axe-Men in the country competing for the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Champions Trophy, an event that will have spectators at the edge of their seats from beginning to end. This free event includes the top eight athletes from the Canadian Championship.

The stage performances at the cultural pavilion will continue at 8 p.m. with the Canada Day headliners capped off by a spectacular fireworks display visible from the Victoria Park waterfront at 10:15 p.m.

“I’d like to thank our funding partners, volunteers, community partners, and City staff for helping us pull this amazing lineup together,” said Councillor Bob Doiron, Chair of the City’s Economic Development, Tourism, Arts and Culture committee.  “The weekend of Canada Day is jam packed with activities for all ages and the city is going to be buzzing – perfect for the celebration of this important milestone of our country.”

The City of Charlottetown is one of 19 cities in Canada that have been provided funding through the Canada 150 Fund for amplified Canada Day celebrations. The City received $200,000 from Canadian Heritage for the event.

A detailed schedule for the Canada Day activities, the RDV2017 Tall Ships Regatta and the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Champions Trophy are available online at Follow the City of Charlottetown on Facebook for the latest event details: and on Twitter @ChtownPE


Media contact:

Jennifer Gavin
Communications Officer
City of Charlottetown


Victims and Survivors of Crime Week – Government of New Brunswick

May 26, 2017

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following message was issued today by Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry in recognition of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, May 28 to June 3:

Your government is proud to support Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, a national initiative through Justice Canada, dedicated to raising awareness about the issues facing victims and survivors of crime and the services and laws in place to help victims, survivors and their families. This year’s theme is Empowering Resilience.

Dedicated professionals and volunteers are taking action across Canada to better serve victims of crime every day. I am proud of the work undertaken by the Department of Justice and Public Safety in assisting victims and survivors of crime.

In the past year, we have supported the development of educational resources in partnership with the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick.

We also launched the Court Support Volunteer Pilot Program for Fredericton, Oromocto and Woodstock, as well as the Aboriginal Domestic Violence Outreach Pilot Program for three First Nations communities in the Miramichi region. Both pilot projects were made possible through the support of the federal Department of Justice’s Victims Fund, part of a five-year funding agreement to provide victims of crime in New Brunswick with increased access to services.

If you are a victim of crime, remember that you are not alone and that support is available. You can access resources by contacting one of our Victims Services offices or by visiting the website.

Media Contact(s)
Elaine Bell, communications, Department of Justice and Public Safety, 506-453-8607.


Surrey Fusion Festival Announces Entertainment and Performer Line-Up

May 24, 2017

Surrey, BC – Surrey Fusion Festival, presented by Coast Capital Savings, has a full slate of Canadian musical talent lined up to celebrate its 10th anniversary at Holland Park on July 22 & 23, 2017.

This year’s festival, which is BC’s largest FREE multi-cultural celebration, will feature a diverse lineup of performers, including headliners Nelly Furtado and hip hop artist Classified. Also appearing are Latin pop singer Alx Veliz and local indie-rockers The Zolas. Additional attractions include over 45 cultural pavilions, six stages, over 150 performers, a Canada 150 Zone, Indigenous Showcase, trampoline performances, and sports zone.

“Surrey has so much to celebrate this year, as it is both Fusion Festival’s 10th anniversary celebration, as well as Canada’s 150th birthday,” said City of Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “With a fully programmed Canada 150 Zone, six stages and over 150 performers, the 2017 Fusion Festival will be the most exciting year yet.”

“Coast Capital Savings’ community activities support youth, and our partnership with the Surrey Fusion Festival is a great example of this,” said Wendy Lachance, Director, Community Leadership, Coast Capital Savings. “We are proud to be part of such a vibrant and culturally diverse event that brings youth and families together, creating a sense of belonging that is vitally important to young people’s well-being.”

Visit the Fusion Festival website at for more information.


For Festival Information:
Mary Rukavina
Manager, Special Events and Filming
City of Surrey

For Media Inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor, City of Surrey


Métis Nation Meets with Minister of Finance Morneau

May 24, 2017 Winnipeg, MB: Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau sat down with MNC President Chartier and Vice-President Chartrand in the Manitoba Metis Federation building in Winnipeg to discuss ways to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation.

The meeting with the federal Finance Minister is an important follow-up to the Canada-Métis Nation Accord that was signed at the Summit with the Prime Minister on April 13, 2017. The Accord set a number of priorities for this year’s work which include employment and training, education, housing, health and a new fiscal relationship.

The Métis Nation leaders impressed upon Minister Morneau the critical importance of ensuring that the results of the policy development talks involving federal Ministers and Métis Nation leaders during the course of the year are translated into meaningful action in the federal budget. It was agreed that a bilateral working group of officials from Finance Canada and the Métis Nation will examine issues of mutual concern.


Prince Rupert Port Authority Welcomes Frans Tjallingii to Board of Directors

MAY 26, 2017

PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Prince Rupert Port Authority has welcomed to its Board of Directors Mr. Frans Tjallingii, MSc, MBA, co-founder of Global Data Chain and past president of Saam Smit Towage.

Mr. Tjallingii was appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport in consultation with the Coast Tsimshian First Nations.

“On behalf of the Board and our staff, I congratulate and welcome Frans,” said Mr. Bud Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “Considering his executive leadership and entrepreneurial experience in the marine transportation industry, he will be an essential member of our governance team as the port continues to realize its vision for strategic growth and diversification.”

Mr. Tjallingii started his career in business development at a consulting engineering firm in the Netherlands, where he created a new advisory service related to environmental aspects of shipping. After working for the Netherlands government dealing with international maritime environmental treaties and conventions, he joined SMIT (now part of Royal Boskalis Westminster) in 2004. His prior roles with SMIT were in global business development and in heading up SMIT’s activities in Gabon, West Africa.

Mr. Tjallingii is the co-founder and Chairman of the New Leaf Project, a not-for-profit that is pioneering new approaches to homelessness. Mr. Tjallingii also chairs the First Nations Housing Foundation, which strives to develop innovative housing solutions through a global incentive prize.

Frans holds a Masters degree in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen and a Masters in Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management. “The safe and responsible development of global shipping is a mission that I’ve had the privilege to contribute to throughout my career, and I look forward to lending my experience to help guide the Port of Prince Rupert’s growth and development in years to come,” said Mr. Tjallingii.

More information about the Port Authority’s Board of Directors and its members can be found online at

— 30 —


Port of Prince Rupert Corporate Communications Department
24-hour media hotline: 250 627-3751


An Urgent Need for Law and Policy Reform in Saskatchewan

(SASKATOON, SK – May 25, 2017)  On May 19, 2017, John Hanikenne, recently elected President of the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPS) met with the Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan. Also in attendance were Kim Beaudin, National Vice Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) and Janet Carrière, Executive Director of the Indian Métis Friendship Centre in Prince Albert. “We want to develop a positive working relationship with the Government of Saskatchewan to deal with a multitude of problems, including the fact that racism and systemic discrimination are still an entrenched part of the justice system in this province,” said President Hanikenne.

In December 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made 94 recommendations and several of them were in the area of provincial jurisdiction: justice; child welfare; education; and health. In regard to the justice issues raised by the TRC, CIPS is calling for the development of a Saskatchewan action plan to deal with the following:

  • Reforms to the justice system to better address the needs of offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder;
  • Development of an adequately funded and accessible Indigenous specific victim program and services; and
  • Implementation of a Saskatchewan justice system that is consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Saskatchewan is failing to develop and implement short and long term plans to modernize its provincial incarceration system and in particular, to end the abhorrent practice of solitary confinement. It’s a well-documented fact that this practice and other torture techniques have no place in a modern prison system organized around resocialization and rehabilitation of offenders. “While Ontario is committed to meeting international standards for confinement and segregation, Saskatchewan is a laggard and we are disturbed that there is no sense of urgency to deal with these problems,” said Kim Beaudin, National Vice Chief of CAP.

In 2012, the UN Committee Against Torture expressed its deep concern at Canada’s use of “solitary confinement, in the forms of disciplinary and administrative segregation, often extensively prolonged, even for a person with mental illness.”  Because Canada has endorsed the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Saskatchewan has a duty and an obligation to follow international law and the principles set out in these conventions. The taxpayers of Saskatchewan have a justifiable expectation to see progressive change in all stages of the criminal justice system and the end of overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples, especially those who are suffering from mental illness and addictions.

“We are encouraged that Minister Wyant has begun the dialogue with CIPS and we are hopeful that in the months ahead, we can work on practical policy options, as well as coordination leading to change in Saskatchewan’s justice system,” said President Hanikenne.

The CIPS is an Indigenous advocacy organization representing the interests of status and non-status Indians living off-reserve and Métis. Since 2006, our organization has been advocating for the rights and interests of this constituency at provincial and national levels. We are an affiliate member of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, which is a national Aboriginal organization based in Ottawa.

For more information contact:

John Hanikenne, President
Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-922-0090


Aboriginal-owned Consulting Firm Joins MNP

Aboriginal-owned Consulting Firm Joins MNP


MNP and Calliou Group Unite to Benefit Aboriginal Communities​

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017, CALGARY, AB – MNP LLP, one of Canada’s largest accounting and business consulting firms, announced today Aboriginal-owned and Aboriginal client-focused consulting firm, Calliou Group, will join MNP, effective June 1, 2017. While Calgary-based Calliou Group was looking for an opportunity to offer more specialty services to its Aboriginal clients, MNP was looking to add more resources and capabilities to serve Aboriginal communities; a growing and key client group for the firm.

“We are very excited to have the Calliou Group join the team at MNP,” said Clayton Norris, Vice President, Aboriginal Services. “Over the next 25 years, there will be many major development projects in Canada that will impact Indigenous communities. With the addition of Calliou Group, we have a greater ability to develop and implement innovative strategies and solutions for the benefit of Indigenous communities and all Canadians.”

Founded in 2008, Calliou Group has grown to become a strategic Aboriginal consultation specialist group for Aboriginal communities, government regulators and natural resource developers. With their extensive experience in working with Indigenous communities, they provide services such as land use studies, proponent discussions, review environmental assessments and reports on behalf of Aboriginal Nations, conduct internal ’duty to consult’ training, develop and implement consultation strategies for projects, manage and support Crown-Aboriginal consultation processes and help to oversee records of communication.

Calliou Group recognized joining MNP would offer them more resources and enhance the specialty services they can provide to their clients.

“What specifically drew us to MNP, was the fact that for more than two decades, MNP has partnered with over 200 Aboriginal communities across Canada and recognizes the needs of Aboriginal communities both in their unique planning and decision-making processes,” said Tracy Campbell, Founder and Owner, Calliou Group. “As the marketplace evolves, we believe becoming part of a national firm with an emphasis on local client-service delivery resources will serve our clients well and position us for continued success and growth. Coming together will strengthen and deepen our existing leadership and offer our clients business advice specifically tailored to their businesses and communities.”

MNP is one of the largest national accounting and business consulting firms in Canada and has more than 4000 team members from coast to coast. The firm currently employs 88 Aboriginal team members who have self-declared as being Indigenous and even more team members as part of their Aboriginal services team focused on the success of Indigenous communities.  In addition to tax and accounting expertise, MNP delivers a diverse range of advisory services, including consulting, enterprise risk, corporate finance, valuation and litigation support, succession planning, estate planning, insolvency and restructuring, investigative and forensic accounting, cross-border taxation and more. MNP’s Aboriginal specialists assist their clients in a variety of key areas, including business and financial planning; audit and assurance; tax planning and recovery; economic development; consulting; governance; land claims support services; strategic and community planning; advocacy; feasibility studies for new enterprises; training solutions; remote bookkeeping and accounting; financial management, due diligence; and more.

“What the Calliou Group team brings to MNP aligns well with our commitment to Aboriginal clients and the existing services we provide,” explained David Woodman, Regional Managing Partner for MNP’s Alberta Advisory Services practice. “In addition to a similar set of values, Calliou Group has the knowledge and understanding of the complex regulatory and legislative frameworks for consultation, rights and lands, as well as their training and capacity-building experience. We now have the ability to assist our clients in a project from the earliest stages of development thanks to the addition of this skilled and knowledgeable team. It’s a win-win for our clients and our firms. We couldn’t be more pleased that Calliou Group will be joining the MNP family.”

The Calliou Group team of five will move into the MNP Calgary office in early summer of 2017.


MNP is one of the largest national accounting and consulting firms in Canada, providing client-focused accounting, taxation and consulting advice. National in scope and local in focus, MNP has proudly served individuals and public and private companies for more than 55 years. Through the development of strong relationships, MNP provides personalized strategies and a local perspective to help them succeed. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:

Clayton Norris CAFM, MBA, CPA, CMA, Vice President, Aboriginal Services, MNP LLP, at 403.263.3385 or

David Woodman, MBA, Regional Managing Partner, Advisory Services, MNP LLP, at 403.263.3385 or

Tracy Campbell, B.A., M.A, Founder and Owner, Caillou Group, at 403.796. 3899 or


UNBC Launches Northern Leadership Campaign

May 25, 2017

Prince George, BC – The University of Northern British Columbia has launched the public phase of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The $15-million Northern Leadership campaign will support pivotal priorities that will bolster UNBC’s leadership as one of Canada’s best small research-intensive universities.

“This ambitious fundraising effort will help us strengthen our capacity to inspire leadership for the next generation,” says Tracey Wolsey, the chair of the UNBC Board of Governors and a UNBC graduate. “The fruits of this campaign will empower economic, social and cultural prosperity for British Columbia and Canada.”

The Northern Leadership campaign began in late 2014 and the goal is well over half-way complete.

The campaign is focused on three key priorities: to strengthen research and teaching excellence, to inspire next-generation leaders and to create local solutions with global impact.

Funds raised support research excellence at UNBC in areas as diverse as tall wood building engineering, research forests and rural and northern health.

The campaign will ensure more outstanding students are educated at UNBC so they are prepared to lead. Fundraising will provide new opportunities for experiential learning, help students from rural and First Nations communities transition to university life, and grow scholarships and bursaries for students.

The Northern Leadership Campaign will also raise funds for unique projects that have a positive impact locally and resonate internationally, like the Sustainable Communities Demonstration Project.

“Through research and scholarship, UNBC is educating the next generation of innovative leaders,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “As Canada’s best small research-intensive university, our faculty and students are harnessing opportunities and discovering new ways to resolve many of the challenges our country is facing as a northern nation.”

Campaign priorities and ways to give can be found at at the Campaign website.



Alumni Association names Jamie Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane as Alumna of the Year – U of Lethbridge

May 25, 2017

An activist, advocate, educator and artist, Jamie Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane (BEd ’05) has made an indelible impression on the way education is delivered to Indigenous communities, all the while promoting Indigenous rights, women’s rights, human rights and justice. The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Medicine Crane as the 2017 Alumna of the Year.

A Blackfoot woman from the Kainai and Piikani Nations, she was raised with traditional ways of knowing and spirituality, which have given her strength and understanding. Her traditional name, Ahksistowaki, means “brave woman.” Bravery is evident in all she does.

After completing a Travel and Tourism diploma from Lethbridge College, Medicine Crane earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Athabasca University, a Bachelor of Education from University of Lethbridge and a Master of Education from Gonzaga University. A specialist in Indigenous education, she builds the capacity of educators, develops curriculum and works to improve the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Currently, she is a curriculum consultant for the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Division for Alberta Education.

Deeply engaged in her community, Medicine Crane has been involved with the YWCA for over 12 years, serving on the boards of YWCA Canada and YWCA Lethbridge. She represented Canada at the YWCA’s World Council in Kenya (2007) and Thailand (2015), where she was elected to the World YWCA Board. She is the first Indigenous woman to hold this role.

A life-long activist, she is involved in advocating for Indigenous rights, women’s rights, human rights and justice. Her work and leadership have enhanced several national advocacy initiatives including the Idle No More movement and Sisters in Spirit rallies that raise awareness of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

She spreads her message of healing and harmony as part of the performing arts duo Young Medicine, which has performed throughout the world promoting First Nations traditional and contemporary music, dance, teachings and arts. In 2017, she released a solo flute album entitled “Honouring Life.”

Medicine Crane was the first Indigenous woman to compete in Miss Universe Canada in 2003 and was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality. She received the title Miss Blackfoot Canada, and founded Niitsitapi Dreams (Blackfoot, meaning, “the real people”), a holistic modeling school designed to build girls’ self-esteem and leadership skills. She is also the creative force behind the clothing line Brave Woman Eco-Designs.

Medicine Crane has been recognized with numerous awards, including the YWCA Canada’s Ann Mowatt Outstanding Young Woman Award; YWCA Lethbridge, Young Woman of Distinction; and the Alberta Colleges-Provincial Award for Creating Excellence, among others.

She leads by example and encourages others to live in harmony and respect one another.

Medicine Crane will be presented with the 2017 Alumna of the Year award at the Let There Be Light Night, an alumni celebration, in Fall 2017.


Bob McLeod: Sessional Statement

May 25, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome all Members back to the continuation of the Second Session of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. I am looking forward to hearing from all Members during this brief sitting as we continue our work together to create a strong and sustainable future for the people of this territory.

Settling land claims is essential for creating this future for the Northwest Territories. Settled claims both advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities and create the foundation for social development and economic growth that can generate benefits for Indigenous people and all Canadians.

That is why it is so important for this Legislative Assembly to succeed at its priority of advancing, finalizing and implementing land, resources and self-government agreements and that is why I have also made settling outstanding claims during the life of this Legislative Assembly a personal priority.

Our government has made a commitment in its mandate to work to resolve outstanding claims with the Akaitcho, Dehcho, NWT Metis Nation and Acho Dene Koe.

We continue to make real progress at many tables, including in Tulita, where negotiators recently initialled a Self-government Agreement-in-Principle. Other tables, however, have encountered issues that have slowed progress. Our government wants to change that and we have taken steps we hope will ensure residents of regions like the Akaitcho, Dehcho and South Slave are able to enjoy the benefits that settled claims are providing in other regions.

To help us advance negotiations in these regions, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Carolyn Bennett and I appointed two Ministerial Special Representatives last year. The MSRs – one for the South Slave and one for the Dehcho – were mandated to speak to all parties to the negotiations and report back to us on current challenges and make recommendations for resolving them.

On April 5th, Minister Bennett and I met in Ottawa with leaders from the Dehcho, the Akaitcho and the NWT Metis Nation to discuss the reports of the MSRs and their recommendations. I am hopeful that the work of the MSRs will give all parties a path forward and lead to the resolution of these longstanding claims.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to settling these claims by taking innovative, flexible approaches that will result in fair and equitable agreements in these regions. I expect to update Members further on this issue during this sitting.

A predictable, efficient and integrated system for making decisions about land use and development that reflects the interests and priorities of Northerners is another essential building block for a strong and sustainable future, Mr. Speaker.

Our government has made a commitment in its mandate to evolve our legislative, regulatory and policy systems in order to advance the territorial vision of land and resource management in accordance with the Land Use and Sustainability Framework. Reviewing, updating and modernizing this territory’s land and natural resource legislation will be an important part of this work.

We have long held that decisions that influence our territory’s economy and environment are better guided and managed by the people who live here. The devolution of authorities over public lands, water and resources gave this Legislative Assembly the power to update, align and create new legislation for our territory.

Over the next several years, the GNWT will be updating legislation and regulations in the areas of mining, land administration, parks, oil and gas, water and environmental protection. We will be seeking input from Members, the public and stakeholders, who will have multiple opportunities to shape and influence our work so it best meets the needs and priorities of the Northwest Territories.

Through these updates, we will create a made-in-the-Northwest Territories legislative model that ensures sustainable, responsible development, while respecting the rights of Indigenous people and the agreements we have reached with them.

Members will begin to see some of this work later in this session when the government introduces proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. Work in this area will continue throughout the term of our four-year mandate as the Ministers of Lands; Environment and Natural Resources; and Industry, Tourism and Investment develop and bring forward proposed amendments to several acts in the coming years.

The Government of the Northwest Territories continues to make progress on the mandate adopted by the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Speaker. Of 200 commitments made by this government, 153 are in progress, seven are being planned and 40 have been fulfilled.

Among the accomplishments guided by the mandate are investments and funding in areas like: infrastructure projects, film and the arts, family violence shelters, early childhood programs and local housing organizations.

Several strategies and implementation plans have also been completed under the mandate, including: agriculture and commercial fisheries strategies, the recreational leasing management framework, the Skills 4 Success Action Plan and a strategic framework for mental health and addictions. We have also contributed to the development of the Canadian Energy Strategy and the Pan-Canadian Task Force on Reducing Diesel. To increase the number of women running for elected office, we have held our first campaign schools in Hay River and Inuvik and are currently evaluating our approach.

The mandate has also guided work to develop and expand programming in all the priority areas of the Legislative Assembly, including governance; cost of living; education, training and youth development; community wellness and safety; and economy, environment and climate change.

The mandate was meant to guide the work of the Government of the Northwest Territories throughout the four-year term of the 18th Legislative Assembly. Mr. Speaker, several initiatives are on the horizon, and I am confident that we remain on track to fulfill our commitments by late 2019. I plan to table a report later in this sitting that will provide Members with a more complete update on the status of our mandate commitments to date.

While the mandate is the primary guiding document of our government, Mr. Speaker, we cannot ignore the need to act when circumstances demand it or fail to take advantage of opportunities to address other longstanding needs of NWT residents. The mandate also does not eliminate our obligation to carry on the typically expected planning and management work that any government must conduct.

Some of that extra work has been thrust upon our government by federal priorities, including work toward the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and the development of a Pan-Territorial Sustainable Development Strategy. Work to support the legalization of cannabis and negotiation of a new health care funding agreement has also been driven by federal priorities.

Responding to emerging needs of NWT residents where we are able has led us to begin work on establishing a territorial 9-1-1 service, and ground ambulance and highway rescue services. We have worked toward developing a youth community wellness pilot program in Fort Good Hope and to increase the Senior Home Heating Subsidy and Senior Citizen Supplementary Benefit.

Our government also stepped in when it became clear that there would be no commercial replacement for the marine shipping service of the former Northern Transportation Company Limited. This service provided an essential link to several small communities that would have been left with no affordable alternatives for receiving fuel, building materials and other essential dry goods without our intervention.

Mr. Speaker, this sitting will be our last before we begin the review of the mandate as required by our Process Convention on Priority Setting. That review will be an important opportunity for us to make sure that the mandate set near the beginning of our term still reflects our shared priorities and the needs of Northwest Territories residents.

I look forward to hearing from and meeting with Members over the coming months as we consider whether our priorities have shifted, whether there are new challenges to be addressed and what we can reasonably expect to accomplish together in the remaining two years of this Legislative Assembly.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Construction of District Geo-Exchange Energy System Underway at VIU

Relying on water trapped underground in the abandoned Wakesiah mine, VIU’s geo-exchange system represents a huge leap forward in sustainability

Nobody could predict that the scores of workers who toiled in the Wakesiah coal mine in the early 1900s would be providing the infrastructure needed to heat and cool buildings at a University – nearly a century later.

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) $2.4-million District Geo-Exchange Energy System is currently under construction and its success relies on a subterranean coal mine of yesteryear. The project is being funded in part through the federal government’s Strategic Investment Fund ($1.1 million) with the remainder coming from VIU in colloboration with the University’s community partners. The system will use the energy stored in water trapped in the abandoned Wakesiah mine, which stays at a relatively constant 11°C, to heat and cool buildings on campus.

“By using geo-exchange energy, VIU’s main campus will be reducing its carbon output for heating and cooling of new buildings to near zero. It’s a project that will position the institution as a leader in post-secondary clean technology,” said Dr.Ralph Nilson, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “This is a major step towards fulfilling VIU’s commitment to sustainability, which includes significantly reducing our carbon footprint. In later phases of the project, we will reach out to partners like the City of Nanaimo and School District 68 so that future renovations of their facilities may also benefit from the system.”

Contractors are currently in the process of constructing two water loops. The first is a mine water loop and the second is an ambient water loop. Both rely on two wells that have been drilled on campus. The mine water loop will bring the water to the surface, direct it through a pump house and then back to the mine. The ambient water loop takes the water from the pump house, sends it to buildings that are attached to the system, and returns it back to the pump house where the water rejoins the mine water loop. It means the water used by the system is recycled continuously.

“The water is brought up by the extraction well located on the north side of campus and from there is directed through a heat exchanger to campus buildings that will be equipped to use it,” said VIU project manager Debra Smilski. “The injection well is on the south side of campus, which is where the water will go back underground, completing the loop. Depending on the season, the water will either be heating or cooling the buildings that are connected to the system.”

Geo-exchange is one of three ongoing major projects at VIU Nanaimo, thanks to an investment of more than $60 million from the federal and provincial governments, VIU and the University’s community partners.  Along with geo-exchange a Health and Science Centre and expanded Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex are currently under construction.

The new Health and Science Centre and Shq’apthut, VIU’s Aboriginal Gathering Place, will be the first buildings to be connected to the District Geo-Exchange Energy System. As the system moves from Phase 1 to subsequent phases, other buildings on campus will be considered.

Jeff Quibell is the lead geo-exchange engineer with Falcon Engineering, the company responsible for guiding the project to completion. He has worked on geo-exchange projects all over Canada, but the VIU project holds a special interest for him. His company drilled a test well back in 2010 when the idea of geo-exchange was first being explored.

“If you lay schematics of the Nanaimo campus on top of a blueprint of the Wakesiah mine it matches perfectly for what we are trying to do. It’s as if it were planned out this way,” said Quibell. “It’s kind of remarkable that so many decades later we are repurposing what is considered one of the dirtiest forms of energy, and turning that legacy into the cleanest form of energy.”

The mine workings underneath VIU were originally accessed from a tram that operated from where the current sports fields are behind Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS) on Wakesiah Avenue. From 1918 to 1930, workers took the tram deep into the Wakesiah coal mine. The same tram took the coal they mined out. Once the mine was shut down, the pumps that kept the tunnels from flooding were turned off and groundwater slowly filled the mine.

“The mine workings underneath the University are at varying elevations between 425 and 625 feet deep,” said Quibell. “For every 100 feet you drill, the ground temperature increases by half a degree Celsius. It’s that energy from the Earth that the water captures and it’s why this is such an effective, reliable source of heat.”

Geo-exchange uses heat pumps to transfer the heat captured in the water to the buildings. Electricity is used to drive those heat pumps, but in BC power is derived from hydro which makes the impact of that use negligible.

“For each unit of electrical energy used, the geo-exchange will produce four units of heat,” said Quibell “That means three heat units are clean, renewable energy drawn from the ground. It’s why the heating and cooling provided by the system is virtually greenhouse gas free.”

Smilski says once completed a pump house will be the only visible structure on campus associated with the project. It will house heat pumps and the state-of-the-art technology required to monitor and regulate system operations.

“The goal of the project is first to ensure new structures built on campus are connected to the geo-exchange system and, as the project moves forward, to replace aging heating and cooling systems in older VIU buildings with new equipment that can utilize the sustainable energy resource that will be available on campus,” said Smilski.  “This project supports VIU’s community sustainability mandate. It allows the University to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and engage in research and innovation in this important area.”

The project is expected to be fully operational in 2018. For more information, visit Campus Development.


Dane Gibson, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University
P: 250.740.6529 | C: 250.618.7296 | E:


Moving Forward with New Hospital Project for James Bay Region

Ontario Investing $9 Billion More In Health Care Construction

May 25, 2017 5:15 P.M.

Office of the Premier

As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario plans to provide $9 billion in capital grants to support the construction of new hospital projects across the province. This will bring Ontario’s total planned investment in hospital infrastructure to more than $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the Weeneebayko General Hospital today to announce that Ontario will be providing the provincial share of the costs for the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority replacement hospital. This project is one of five newly approved major hospital projects across the province.

These new investments will allow hospitals to renovate existing facilities and build new ones, addressing a growing demand for health care services and a need for innovative models of care. Essential improvements and expansions could include emergency rooms, surgical facilities and patient spaces across the province, from big cities to remote communities.

The province is committing to several new priority major hospital projects that will give patients access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time. These projects will also ensure that Ontario’s health system remains sustainable into the future.

Additional approved major hospital projects include:

  • Trillium Health Partners – Broader Redevelopment Project
  • Niagara Health System – New South Niagara Capital Project
  • Windsor Regional Health Centre – New Greenfield Hospital Project
  • Hamilton Health Sciences – Hamilton Redevelopment Project

Investing in hospital construction is part of Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is increasing access to the right care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience — protecting health care for today and the future.

Quick Facts

  • Across the province, about 34 major hospital projects are either under construction or in planning.
  • Hospital operating funding in Ontario has increased by more than 58 per cent, from $11.3 billion in 2003-04 to $18 billion in 2017-18.
  • In the 2014 Budget, the province committed to invest approximately $300 million in additional funding for health infrastructure in the community sector over the next 10 years.
  • Since 2013, the province has more than tripled its annual investment in health infrastructure renewal funding, from $56 million to $175 million.

Additional Resources


“People who live in Ontario’s North face very real challenges in accessing the health care they need. I am committed to making sure that our province’s hospitals have the support required to meet the growing needs of their communities. These investments will mean a better health care experience for patients, their families and their health care providers.”

Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario

“Our government is committed to working together with First Nations partners to improve access to care that is high quality, culturally appropriate and puts decision-making power in the hands of the community. We will continue to work together to address the challenges faced by northern communities, and First Nations in particular.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care


Swift Current resident to receive new heritage award – Prairie Post

The ongoing efforts of a Swift Current resident to preserve and promote Métis history in southwest Saskatchewan will be recognized by a new award.

Métis elder Cecile Blanke will be one of three recipients of the 2017 Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society (SHFS) Baker Award for Saskatchewan Heritage.

She will receive the award during an anniversary and awards luncheon hosted by the SHFS as part of the organization’s diamond anniversary celebration in Regina, June 17.
She was surprised to receive the invitation to the event from the SHFS, but she appreciates the recognition of her efforts.

“I want our Métis heritage to not be forgotten,” she said. “I’m very honoured and I appreciate to be nominated for this award. I will receive it gratefully and know that I will still move on to a lot more different things as long as I’m able to.”

Read More:

The Cultural Appropriation Controversy – FCPP

May 26, 2017

The controversy surrounding “cultural appropriation” has received a huge amount of media attention. The newspapers are full of it, and CBC has seemingly endless panel discussions on the subject. Good people have lost their jobs, and abject apologies have been issued for offending a principle that was unknown until a few short years ago. The fact is that none of these things should have happened. “Cultural appropriation” is an idea that at one time would have been summarily dismissed for what it is: a bad idea. I can write what I want to write. Readers can read what ever they want. You can decide not to read my work, you can praise it, or you can criticize it. Case closed.

But “cultural appropriation” is just one of many bad ideas that receives unmerited attention. Academics spend angst filled days wrestling with the bad idea that “aboriginal science” is the equivalent of real science. It isn’t. Or that “Traditional Knowledge” is the equivalent of five thousand years of accumulated debate, writing, and revising. It is not. They are very different things. In the Courts, judges write volumes about the bad idea that oral history, as interpreted by people with agendas, is the equivalent of written history.

Read More:

Application 1886169 Notice of Application – Garden Plains Field

Notice of Application
Application No. 1886169
NVP Exploration Inc.
Garden Plains Field

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has received Application No. 1886169.

Description of the Application
NVP Exploration Inc. (NVP) has applied under section 80 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA) for a pooling order prescribing that all tracts within the drilling spacing unit comprising Section 26, Township 34, Range 12, West of the 4th Meridian, be operated as a unit to produce gas from the Mannville Formation through one well to be drilled in Legal Subdivision 8.

The applicant has requested, among other things, that costs and revenues under the pooling order be allocated on a tract-area basis and that NVP be named operator of the well. NVP has also asked that a 200 per cent penalty, allowed under section 80(5) of the OGCA, be applied to a tract owner’s share of the actual costs of drilling and completing the well in the formation if the tract owner chooses to be a nonparticipant and does not pay within 30 days of whichever of the following occurs last:

  • The pooling order being issued
  • The tract owner being notified in writing of its share of the estimated drilling and completion costs
  • The well being placed on production

NVP has requested that 100 per cent of a tract owner’s share of proceeds be applied to the tract owner’s share of operating costs, which include equipping and tie-in costs, and that the remainder either be paid out to each participating tract owner or be applied to the nonparticipating tract owner’s share of the actual costs of drilling and completing the well and to the associated 200 per cent penalty. This differs from standard AER clauses that state that 20 per cent of the proceeds would be remitted to the tract owner and the remaining 80 per cent would be applied to the tract owner’s share of costs.

For a copy of the application, contact
NVP Exploration Inc.
1700, 521 – 3rd Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3T3
Attention: Colin Kay
Telephone: 403-669-3120
Fax: 403-266-0987

To view the application and supporting documents, use the Integrated Application Registry available under Systems & Tools on the AER website To receive a copy of the application and supporting documents, submit an information request, as outlined at, to

AER Order Fulfillment
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 0R4
Telephone: 1-855-297-8311 (toll free; option 0)
Fax: 403-297-7040

Refer to this notice when requesting information for a faster response.

Requirement to File a Statement of Concern
If you have concerns with this application, you must file a statement of concern as described below. If you do not file a statement of concern, the AER may approve the application without further notification.

How to File a Statement of Concern
For your submission to be considered a valid statement of concern, it must be filed before 4:00 p.m. on June 15, 2017 (15 business days from issuance).

Send one copy of your statement of concern to 840586 Alberta Ltd. at the name and address above and one copy to

Jessica Eslinger, Application Coordinator
Authorizations Branch, Subsurface Authorizations Group
Alberta Energy Regulator
Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 0R4
Phone: 403-297-6599

Contents of a Statement of Concern
For your submission to be considered a valid statement of concern, it must include

a) why you believe you may be directly and adversely affected by a decision of the AER on the application;

b) the nature of your concerns with the application;

c) the outcome of the application you advocate;

d) the location of your land, residence, or activity in relation to the location of the energy resource that is the subject of the application; and

e) your contact information, including your name, address in Alberta, telephone number, and email address or, if you do not have an email address, your fax number.

The AER also asks that you include the application number in your statement of concern.

Section 49 of the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of Practice (Rules of Practice) requires that all documents and information filed in a proceeding be placed on the public record. If you file a submission, you must not include any personal information that you do not want to appear on or are not authorized to put on the public record. Section 49(2) of the Rules of Practice states how to apply to the AER for an order to keep information confidential. The Rules of Practice is available on the AER website at

Submissions relating exclusively to compensation for land use are not dealt with by the AER and should be referred to the Alberta Surface Rights Board.

Under section 21 of the Responsible Energy Development Act, the AER does not have the jurisdiction to assess the adequacy of Crown consultation associated with the rights of aboriginal peoples as recognized and affirmed under the Constitution Act, 1982.

For information on AER procedures, contact the application coordinator at the address above.

Issued at Calgary, Alberta, on May 25, 2017.

Patricia M. Johnston, Q.C., General Counsel


Indigenous researchers receive $2.6 million grant for Indigenous Maternal and Child Health Program – U of Toronto

May 25, 2017

A unique Indigenous-led, community-hospital-university-private sector partnership to enhance Indigenous maternal and child health will address some of the underlying causes of health inequity through an innovative new action-research project.

The “Kind Faces Sharing Places: An Action Research Project for Indigenous Families During and After Pregnancy and Birth” project will aim to address some of the social determinants of health and break the multi-generational impacts of family disruption in Toronto. This project is supported by a $2.6 million grant from Merck Canada Inc. through its Merck for Mothers program, a 10-year, $500-million initiative with a focus on improving the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.

“We must break the unacceptable cycle of Indigenous family disruption using Indigenous values and practice to deliver family and community-centred, culturally-appropriate care to Indigenous families,” said Janet Smylie, Associate Professor at DLSPH, and Director of the Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child and Family Health and Wellbeing at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Smylie and a team of Indigenous researchers and community partners from the University of Toronto’s Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Well Living House, Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto and Nishnawbe Homes will lead the project. The team will draw on the success of the Australian Stronger Families Program, which supports Indigenous families in Brisbane to keep children safely at home and cope with challenges.

Despite a growing recognition that the lack of culturally appropriate services, racism and traumatic housing environments negatively impact Indigenous people’s health, the rate of Indigenous infants taken from their mothers at birth is at an all-time high with dozens of Indigenous infants apprehended every year in Toronto. Indigenous infants are also two to four times more likely to die at birth compared to non-Indigenous infants.

“This partnership will leverage Indigenous knowledge and research methods to improve outcomes and create solutions that close the gap in maternal and child health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous families,” said Associate Professor Suzanne Stewart, Director of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health.

The research team will recruit 100 mothers and their families to take part in the three-year study where they will receive care from an interdisciplinary team led by Indigenous midwife Sara Wolfe at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto.  Participants will be connected to mental health care providers, social service agencies and child protection organizations, as needed. They will also have access to housing transition support, traditional counselling and healing, individual and family therapy, treatment for addictions if needed, and support to navigate Toronto’s vast number of maternal health programs and services.

“Maternal health and well-being is a critically important issue that Merck has dedicated itself to improving, in association with many partners equally committed to the cause,” said Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada Inc.

“Working alongside some of Ontario’s top Indigenous health and research leaders, this new project marks an important step towards reaching our ultimate goal of improving maternal health and providing culturally-secure care for Indigenous families, both on a global scale and right here at home in Toronto.”

Project evaluation will compare results at one, two and three years into the study to baseline measurements of the number of infant apprehensions, the proportion of mothers accessing adequate prenatal care; maternal outcomes; and how many families have reduced the complexity of their needs.


CBC and Project of Heart at The Forks – POH

May 25, 2017

June 2017 will mark seven years since the First National Event of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission was held at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Project of Heart was invited to exhibit, and soon the Manitoba Theatre for Young People was hosting 6 ooo decorated Project of Heart tiles.

Visitors learned about the Indian Residential Schools, visited and spoke with Survivors, and participated in social justice actions through signing petitions and writing letters.

Thank you CBC for covering this event and thank you to the IRS Survivors who, through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission brought Project of Heart to Canadians everywhere.

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More than 500 Brandon University students set to graduate

May 25, 2017

BRANDON, Man. – The hard work of 520 Brandon University (BU) students will be celebrated on Friday as they prepare to graduate at the 2017 Spring Convocation.

The day will consist of two ceremonies at BU’s Healthy Living Centre (HLC), with graduates from the Faculties of Health Studies and Science receiving their degrees at the 10 a.m. ceremony. Arts, Education and Music graduates will be recognized at the 3 p.m. ceremony.

“Many members of our staff and faculty have gotten to know these outstanding students personally during their time at Brandon University,” said Katie Gross, BU’s Acting Dean of Student Services. “To see their efforts rewarded when they receive their degrees onstage is special for all of us at BU, and we are delighted to be part of this day of celebration along with our graduates and their family and friends.”

Roy Ching and Jacqueline Sinclair will be the valedictorians for Convocation. Ching, a native of Nelson, New Zealand, will graduate with a four-year Honours Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Geology and minoring in Geography. Also an outstanding player for the Bobcats men’s volleyball team, he will speak during the morning ceremony. Sinclair will speak at the afternoon ceremony. An Ojibway woman, originally from Peguis First Nation, Sinclair will receive her Bachelor of Education (After Degree) on Friday, having already completed a four-year Bachelor of Arts in 2015.

“Each year it is gratifying to see the energy, talent and diversity exemplified by our graduates,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President and Vice-Chancellor of BU. “The effort and commitment they have displayed in attaining this tremendous achievement are remarkable and inspiring. We are proud of what they have accomplished and excited to see what incredible contributions they will make to their communities in the future as alumni of Brandon University.”

During the morning ceremony, Dr. Dennis Anderson will become the fifth person to be awarded President Emeritus status at Brandon University. Also a BU alumnus, Dr. Anderson served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1990 to 2000.

Another BU alumnus, Andy Murray, will receive an honorary doctorate during the afternoon ceremony. One of Canada’s most accomplished hockey coaches, Murray will be recognized for his contributions in nurturing success in others and his commitment to mentorship and leadership.

A number of educators will also be recognized at Convocation as the ceremonies will include the presentation of the Brandon University Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Distinguished Teacher Awards.

A livestream of the ceremonies will be available at

The HLC will be the site of another significant celebration on Saturday. The sixth annual All Nations Pow Wow will honour BU’s graduating Indigenous students. All are welcome to attend the Pow Wow, which will include Grand Entry ceremonies at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. A detailed schedule of Pow Wow events can be found at


Big Picture at congressh: The Next 150 on Indigenous Lands – Ideas

May 25, 2017

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands” celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

With the overarching theme of Congress 2017 being “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands,” expect to find programming that acknowledges the country’s colonial past and present practices, and looks ahead to forging new relationships towards positive change and reconciliation in an inclusive and respectful manner. Sessions range from keynotes and presentations from thought leaders such as Deborah McGregor, Lee Maracle and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, to academic sessions and participatory events, including a KAIROS blanket exercise and a session on re thinking pedagogy for university classrooms

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PBO: Supplementary Estimates (A) 2017-18

May 26, 2017

The Supplementary Estimates (A), 2017-18 requests Parliament’s approval to spend an additional $3.7 billion.  Statutory spending is forecast to be $62 million (0.04%) higher than outlined in the Main Estimates 2017-18.

The PBO identified significant spending proposals within each of the Government’s four policy categories, as follows:

  • Government Affairs: $625 million for costs associated with the ratification of collective agreements;
  • Social Affairs: $447 million for First Nation specific claims settlements, and $185 million to support the Government’s 2017 Immigration Levels Plan;
  • Economic Affairs: $400 million for early learning and child care transfer payments to provinces and territories; and
  • International Affairs: $18 million for efforts to boost foreign direct investment in Canada; and

The PBO tracked the inclusion of Budget 2017 spending measures in Supplementary Estimates (A), 2017-18 and found that 19 Budget 2017 measures received funding, for a total of $1.0 billion.  However, this funding only accounts for 20% of the budget’s 94 spending measures, and 44% of the additional spending allocated in Budget 2017 for 2017-18.

The Government has proposed improving the alignment of the budget and the main estimates by delaying the main estimates until May 1 and revising internal processes.  Given the limited number of Budget 2017 measures that are included in these supplementary estimates, this proposal may not result in meaningful improvement in the alignment of the budget and the main estimates.


Changes to Non-Insured Health Benefits

YELLOWKNIFE (April 18, 2017) – In response to Health Canada’s recent announcement that expecting mothers covered by the Federal NIHB program who have to travel outside of their home community to give birth will now be supported by one non-medical escort, the Department of Health and Social Services will extend this benefit to residents eligible under the Metis Health Benefits Policy and to non-indigenous mothers also.

Effective today, expecting mothers covered under the NIHB program, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Metis Health Benefits Policy, and the GNWT Medical Travel Policy will be eligible to access this new benefit.

Health Canada has not yet clarified the guidelines that will be put in place for the NIHB benefit, but in consultation with Health Canada the GNWT will implement an interim measure that provides for a non-medical escort for expectant mothers 14 days prior to their due date.  The Minister of Health and Social Services has provided an exception to the Medical Travel Escort Criteria Policy to mirror this benefit.  This Policy and the NIHB guidelines will be updated once Health Canada provides final direction.


“We support expectant mothers and their escorts.  By updating our Policies, we will help new moms and escorts in the NWT with a positive birthing experience”
-Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick Facts

  • The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program is a national program that provides coverage to eligible registered First Nations and recognized Inuit with a limited range of medically necessary health-related goods and services not provided through private or provincial/territorial health insurance plans.  The Government of the Northwest Territories administers the NIHB program in the NWT, on behalf of Health Canada, through a contractual arrangement
  • NWT residents may access medical travel through many different benefit programs. Some are accessed through GNWT programs, while others are accessed through employers and private insurance.

Related Links

Media inquiries:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092


Is it time to celebrate plans for largest marine protected area in Canada? – Healthy Oceans

May 25, 2017

The federal government deserves a pat on the back for its announcement on May 24 that it plans to protect 140,000 square kilometres of ocean off the west coast of Vancouver Island, stretching out to the western edge of Canada’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Covering an area twice the size of New Brunswick, this proposed marine protected area would encompass spectacular seamounts (underwater mountains) and hydrothermal vents, which have important ecosystem functions.

The David Suzuki Foundation and other organizations are calling for Canada’s government to meet its international commitment to protect a least 10 per cent of its marine area by 2020.

Although this newly proposed large offshore protected area will move Canada toward that goal, it will not protect the most threatened species and marine habitats on the Pacific Coast. With little industrial activity or fishing in the area, it’s unlikely that current industrial activities will need to be curtailed. The problem? Protecting a large offshore area that faces few threats could siphon off limited resources urgently needed to protect threatened and at-risk species, such as southern resident killer whales, and their habitat.

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Winnipeg writer wins national award – Winnipeg Sun

May 25, 2017

A Winnipeg author has been awarded a national prize for first-time Canadian novelists.

Katherena Vermette was given the 41st annual First Novel Award Thursday night in a ceremony in Toronto for her novel The Break, an intertwining tale of the lives of residents of Winnipeg’s North End.

The Break has already been shortlisted this year for a Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Vermette, a Metis writer, has been celebrated previously for her work, with her first book, North End Love Songs winning a Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, and her documentary this river having won a festival award in Montreal while also being nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

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More than half of children and youth in ER for mental health needs have not had any previous mental health-related contact with the health care system


More than half of children and youth in ER for mental health needs have not had any previous mental health-related contact with the health care system

TORONTO, MAY 25, 2017 — More than 53 per cent of children and youth who present at an Ontario emergency room for mental health needs have not received any previous outpatient mental health care, according to a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

The study, published in American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, looked at the records for nearly 120,000 Ontario youths aged 10 to 24 who made a first visit to an emergency department (ED) for mental health care from 2010 to 2014.

“Emergency services are important for managing acute mental health crises, but for most mental health disorders, primary care would be the most appropriate venue for treatment and referral to specialized services. The high proportion of youth who have not been previously assessed for mental health problems can pose particular challenges in terms of ensuring appropriate follow up,” says Dr. Astrid Guttmann, senior author on the study, chief science officer at ICES and staff paediatrician and senior associate scientist at SickKids.

The study is the first to evaluate children and youth who first present to the ED with any mental health-related condition. The study showed there was a diverse range of mental health diagnoses for the children and youth who presented at an ED for mental health needs, but 81 per cent of visits were due to anxiety, adjustment, mood/affective disorders and substance-related disorders.  These first contact visits were more likely to happen after-hours (later than 4 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends or holidays).

The study also found that children and youth with no previous mental health care before the ED had an average of 4.2 primary care visits compared to 10.4 visits over the same time period from 2010 to 2014, seen in those who had been treated for mental health care before presenting to the ED.

The researchers identified several risk factors that increased the likelihood of first contact mental health ED visits:

  • Youth living in rural regions
  • Youth not rostered to a primary care provider or with no primary care in the previous two years
  • Youth from the most deprived neighbourhoods
  • Refugees and non-refugee immigrant youth, compared to non-immigrant youth

The study also found that those youth whose primary care physicians saw more patients for mental health problems were less likely to have had a first contact emergency department visit.

“Our study suggests that we need to improve access to appropriate primary care for mental health needs and referral to specialized services to prevent these first contact emergency department visits,” says co-author said Dr. Paul Kurdyak, co-author, ICES scientist and Chief, Division of General and Health Systems Psychiatry, at CAMH.

Emergency department as a first contact for mental health problems in children and youth, was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Author block: Peter J Gill, Natasha Saunders, Sima Gandhi, Alejandro Gonzalez, Paul Kurdyak, Simone Vigod and Astrid Guttmann.

This work is an example of how SickKids, ICES and CAMH are contributing to making Ontario Healthier, Wealthier and Smarter.

The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues. Our unbiased evidence provides measures of health system performance, a clearer understanding of the shifting health care needs of Ontarians, and a stimulus for discussion of practical solutions to optimize scarce resources. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy. For the latest ICES news, follow us on Twitter: @ICESOntario

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized child and family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter (@SickKidsNews) and Instagram (@SickKidsToronto).

For further information please contact:

Sean O’Malley
Senior Media Relations Specialist

Deborah Creatura
Media Advisor, ICES
(o) 416-480-4780 or (c) 647-406-5996


Iqaluit RCMP, family of Mary Ann Birmingham plead for help solving 31-year-old murder – CBC

‘If we can get some kind of resolution, I think it would ease our suffering,’ says sister

Thirty-one years after Mary Ann Birmingham’s death, the police and her family are still pleading for the public’s help to solve her murder.

Fifteen-year-old Birmingham was brutally murdered in her home in Iqaluit on May 26, 1986. This week the police said they’re still investigating the homicide.

Elisapee Sheutiapik cries remembering her younger sister.

“It’s really sad that she never had the chance to grow old with us,” Sheutiapik said in Inuktitut.

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Provincial Government Signs Education MOU with Miawpukek First Nation

May 26, 2017

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Miawpukek First Nation, formalizing a long-standing relationship for sharing resources and supports to complement Mi’qmaq K-12 curriculum and teaching practices.

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, met with Saqamaw Mi’sel Joe, Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation, to sign the MOU yesterday.

The MOU realizes a number of provisions requested by the Miawpukek First Nation. These include:

  • Sharing of professional expertise and information with the Miawpukek First Nation to complement the K-12 Mi’kmaq curriculum and teaching practices;
  • Access to Provincial Government purchasing prices, where possible, for provincially authorized school resources (such as student texts, teacher resources, learning media, etc.) required to deliver curriculum consistent with provincial standards;
  • All Miawpukek First Nation teaching staff are to remain provincially certified educators; and
  • The Miawpukek First Nation curriculum will include the provincially authorized curriculum.


“I am proud that we have signed this MOU to formalize our valuable relationship with the Miawpukek First Nation. Our government continues to work to support Miawpukek First Nation in delivering high quality K-12 curriculum that is inclusive and reflective of the cultural practices, heritage and traditions of the Miawpukek Mi’kmaq.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“We will continue to work with our counterparts within the Miawpukek First Nation’s Department of Education to ensure Mi’kmaq K-12 students receive the same accreditation as all other students in our province through curricula and teaching that celebrate their culture and heritage.”
Honourable Dale Kirby
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

“This MOU enables the Miawpukek First Nation and the province to collaborate on education matters for mutual benefit. In particular, the Miawpukek First Nation is extremely pleased to avail of the province’s purchasing power and discount for text book purchases for Se’t A’newey Kina’matino’kuom (St. Anne’s School). It also enables us to have access to reasonably priced text books for on-reserve post-secondary students.”
Saqamaw Mi’sel Joe
Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation

– 30 –

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, met with Saqamaw Mi’sel Joe, Chief of the Miawpukek First Nation, to sign the MOU.

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 725-9231

Rod Drover
Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-1906, 730-4607

Alma Benoit
Assistant to Chief Mi’sel Joe
709-882-2470 ext. 1264


Canada 150: Alfred Scow listened to indigenous elders when passing sentence as a judge – Vancouver Sun

May 26, 2017

To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, we are counting down to Canada Day with profiles of 150 noteworthy British Columbians.

Alfred Scow had a lifetime of firsts.

He was the first indigenous person to graduate from law school in B.C., the first called to the bar in B.C., and the first to be appointed a Provincial Court judge.

As a judge, he did something unusual: He didn’t mind talking about his two grandfathers who spent time in jail.

They were imprisoned in the 1920s for taking part in a potlatch, an integral part of the culture of the Northwest Coast First Nations people that was illegal from 1885 to 1951. Scow didn’t know their full story, but said that they would have been set free if they had agreed to give up their ceremonial regalia.

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