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Special consideration for aboriginals in the courts is a matter of fairness -‎ Globe and Mail

Special consideration for aboriginals in the courts is a matter of fairness

KENT ROACH AND JONATHAN RUDIN
Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, Apr. 20, 2012

Readers of The Globe and Mail may have been left with the impression, as a result of the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent sentencing decision involving two aboriginal offenders, that all aboriginal offenders are receiving automatic discounts from their sentences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Coverage of the 157-paragraph Supreme Court case involving Manasie Ipeelee in Ontario and Frank Ladue in B.C. paints a distorted picture. It focuses on the criminal history of one of the offenders – Mr. Ipeelee – and suggests that the court’s decision gave him, and will give other aboriginal offenders, undesired leniency because they are aboriginal.

We would do well to acknowledge the important story of Mr. Ladue, the other offender whose sentence was reviewed by the court. Like Mr. Ipeelee, he had a long criminal record, but he was denied the chance to attend a halfway house and rehabilitation program designed for aboriginal offenders, including offenders who – like him – are residential school survivors. Instead, he was sent to downtown Vancouver, against his express wishes, where he breached the condition that he not become intoxicated.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/special-consideration-for-aboriginals-in-the-courts-is-a-matter-of-fairness/article2408189/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2408189

by NationTalk on April 20, 2012595 Views

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AFN lays off staff after losing health funding -‎ CBC.ca

AFN lays off staff after losing health funding

Health Canada cuts $15 million from funds given to dozens of aboriginal groups

CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2012

The Assembly of First Nations says it is forced to lay off staff after Health Canada reduced its funding by 40 per cent, making it the latest aboriginal group to feel the impact of budget cuts at the federal agency.

The AFN said in a statement Thursday the cuts will result in staff layoffs and would impact “its supportive and facilitative role in informing the development of health policies and programs for First Nations.” While AFN is not a direct deliverer of health services, it provides support to other organizations.

Reductions on a regional level or the impact of the cuts to AFN’s other departments are not yet known, the organization said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/04/19/pol-afn-health-funding-cut.html

by NationTalk on April 20, 2012910 Views

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Big House gathering celebrates First Nations traditions‎ – Canada.com

Big House gathering celebrates First Nations traditions

BY LISE BROADLEY, COMOX VALLEY ECHO APRIL 20, 2012

Aboriginal students, community members and elders met at the K’ómoks First Nation ceremonial Big House this week to enjoy traditional songs, dances, stories and food and celebrate the different aboriginal traditions alive and well in the Comox Valley.

Elementary and secondary school students gathered for the daylong celebration Tuesday. After welcoming the students and other attendees, local west coast artist Andy Everson spoke to the audience about some of the traditional dances they were about to enjoy.

He explained the significance of the different dances and the process of “claiming” the dances through public performance.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/House+gathering+celebrates+First+Nations+traditions/6489924/story.html

by NationTalk on April 20, 2012761 Views

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New review rules can backfire on Gateway‎ – The Province

New review rules can backfire on Gateway

BY JEFFREY JONES, REUTERS APRIL 20, 2012

A government move to limit a regulatory review of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline to the West Coast will only add to the company’s own missteps, says a former executive.

Roger Harris, who was vice-president of aboriginal and com-munity partnerships for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines in 2008 and 2009, said the company has been inconsistent in attempts to win over B.C. native groups whose land the pipeline would cross. He said that has helped fuel some of the fierce opposition to the $5.5-billion project.

Many First Nations members say they fear construction and operation of the pipeline will threaten traditional ways of life and leave their territories and coastal waters at risk of oil spills. Some have said court actions are a certainty if it is approved.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/life/review+rules+backfire+Gateway/6490701/story.html#ixzz1saUFSHjH

by NationTalk on April 20, 2012464 Views

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First Nations child advocate wins 1st battle with Ottawa on services‎ – CBC.ca

First Nations child advocate wins 1st battle with Ottawa on services

Cindy Blackstock filed human rights complaint over funding of child services on reserves

By Jennifer Clibbon, CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2012

Cindy Blackstock, a long-time advocate for aboriginal children in Canada, won a major victory on April 18 when the Federal Court ruled that further scrutiny is needed to determine whether Ottawa is discriminating against First Nations children on reserves by underfunding child welfare services.

The court ordered the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which dismissed the original discrimination complaint in 2011, to hold a new hearing on the case before a newly constituted panel of adjudicators.

Blackstock, who serves as the executive director of the First Nations and Family Caring Society (FNFCS), filed the complaint against Ottawa with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in February 2007, together with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). FNFCS and AFN argued that the services on reserve should be on par with those off reserve, which are funded by the province, but, in fact, are much worse.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/04/19/f-aboriginal-cindy-blackstock.html

by NationTalk on April 20, 2012617 Views

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Walls crumble, mould infects First Nation school‎ – CBC.ca

Walls crumble, mould infects First Nation school

North Caribou Lake First Nation says students suffer injustice in education funding

Jody Porter CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2012

Lakota Pans loves school. Math is the 13-year-old’s favourite subject.

“It’s great. I just love getting my education,” Pans said, standing on the hill outside her school in North Caribou Lake First Nation.

Education director Saul Williams said he’d like to do better for eager students like Pans and the 140 other children in his community, located 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

“I feel helpless,” he said. “I can’t do nothing.”

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/04/19/tby-mouldy-school.html

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012599 Views

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The end of the dry reserve‎ – Macleans.ca

The end of the dry reserve?

Aboriginal communities say decades-old bans on alcohol failed to curb abuse. Not everyone agrees.

by Charlie Gillis on Thursday, April 19, 2012

As a young man in the mid-1980s, Glenn Pelletier took elaborate steps before coming home to the Cowessess First Nation, the reserve in southeastern Saskatchewan where he grew up. Pelletier, who was working in Calgary at the time, would pull over his 1972 Mercury Montego before reaching reserve land so he could stash his weekend supply of whisky in his rusted hulk of a car. Cowessess was a dry community—or so Pelletier thought. “I figured if I got stopped there and the cops found my liquor, they’d take it away,” he says. “So I’d put it under the seat, in the trunk, in a suitcase. Wherever.”

Years later, Pelletier learned the truth: Cowessess was not officially dry in those days, and never had been. All that time, his elders had hoodwinked him and his friends, throwing around the phrase “dry reserve” so often the youngsters assumed the band had passed a bylaw imposing prohibition. It was a masterpiece of brainwashing—and testimony to the power of an idea. At the time, the “dry” movement was sweeping Aboriginal communities across Canada, where leaders saw it as a means of curbing the catastrophic effect of alcohol abuse on their populations. Why wouldn’t Cowessess do the same?

Read more: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/19/the-end-of-the-dry-reserve/

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012492 Views

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Reserve kids underfunded, court decides‎ – Montreal Gazette

Reserve kids underfunded, court decides

BY TERESA SMITH AND GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH, POSTMEDIA NEWS APRIL 19, 2012

A Federal Court judge has opened the door for the federal government to potentially be held legally responsible – and culpable of discrimination – because First Nations residents’ children receive less funding per capita for social services than young Canadians living off reserves.

Justice Anne Mactavish issued a ruling Wednesday that found the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s chair erred when she dismissed a 2007 case from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

As a result, she granted the three applications for judicial review of the decision.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Reserve+kids+underfunded+court+decides/6482101/story.html#ixzz1sVBU3YHb

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012472 Views

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Grassy Narrows First Nation believes housing is cornerstone to …- ‎ Lake of the Woods Enterprise

Grassy Narrows First Nation believes housing is cornerstone to independence

Band borrows against future income to finance new homes
By Jon Thompson

Some of the 32 brand new homes line the road leading into the community, not bought with housing money but with the proceeds of gambling.

The chief and council are in the second year of a five-year housing plan that was the cornerstone of their recent re-election platform. On a 10-year plan, the band borrowed against global funding and “Casino Rama” income, re-calibrated as the 1.6 per cent of provincial lottery monies distributed to First Nations. The $200,000 Grassy Narrows receives annually, plus $60,000 for renovations, its leadership argues, couldn’t possibly meet the demand in a community of 900 people living in 179 homes, many of which are or should be condemned.

Read more: http://www.lotwenterprise.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3538421

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012700 Views

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First Nations Child Funding Scores Court Victory – Postmedia News

First Nations child funding scores court victory

Federal judge orders new rights panel hear case

BY GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH AND TERESA SMITH, POSTMEDIA NEWS APRIL 19, 2012

First Nations groups are hailing a Federal Court judgment as the first step toward equality for aboriginal children on reserves.

Justice Anne Mactavish issued a ruling Wednesday that found the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s chairwoman erred when she dismissed a 2007 case from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

Mactavish set aside the tribunal’s original 2011 decision and granted three applications for judicial review. She ordered that a “differently constituted panel” hear the case.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/First+Nations+child+funding+scores+court+victory/6482407/story.html#ixzz1sV6StRCT

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012586 Views

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First Nation Engineering Company Launches in Prince Rupert – Vancouver Sun

First nation engineering company launches in Prince Rupert

Embark Engineering partners with Burnaby firm to create job opportunities

BY DARAH HANSEN, VANCOUVER SUN APRIL 19, 2012

A remote northern first nation stepped into uncharted territory Wednesday with the creation of the province’s first aboriginal-owned engineering firm.

The newly minted Embark Engineering is majority owned by the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation located in Port Simpson, 35 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, in partnership with the Burnaby-based engineering firm, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.

The company’s launch is expected to add to the community’s growing business presence in the Northwest and offer long-term, and lucrative, career opportunities for its estimated 3,300 members.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/First+nation+engineering+company+launches+Prince+Rupert/6483708/story.html#ixzz1sV4t95PQ

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012819 Views

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Subsidized-Housing Ownership Switching from B.C. to M’akola – Times Colonist

Subsidized-housing ownership switching from B.C. to M’akola

BY JUDITH LAVOIE, TIMES COLONIST APRIL 19, 2012

The provincial government has handed ownership of 75 subsidized rental homes on Vancouver Island to M’akola Housing Society, a non-profit group that manages affordable housing for First Nations people living off reserve.

The transfer is the first phase of a provincial program to shift responsibility for more than 500 properties in 113 rural communities to aboriginal non-profit housing groups.

Although ownership has switched to M’akola, the change will make little difference to First Nations families already living in the homes, said Kevin Albers, M’akola CEO.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Subsidized+housing+ownership+switching+from+akola/6483926/story.html#ixzz1sV4OI0dG

by NationTalk on April 19, 2012475 Views

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First Nations want say in health regions – CBC News

First Nations want say in health regions

CBC News Posted: Apr 18, 2012

Northern First Nations leaders in Manitoba want a seat on the board of the newly-merged health authorities.

And they say the savings — estimated by the government at $10 million over three years — from merging regional health authorities should be re-invested in northern health care.

The province is reducing the number of regional health authorities from 11 to five. (Office of Rural and Northern Health)
The province is trying to rein in spending by reducing the number of regional health authorities from 11 to five, which Finance Minister Stan Struthers said will eliminate about 35 executive positions.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/04/18/mb-health-authorities-first-nations-manitoba.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012495 Views

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Parks Canada, Tseshaht partner in Broken Islands‎ – Victoria Times Colonist

Parks Canada, Tseshaht partner in Broken Islands

First Nation hopes agreement will provide tourism opportunities

BY JUDITH LAVOIE, TIMES COLONIST APRIL 18, 2012

Members of the Tseshaht First Nation are celebrating an agreement with Parks Canada to co-operate on management of the Broken Group Islands, identified in traditional stories as the birthplace of the band.

“It is very important. It has a lot of meaning,” said Cindy Stern, CEO of the Tseshaht.

A memorandum of agreement on planning and managing the islands, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, will be signed Thursday in Port Alberni.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/Parks+Canada+Tseshaht+partner+Broken+Islands/6477580/story.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012424 Views

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Connecting students with potential mentors‎ – Regina Leader-Post

Connecting students with potential mentors

BY KERRY BENJOE, LEADER-POST APRIL 18, 2012

Aboriginal post-secondary students will have the chance to meet with potential mentors and employers today at a special event organized by the Regina Aboriginal Professional Association (RAPA).

Dominga Robinson, RAPA board member, said it’s the kickoff of a program the organization is developing.

She said reaching out to aboriginal youth is one of RAPA’s objectives.

Students from First Nations University of Canada, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), SIAST and Gabriel Dumont Institute will have a chance to meet employers and mentors from RAPA’s corporate members and other corporate sponsors like Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Information Services Corporation, Farm Credit Canada, SaskTel and others.

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/life/Connecting+students+with+potential+mentors/6476298/story.html#ixzz1sP6ZYp8C

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012475 Views

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Activist says aboriginal rights still need charter protection -‎ StarPhoenix

Activist says aboriginal rights still need charter protection

By Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix April 18, 2012

Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms has benefited aboriginal people, activist Elijah Harper said, but he hopes for a day when they don’t need to rely on its protection.

“I look forward to a day when (charter protection of aboriginal rights) will be far less important than they are today because the advantage gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginals would have been reduced by resource sharing and a treaty-based partnership,” he said.

Harper said he imagines “the relationship between (them) will have matured and there would not be conflict between our values that requires a shield.”

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Activist+says+aboriginal+rights+still+need+charter+protection/6476401/story.html#ixzz1sP6C4AzK

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012493 Views

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Federal Court sides with native groups in discrimination case‎ – Montreal Gazette

Federal Court sides with native groups in discrimination case

By Teresa Smith and Gemma Karstens-Smith, Postmedia News April 18, 2012

OTTAWA — A Federal Court judge has opened the door for the federal government to potentially be found culpable of discrimination because First Nations residents and children receive less funding per capita for social services than Canadians living off-reserve.

Justice Anne McTavish issued a ruling Wednesday that found the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s chair erred when she dismissed a 2007 case from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

As a result, she granted the three applications for judicial review of the decision.

The First Nations groups allege the federal government discriminates against aboriginal children by consistently underfunding child-welfare services on reserves, leading, they contend, to poverty, poor housing, substance abuse and a vast over-representation of aboriginal children in state care.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/Federal+Court+sides+with+native+groups+discrimination+case/6478242/story.html#ixzz1sP4XwjLq

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012493 Views

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More PEI aboriginal students graduating than national average‎ – CBC.ca

More P.E.I. aboriginal students graduating than national average

About 90% of First Nations students graduate high school on P.E.I.

CBC News Posted: Apr 18, 2012

The percentage of First Nations students graduating high school on P.E.I. is much higher than the national average, according to island education officials.

The national Aboriginal Affairs Working Group has set improving high school graduation rates as one of its priorities. Only 77 per cent of First Nations students living off-reserve in Canada got a diploma in 2010, according to Statistics Canada. That’s compared to a graduation rate of around 90 per cent of Island First Nation students.

Allan Gillis, education director with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I., said he thinks one of the reasons for the Island’s higher than average aboriginal graduation rate is many parents today are more involved — because many are children of residential school survivors.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/04/17/pei-aboriginal-high-school-grads-584.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012458 Views

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First Nations seek healing by reconnecting to the land – CBC

First Nations seek healing by reconnecting to the land

Outdoor activities seen as key to ending addiction crisis

By Jody Porter, CBC News Posted: Apr 17, 2012

Mining is on the minds of many people hoping to spark the economies of northern Ontario First Nations, but some report up to 80 per cent of their population is hooked on prescription painkillers, and they’re looking to the land to bring healing before it provides riches.

“First Nations people, when we’re faced with a crisis, we need to look inward to see where the solution comes from,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “We need to reconnect our young people to the land.”

Beardy brought the federal Liberal aboriginal affairs critic, as well as reporters, on a tour of a few of the isolated First Nations he represents with the hope of shining a light on the problems with prescription drug abuse — and the potential solutions.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/04/17/tby-first-nations-healing.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012487 Views

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Mother recalls horror at teen suicide inquest – Winnipeg Free Press

Mother recalls horror at teen suicide inquest

By: Gabrielle Giroday
Posted: 04/17/2012

A mother told Monday how her 15-year-old daughter, who hanged herself while in custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre, had been sexually abused as a child and had previously tried to kill herself.

The testimony came during the first day of an inquest into the deaths of two teenaged girls who committed suicide separately while in the Winnipeg jail in 2010. The deaths caused public scrutiny of mental-health services available at the MYC, and resulted in changes to door hinges in the jail and the removal of sheets and pillowcases from some of the cottages that house girls.

Under the province’s Child and Family Services Act and the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Free Press can’t publish details such as the names of the girls.

Read more: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mother-recalls-horror-at-teen-suicide-inquest-147708825.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012665 Views

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Doctor wants action on First Nation drug crisis – CBC

Doctor wants action on First Nation drug crisis

Some First Nations say 80 per cent of their population is hooked on prescription painkillers

CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2012

Prescription drug abuse in northern First Nations is a health emergency that chiefs and doctors say Health Canada refuses to take seriously.

Doctor Claudette Chase, the co-medical director with the Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority, said Health Canada is developing a policy for treating addicts, but she wishes that policy was in place “yesterday.”

“It would be nice to see Health Canada jump in with both feet and say ‘Oh my God this is an epidemic, how are we going to fight it,’” Chase said.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/04/16/tby-cat-lake-addictions-help.html

by NationTalk on April 18, 2012577 Views

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‘Sucking up to Canada’ : Chief is getting things done — and that’s getting … – Winnipeg Free Press

‘Sucking up to Canada’ : Chief is getting things done — and that’s getting him some critics

By: Bill Redekop

BIRDTAIL SIOUX FIRST NATION — “Green Roof” First Nation might be more apropos for this reserve, in the aboriginal tradition of naming people and places after physical traits.

Driving around the reserve, there’s one shiny green tin roof after another — 54 new roofs in total.

It’s one of the reasons Chief Ken Chalmers gets called “Indian agent” by some chiefs, and why he’s been accused, as he put it, of “sucking up to Canada.”

To get the roofs, Chalmers did something that may be unique in Canada. He accessed Canada’s Economic Action Plan funding for a reserve, Birdtail Sioux First Nation. The federal government agreed to his plan to replace the roofs, windows and doors of 54 reserve homes. But government would only reimburse the First Nation. Birdtail Sioux had to pay the $2.5 million cost up front.

Read more: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/sucking-up-to-canada-chief-is-getting-things-done—-and-thats-getting-him-some-critics-147708195.html

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012469 Views

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Peacekeeping priority for aboriginal protests – Hamilton Spectator

Peacekeeping priority for aboriginal protests

Danielle Wong Tue Apr 17 2012

The Hamilton Police Services Board has approved a draft policy for officers at aboriginal occupations and protests that prioritizes peacekeeping.

Last month, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services sent a notice to police chiefs across the province with policing guidelines for demonstrations involving aboriginal people.

The new protocol was created in response to recommendations made in the Ipperwash Inquiry, which was called by the province after native activist Dudley George was fatally shot during a First Nations protest at Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1995.

Read more: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/706650–peacekeeping-priority-for-aboriginal-protests

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012515 Views

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Residential school probe key to new rapport, says national chief Atleo – Victoria Times Colonist

Residential school probe key to new rapport, says national chief Atleo

By Judith Lavoie, timescolonist.com April 16, 2012

It’s time to press the reset button on the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is setting the stage for that change, says Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.

In Victoria, hundreds of non-aboriginal people packed into rooms at Victoria Conference Centre late last week and listened to stories of horrific abuse at residential schools and brutally honest accounts of intergenerational problems caused by the disruption to culture and families.

Slowly, the realization is dawning that a more respectful relationship is beneficial to everyone, Atleo told an audience of high school students at an education forum organized by the commission.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/Residential+school+probe+rapport+says+national+chief+Atleo/6469161/story.html#ixzz1sGbMpXzK

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012465 Views

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“Faceless Dolls Project” gives voice to missing and murdered Aborginal women – CBC.ca

“Faceless Dolls Project” gives voice to missing and murdered Aborginal women

Posted by Miles Morrisseau, Winnipeg Writer & Broadcaster | Monday April 16, 2012

The Native Women’s Association of Canada is offering you an opportunity to use dolls to bring attention to the issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada.
The association, which has gathered statistics on the issue for the past five years wants to move beyond the numbers.

The project they created was The Faceless Dolls Project. “What we wanted to do was visually and physically create a representation of the 582 known cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada,” says Jennifer Lord, NWAC Strategic Policy Liaison.

The Faceless Dolls Project will be travelling across Canada where workshop participants will create their own faceless doll. The dolls will then become part of a travelling exhibit that will continue to share the story of this harsh reality for Aboriginal women.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/scene/other/2012/04/16/faceless-dolls-project-gives-voice-to-missing-and-murdered-aborginal-women/

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012770 Views

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Native actor and doctor takes on new role championing health in BC – Globe and Mail

Native actor and doctor takes on new role championing health in B.C.

ROBERT MATAS
VANCOUVER— From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 16, 2012

Evan Adams was thrilled to win a Gemini at a glitzy ceremony last fall for co-hosting the national aboriginal achievement awards.

But he is much more excited to be delivering an address at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal this summer, where he will speak about multimillion-dollar initiatives in Canada and how Canadian approaches to cancer treatment, education and research could be used around the world.

“Hosting a TV show is hard work, but it’s not like curing cancer,” Dr. Adams, 45, said during a break in his frenetic schedule. “It’s not brain surgery.”

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/native-actor-and-doctor-takes-on-new-role-championing-health-in-bc/article2404348/

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012539 Views

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Pickton inquiry hears of cases quietly closed – Toronto Sun

Pickton inquiry hears of cases quietly closed

ERICA BULMAN, QMI AGENCY
FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012

VANCOUVER – The cases of two missing aboriginal women whose DNA was eventually found on serial killer Robert Pickton’s pig farm were temporarily closed based on hearsay and misinformation, witnesses told the Missing Women Inquiry on Monday.

Daphne Pierre testified she wasn’t told police had closed the file on her sister Jacqueline Murdock for four months when they wrongly believed she’d attended Vancouver’s St. Paul hospital after being reported missing.

“I was not aware of it,” said Pierre, who broke down several times on the stand.

Tanya Holyk’s case was similarly closed for three months based on secondhand information she was possibly spotted at a party.

Read more: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/16/pickton-inquiry-hears-of-cases-quietly-closed

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012518 Views

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Parkdale boutique owner named Aboriginal Business Woman of the Year – insideTORONTO.com

Parkdale boutique owner named Aboriginal Business Woman of the Year

ERIN HATFIELD|Apr 15, 2012

Wearing hot pink leggings and matching heart-shaped hoop earrings, it is clear Michelle Germain has a fondness for fashion.

Her ability to parlay her love of fashion and discovering new design talent into a successful gallery-boutique has garnered this mother of two the title of Aboriginal Business Woman of the Year.

The award was bestowed on Germain, who lives in north Parkdale, by Miziwe Biik, an aboriginal employment and training organization at the 10th annual Toronto Aboriginal Business Association Awards held at the Gladstone Hotel March 28.

Read more: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/business/article/1334812–parkdale-boutique-owner-named-aboriginal-business-woman-of-the-year

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012499 Views

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Powwow Reflects Past and the Future – Leader-Post

Powwow reflects past and the future

BY BARB PACHOLIK, LEADER-POST APRIL 16, 2012

With the smell of sweetgrass hanging on the air, dancers decked out in a rainbow of elaborate outfits filled the Brandt Centre arena as they moved to the pounding beat of drums and the jingle of decorative bells.

Standing somewhere near the centre of the colourful mass at Saturday’s grand entry marking the start of the 34th annual Spring Celebration Powwow, First Nations University of Canada president Dr. Doyle Anderson felt he was watching the best of the past and the future.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to reflect on the power of indigenous people, the strength of our aboriginal people, and the opportunities for the future,” said Anderson of the event hosted by FNUniv.

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/Powwow+reflects+past+future/6463878/story.html#ixzz1sGZ3iwjW

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012409 Views

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Reginan Vies for Miss Indian World Crown – Leader-Post

Reginan vies for Miss Indian World crown

BY EMMA GRANEY, LEADER-POST APRIL 16, 2012

A Regina woman is heading to New Mexico later this month with her sites set firmly on the Miss Indian World crown.

Rosalind Shepherd will be up against 27 other women vying for the title at the 29th annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque.

Shepherd, from Whitebear First Nation, has been entering princess pageants at powwows for years, following in the footsteps of her mom and sister.

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/Reginan+vies+Miss+Indian+World+crown/6463890/story.html#ixzz1sGYna3Ig

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012583 Views

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Métis President Takes Pride in Community – Fort McMurray Today

Métis president takes pride in community

Former oilsands worker Ron Quintal takes on leadership role for Fort McKay Métis

By Vincent McDermott

Since 2005, Ron Quintal has served the Fort McKay Métis as president after leaving a mining job in the oilsands. With no previous background in political life, Quintal has led the Fort McKay Metis Local 63 through an economic depression and the expansion of the oilsands, and witnessed aboriginal-owned construction and development companies in the region become enormously profitable.

The Fort McKay Métis have also successfully negotiated long-term land lease agreements, the only Métis group in the province to do so, something Quintal calls “an enormous accomplishment.”

Read more: http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3534179

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012733 Views

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Lender Garnishes First Nation’s Bank Account – Winnipeg Free Press

Lender garnishees First Nation’s bank account

Garden Hill fights to keep funding that pays community’s bills

By: Aldo Santin

A northern aboriginal community is scrambling to keep the money it receives from Ottawa out of the hands of a disgruntled businessman.

Winnipegger Len Podheiser has garnisheed Garden Hill’s account at the First Nations Bank of Canada, hoping to collect $2.7 million the band owes him after a business deal went bad.

The bank account holds the money transferred from Ottawa to pay for a variety of programs — housing, welfare, education — and the band payroll.

“If we had lost that money, it would have crippled the community,” said Arnold Flett, Garden Hill band manager.

Read more: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/lender-garnishees-first-nations-bank-account-147546505.html

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012714 Views

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Cat Lake: Children On First Nations Reserve Send Heartbreaking Letter To Drug-Addicted Parents – Huffington Post

Cat Lake: Children On First Nations Reserve Send Heartbreaking Letter To Drug-Addicted Parents

Huffington Post
04/15/2012

CAT LAKE, Ont. – Item number nine in the letter to members of the Cat Lake reserve from the children in Grade Six is as blunt as it is painful.

“It hurts us and shoomis and kokum (grandpa and grandma) when you’re doing drugs and you’re not at home.”

Cat Lake is the epicentre of prescription drug addiction in Canada. Community leaders figure that between 70 and 80 per cent of the adults are hooked on narcotic pain killers OxyContin or Percocets.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/15/cat-lake-drugs-letter-kids_n_1426767.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#s775545&title=1_Mandatory_Minimums

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012755 Views

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Why First Nations cling to their reserves – Calgary Herald

Why First Nations cling to their reserves

BY RICHARD WAGAMESE, FOR THE CALGARY HERALD APRIL 15, 2012

Certain questions come back time after time in mainstream Canada’s hunt for understanding of First Nations issues. One of the most important focuses on the nature of reserve communities. If the situations on Canada’s First Nations reserves are so horrible, why don’t the people just leave?

Canadians seem baffled by this. The images of squalor, poverty and rampant Third World conditions have confounded them. No one can imagine having to endure such despairing environments. Yet, year after year, another First Nation community emerges to shock them all over again. They listen while governments and First Nations leaders blame each other for the failure of the system.

It’s wearying. Our nonnative neighbours can’t understand why the situation exists in the first place and why it continues in the second. The image of a Canada that allows people to live in such grievous states does not jibe with the idea of a cultural mosaic founded on equality from sea to sea to sea.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/First+Nations+cling+their+reserves/6461710/story.html#ixzz1sGXLtvjv

by NationTalk on April 17, 20121484 Views

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Winnipeg Archbishop Adopted by First Nations – CBC News

Winnipeg archbishop adopted by First Nations

Symbolic adoption a step towards healing from residential schools experience

CBC News Posted: Apr 15, 2012

Aboriginal elders in Winnipeg have symbolically adopted a Roman Catholic archbishop, in a powerful gesture of reconciliation following the residential schools experience.

Archbishop James Weisgerber, head of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, was adopted by a group of elders and former residential school students in a traditional Ojibway ceremony on Saturday.

“He’s accepted the invitation to be a part of our family, be part of our community — to be, in fact, a real brother in this large, very large extended family,” said Phil Fontaine, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, who was among those who took part in the adoption ceremony.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/04/15/mb-aboriginal-catholic-adoption.html?cmp=rss

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012621 Views

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Science Fair has Aboriginal Research Theme – The Chronicle-Journal

Science fair has aboriginal research theme

Karen McKinley
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Aboriginal students across the Northwest are exploring their traditional ways of life with a scientific twist.

Around 20 students displayed projects at Confederation College in the Aboriginal Science Fair last week.

“The premise of the fair is to have aboriginal students in the area come together with creative ideas that captures their heritage,” said Sandra Stiles, a professor of engineering at Confederation College and director of Let’s Talk Science.

Research subjects included rabbit snaring, hunting and trapping, traditional weapons and medicinal uses for local plants.

Read more: http://www.chroniclejournal.com/content/news/local/2012/04/15/science-fair-has-aboriginal-research-theme

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012607 Views

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A Line in the Water – Sarnia Observer

A line in the water

By Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer
Sunday, April 15, 2012

‘No Trespassing’ signs have been springing up by piers along River Road recently, restricting anyone but Aamjiwnaang First Nation members from using the popular fishing area.

Some three piers along the First Nation reserve between Corunna and Sarnia are now staked with warning signs. The reason: the piers are so well used that band members have been crowded out, said Chief Chris Plain.

“And basically not leaving enough room for community members to exercise what is a constitutionally-protected treaty right: allowing us to hunt and fish within our communities,” he said.

Read more: http://www.theobserver.ca/2012/04/15/a-line-in-the-water

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012733 Views

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Montreal Aboriginal Shelter Staff Recall Happier Times – Nunatsiaq Online

Montreal aboriginal shelter staff recall happier times

About half of clients at shelter facing closure are Inuit

SARAH ROGERS

MONTREAL — Earlier this month, a sealing group from Quebec’s Magdalen Islands donated 50 pounds of seal meat to Projets Autochtones du Québec.

To celebrate the gift, the PAQ, the non-profit organization that runs Montreal’s only aboriginal homeless shelter, put on a traditional feast for its clients — many who grew up eating seal meat.

An Inuk elder blessed the meal and throat singers entertained the crowd.

Read more: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674montreal_aboriginal_shelter_staff_recall_happier_times/

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012477 Views

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First Nations Athletes Return Home as Games Come to an End – StarPhoenix

First Nations athletes return home as Games come to an end

By Kevin Mitchell, StarPhoenix April 14, 2012

The Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games – which is equal parts culture and sport – wrapped up Friday in Saskatoon and sent thousands of athletes and support staff back to their homes.

The five-day event included badminton, volleyball, hockey, broomball, three-on-three basketball and curling. There was also a strong cultural component during a rare opportunity to bring First Nations youth from across the province together in one venue.

“We’re trying to make it a holistic approach,” said event chair Eugene Arcand.

“Sport provides young people a chance to showcase their talents, and it also gives them something to look forward to. It’s when there’s hopelessness that you see suicides and all those other negative things. It’s the beating of a person. And when you have something to look forward to, something to participate in, it diminishes that chance.”

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/sports/First+Nations+athletes+return+home+Games+come/6458735/story.html#ixzz1sGUlF0tN

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012465 Views

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Health Canada Cuts Funding to Native Women’s Group – CBC News

Health Canada cuts funding to native women’s group

Native Women’s Association of Canada loses 20 per cent of its budget

CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2012

The Native Women’s Association of Canada says all of its funding from Health Canada is being cut, which makes up about 20 per cent of the organization’s total budget.

Claudette Dumont Smith, executive director of the association, said she was “very surprised” by the funding cut.

“The amount is not extraordinary — less than a million. We do a tremendous amount of work,” said Dumont Smith, executive director of the association.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2012/04/14/north-native-women-health.html

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012556 Views

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Lawsuit Over Reserve Policing – Winnipeg Free Press

Lawsuit over reserve policing

20-year deal; no consultation

By: Alexandra Paul
Posted: 04/14/2012

The single RCMP officer in Pukatawagan can’t handle the workload, leaving the remote northern First Nation to pay for a couple of band constables on the side. The same goes for Pine Creek in western Manitoba.

First Nations routinely field neighbourhood watch and citizens patrols to supplement scanty police coverage or bridge gaps in language and culture. There’s no 911 service and response times are an hour or more away.

Do Manitoba First Nations want another two decades of the same?

Read more: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/lawsuit-over-reserve-policing-147421725.html

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012653 Views

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Residential Schools: ‘We Carried This With Us All Our Lives’ – Nanaimo Daily News

Residential schools: ‘We carried this with us all our lives’

JUDITH LAVOIE, timescolonist.com
Published: Saturday, April 14, 2012

At night, as he struggled with the loneliness of residential school, Eric Pelkey would wrap himself tightly in his sheet so the abusive dorm supervisor couldn’t reach him as easily.

“When I went there, I wondered why they kept referring to me as handsome and, after about three months, it started. I woke up one night and he was sexually abusing me,” Pelkey, of the Tsawout First Nation, told one of the packed rooms at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Victoria on Friday.

Many children developed their own defences.

Read more: http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=6457985

by NationTalk on April 17, 2012465 Views

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Health Canada should not have closed National Aboriginal Health Organization – Globe and Mail

Health Canada should not have closed National Aboriginal Health Organization

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 09, 2012

By almost every indicator, Canada’s aboriginals are facing a public health crisis. They have abnormally high rates of diabetes, infant mortality, teen pregnancy and tuberculosis at a time when they are also the fastest-growing segment of the population. The suicide rate in Nunavut is 12 times higher the national one. And research in the area of aboriginal health is still in its infancy.

That is why closing down the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) is a serious misstep. Its paltry $5-million-a-year budget is a small saving for Health Canada. If the government has a better idea about how to more effectively, and economically, address the critical health disparities that First Nations, Inuit and Métis people face, it should certainly make these ideas public.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/health-canada-should-not-have-closed-national-aboriginal-health-organization/article2396383/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Opinions&utm_content=2396383

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012549 Views

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Ojibwe iPad app brings language to world – Wawatay News

Ojibwe iPad app brings language to world

Thursday April 12, 2012
Rick Garrick — Wawatay News

There’s now an Ojibwe language app for that.

Marten Falls’ Darrick Baxter, president of Ogoki Learning Systems Inc., recently released the Ojibway Language App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch on iTunes after developing it for his 12-year-old daughter.

“I first had the idea about a year-and-a-half ago to use the language app to teach my daughter the Ojibwe language,” Baxter said. “I didn’t tell her I put it on her iPad, but within a few days she was already using it to speak Ojibwe to her grandmother.”

Read more: http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2012/4/12/ojibwe-ipad-app-brings-language-world_22639

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012898 Views

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Vancouver schools: Aboriginal program, cost-cutting and that annoying buzz – Vancouver Sun

Vancouver schools: Aboriginal program, cost-cutting and that annoying buzz

April 12, 2012

The Vancouver board of education has approved the opening of an aboriginal focus school at Sir William MacDonald elementary on the eastside for K-3 students.

The board made the decision Wednesday and hopes to start the program – the first of its kind in the city and one of only a few in the province – in September, but that may be optimistic. Because of union job action, the district has not yet had full discussions with teachers as required under the collective agreement. Furthermore, it wants to hire aboriginal teachers for the program but to do so, it must receive approval from the B.C. human rights tribunal.

Earlier this week, district managers presented their proposals for the 2012-13 budget. Once again, the district faces a funding shortfall – $4.68 milliion – but there’s a twist this year. It’s also expecting to receive an additional $6.87 million from the new learning improvement fund (LIF) and a second special allotment from the province to support struggling readers.

Read more: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/04/12/vancouver-schools-aboriginal-program-cost-cutting-and-that-annoying-buzz/

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012497 Views

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Aboriginal ministers want to develop a national education strategy – Toronto Star

Aboriginal ministers want to develop a national education strategy

Published On Wed Apr 11 2012

Canada’s provincial aboriginal affairs ministers say they can’t move forward on sweeping educational reforms needed to fix the woeful state of First Nations education without Ottawa’s support.

And they also said it’s hard to work with Ottawa if they don’t come to the meetings.

Fresh after the Crown-First Nations gathering in Ottawa and a sweeping report by a national panel on how to reform aboriginal education, provincial and territorial ministers met in Toronto Wednesday for their annual working group summit.

Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne said “there was disappointment around the table that the federal government wasn’t here to engage with us.”

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1159932–aboriginal-ministers-want-to-develop-a-national-education-strategy?bn=1

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012693 Views

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Ottawa Approves LNG Export Licence – Vancouver Sun

Ottawa approves LNG export licence

Haisla First Nation partners in venture to ship gas to Asia

BY SCOTT SIMPSON, VANCOUVER SUN APRIL 12, 2012

A joint venture of the Haisla First Nation and a Texas company have been awarded a 20-year licence to export liquefied natural gas from an inter-national terminal proposed for the seaport of Kitimat.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced Wednesday that the federal government approved a licence application by the BC LNG Export Co-operative.

It’s the second such licence approved by the feds in recent months and in both cases the exporters are targeting markets in Asia where natural gas products sell at prices about six times higher than gas is fetching in North America.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Ottawa+approves+export+licence/6446294/story.html#ixzz1rqNuleUF

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012479 Views

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Residential School System Probe in Victoria for Hearings – Times Colonist

Residential school system probe in Victoria for hearings

BY JUDITH LAVOIE, TIMES COLONIST APRIL 12, 2012

The heart of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s regional event in Victoria Friday and Saturday will be emotionally charged statements from residential school survivors and their families as they explain the legacy of generations of children taken from their homes.

But Ry Moran, TRC director of statement gathering, is hoping the commission will also be reaching into homes and communities where little thought has been given to Canada’s history of residential schools.

“We, as Canadians, are part of the residential school system, even though some of us don’t realize it,” Moran said. “Maybe this is a chance to come and own a bit of this history and understand it. It’s our history and it’s not a pretty history in many ways.”

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/Residential+school+system+probe+Victoria+hearings/6446363/story.html#ixzz1rqNKKnlK

by NationTalk on April 12, 2012438 Views

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Racism expert withdrew report because Missing Women inquiry ‘would not fulfill its mandate’ – National Post

Racism expert withdrew report because Missing Women inquiry ‘would not fulfill its mandate’

Brian Hutchinson Apr 10, 2012

VANCOUVER — An expert in systemic racism and aboriginal stereotypes withdrew from the troubled Missing Women Commission of Inquiry after deciding the commission “would not fulfill its mandate,” the National Post has learned.

UBC anthropology professor Bruce Miller was contracted by the commission as an expert witness and was expected to testify at public hearings that began last fall. He says he submitted a report in advance of his testimony, but by September had informed the commission that he no longer wished to participate in the process.

Growing numbers of individuals and groups have criticized the inquiry for paying little attention to the roles that negative stereotyping and racism played in police failures to investigate Vancouver’s missing and murdered women, many of whom were aboriginal.

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/10/racism-expert-withdrew-report-because-missing-women-inquiry-would-not-fulfill-its-mandate/

by NationTalk on April 11, 2012646 Views

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East Side elementary may host aboriginal school – Vancouver Courier

East Side elementary may host aboriginal school

School board chair says teachers’ job action has slowed progress

BY NAOIBH O’CONNOR, VANCOUVER COURIER APRIL 11, 2012

In 2010, the Vancouver School Board considered closing Sir William Macdonald elementary at 1950 East Hastings St. due to dwindling enrolment- registration had dropped from 239 in 2000 to 70 in 2010.

Less than two years later, the inner city school remains open and its fate has taken another turn. Macdonald might be the site of the VSB’s new aboriginal-focused school, possibly opening as early as September 2012, based on a recommendation going before the education and student services committee April 11.

Read more: http://www.vancourier.com/East+Side+elementary+host+aboriginal+school/6439935/story.html#ixzz1rkvrwjVY

by NationTalk on April 11, 2012539 Views

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