Manitoba First Nations urge the Prime Minister to address underlying issues that have led to the current crisis situation with First Nations

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) continue to offer their support to the Wet’suwet’en Nation, the Mohawks of Tyendinega, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, and stand in solidarity with all organizers and allies involved in the many political actions taking place across the country in support of First Nations rights and in protection of Mother Earth.

AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas says, “the First Nations of Manitoba strongly urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet with the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in order to peacefully resolve the immediate crisis and work toward long-term solutions to colonial and historic injustices committed against all First Nations in the name of resource extraction and corporate greed. These constitutional, legal, and moral issues will not go away until Canada makes courageous and profound efforts to follow Supreme Court Decisions on First Nations title and rights.”

“In Manitoba, we have seen several acts of solidarity in support of First Nations title and rights, including the occupation of Minister’s offices, rail blockades, and numerous marches and protests taking place in the streets of Winnipeg,” said Grand Chief Dumas. “We want the Prime Minister to make a true and meaningful effort to resolve the immediate situation before it spirals out of control across the country. I was disappointed to listen to the Prime Minister’s news conference and his comments in the House of Commons where he and the ‘incident response team’ dramatically shifted strategy from one of patience and dialogue to one of violence and the use of police force. His comments on the lack of ‘good will on behalf of First Nations’ and how the ‘onus’ is now on the First Nations Leadership to come to the table do not help and, in fact, inflame an already volatile situation. If the Prime Minister is going to militarize the provincial police and the RCMP in reaction to First Nations political actions, allow police invasion of First Nations lands, and ignore First Nations laws granted by the Creator and established through a long history of political and societal organization, he and Canada should be prepared for further unrest or worse. AMC and the Manitoba First Nations will work to ensure that people in our region have the facts so that they can make informed decisions. I acknowledge the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, for his efforts at de-escalation and dialogue with the Mohawks of Tyenidega. Again, I urge the Prime Minister to support his Minister and work to de-escalate and resolve the immediate situation down East and in the West through diplomacy,” stated Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee states, “AMC and MKO both condemn the federal negligence and lack of leadership from the federal Government, which has resulted in a range of increased tensions from

confrontations and arrests, to hostilities and racist empowerment and abuse directed to First Nations in mainstream media and over social media networks. The onus is on Canada to show leadership and good will for addressing the immediate crisis and working with the First Nations leadership in Manitoba and across Canada for just and lasting resolution and redress to the historic and contemporary wrongs committed against First Nations.”

“In this time of reconciliation, the Prime Minister has the perfect opportunity to put his words into action by respectfully resolving this issue. The current situation only serves to further divide Canadians and further perpetuates the racism that we encounter today. Facts are needed to be brought forward, and people need to be properly informed. We call upon our allies to help inform people of the issues surrounding the protests of the Hereditary Chiefs opposition to the proposed Coastal GasLink project,” concluded Grand Chief Garrison Settee.


For more information, please contact:

Curtis Mallett, Policy Analyst

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs


Phone: 204-987-4107


NWAC Mourns the Passing of Elder Ruth Kidder

Ottawa, ON, February 25, 2020 – On behalf of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Board, staff and management would like to offer prayers and condolences to the family of Ruth Kidder.

Ruth was, for over 40 years, a strong and tireless protector of Indigenous Women’s Rights and fearless advocate with the Alberta Aboriginal Women’s Society and NWAC.

“Ruth’s presence will be greatly missed as she was a very strong and respected voice for Indigenous Women and families from her community, Alberta and beyond,” stated NWAC President, Lorraine Whitman. Roseanne Martin, NWAC Elder added “While she may be gone, she will never be forgotten.”

– 30 –

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women. NWAC is an aggregate of thirteen Native women’s organizations from across Canada and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1974.

Andrew Ikeman
Senior Communications and Public Affairs Advisor


Indigenous Alumnus Discovers Voice at Selkirk College

Feb 25 2020

Arriving to the West Kootenay from a small community in Northern Alberta, Selkirk College alumnus Rodney Noskiye carried with him big dreams of a future focused on making a difference. Now back working in the social services sector in his home province, Noskiye is giving back both professionally and personally.

Rodney Noskiye arrived to the West Kootenay from his isolated Northern Alberta community in 2011 in search of new opportunity. When he enrolled at Selkirk College’s Castlegar Campus as student, the vibrations of culture shock were fresh.

A graduate of the Social Service Worker Program in 2014, Noskiye is back in Alberta working in Cold Lake as a social worker by day and teaching Cree language classes at night. The journey to get to get this point of his life has been filled with hardship and struggle, but today the 36-year-old is proud to be making a difference in lives of others.

Selkirk College alumnus Rodney Noskiye at the 2014 convocation ceremony on the Castlegar Campus where he graduated from the Social Worker Program. The 36-year-old now works in Cold Lake, Alberta as a social worker during the day and teaches the Cree language to learners in his spare time.

“Selkirk College has given me a voice,” says Noskiye. “When I was a student, people would come up to me and ask for my input. Everybody was patient and I never felt judged, it gave me the confidence and made me feel like I belonged. That voice that I never had is important for me now, I make sure to tell everybody that it is Selkirk College that gave me that voice.”

Overcoming Challenges of Youth

Growing up in the Little Red River Cree Nation northeast of High Level, Noskiye’s family lived in Fox Lake where there is no year-round road access. The youngest of nine children, both Noskiye’s parents were placed in residential school and the multi-generational scars of the system played a continuous part in his early years. Despite the pain and distrust they experienced, Noskiye’s parents emphasized the value of an education.

“Even though they went to residential school, education was important and they tried to pass that on to the children,” he says. “When I was young, I would ask my dad if I could go with him hunting, but he made me stay home to go to school.”

By Grade 9, Noskiye’s enthusiasm for learning in a formal setting waned.

“I never really thought I would get out of my community because I didn’t see a future after adolescence,” he says. “I was spiraling downwards and didn’t really have to deal with my emotions because everybody was telling me that I had to bottle it up and not talk about anything.”

As his attendance at school became less frequent, Noskiye managed to keep battling through the anxiety and stress of his youth that provided barriers to the life he wanted. He had still not earned his high school diploma by his early-20s, but was working in the Fox Lake school as an educational assistant. While working at the school, Noskiye met his future wife who had arrived to the community to work as a high school teacher.

When the couple’s daughter was born in 2010, they made the painful decision to leave Fox Lake for the West Kootenay where his wife’s parents lived just south of Castlegar in Genelle. It was first time Noskiye had ever traveled outside of Alberta.

“I realized that I needed to further my education at a higher level because I wanted to provide an example to my daughter,” Noskiye says. “It was very difficult to leave because it is important to grow up within your culture, but I know my culture very well and knew I could bring it with me. I committed to teaching her our culture wherever we went.”

Finding a Fresh Start at Selkirk College

The summer he arrived, Noskiye stopped by the Castlegar Campus during the quietest months of the year. Simply exploring his options at that point, he left a hand-written note on the door of the Indigenous Services office. It didn’t take long for him to hear back and was quickly welcomed to explore his future.

Starting in the School of Academic Upgrading, it didn’t take long for Noskiye to realize Selkirk College was a different than the post-experience he imagined. One of his first classes was high school English where he was taught by now-retired instructor Gord Turner.

“He made me feel welcome and made me feel confident about my writing skills,” Noskiye explains. “Simply calling a person by their name, in a classroom setting you get the feeling that they are there for you and not just a teacher.”

With his high school requirements secured, Noskiye entered the Social Worker Program in 2013. By that time, confidence was building and he was becoming a valued part of the student body serving as an active member of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee. He spoke at the official opening of the Gathering Place on the Castlegar Campus in May 2012.

“When I was in the Social Worker Program, we were taught that it is important to help teach people to be more confident in themselves,” he says. “That is when I started to be more confident in myself, that was the point when I started to tell people that I was fluent in Cree. Up until that point, I was reluctant because I was made to believe that I shouldn’t tell people who I am as a person. My language made me who I am as a person, so knowing both English and Cree helped me understand both worlds. We need to be confident in ourselves and who we are in order to be able to succeed outside of our culture.”

A Voice for Making Change

After graduation in 2014, Noskiye’s wife took a teaching job in Cold Lake and the family moved back to Alberta. He soon found employment as a family support worker where he primarily focuses on youth—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—who face challenging obstacles. Connecting through his comforting brand of humour, Noskiye is combining his post-secondary education with his own upbringing on a daily basis.

“I grew up in a difficult environment and I had to figure out how to help myself get through everything,” says Noskiye, who returned to Selkirk College in 2018-2019 to complete a Human Services Diploma. “There was a lot of trauma in my life growing up and I use that to help connect with the clients. I make them feel that they don’t have to walk this road alone, the journey they are on is not one they take by themselves.”

His daughter is now nine and Noskiye continues to place focus on teaching her the Cree culture. Going one step further, in his spare time he teaches Cree classes at the Cold Lake Community Learning Centre for those who have lost connection with their language and those wanting to explore it deeper for the first time.

“It’s important to learn the language because you need to connect with your people when you go back home,” Noskiye says. “Some isolated areas don’t really pass that down because there was a push to get out and get an English education. It’s important to hear Elders speak and pass down the knowledge in their own language.”

Noskiye knows that the road to reconciliation is a long one and there are still plenty of bumps along the way. Through the education he received while attending Selkirk College, the proud alumnus has discovered a voice that is helping bring change.

“I find people are now willing to share their culture because they are feeling more comfortable being who they are as Indigenous people,” he says. “There are more people willing to share with people who are willing to learn.”


AB Government: Emergency response exercise builds resiliency

Emergency management exercises are critical to building relationships, clarifying roles and processes and strengthening our province’s response during times of disaster.

This year’s exercise – known as Emergency Management Exercise 2020 or EMX 20 – is a realistic simulation of multiple tornadoes affecting the Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary areas. When one or more devastating tornadoes occur, a ‘whole of society’ response is needed. All levels of government, municipalities, emergency management professionals, Indigenous groups, industry and non-government organizations are involved.

“As leaders in emergency management, we regularly practise and prepare for emergencies and disasters. EMX 20 is an opportunity for us to bring government staff and emergency management partners together over a three-day period to strengthen our emergency response efforts. During real disasters and emergencies, these dedicated individuals are there 24-7 to help keep us safe and up-to-date with the latest information.”
Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs

During EMX 20, emergency management professionals have the opportunity to simulate responses to various challenges that arise during and after a major emergency. They will practise working together, confirm their organizations’ roles and responsibilities, and test their response procedures. Exercise participants will be at the Provincial Operations Centre Feb. 26-28.

“EPCOR is eager to participate in this important exercise that will help us be better prepared to deal with a real water emergency if we are ever faced with one. Emergency preparedness is an important part in public health protection and delivery of safe drinking water.”
Steve Craik, director, EPCOR Water Canada Quality Assurance and Environment

Disasters in Alberta have increased over the years. Emergency management exercises are vital to ensuring the Government of Alberta and its community partners respond effectively when emergencies and disasters occur. Albertans are encouraged to practise their own emergency preparation, as disasters can occur with little to no warning. Here are a few tips on how to be prepared:

  • sign up to receive Alberta emergency alerts
  • build and maintain emergency kits
  • have an emergency plan in place and practise that plan with your family
  • review your insurance coverage with your provider to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to protect your family and property

Quick facts:

  • Emergency management exercises have been held annually in Alberta since 2001.
  • The Provincial Operations Centre is part of Alberta’s emergency management system and mitigates, prepares for, responds to, and helps recovery during emergencies and disasters. The centre is staffed 24-7.
  • Alberta’s emergency management system is designed to protect life, property, and the environment by providing a unified, coordinated and resilient response to emergencies.

Related information


Media inquiries

Tim Gerwing
Press Secretary, Municipal Affairs


Canadian Arctic sealift could be exempt from HFO ban until 2029 under IMO proposal – Nunatsiaq News

26 February 2020

“Effective, economic mitigation measures must be put in place so that Nunavummiut do not bear the costs,” says Nunavut minister

A subcommittee of the International Maritime Organization, after a meeting in London last week, is proposing a ban on heavy fuel oils in Arctic waters—with a proposed provision that could exempt Canadian Arctic sealift vessels from the new rules until July 1, 2029.

That appears to satisfy a demand from Canada that the IMO, the United Nations body that sets international standards for the global shipping industry, adopt a phased approach to the elimination of HFOs in Arctic regions.

In a post published on her Cryopolitics blog, Mia Bennett, a geography professor at the University of Hong Kong, said on the weekend that an IMO working group recommended in a report to the organization’s environmental subcommittee last week that HFOs be banned in the Arctic by July 1, 2024.

Read More:

OPP gave intelligence, identities of Tyendinaga Mohawks to CN Rail without legal challenge – APTN News

February 26, 2020

The Ontario Provincial Police say a subpoena compelled it to provide the Canadian National Railway a list of Mohawks identified at the Tyendinaga rail protest who were allegedly violating a court injunction.

One expert says the collaboration between police and industry points to a troubling relationship that prioritizes Canada’s economic interests over human rights.

“CN indicated it would issue subpoenas to compel the OPP to bring this information to court. To avoid CN issuing subpoenas to multiple members, the OPP agreed to provide a witness for this purpose,” said OPP spokesperson Carolle Dionne, in an email.

“The witness attended court under compulsion of the subpoena and turned over evidence at the direction of the court. The OPP did not voluntarily provide this information.”

Read More:

Indspire announces the creation of the Indspire Research Knowledge Nest

February 26, 2020 – Ohsweken, ON – Indspire announces the creation of its innovative Indigenous research centre: the Indspire Research Knowledge Nest. The Research Nest is the first of its kind in Canada. Its mission is two-fold: to improve Indigenous educational attainment, labour market outcomes and community prosperity through ground-breaking Indigenous research; and to hire, train, and support the next generation of Indigenous researchers. Through the Research Nest, Indigenous post-secondary students and recent grads will receive hands-on training to leverage Indspire’s data holdings to answer pressing education and labour market questions currently facing First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) communities.

Through the Research Nest, Indspire will provide a customized twelve-month training and mentorship program to twelve post-secondary Indigenous Research Assistants over the three-year initiative. In supporting the careers and professional development of the project participants, the Research Nest is fostering Indigenous engagement and leadership in quantitative research on topics important to the wellbeing of all Canadians.

The Government of Canada’s Skills Partnership Fund (SPF) and the Suncor Energy Foundation have provided the funding critical to the establishment and development of the Research Nest, which will be guided by an Advisory Committee who will provide direction and input on the development of this important initiative. Indspire will work with partners to establish a unique training program for the Research Assistants that delivers mentorship and work experience to early-career Indigenous researchers and data scientists.

“We are thrilled to be initiating this ground-breaking new research venture, which is the very first of its kind in Canada,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “By gaining new, data-driven insights into the impact of education on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities while promoting the development of new Indigenous researchers and analysts, we are laying the foundation for substantive changes in how education can effect positive change in Indigenous communities. We are proud to be at the forefront of Indigenous engagement in this field.”

“Initiatives like Indspire’s Research Knowledge Nest advance educational research and can help ensure current and future students have the best educational experience possible,” says Lori Hewson, director of community investment and the Suncor Energy Foundation. “In turn, that experience can support Indigenous students to develop the skills and mindsets needed for their future careers, as well as to participate in building a strong Canada.”

“Supporting innovative projects led by and for Indigenous people is one of the many ways we can help ensure long-term success for Indigenous people, their families and their communities. Through Indspire’s project, emerging Indigenous researchers will be able to grow professionally, develop their research skills and gain hands-on work experience, all while being mentored by leading Indigenous research experts. I look forward to the development of innovative projects, like this one, which work to address issues that really matter to Indigenous people and their communities.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

The work generated through the Research Nest will provide decision-makers with key insights into the educational attainment and outcomes of Indigenous peoples in Canada, fostering a new understanding of how education supports the overall wellbeing of Indigenous peoples. In partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the Research Nest will explore the linkages between Indigenous economic development and education, exploring new insights into opportunities across a variety of sectors. Other important Research Nest initiatives include the implementation of a National Education Survey, slated for release in 2020, as well as a follow-up to Indspire’s illuminating Truth and Reconciliation in Post-Secondary Settings: Student Experience report.

For more information about the Research Nest initiative, come and visit us here or email .
About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. Its North Star vision is that every Indigenous student will graduate within a generation. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2018-2019, Indspire provided more than $16.3 million through 5,553 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. For more information, please visit


For media interviews and more information, please contact:
Nick Foglia
Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Indspire annonce la création du programme de recherche Indspire Research Knowledge Nest

Ohsweken, Ont., le 26 février 2020 -– Indspire annonce la création de son centre de recherche autochtone novateur : l’Indspire Research Knowledge Nest. Le Research Nest est le premier de son genre au Canada. Il a une double mission : améliorer le niveau de scolarité des Autochtones, les résultats obtenus sur le marché du travail et la prospérité des communautés grâce à une recherche autochtone novatrice, et embaucher, former et soutenir la prochaine génération de chercheurs autochtones. Dans le cadre du Research Nest, les étudiants autochtones de niveau postsecondaire et les nouveaux diplômés recevront une formation pratique qui leur permettra de tirer parti des données d’Indspire pour pouvoir répondre aux questions pressantes sur l’éducation et le marché du travail auxquelles font actuellement face les communautés des Premières Nations, inuites et métisses (PNIM).

Indspire, par le biais du Research Nest, offrira un programme personnalisé de formation et de mentorat de douze mois à douze assistants de recherche autochtones de niveau postsecondaire au cours de l’initiative de trois ans. En apportant son soutien aux carrières et à la formation professionnelle des participants au projet, le Research Nest encourage l’engagement et le leadership des Autochtones dans le domaine de la recherche quantitative et sur des sujets importants pour le bien-être de tous les Canadiens.

Le Fonds pour les compétences et les partenariats du gouvernement du Canada et la Fondation Suncor Énergie ont fourni le financement essentiel à la création et au développement du Research Nest. Celui-ci sera guidé par un comité consultatif qui offrira une orientation et des commentaires sur l’élaboration de cette importante initiative. Indspire travaillera avec des partenaires en vue d’établir un programme de formation unique destiné aux assistants de recherche et offrant un mentorat et une expérience de travail aux chercheurs et aux scientifiques autochtones qui débutent dans leur carrière.

« Nous sommes ravis de lancer cette nouvelle entreprise de recherche révolutionnaire qui est la toute première en son genre au Canada », a déclaré Roberta Jamieson, présidente et chef de la direction d’Indspire. « En obtenant de nouvelles conclusions basées sur des données relatives à l’impact de l’éducation sur les communautés des Premières Nations, inuites et métisses et en favorisant la formation de nouveaux chercheurs et analystes autochtones, nous jetons les bases qui apporteront d’importants changements dans la manière dont l’éducation peut améliorer les choses au sein des communautés autochtones. Nous sommes fiers d’être à l’avant-garde de l’engagement des Autochtones dans ce domaine. »

« Appuyer des projets novateurs menés pour et par des Autochtones est l’une de nos nombreuses façons de contribuer au succès à long terme des Autochtones, de leur famille et de leur communauté. Grâce au projet d’Indspire, de jeunes chercheurs pourront progresser sur le plan professionnel, développer leurs compétences en recherche et acquérir de l’expérience pratique, sous la tutelle d’experts autochtones. J’ai bien hâte de voir d’autres projets du genre voir le jour, des projets qui s’attaquent aux enjeux qui comptent vraiment pour les Autochtones et leur communauté. »

L’honorable Carla Qualtrough, ministre de l’Emploi, du Développement de la main-d’œuvre et de l’Inclusion des personnes handicapées

Le travail généré par le Research Nest fournira aux décideurs des informations clés sur le niveau de scolarité et les résultats scolaires des Autochtones au Canada tout en favorisant une nouvelle compréhension de la façon dont l’éducation soutient le bien-être général des Autochtones. En partenariat avec le Conseil canadien pour l’entreprise autochtone, le Research Nest explorera les liens qui existent entre le développement économique des Autochtones et l’éducation, explorant de nouvelles perspectives sur les possibilités offertes dans divers secteurs. Parmi les autres initiatives importantes du Research Nest, citons la mise en œuvre d’une Enquête nationale sur l’éducation, dont la publication est prévue pour 2020, ainsi que le suivi du rapport éclairant d’Indspire sur La vérité et la réconciliation dans les établissements postsecondaires : Rapport sur l’expérience des étudiants.

Pour plus d’informations sur l’initiative Research Nest, venez nous rendre visite ici ou envoyez un courriel à .

À propos d’Indspire

Indspire est un organisme de bienfaisance dirigé par des Autochtones qui investit dans l’éducation des Autochtones pour qu’à long terme, elle leur apporte des avantages ainsi qu’à leurs familles, à leurs communautés et à tout le Canada. Sa vision stratégique est que chaque étudiant autochtone obtienne un diplôme au sein d’une même génération. Avec le soutien de ses partenaires financiers, Indspire alloue des bourses, offre des programmes et partage des ressources pour que les étudiants des Premières Nations, inuits et métis puissent tirer parti de leur plein potentiel. En 2018-2019, Indspire a alloué plus de 16,3 millions de dollars aux étudiants des Premières Nations, inuits et métis de partout au Canada par le biais de 5 553 bourses. Pour plus d’informations, visitez


Pour des entrevues avec les médias et pour obtenir plus d’informations, contactez :
Nick Foglia
Vice-président, Communications et Marketing


Special Statement MMF Responds to Vandalism of RCMP HQ

February 26, 2020

I was saddened, yet not surprised, to witness with my own eyes, the desecration of a monument dedicated to Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers in Winnipeg today. That brand of cowardice was also evident at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the office of St. Boniface Member of Parliament and Metis Citizen Dan Vandal.

The vandalism on the monument, dedicated to RCMP officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, is particularly troubling for me. The RCMP have worked diligently with the Metis Nation and other Indigenous Peoples when it comes to reconciliation.

To have a site dedicated to people who have fallen, including Indigenous Officer Constable Dennis Strongquill, vandalized, is reprehensible and cowardly at best. I challenge the people who did this, to think how they would feel if someone broke into a graveyard at night and did this to a relative’s headstone or gravesite? People also need to understand, this monument was created through the fundraising efforts of the RCMP and member families.

As I have stated time and again this month, our Metis Government will not endorse or support protestors who are now choosing to deface public property under the guise of protecting Wet’suwet’en land or people from resource development. Can we honestly say we know that’s what these protestors are supporting? Imagine how the families of those officers who died in the line of duty must feel. Imagine the pain that will resurface when they see this monument vandalized. I shudder to think what lies around the corner. Will an actual life be lost in the name of protest?

I’ll remind all of you again that the Metis Nation is a Nation born out of resistance and fighting for what is right. We have carried out our own protests in the past and will do so in the future. The difference here is that we will always fight for a common and united goal.

That is obviously not the case in this current dispute. Some say they’re fighting for Indigenous sovereignty. Others will say this is a fight against systemic oppression. There are some who say this is all about protecting the environment. Having all these splinter groups does nothing to move us forward.

Instead of fighting for the Wet’suwet’en people, you are now turning Canadians against each other and are defacing sacred places.

This is not what reconciliation looks like and it is not what protest should be.

People who commit violent acts and vandalize property will never represent nor receive support from the Metis Nation or other democratically elected Indigenous Governments.

My prayer now is that these kinds of actions do not escalate further.

President David Chartrand


Open letter: Amnesty International visits Tyendinaga, urges Trudeau to act on reconciliation

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

February 24, 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

The past several weeks have brought the deeply disappointing state of reconciliation and regard for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada to the fore with a degree of urgency rarely witnessed. Right across the country, protests of resistance and of solidarity by Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous communities, sparked by deep concern about the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline through Wet’suwet’en Territory in British Columbia, have led to a national conversation about rights, reconciliation, the economy and the environment, that has been both troubling and encouraging.

We write to urge that your government demonstrate the leadership that is very much needed at this critical and potentially pivotal moment, working closely with Indigenous peoples’ leadership and organizations and with provincial and territorial governments, to advance foundational change to truly progress with meaningful reconciliation and full respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

It is unacceptable and untenable to rely primarily on a strategy of responding one-by-one to the mounting number of instances of barricades, injunctions, and law enforcement. Instead, there is a pressing need for comprehensive and concrete action, beyond the aspirational words and lofty promises that are usually offered, that will build confidence that the journey of reconciliation is truly underway.

Amnesty International visited Tyendinaga today, in the aftermath of the Ontario Provincial Police’s enforcement action which has reportedly resulted in the arrest of ten protesters. It was notable to us that all community members we spoke with described a feeling of betrayal and broken trust, particularly given the dialogue that had begun with Minister Miller on February 15th, reiterated in his assurance to Tyendinaga leadership the following day, in his letter of February 16th, that he “welcome[s] the invitation to talk again in the near future to continue our open and respectful dialogue.” What happened today was not consistent with that assurance.

We should be ashamed as a country that we find ourselves in the current situation.

  • Measures should have been adopted long ago to ensure proper respect for Indigenous rights in Canada.
  • We should have in place a fair, accessible, non-adversarial and expeditious process for resolving land claims.
  • Legal reforms should have been enacted, years ago, to ensure that the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is part of our national fabric.
  • The vital human rights safeguard of free, prior and informed consent should by now have been embraced by all governments in Canada as the blueprint for a nation-to-nation relationship rooted in respect and justice; rather than the scaremongering talk of it being a veto that stands in the way of Canadian prosperity.

We appreciated the restraint that your government demonstrated in the initial phases of the blockades and demonstrations that have been organized, highlighting how important it is to pursue dialogue and not rush to the use of police force as a response. That is of vital importance given that there is a long historical context of unrelenting human rights violations against Indigenous peoples, going back hundreds of years, that give shape to the realities that are at the root of contemporary concerns.

Many politicians and commentators have rashly and often aggressively insisted that Indigenous peoples must exhibit patience. It is time to recognize that the contrary is the case. Indigenous peoples have shown nothing but patience, for far too long, in the face of racist laws, unjust policies and unspeakably cruel violence, as their rights have been violated, dismissed and ignored. If anything, it is time for governments across Canada, businesses and the Canadian public to be the ones expected to be patient.

As many have noted, the call for patience is particularly inappropriate with respect to the Wet’suwet’en people, who have waited for 23 years for their land rights to be recognized following the groundbreaking 1997 Supreme Court of Canada Delgamuukw decision; and for the Tyendinga Mohawks who have waited for over 170 years for the return of their lands taken as part of the Culbertson Tract.

While your government did initially show remarkable restraint, you have of course in the end given a nod to enforcement action, which is now being pursued by national, provincial and municipal police forces across the country. That enforcement will not bring resolution to the deep concerns that underly these rights struggles and protests. For many communities it only adds to decades of trauma associated with violent and repressive police and judicial action that has been at the heart of the most shameful and upsetting chapters of Canadian history.

We have written to you previously urging that at a minimum Canada comply with the decision of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with respect to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, TransMountain Pipeline Expansion and Site C dam. The importance of governments in Canada living up to the country’s international human rights obligations in those three situations and many others has been frequently reiterated by Indigenous peoples across Canada, yet your government has not shown any intention to do so.

We therefore call on you to take the following steps:

  • Ensure that land defenders are not criminalized and that people who have been arrested for defending the land and who have not engaged in acts of criminal violence are released unconditionally.
  • Respond immediately to the December 2019 ruling of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, including suspending construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in the absence of the free, prior and informed consent of the Wet’suwet’en people and the withdrawal of the RCMP from their traditional territory.
  • Move immediately on longpromised legal reforms, notably a legislative framework for implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Engage directly and personally in discussions with Indigenous chiefs, elected and hereditary, so as to demonstrate that you recognize that these are not simply matters of barricades and law enforcement, but are the very essence of a respectful and rights regarding nation-to-nation relationship.

Prime Minister, you face an unprecedented opportunity to break with decades of failure when it comes to the relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada. To do so means putting rights first, embracing the full complexity of reconciliation and making it clear to all Canadians that while the road ahead will not always be easy, it is the only path to a just and sustainable future for our country.

We are available to meet with you at your convenience to discuss these concerns and recommendations further.


Alex Neve                                                           France-Isabelle Langlois

Secretary General                                            Directrice générale

Amnesty International Canada                   Amnistie internationale Canada francophone

(English branch)


Woodland Cree First Nation supports Bill-69 challenge

Premier Jason Kenney has approved the first grant through the government’s Indigenous Litigation Fund, a new way to partner in prosperity.

Woodland Cree First Nation, northwest of Peace River, will receive a $187,688 grant to intervene in support of the Alberta government’s constitutional challenge of Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act.

“I am pleased to work with Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom of the Woodland Cree First Nation to announce the latest steps in enhancing the voices of First Nations in Alberta to stand up for their own interests. The Indigenous Litigation Fund will help Indigenous communities protect their legal right to participate in and benefit from the development of the resources underneath the lands they have called home for generations.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

The $10-million Indigenous Litigation Fund backs Indigenous-led legal action challenging federal legislation that hinders major energy projects in Alberta. It also presents a new way for the provincial and Indigenous governments to strengthen their relationships.

“With today’s announcement, we see the completion of a promise made and promise kept. The Indigenous Litigation Fund will support responsible resource development to move forward and, more importantly, ensure Indigenous voices are heard in standing up for Alberta.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

For many Indigenous communities in Alberta, responsible natural resource development presents an important economic stream to keep people working and funds flowing back to support community-level social and economic programs.

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Litigation Fund is a government commitment to help groups with Indigenous membership voice their support for resource development. Potential applicants are now able to apply for seed funding for research into potential court challenges.

Related information

Related news


*Assets will be available after the event.

Media inquiries

Ted Bauer
Press Secretary, Indigenous Relations


Distant star and planet get new Cree names following national contest – Folio

February 26 2020

Winning Canadian entry renames star and exoplanet Nikâwiy and Awasis, translated as “my mother” and “child” in Cree.

A giant planet 344 light-years from Earth and the star it orbits have new names in the Cree language, thanks to a national contest.

The star HD136418 and its exoplanet HD136418b were renamed Nikâwiy (pronounced NI-gah-wee) and Awasis (pronounced ah-wah-sis), which translate into English as “my mother” and “child.”

The contest was part of the International Astronomical Union’s NameExoWorlds contest, in which 100 countries around the world were asked to name planets orbiting stars other than our sun, along with the stars they orbit.

“The original idea for the naming convention came from Amanda Green, a junior-high science teacher in Alberta, and was then modified slightly by Wilfred Buck, a noted Cree educator who specializes in astronomy education,” said University of Alberta astrophysicist Sharon Morsink, who led the Canadian initiative, managed by the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA).

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Ontario Public Library Association honours Wiikwemkoong librarian – Manitoulin Expositor

February 26, 2020

Lifetime achievement award for Sheri Mishibinijima

TORONTO – Sheri Mishibinijima, the former head librarian at Wikwemikong Public Library, has recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Ontario Public Library Association for her decades-long dedication to and advocacy for Northern Ontario public libraries, especially those within First Nations.

“I nominated Sheri for her dedication and passion for so many years. She was explaining to me how frustrating and how slow the process is but she’s kept moving forward and maintaining the full level of honesty, integrity and respect for what she does and the future. It’s a very rare quality,” said Feather Maracle, CEO and director of library services at Six Nations Public Library in Ohsweken.

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Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada Board of Directors and RCMP Chief Superintendent Amanda Jones, V Division Joint Statement on Addressing Gendered Violence against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat

February 25, 2020

OTTAWA – During the week of February 24th, 2019, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is holding its Annual General Meeting, attended by members of its Board of Directors, invited delegates and guests. One of the special guests in attendance today was RCMP Chief Superintendent Amanda Jones, Commanding Officer of V Division, Nunavut, on behalf of Commissioner Brenda Lucki, who sent her regrets.

“There is no question that we want to work with Pauktuutit and our Nunavut communities to address the policing challenges in the North in order to better build relationships with Inuit, and particularly women and children. We will come back in two weeks with information regarding Pauktuutit’s request for a working group”, said the Commanding Officer.

“We look forward to working with Commander Jones to address the safety and security of Inuit women and girls and to monitor the implementation of our recommendations”, said Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit. “We recommend that affected Inuit women be part of the work going forward. When women become victims of violence, they are victimized again when taken away from their communities for safety. That is something that should not happen. We welcome
Chief Superintendent Jones’ initiative in wanting to work with us. I appreciate her time with us today and we are eager to work jointly together going forward”.

The Executive Summary and full report can be found here:

Pauktuutit is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. Its mandate is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns in relation to social, cultural and economic development.


Media inquiries
Antoinette Brind’Amour, Director of Communications
613-238-3977 x267
Cell.: (613) 316-8943


Science plenary – Tracey Galloway

Credit: Arctic Frontiers

Indigenous-led, interdisciplinary research advances understanding of climate-related impacts on food security and well-being in Arctic communities.

People living in Arctic regions rely on foods harvested from the lands and waters for their subsistence and livelihoods. Access to these resources is an essential component of Indigenous self-determination and a right affirmed within the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the rights to traditional lands and the practice of traditional cultures. Climate changes in the Arctic have complex ecosystem impacts that affect the exercise of these rights. We draw on recent examples of collaborative scholarly practice to advance a model of food security research that reflects an epistemology framed within the principles set out in UNDRIP. Indigenous leadership in research contexts reflects funding and governance structures that locate the control of the research within the hands of Indigenous decision-makers. Interdisciplinarity is a key component of this model, wherein Indigenous and social science approaches contextualize human responses to ecosystem impacts and examine key considerations of policy and practice within the historical and social dimensions that inform them.

Speaker: Tracey Galloway Assistant professor, University of Toronto

Assistant Professor Tracey Galloway is a community health scholar whose research addresses the health priorities of circumpolar Indigenous people. Her research program involves reduction of the impact of chronic disease through applied health policy research. Current projects include evaluation of the impact of the Nutrition North Canada food subsidy program on food security; qualitative assessment of Inuit people’s health care experiences; and analysis of the role of transportation infrastructure as a mediator of health service access for Indigenous people living in remote, northern communities. Galloway has a track record of respectful engagement and successful collaboration with northern communities and organizations. Through research and advocacy, she maintains close working relationships with health experts and policy-makers in Canada’s Inuit regions. She works closely with government, land claim and Indigenous organizations in Canada’s territories and is Expert Consultant to the National Inuit Food Security Working Group and the Nunavut Food Security Coalition.
Dr. Galloway currently holds an early career salary award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute for Indigenous People’s Health. She regularly participates as Reviewer and Scientific Officer for Canada’s Tri-Council funding agencies. She is an active member of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health and an Editor for the International Journal of Circumpolar Health. She is a recognized scholar in the area of Inuit growth and metabolism, and leads a team of international scholars in ongoing comparison of obesity and metabolic risk among Inuit living in Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

Manitoba Sheriffs to Expand Role in Transporting Inmates, Providing Court Security in Eastern Manitoba

Added Sheriff Services Will Help Increase Police Presence in Eastern Manitoba: Cullen

More police officers will be patrolling communities in eastern Manitoba as provincial sheriff’s officers take on full responsibility for transporting inmates to court and providing court security in the region, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Our government is finding ways to help free up police resources and ensure police officers are able to actively patrol our communities and focus their efforts on crime prevention, intervention and investigation,” said Cullen.  “Sheriff’s officers are already responsible for inmate transportation and court security in other regions and handle their duties with dedication and professionalism.  It is a wise investment to expand their responsibility into eastern Manitoba as part of our broader commitment to public safety.”

The Manitoba government will invest nearly $2.5 million annually to hire 11 sheriff’s officers in the eastern district and assume responsibility for transportation-related costs, which will include several fleet vehicles as well as flights to communities only accessible by air.  Sheriff’s officers will assume responsibility for transporting inmates to and from circuit court locations in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) eastern district and will also provide security at these locations.  In the past, RCMP officers have been responsible for providing these services.  The transition is expected to be complete in the next six months.

“Our focus is to keep front-line RCMP officers actively patrolling our rural communities and responding quickly to calls for service,” said Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP.  “The addition of 11 sheriff’s officers to transport prisoners and provide court security will ensure that RCMP officers are doing their core policing work and are there for when Manitobans need them most.”

The eastern district is bounded by Garden Hill in the north, east to the Manitoba-Ontario border, south to the American border and to the east side of Lake Manitoba.  It includes communities such as Altona, Arborg, Berens River, Emerson, Garden Hill, Gimli, Little Grand Rapids, Peguis, Powerview-Pine Falls, Selkirk, St-Pierre-Jolys, Steinbach and Stonewall.

Sheriff’s officers are currently responsible for inmate transports and courtroom security in western Manitoba and Winnipeg, and for inmate transportation in the north.  RCMP continue to provide court security in northern Manitoba.

The minister noted this investment supports the goals of the province’s Policing and Public Safety Strategy and the Safer Streets, Safer Lives Strategy, as it reduces extraneous demands on police resources and ensures RCMP officers are able to focus on front-line policing services in their communities.

The province continues to support other initiatives that reduce extraneous demands on police resources, which helps ensure more officers are actively serving their communities, the minister noted.  For example, amendments to The Provincial Offences Act came into effect in 2017 to allow written evidence to be submitted to the court by police officers, instead of having to attend hearings and present their evidence in person.  As a result, court attendance by police officers, including Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP and other police services, has significantly decreased.

The Manitoba government also recently announced plans to invest $1.9 million to support the expansion of RCMP crime reduction and enforcement teams including a five-member unit for the eastern district.  Crime reduction teams focus on serious, prolific offenders and drug dealers.  The province’s investment will establish a new five-member team in the eastern district, a new five-member team in the western district and support the expansion of an existing northern team.  Additional officers will also join the D Division Enforcement Team, a centralized unit targeting criminal organizations and street gangs that traffic drugs and guns throughout the province.

The decision to shift transportation and court security responsibilities to sheriff’s officers also builds on the strategic direction set out under Manitoba’s Criminal Justice System Modernization Strategy, which focuses on crime prevention and improving service delivery.

– 30 –

For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.


Indigenous youth protest at legislature in support of Wet’suwet hereditary chiefs – CityNews Vancouver

Feb 26, 2020

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – A group of Indigenous youth are leading another protest on the steps of the B.C. Legislature, supporting the five hereditary chiefs opposed to a natural gas pipeline going through their land.

Smoke from a ceremonial fire wafted into the air as a few dozen protesters stood on the steps, flanked by police at each side of the front stairs at the legislature. Tents were set up at the base of the steps for shelter and food.

“We got here at 3 p.m. yesterday,” said Sheylin Sampson, one of the Indigenous youth behind this protest.

“We have no intention of leaving anytime soon, until the demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are held up,” she added.

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Glavin: A duty to uphold the law for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples – Ottawa Citizen

Trudeau gives every impression that he thinks interminably apologizing for how wicked Canadians have been, and continue to be, is what leadership is. But that’s not what’s needed at all.

You’d think the country was convulsing in an apprehended insurrection or something. It isn’t. It is a very big deal, in its way, with tens of thousands of frustrated commuters and ships idled in the harbours and so on. There’s a lot of public aggravation and a whole lot of shouting and crazy rhetoric. But the flag is still flying on government buildings. People really need to calm down.

So let’s start there, and let’s also remember that while all the roadblock banners and the chanted slogans loudly declare that the point of it all is “Wet’suwet’en solidarity” and “reconciliation” and so on, that doesn’t make it true. If you’ve found yourself enraged by all this stuff, don’t blame the Wet’suwet’en. And don’t assume that these eruptions are even about Indigenous people, or about reconciliation, at all.

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Indigenous Youth Sport Legacy Fund

The intake for applications for viaSport’s Indigenous Youth Sport Legacy Fund is now open! A legacy born from the 2010 Winter Olympic Games hosted in BC, the fund assists amateur athletes of Indigenous ancestry residing in BC, including athletes with a disability or disabilities, in their pursuit of excellence in sport. The grant seeks to relieve some of the financial costs associated with high performance sport, including registration, travel, equipment, and coaching expenses. Grants are awarded to athletes competing in any sport, with priority given to athletes participating on provincial teams, national teams, and/or in any regional, provincial, or national tournaments and competitions featuring Indigenous participants (i.e. North American Indigenous Games, All Native Basketball Tournament).

Applicants are able to apply for a grant between $500 and $2,000 for expenses incurred between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 depending on their level of eligibility. Please refer to the grant guidelines to define the levels of eligibility.

Grant Guidelines:

Who can apply?

  • A Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Of Indigenous ancestry
  • Between 13 and 30 years of age at the time of application
  • Currently living and training in B.C. (exceptions may be made in cases where an applicant is required to reside elsewhere for training purposes)
  • Able to demonstrate a strong history of participation in amateur sport and a demonstrated potential to achieve provincial level (or higher) performance results

Contact for more information and questions about eligibility.


Algoma University Secures Membership in UArctic Network

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON- February 26, 2020): Earlier today, Algoma University was selected as the newest member of the University of the Arctic (UArctic) co-operative network during the organization’s annual assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark. Algoma joins an ever-growing network of universities, colleges, and research institutes engaged with education and research in and about the North. Other Northern Ontario UArtic members are Lakehead and Nipissing.

UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure so that member institutions can better serve their constituents and their regions. Through cooperation in education, research and outreach, UArctic strives to enhance human capacity in the North, promote viable communities and sustainable economies, while forging global partnerships.

As part of a presentation at the assembly, Dr. Donna Rogers, Algoma University Provost and Academic Dean stressed the commonalities between the network and the Sault Ste. Marie based institution including the northern focus and cross-cultural learning elements that are essential to Algoma’s institutional identity. “Algoma’s academic staff are eager to participate in several thematic networks, such as northern food security and local-scale planning, climate change and resilience,” noted Dr. Rogers. “Our research strength in biology, environmental science, and Indigenous history/culture, among other areas, positions us well to contribute to the networks and we look forward to learning from and collaborating with other northern-focused institutions.”

Algoma University students, faculty and staff welcome the opportunity for greater engagement and fruitful exchange with other UArctic members. Of particular interest is the north2north student mobility program that aligns with Algoma’s internationalization strategy. The initiative supports and encourages students to study at a partner university while enabling Algoma to welcome more students from diverse regions. Algoma’s Anishinaabe (Indigenous) student population will especially welcome north2north mobility opportunities.

Algoma looks forward to the rich collaborative opportunities that will emerge as a result of UArctic participation.


Métis Nation of Alberta Locals Rally to Protect Métis Rights and Claims

Fort McMurray, Alberta – February 26, 2020 – Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Locals from throughout Northeastern Alberta are rallying against efforts being made by some individuals to create self-styled ‘Métis Community Associations.’

Within Region 1 (Northeastern Alberta), the MNA represents 3,134 registered citizens who are verified Métis rights-holders.  These Métis rights-holders mandate the MNA, its Regional Councils and Locals to represent them, including dealing with collectively held Métis rights and claims.  These 3,134 MNA citizens are the majority of the Métis population in locations across Northeastern Alberta, including, Fort Chipewyan, Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, Buffalo Lake, Willow Lake, Athabasca Landing, Owl River, Big Bay, Anzac, Chard, Conklin and Lac La Biche.

Now, a few individuals from various self-styled and newly created ‘Métis Community Associations,’ are attempting to speak for over 3,000 Métis rights-holders without even engaging these citizens and without any consultation, authorization or transparency.  They are attempting to sign documents in the name of Métis communities without even talking to those communities’ members ensuring legitimate Métis rights-holders are engaged.

The Fort McKay Métis Community Association (“FMMCA”) is a self-styled entity that is not a part of the MNA.  The MNA’s objection to the FMMCA include:

  • The FMMCA is a private entity incorporated under the laws of Alberta. It is controlled by a few individuals and is not accountable to any rights-bearing Métis community or the Métis Nation.
  • There is no clarity on the FMMCA’s membership, and some of its members are registered as First Nation, do not even live in Fort McKay and may not even be Métis.
  • Alberta courts dismissed the FMMCA’s claim that it solely represents the Fort McKay Métis community for the purpose of consultation to the exclusion of the MNA.
  • The current leadership of the FMMCA unsuccessfully ran for leadership in the MNA’s 2018 elections and then the group decided to “break away” from the MNA.
  • The current leadership of the FMMCA is attempting to dissolve MNA Local #63 Fort McKay without the permission of the MNA or the members of the Local, and after they have transferred assets in the MNA Local’s name. The MNA is in the court fighting these attempts.

The MNA represents over 42,000 verified Métis Nation citizens across Alberta and has been the democratic self-government of the Métis Nation within Alberta for over 90 years.  The MNA has the only objectively verifiable registry of Métis Nation citizens that is relied upon by both Canada and the Alberta Government to identify legitimate Métis rights-holders in Alberta.  The MNA is also the only recognized Métis government in Alberta that is in self-government negotiations with Canada based on a Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement that was signed in June 2019.

Comments from MNA Regional and Local leadership:

“We are coming together so Métis citizens in northeastern Alberta and the Métis Nation know what is going on. The MNA is not asserting control over Locals or taking over consultation. The MNA has already made it clear that it will not be taking any resources from the agreements MNA Locals negotiate with industry.”

Gail Gallupe
President, MNA Local #1935 Fort McMurray

“What’s going on is divide and conquer; neighbours, friends and families are being divided by these tactics. A handful of self-interested people in a room in Fort McMurray can’t make decisions for all of our communities or the Métis Nation. Our people’s voices need to be heard. Last week, our community in Fort Chipewyan rejected breaking away from the MNA. Now, a few individuals want to overturn the will of our citizens. This is not right.”
Cameron MacDonald
President, MNA Local #125 Fort Chipewyan

“We are calling for accountability and transparency. Our citizens and governments need to know these privately controlled ‘Métis Community Associations’ are not a part of the MNA or the Métis Nation within Alberta’s self-government. We are on the path to self-government. A few self-interested individuals are not. People need to know that.”
Brenda Bourque-Stratichuk

President, MNA Local #2097 Lac La Biche

“Individuals cannot be allowed to use the MNA’s name and our legitimacy as the government of the Métis Nation within Alberta to negotiate millions of dollars from oil sands developers and then take those benefits away. What is being proposed by this small group of individuals will have a major impact on our people. A move in this direction, is comparable to taking food from the tables of Métis families who bear the burdens and impacts of resource development on their rights. We can’t let a few individuals ignore the collective and democratic will of the majority.”
James A. Cardinal
President, MNA Region One

“Our citizens today believe in the MNA as the Métis Nation government our ancestors built based on Métis rights and democracy. In the end, transparency, accountability and democracy will prevail.”
Jason Ekberg

Vice-President, MNA Region One


‘Holding him to account for his words’: Colten Boushie’s family meets with Justin Trudeau – APTN News

February 26, 2020

Members of Colten Boushie’s family say the prime minister apologized to them while they visited Ottawa this week to advocate for change and follow up on past meetings.

“We actually met with Prime Minister Trudeau as of yesterday, and we did discuss some of the changes that we may have seen,” said Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, at a Wednesday news conference in Ottawa.

“But more needs to be done and the follow-up was lacking. That was lacking and that just continues to add to the injustice that we experience. He did apologize and commit to staying in communications with my family as regard to the work that they will be doing,” said Tootoosis, her voice faltering momentarily, “and once again we’ll just have to see what comes of that in time. But definitely, my family will be holding him to account to his words.”

On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree member of the Red Pheasant First Nation, died after he was shot by Gerald Stanley on Stanley’s farm in rural Saskatchewan. Stanley was tried for second-degree murder and manslaughter. He was acquitted.

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Court of Appeal sets aside acquittal for Peter Khill, orders new trial – CBC

Khill’s lawyers considering options, including appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

Feb 26, 2020

Ontario’s Cout of Appeal has ruled Peter Khill, the man found not guilty after admitting he shot and killed Jon Styres, should again stand trial for second degree murder.

The court released its unanimous decision Wednesday, saying the trial judge failed to instruct the jury to consider Khill’s conduct leading up to the moment the trigger was pulled and Styres, a First Nations man from Ohsweken, Ont., was killed.

The Hamilton-area homeowner was found not guilty following a 12-day trial last year where he argued he fired in self defence.

“I would allow the appeal, set aside the acquittal, and order a new trial on the charge of second degree murder,” wrote Justice David Doherty in a 48-page decision that stated not instructing the jury to consider Khill’s conduct in the lead up to the shooting left members unequipped to evaluate the “reasonableness” of his actions.

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Winnipeg U: Four MDP students earn prestigious awards

Four outstanding Master’s in Development Practice: Indigenous Development Program (MDP) students have earned national awards. Courtney Bear, Racheal Kalaba, Alexandra Nychuk and Kiera Kowalski have been recognized for their work that reflects their commitment to their field of study.

Bear and Kalaba have both earned the prestigious 2020 Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) awards. Bear was selected for the SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit and Kalaba the SWAAC Student Award in Equity, Diversity. These awards are awarded annually to women graduate students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the university or general community while maintaining exemplary academic records.

In addition to the SWAAC award, Bear was also the successful recipient of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Scholarship. This award is given to students who are descendants of survivors of residential schools or who themselves are residential school survivors.

Bear’s research with Dr. Jaime Cidro (MDP Director, Canada Research Chair in Health & Culture), in partnership with The Winnipeg Boldness Project, measures children’s education through holistic success, in addition to school readiness in the north end of Winnipeg.

This community-based research will result in a published paper along with experience and knowledge in conducting this type of research. Courtney states that “winning these awards helps with not feeling worried financially. And I am very grateful and honoured to have received the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) and the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada (TRC)”.

Kalaba’s research focuses on emergency disaster management and Indigenous people. The research will contribute to an understanding of how to involve communities, institutions, and governments in disaster planning. It offers a unique empirical case example to growing literature on the urgency of engagement of technology and social media in disaster management and planning. Racheal is also currently working with the Canadian Red Cross of Manitoba and Cidro.

Nychuk and Kowalski have earned the 2020 Audreen Hourie Indigenous Graduate Fellowship. This fellowship was established by the Manitoba Metis Federation.

Nychuk is participating on a research project titled: Conversations with Indigenous Doulas and Administrators: Learning the Contemporary Logistics of Reclaiming Traditional Birthing Practices with Cidro.

“It is such an honour to win this award, especially as it is named after such an incredible community member that has made such notable contributions to our Nation,” said Nychuk. “I became familiar with some of Audreen Hourie’s work while employed at the Louis Riel Institute as a research assistant this past summer working with the late Lawrie Barkwell.”

Kowalski is a research assistant with The Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak collaborative, multi-year project that works with northern Manitoba’s Asiniskow Ithiniwak (Rocky Cree) to reclaim their history by revitalizing their stories of cultural identity, with Dr. Mavis Reimer (Dean of Graduate Studies, Department of English).

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E:


Media Advisory – Government of Canada to host Diversifying the Federal Supply Chain Summit

OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2020 – Canada’s Procurement Ombudsman will host the second Diversifying the Federal Supply Chain Summit on March 4, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.

The Summit is being organized to increase the diversity of federal government suppliers. Now in its second year, this one-day summit is designed to increase awareness of the public and private sector programs that can help all gender identities, Indigenous Peoples, racialized people, persons with disabilities and minority groups access federal contracting opportunities.

For information on the Summit, please visit OPO’s website.

Date: March 4, 2020

Time: Media are invited to attend the morning keynote speech and panel discussions scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the afternoon workshops from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST)

Location: The Carlu, 444 Yonge Street – 7th floor, Toronto, ON M5B 2H4

SOURCE Office of the Procurement Ombudsman

For further information: Anik Trépanier, Director, Communications and Corporate Management, Office of the Procurement Ombudsman, 613-947-9755,

Related Links


Three breakfast programs launch in Prince Rupert to help students jump start their school day

Business and community partners work together to better the lives of local children and youth

Prince Rupert, BC – February 25, 2020 – Today, thanks to the joint efforts of Pembina Pipeline Corporation, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Ridley Terminals, Breakfast Club of Canada and School District No. 52, 225 children and youth will enjoy a nutritious breakfast every school morning. Collectively, these organizations have made it possible for students from Prince Rupert Middle School, Charles Hays Secondary School and Roosevelt Park Elementary School to start their day nourished, energized and ready to learn.

A breakfast program is more than providing a healthy meal; it is a way to unite communities around the success of their children and youth. The Club believes it is essential to take time to educate students on proper nutrition and the impact it has on their actions. Recently, at Prince Rupert Middle School, they have successfully eliminated the use of disposable dishes and cutlery, thus educating students about the importance of sustainability.


Three breakfast programs in School District No. 52 have started at Prince Rupert Middle School, Charles Hays Secondary School and Roosevelt Park Elementary School. These programs will feed 225 children and youth every morning.
Across Canada, after a breakfast program has been established, school principals have reported lower absenteeism, improved attention span and fewer health-related problems.
More than 8,800 young British Columbians currently have access to a breakfast program at school. Breakfast Club of Canada supports 181 breakfast programs in the province, 50 of which are in schools with an Indigenous population of 40% or higher.


“Breakfast Club of Canada firmly believes in the importance of joining forces with partners across all sectors of society to benefit the next generation. We can all do good by our kids, whether it’s by giving of our time, money, food or influence. This project is an amazing testament to what we can accomplish together. Thank you to Pembina, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Ridley Terminals Inc. We are also grateful to School District No. 52 for their trust and for allowing us to be a part of their school community.”
– Tommy Kulczyk, General Manager at Breakfast Club of Canada

“School District No. 52 is pleased to team up with Breakfast Club of Canada to bring these school breakfast programs to life. Research shows a strong link between a good healthy breakfast in the morning and positive academic and social outcomes. We also would like to acknowledge our partners at the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Ridley Terminals and Pembina for their continued support of our students. Thank you!”
– School District No. 52

“Pembina is a proud new member of the Prince Rupert community, and we’re excited to come together and celebrate the launch of these three breakfast programs that will help even more kids in Prince Rupert start their days with a healthy meal. Through our $5 million signature partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada, Fuel 4 Thought, Pembina supports breakfast programs across our communities. We believe that a healthy breakfast is critical to ensuring that all kids have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and are honoured to be able to extend these programs to Prince Rupert in collaboration with our partners.”
– Jaret Sprott, Pembina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Facilities, and Executive Sponsor of Fuel 4 Thought

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is committed to the community. We’re always grateful for the opportunity to do our part for the next generation through a variety of investment and donation programs. We believe that the foundation of a community’s healthy future lies in its youngest members and that the support they receive from the start is critical to their long-term development. We are proud to partner with this important initiative to expand breakfast programs in School District No. 52. Breakfast Club of Canada is a proven vehicle to help local children reach their full potential, one breakfast at a time.”
– Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority

“Ridley Terminals is happy to be sponsoring such a great program for students in our community. A good breakfast provides the essential nutrients for our students to start the day with energy in order to concentrate better while in school.”
– Michelle Bryant-Gravelle, Corporate Affairs Manager at Ridley Terminals Inc.

About Breakfast Club of Canada
Founded in 1994, Breakfast Club of Canada is a charitable organization that provides funding, equipment, training and support to school breakfast programs across the country. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Club is dedicated to ensuring every child starts their day with a nutritious morning meal in a safe and secure environment. Accredited by Imagine Canada as a trustworthy charity, Breakfast Club of Canada is present in 1,809 schools from coast to coast, feeding over 243,500 children every school morning. To learn more, visit or find us on social media.

About Pembina Pipeline Corporation
Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation is a leading transportation and midstream service provider that has been serving North America’s energy industry for over 60 years. Pembina owns an integrated system of pipelines that transport various hydrocarbon liquids and natural gas products produced primarily in western Canada. The Company also owns gas gathering and processing facilities and an oil and natural gas liquids infrastructure and logistics business. Pembina’s integrated assets and commercial operations along the majority of the hydrocarbon value chain allow it to offer a full spectrum of midstream and marketing services to the energy sector. Pembina is committed to identifying additional opportunities to connect hydrocarbon production to new demand locations through the development of infrastructure that would extend Pembina’s service offering even further along the hydrocarbon value chain. These new developments will contribute to ensuring that hydrocarbons produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the other basins where Pembina operates can reach the highest value markets throughout the world. For more information, visit

About Prince Rupert Port Authority
The Prince Rupert Port Authority oversees the Port of Prince Rupert, Canada’s leading-edge port in trade growth, maritime safety, environmental stewardship, and community partnership. Its mandate is to facilitate and expand the movement of cargo and passengers through the Port. With the distinct advantage of being the closest North American port to Asia by up to three days, Prince Rupert is uniquely positioned on the shortest trade route between the world’s most dynamic economies—an ideal location to serve shippers and producers, facilitate trade, and grow the Canadian economy.

About Ridley Terminals Inc.
Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) has a reputation of providing professional, reliable, and efficient services to customers, as well as maintaining an excellent safety record. RTI is uniquely positioned to play an important role in supporting exports from North America to meet a growing global demand. RTI offers a high level of quality, reliable and uninterrupted services. Located on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, RTI can offer customer reduced sailing time to Asia; by more than one day compared to Vancouver, and nearly three days vis-à-vis Long Beach, California. It’s 9,000 tonnes per hour ship loading system is the fastest on the West Coast and its berth can handle Cape size vessels up to 250,000 Dead Weight Tonnes. It is a truly World Class facility, with loading rates that can match or exceed the largest terminals in Australia or South Africa.

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For more information:

Breakfast Club of Canada
Justine Plourde
Communications Advisor, Public Relations
1-888-442-1217, ext. 3369

Pembina Pipeline Corporation
Sarah Kenny
Senior Advisor, Communications
403-691-7601 or 1-844-775-6397

Prince Rupert Port Authority
Monika Cote
Manager, Corporate Communications

Ridley Terminals Inc
Cordell Dixon
Vice President, Finance


RNAO: Ont gov’t announces changes to home care services

Ont gov’t announces changes to home care services

RNAO says the Ontario government’s Feb. 25 announcement about changes to home and community care services to advance integrated models of care represents a step in the right direction. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the changes will place home care services, which have been siloed for far too long, side-by-side with primary care, wrapping their important expert services around a person’s needs.

Since the release of its Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians report in 2012, RNAO has urged successive governments to locate the care coordination role and care coordinators in primary care. Care coordination, is by international standards, a core function of primary care and Canada lags behind other jurisdictions for not having care coordinators and health system navigators in primary care.

RNAO will monitor closely that the 4,500 RN care coordinators, currently working for Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN), are transitioned smoothly to primary care settings such Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres and Family Health Teams. RN care coordinators have the expertise and system knowledge to improve patient experience, provide seamless care and help ease transitions when people’s care needs change.

RNAO looks forward to examining the legislation and its regulations in detail, working with the government and health system partners – especially Best Practice Spotlight Organization Ontario Health Teams – to shape integrated systems of care for people in Ontario.


Former premier of Nunavut chosen as new Speaker of legislative assembly – Nunatsiaq News

26 February 2020

Paul Quassa, Nunavut’s former premier, will take a new place in the legislative assembly, this time in the sealskin upholstered Speaker’s chair.

The Aggu MLA was chosen by his fellow MLAs to be the assembly’s new Speaker after a secret ballot this morning.

After MLAs cast their ballots, Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt read out the results, accidentally reading the name of former premier Paul Okalik, instead of Paul Quassa, causing the assembly to erupt with laughter.

The election was triggered by the resignation of Simeon Mikkungwak, who left the job on Feb. 25 for personal reasons.

Along with Quassa, MLAs nominated three others for the position: Tony Akoak, Pauloosie Keyootak and Joelie Kaernerk. Only Quassa and Akoak accepted their nominations.

Read More:

As blockades continue, Kenney tells First Nations they should be partners in projects – CBC

Alberta premier argues energy projects are important path forward for communities

Feb 26, 2020

As blockades continue to pop up across Canada, disrupting rail and road traffic to protest against the Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told a conference on Indigenous participation in large projects Wednesday that First Nations are key partners in pushing energy projects forward.

In what has become a common refrain for Kenney, he said “green left militants” are hurting Indigenous communities by removing any potential for economic growth in their territories.

“These people in Toronto and Vancouver who say shut it all down and leave it in the ground, where is their concern?” he said.

Kenney emphasized the Alberta government’s commitment to supporting Indigenous communities financially through its Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, which offers a $1 billion backstop to allow communities to invest in projects.

Read More:

The Puvirnituq school library is now open to village residents

Puvirnituq, Quebec (February 26, 2020) – It is with immense joy that representatives of Kativik Ilisarniliriniq—the school board of Nunavik, the northern village of Puvirnituq and the Réseau BIBLIO de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-du-Québec (ATNQ) inaugurate today the municipal wing of the school-municipal library located at Iguarsivik School in Puvirnituq. All residents of the village will now have access to books and documentation in 3 languages, which they can borrow or consult on site.

In Puvirnituq, the school library has been in operation since winter 2018. Once teachers and students had tested it out, the library opened its doors to villagers. “This is an extremely positive project for Iguarsivik School,” said School Principal Robert Chauveau. “We want the library to become a welcoming place for sharing. We intend to offer activities that will bring parents, kids, and elders together to share ideas. Our vision with this project is to build a bridge between the school and members of the community,” he added.

The library will announce its activities on the Iguarsivik School Facebook page and on the village’s FM radio. The library hours for village residents are:

  • Wednesday from 5 – 7 pm
  • Saturday from 1 – 3 pm

“We are especially proud of this partnership with Réseau BIBLIO ATNQ. Since 2015, it has allowed us to upgrade the school libraries in some of our facilities, and provide access to a wide range of print and online resources for our students,” said Harriet Keleutak, Director General of Kativik Ilisarniliriniq.

“Réseau BIBLIO ATNQ is proud to have been able to lend its expertise in management and administrative support to Nunavik libraries. We have successfully met the challenge of remotely serving libraries north of the 55th parallel, and we were able to do so while respecting cultural and linguistic diversity,” said Richard Dessureault, President of Réseau BIBLIO de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-du-Québec.

This partnership between the school board and Réseau BIBLIO began in 2015 in Aupaluk, and it gradually developed through collaboration with school principals. The school-municipal development project includes the deposit of approximately 1,000 books in Inuktitut, English and French, the implementation of a new document management software as well as the training and ongoing support of staff responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of the library.

“Without the involvement of teachers and school personnel, such projects would never get off the ground,” said Ms. Keleutak. “I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work that was done in Puvirnituq, as well as in Aupaluk, Kuujjuaq, Salluit and at our documentation centre in Montreal, by all the staff who invested their time in these projects and who continue to ensure the daily operation of these libraries,” she added.

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq and Réseau BIBLIO would like to thank the northern village of Puvirnituq. This project would not have been possible without the financial support of New Paths for Education, a program of Indigenous Services Canada, and of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.

For an overview of the resources accessible at the library, refer to this sheet.

About us:

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq was created in 1975, under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA). Since 1978, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq has been the exclusive provider of academic services to the population of Nunavik. Under the JBNQA, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq is granted the power and jurisdiction to develop and deliver specific educational services and programs that aim to protect, maintain and develop the Inuit language, culture and way of life. The education programs developed by the school board are offered in all schools of the 14 Nunavik communities, in Inuktitut as first language and in French and English as second languages. The school board operates 17 primary and secondary schools as well as 6 adult education centres. For more information, visit:

The Réseau BIBLIO de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue et du Nord-du-Québec (ATNQ) offers public libraries in the 70 regions served a multitude of services to help them successfully achieve their library mandates as well as support in all aspects of library management. In addition to deposited books, online services are available 24/7 including more than 5,000 digital books in English and French, a vast choice of digital magazines in 60 languages, access to locally available books via the special request service, and World Book, an encyclopedia for young people. For more information:

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For additional information, please contact:

Jade Duchesneau-Bernier
Communications Coordinator

Cloé Gingras, Réseau BIBLIO ATNQ,

Michel Desfossés, Réseau BIBLIO ATNQ


NUPGE: Indigenous solidarity needed now more than ever

“I encourage meaningful nation-to-nation dialogue…Respect, not force is the key to resolution.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (26 Feb. 2020) — On February 8, 2019, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) joined the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia in opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline and called on the British Columbia government to respect Indigenous title and revoke permits for the pipeline.

Today, one year later, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responds with violence and arrests against the Mohawk people and their allies who remain in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

Need for meaningful nation-to-nation dialogue

The OPP arrested land defenders and their allies on the morning of February 24, 2020 as they were waiting on an expected announcement that the RCMP would be leaving unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, one of the conditions for ending the blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas called on the parties to negotiate to resolve the dispute.

“I encourage meaningful nation-to-nation dialogue and a mediated settlement at the table. Let’s take the time necessary to demonstrate mutual respect and an understanding of the underlying issues. Respect, not force is the key to resolution.”

Peaceful defense of land, water

OPSEU Indigenous Circle member Crystal Sinclair was at the Unis’to’ten camp in January 2019 and witnessed the RCMP crackdown on those defending unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. She remains an active supporter of the land defenders and water protectors opposed to the pipeline.

Sinclair considers it “a national disgrace for the OPP to use force against Indigenous people peacefully exercising their sovereignty over their lands.”

“The RCMP must leave Wet’suwet’en/Unis’to’ten land now and the OPP must end its raid on Tyendinaga Mohawk territory as a step toward a peaceful resolution of this conflict.”

OPSEU/NUPGE supports Indigenous rights, sovereignty

President Thomas says he and the OPSEU Executive Board are champions of Indigenous rights and sovereignty, saying the union stands with Indigenous members of OPSEU/NUPGE to defend water and land for everyone.

“OPSEU is absolutely committed to walking with Indigenous communities over the long haul—and we invite all levels of government to do the same,” he said.

“We need to have a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples to bring about real action on climate change. Overrunning sovereign Indigenous lands to lay down a massive pipeline certainly won’t achieve that.”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada’s largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE


Musqueam and Langara Establish Special Advisor Role

Feb 26, 2020

Vancouver, BC – To support their expanding working relationship, today Musqueam and Langara College have named Gail Sparrow Special Advisor to the President snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College. In this newly-created role, Ms. Sparrow will provide advice and support, and assist Langara in working with Musqueam on cultural and protocol issues.

“For some time now, Langara has come together with Musqueam to both share our culture with their students and employees, and provide educational training and services to our community. This new Advisor role will help us to expand the good work we are doing together,” said Wayne Sparrow, Chief of the Musqueam First Nation.

Based at Musqueam, and funded by Langara, the Special Advisor will facilitate linkages and planning between Musqueam and the College, advise Langara on the educational activities and needs of the Musqueam community, support Musqueam student success, participate in events and celebrations, and coordinate the participation of Elders in Residence and other Musqueam Cultural Leaders on campus. Overall, the role will work to enhance the positive working relationship between Musqueam and snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College for their mutual benefit.

“Gail has been such a great friend to Langara. Her important place in her community, combined with her experience at Langara, make her the ideal person to serve in this crucial role, as we deepen our engagement with Musqueam,” said Dr. Lane Trotter, President and CEO, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College.

Gail Sparrow is a former Chief of the Musqueam First Nation. An alumna of Langara, she currently serves as an Elder-in-Residence at the College, helping to provide a supportive environment for Indigenous students. She played a key role in strengthening the connection between Musqueam and the College, educating the Langara community on the history, culture, and teachings of the Musqueam and the land on which the College is located. Ms. Sparrow was also instrumental in Langara receiving its Musqueam name, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, which means house of teachings. This past November she was named a 49 Langaran, one of 49 remarkable people celebrated by the College as part of its Beyond 49 anniversary campaign.

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located. Langara is celebrating its 49th year on West 49th Avenue with Beyond 49, an integrated celebration, alumni engagement, and fundraising campaign to reconnect with alumni, and raise funds for student support and important College initiatives. Learn more.

Learn more.
Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs


Québec government and James Bay Cree promote mineral exploration with $4.7 billion development deal – CIM Magazine

“La Grande Alliance” will help to develop northern infrastructure and protect wildlife in future James Bay projects

February 26, 2020

On Feb. 17 the Québec government and James Bay Cree signed a $4.7 billion memorandum of understanding to facilitate transportation for resource extraction industries, as well as initiatives to improve standard of living and protection of the territory.

The three-phase deal – part of a mandate known as “La Grande Alliance” – is the product of over a year of consultations within the Cree Nation Government and Cree community chiefs, and with the Québec government. Some of the benefits of the plan include the creation of new jobs, increasing the value of Quebec’s natural resources and “positioning Quebec at the center of the global mining sector, especially [in] lithium.”

“In Québec, exploration companies have been working with Cree communities for decades,” Valérie Fillion, executive director at the Québec Mineral Exploration Association, told CIM Magazine. “When we talk about access to the territory, [sharing] the maintenance of existing infrastructures [and constructing needed ones], in a thoughtful way, is important.”

Read More:

Thousands of visitors expected for games in PA – paNOW

Prince Albert city council has approved $75,000 worth of funding for a massive sporting event coming to P.A. this spring.

The Tony Cote Winter Games will feature over 3,000 athletes aged 10 to 18 from 74 First Nations across Saskatchewan.

This year’s annual event is being jointly hosted by James Smith Cree Nation, Sturgeon Lake First Nation and Wahpeton Dakota Nation from April 12 to 17.

Games manager, Tami McKenzie told paNOW every hotel in the city is booked for the weeklong competition. Organizers even secured accommodation in Warman, Melfort and Shellbrook to house the up to 10,000 athletes, coaches and spectators set to descend on the city.

Read More:

What’s Going on Here?: Beausoleil First Nation rebuilding mainland wharf –

Work has begun on the reconstruction of Beausoleil First Nation’s Cedar Point wharf in preparation for the new ferry that is on order with an expected delivery date of June, 2021.

In order to accommodate the 50-metre vehicle/passenger ferry, the wharfs at Cedar Point and Christian Island need to be reconstructed.

* The overall cost of the ferry and wharf work is projected to be approximately $30 million. The ferry is costing $18.8 million and the estimated cost of the two wharf projects is close to $12 million.

• The Cedar Point pier is being elongated to 52 metres, and widened to 12 metres.

• New steel piling is forming the structure around the old piling.

• The existing concrete deck will be removed and rebuilt and the electrical service will be updated.

Read More:

Government of the Northwest Territories Releases 2020-21 Budget

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek released the Government of the Northwest Territories’ 2020-21 Budget, the first budget of the 19th Legislative Assembly.

Total revenues of $2.19 billion are expected in 2020-21, along with total expenditures of $1.98 billion, which include departmental spending, infrastructure contributions, and other items. The 2020-21 surplus is forecast to be $203 million.

Revised estimates project a 2019‑20 deficit of $70 million. Projected surpluses in the medium-term outlook are anticipated to decline to $3 million in 2023‑24.

Budget 2020 proposes a spending increase of $94 million compared to Budget 2019. This includes $61 million for program enhancements, of which $39 million reflects collective bargaining increases for departments and health authorities, and $6 million for the continued implementation of initiatives from the 18th Assembly. Another $40 million in new spending is supported by $29 million of federal transfers. Programs concluding offset new expenditures by $15 million.

There are no new taxes in Budget 2020. Some fees and taxes will continue to be indexed to inflation, in keeping with the GNWT’s policy of doing so where practicable. As previously announced, the federal carbon tax will increase to $30 per tonne from $20 on July 1, 2020. Revenue from carbon pricing will continue to be recycled to NWT residents and businesses.


“Budget 2020 represents the first step in our plan to advance the 22 priorities identified by the 19th Assembly. We see today’s budget as a cautious and optimistic step forward to renew our commitment to program evaluation and better planning so that we can deliver essential programs and services more effectively. We are committed to an approach that ensures we are getting value for money while building relationships with other governments and stakeholders towards a prosperous and sustainable Northwest Territories.”

– Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2020 forecasts an operating surplus of $203 million after a $70 million projected deficit in 2019‑20.
  • Budget 2020 will see $94 million in increased spending compared to Budget 2019: $6 million to fund ongoing measures from the 18th Legislative Assembly; $61 million to enhance or maintain existing programs; $2 million in amortization and $40 million for other spending adjustments, supported by federal transfers and $15 million in savings.
  • Debt will rise because capital investment is funded from the surplus and borrowing. Debt is expected to exceed the federally imposed borrowing limit of $1.3 billion by 2021-22. The GNWT’s debt level remains affordable.

Relevant Links:

Media Contact:

Todd Sasaki

Media and Communications Coordinator

Government of the Northwest Territories

Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 15015



Brandon U – Louis Riel portrait will hang in Louis Riel Room

February 25, 2020

Brandon University’s Louis Riel Room will now feature a large portrait of its namesake. During local Louis Riel Day celebrations, which were hosted at BU on Monday, Feb. 17, the Manitoba Métis Federation presented a portrait of the famed Métis leader to BU.

The large framed portrait will soon be displayed in the Louis Riel Room, which is adjacent to BU’s main dining hall, Harvest Hall. Formerly known as the BU Private Dining Room, it was renamed the Louis Riel Room in 2008 in recognition of the continued support from the MMF and the Louis Riel Institute. The room is often used for meetings, small receptions and events.

Riel’s legacy is an important one that resonates today, said BU President David Docherty. He accepted the portrait from the MMF’s Leah La Plante, vice-president of the MMF Southwest Region.

The portrait presentation was just one part of a full afternoon of Louis Riel Day celebrations on campus. Free hot dogs, live musical entertainment, jigging, and an outdoor firepit with bannock on a stick were also featured.
Contact Us

Communications Office
Room 21, Clark Hall
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, Manitoba
R7A 6A9

Phone: (204) 727-9762


We Are the Stronghold – Solidarity Concert for Wet’suwet’en in Tkaronto February 27!

In solidarity with action taking place on unceded and sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory and in support of the hereditary chiefs and land defenders holding the line, The International Indigenous Music Summit launches WE ARE THE STRONGHOLD: A call to action for Music, Ceremony & Celebration.

WE ARE THE STRONGHOLD now shares its lineup, which includes musicians, poets, speakers and community leaders. More info to come.


WE ARE THE STRONGHOLD: Music, Ceremony & Celebration is a multi-location concert series and social media event in appreciation of the transformational work being done now on behalf of future generations. WE ARE THE STRONGHOLD events include a benefit concert at The Great Hall, Tkaronto on Thursday, February 27. Proceeds will support RAVEN TRUST, the legal defense fund of Wet’suwet’en protectors of land, air and water. Buy tickets or donate here.


This collective action, inspired by a vision of peace and unity, opens spaces where everyone is welcomed to participate in a global movement of solidarity and empowerment. Information on partner events, lineup details, the Global Round Dance and more will be announced soon.

“We are very proud to be a part of an amazing network of artists and creatives around the globe who are answering the call for peaceful and respectful action,” says ShoShona Kish, International Indigenous Music Summit and We Are The Stronghold organizer. “This is the movement of our time. Our collective response to the critical issues of Indigenous rights, climate change, and the growing political and social divisiveness, will be our legacy. We stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en and raise our voices for the land, the water, and past, present and future generations.”


The International Indigenous Music Summit recently took place in Bulbancha/New Orleans for its second gathering. The Summit welcomed Indigenous creators, leaders, Elders, community members and allied industry members for expansive roundtable discussions and artist showcases to imagine, connect and work towards fostering a music industry model rooted in Indigenous experiences and values. WE ARE THE STRONGHOLD is an exciting organic extension of the Summit’s work to amplify and hold space for collaboration and collective action in support of Wet’suwet’en.


RAVEN engages people to donate, organize, and crowdfund to provide financial resources so that Indigenous Nations in Canada can access the justice system. We stand behind Nations who take legal action when industrial development threatens traditional ways of life, human rights, or the ecological balance upon which we all depend.

When crafting a legal strategy to push back against Coastal Gas Link and assert their rights in court, Wet’suwet’en clan and hereditary leaders reached out to RAVEN and asked for the organization’s support.

After the legal advisory board, comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous lawyers and legal scholars, examined the legal challenges, RAVEN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, committing to fundraise on their behalf for two legal challenges.

For more information about the case and beneficiary organization, RAVEN, please email Ana Simeon


A Place to Start From: Why We Launched the Home Ownership Program – Backwoods Energy

TS Eliot once wrote that home is where one starts from. The line is in East Coker, Eliot’s second poem in Four Quartets. It establishes the emotional anchoring of home – the familiar in which we are based before we head off into a strange world.

The fortunate can understand the emotional appeal of home; we can sense the sights, smells and sounds of our childhood. But home is more than the location of our emotional grounding. For the vast majority of people on the planet, it is also the epicentre of financial wellbeing, the main family financial asset. Home is the place where financial security begins.

Recently, Backwoods launched a first time home ownership program for our employees. As part of the program, we will provide a one-time grossed up payment of 100% of the employees’ savings in their RRSP to a maximum of $10,000. There will also be an incentive of $2,000 per year of employment to a maximum incentive of $10,000. Employees who undertake the program will go through financial literacy training to ensure the decision is right for them.

Read More:

First Nation communities look forward to the new leadership at UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service – Manitoulin Expositor

February 26, 2020

M’CHIGEENG – A new era in policing Manitoulin Island’s First Nation UCCMM communities began last Wednesday, February 19 with a sunrise ceremony and pipe ceremony to welcome new Chief of Police Faron Whiteye. The UCCM Police Service is celebrating its 25th year of working closely with the six First Nations communities it serves and the ceremony at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng was well represented by elders, community leaders and members of the police service who welcomed Chief Whiteye and offered advice.

The official swearing in ceremony began at 11 am at M’Chigeeng’s Community Complex with Pat Mahdabee acting as master of ceremonies.

An honour song was performed by Ngwaaganak MMAK Drum Group (Lakeview School) and Elizabeth Laford offered an opening prayer. Police Commission Chair Peter Nahwegabho provided welcoming remarks on behalf of the Commission. He thanked Mr. Mahdabee, a former chief and retired Grand Council Chief of the Union of Ontario Indians. He thanked the youth for their song and “all the people who put this together—Irene, Taylor, Evelyn, all the administrative staff and the officers who are all here, and I want to acknowledge the help of the community members who are here.” He then welcomed Chief Whiteye “from the heart” saying, “the commission extends its welcome for your gift in accepting our request to become our new leader.”

Read More:

PE Government: Applications being accepted for Seniors’ Secretariat grants

Organizations and communities that work to improve the lives of Island seniors can now apply for provincial government funding.

Applications are being accepted for 2020-2021 PEI Seniors’ Secretariat grants until April 8, 2020. The grants provide up to $5,000 per project to organizations or groups interested in enriching the lives of seniors. Groups eligible for funding include non-profit organizations, community-based coalitions, networks, municipal governments, band/tribal councils, and other Aboriginal organizations in Prince Edward Island.

“The PEI Seniors’ Secretariat plays a big role in enhancing the lives of seniors across Prince Edward Island. These grants help promote healthy, active aging and foster social connectedness and inclusion of seniors in our communities. I encourage individuals and organizations to bring forward their ideas and apply for the PEI Seniors’ Secretariat Grant.”

– Social Development and Housing Minister Ernie Hudson

Preference will be given to projects that promote:
–    positive images of aging and support healthy aging;
–    personal safety and financial security;
–    social inclusion and participation; and
–    support for aging in place (in home and community).

For more information and to apply, visit PEI Seniors’ Secretariat Grant, or email (link sends e-mail) or call the seniors line at 1-866-770-0588.

Media contact:
April Gallant
Department of Social Development and Housing
902-620-3409 (link sends e-mail)


Private sector firms still facing hiring difficulties: 434,000 jobs went unfilled in Q4 2019

Toronto, February 26, 2020 – Canada’s private sector continued to face a record-high job vacancy rate of 3.2 per cent for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Help Wanted report. In total, 434,000 private sector jobs sat vacant for at least four months in the fourth quarter of 2019—2,400 more than Q3 2019 and 9,000 more than a year ago.

“Industry and geography play a role in vacancy rates, but factors like business size, growth intensions and future outlook, as well as the kinds of positions they are trying to fill are ultimately more influential,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist. “While high vacancy rates tell us that there are a lot of businesses looking to grow, they also pose additional cost and productivity pressures on those businesses that may have to forego contracts or capital investments while they try to staff up.”

Employers with at least one vacant position expected to push average organization-wide wage levels up by 2.0 per cent in Q4, compared to the 1.4 per cent increase planned by businesses with no vacancies.

Job vacancies by province
Quebec (4.1 per cent) and British Columbia (3.6 per cent) continued the trend of posting the highest vacancy rates in the country. Ontario maintained its 3.2 per cent vacancy rate along the national average and New Brunswick came in just under at 3.0 per cent. Nova Scotia (2.5 per cent) and Newfoundland & Labrador (2.4 per cent) were the only provinces to post increases, gaining 0.1 per cent each over last quarter. Vacancy rates in Manitoba (2.4 per cent), Saskatchewan (2.2 per cent), Alberta (2.1 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (1.9 per cent) did not change and remained below the national average.

Provinces Vacancy rate Change Unfilled jobs
Quebec 4.1% 123,500
British Columbia 3.6% 66,900
Ontario 3.2% 171,500
New Brunswick 3.0% 7,300
Nova Scotia 2.5% +0.1% 7,900
Manitoba 2.4% 10,600
Newfoundland & Labrador 2.4% +0.1% 3,500
Saskatchewan 2.2% 7,300
Alberta 2.1% 34,500
Prince Edward Island 1.9% 900

Job vacancies by industry
The personal services industry, which includes businesses like hairdressers, mechanics and dry cleaners, continued to post the highest vacancy rates, seeing a 0.2 per cent increase over last quarter to 5.1 per cent. Construction followed at 4.3 per cent, despite a decrease in vacancies. Hospitality (4.2 per cent), professional services (3.7 per cent) and health services (3.6 per cent) all saw increases and posted rates above the national average. The lowest vacancy rates were in the natural resources (2.0 per cent) and finance (2.3 per cent) sectors.

For information on the overall results by province and industry, please consult the Q4 2019 Help Wanted report.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
[email protected]

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at


Jessica Matten | Talking Tribal, APTN’s new Indigenous crime drama – The GATE

Tribal is APTN’s fiery new crime drama, and it’s one of the most interesting shows on TV this season.

Created by Ron E. Scott (Blackstone), Tribal stars Jessica Matten as Interim Chief Sam Woodburn, and features an almost completely Indigenous cast.

Matten is fierce and completely down-to-Earth as Sam, a tribal police officer forced to take charge as her department is pushed into a partnership with the city police.

She’s teamed up with Chuck “Buke” Bukansky, played by Brian Markinson, a seasoned, but frankly sexist and racist officer with a lot of baggage. Somehow though, Sam puts up with him, and they work together because they both want to close cases.

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Iconic Indigenous musician and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie to receive 10th Annual Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award – Anishinabek News

TORONTO–Canadian Music Week is pleased to announce Buffy Sainte-Marie as the 2020 recipient of the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award. Buffy will be honoured for her work over the last 60 years as a trailblazing musician, activist and educator at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala at Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

“Buffy Sainte-Marie sets the bar for everything the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award stands for,” said Gary Slaight, CEO and President of Slaight Communications/Slaight Family Foundation. “For her, worldwide success and the status of music legend was not a personal goal, but an opportunity – an opportunity to try to right wrongs, an opportunity to give back to the planet, and an opportunity to alter the course of Indigenous lives through education.”

Fuelled by her dedication to music, art, philanthropy, social activism, and education, Buffy Sainte-Marie has been active in the music industry for nearly 60 years. Thought to be born in Saskatchewan on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Buffy Sainte-Marie was adopted to American parents and grew up in Massachusetts. This is where she discovered piano at a young age, and fostered her talents for music by composing songs and learning to play guitar. When she emerged onto the music stage in the 1960’s folk era, she was already writing diverse songs that would become international classics in country, rock, jazz, and pop.

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Kahnawake says it doesn’t recognize injunction issued against Mohawk land defenders – APTN News

February 25, 2020

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke says it doesn’t recognize a Quebec court issued injunction against land defenders blocking Canadian Pacific (CP) owned railways that pass through its territory.

“It is truly unfortunate that CP is taking this rash course of action, which will only add to the problems at hand,” said Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton in a press release sent Tuesday evening.

The press release also says that their local police, the Kahnawake Peacekeepers, are the only policing agency with jurisdiction in Kahnawake who can enforce the injunction against the activists who have been blocking the train tracks for over two weeks.

“No one here will do Trudeau’s dirty work,” added Norton. “Our people have been peacefully protesting on our own Territory.”

Read More:

Resolute to Hold its Annual Meeting of Stockholders on May 12, 2020

MONTREAL, Feb. 25, 2020 – Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) will hold its annual meeting of stockholders on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern), at the Delta Hotels Saguenay Conference Centre, located at 2675 Royaume Boulevard, Saguenay, Quebec.

Owners of Resolute common stock at the close of business on March 16, 2020, the record date for the annual meeting, will be entitled to vote their shares.

About Resolute Forest Products

Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers, which are marketed in close to 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices. Visit for more information.

For further information: Investors: Remi G. Lalonde, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 514 394-2345,; Media and Others: Seth Kursman, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Government Affairs, 514 394-2398,


Northland Power Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2020 – Northland Power Inc. (“Northland” or the “Company”) (TSX: NPI) today reported financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2019.

“Our fourth quarter and full year 2019 results reflect another strong year for Northland, highlighted by expansion into Latin America through our first solar power project in Mexico and the acquisition of our first regulated utility in Colombia,” noted Mike Crawley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northland. “We also established a joint venture partnership to pursue offshore wind projects in Japan, and acquired an early stage development company in South Korea, both key target markets for continued growth.”


2019 Financial Results

  • Sales increased 7% to $1,659 million from $1,556 million in 2018 and gross profit increased 7% to $1,543 million from $1,441 million primarily due to pre-completion revenues at Deutsche Bucht and higher overall production at all the operating facilities. This positive performance was partially offset by wholesale market prices below the contractual floor price (“SDE floor”) at Gemini as well as the effect of unfavourable foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Gross profit was also favourably enhanced by lower gas transportation costs at thermal facilities.
  • Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure) increased 10% to $985 million from $891 million in 2018 primarily due to the same factors that increased sales and gross profit. Adjusted EBITDA of $985 million was at the upper end of the 2019 guidance range of $950 to $1,000 million.
  • Free cash flow per share (a non-IFRS measure) decreased 7% to $1.77 from $1.90 in 2018 primarily as a result of higher scheduled principal debt repayments and increased offshore wind development activities, partially offset by lower net interest expense from amortizing debt. Free cash flow per share was at the upper end of the 2019 guidance range of $1.65 to $1.80 per share.
  • Net income increased 11% to $452 million from $406 million in 2018 due to increases in gross profit and non-cash fair value gains on derivative contracts partially offset by a non-cash impairment loss at Deutsche Bucht.

Sales, gross profit and net income, as reported under IFRS, include consolidated results of entities not wholly-owned by Northland, whereas the above non-IFRS measures, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow, only include Northland’s proportionate interest. Refer to Northland’s 2019 Annual Report for additional information on 2019 results.

Construction, Development and Acquisitions Update

  • Acquisition of Offshore Wind Development Company in South Korea – On February 24, 2020, Northland announced the acquisition of Dado Ocean Wind Farm Co., Ltd (“Dado Ocean”), an offshore wind development company based in Korea with rights to multiple early-stage development sites off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula.
  • Acquisition of EBSA – On January 14, 2020, Northland completed its previously announced acquisition of a 99.2% interest in the Colombian regulated power distribution utility, Empresa de Energía de Boyacá S.A E.S.P (“EBSA”), for a total purchase price of COP 2,412 billion ($960 million) including existing debt of COP 550 billion (approximately $219 million) (the “EBSA Acquisition”). The EBSA Acquisition was subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of approval by the local regulator of EBSA’s proposed tariff for the next regulatory period. Pursuant to the share purchase agreement, the purchase price was adjusted to COP 2,412 billion ($960 million) from COP 2,665 billion ($1.05 billion) based on the tariff resolution issued by the regulator in December 2019, and remains subject to post-closing adjustments to the purchase price following a review of the tariff resolution.
  • Deutsche Bucht – 269 MW offshore wind project, North Sea, Germany – Construction of the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind project was highlighted by the installation of all 31 monopile foundations and turbines, ahead of schedule, and generating power by the end of September 2019, earning $96 million of pre-completion revenues in sales in 2019. Installation of the two turbines utilizing mono bucket foundations (“Demonstrator Project”) was paused in the fourth quarter of 2019 following the identification of technical issues. A thorough evaluation of the cause of the technical issues is ongoing and there is a possibility that the Demonstrator Project may not proceed. As a result of the uncertainty, Northland recorded a non-cash impairment loss of $98 million for project costs incurred to date associated with the Demonstrator Project. The total estimated project cost remains at approximately €1.4 billion ($2.0 billion).
  • Joint venture for offshore wind projects in Japan – In November 2019, Northland signed an agreement with Shizen Energy Inc. (“Shizen Energy”) to jointly establish Chiba Offshore Wind Inc. (“Chiba”) to develop early stage offshore wind development opportunities in Japan. The prospective projects have an expected combined capacity of approximately 600 MW. Northland and Shizen Energy intend to collaborate to further develop these and other opportunities.
  • La Lucha – 130 MW solar project, Durango, Mexico – In May 2019, Northland started construction of the La Lucha 130 MW solar project in the State of Durango, Mexico. The project is progressing according to schedule and on track with estimated project costs. Total capital cost for the project is expected to be $190 million with project completion anticipated in the second half of 2020. Negotiation of bilateral power contracts continues with qualified providers of retail electricity services in Mexico (“Qualified Suppliers”) for delivery of energy and clean energy certificates to commercial and industrial off-takers and is expected to be finalized prior to project completion.
  • Hai Long – 1,044 MW offshore wind project, Taiwan Strait – Since the execution of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Taipower for the Hai Long 2A 300 MW offshore wind project in February 2019, Northland continues to develop Hai Long 2B and Hai Long 3 sub-projects allocated a total of 744 MW under auction in 2018 and expects to execute their respective PPAs in 2020.


  • Change to Northland’s Chair of the Board – In December 2019, Northland announced that John W. Brace was named Chair of the Board. James C. Temerty stepped down as Chair but will continue to serve as a Director of the Company. Mr. Brace joined Northland in 1988, shortly after the Company was founded. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2003 and served in the role until his retirement in 2018. Mr. Brace helped steer Northland through many of its projects and initiatives and its growth over his tenure as CEO. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018 where he has continued his involvement in the future success of the Company.
Summary of Consolidated Results
(in thousands of dollars, except per share amounts) Three months ended December 31, Year ended December 31,
2019 2018 2019 2018
Sales $ 438,178 $ 380,863 $ 1,658,977 $ 1,555,587
Gross profit 405,818 351,130 1,542,689 1,441,366
Operating income 203,267 170,686 813,700 732,848
Net income (loss) 60,669 65,251 451,754 405,508
Adjusted EBITDA (1) 272,715 221,275 984,736 891,484
Cash provided by operating activities 333,626 291,160 1,224,415 1,133,884
Free cash flow (1) 67,355 88,659 318,480 337,623
Cash dividends paid to common and class A shareholders 54,130 44,147 216,373 163,605
Total dividends declared (2) 54,131 53,538 216,396 212,353
Per share information
Weighted average number of shares – basic (000s) 180,434 178,031 180,322 177,757
Net income (loss) – basic $ 0.23 $ 0.23 $ 1.71 $ 1.50
Free cash flow – basic (1) $ 0.37 $ 0.50 $ 1.77 $ 1.90
Total dividends declared (2) $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 1.20 $ 1.20
Electricity production in gigawatt hours (GWh) 2,666 2,359 9,060 8,254
(1) Refer to the Non-IFRS Financial Measures section of this press release for additional information.
(2) Represents total dividends declared to common and class A shareholders including dividends in cash or in shares under the dividend re-investment plan (DRIP). For 2019, cash dividends equal total dividends since shares under the DRIP are sourced from the secondary market.

Fourth Quarter Results Summary

Offshore wind facilities

Electricity production, including pre-completion production, increased 22% or 248 GWh compared to the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to pre-completion production from Deutsche Bucht partially offset by lower wind resource in the North Sea and unpaid curtailments at Nordsee One due to grid repairs by the system operator and periods of negative market pricing.

Sales of $271 million increased 23% or $50 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to factors affecting production, partially offset by lower wholesale market prices at Gemini and unfavourable foreign exchange rate fluctuations of $9 million. Operating income and adjusted EBITDA of $152 million and $193 million, respectively were 31% or $36 million and 45% or $60 million higher than the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to higher sales and lower operating costs.

Thermal facilities

Electricity production increased 7% or 64 GWh compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to an increase in off-peak production and the sale of continued enhancement of capacity at North Battleford in 2019, increased dispatches at Thorold and the effect of a maintenance outage in 2018 at another Northland facility.

Sales of $113 million increased 5% or $6 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to higher production and the sale of continued enhancement of capacity at North Battleford partially offset by lower cost of sales at Thorold resulting in lower reimbursements by the counterparty. Operating income of $58 million increased 3% or $2 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to favourable operating results at Iroquois Falls and North Battleford. Adjusted EBITDA of $71 million decreased 3% or $2 million primarily due to the sale of one of Northland’s managed facilities in 2018 which offset the increase in operating income.

On-shore renewable facilities

Electricity production in GWh was in line with the same quarter of 2018, noting lower wind resource but higher solar resource. Sales of $50 million increased 5% or $2 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to higher production at the solar facilities. Production variances at the solar facilities have a larger effect on sales than the wind facilities since solar facilities receive a higher contracted price per MW. Operating income and adjusted EBITDA of $21 million and $32 million, respectively, increased 22% or $4 million and 7% or $2 million primarily due to higher production at the solar facilities and lower costs at certain wind facilities.

General and administrative (G&A) costs

G&A costs of $30 million increased 37% or $8 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to an increasing level of project development activities, including the Hai Long offshore wind project, and higher personnel costs to support Northland’s growth.

Finance costs

Net finance costs of $94 million increased 13% or $11 million compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to the amortization of deferred financing costs related to the subscription receipts, partially offset by declining interest costs as a result of scheduled principal repayments on facility-level loans and the redemption of convertible debentures in December 2018.

Impairment of property, plant and equipment

Impairment of property, plant and equipment of $98 million was recorded due to a non-cash impairment loss for project costs incurred to date associated with the Demonstrator Project at Deutsche Bucht.

Fair value gain on derivative contracts

Fair value gain on derivative contracts was $52 million compared to a $2 million loss in the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to the favourable movement in Colombian pesos foreign exchange contracts and natural gas forward contracts.

Net income

Net income of $61 million decreased 7% or $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter of 2018 primarily as a result of the factors described above, partially offset by a $27 million lower tax expense.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA of $273 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 23% or $51 million higher than the fourth quarter of 2018. The significant factor increasing adjusted EBITDA includes:

  • $77 million increase as a result of net pre-completion revenues at Deutsche Bucht.

Factors partially offsetting the increase in adjusted EBITDA include:

  • $10 million decrease in operating results from Gemini due to lower wind resource and wholesale market price below the SDE floor, partially offset by lower insurance costs;
  • $9 million increase in corporate items in adjusted EBITDA primarily due to an increasing level of project development activities, including the Hai Long offshore wind project, and higher personnel costs to support Northland’s growth; and
  • $7 million decrease in operating results from Nordsee One primarily due to lower wind resource, unpaid curtailment resulting from grid repairs by the system operator and periods of negative market pricing, partially offset by lower costs from operating efficiencies.

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow of $67 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 24% or $21 million lower than the fourth quarter of 2018.

Factors decreasing free cash flow include:

  • $18 million decrease in overall earnings primarily due to the factors affecting adjusted EBITDA except net pre-completion revenues from Deutsche Bucht, which are excluded from free cash flow; and
  • $8 million increase in corporate G&A primarily due to an increasing level of project development activities, including the Hai Long offshore wind project, and higher personnel costs to support Northland’s growth.

The factor partially offsetting the decrease in free cash flow was a $5 million decrease in net interest expense due to a lower outstanding balance of amortizing debt and the redemption of the convertible debentures in December 2018.

As at December 31, 2019, the rolling four quarter free cash flow net payout ratio was 68%, calculated on the basis of cash dividends paid and on the basis of total dividends, compared to 48% and 63%, respectively, in 2018. The increase in the free cash flow payout ratio calculated on the basis of cash from 2018 was primarily due to an increase in the number of shares due to the redemption of the convertible debentures in December 2018 and also due to a decrease in the DRIP participation since the discount was reduced to nil effective December 2018.


Northland actively pursues new sustainable infrastructure opportunities that encompass a range of clean technologies, including wind, solar and natural gas power generation as well as electricity grid networks.

Northland’s development strategy focuses on creating high-quality projects underpinned by revenue arrangements that deliver predictable cash flows. Management actively seeks to invest in technologies and jurisdictions where Northland can benefit from an early-mover advantage and establish a meaningful presence. As such, the 2020 guidance range reflects higher development expenses in pursuit of the Company’s continued execution of its global growth strategy. This includes expenditures related to the development and advancement of Hai Long, the new joint venture in Japan and other offshore wind projects.

Adjusted EBITDA

In 2020, management expects adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion. 2020 adjusted EBITDA is expected to be higher relative to the revised 2019 guidance primarily due to the following factors (all amounts approximate):

  • Incremental contribution from Deutsche Bucht for a full year of operations, excluding the Demonstrator Project ($140 million to $155 million increase); and
  • Contributions from La Lucha, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, and from newly acquired EBSA based on the final tariff expected, assuming an average exchange rate of COP 2,512/CAD ($100 million to $105 million increase).

Factors partially offsetting the increase in 2020 adjusted EBITDA include:

  • Lower anticipated contribution from thermal facilities primarily due to stronger than expected performance in 2019 and one-time costs expected in 2020 ($15 million to $20 million impact);
  • Lower assumed market prices at Gemini and higher unpaid curtailments at Nordsee One ($5 million to $20 million impact) assuming an average foreign exchange rate of CAD$1.49/Euro; and
  • Higher G&A costs primarily due to increased level of development activities ($40 million to $50 million impact).

Free Cash Flow

In 2020, management expects free cash flow per share to be in the range of $1.70 to $2.05 per share. 2020 free cash flow per share is adjusted from the revised 2019 guidance primarily due to the following factors (all amounts approximate):

  • Contribution from Deutsche Bucht for the full year including one-time excess pre-completion revenue from 2019, net of partial year principal debt repayments, and excluding the Demonstrator Project ($120 million to $130 million); and
  • Contributions from La Lucha, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, and from newly acquired EBSA based on the final tariff expected ($30 million to $35 million increase).

Factors partially offsetting the increase in expected free cash flow include:

  • Lower assumed market prices and higher taxes at Gemini and higher unpaid curtailments at Nordsee One ($10 million to $20 million impact);
  • Lower anticipated contribution from thermal facilities primarily due to stronger than expected performance in 2019 and one-time costs expected in 2020 ($10 million to $15 million impact);
  • Higher G&A costs primarily due to increased level of development activities ($40 million to $50 million impact);
  • Higher scheduled principal debt repayments at certain operating facilities ($20 million impact);
  • Higher interest on corporate borrowings primarily due to the EBSA Acquisition funding offset by lower interest on the 2020 Debentures, maturing in mid-2020 ($5 million impact); and
  • An increase in the weighted average number of common shares outstanding as a result of the subscription receipts offering associated with the EBSA Acquisition and the maturity of the 2020 Debentures.

The 2020 development expenses are expected to total $0.45 to $0.50 of 2020 free cash flow per share, including Hai Long development costs and development overhead, an increase from a total of $0.24 per share in 2019.

Adoption of advance notice by-law

Northland also announced the adoption by its board of directors of an advance notice by-law (the “Advance Notice By-law”), establishing a framework for advance notice of nominations of directors by shareholders of the Company. Among other things, the Advance Notice By-law sets deadlines by which shareholders must submit a notice of director nominations to the Company prior to any meeting of shareholders where directors are to be elected and sets forth the information that must be included in such notice. The Advance Notice By-law has been prepared to meet the guidelines of proxy advisory firms, including Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis, and the requirements of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and is similar to the advance notice by-laws adopted by many other Canadian public companies.

The Advance Notice By-law is effective and will be placed before shareholders for approval at the next annual and special meeting of shareholders scheduled to be held on May 22, 2020 (the “Meeting”). If shareholders do not approve and ratify the Advance Notice By-Law by way of an ordinary resolution, it will terminate and no longer be valid. A copy of the Advance Notice By-law will be available under the Company’s profile at and a copy and a summary of the Advance Notice By-Law will be included in the management information circular that the Company will file on SEDAR in connection with the upcoming Meeting.

Earnings Conference Call

Northland will hold an earnings conference call on February 26, 2020, to discuss its 2019 fourth quarter results. Mike Crawley, Northland’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Bradley, Northland’s Chief Financial Officer, will discuss the financial results and company developments before opening the call to questions from analysts and shareholders.

Conference call details are as follows:
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:00 a.m. ET
Toll free (North America):   (866) 864-6943
Toll free (International):      (949) 877-3040

The call will also be broadcast live on the internet, in listen-only mode and may be accessed on For those unable to attend the live call, an audio recording will be available on on February 27, 2020.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Wassem Khalil, Senior Director, Investor Relations



First Nation’s high bid claims bankrupt Sechelt development – Business in Vancouver

February 26, 2020

The Shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation has outbid other suitors by approximately $400,000 to buy the 396.9-acre site of a failed mixed-use waterfront development on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver.

The development had fallen into foreclosure in 2018 when the owner, SSC Properties Ltd., failed to get to public hearing at Sechelt council two years ago this month. SSC had planned to develop approximately 1,600 homes and retail-resort facilities on the Porpoise Bay lands on Sechelt Inlet.

When the permit bid died, SSC put the site up for sale for $23.8 million.

In June 2018, Eagles Edge Capital Corp. started foreclosure proceedings against the company, claiming SSC had defaulted on a $10.75 million mortgage.

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Chris Selley: There isn’t any reason to declare reconciliation dead. Maybe the opposite – National Post

It’s a gong show out there, but the majority of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians are united in pursuing a more prosperous future for everyone

February 26, 2020

To see all the placards and bedsheets across the country proclaiming “reconciliation is dead,” you might never suspect how explicitly the Truth and Reconciliation Report contemplated resource development as a tool for … well, reconciliation. It quotes approvingly a 2013 report to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by Douglas Eyford, the government’s special representative on west-coast energy infrastructure: “Aboriginal communities view natural resource development as linked to a broader reconciliation agenda.” And it specifies how that development should happen in order to ensure Indigenous people support and prosper from it.

The 92nd of the report’s “calls to action” envisions governments “obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects,” and ensuring that “Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.”

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Government of AB: Ensuring fairness with environmental appeals

Three new members and two reappointed members will use their expertise and knowledge to ensure continued impartiality and fairness when it comes to decisions under the Environmental Appeals Board.

This separate and independent board provides Albertans, conservation groups and industry the opportunity to appeal certain decisions made by Environment and Parks under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and other legislation.

“The board oversees appeals and ensures fair process for all Albertans, so it’s important that we choose members who are experienced and will act in the best interest of the public and the province. With these individuals, I am confident we have achieved exactly that. I am pleased to announce these appointments and I trust all members will continue to use their expertise to support and inform the board’s recommendations.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

The board was created more than 25 years ago and hears appeals relating to environmental approvals, water licences, enforcement orders, reclamation and remediation certificates, administrative penalties and environmental protection orders.

Members were chosen by the Public Agency Secretariat following a recruitment process. Board members are generally reappointed for a two- to three-year term, and new board members are normally appointed for a one- to two-year term.

Biographies: New members

Chidinma B. Thompson is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Calgary. She holds a PhD in law from the Faculty of Law University of Calgary, specializing in natural resources, energy and environment law, and is a trained arbitrator. Ms. Thompson serves on the Canadian Bar Association Environmental Law South Section Board and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Environment and Natural Resources Committee, among others.

Barbara Johnston is a lawyer and chartered professional accountant with expertise in risk management, consumer banking transactions, debt financing, asset acquisition and divestiture and retail resource product network transactions. She has provided legal and business advice and educational services to numerous client groups as in-house counsel for a large integrated resource company, as well as audit financial preparation services for diverse client groups at a large public accounting firm. She holds a bachelor of commerce (accounting) from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta.

Kurtis Averill has more than two decades of experience in the natural gas and oil industry. He has extensive knowledge in all stages of project development – from land-use planning, community consultation, exploration and construction, through closure and reclamation. His holistic understanding of the life cycle of oil and gas development and its impact on stakeholders and the environment positions him as a progressive leader in the industry with a proven track record of finding practical solutions to seemingly complex land-use challenges. Mr. Averill has a bachelor of science, graduating from the University of Alberta’s environmental and conservation science program, specializing in land remediation and reclamation.

Biographies: Reappointed members

Dave McGee has expertise in environmental issues, negotiation, government regulatory procedures, and water policy. He has a bachelor of science (geography/geology) from the University of Alberta and 37 years of experience in water management. He has negotiated agreements on landowner and municipal issues, regional water sharing agreements, First Nations settlement agreements, and has represented Alberta on an international joint commission task force in a boundary water dispute. His work has been published, he has presented water governance work to universities and conferences, and he has appeared before joint Canada/Alberta water project hearings and other boards. Mr. McGee was appointed as a member of the Environmental Appeals Board on October 18, 2017, and is cross-appointed to the Public Lands Appeal Board.

Tamara Bews is a lawyer who has practiced primarily in administrative law, commercial law and regulatory compliance for the past 24 years. Over the course of Ms. Bews’ legal career, she has gained a broad range of experience on energy, transportation and agricultural issues. She has worked as a lawyer in both private practice and as in-house legal counsel for TransCanada Pipelines Limited, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Ms. Bews has represented clients in significant regulatory applications before provincial and federal administrative tribunals, and in judicial review applications before the Alberta Court of Appeal. She has acted as a session chair for an energy-related industry conference, and co-developed and co-constructed courses on energy-related issues to professional organizations and post-secondary institutions.

Related information

Media inquiries

Jess Sinclair
Press Secretary, Environment and Parks


NorZinc Announces Private Placement

February 25, 2020 ─ Vancouver, British Columbia ─ NorZinc Ltd. (TSX: NZC; OTCQB: NORZF) (the “Company” or “NorZinc”) is pleased to announce a non-brokered private placement of 7,846,153 common shares of the Company at a price of $0.065 per share, for gross proceeds of $510,000. In addition, Resources Capital Fund VI L.P. (“RCF”) has the right to purchase up to 5,385,443 additional shares pursuant to the participation right in its Investor Agreement available on

The proceeds from the private placement will be used for working capital purposes. The private placement remains subject to TSX approval. Shares issued in the private placement will be subject to a four-month hold period under applicable Canadian securities laws.

Qualified investors in Canada interested in participating in the private placement are encouraged to contact the Company at:

Certain directors and officers of the Company are expected to acquire securities under the private placement. Such participation would be considered to be a “related party transaction” as defined under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 (“MI 61-101”). The transaction will be exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements of MI 61-101.

This press release is not an offer of the common shares for sale in the United States. The common shares have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws. The common shares may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the U.S. Securities Act, and applicable state securities law or an exemption from such registration requirements. The common shares have not been and will not be publicly offered in the United States.

About NorZinc

NorZinc is a TSX-listed mine development Company trading under the symbol “NZC”. NorZinc is developing its key project, the 100%-owned high grade zinc-lead-silver Prairie Creek Mine, located in the Northwest Territories. NorZinc also owns projects in Newfoundland that host several zinc-lead-copper-gold-silver deposits.

For further information: Don MacDonald, President & CEO, (604) 688-2001, Suite 1710 – 650 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 4N9; Steve Dawson, VP Corporate Development, (416) 203-1418, Suite 1805, 55 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5J 2H7,; Tollfree:1-866-688-2001; E-mail:; Website:


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