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SCO Celebrates I Love to Read Month

February 1, 2023

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is celebrating the gift of storytelling in a month-long celebration of all things reading.

“I Love to Read Month is a wonderful opportunity to share our stories and to make impactful human connections,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “When we do that, we learn more about what unites us. This makes the world we share a better place.”

February marks I Love to Read Month. It is an entire month dedicated to promoting a love of reading. This year’s theme is “Stories Connect Us.”

“There are so many health and social benefits to reading. I encourage everyone to find something they enjoy to read; whether it is a newspaper, magazine, book, or a graphic novel or comics. I especially encourage parents and caregivers to read to their children. Instilling a love of reading from an early age helps our children and youth to dream big,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “Reading is a portal to new worlds and possibilities for all our citizens. It also offers the chance for increased bonding for families, especially when it comes to reading to one another.”

As part of I Love to Read Month, SCO will be sharing book reviews, reading suggestions, and a storytelling contest throughout the month of February. SCO will highlight and celebrate a growing number of First Nations authors publishing in all genres, including some from our SCO Nations. For those who are seeking recommendations on books by First Nations authors, SCO has a webpage sharing resources here.

SCO members of any age are invited to take part in a storytelling contest to win a variety of prizes, including gift cards and books. SCO members are invited to send us a short story, article, or poem up to a maximum of 500 words.

SCO invites writing entries that reflect on the theme of “What I love about my First Nation.” SCO members who would like to enter this contest will be eligible to win gift cards and books. Send your story, poem, or article to by February 22, 2023, for your chance to win. One entry per person please. Selected entries will be shared on our website and social media.

“Being proud of who we are as First Nations people is essential to our health and well-being. Sharing positive stories about our Nations helps to build pride and encourages our children and grandchildren to reach for the stars,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I encourage everyone to embrace the joy of storytelling and reading in February and throughout the year.”


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

For media inquiries:



Twenty-One New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in the James and Hudson Bay Region

February 1, 2023

To our community members:

We can confirm there are twenty-one (21) new COVID-19 cases in our region. Please see the community case breakdown below:

Community New Cases
Attawapiskat 10
Fort Albany 0
Kashechewan 1
Moose Factory 1
Moosonee 0
Peawanuck 9

*WAHA has not received updates on new cases from communities marked with an asterisk (*)- case counts from the most recently available updates have been included for reference.

Note on reporting cases in the region: Total cases identified in the region are based on information provided by local communities, Porcupine Health Unit, and Indigenous Services Canada. The information presented by WAHA related to new cases may differ from other public sources due to community-level testing that does not meet the reporting criteria for PHU and ISC (such as the use of Rapid Antigen Tests). Further, communities within the PHU jurisdiction may not reflect a true representation of positive COVID-19 cases due to PHU case criteria, which follows provincial guidelines (such as omitting the number of positive Rapid Antigen Tests).

In general, for COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 2 metres or 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes during the time of infectivity. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. Passing a person in the hallway or in a store is generally not considered close contact and has an extremely low risk of spreading the virus. Public Health will contact you if you are considered a close contact.

At this time, we recommend that everyone continue to monitor for symptoms. If ANY symptoms develop, isolate immediately and call your local assessment centre or your health care provider to arrange testing.

Symptoms can include:

• Fever

• Sore throat/hoarse voice

• New or worsening cough

• Loss of sense of taste or smell

• Shortness of breath

• Nausea, vomiting

• Runny nose/nasal congestion

• Diarrhea

In some cases, atypical symptoms could develop, such as, unexplained fatigue or malaise, muscle aches, delirium, unexplained or increased number of falls, acute functional decline, exacerbation of current chronic conditions, chills, headaches, croup, conjunctivitis.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact WAHA or the Porcupine Health Unit for more information.

We ask that all community members continue to remain vigilant and follow public safety health protocols despite the number of cases in any community. To reduce the risk of exposure, please continue to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

• Stay home and isolate for 5 days if you have any symptoms

• Practice 2 m physical distancing

• Wear a mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors when physical distancing of 2 metres/6 feet cannot be maintained.

Should you have questions, please contact WAHA at 705-658-4544 or check our website for continued updates.

Thank you,

Dr. Elaine Innes, Chief of Staff, WAHA

Lynne Innes, President & Chief Executive Officer, WAHA



Celebrate the diverse Indigenous languages of the NWT this month

February 1, 2023

February is Indigenous Languages Month in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) encourages residents to celebrate the Indigenous languages of the NWT and to take time this month to learn about and use them with pride.

Indigenous languages are the foundation of identity, pride, and community within the NWT. To foster revitalization, Indigenous languages need to be spoken in homes and communities so that intergenerational transmission can be restored.

This month, everyone can strengthen and support Indigenous language revitalization by:

  • Learning simple phrases such as “hi”, “my name is”, and “thank you” in the Indigenous language(s) of your region.
  • Sharing Indigenous language at home, work, school, and in your community.
  • Learning the Indigenous place names of mountains, lakes, rivers, and communities near you.
  • Connecting with Indigenous languages through the radio, podcasts, books, songs, video games, TV and more.

Celebrating language learners, speakers and language programs in your community,

Indigenous Languages Month is a step forward each Canadian can take on the path to reconciliation and reclamation.

Watch the Indigenous Languages Month video to learn how each of us can strengthen and support Indigenous language revitalization.


“Our nine official Indigenous languages shape our identity as Northerners and showcase our unique diversity. This land and its people are rich in culture, heritage and tradition. It is our responsibility to preserve and revitalize these languages through celebration and practice.”

– RJ Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • Join the online celebration of the NWT’s Indigenous languages: Use the hashtag #IndigenousLanguagesMonth to stay connected on social media and check out our free downloadable resources to help you spread the word for Indigenous Languages Month.
  • Find ideas for community events and activities:
  • The NWT is the only political region in Canada which recognizes 11 official languages. Of these languages, nine are Indigenous: Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé (Chipewyan), nēhiyawēwin (Cree), Dinjii Zhu’ Ginjik (Gwich’in), Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Dene Kǝdǝ́ (North Slavey), Dene Zhatıé (South Slavey), and Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀ (Tłı̨chǫ).
  • National Aboriginal Languages Day was first celebrated on March 31, 1993. Betty Harnum, the first Languages Commissioner of the NWT asked the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to devote more than one day to celebrate the importance of language and culture in our lives. The AFN agreed and declared the entire month of March as Aboriginal Languages Month.
  • In 2018, based on recommendation of the official language boards, February was declared the new Indigenous Languages Month in the NWT.
  • The NWT Indigenous Languages Action Plan provides the GNWT with the priorities for protecting and revitalizing the Indigenous languages.

Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Briony Grabke

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

Government of the Northwest Territories

867-767-9352  Ext. 71073


New funding supports more accessible taxis

Feb. 1, 2023

VICTORIA – British Columbians who use wheelchairs or have other accessibility needs will soon see more accessible taxis on the road with the launch of the Passenger Transportation Accessibility Program (PTAP).

People who depend on wheelchair-accessible taxis often experience longer wait times or lack of service. The program will help offset the extra costs that taxi owner-operators face in providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which will help to increase the number of accessible taxis available.

“Promoting equity in passenger transportation is an important way that we’re working to build a better, stronger future for all British Columbians,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “By investing in a more inclusive transportation network we’re helping people participate more fully in their communities by connecting with friends, attending appointments and getting to work.”

Approximately $3 million of funding is available for the first funding stream under this program, which will provide rebates to eligible taxi owner-operators for costs associated with maintaining their wheelchair-accessible taxis. Applications opened on Jan. 27, 2023:

Over the next two years, the ministry will launch three additional funding streams that will focus on reducing the cost of operating, purchasing and converting wheelchair-accessible taxis, and providing training to better support the passengers who rely on them.

“Supporting industry’s efforts to provide better, more timely services for people with accessibility needs helps address barriers many people face every day,” said Dan Coulter, Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit. “In line with our commitments under the Accessible British Columbia Act, this funding will help industry meet the needs of clients and make getting around easier and safer for everyone.”

The launch of the Passenger Transportation Accessibility Program follows the passing of Bill 40 in the fall of 2022, which established new responsibilities and authority for the registrar of passenger transportation to support passenger transportation accessibility.

The accessibility program will be funded using revenues collected from the per-trip fee that came into effect in September 2019 as part of the Province’s efforts to introduce ride hailing and to modernize the taxi industry. The per-trip fee was created to offset the regulatory costs and impacts of enabling ride-hailing operations, and to help alleviate the impact that ride hailing has on the availability of wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Unlike ride-hailing companies, taxi companies may be required as part of their operating licence to reserve a portion of their fleet for accessible vehicles.


Mohan Kang, president, BC Taxi Association –

“One of the BC Taxi Association’s goals is to increase the number of accessible taxis on the road and this new program is going to do just that. The funding will help our members with important retrofitting and maintenance costs so they can provide the important accessibility services people across the province depend on.”

Carolyn Bauer, spokesperson, Vancouver Taxi Association –

“With the removal of some financial barriers, this is a great opportunity for the industry here in Vancouver to get more people where they need to go. I look forward to supporting our members and working with the Province as PTAP gets going.”

Neil Belanger, CEO, BC Aboriginal Network of Disability Services –

“Disability impacts everyone, and everyone has a right to be an active and included member of their community. Service improvements that increase equity for all people requiring transportation accommodations not only makes our communities a better place to live, but British Columbia a more welcoming and accessible province. These improvements will make better services available to B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, who experience higher disability rates than the non-Indigenous population of our province. This is an important and vital step the Province is taking to improve the quality of life for some of British Columbia’s underserved populations.”


Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Media Relations
250 356-8241


WAG-Qaumajuq Welcomes Marie-Anne Redhead to Curatorial Team

Feb 1, 2023

Winnipeg, Manitoba: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq welcomes Marie-Anne Redhead as Assistant Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art! Redhead will begin her new role February 1, 2023.

Redhead brings a fresh mindset and collaborative energy to the position, with broad experience in the arts sector in Winnipeg, including arts programming and workshop facilitation in addition to curatorial projects at Gallery 1C03 and windowwinnipeg. WAG-Qaumajuq has already benefitted from her research and knowledge through the award-winning Artworks Renaming Initiative, which saw artworks with racist and offensive names renamed by Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

Redhead hopes to continue moving forward with projects that welcome Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and wisdom into the Gallery, as well as undertaking new curatorial projects that explore themes of Indigenous futurisms, resurgence, and joy.

Quick Facts:

  • WAG-Qaumajuq is very excited to announce that Marie-Anne Redhead will be joining our team as Assistant Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art beginning February 1, 2023.
  • Redhead is descended from the Ininiwak – mahkêsiw sâkahikan (Fox Lake, Treaty 5) and from Francophone settlers, and has lived on Treaty 1 for most of her life.
  • In 2021, Redhead obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English from the University of Winnipeg. Her personal creative practices include writing (non-fiction & poetry) and beading.
  • Redhead began working for WAG-Qaumajuq in June, 2021, on the Artworks Renaming Initiative, where she facilitated the renaming of artworks with offensive or otherwise culturally insensitive titles by Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers; she then joined the WAG-Qaumajuq Advancement team in early 2022.
  • WAG-Qaumajuq established the Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art position in 2017, making it one of the first full-time permanent Indigenous curatorial positions in Canada.


“I’m thrilled that Marie-Anne Redhead will be joining our curatorial team. Her work has already been instrumental in our efforts towards decolonization, especially her excellent work on the Artworks Renaming Initiative. As a curator, I look forward to seeing the impact of her vision on WAG-Qaumajuq exhibitions and other initiatives throughout our community.”

— Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq

“It is always exciting to welcome a new member to the curatorial team. Marie-Anne will be bringing new perspectives, new ideas, and a thoughtful approach to the work we do. I am really looking forward to working with her – WAG-Qaumajuq is lucky to have her!

— Riva Symko, Head of Collections & Exhibitions and Curator of Canadian Art, WAG-Qaumajuq

“Working at WAG-Qaumajuq has been a rewarding experience, and I’m excited to contribute to all of the inspiring work happening through Indigenous Initiatives in a curatorial role. I’m looking forward to working with the Collections and Exhibitions department to highlight and centre Indigenous artwork at WAG-Qaumajuq, and collaborating with community to uplift Indigenous artists.”

— Marie-Anne Redhead, Assistant Curator of Indigenous Art, WAG-Qaumajuq

Associated Links

Winnipeg Art Gallery
Artworks Renaming Initiative

Stay Connected

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #atwag


For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Hanna Waswa
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery


Langara College President Dr. Paula Burns awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

Vancouver, BC – At a ceremony in Calgary on Friday, January 27, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for her outstanding service and dedication to the field of adult education in Alberta.

The commemorative medal was created by the Government of Alberta to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada and honour Her Majesty’s service to Canada. The Government of Alberta will award the medal to 7,000 Albertans throughout 2022-23 in recognition of significant contributions to the province.

“Dr. Burns is a deserving candidate of this award, and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Michal Jaworski, Board Chair, Langara College Board of Governors. “The medal illustrates her passion and service to public education, first in Alberta, and now here in British Columbia.”

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be recognized in this way; education has been at the heart of my personal and professional growth,” said Dr. Burns. “I look back with gratitude on my years at Lethbridge College and the opportunity to serve in that community. I know those years of experience will serve me well in my current role at Langara College. Thank you Advanced Education in Alberta for making this possible.”

Dr. Burns previously served as the President of Lethbridge College from 2013 until joining Langara in June 2022. She was also board chair of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). Dr. Burns served on the National Indigenous Education Advisory Committee that developed CICan’s Indigenous Education protocol; was chair of their governance committee; and was chair of the Presidents’ Advisory Committee on Sustainability, a committee of Presidents who advises CICan and its members on their role with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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 leləm ‘house of teachings’, a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more.
Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs
Langara College


Countdown is on to North American Indigenous Games in Nova Scotia – CBC

Feb 01, 2023

Halifax, Dartmouth, Millbrook First Nation to host more than 5,000 athletes in July

The countdown is on to the North American Indigenous Games being hosted in Nova Scotia after nearly three years of delays.

From July 15-23, Halifax, Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation will welcome 5,250 athletes from nearly 760 Indigenous communities, as they compete in 16 sports.

Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons, who is Woodland Cree from Lac La Ronge First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, is the chair and federal representative for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games.

Kirkpatrick Parsons spoke with Mainstreet host Jeff Douglas Tuesday about the upcoming Games.

Read More:

RSM To Celebrate Indigenous Storytelling Month With Second Video Series Featuring Elder Hazel Dixon

February 1, 2023

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is launching a second video series to celebrate February as Indigenous Storytelling Month. The series was developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation and features Elder Hazel Dixon, who has recorded several new Indigenous stories to share with the people of Saskatchewan through the Museum’s social media and YouTube channels.

“Back by popular demand, these stories by Elder Hazel Dixon provide a unique perspective on the world around us by exploring our relationships with one another and the plants and animals that inhabit our planet,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. “These videos help the Museum to share Indigenous culture through oral history and imaginative stories with a larger audience.”

Elder Hazel Dixon is an Elder in Residence with the Regina Public and Catholic school divisions. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum videos have been used by area schools in their programming, in addition to being used by educators in other provinces.

Traditionally, storytelling was an important source of education and entertainment during the long winter months. Elders pass down the knowledge, traditions, and morals of their people to the next generation.

“Thanks to this video series, students and teachers can enjoy Elder Hazel’s incredible storytelling no matter where they live,” Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation President Samantha Becotte said. “We are very proud to support this celebration of Indigenous stories. The Traditional Knowledge Keepers Program and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum do such impactful work for our province, and we are grateful for their partnership.”

Traditional Knowledge Keepers Workshop Series

After Indigenous Story Telling month concludes, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum will begin hosting Traditional Knowledge Keepers Workshop Series, sponsored by Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. Watch for workshop topics, such as quillwork and rug hooking, in March, April and May. Each workshop includes a unique opportunity to view pieces in the museum’s Indigenous History Collection.

February Fun

In addition to these series, there are several activities taking place at the Museum in February to enjoy.

Scotty’s Sweethearts Scavenger Hunt runs from February 14 to 26. Find the hidden hearts throughout the galleries to get a special Valentine’s message from Scotty the T.rex!

I Heart It! – Learn how hearts work in different kinds of animals in the SaskTel Be Kind Online Learning Lab from February 21 to 24.

About the Royal Saskatchewan Museum

To learn more about the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s programming and world class research, visit

The Museum, located at 2445 Albert Street, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Visit. Donate. Discover.


For more information, contact:

Jamie Gibson
Parks, Culture and Sport
Phone: 306-527-8152


Government decisions to shut down sustainable salmon farming in British Columbia leads to pocketbook pain for Canadian and U.S. households

February 1, 2023

OTTAWA, ON – Recent federal government licensing decisions to shut down sustainable salmon farming in parts of British Columbia (BC) mean that Canadian salmon is costing more for families, is harder to find in grocery stores and is being replaced by farm-raised salmon flown in from elsewhere in the world.

Spot prices for West Coast fresh Atlantic salmon (all farm-raised) are at record highs for this time of year, up 20 per cent over the last few years, with the price jump being driven by reduced supply of BC-grown farm-raised salmon. Grocers looking for more Canadian-grown product in response to consumer demand are being forced to import salmon from other countries.

In December 2020, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced a decision to shut down sustainable salmon farming in the Discovery Islands region of BC. The decision was subsequently overturned by the federal court. In response to the original federal decision, salmon farmers closed down farm sites, thus reducing production levels. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is expected to imminently make new decisions regarding the same farms in follow up to the federal court’s ruling. Numerous First Nations in the area are demanding the federal government support their right to oversee and host salmon farming in their territories.

An already constrained global supply market for salmon and increasing demand for salmon is resulting in the highest prices ever. Further reduction of supply will exacerbate this situation. The supply from the Discovery Islands region was approximately 20,000 tonnes of salmon, the equivalent of 120 million meals and approximately one-quarter of the production of BC. Replacing this Canadian salmon with product from other nations will result in an increased carbon footprint estimated at 163,000 tonnes of carbon due to air freight, or the same as adding 35,000 cars to the road.

”At a time of major food inflation resulting in higher prices for consumers, recent government decisions to shut down sustainable salmon farms, without scientific basis, and reduce supply to consumers is having a major price impact on this healthy, fresh and sustainable supply from Canada,” says Timothy Kennedy, President & CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance “When the supply of farm-raised salmon drops, and demand continues, prices go up for Canadian families – it’s Economics 101.”

Sustainable, farm-raised salmon is the most popular seafood choice of North Americans, making up almost 4 of every 10 seafood choices. Recent independent multi-year science reviews by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans indicate minimal or negligible risk to BC’s wild salmon from salmon farming. Farm-raised salmon makes up the large proportion of global salmon supply.

“These salmon farming licensing decisions also impact Canada’s economy. Less Canadian farm-raised salmon for Canadian domestic consumption and export means lost jobs in rural, coastal and Indigenous communities, and higher GHG emissions as the Canadian salmon is replaced by product flown in from elsewhere around the world. It doesn’t make sense to have a policy to reduce production of a sustainable, healthy, affordable, food product like Canadian farm-raised salmon, and these past licensing decisions must be corrected by the federal government.”

Canada has an unparalleled opportunity to produce the very best, most sustainable farm-raised salmon in the world that supports families with fresh and healthy food at reasonable prices. Now, more than ever, Canadian families need access to affordable, healthy domestic food, and salmon farmers in Canada need strong positive signals from the federal government that they are committed to a collaborative partnership, based in peer-reviewed science, to grow this innovative sector.

About Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance

Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) is the national association that speaks for Canada’s seafood farmers, representing their interests in Ottawa and internationally to regulators, policy makers and political leaders. CAIA members generate over $5 billion in economic activity, $2 billion in GDP, and employ over 20,000 Canadians delivering a healthy, growing and sustainable seafood farming sector in Canada. For more information, please visit

More information on Canadian salmon farming, including the sector’s new sustainability commitments, can be found at


Contact: Sheri Beaulieu, Communications and Marketing Manager, CAIA

Mobile: 613 853-0612


Uquutaq Society to open daytime warming centre in Iqaluit – Nunatsiaq News

Feb 1, 2023

Program will run Monday to Friday until March 31

Starting Wednesday, homeless people in Iqaluit will have somewhere to go during the day for a bite to eat and to escape the cold.

Uquutaq Society is offering a warming centre that will be open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Building 534, the location of its low-barrier overnight shelter, until March 31.

Plans to offer the service have been in the works since the fall because the society had $100,000 leftover in its budget, said executive director Laurel McCorriston, the executive director of the charity that provides shelters and transitional housing.

The problem, however, was that there wasn’t anyone available to run it.

Read More:

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