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Pow Wow in the Club: A New Spin on First Nations Music

Credits: Great Big Story

Published on Feb 27, 2017

What do you get when you combine club music with the traditional sounds, rhythm and soul of an indigenous pow wow? Enter: A Tribe Called Red. This First Nations band is an Ottawa-based trio that is bringing music that originated on the North American plains to a whole new audience. With their unique fusion of beats, DJ NDN, 2oolman and Bear Witness have created a gathering place for all music fans while showing pride in their heritage.

APTN brings important Indigenous conversations to #CAJ17


APTN brings important Indigenous conversations to #CAJ17

OTTAWA, March 31, 2017  – The Canadian Association of Journalists is proud to amplify the voices of Indigenous journalists and stories, in partnership with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, during its annual national conference in Ottawa on April 28-29.

APTN journalists will take part in a host of panels on various topics throughout the two-day conference, including sessions on telling ambitious stories and effectively and responsibly covering the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

APTN’s Jorge Barrera will join The Globe and Mail‘s Robert Fife for a conversation on how journalists can pursue the big story while managing other demands on their time. Conference attendees will also hear from APTN reporter Tina House and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women. They’ll talk about how journalists should be covering #MMIW, what they often get wrong, and how to do better.

#CAJ17 delegates will also see the work of John Murray, APTN’s inaugural Fellow for Aboriginal Investigative Journalism. Murray will screen his documentary on a lack of healthcare equality in Canada for First Nations people—and then sit down for a Q&A.

Registration is currently open for this two-day conference, with fees starting at $249 plus HST for CAJ members for the full weekend, including a ticket to the conference banquet and gala. Rates for unemployed journalists and CAJ student members start at $75. Discounts are available for CAJ Award finalists as well as those registering in a group. These early bird rates will rise after April 21.

For those intending to stay at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, conference room rates starting at $169 plus taxes for a single room are still available. Check the Ottawa conference page on our website for more details.

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing more than 500 members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For further information: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ President, Phone: 647.968.2393, Email:


Jose Amaujaq Kusugak Scholarship Application Period Opens

April 03, 2017

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) President Aluki Kotierk announced today that the Jose Amaujaq Kusugak Scholarship 2017 application period is now open.

NTI will award two Inuit students each with a $5,000 scholarship to pursue studies at accredited post-secondary institutions in the areas of Inuit language and education. Students studying in other areas are eligible if they demonstrate a link between their field of study and the pursuit and promotion of Inuit rights.

“I remember the late Jose Kusugak’s passion and dedication to the preservation of Inuit rights through education and the protection of our language rights. By providing this scholarship to students every year, NTI is assisting Inuit with gaining the education needed to ensure that Inuktut language rights remain central throughout Nunavut,” said Kotierk.

Eligible post-secondary institutions include Nunavut Arctic College or academic institutions in southern Canada. An NTI jury reviews the applications and selects students based on their fields of study, written essay, and references.

NTI developed the scholarship in cooperation with Kusugak family to ensure the late Jose Kusugak’s legacy continues to inspire Inuit. Additional information and application forms are available on the NTI website. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is July 9, 2017.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel:(867) 975-4914


Team BC Seeks Female Golf Athletes for 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG)

17U and 19U female golf athletes invited to attend Team BC’s tryout for the 2017 NAIG

The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) oversees the Team BC Program for the North American Indigenous Games. I·SPARC and our Team BC coaches are seeking female (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) golf athletes born 1998 through 2005 to attend a Team BC Golf NAIG Development Camp, to be held at Two Eagles Golf Course in West Kelowna.

The 2016 BC Aboriginal Provincial Golf Championships concluded in August of 2016 where golf athletes competed for the Provincial Championship title and earn a spot on the “Team BC Development Squad” to train for and pursue participation in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games held in Toronto, Ontario from July 16-23, 2017. Team BC’s 17U and 19U female golf teams are now recruiting female golf athletes to attend an open athlete evaluation camp to identify new players to join Team BC.

Team BC’s 19U female squad (born 1998 or later) will identify a minimum of two female golf athletes and Team BC’s 17U female squad (born 2000 or later) will identify one female golf athlete. Registration is open to eligible participants. No pre-qualification required.

Event Information:
May 13, 2017
Two Eagles Golf Course
3509 Carrington Road
West Kelowna BC V4T 2E6

Proposed Itinerary:
9:30am-10:00am: Check in at Two Eagles golf course
10:00am-12:00pm: Clinic (held by teaching staff at Two Eagles)
12:00pm-12:45pm: Lunch
1:00pm: 18 holes
6:00pm: Announcement of the NAIG Team and information session regarding NAIG


There is no fee to participate, but you must pre-register by completing the online registration form:

Team BC Golf Selection Process

Contact Information:
Frank Antoine
Event Coordinator and Team BC NAIG Head Coach
Phone: 1-250-679-3090 or Toll-Free: 1-800-663-4303

Buzz Manuel
Provincial Coordinator, Performance Sport
Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
Phone: 1-250-350-3254
Fax: 1-877-711-5594


Flood Bulletin #6

April 03, 2017

Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre reports overland flooding continues across much of southern Manitoba, often due to ice in the drainage network.

Ice Jams and Overland Flooding

  • Ice jam-related flooding continues on some major rivers and smaller tributaries.  It can occur when the run-off begins before the river ice melts and is difficult to predict.
  • Netley Creek is running very high as ice jamming on the Red River slows the creek from draining into the river.
  • Municipal and provincial crews are working to thaw culverts on a priority basis.
  • Partial ring dike closures are underway or completed at St. Adolphe and Brunkild.

States of Local Emergency/Evacuations

  • To date, the following states of local emergency have been registered with Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO):  the municipalities of Prairie Lakes, Grassland, Brenda-Waskada, Dufferin, Grey, La Broquerie and Two Borders, and the Town of Carman.
  • Ice jams on the Boyne River and surface run-off is affecting some homes in the Carman area.
  • Evacuations have taken place at the Peguis First Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.  The Canadian Red Cross is working with both communities to co-ordinate the response.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

  • High water advisories remain in effect for the Overflowing, Valley and Vermillion rivers.
  • A flood watch has been lifted from the Whitemouth River.
  • A flood watch has been issued for the lower Assiniboine River from Portage la Prairie to Headingley due to possible ice issues.
  • Flood watches remain in effect for the Woody, Whitemud and Red Deer rivers.
  • Flood warnings have been issued for Birdtail Creek, the Turtle River and the upper Assiniboine River between the Shellmouth Dam and Holland.
  • Flood warnings remain in effect for Swan River near Minitonas, Fisher River downstream of Dallas, the Morris River, Pipestone Creek and the Red River and Netley Creek near Petersfield due to ice jamming.

Red River

  • The Red River Floodway began operation Friday morning.
  • The water level at James Avenue in Winnipeg is 19.2 feet, very close to the predicted level.
  • Depending when the ice runs on the Assiniboine River, a minor increase in water levels may occur at James Avenue.  It is expected that ice will move over the next two days.
  • Water levels at James Avenue are expected to stay around 19 ft. for the next few days.  At this time, the Red River in Winnipeg is expected to crest April 4 to 5.
  • Decisions about the use of a ramp on PTH 75 in Morris will be based on conditions over the next few days.  It is expected PTH 75 will remain open.

Pembina River

  • The Pembina River at Windygates is nearing its second crest, which will not be as high as the first peak.  Manitoba is removing the partial dike closure at the border at Gretna.
  • Water levels and flows on the Pembina River, which flows into the Red River south of Manitoba, are stabilizing as ice jams subside.

Assiniboine River

  • The Portage Diversion began operation on Friday morning.  It is being operated to limit flows on the lower Assiniboine River and to minimize ice jams.
  • Major tributaries of the Assiniboine River are still increasing including Birdtail and Silver creeks, Arrow, Oak, Little Saskatchewan, Little Souris and Cypress rivers.
  • The risk of ice jamming in drains and small tributaries is present as flows continue to rise.

Souris River, Parkland region, The Pas and northern Manitoba

  • Flows on the main stem of the Souris River in Manitoba are continuing to react to the run-off from the melt and tributaries of the Souris River are increasing.
  • Tributaries in the southern Parkland are beginning to respond to run-off from the Riding Mountain.
  • Run-off is starting in the Saskatchewan and Carrot rivers watersheds.

Flood Information

  • People are reminded to be watchful of local waterways, as flood conditions can develop quickly.
  • Avoid driving through moving water as the water depth can be unpredictable and current can push vehicles off the road.
  • People are reminded that ditches and culverts contain fast-moving water which could be hazardous and should be avoided.
  • It is strongly advised that people be careful if venturing out onto what may appear to be frozen rivers and lakes, due to potential weak ice conditions.
  • Since run-off may occur quickly, landowners who normally store a portion of run-off in dugouts for irrigation or other water-retention structures are encouraged to retain water.
  • Homeowners should check their sump pumps and hoses to ensure they are fully functional.

Up-to-date flood information can be found at or on Twitter at

For current highway conditions, call 511, visit, or follow the Twitter account at for closures.  A Manitoba 511 app is now available for download at

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70th CMA National Conference – Game Changer

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 3, 2017 – The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is excited to welcome close to 600 museum and cultural professionals to Ottawa, Ont., for its 70th National Conference, April 4th to 7th.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage will speak during the opening ceremony on Thursday, April 6th. A live stream of Minister Joly’s welcome address will be available on CMA’s Facebook page

In honour of CMA’s 70th anniversary, many inspiring keynote speakers will discuss how museums can change the game:

  • Angela Cassie, Vice-President, Public Affairs & Programs, Canadian Museum of Human Rights;
  • Eric Chan a.k.a. eepmon, Digital Artist in Residence, Algonquin College Applied Research and Innovation Centre;
  • Joseph Boyden, Novelist and short story writer;
  • Alexandra Cherry, Public Programs Coordinator, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21;
  • Michael Peter Edson, Co-founder, Associate Director and Head of Digital at the UN Live Museum of Humanity;
  • Jeremy Hansen, Astronaut;
  • Sebastian Irvine, Member, Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group;
  • Sarah Parcak, Space Archaeologist; and
  • Senator Murray Sinclair, Former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Game Changer is not about building flashy new museums, although that is one approach,” said John G. McAvity, CMA executive director and CEO. “It is all about reinventing our approach to bring emotion and life to the experience. We live in an ever changing world and we must rethink and adapt quickly. This is about changing our perspective and putting people first — that is when museums succeed.”

More than 50 educational sessions include issues of Indigenous museum collections, reconciliation; approaching the next generation of museum-goers; and staying afloat in an ever-evolving world. For more information, please visit the CMA National Conference website and join us on Twitter to participate in the conference with the hashtag #CMAMC2017.



Ontario Seeking Applicants for New Fund to Help Survivors of Human Trafficking

April 3, 2017

Ontario is launching a call for applications for the new Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund, which will support community-based solutions for helping human trafficking survivors and increasing protection for people at risk of being trafficked.

The three-year fund will enhance services across Ontario, including:

  • Meeting the complex needs of survivors with easy access to the right services, how and when they are needed
  • Helping prevent at-risk people from being trafficked with new community initiatives
  • Meaningfully engaging survivors in the planning and implementation of supports
  • Encouraging innovation and partnerships among those who are supporting survivors and working to end human trafficking.

This call for applications follows consultations with more than 200 organizations, Indigenous partners, community groups and survivors of human trafficking on the design and development of the fund.

Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking is a part of the government’s vision to ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety – free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.

Quick Facts

  • The Community Supports Fund will provide up to $18.7 million over three years.
  • Applications must be submitted by May 18th and successful applicants will be informed in writing in June 2017.
  • Individual grant sizes will depend on the type of project. Projects can be funded for a possible duration of up to three years to provide enough time for programs/services to demonstrate results.
  • Human trafficking is a criminal offence that involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation.
  • The Strategy to End Human Trafficking includes an investment of up to $72 million to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors’ access to services.
  • Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for roughly 69 per cent of police-reported cases nationally in 2015.
  • In Ontario, Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and overrepresented populations for human trafficking.
  • Of Ontario’s reported cases of human trafficking, about 70 per cent are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and the majority of survivors in these cases are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Additional Resources


“Our government recognizes the need to expand and improve access to the right services and supports for survivors of human trafficking across the province. The Community Supports Fund will enable organizations to help survivors of human trafficking get the support they need to leave a life of violence and exploitation.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek
Minister of Community and Social Services

“It’s so important to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the survivors of human trafficking. This funding is a crucial step toward ensuring that these women and girls get the support they need. It provides solutions at the local level and helps survivors access services to heal and rebuild their lives.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris
Minister of the Status of Women

Media Contacts

Lyndsay Miller
Minister’s Office

Takiyah Tannis


William Prince Wins JUNO Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year

April 01, 2017

The envelopes were opened, the names were read, and artists from Manitoba are heading home with JUNOS. The hardware was handed out at the glittery 2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, which took place at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre on April 1.

Singer/songwriter William Prince, who was a double nominee this year, won in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category for his debut solo recording, Earthly Days. Prince, who was also nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year, took the stage at the gala to perform the In Memoriam Tribute. Prince earned a 2016 Western Canadian Music Award and nods from the Canadian Folk Music Awards for Earthly Days. Read Lessons in Grace: William Prince Builds Community and Shares a Legacy One Song at a Time

DJ collective A Tribe Called Red, which features Winnipeg-based producer Tim “2oolman” Hill alongside DJ NDN and Bear Witness, picked up the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year for its latest album, Halluci Nation.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation — which features the music of Steve Wood (Mistikwaskihk Napesis), the Northern Cree Singers, Tanya Tagaq, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra — won for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment.

Manitoba-born, B.C.-based Tim Neufeld landed his second Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year award, this year for his album Hootenanny! with his band The Glory Boys.

Homegrown acts were up for several awards this year, including nods in the Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year for Steve Bell and Jaylene Johnson.

For a complete list of 2017 JUNO Awards winners from the gala, go to


IFOA Weekly presents Danila Botha, Karen Connelly, Ivan Coyote and Sarah De Leeuw

TORONTO, April 3, 2017 —- In April, IFOA Weekly hosts three exciting events: In Conversation with Ivan Coyote (April 5), In Conversation with Sarah de Leeuw (April 12) and a reading and book presentation with Danila Botha and Karen Connelly (April 20).

April 5: IFOA Weekly is thrilled to present Ivan Coyote and their newest novel Tomboy Survival Guide. Coyote will be interviewed by award-winning Toronto journalist Rachel Giese. Bert Archer will host.

April 12: Sarah de Leeuw, award-winning researcher and creative writer whose work focuses broadly on marginalized peoples and geographies, will discuss her new book Where It Hurts with filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker, Ariel Smith. Join Sarah and Ariel for an in-depth conversation about a book which shines a spotlight on lost geographies and people. Sheniz Janmohamed will host.

April 20: Award-winning author Danila Botha and best-selling author Karen Connelly share the IFOA stage to read from and talk about their new books. Join them as they present their inspiration and what they have learned from writing their stories. Catherine Graham will host.

These events take place in the Brigantine Room, located in the Harbourfront Centre Main Building at 235 Queens Quay West, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for supporters, students and youth 25 and under with ID. Box Office/Information: 416-973-4000 or


Since its inception in 1974, the International Festival of Authors has hosted over 9,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 22 Nobel Laureates. Our season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (October 19-29, 2017), including IFOA Ontario, the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™

(May 16-18, 2017) and Toronto Lit Up (year-round).


Eirini Moschaki:; 416-973-5836

Visit IFOA online: Follow IFOA on Twitter: @IFOA

Like IFOA on Facebook: International Festival of Authors Follow IFOA on Instagram: @internationalfestivalofauthors


Airport approach lighting consultation – Iqaluit

03 April 2017

Public Service Announcement

Airport approach lighting consultation – Iqaluit
The Department of Economic Development and Transportation is holding a public consultation to discuss replacing the lighting system on the end of the runway at the Iqaluit International Airport.

The current system has reached the end of its lifespan, is difficult to maintain and does not meet existing standards.

The new plan involves improving the accessibility of the Iqaluit International Airport by extending the lighting structure into Koojeese Inlet on a breakwater made from rubble.

We want to hear from residents about these changes, especially if you’ll be boating in this area. Please join us and share your input on April 11, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Iqaluit Anglican Parish Hall.

For more information, please contact Sim Akpalialuk at 867-975-7772 or SAkpalialuk@GOV.NU.CA.


Media contact:

Matthew Bowler
Director, Policy, Planning and Communications
Department of Economic Development and Transportation


Province Launches Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Manitoba

Educating Manitobans is Key: Squires

The Manitoba government will recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month by raising awareness, sharing information about available resources and fostering a greater understanding of consent, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.

“Manitoba has a high rate of sexual violence and sexual assault against women and girls.  Unfortunately, many victims don’t feel comfortable coming forward to report these incidents,” said Squires.  “We must change the dialogue to support survivors.”

According to a Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, there were 1,356 police-reported sexual assaults in Manitoba in 2015, a rate of more than 104 sexual violence victims for every 100,000 people.  The national rate is approximately 59 victims per 100,000 people.  Statistics Canada’s 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization shows 95 per cent of sexual assaults nationally are not reported to police.

“It is important for all of us to think about how we can prevent sexual violence to keep women and girls safe in Manitoba, and what we can do individually and collectively to support survivors,” said Squires.  “One approach we can all take is to become more informed on what consent means.”

The Manitoba Status of Women Secretariat is hosting two information sessions in April:

  • Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault – What You Need to Know, 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 7, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, 445 King St. (Event Hall).  Speakers include representatives from Ka Ni Kanichihk, Klinic, Manitoba Victim Services, Manitoba Prosecution Service, RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service.
  • Creating a Culture of Consent – Experiences from Working with Kids, Youth and Adults, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, Brandon University (Louis Riel Room).  Panelists include representatives from Brandon University, Brandon Pride, the Sexuality Education Resource Centre and Women’s Resource Centre.

Members of the public are asked to RSVP by phoning 204-945-6281 or 1-800-263-0234 (toll free) or emailing  Both sessions are available via webinar by registering at

Manitobans are encouraged to visit for information on consent, how to report an assault and resources to support survivors of sexual violence.

The government will use social media to share information all month of April.  Manitobans can participate in the discussion using the hashtags #Consent, #SAAM2017, #EndSV, #SupportSurvivors, #ConsentCulture and #YouAreNotAlone.

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NWT Fur Surges at Season’s Largest Auction

YELLOWKNIFE (April 3, 2017) — This year’s biggest fur auction yielded strong results for Northwest Territories trappers as they will receive their largest payout in two years.

The annual Saga, American Legend and Fur Harvesters fur auction in Helsinki, Finland drew nearly half-a-million in sales for NWT wild furs sold under the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)-managed Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur (GMVF) brand — nearly doubling the total from 2016’s auction.

Marten — the NWT’s top-selling pelt— made up more than $430,000 of the take with a 76% year-over-year increase in the average price for the prized pelts.

This year’s auction included new buyers from the Asian and European markets engaged from the GNWT’s presentation of GMVF Furs at the China Fur and Leather Products Fair in Beijing in January.

As part of its mandate to promote economic diversity through strategic investments in traditional harvesting, the GNWT is committed to increasing exports by promoting NWT fur products to international markets.


“The fur trade is the heart of our territory’s cultural and economic history, it is also an important part of our shared future. We’re pleased to see the fur industry rebound for the benefit of trappers and their families.  We are committed to supporting and growing the international visibility of our Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur brand to grow and protect the economic and cultural returns we realize from our territory’s original economy.
– Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts

  • Total sales amounted to $499, 872.07
  • The average price for Marten was $113.35
  • The successful marketing of GMVF furs by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is supported by a suite of workshops and programs delivered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, that provide training and financial stability and certainty for NWT trappers.
  • Traditional economy generates more than $2 million for the NWT economy annually.

Related links

Media contact
Drew Williams
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
1-867-767-9202 ext. 63039


Ellen White Invested into the Order of Canada

March 31, 2017

OTTAWA—Today, on behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Her Honour the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, presented the insignia of Member of the Order of Canada to Ellen White. The ceremony took place at Dufferin Place in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Ms. White was appointed on November 18, 2016.

Ellen White, C.M., O.B.C.
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Ellen White has worked for more than seven decades to celebrate the culture of her people. At a young age, she campaigned to bring electricity to her reserve and established programs to better prepare Aboriginal children for the public school system. Later, as an Elder, she wrote several books on Coast Salish beliefs and practices, and created one of the first dictionaries of the Hul’q’umi’num’ language. She continues to build bridges between Aboriginal peoples and the larger community, notably as the long-time Elder-in-residence in the Native studies program at Vancouver Island University.

About the Order of Canada
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order in the last 50 years. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada. For more information, visit


Media information:

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-9166 (office)
613-852-3248 (cell)


Encanto Potash congratulates Muskowekwan Chief and Councillors on successful 2017 election results

VANCOUVER, April 3, 2017 /- Encanto Potash Corp. (“Encanto” or the “Company”) (TSXV: EPO) is pleased to offer its congratulations to Chief Reginald Bellerose and all returning and new Council members on their election as Chief and Council of the Muskowekwan First Nation. This is the seventh consecutive term for Chief Bellerose and he received overwhelming support once again. For the first time, this election was for a 4 year term in office.

The voting took place on Sunday April 2nd and was administered by the Chief Electoral Officer appointed by the Muskowekwan Council as per the Muskowekwan Election Act.

The following is a list of the successful candidates for the council seats:

  • Holly Geddes (Re-elected)
  • Calvin Wolfe (Re-elected)
  • Jamie Wolfe (Re-elected)
  • Leon Wolfe Jr. (Re-elected)
  • Cynthia Desjarlais (Re-elected)
  • Teryole Wolfe (Re-elected)
  • Karen Marie Desjarlais (newly elected)
  • Ernest Moise (newly elected)

Encanto President and CEO Stavros Daskos commented: “Congratulations for today brother. There are chiefs that lead people. And there are permanent chiefs.”

Encanto Potash Corp. is a TSX Venture Exchange listed and traded Canadian resource company engaged in the development of potash properties in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada, the largest producing potash region in the world. Through a joint venture agreement with Muskowekwan Resources Ltd. on our flagship property, Encanto has a project land package which totals approximately 61,000 largely contiguous acres. A Pre-Feasibility Study dated February 28, 2013 titled “Encanto Potash Corp. Technical Report Summarizing the Preliminary Feasibility Study for the Muskowekwan First Nations Home Reserve Project in South Eastern Saskatchewan, Canada” confirms the Proven and Probable KCI Reserves totaling 162 MMt grading 28% (average) which supports primary and secondary mining for over 50 years at an assumed annual rate extraction rate of 2.8 million tonnes.

The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by James Walchuck, a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101.

For additional information about Encanto Potash Corp., please visit the Company’s website at or review the Company’s documents filed on

Encanto Potash Corp.
3123 – 595 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC  V7X 1J1
Tel: (604) 609-6110

For further information: Gary Deathe, Corporate Development, Tel: (647) 728-7987



Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security Renewed

From Public Safety Canada

Members of diverse Canadian communities gathered in Ottawa on March 25 and 26, as the Government of Canada renewed its Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS). The CCRS brings together cultural leaders who have extensive experience in social and cultural matters, to engage in long-term dialogue on national security-related topics.

The CCRS will meet regularly to discuss matters related to national security and public safety as they impact Canada’s diverse and pluralistic society. This will enable members to share their views on how policies and programs affect their communities.  The CCRS will also provide members with the information they need to provide strategic advice to the Ministers of Public Safety and Justice on approaches to keep Canadians safe and secure.

Participants at the Roundtable included:

  • Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam, Markham, ON
  • Chazzan Daniel Benlolo of Ottawa, ON
  • Dr. Gira Bhatt of Surrey, BC
  • Mr. Kamran Bhatti of Hamilton, ON
  • Ms. Lina Chaker of Windsor, ON
  • Ms. Savelia Curniski of Saskatoon, SK
  • Ms. Ubah Farah of Toronto, ON
  • Ms. Bridget Foster of Fredericton, NB
  • Mr. Soon Kim of Vancouver, BC
  • Ms. Georgina Nagano of Whitehorse, YK
  • Mr. Mohamed Soulami of Sherbrooke, QC
  • Dr. Régine Uwibereyeho King of Winnipeg, MB
  • Ms. Marjorie Villefranche of Montreal, QC


“The CCRS is a mechanism to ensure our national security policies and programs are informed by and reinforce Canada’s tremendous diversity. It helps communities become more resilient, and ensures that our programs and policies will be effective in keeping Canadians safe while safeguarding our rights and freedoms and the open, inclusive, generous character of our country.”

– Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Ensuring the safety and security of Canadians and protecting their rights and freedoms are foundational priorities of our Government. Fora like the CCRS are crucial to informing this work as they foster the sharing of a diversity of views about the impacts of national security matters on communities across the country.”

– Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Associated Links


Follow Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) on Twitter.

For more information, please visit the website


Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada


New Health Technologies Coming to Ontario

Province Supporting 15 Innovative Projects to Improve Patient Care at Home and in the Community

April 3, 2017 1:00 P.M.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is improving patient care through cutting-edge health technology by committing to provide grants for 15 new projects that will improve people’s care at home and in their communities.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at the Impact Health Summit today to announce the new technologies that will be receiving support from the province.

Projects include:

  • A new mobile device to help patients who have undergone cardiac and vascular surgery receive continuous vital sign monitoring in the hospital and at home, to prevent serious post-surgery complications and readmission to hospital
  • New software to provide breast cancer patients with easy-to-access information about upcoming tests, appointments and treatment recommendations, while connecting family doctors with specialists for follow-up care
  • New software to provide self-care tools to youth with mental health challenges, including a platform to support education, collaboration, engagement, intervention and goal-focused coaching.

The grants are part of Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund (HTF), which supports the development of Ontario-based health technologies that improve care for people, bring value to the health care system and create jobs.

Investing in innovative health technologies that help patients receive care closer to home is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy, and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.

Quick Facts

  • Fifteen grants were awarded ranging from $95,000 to $500,000 each, totalling $5.4 million.
  • The $20-million Health Technologies Fund is administered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS).
  • Minister Hoskins also announced the first three Innovation Brokers who will accelerate the work of the OCHIS by connecting health technology companies, health care providers, patients, and other key stakeholders to advance health technology innovations into practice.
  • Each Health Innovation Team includes at least one provider of publicly funded health care services and at least one technology company with an R&D or manufacturing presence in Ontario.
  • The next call for applications for the Health Technologies Fund will be announced in spring 2017.

Additional Resources


“The Health Technologies Fund is helping to develop exciting new tools that will improve the flow of health information and allow patients to receive high-quality care in their own homes and communities.”

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

“Technology is transforming our province, and that includes our health care system. The Health Technologies Fund recipients and the Innovation Brokers are helping foster a culture of health innovation across Ontario. Together, these initiatives will create jobs within the province’s knowledge economy, while also improving patient outcomes for all Ontarians.”

Reza Moridi
Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

“The Health Technologies Fund is already having an impact in the health system because of the collaborations it has created between health service providers, health technology innovators and patients. We are finding new ways to solve our greatest challenges by harnessing the power of innovation to provide better care while creating jobs in Ontario.”

William Charnetski
Chief Health Innovation Strategist for Ontario

“Through Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund, Ontario Centres of Excellence is working with the government to strengthen our innovation ecosystem by supporting and accelerating development and implementation of made-in-Ontario health technologies. As a part of the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, these projects will better develop coordinated and integrated care in communities, improve patient outcomes and help companies to build evidence for adoption.”

Tom Corr
President and CEO, Ontario Centres for Excellence

“The Health Technologies Fund will greatly benefit Ontario-developed technologies that address health system challenges, while growing Ontario’s economy and, most importantly, improving the lives of patients. This is one of a number of initiatives from the Wynne government that highlight its tremendous commitment to make Ontario the leading jurisdiction for adopting innovative medical technologies.”

Brian Lewis
President and CEO, MEDEC

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has consistently advocated for better integration of Ontario-based innovations in our public health care system. With today’s announcements, the Government of Ontario has taken a critical step along the path to transforming our health care system.”

Graham Henderson
Chair of the Board of Directors, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Media Contacts

Media Line
Toll-free: 1-888-414-4774
GTA: 416-314-6197

David Jensen
Communications and Marketing Division-MOHLTC

Joshua McLarnon
Minister’s Office

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
(Toll-free in Ontario only)


MMIWG: Date to Apply for Standing Extended to April 18

Deadline for Standing Extended to April 18

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has extended the deadline to April 18 from April 10 for interested parties to apply for standing.

The application forms and instructions are available on the National Inquiry’s website, at under “Legal Notices and Documents.” There is also an opportunity for those parties seeking standing to apply for funding.

Applicants will receive written decisions from the Commissioners on whether their applications for standing and funding have been accepted and, if so, on what terms. Applications can be submitted by:

fax: 1-604-775-5009
mail: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Head Office, P.O. Box 500, Station A, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2N3.

For more information about standing, interested parties may call 1-604-775-9702.

Importantly, family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited individuals, and survivors of violence who wish to share their experiences with the Commissioners do not have to apply for standing. There is no need for these individuals to apply for funding under the standing process, as their reasonable expenses for attending to give their testimony will be paid by the National Inquiry, in accordance with the guidelines established.

Families and survivors who would like to share their stories with the National Inquiry should send an email to or call toll free 1-844-348-4119.

For more information, please contact:

Christa Big Canoe, Commission Counsel or Susan Vella, Lead Counsel via Sue Montgomery 514-240-0368 or


Province Launches Northern Economic Summits, Engages Northern Communities in Shared Pursuit of Economic Growth

April 3, 2017

Partnerships Key to Long-term Success in Manitoba’s North: Cullen

OPASKWAYAK CREE NATION—Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen was here today to launch a series of Northern Economic Summits, the next step in the Manitoba government’s Look North Strategy for long-term and sustainable economic development in the province’s north.

“These summits are a unique opportunity to build meaningful partnerships that are necessary to capture the opportunities for growth and long-term development in the region,” said Cullen. “They will bring together communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses, industry and labour leaders in a collaborative forum to identify pathways leading to renewed growth and economic diversification. Strengthening relationships with northern communities and their leaders is a priority for our government.”

Northern Economic Summits will be held in The Pas today and tomorrow, in Thompson on April 4 and 5 and in Churchill April 5 and 6. The summits will be led by Look North Task Force co-chairs Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, with a mandate to develop a northern economic development strategy in collaboration with Manitobans. Sinclair and Davidson welcomed the launch of the summits.

“We are looking forward to sharing ideas and helping to inspire long-term solutions for the economic sustainability of our communities,” said Sinclair. “These summits are an important first step toward increasing Indigenous participation in building the economies of Manitoba’s northern and remote regions.”

“Engagement with northern communities and leaders will inform the task force as we develop a strategy to develop existing expertise and attract new businesses and investment to the north,” said Davidson. “Northern Manitoba holds tremendous untapped potential and has been widely recognized as a region with significant opportunities for growth and renewal.”

Cullen noted that a number of community roundtables have also been organized throughout the province as part of the open discussion on northern development, adding that a stronger northern economy will be built on partnerships with communities and businesses to generate the sustained growth and job creation needed to ensure a prosperous future in the region.

Manitobans are encouraged to continue contributing their creativity and vision for the north via social media using the hashtag #looknorthmb or by submitting short videos, photos or in writing. Ideas can be submitted to

The minister added those from outside Manitoba considering investing in the region are encouraged to visit to access information about building a business in northern Manitoba.

– 30 –


2017 BC Community Achievers Announced

March 31, 2017

VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark and Scott McIntyre, CM, Chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, today named this year’s recipients of the BC Community Achievement Awards.

“What makes British Columbia a great place to call home is the generosity, dedication and commitment of British Columbians,” said Premier Clark. “Thank you to the 2017 recipients for always going the extra mile for your communities, and your province.”

“Today we celebrate the efforts of extraordinary British Columbians who strive to make our province a better place to live,” said McIntyre. “We thank them for their remarkable efforts through their work and volunteering.”

The recipients of the 2017 awards are:

• John and Sandra Barth, Burns Lake
• Garry F. Benson, Q.C., Kelowna
• Roger Bird, Nanaimo
• FR Charles Brandt, ERM, Black Creek
• Melanie Cadden, Nanaimo
• Daphne Cole, Vancouver
• Dorothy Durham, Jaffray
• Sardul S. Gill, Victoria
• Joanne Greenwood, Coquitlam
• Gerry Juzenas, Burnaby
• George Laverock, Vancouver
• Kenneth W. Lepin, Kamloops
• Krista Levar, Prince George
• Ann McNabb, Chilliwack
• William K. (Bill) Milsom, North Vancouver
• Tony Moore, Terrace
• Dalvir Nahal, Vernon
• Dr. Ralph Nilson, Nanaimo
• Walter Paetkau, Abbotsford
• Fred Robbins, Alkali Lake
• Birgit Sharman, Tumbler Ridge
• Barbara Stewart, Vancouver
• Carol Todd, Port Coquitlam
• Lin Wei (Henry) Tung, Sardis
• Master Lian Tzi, Vancouver
• Thomas George Whipps, Lantzville

An independent committee selects the recipients of the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards. The 2017 selection committee members are Mayor Jack Froese of the Township of Langley, Mayor Carol Leclerc of the City of Terrace and past recipients, Sue Bauman of Vancouver, Raghwa Gopal of Kelowna and David Young of Vancouver.

The recipients of the 2017 awards will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony at Government House in Victoria on April 26, 2017. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of BC to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Launched in 2003, the BC Community Achievement Awards were the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the BC Creative Achievement Award for Applied Art and Design, BC’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art, and the BC Aboriginal Business Awards.


Cathryn Wilson
Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation

2017 BC Community Achievement Awards


John and Sandra Barth, Burns Lake
John and Sandra Barth are known as diligent, behind-the-scenes volunteers, contributing at numerous community events in Burns Lake. Over the past 40 years, and always side-by-side, John and Sandra have lent their positive attitudes and energy to countless organizations, including the Burns Lake & District Seniors Society, the BC Senior Games, Terry Fox Run, the Lakes District Arts Council, along with projects for youth and rural outreach programs.

Garry F. Benson, Q.C., Kelowna
Garry Benson believes that giving back and actively participating in your community is essential. He has volunteered his time and expertise to building a supportive community for businesses and advocating for sustainable economic growth through his role as Former Chair and Director of Kelowna’s Economic Development Commission and as Current Director of the Uptown Rutland Business Association. Garry can also be found in activities as diverse as organizing pig roasts and cooking hot dogs at community markets to donating over 1500 hours of pro-bono legal counsel to those in need.

Roger Bird, Nanaimo
For the past two decades, Roger Bird has volunteered 30 hours a week to the Vancouver Island Military Museum (VIMM) and his involvement has grown with the institution he now heads as President. From a modest beginning in borrowed space in a shopping mall, the museum, now located in downtown Nanaimo, houses an unparalleled collection. It uniquely focuses on the contributions of all of Canada’s armed forces, including army, navy, air, peacekeeping, merchant navy and RCMP. A tourist destination and valuable heritage site for locals, the VIMM is a stunning achievement and powerful resource for understanding community members’ military history.

FR Charles Brandt, ERM, Black Creek
Father Charles Brandt believes that it is humanity’s great work to transform our disruptive influence on the earth to a benign presence. As a leading member of the Tsolum River Restoration Society, in partnership with other groups, he spearheaded a campaign to get the old copper mine site capped at a cost of $4.5 million, which enabled the immediate return of salmon to the river. Father Brandt has also volunteered with the Oyster River Enhancement Society contributing to the return of salmon and trout stocks to the once decimated river.

Melanie Cadden, Nanaimo
Melanie Cadden is the General Manager of COCO Cafe, a project of Cedar Opportunities Co-operative. COCO’s mission is to operate a successful social enterprise that supports employment, training, and socialization opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Under Melanie’s leadership, COCO’s team of less than 10 employees has grown to over 40 and the café now runs a full catering department. Soliciting donations from the community and exhausting grant funding when available, Melanie is an integral part of COCO’s success and a skilled community leader.

Daphne Cole, Vancouver
Daphne Cole has been making a difference in the lives of young people in BC for the past 30 years. As founder of the BC Children’s Hospital Auxiliary to help support families, patients and hospital staff in 1982, Daphne is a champion for the hospital and its mission. She is a significant donor to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and served a six-year term as a Governor. These efforts, along with her extensive volunteering have made her a child health ambassador for the entire province and crucial to the achievements and continuing excellence of the BC Children’s Hospital.

Dorothy Durham, Jaffray
The Village of Jaffray has benefited enormously from Dorothy Durham’s time, energy and experience. Her dedication to all aspects of community life has made her an integral part of Jaffray’s social, cultural and economic well-being. Whether using her training as a nurse and caring for those in need or volunteering through Crime Watch, the local Lady Lions, 4-H and the Galloway Curling Club, Dorothy reflects the importance of giving back through her daily actions. She is an invaluable member of her community who serves as an inspiration to those she supports.

Sardul S. Gill, Victoria
Born and raised in Victoria, Sardul Gill is actively involved in the local Sikh community where he is well known as a philanthropist and community elder. He donated $5 million to the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, establishing a permanent endowment for scholarships and financial awards, international projects, teaching and research. The Sardul S. Gill Graduate School at UVic marks the first time in Canada that such an institution has been named for a philanthropist of Sikh Indian descent and was the largest gift received from an alumnus to a graduate program at the university.

Joanne Greenwood, Coquitlam
Joanne Greenwood is dedicated to the empowerment of youth. She has transformed her personal experience as a survivor of bullying into a call for action through extensive involvement in campaigns and organizations to prevent others from suffering. An anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying advocate, Joanne co-founded Bully Free Zone Canada in 2011 and also co-founded the “BE BOLD!” campaign in 2013 to increase awareness of bullying – this campaign rapidly evolved into a means for people to express themselves through photography and anagrams, turning hurtful words to empowering ones.

Gerry Juzenas, Burnaby
Gerry Juzenas has, for 40 years, worked to advance the rights of people with disabilities along with the community’s understanding of issues specific to this population. Through various advocacy and board roles with organizations such as the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) and InclusionBC, in addition to presentations at local colleges and high schools, Gerry embodies what passion and commitment can achieve in furthering the rights of, and opportunities for, people with developmental disabilities.

George Laverock, Vancouver
A vision of Vancouver as a creative centre for world-class music has driven the commitment of George Laverock through his remarkable career and outstanding community involvement. George has made a lasting difference through his accomplishments in public broadcasting, arts administration and non-profit governance while mentoring the next generation of musicians. His volunteer involvement with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Canadian Music Centre, to name a few, along with countless hours on numerous boards, has created a legacy for musical arts and culture in British Columbia.

Kenneth W. Lepin, Kamloops
A recognized community leader, Ken Lepin is ubiquitous in Kamloops, working on boards including the City of Kamloops Board of Variance, Venture Kamloops and the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Foundation. A visionary philanthropist, Ken’s generosity will have an enduring impact on residents of the community of Kamloops and BC for many future generations. Leading by example, Ken serves as an inspiration through his quiet and unassuming leadership driven by his dedicated passion to give back.

Krista Levar, Prince George
A dedicated member of the Prince George community and a leading expert on therapy dogs, Krista Levar was among the first Victim Services managers in the province to introduce Crisis K-9’s into a victim-serving agency. With her dog, Max, she helps children navigate the complex court legal system and has introduced groundbreaking work in this field in BC. Levar has also created a personal safety education program for girls at risk called Run for Fun, serves as a board member of the New Hope Society, and has been a volunteer Big Sister for eight years.

Ann McNabb, Chilliwack
The Girl Guides of Canada have been at the core of Ann McNabb’s life since she first began her 52-year journey with them at eight years old. Her commitment embodies the organization’s goal to make a positive difference in the life of every girl and woman so she can contribute responsibly to her community. Moving through its ranks as both a Brownie and Guide leader, Ann now serves as the District Commissioner for Chilliwack District Girl Guides with 150 girl and adult members under her guidance. In addition to this commitment to the Girl Guides, Ann is engaged in the executive of the Canadian Council of the Blind’s Chilliwack chapter, along with two advocacy roles with other organizations for vision impaired and blind persons.

William K. (Bill) Milsom, North Vancouver
As both a community volunteer in safety and rescue organizations in North Vancouver and as an academic leader and mentor at the University of British Columbia, Bill Milsom is passionate about helping others. He has served for more than 20 years with the North Shore Rescue Team, acting as one of 40 highly trained members who must perform at the highest level of mountaineering and first aid skills while responding to difficult conditions at short notice. His dedication is reflected in all he does and, since 1985, Bill has also volunteered with the First Aid Ski Patrol (FASP) at Cypress Mountain, donating over 2000 hours of service.

Tony Moore, Terrace
Tony Moore is a trail builder and a primary influence in the development of multi-use trails in Terrace. Over the past 15 years, he has assisted with the design, building, and maintenance of trails in the Terrace region, enjoyed by hundreds of hikers, runners and bikers every week. In 2010, he consolidated all design input and funding for Steinhoe Ridge and helped build the trail as a volunteer and later as the supervisor of construction. Tony is responsible for the complexity and quality of the Terrace trail network – parts of which he walks almost daily to identify and resolve problem areas – that has expanded from five kilometers to over 35 today.

Dalvir Nahal, Vernon
Dalvir Nahal leads efforts and volunteers her time to help people dealing with mental health issues, homelessness and racism. Her work has bridged communities and promoted diversity, built rooms in hospitals and cancer clinics, provided cancer treatment support for patients without health benefits, food for the homeless, health assistance for the mentally ill, and tourism ideas and green solutions for her community. Dalvir volunteers with several community organizations and foundations and has raised over $220,000 in funds for charitable causes in addition to her four community board positions.

Dr. Ralph Nilson, Nanaimo
Dr. Ralph Nilson has worked with thoughtful dedication over many years to create opportunities for former youth in care to pursue a post-secondary education. As President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University (VIU), he was the first university leader in BC to respond to this call and continues to be a leader in this area today. With an unwavering support for the process of reconciliation and a strong commitment to ensuring Indigenous students have access to relevant and positive post-secondary opportunities, Ralph has changed the landscape for hundreds of youth leaving care and molded VIU into a model for others to learn from.

Walter Paetkau, Abbotsford
When he started Abbotsford Community Services in 1969 as a small, unfunded organization with an all-volunteer staff, Walter Paetkau was moved by compassion, care and commitment to his community, particularly those in need and the less fortunate. He has since grown it to become the province’s largest community service organization, with 380 staff, 2,000 volunteers and 23 sites. Among its 70 programs are a food bank, Meals On Wheels and the Abbotsford Recycling Depot. Thirty years ago, Walter launched the first Fraser Valley United Way campaign, which now raises funds for more than 26 local charities.

Fred Robbins, Alkali Lake
Fred Robbins is dedicated to uniting all communities of the Cariboo Chilcotin to ensure the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and its survivors are not forgotten. During his time as Chief of Esk’etemc First Nation he initiated public events, workshops and seminars, as well as a monument at the school and in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park, and was also instrumental in the development of Orange Shirt Day, which continues today. Through his vision, Fred, a residential school survivor, brought together First Nations, Tribal Councils, local government leaders, school districts, and former students to remember, recover and reconcile. He continues with his message today and has given voice and hope to the Truth and Reconciliation process in British Columbia.

Birgit Sharman, Tumbler Ridge
For more than a decade, Birgit Sharman has championed a number of key impact events for the Tumbler Ridge community. Through her work with the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society since its inception in 1992, Birgit organized the Ridge Ramble Cross Country Ski Race and has served on the Emperor’s Challenge Mountain Run Organizing Committee for fifteen years, helping it to become the largest off-road running event in BC. In addition, Birgit supported and serves on the Board of Directors of the community’s most exciting development, the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark, which is one of 111 such UNESCO Global Geoparks worldwide, and only the second in North America.

Barbara Stewart, Vancouver
Barbara Stewart embodies the spirit of Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC, which states that “together we can be there when families need us most” through her four decades of remarkable commitment to the charity. She has served as a volunteer with Variety holding every significant office in the organization and contributing in a range of ways. She’s been President, assisted every fundraising effort, been a member of the President’s Circle for Variety International, introduced and chaired the Gold Hearts campaign and raised more than $5 million for children with special needs. Barbara is an invaluable part of Variety and continues to inspire by her commitment and actions.

Carol Todd, Port Coquitlam
Since 2012, Carol Todd has been an active and dedicated advocate raising awareness on the dangers of cyberbullying. Building on the tragic suicide of her daughter, Amanda Todd, Carol promotes her daughter’s message of hope and strength. Her platform reaches parents and children alike and, by sharing her personal experience of losing a child, she engages her community on mental health awareness while delivering valuable education and resources to those in need throughout British Columbia and beyond. Carol created the Amanda Todd Legacy Society in honour of her daughter’s memory to recognize the uniqueness within each person and, by doing so, empowering their individuality.

Lin Wei (Henry) Tung, Sardis
Motivation, work ethic and a commitment to community define Henry Tung’s contributions to his high school and community. Originally from Taiwan, Henry and his family immigrated to Chilliwack, via PEI, and he was determined to give back to his new home. As a consistent honour roll student, Henry also volunteered for a wide variety of school clubs and community organizations while volunteering with the Red Cross, Fraser Health, and Interact Club to name a few. Now a second year scholarship student a Queen’s University, Henry has left a lasting impact on his hometown school and community and is an example for other students to follow.

Master Lian Tzi, Vancouver
An accomplished Buddhist master, lecturer, writer and yoga master, Master Lian Tzi stands out for her dedication and quiet leadership to promote the values of peace, compassion and selfless community service. As President of the Lotus Light Charity Society, Master Lian Tzi has guided its humanitarian missions to help Vancouver’s most vulnerable through the Hot Meal for the Homeless Program, Winter Charity Drive, Annual Rice Donation Program and Children’s Backpack Program to name a few. The Society’s inspired goal, “through caring and learning we help build a better tomorrow” drives Master Lian Tzi’s commitment which comes straight from the heart and her caring dedication has made her community a better and brighter place.

Thomas George Whipps, Lantzville
Tom Whipps’s volunteer commitment stands out as a much beloved member of the Lantzville community. Lantzville relies on volunteers and ‘neighbours taking care of neighbours’ and Tom embodies this ethic in everything he does. He served for two decades as a Scout leader and continues to help the organization, even though his sons are long since grown up. Active in the community’s sports, its seniors’ group, as well as a dedicated volunteer firefighter, Tom’s efforts are legendary and represent the lifeblood of his town. An ambassador for the community and a good citizen who has made a difference, Tom is a true leader whose example is an inspiration to all.

British Columbia Achievement Foundation
T. 604.261.9777 | Toll Free 866.882.6088 (in BC)
F. 778.379.0511


Ontario Announces Results of First Cap and Trade Program Auction

Proceeds Will Be Invested to Help Households and Businesses Fight Climate Change

April 3, 2017 3:00 P.M.

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Today, Ontario announced the results of the province’s auction of greenhouse gas emissions allowances, held March 22, 2017.

A total of 25,296,367 current (2017) allowances were sold at a settlement price of $18.08 and a total of 812,000 future (2020) greenhouse gas emissions allowances were sold at a settlement price of $18.07. The auction generated $472,031,155 in proceeds, which by law will be invested in programs that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help families and businesses reduce their own emissions through the Climate Change Action Plan. Ontario has already committed $325 million to the Green Investment Fund to kick-start climate change actions by:

The auction was administered using services contracted by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Inc., with oversight from an independent market monitor to ensure market integrity.

The summary report of the results has been made available to the public.

Quick Facts

  • On May 18, 2016, Ontario passed landmark climate change legislation that ensures the province is accountable for responsibly and transparently investing proceeds from the cap and trade program.
  • The Climate Change Action Plan and greenhouse gas emissions reduction program form the backbone of Ontario’s strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • In April 2015, Ontario announced its intention to join the linked system under the Western Climate Initiative, partnering with other jurisdictions, including Quebec and California, and making carbon pricing a cornerstone in Ontario’s fight against climate change.
  • After introducing its cap and trade program and putting a price on carbon, California’s economy grew at a pace that exceeded the growth of the rest of the U.S. economy.
  • The number of jobs in California grew by almost 3.3 per cent in the first year and a half of the program, outstripping the national rate of job creation, which was 2.5 per cent over the same period.
  • In the United States, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI – which issues carbon dioxide allowances distributed through regional auctions) has invested more than $1.3 billion of auction proceeds in programs that include energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, greenhouse gas abatement and direct bill assistance.
  • RGGI investments are projected to return more than $4.67 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to more than 4.6 million participating households and 21,400 businesses.

Additional Resources


“Our government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions is the right solution for Ontario to fight climate change. This plan sets a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions while giving flexibility to businesses and industry in terms of how they meet their caps. Through this system, we will meet our emissions reduction targets at the lowest cost to the people of Ontario.”

Glen R. Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Media Contacts

Ruth Gebremedhin
Minister’s Office

Gary Wheeler
Communications Branch


Agreement solidifies relationship with McLeod Lake

April 3, 2017

MCLEOD LAKE – British Columbia and the McLeod Lake Indian Band today celebrated an agreement to strengthen their government-to-government relationship while supporting economic development opportunities.

The government-to-government agreement creates a consultation process between the band and the Province for natural-resource development and wildlife management, and supports the social and economic well-being of the band members.

It also establishes a collaborative management committee for the Omenica area, encompassing approximately 23,000 square kilometres, which will focus on environmental stewardship in balance with a strong forest economy and a common goal of maintaining the availability of timber.

The agreement balances McLeod Lake’s treaty rights with land and natural resource development in their traditional territory and ensures the McLeod Lake Indian Band has a meaningful role in the management and economic development of those resources and a share of the revenue.

The government-to-government agreement includes $5.8 million to invest in a long-term trust to support the community’s youth as they grow to adulthood. The goal is to promote educational pursuits and members will be able to access funding up to the age of 35 years if they get their B.C. graduation certificate.

The agreement provides revenue sharing with the Province from oil and gas activity on the band’s traditional territory. The Province will provide $1 million over the life of the agreement, which extends until March 31, 2024, to help with implementation.

British Columbia has also entered into four new revenue-sharing agreements with the McLeod Lake Indian Band as part of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The agreements provide the band with a percentage of the revenue the Province receives from the independent power producers operating in Quality Creek, Septimus Creek, Thunder Mountain and Tumbler Ridge, located within the band’s traditional territory.


John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“The Province has had a long and constructive relationship with the McLeod Lake Indian Band. This agreement will ensure that we continue to work well together while strengthening rural economic development for businesses and families in the community. The success of rural communities is vital to the success of British Columbia.”

Chief Derek Orr, McLeod Lake Indian Band –

“The McLeod Lake Indian Band is happy to take this next step with the provincial government to ensure that we have a voice in the prosperity of our members and all strategic discussions that affect our traditional territory. And it provides the means for us to create future opportunities for our young people.”

Mike Morris, MLA, Prince George-Mackenzie –

“The McLeod Lake Indian Band leads in creating entrepreneurial opportunities in our province within the First Nations community. This agreement will ensure more certainty and will no doubt lead to greater business accomplishments and opportunities.”

Pat Crook, mayor, District of Mackenzie –

“McLeod Lake Indian Band is an important economic partner with the District of Mackenzie and we are happy to see a formalized agreement between the McLeod Lake Indian Band and the Province.”

Quick Facts:

  • McLeod Lake Indian Band is 138 kilometres north of Prince George.
  • The band has 556 members, living in McLeod Lake, District of Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Prince George and throughout North America.
  • McLeod Lake Indian Band has been included in Treaty 8 since 2000.
  • The band has three Natural Gas Pipeline Benefits Agreements in the past two years for the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line, Coastal Gas Link and Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project.
  • Related to Site C, the band has agreements with B.C. Hydro: Impact Benefits Agreement, Contracting Agreement and Tripartite Land Agreement.

Learn More:

McLeod Lake Indian Band:

For a copy of the government-to-government agreement, visit:


Edward Hill
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 356-5831

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


Speech – World Economic Forum and Canadian Association of New York (CANY)

Speech by the Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P.

Check against delivery

Hello and thank you for joining me here today.

I’d first like to thank Jean-Pierre Rosso, Jonathon Cini and the World Economic Forum team who helped organize this luncheon.

I want to thank Consul General Phyllis Yaffe, as well as Ken Ottenbreit from CANY for helping with this event.

And I want to thank our moderator Gillian Tett for joining us today.

I’m thrilled to be back in New York City.

A few weeks ago, I met with students at Columbia University to talk a little bit about what makes the Canada-US relationship so special—

The shared priorities that make us more than neighbours, but strong partners who, more often than not, share the same goals.

Priorities like providing a better life for the middle class, and those working hard to join it.

And creating good, well-paying jobs on both sides of the border, so that hard-working Americans and Canadians can give their kids and their grandkids a better future.

On March 22, I tabled our government’s second budget, which we called Building a Strong Middle Class.

This budget is the next step in our plan to make responsible investments that support families, build our communities, and help Canada be globally competitive in the new economy.

It is a plan that began 18 months ago, when we were first elected.

We got to work immediately by lowering taxes for middle class Canadians, and providing a more generous and better-targeted benefit for families with children.

And more support for students, women and Indigenous Peoples.

We also made historic enhancements to Canada’s public pension plan and renewed funding for our public health care system—particularly in mental health and home care.

We also signed trade agreements and partnerships that have made Canada’s place in the world stronger—

All of these things in just 18 months.

And already we are seeing encouraging signs that our plan is working.

There is a growing sense of optimism among Canada’s middle class.

Consumer spending is up.

Unemployment has fallen in the time since we took office.

Since July of last year, over 250,000 jobs were created, almost all of which were full-time. This is the strongest seven months of job gains in a decade.

And the pace of economic expansion is forecast to pick up in 2017.

But we know there’s more to do.

Why? Because all over the world, countries—including Canada—are being challenged to address middle class anxiety.

At my first G20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, in November of 2015, Canada’s plan to restore optimism to our middle class was looked upon with curiosity by some of the other representatives.

Less than a year later, at the G20 Summit in China, the idea that the benefits of growth need to be more widely shared was on everyone’s lips—and top of the agenda.

A few weeks ago, at the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Germany, it was simply an accepted truth.

It was at that meeting where I met Secretary Mnuchin for the second time.

Our discussion was a continuation of the conversation that I feel began in Canada—how we can work together to strengthen the middle class.

Though we in Canada feel like we were ahead of the curve in beginning to address these problems a year and a half ago, we aren’t about to quit while we’re ahead.

That’s why we’re building on our initial investments to make our communities better places to live, with historic investments in infrastructure: more than CAD$180 billion over the next decade.

We are working with provincial and municipal governments to plan, implement and deliver transformative infrastructure that makes the daily commute shorter and our communities healthier.

And we will work with the private sector to do even more.

Our $35 billion Canada Infrastructure Bank will work with the private sector to create opportunities that are big and transformational, so that we can create thousands of jobs and attract as much as $4 to $5 in private capital for every tax dollar invested.

Recently, we welcomed the announcement by our leading financial institutions to establish a business growth fund that will help ambitious Canadian companies get the capital they need to grow and succeed globally.

We saw a challenge. We worked together to solve it. Quickly. And at no cost to the taxpayer.

We’ve also chosen to make big bets by focusing investments in six economic sectors where we know Canada can lead the way globally: digital, clean technology, agri-food, advanced manufacturing, bio-sciences and clean resources.

Just last week we announced a CAD$125 million investment in a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, designed to support and link together three particularly strong and emerging clusters in the Canadian cities of Montréal, Toronto and Edmonton.

But as complex as the technology we rely on gets, we can never forget who’s behind that innovation.

People—and I’m not just speaking of Canadians here.

Which is why our plan is not just working to create jobs today, we’re getting Canadians ready for the jobs of tomorrow.

It is an ambitious plan. We are looking far down the road to ensure prosperity of the next generation.

And we are looking past our own borders to build on that prosperity through new partnerships, and old friends.

As I’ve said before, openness and investment are the keys to Canada’s future success.

As we look to grow our economy, we are aiming to dramatically increase our exports, particularly in those sectors I just mentioned.

So naturally, we are going to turn first to Canada’s best customer and trusted partner—the United States.

In part, that’s why I’m back here in New York—my second visit here and fourth visit to the United States in just over two months.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Indianapolis.

I’m here to remind you that we do a lot of business together.

Almost US$2 billion (CAD$2.4 billion) per day, every day, in terms of goods and services trade—even more if you include cross-border investment.

Together, our two countries are building a 21st century border through initiatives that will expedite the safe—and vital—flow of people, information and goods across our shared border.

Just consider one of the many ways in which Canada’s and America’s middle class are deeply linked—your car’s transmission and how it got to you.

It begins at Metaldyne, St. Cloud, Minnesota, where scrap iron chips are cast—scrap iron chips from Canada.

These materials are then sent back to Linamar, a Canadian auto parts manufacturer based in Guelph, Ontario (560 employees), to be machined and assembled.

Then that part crosses the border for a third time back to the Ford transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where it becomes part of a fully assembled transmission.

Then the completed transmission is shipped back to an assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, Canada where it is installed in the vehicle.

Then the assembled vehicle crosses the border for a fifth and final time on its way to a dealership in your neighbourhood.

It’s an incredible journey that touches the lives of hundreds of people on both sides of our border—Canadians and Americans with good middle class jobs.

Regardless of the rapidly changing economy, this journey will persist.

Because behind all the innovation, there are our people—talented and creative Americans and Canadians who work to build our cars, grow our food, and turn new technologies into products sold around the world.

The transmission in your car is just one of countless examples that underscore how we are connected and what we can achieve through trade and partnership.

It is a specific example of how entire industries are linked across the continent.

The North American steel industry, for example, is highly integrated, bringing jobs and benefits to the United States as well as Canada.

This two-way trade is essential to the prosperity of workers—including steel makers—in both countries.

That is why we believe a border tax is not in the best interest of American or Canadian families—in fact it would make us poorer, by imposing extra costs on US companies and disrupting trade at the border.

This is trade that works.

It works for our economies and it works to help the middle class in both Canada and the United States.

That is why we are making targeted investments to address bottlenecks in our national trade corridors, making our marine ports, airports, as well as rail lines and highways more efficient—to better connect our two economies.

In supporting a more innovative economy, we will help young Canadian companies scale up, increasing opportunities for investment and establishing new supply chains that build on where we have succeeded together in the past.

Our plan is focused on building Canada’s middle class, but the prosperity we are after doesn’t stop at our border.

Canada-US trade works.

Canada-US trade brings assurance to the middle class and those working hard to join it, at a time where the future seems less than certain.

That makes it worth investing in, preserving and pushing forward.

Thank you. I am happy to take a few questions.


Local hockey player to participate in Canadian Aboriginal championships on Vancouver Island in May – Belleville Intelligencer

April 03, 2017

Belleville’s Braedyn Irwin has played in a world championship in her own backyard.

Now, she’ll play in a Canadian championship on the West Coast.

Irwin, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Moira Secondary School, has been selected to play for the Team Ontario women’s hockey team at the 2017 Canadian Aboriginal championships, May 1-6 in Cowichan, B.C.

In 2016, Irwin played for Team USA at the IFF U19 women’s world floorball championships in May at the Sports Centre. As a Native Canadian, Irwin was eligible to play for Canada or the U.S. and agreed to leave the Canada camp and bail out a shorthanded American squad on the eve of the tournament by joining Team USA.

This year, Irwin represents her home province, in hockey, on Vancouver Island.

Read More:

NTI Board of Directors Rejects Bill

The Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) Board of Directors voted unanimously to call on the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut to reject Bill 37, the proposed legislation that contains amendments to the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act. The NTI Board of Directors passed the resolution during their meeting in Arviat recently. NTI President Aluki Kotierk said the board was extremely concerned that the proposed amendments have gotten to this stage, and called for Bill 37 to be withdrawn.

Since 2016, through correspondence and submissions, NTI asked the GN to commit funding to undertake an Inuit Employment Plan and to begin an ambitious program of training Inuit educators. Instead of changing the legislation, what is needed is substantially increased funding and support for Inuit educator training and Inuktut language curriculum development.

“NTI has thoroughly reviewed Bill 37. It will dilute our Inuit right to Inuktut education. This is unacceptable. Nunavut was created so that our rights to learn in Inuktut would be recognized and protected,” said Kotierk. “The NTI Board of Directors calls on the Standing Committee to recommend withdrawal of Bill 37 at this time. Appropriate legislative changes could be reconsidered once the Inuit Employment Plan is developed with timelines and adequate funding. All elected leaders in this territory represent Inuit. Not one of us can stand by and watch as the government brings in laws that will reduce Inuit rights to Inuktut language of instruction, and Inuit control over education,” said Kotierk.


1st Annual FHQTC Sports, Culture and Recreation Symposium

Apr 06, 2017 @ 8:00 am – Apr 07, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Event Navigation
1st Annual FHQTC Sports, Culture and Recreation Symposium
“Sharing Knowledge to Enrich Lives”
Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7
Treaty Four Governance Centre





“Creating Healthy Communities Through Sport”

SESSIONS to include:

o Grant Writing & Follow Up

o High 5

o Board Development

o Self Defense (indigenous Women)

Register by March 31st, 2017

Contact: Cindy Desnomie





How Jay Odjick illustrated Robert Munsch’s newest book – CBC

April 03, 2017

Helen lives with her family on a reserve in northern Alberta. One morning, she wakes up and peers outside her window to see that the snow has disappeared from the ground and the sun is streaming through the trees. Excited by the arrival of spring, she swings open the front door — and is greeted by a giant swarm of blackflies and mosquitos.

She is the main character of beloved children author Robert Munsch’s new book, Blackflies, which was illustrated by Algonquin artist Jay Odjick.

Portraying the First Nations community

We wanted to instantly set the tone that the book was taking place in a First Nations community and that the characters were First Nations characters. I think it’s a huge thing to have a book from as high profile of a writer as Robert Munsch set in a First Nations community. We don’t want to leave that ambiguous. We wanted people to know. So we wanted to approach the design process from a perspective of “Okay, let’s do modern First Nations people. Let’s not go to the stereotypes and the tropes and the things that we’ve seen before.” I think that it’s important to show First Nations kids an accurate representation, a positive representation of themselves drawn by one of their own.

Read More:

Webcast on Changes to the 2017-2018 CMF Programs

Toronto, April 3, 2017 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will hold a webcast to provide an overview of changes to the 2017-2018 programs as announced on March 31. The webcast, hosted by Nathalie Clermont, Director of Program Management at the CMF, can be viewed on April 11 by clicking here or through Facebook Live.

French: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 11 a.m., ET
English: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 2 p.m., ET

Participants are invited to ask questions in advance or during the webcast by emailing, through the CMF Twitter feeds @CMF_FMC (English) and @CMF_FMC_FR (French), or by using the comment function on the webcast page.

Click here to register for the webcast and test the page on your computer. The webcast can be viewed by using either iOS or Flash. You will be asked to provide your name and email address to access the broadcast page. Please note that you may need to sign in again on the day of the webcast.

Now, for the first time, you can also follow the webcast through Facebook Live by going to the CMF’s Facebook page at the exact time of the webcast. Please remember to follow the CMF’s Facebook page for regular updates and industry trends.

Complete Program Guidelines, application deadlines, and a summary of all the changes are available on the CMF website:

Media Contact:

André Ferreira
Communications Manager


LABRC: Katzie First Nation Votes YES to their Community Land Code

Congratulations to Katzie First Nation!  On March 29, 2017, Katzie First Nation eligible voters ratified their community land code, and in doing so, opted out of 34 limiting, land-related sections of the Indian Act.  Their land code is a vital step towards cultural and economic self-sufficiency for the community, and the environmental protection and proper governance of their lands.  Katzie First Nation is the 71st First Nation to become operational under the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management and now assumes land governance jurisdiction over their reserve lands and resources.


MNO Windsor-Essex Métis Council and local museum educate public about Métis

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Windsor-Essex Métis Council (WEMC) worked with the Chumzuk Museum in Windsor to develop a small Métis display as part of two displays being exhibited at the Museum. The display is called There’s Indian in the Family and Métis/Half Breed People, and the text and maps used were taken from the MNO Education and Training Métis Education Kit and included Métis contributions during the War of 1812; which was an important event in the Windsor area.

The MNO WEMC was part of a planning committee that the Museum formed to encourage groups within the Windsor area to share their stories through artifacts and personal collections. MNO WEMC Senator Jim Turner often provided a smudging prayer at the planning committee meetings and by March 1, 2017, the Métis display was ready. The MNO WEMC was very pleased with the final result.

The main purpose for the display was to promote the MNO WEMC and encourage local MNO citizens to be proud of their Métis history.

The second display is still under construction. It will be larger and will focus on the Métis historical timeline. It will also feature some updates about the most recent Métis rights cases and Margaret Froh, the first woman to become MNO President.

The second display will also look at the contributions of Métis to Canada and Ontario within the context of Canada 150. This will include the achievements of Ontario Métis, the Red River and Northwest Resistances and Manitoba’s entry into Confederation.

The MNO WEMC respects that there is varied views on Canada 150, so the second display will show Métis progress within Ontario and also respect the contributions of Métis veterans.


Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) Building Allies Across B.C. and Canada To Oppose KGHM’s Ajax Mine in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA–( April 1, 2017) – Today, over 30 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members across British Columbia and Canada announced their support to the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation’s (SSN) decision to withhold its free, prior and informed consent to the development of the lands and resources at Pípsell (Jacko Lake and area) for the purposes of KHGM’s Ajax copper-gold mine.

The announcement was made this morning during an Allies Meeting and a Solidarity Ceremony held at the Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Supporting organizations signed a “Declaration of Support” to the SSN Pípsell Decision, announced on March 4th of this year (see list and quotes of supporting organizations enclosed).

The Ajax Mine Project in its proposed location at Pípsell is in opposition to the SSN land use objective for this profoundly sacred, culturally important, and historically significant keystone site, which significance is fundamental and undiminished. If approved, the mine would destroy part of Jacko Lake and irreversibly affect Pípsell.

“The SSN has taken a historic step in self-determination through conducting its own independent assessment of the Ajax open pit project in accordance with SSN laws, traditions, customs and governance system. The SSN wants to preserve the use of Pípsell area for all British Columbians and Canadians in accordance with Secwepemc law,” states Dr Ron Ignace, Chief of Skeetchestn.

The SSN, which represents the communities of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Skeetchestn Indian Band, has an irreplaceable historical, cultural and spiritual connection to Pípsell. Councillor Viola Thomas, Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, says: “This connection is deeply rooted in one their oral histories: the Trout Children Stseptékwll. The Trout Children Oral History is inseparably connected to the place of the proposed Ajax mine site. It encapsulates and expresses the human connection of Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc, to Pípsell. It sustains Secwépemc law about Secwépemc conduct on the land and the reciprocal accountability to living beings on the land, social conduct across generations and within generations.”

SSN Spokespeople

  • Dr Ron Ignace, Chief of Skeetchestn
  • Councillor Viola Thomas, Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc
Declaration of Support to Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation,

April 1


, 2017, Kamloops:

Union of BC Indians Chiefs
British Columbia Assembly of First Nations
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council
First Nations Women Advocating for Responsibile Mining
Indigenous Environment Network
West Coast Environmental Law
David Suzuki Foundation
Sierra Club BC
Council of Canadians
MiningWatch Canada
Rivers Without Borders
Wilderness Committee
Fair Mining Collaborative
BC Environmental Network
Northern Confluence
Clayoquot Action
Kamloops Code Blue
Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society
Kamloops Area Preservation Association
Kamloops Moms For Clean Air
Thompson Institute for Environmental Studies
Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association Human Rights Committee
Thompson Watershed Coalition
Aberdeen Neighborhood Area
Sagebrush Neighbourhood Association
Coalition East Kamloops
Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake
Forest Protection Allies
Contact Information:
Media contact:
Sunny LeBourdais


NunatuKavut: Temporary closure of Aboriginal Service Centre – Labrador West

Please note that the Aboriginal Service Centre in Labrador West will be closed temporarily while we wait on approval of new fiscal funding. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have a NunatuKavut-related question or concern, please call our head office toll-free at 1-877-896-0592 or email


Caribou cams show calf birth, herd behaviour in Nunavik – NunatsiaqOnline

April 03, 2017

Caribou Ungava project uses camera collars to track Leaf River herd

There is a lot of close-up tundra munching, baby grooming, forward movement and panning left and right across the landscape. There’s even underwater footage of skinny legs paddling through blue-green water.

It’s what you might expect from a caribou cam.

Wildlife biologists from Université Laval’s Caribou Ungava research project have been seeking answers as to why the Leaf River caribou population in Nunavik has steeply declined in recent years.

In March 2016, they decided to outfit some pregnant female caribou with camera collars as a way to gauge how many calves are surviving to the fall and maybe get some clues as to why.

Read More:

Announcement from Nechi

Recently, Nechi Board of Governors hired a NEW Chief Executive Officer to take the helm and continue to move the organization forward.

Nechi welcomes Colleen Courtoreille, MSW, RSW to the position of Chief Executive Officer.  Colleen will be officially starting on April 18, 2017, at which time welcomes your emails, questions, and congratulatory comments.

Colleen’s full bio will be posted upon her commencement.  Welcome Colleen.


FSIN: Oliver Cameron Devoted his Life to Betterment of First Nations People

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nation’s Executive, Elders, Veterans, Staff and Senate extend their condolences to the family of Oliver Cameron, who passed away suddenly on March 29.

Cameron, best known as OC throughout the territories, was born on November 17, 1944 on the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. He grew up on Beardy’s and received his education at the St. Michael’s and Lebret Indian Residential Schools.

Cameron devoted his life to supporting youth employment development and community relations. He was instrumental in introducing the first Teacher Education Program on the reserve. Oliver’s career comprised years of commitment to the betterment of First Nations in the areas of Social Services, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Saskatchewan Indian Community College (SIIT) and retired as the Director of Labour Force Development with Saskatoon Tribal Council.

Cameron was known for his charismatic, humorous, and friendly personality. In his later years he enjoyed golfing, gardening, reading, horse races, the Dakota Dunes and watching sports. He especially loved to watch the Montreal Canadiens and Saskatchewan Rough Riders.

Cameron continued to work after retirement and he dedicated time to the FSIN as deputy speaker and then as Mr. Speaker of the FSIN Legislative Assembly. He provided Elder services to the Saskatoon Police Services and the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and was also the elder for the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, North American Indigenous Games and SaskSport.

The Funeral Service will be held today at 1:00 pm in the Constable Robin Cameron Memorial Complex, Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, SK.


Northern economic summits being held this week – Thompson Citizen

April 3, 2017

The Look North task force launched its first of three economic summits in Northern Manitoba April 3 in The Pas, with the second one in Thompson running April 4-5 and the final one in Churchill April 5-6.

“These summits are a unique opportunity to build meaningful partnerships that are necessary to capture the opportunities for growth and long-term development in the region,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen, who launched the summit series. “They will bring together communities, indigenous and non-indigenous businesses, industry and labour leaders in a collaborative forum to identify pathways leading to renewed growth and economic diversification. Strengthening relationships with northern communities and their leaders is a priority for our government.”

The summits are being led by Look North task force co-chairs Opaskwayak Cree Nation Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce president and CEO Chuck Davidson.

Read More:

LABRC: Lake Cowichan First Nation now the 72nd Operational Signatory Nation!

On March 31st, 2017, Lake Cowichan First Nation voters fully embraced their community land code by voting 100% in support of its ratification. The 72nd signatory nation to ratify a land code under the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, Lake Cowichan First Nation now has the jurisdiction to protect and govern their reserve lands and resources.  Their land code reflects the unique needs and traditions of the Lake Cowichan community, and will provide environmental protection for their reserve lands and resources, as well as being crucial to cultural and economic self-sufficiency efforts for generations to come.  Congratulations Lake Cowichan!


THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS Honours Canadian Music History, Heritage, and its Future Stars with Powerful Live Broadcast

  • Leonard Cohen, Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip receive more Academy nods, doubling their wins for the weekend
  • Co-hosts Bryan Adams and Russell Peters delight fans during supersized broadcast
  • Sarah McLachlan inducted to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Ottawa, ON – THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS pulled out all the stops at the sold-out live broadcast celebrating Canada’s diverse musical talent. Live from the Canadian Tire Centre in the nation’s capital, the two-and-a-half hour broadcast opened with a greeting from this year’s recipient of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, Buffy Sainte-Marie. Ottawa’s own A Tribe Called Red, delivered an electrifying performance celebrating Canada’s indigenous culture featuring the Black Bear Drum Circle, Sainte-Marie, and internationally-renowned throat singer, Tanya Tagaq.

As a signature event for Ottawa 2017, in honour of Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS broadcast showcased some of the country’s best talent, honoured music legends, and recognized artists who continue to shape the Canadian music scene.

Following a big win at Saturday’s JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, Canadian music icon Leonard Cohen received further recognition during the broadcast as the Album of the Year winner*. Later in the evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau delivered a touching speech on Cohen’s legacy, as they introduced the tribute performance of classic Cohen song “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” by Feist. The recognition of Canadian music legends continued with Gord Downie receiving Songwriter of the Year*, and The Tragically Hip taking home Group of the Year.

Shawn Mendes, who got the crowd on their feet with a performance of his song Mercy, won JUNO Fan Choice Award*.

Four of the evening’s eight awards were handed to some of Canada’s top women in music. Another milestone in a wildly successful year for the young star, Ruth B. took home the first award of the night, receiving a statuette for Breakthrough Artist of the Year*. She later took to the stage to perform her whimsical hit “Lost Boy” with Orkidstra, a recipient organization for MusiCounts’ TD Community Music Program. Platinum-selling Jess Moskaluke took home Country Album of the Year for her sophomore album Kiss Me Quiet, while Alessia Cara snagged the Pop Album of the Year award for her 2016 smash record Know-It-All, and delivered empowered performances of her latest single “Stay”, and chart-topper “Scars to Your Beautiful” with DJ/Producer Zedd.

As well, 10-time JUNO Award winner Sarah McLachlan was inducted to the Canadian Hall of Fame by co-host Bryan Adams, celebrating a stellar career spanning more than three decades. McLachlan later performed a stirring rendition of her song “World on Fire”.


Co-hosted by Russell Peters and Bryan Adams, CTV’s super-sized THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS show broadcast boasted 12 unique performances including Shawn Mendes, who made this third consecutive appearance on the JUNO stage, performing “Mercy” to the screaming crowd; an energetic version of single “Side Effects” by Dallas Smith; an explosive performance of “Picturing Love” by indie rock band July Talk; a performance of breakout hit “Spirits” by The Strumbellas, in their JUNO broadcast debut; Arkells, who returned to the JUNO stage with a high energy version of fan-favourite track “Drake’s Dad”; and an impactful performance by Billy Talent, who delivered the title track to their hit album, “Afraid of Heights”.

The broadcast also featured hilarious taped segments by co-hosts Russell Peters and Bryan Adams, and the stars of CraveTV’s smash hit LETTERKENNY. Adams, who earlier in the night performed single “You Belong to Me”, closed the broadcast with an all-star jam of the co-host’s classic hit “Summer of ’69.”

The evening’s exceptional roster of presenters included electronic duo Bob Moses; music pioneer and 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award recipient  Buffy Sainte-Marie; singer-songwriter and JUNO Award nominee Chantal Kreviazuk; singer, songwriter, and producer Coleman Hell; singer-songwriter Delaney Jane; rapper Jazz Cartier; platinum-selling country artist Jess Moskaluke; Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy; comedian and Much Digital Studios Creator Jus Reign; Marianas Trench frontman Josh Ramsay; ETALK reporter Liz Trinnear; the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly; Nathan Dales and Michelle Mylett from CraveTV’s LETTERKENNY; rockers Sam Roberts Band; and Toronto rap artist Tasha the Amazon.


*Award Sponsors for the 2017 JUNO Awards listed above include Album of the Year (sponsored by Music Canada), Songwriter of the Year (presented by SOCAN), JUNO Fan Choice (presented by TD) and Breakthrough Artist of the Year (sponsored by FACTOR, The Government of Canada, Canada’s Private Radio Broadcast and Radio Starmaker Fund).

THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS is produced by Insight Productions in association with CTV and The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). Executive Producers are John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby for Insight Productions, Allan Reid and Mark Cohon for CARAS, and Randy Lennox for Bell Media. Lindsay Cox is Executive Producer and Supervising Producer, Insight Productions. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.

Premier Partners of The 2017 JUNO Awards: CARAS acknowledges the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, Radio Starmaker Fund, Ottawa 2017, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Ottawa Tourism, Google Play Music and TD Bank Group.


The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L’académie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l’enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of ongoing opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through vehicles such as The JUNO Awards and other year-round initiatives. For more information on the 46th Annual JUNO Awards or The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) please visit

About CTV

CTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 15 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at

Web Links:
Official JUNO Awards website:
CTV’s JUNO Awards website:
CTV website:

– CTV –

For more information about THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS on CTV, contact:

Tonia Addison, 416.384.2194 or
Amanda Rinaldo, 416.384.5325 or

For more information about CARAS and THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS, contact:

Michelle Easton, rock-it promotions,, 416.454.9060


NCAIED: SkillSmart Announces Partnership with The Pierite Group; New, Unique Workforce Solutions Coming to Indian Country

April 03, 2017

SkillSmart, a for-purpose technology company with a skills-matching platform, announced a partnership at the National Reservation Economic Summit with The Pierite Group, a strategic economic development tribal advisor, to deliver workforce solutions to Indian Country with the overall goal of overcoming significant barriers to meaningful employment.

The native employment rate is nearly 14% lower than the national average. High school graduation rates are among the lowest in the nation, and the odds of Native Americans being employed are 31% lower than whites. Using the SkillSmart platform for skills-based training and hiring, combined with the economic development expertise of The Pierite Group, can help to reverse these declining employment statistics.

“This partnership is important to implement our mission of mobilizing community resources for major economic impact across the country. Marshall Pierite, CEO of The Pierite Group, along with his team, have demonstrated their commitment to diverse economic strategies to rejuvenate tribes. With SkillSmart’s success at increasing employment outcomes and retention, this unique partnership will create a workforce solution in Indian Country. Key deliverables will include meeting the specific needs of Tribes, expanding on skill levels of tribal members, and allowing for Tribal Councils to diversify through economic development,” said Jason Green, SkillSmart SVP Business Development. These initiatives will serve as valuable resources to expand economic development beyond gaming.

The Pierite Group was founded by CEO Marshall Pierite with the express goal of providing guidance to businesses, Tribal governments, local governments, and non-profit entities in their pursuit of financial independence. “We are excited to join forces with SkillSmart to create workforce opportunities for Native Americans. This partnership will allow us to identify individual job skills to match with potential employers, with the goal of aiding economic diversity across Indian Country,” said Marshall Pierite.

The Pierite Group offers access to a broad range of professional resources and provides the necessary tools and expertise to ensure long-term success and sustainability. Located in Central Louisiana, the TPG’s philosophy is to build locally, while thinking globally.

Founded by Jason Green and Mike Knapp, SkillSmart is a tech-enabled, skills-based platform that helps growing organizations and industries find and develop the talent they need by matching job seekers to employment opportunities based on skills and abilities. SkillSmart creates a pipeline of qualified workers and helps prospective employees gain the skills they need.

Recognizing the challenge that many employers face when seeking qualified and skilled talent, the SkillSmart platform directly connects the three key stakeholders of today’s workforce via employers, job seekers and educators; thus, creating transparency in the talent acquisition process and enabling job seekers to better understand the various cybersecurity opportunities and pathways. In return, employers can identify a stronger pool of candidates.

Current partners leveraging the SkillSmart platform include MGM National Harbor, MGM Springfield, the Milwaukee Bucks, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp., Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, MA, and the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council, in addition to others.

For further information about SkillSmart, please visit or contact Jason Green at 240-498-4492 or


About SkillSmart

SkillSmart is a skills-based, tech-enabled platform that helps growing organizations and industries find the talent they need by matching job seekers to employment opportunities based on skills and abilities. To accomplish this, SkillSmart partners with companies from a variety of industries and provides access to their proprietary technology to allow them to search and filter through a pipeline of qualified candidates. SkillSmart’s mission is to end the skills gap that employers face in filling various roles. 

About The Pierite Group

Established in 2015 in Marksville, LA., The Pierite Group specializes in advisory and strategic consulting, project management, governmental and political relationship building, organizational and structural development, and community outreach.

The Pierite Group is Native American owned and operated by CEO and founder, Marshall Pierite. With more than 30 years of governmental experience in Indian County in public and private sectors, TPG is committed to providing its clients the necessary resources to achieve financial and socioeconomic independence through economic development.

For more information about The Pierite Group, please visit

319 Center St, Marksville, LA 71355, 318-597-8981


Garden River FN: Career Fair

Career Fair
March 28, 2017


TRU: Indigenous scholars gathering for the future

March 31, 2017

It was a meeting of the minds and hearts this past weekend as TRU hosted 20 Ch’nook Scholars for a weekend of speakers and networking—an assembly of spirited individuals, passionate about the future.

Ch’nook program director Miranda Huron welcomed the visitors to TRU on Friday, remarking that the second gathering is where they will really get to know each other.

Returning scholars can attest to this. All 20 of the students took the weekend to learn more about each other’s cultures, backgrounds and ambitions, and find ways to support each other in the future. Site tours, panel discussions and workshops made for a fully packed visit.

Touring Quaaout Lodge on Saturday was a definite highlight for many. The scholars commented on the inspirational power of witnessing a community vision come to life and enjoyed this particular demonstration of Aboriginal entrepreneurship.

“Hearing Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson speak about the economic and environmental challenges the Okanagan is facing was important,” said Sarah Melnyk, a TRU School of Business and Economics student from the Métis Nation of BC. “These discussions solidify the need for Indigenous scholars to complete our education and help our communities to find that balance between development and protecting the land.”

Read more about TRU’s five Ch’nook Scholars

A theme that wove through the weekend was learning more about the local bands which are having to make big decisions, weighing choices that remain true to their ancestors and traditions but also support advancement within the growing economic world for future generations.

“The discussions on extraction throughout the weekend were extremely profound and I really got a sense of the challenges we face in the future,” said Alana Green, a University of Victoria student, proud of her Cree ancestry from her paternal side, and Coast Salish ancestry on her maternal side.

“It will be our responsibility as future Indigenous business leaders to help our communities make the best choices. This makes Ch’nook special, there is no fear in facilitating those difficult conversations about the challenges we face,” added Green.

“The scholars were highly engaged in discussing real-world issues faced by Indigenous communities,” said Hafiz Rahman, faculty member in economics and member of the Ch’nook Advisory Board.

Some of the challenges Aboriginal business students face are unique and having the Ch’nook support system has been a benefit to many.

“The Ch’nook network is powerful, it gives us access to a vast set of collective knowledge and contacts for both business and personal development,” said Keenan Beavis, a University of the Fraser Valley student from the Métis Nation of BC. “I look forward to developing the friendships I gained over the weekend into the future.”

“The Ch’nook program has changed my life,” said Green. “At the final gathering in Kamloops it was a difficult moment for me to fully realize I would be graduating and not be coming back in the fall. It was actually an emotional moment for me when I said goodbye to the group even though I know these relationships will live on.”

“Additionally, I was so honoured to be voted the graduating class valedictorian by my peers because I really feel as though Ch’nook has given me a voice.”

Ch’nook students continue to stand as pillars of support for the program, even after graduation. Their aim is to provide an everlasting legacy for future youth.


Missing and murdered women’s inquiry not reaching out to families: advocates – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

VANCOUVER _ A coalition of aboriginal women’s advocacy groups is expressing grave concerns about the national missing and murdered women’s inquiry, saying the commission has failed to adequately reach out to families.

The Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in British Columbia says it’s concerned about media reports that say the inquiry has only identified about 100 family members or survivors.

Coalition member Fay Blaney says she understands that the federal government has not shared with the inquiry the names of those who came forward during preliminary consultations.

She’s calling on the inquiry to immediately request that all levels of government and indigenous organizations contact family members and survivors to ensure they know how to register to be a witness.

Lorelei Williams, whose aunt went missing decades ago and whose cousin’s DNA was found on serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm, says family members are extremely stressed out about the inquiry.

Chief Commissioner Marion Buller was not immediately available to comment, but the inquiry is conducting preliminary meetings this month before the first public hearing is held May 29 in Whitehorse.



U of S School of Environment and Sustainability launches new research initiatives

SASKATOON –In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at the University of Saskatchewan is expanding in two areas – aquatic toxicology and renewable energy for remote and Indigenous communities.

Mar 31, 2017

“SENS began in 2007 as a small interdisciplinary graduate school dedicated to solving the complex environmental challenges that threaten the sustainability of our communities and natural places,” said Toddi Steelman, executive director, SENS. “We’ve become experts in leading problem-oriented and community-based research and are particularly well-suited to tackling issues related to renewable energy and water security.”

The new Consortium in Renewable Energy for Indigenous, Northern and Remote Communities is the first in the world to bring together expertise in addressing the complex matter of renewable energy in the North. It includes industry, government, academic, non-governmental organizations and Northern and Indigenous partners with a goal of identifying principles and best practices in renewable energy production, transmission and distribution for Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

“This consortium will create new mechanisms to facilitate public-private partnerships for energy projects by developing consultation and impact assessment processes with Indigenous and local communities for renewable energy production and transition projects,” said Steelman.

The consortium is led by Greg Poelzer, a SENS faculty member, Fulbright Arctic Scholar and expert in energy and northern research.

The school is also expanding its research focus into improving aquatic testing tools used in the assessment of chemicals that have the potential to contaminate watersheds.

“Current risk assessment strategies of chemicals for the safety of humans and wildlife rely heavily on animal testing and are prohibitively time-consuming and expensive,” said Steelman. “Our research will help create testing tools that are more efficient, affordable and less dependent on animal studies.”

Led by Markus Hecker, Canada Research Chair in Predictive Aquatic Ecotoxicology, SENS research teams will develop a toolbox for industry that allows the assessment of toxicity across species and groups of chemicals while drastically reducing the need for live animal testing.

“Over time, this research will lead to improved consumer safety and the protection of human and environmental health,” said Steelman.


For more information, contact:

Meagan Hinther
Communications Specialist
School of Environment and Sustainability
University of Saskatchewan


Border tax might damage American economy more than Canada’s: Morneau – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017

OTTAWA _ Canada’s finance minister is warning business leaders in New York that a proposed U.S. border tax threatens to make both countries poorer _ and might even hurt Americans more.

In an appearance Monday at a World Economic Forum event, Bill Morneau cautioned that a tariff-like tax would hurt families on both sides of the frontier by disrupting a mutually beneficial trading relationship and imposing extra costs on U.S. firms.

Morneau’s stronger public stance against the border tax comes after Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr noted last week that the policy faces huge opposition in Washington.

Carr made the comments after he held a series of meetings in Washington with lawmakers, administration officials, and business people whom he said cast doubts on whether the import tax had any chance of passing in an upcoming omnibus tax bill.

Morneau also says the Canadian government has conducted preliminary assessments on the potential economic impacts of a tax on U.S. imports _ but adds there are still too many hypotheticals to come to a clear answer.

The uncertainty surrounding a border tax has created significant concerns among Canadian companies, many of which rely heavily on exports to the U.S.



Acadian federation wants electoral boundaries restored or will take court action – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

By Keith Doucette


HALIFAX _ The Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia is warning the province’s Liberal government it will face legal action if an election is called before the electoral map is redrawn to restore three so-called protected ridings eliminated in 2012.

The federation said Monday it will seek a court order if the government fails to act.

A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling released in January found a previous boundary redrawing in 2012 violated the voter rights section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The boundary changes eliminated the protected Acadian ridings of Clare, Argyle and Richmond.

“I don’t think it is in the government’s best interest to call an election before this issue is resolved,” said executive director Marie-Claude Rioux. “It opens a whole Pandora’s box, and I don’t think the government wants to go there.”

Rioux said her organization believes an interim solution can be found in a short amount of time.

She said that could be done by having an electoral boundaries commission reconsider a minority representation report that was rejected in 2012.

“We know that a commission was called back in New Brunswick for a federal election . . . and the commission lasted one day,” said Rioux.

She said the federation wants a full electoral boundaries commission process to decide the boundaries within the next two years.

The federation said it wants immediate discussions with the province aimed at obtaining court orders to reinforce the appeal court ruling.

Those orders would: confirm the unconstitutionality of the 2012 boundaries and the abolishment of the Acadian ridings and order the government to establish a new electoral boundaries commission with a mandate of ensuring effective representation for the Acadian community, among other things.

Rioux said the federation doesn’t want to go to court.

“We’d rather have an honest and constructive discussion with the government in order to achieve a resolution to this issue that would be satisfactory to the Acadian population,” she said.

There have been some talks with the province since the court decision, but the federation wouldn’t reveal what the government has proposed.

To date, the Liberal government hasn’t publicly stated its position, although last week, Premier Stephen McNeil said the government believes it would be fair to have an election under the current boundaries.

McNeil also said that any redrawing of the electoral map would have to start with a fresh terms of reference once a boundaries commission is selected.

Rioux said the federation “begs to differ” with the premier’s assertion that an election under the current boundaries would be constitutional in light of the appeal court ruling.

She also warned that proceeding with an election could call into question government legislation passed since the boundaries were redrawn.

“That’s why we are asking for a suspension of the decision for two years because in the meantime you have chaos. You have to solve the situation and get something in the interim that is going to be constitutional.”

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives and NDP legislature member Sterling Belliveau have also said they are looking at legal options if there is no formal boundary review.



Province Pilots TV and Film Crew Training at NIC

MARCH 30, 2017 – NIC will receive nearly $500,000 to develop TV and film crew training programs in Port Alberni and Campbell River, BC Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, Michelle Stilwell announced today.

Stillwell, who is also the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, made the announcement on behalf of Shirley Bond, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training at NIC’s Campbell River campus.

“The Film and Television industry is booming in BC, with $2 billion in production spending here in the province, and many productions filming right here on Vancouver Island,” said Minister Stilwell. “This growing sector of our economy provides job opportunities for locals as well as economic benefits for the communities within our region. The training programs that will be piloted in Campbell River and Port Alberni by North Island College will provide more of our residents with the skills needed to work in the industry, which will in turn attract more production companies to film here in the future.”

The Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INfilm) was instrumental to the program’s development. The organization provides liaison and location services to film, television, commercial and media companies filming in communities from Nanaimo north

“We’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” said Film Commissioner Joan Miller. “This year, with Vancouver bursting at the seams and the low Canadian dollar, everything just lined up. We’ve got great locations and facilities on Vancouver Island and, with a stable crew base, we’ll have the capacity to do a lot more filming here.”

WorkBC predicts the motion picture and sound recording industry to be one of BC’s fastest growing employers, with an estimated 10,500 job openings between 2015 and 2025. Vancouver is already the third largest TV and film production centre in North America, with more than $2 billion in direct spending in 2015 and 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in the motion picture industry. Miller predicts much of the growth will happen outside of established centres.

NIC received $488,750 to develop curriculum and pilot delivery of TV and Film Production Crew Training programs, which includes two streams – one for production assistants and one for trades students.

The production assistant stream is geared towards First Nations students, who will receive a motion picture orientation ticket and the certifications required to work as entry-level production, location or office assistants.

The trades specialization stream will equip carpentry, plumbing and electrical journey persons, apprentices and students in trade foundation programs with the skills to work in set design and lighting. Once complete, they graduate with diverse skills to move between the construction and creative industries.

“This announcement will have a great impact on economic diversification, job creation and skills and training in our community and region,” said Colleen Evans, President and CEO of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, which has long advocated on behalf of NIC and industry to prepare local residents for work in BC’s highly skilled and growing digital media industry. “The industry is a significant economic driver in BC and we are eager to see local solutions developed.”

The first group of 20 to 30 NIC students is expected to start in late September 2017. Once the programs are established, NIC will share its learning with other BC colleges to support the film sector province wide.

“We want to thank Joan Miller for her vision and determination in developing this project for North Island students and communities,” said NIC President John Bowman. “We’re excited about working together to diversify the economy in the North Island region.”

He also thanked Minister Shirley Bond for her continued support.

“We appreciate Minister Bond’s vision and commitment to making Labour Market Partnership funds accessible to colleges and creative industries on Vancouver Island,” Bowman said.

Funding for the program is provided by the Canada-BC Labour Market Development Agreement, as part of Sector Market Labour Management Partnership.

For more information, visit or email

To view the provincial media release, visit

Media Contact

Christiana Wiens

Media Liaison, North Island College, O. 250-334-5280 | M. 250-218-4097


Funeral for girl killed in crash near Caledonia last week – CP

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Apr 3, 2017

CALEDONIA, Ont. – A funeral for one of three people killed in a crash near Caledonia, Ont., will take place today.

A service to honour 12-year-old Grace King will be held this morning.

The chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation is requesting privacy for King’s family and all those affected by last Wednesday’s crash.

King and 14-year-old Waagosh Secord were returning home with members of a youth group when a car crashed into the van they were travelling in, killing both girls and injuring six others.

The driver of the car, 21-year-old Wyatt Martin, was also killed in the crash.

Funeral services for him and Secord took place over the weekend.

(The Canadian Press)



David Alexander Robertson and IsKwé stand up for missing and murdered Indigenious women – CBC

April 03, 2017

Winnipeg artists David Alexander Robertson and IsKwé addresses a First Nations epidemic through the character of May, an Indigenous teenager who discovers the dark and tragic stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the graphic novel, Will I See?. The collaborative effort between the graphic novelist and singer-songwriter aims to galvanize a nation by calling attention to the culture of fear and anxiety that permeates Indigenous communities.

​What May represents

DAR: I think about how strong she is, but I think about the fact that she’s under threat right now. We have this epidemic happening in our country. The other day my daughter was taking the bus to swimming. She didn’t call us when she got to the swimming pool. Because I know this is happening to thousands of our women, I drove across the city just to see her in the pool. That, to me, is who May is. She embodies Indigenous women that are powerful, strong and beautiful but under threat right now. A lot of the book is standing up against that threat together and saying no to it, that we’re not going to stand for it anymore.

Read More:

OIPRD Releases Interim Report on Police Interactions with People in Crisis

TORONTO – The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) today released its interim systemic review report on police interactions with people in crisis and use of force.

“The interim report documents the recommendations that have been made by Ontario coroner’s inquests into the deaths of people in crisis during interactions with police, and by Justice Iacobucci in his report Police Encounters with People in Crisis. The work that has already been done to study and understand police interactions with people in crisis, combined with this interim report, provides me with a critical tool and a foundation for the work my review will do in the weeks and months ahead.”

– Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director

Since announcing the systemic review, the OIPRD has received and reviewed written submissions from stakeholders, held a series of roundtables with mental health experts and community organizations and reviewed dozens of reports on the relationship between the police and the mental health community.

In the upcoming weeks, the OIPRD will be auditing the police services involved in the deaths that generated the coroner’s inquests examined in the report and will be evaluating the extent to which recommendations have been adopted and implemented by these police services. The audit will also analyze what is working well and what requires improvement. The OIPRD’s systemic review will work in conjunction with an advisory panel of experts from the justice, mental health and academic fields to identify best practices and any additional recommendations to be made. Ultimately, the OIPRD will issue a final report intended to help ensure better outcomes in police interactions with people in crisis.


  • Read the Terms of Reference for the systemic review of police use of force, de-escalation techniques and approaches for interactions with people in crisis.
  • The Police Services Act gives the Independent Police Review Director the power to examine and review issues of a systemic nature that are the subject of, or that give rise to, public complaints. It also allows the Director to make recommendations regarding these issues to Ontario’s Solicitor General, Attorney General, chiefs of police, police services boards or any other person or body.
  • The OIPRD receives, manages and oversees all public complaints against the police in Ontario. This includes Ontario’s municipal and regional police services and the Ontario Provincial Police.


Circle tour offers Superior travel experience; splendours of Gichigami abound – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ It might not have the must-do cachet of California’s Highway 101, of South Africa’s Garden Route or of the Rockies.

Yet a voyage around the world’s largest freshwater lake, the big sea they once called Gichigami, reveals a sublime and in-your-face spectacular natural wonderland unrivalled anywhere.

The 2,000-kilometre “Circle Tour,” done over multiple visits or for the more adventurous in one go, is to be savoured like one of the fine Group of Seven paintings the area north of Lake Superior inspired.

“It’s like every piece of shoreline is different and unique in some way,” says Dan Bevilacqua, executive director of Superior Country. “It goes for the communities as well.”

There are the Ontario city splendours of Sault Ste. Marie or Blues Fest in Thunder Bay. At its most westerly point, travel Bob Dylan Way through a charming Duluth, Minn., perched above the lake at the start of Highway 61, near the place from where the famed poet-singer hails.

In between, find out where a bear cub named Winnie-the-Pooh began his long journey to literary fame, check out the motel where renowned pianist Glenn Gould would get away from it all, or take in the striking monument where a cancer-stricken Terry Fox gave up his one-legged trans-Canada run.

Stop and admire the revamped main street of Terrace Bay, or on the south shore _ which the Americans call the north shore _ meander through picturesque Marquette or breeze past Christmas on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mostly, however, it’s about a lake that splits its sparkling waters between Canada and the United States.

Indeed, as the largest of the Great Lakes, Superior offers seemingly boundless shoreline _ log-strewn beaches, gentle river mouths, pristine sunbathing sands, rock cliffs and waterfall trails _ all replete with oceanic vistas. In fact, it would be easy to confuse the greatest of the lakes for an ocean _ were it not for its glass-clear water that on serene summer days makes for a bracing, salt-free swim.

At other times, however, that water can turn ferocious _ with steely-grey waves two or three storeys high. Moodiness and power both awesome and breath-taking. Stop and look out over where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a November gale in 1975 just a few kilometres from safety _ a tragedy immortalized in song by Canadian singer-songwriting legend Gordon Lightfoot.

Getting a sense of scale is difficult. At its longest, Lake Superior stretches some 560 kilometres as the eagle flies, abutting one province and three states. By some counts, if you poured out its water, it would flood the entire continents of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres.

The shoreline of twists and turns that runs to about 2,780 kilometres offers stunning views and unsurpassed magnificence around most every corner _ not to mention stupendous motorcycling or driving territory for the enthusiast.

Everywhere there are surprises, some steeped in indigenous history that traces back as far as 10,000 years, such as the Ojibwa pictographs at Agawa Rock. There is the delight of Old Woman Bay, where river meets lake, or places whose very names are the lure: Rabbit Blanket Lake, Pinguisibi Falls or Kakabeka Falls, nicknamed Niagara of the North.

Hunt or fish. Walk or cycle innumerable trails. Camp out in well-equipped provincial or federal parks, or stop by at hotels, motels, inns or lodges along the way. But mostly, says Bevilacqua, stop and talk to the locals for their advice on what secret treasures their communities might offer.

“There’s lots of little hidden gems,” says Bevilacqua, whose Superior Country not-for-profit puts out a Circle Tour guide full of ideas. The guide can be picked up at tourist information spots or ordered online.

“The one thing that we strive to do is not make it an inexpensive journey, but to make it an experience that you want to do no matter what,” he says.

The route, he says, appeals to baby boomers, RVers and motorcycle enthusiasts, although increasing numbers of younger adventurers are discovering the excellent hiking or kayaking opportunities. Others prefer to do the circumnavigation by boat.

More and more, Bevilacqua says, there’s a move toward event-based travel, with people asking, “What’s happening here at this time?”

One answer, for example, might be the three-day Live from the Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, Ont., south of Nipigon and its striking suspension bridge over the Nipissing River that joins east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway.

This year, Superior Country has revived a “passport” program for both lake and auto travellers. Visitors can collect stamps along the way and, ultimately, a certificate of completion if they get all the way around. It’s also an opportunity for the organization to gather intelligence on who exactly is doing the touring.

“It’s absolutely fascinating how many people are interested in doing the Circle Tour,” Bevilacqua says.


If You Go…

_ Plan stops, don’t rush and remember to carry a passport if crossing the border.

_ Check out the Circle Tour guide at

_ Get provincial park info at



East Creek investigation finds clearcutting rare intact old-growth on Vancouver Island in compliance with laws, highlighting BC government failure to protect endangered rainforest – Sierra Club

Investigation also finds company in non-compliance with making information public

March 30, 2017

VICTORIA—The BC government’s Forest Practices Board (FPB) released its findings today regarding Sierra Club BC’s May 2016 complaint about Lemare Lake Logging Ltd.’s logging practices in the East Creek area.  East Creek is located adjacent to the Mquqᵂin – Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park, in Kwakwaka’wakw territory and forms part of the largest remaining contiguous ancient rainforest on northern Vancouver Island.

Sierra Club BC visited East Creek in the fall of 2015 and documented the devastation of ancient rainforest, including the use of blasting charges, in an area known as important habitat for salmon, marbled murrelet and northern goshawk and important First Nations cultural values, leading to the complaint and investigation.

“The scope and scale of the ancient rainforest destruction in this incredible watershed is unimaginable. They were logging more than one Cathedral Grove in the last two years alone,” said Mark Worthing, Sierra Club BC’s Forests & Biodiversity Campaigner. “The liquidation of East Creek’s ancient rainforest is being permitted for government revenue in form of stumpage fees between $0.33 and $1.33 per cubic metre. This is a terribly short-sighted decision.”

The FPB investigation considered two questions: whether the licensee complied with the Forest Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan (VILUP) and whether the licensee provided the complainant with reasonable access to site plans (SPs). The Board concluded that the licensee complied with FRPA and VILUP while conducting its operations. On the second question, the licensee was found to be in non-compliance in not providing the the complainant with reasonable access to SPs “on request at any reasonable time” as required by FRPA.

“British Columbians have the right to know what’s happening in the forests around us, yet it took us six months to access the information the public is legally entitled to. This makes it impossible for the public to document ecological and cultural values that could be at risk as a result of proposed logging. We’ll be waiting to see what action the government takes to respond to this violation of FRPA,” said Worthing.

Sierra Club BC is very concerned but not surprised about the conclusion of the FPB that East Creek logging is in compliance with FRPA and VILUP. “The East Creek investigation confirms what we feared: while blasting roads and clearcutting approximately 1,000 hectares of the last intact old-growth rainforest on Northern Vancouver Island in the last 10 years is inconsistent with good forest management practices, it is consistent with BC’s Forest Range Practices Act and the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan,” said Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s Forest and Climate Campaigner. “Provincial laws and the Vancouver Island land use plan are failing to protect forest integrity and we urgently need additional protection and improved forest management to safeguard the web of life as we know it.”

There is growing support for protecting the remaining endangered old-growth rainforest and shifting to sustainable second-growth forestry on Vancouver Island, including from municipalities, chambers of commerce and a number of First Nations and unions. Sierra Club BC warned in 2016 that a 12 per cent increase in the annual old-growth logging rate on the island (recently at 9,000 hectares per year) will lead to an ecological and economic collapse.

The most productive types of rainforest ecosystems, with the biggest trees, unique habitat and tourism values are now in their single digits of remaining old-growth. At the same time second-growth forests are being clearcut at a young age, often at less than sixty or eighty years, allowing no recovery of old-growth characteristics across vast areas on Vancouver Island.

“The East Creek investigation shows everything that is wrong with rainforest conservation and management on Vancouver Island – BC’s forestry regulation has no consideration of how little intact rainforest is left on the island and there is no legal impediment to logging the last old-growth trees outside of protected areas,” said Wieting.

“The East Creek investigation makes clear that we have no regulatory framework to protect the last of the last remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest,” said Wieting. “Whoever forms the next government has their work cut out to prevent the unfolding ecological and economic catastrophe on the island. We need a moratorium to safeguard biodiversity hotspots as new protected areas and new conservation tools to set aside critical endangered rainforest stands and habitat aside across the landscape.”

Solutions for healthy forests and healthy communities similar to those developed in the Great Bear Rainforest are needed along the entire BC coast, not just one part of it. East Creek and the Central Walbran are among the most important examples of intact, unprotected, productive coastal old-growth on Vancouver Island that need immediate action or will be lost forever.

Sierra Club BC supports sustainable second growth harvesting and local, value-added processing that creates a higher number of jobs per cubic metre, such that we can sustain healthy forest-based communities and local forestry jobs into the future.


Forest Practices Board Report: Forest Planning and Practices at East Creek


Jens Wieting
Forests and Climate Campaigner
Sierra Club BC

Mark Worthing
Forests and Biodiversity Campaigner
Sierra Club BC
(250)386-5255 ext. 257


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