Indigenous Musician LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON Plays Exclusive Toronto Concert in Celebration of New Collection of Stories and Songs, April 26

— Concert celebrates release of much-anticipated new book This Accident of Being Lost and acclaimed latest album, f(l)ight —

— Renowned Anishinaabe artist’s uncompromising truth-telling and genre-bending style challenges perceptions of Indigenous people —

“A genius shape-shifter and defiant genre-detonator, there is quite simply no one like her.”
– Naomi Klein

TORONTO (April 18, 2017) — Award-winning Indigenous musician, artist, and storyteller LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON is set to perform an exclusive release concert on Wednesday, April 26th, at The Drake Underground in Toronto. The concert celebrates the successful release of her knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs, This Accident of Being Lost, published earlier this month by House of Anansi Press, and her acclaimed album f(l)ight, produced by Jonas Bonnetta (of Evening Hymns) and released this past fall on RPM Records.

Recently announced as a featured performer for the opening night of the 2017 Luminato Festival alongside Tanya Tagaq, Simpson has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling voices of her generation. This Accident of Being Lost, brilliantly weaves together new stories and poems with song lyrics from her most recent album f(l)ight. Her latest single, “Under Your Always Light”, is an unapologetic celebration of the strength of Indigenous people, and the video premiered earlier this year on The FADER.

To celebrate the release of This Accident of Being Lost, the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist and her band will perform at a special double release concert event in Toronto on April 26th. Simpson will perform alongside her sister Ansley Simpson, who will release her debut album, Breakwall, the same evening. Ansley Simpson is an Anishinaabe singer-songwriter who recently won the inaugural BullsEye Music Competition for emerging Indigenous musical talent, presented by Slaight Music and the imagineNATIVE Film & Video Festival. Tickets and more information for the release concert are available here.

What people are saying about Leanne:
“ A mesmerizing…pivotal voice in the Indigenous resurgence movement.” – CBC Music
“She is her own genre: magnetic, incisive, brilliant, fierce, and hilarious.” – Kazoo Festival
“an illuminating contribution to Indigenous literature” – The Globe & Mail
“a vision of freedom” – Chart Attack
“quiet, resonant, defiant” – Noisey

About the Book:
The visionary pieces in This Accident of Being Lost build upon Leanne Betasamosake (pron: beh-TAH-sa-mo-sak) Simpson’s previous critically acclaimed collection Islands of Decolonial Love. Provocateur and poet, she continually rebirths a decolonized reality, blending elements of Nishnaabeg song, storytelling, poetry, and the lyric voice. This Accident of Being Lost burns with a quiet intensity, challenging you to reconsider the world you thought you knew.
**Media Note** Download hi-res artist photos here, and f(l)ight album + cover artwork here.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s f(l)ight is available now on all streaming platforms, iTunes, and at Stream at

Social Media Links:
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson official website:
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on Facebook: here
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on Twitter: @betasamosake
RPM Records official website:
RPM Records on Twitter: @RPMfm

About RPM Records

RPM Records is the first of its kind: a label for contemporary, cross-genre Indigenous music, run by Indigenous people, and selected by The FADER as one of 5 New Canadian Record Labels The Entire World Should Know. RPM Records artists include Ziibiwan, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Exquisite Ghost, and Mob Bounce. The label is the brainchild of the co-founder of Revolutions Per Minute – a global new music platform for Indigenous music culture. RPM’s mission is to build a visionary community of revolutionary Indigenous artists and to introduce Indigenous music to new audiences across Turtle Island and around the world. RPM Records artists include Ziibiwan, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Exquisite Ghost, and Mob Bounce.

– RPM Records –
For more information, please contact:
RPM Records:


IR: Iroquois Caucus-Anishinabek issue joint statement, letter to PM

(Kahnawake – April 21, 2017) The Iroquois Caucus and the Anishinabek Nation wish to announce that they have issued a Joint Declaration regarding their serious concerns regarding the transportation of highly-radioactive liquid waste on their respective territories (see attached).

Additionally, a joint letter to Prime Minister (see attached) was sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday advising Canada of our concerns in these matters. The letter was signed by Kahnawà:ke Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton on behalf of the Iroquois Caucus and by Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee on behalf of the Anishinabek Nation.

A proposal to transport over 100 truckloads of highly-radioactive liquid material from Chalk River, Ontario to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina is being condemned as extremely dangerous and ill-advised.

“We understand that a small amount of this radioactive liquid, just a fraction of a liter, can contaminate hundreds of millions of liters of water to levels far exceeding the current drinking water limits,” the letter states. “We have unified and strongly opposed this proposal as these shipments would, of necessity, enter the U.S. along roads and bridges on or adjacent to some of our traditional territories.”

“We draw on our sacred law, traditional law, customary laws – we need to protect the lands, waters and all living things for future generations,” the Joint Declaration states. ”We remain collective and unified in our decisions and that radioactive waste will not be transported, exported or imported throughout our territories by road, rail, water or other means on transportation.”

The Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus wish to remind the government and various authorities that there is an alternative to eliminate the weapons-grade uranium on the Chalk River site, called down-blending, which is a much safer alternative.

The shipments from Chalk River are scheduled to begin in the spring. A prompt reply is expected.



Trevor Bomberry, Coordinator
Iroquois Caucus

Marci Becking, Communications Director
Anishinabek Nation


“It brings us together as a community” – MNO

April 21, 2017

The week of March 12-16, 2017, was an exciting one for 24 Métis youth who gathered from all over Ontario to participate in the annual MNO Infinite Reach March Break Camp. Every year more high school students come to this remarkable event to learn about postsecondary opportunities and discover more about their Métis heritage. As has been the case for the last several years, the March Break Camp took place at the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) near Mattawa.

“It’s really an awesome way to connect with other Métis youth,” said participant Reagan Sicard, “and to learn about the history and our culture and even opportunities for postsecondary. It brings us together as a community.”

Students were kept hopping from the time they arrived on Sunday night until they left on Thursday. Activities included workshops on the value of postsecondary education, the MNO Infinite Reach program and Writing Resumes and Cover Letters.  They also learned about MNO programs and services including Urban Aboriginal Strategy Research and Healing Moccasins.

Senator Ray Bergie who was one of the elders in attendance enjoyed being with the youth who made him feel young again. “It [the camp] brings youth together and let’s them know they are part of a larger family [which is important because] they are our strength and our future.”

The students spent a lot of time learning about their Métis culture and way-of-life. This included sessions learning how to jig to fiddle music, finger weave sashes and create Métis dot art. Métis harvesters Nelson Montreuil and Roger Labelle taught the students about trapping, furs and how to skin a beaver and stretch a beaver pelt. Senator Robert Lloyd provided instructions on making Sumac sap spiles and the students also made, cooked and ate bannock. The location of the CEC near the Ottawa River made connecting with Métis history particularly easy as Vic Brunelle, a Commissioner on the MNO Commission on Métis Rights and Self-Government explained: “You are in a location where your ancestors and the Voyageurs passed – right there in front of you [referring to the river] – that is what is very unique about this place.”

The highlight for many of students was all the time they spent outside getting in touch with nature and the land. This included campfires, snowshoe hikes where they were introduced to their voyageur heritage and winter ecology and on their last night the Creatures of the Night Wolf Howl led by the CEC staff. Participant Hunter Mageau commented: “It’s been a lot of fun and I am enjoying being outdoors and learning about my heritage and everything that my ancestors did and how they lived. It’s important to know about your history.”

Throughout the Camp, the students benefited from the teachings and guidance from Senators Verna Porter-Brunelle, Dr. Alis Kennedy, Ray Bergie and Commissioner Vic Brunelle, Infinite Reach Facilitator Heather Bell, as well as the support from a team of MNO staff members including Alicia Blore, Anne Trudel, Wanda Botsford, Melody Chislett-Morris, Alyssa Lewis, Michael Smith, Scott Carpenter, Marsha Depotier and Steve Gautreau.

Senator Porter-Brunelle spoke about the value of the Camp saying: “A lot of students don’t get the opportunity to live the Métis way-of-life so this is a way of becoming a big family and learning about the Métis way-of-life and maybe bringing it back to their communities. The Métis Nation of Ontario is going strong – We aspire.”

Click here to see pictures from the MNO March Break Camp

Click here to view 2016 Infinite Reach March Break Camp


Garden River FN: Water Walkers – Pot Luck Feast & Teachings

April 20, 2017

View Image


Inuvik Aboriginal Head Start Moves To New Location – IRC

April 21, 2017

Beginning on Monday, April 24, all Inuvik Aboriginal Head Start programming will take place at the Children First Centre.

*Please be advised that the four-year-old programming on the afternoon of Friday, April 21 will be held at this new location*

Even though the location has changed, all Inuvik Aboriginal Head Start programming will remain the same, including hours of operation. The Inuvik Aboriginal Head Start program will run out of the school age classroom inside the Children First Centre.

If you have any questions concerning this relocation, or want to learn more about the Inuvialuit Child Care program, please contact:
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Prenatal and Early Childhood
107 Mackenzie Road
Bag Service #21
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0
Tel: (867) 777-7088
Fax: (867) 777-4023
Send an email


FNLC’s 2017 BC Election Package

The First Nations Leadership Council is committed to changing the course of First Nation-Crown relations in BC in a way that empowers First Nations and results in real, concrete change to our children, families, and communities. The FNLC has identified the upcoming provincial election as a critical turning point in which First Nation voters have the potential to significantly shift not only the focus of the election but the outcome as well.

To assist you and your community’s participation in this year’s provincial election, the FNLC has compiled the attached 2017 Provincial Election Package.

The FNLC’s 2017 Election Package is being provided to all 203 First Nations in BC. Included in the package are:

  1. Questions posed to all provincial parties;
  2. Responses from the parties (BC NDP, BC Green Party and BC Liberal Party); and
  3. Basic voting information from Elections BC.

Please note that the FNLC encourages not only the further distribution of this information to your community members but encourages each community to pose questions to your respective riding candidates. Please feel free to use or adapt the attached letter if you wish to do your own correspondence on election issues of significance to your community.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Matthew Norris or Colin Braker

For further information about voting, contact Elections BC at:
Toll-Free: 1.800.661.8683

Phone: 250.387.5305
Fax: 250.387.3578
Toll-Free Fax: 1.866.466.0665
TTY: 1.888.456.5448

Yours truly,


[Original signed]

On behalf of the FIRST NATIONS SUMMIT:

Grand Chief Edward John

Robert Phillips

Cheryl Casimer


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Chief Bob Chamberlin

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson


A/Regional Chief Maureen Chapman


Government of Canada improving access to urgently needed drugs

From Health Canada

Changes permit emergency import of bulk quantities of foreign-authorized medications

April 21, 2017 Ottawa, ON Health Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to making treatment options available to patients who require them in emergency situations, including the current the opioid crisis. The Government is taking action in a number of areas to address the impacts of problematic substance use, including supporting better treatment options for patients.

To help respond to this need, Health Canada is proposing to allow the importation and use of medications that have been authorized for sale in the United States, the European Union or Switzerland, but are not yet authorized in Canada.

Once this process is implemented, the most immediate need is expected to be for drugs to treat opioid use disorder (addiction); however, drugs for pandemic use or other public health emergencies could also be approved for importation through this new process.

Health Canada will work with public health officials as soon as the new regulations come into force, and will explain the process for requesting access to a drug. To access a drug through this new process, public health officials would send a request to Health Canada and provide key information on the drug, the urgent public health need, and how the drug is expected to help those in need in jurisdiction. Once approved, the name and other details of the drug, such as the countries from which the drug could be imported, would be published on Health Canada’s website.

The drug would remain active on the list for one year, after which it would be removed unless Health Canada received a request for continued access. As with any drug sold in Canada, Health Canada would be able to issue a recall or take other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of Canadians should a safety concern arise.

Because of the urgent nature of the proposal, the consultation period for Canadians to share their views has been shortened to 15 days.

Our response to the opioid crisis is and will continue to remain, comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate and evidence-based.


“Our government is determined to working with our partners to help reduce the harm to citizens and communities that is associated with problematic substance use. That includes providing effective and compassionate approaches that help health professionals respond to this and other public health crises.

Jane Philpott
Minister of Health


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

Public Inquiries:
1-866 225-0709


Government of Canada proposes new regulations for playpens

Proposed regulations would strengthen requirements for playpens to better protect infants and young children from potential injury or death

April 21, 2017 Ottawa, ON Health Canada

Playpens are intended to provide a safe playing environment for infants and young children. However, over the years, playpen designs have evolved and there are safety hazards associated with certain designs, including the use of accessories, such as change tables and other sleep accessories.

While these changes may appear convenient to parents, there are risks involved, including strangulation in collapsed side rails, getting caught between accessories and the playpen, getting caught in openings in the sides of the playpen, and suffocation on the angled mattress pads of sleep accessories.

Following consultation with provincial and territorial governments, Health Canada is proposing to replace the current requirements for playpens under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, with the new Playpens Regulations. The proposed regulations were developed to help address identified safety issues and align the majority of the Canadian requirements with those in the U.S.

The proposed Playpens Regulations also better align with the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations, which came into force on December 29, 2016. The Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations contain improved safety requirements for products marketed or intended for children’s sleep, such as cribs, cradles and bassinets, as well as sleep accessories that attach to these products.

The Government of Canada encourages Canadians to review the proposed new regulations and to submit feedback to Health Canada by June 6, 2017.

The best place for an infant or young child to sleep is always a crib, cradle or bassinet. Health Canada continues to remind parents and caregivers that playpens should not be used for unsupervised sleep. The Department also recommends that parents and caregivers always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly and use.


“When parents purchase a playpen, they should have confidence that it will provide a safe environment for their child. The proposed changes will further strengthen safety requirements for these products in order to better protect infants and young children.”

Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

“As an organization dedicated to injury prevention and saving lives, Parachute supports these proposed new requirements. The stricter standards that Health Canada has introduced today will offer parents and caregivers better peace of mind when using products that children play and interact with on a daily basis.”

Pamela Fuselli,
Interim CEO, Parachute

Quick Facts

  • The proposed regulations include:
    • additional requirements and test methods to address unintentional folding or collapse of the playpen’s top rails, and
    • the introduction of requirements and test methods for playpen accessories, including accessories intended for unsupervised infant sleep.
  • Between 1990 and September 2016, the Department received 156 reports of incidents associated with playpens and their accessories. These incident reports included 10 deaths, 1 serious injury, 31 minor injuries, and 114 incidents without injury.
  • Between 1995 and October 2016, Health Canada negotiated 19 voluntary recalls with industry that were related to playpens. Eight of these related to entanglement, six to side-rail collapse and five to playpen accessories.

Associated Links


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

Public Inquiries:
1-866 225-0709


Changes to three CMF program deadlines

Northern Incentive, Anglophone Minority Incentive and Corus-CMF “Page to Pitch” Program

Toronto, April 21, 2017 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has modified deadlines for two of its programs to reflect feedback from producers who regularly benefit from these programs. Specifically, deadlines to apply for production funding through the CMF Northern Incentive and the Anglophone Minority Incentive have changed. The Development funding deadline for the Northern Incentive remains May 23, 2017. The CMF also announced upcoming deadlines for the Corus-CMF “Page to Pitch” Program.

The new deadlines are as follows:

    • Northern Incentive – Production
      • Opening date : May 30, 2017
    • Anglophone Minority Incentive
      • First opening date ($3M): May 16, 2017
      • Second opening date (1.5M$): August 29, 2017
  • Corus-CMF “Page to Pitch” Program
    • Year Four, Round Two: June 13, 2017
    • Year Five: October 3, 2017

The Corus-CMF Page to Pitch program is available to producers seeking funding for creative and business activities during the development of eligible live-action and animated television projects triggered by any CRTC-licensed Canadian broadcaster. It funds eligible costs related to story and script development as well as expenses related to the acquisition of pre-sale financing from foreign broadcasters and distributors. The following types of projects are eligible for funding in Year Four, Round Two of this program:

  • English Animation or animated-related projects: PAGE funding
  • French Live Action projects including documentaries: PAGE and PITCH funding

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit


For more information, please contact:

André Ferreira
Communications Manager
Canada Media Fund


Northern/NorthMart customers reduce plastic bag use through Greener Tomorrow porgram

An estimated 2.9 million plastic shopping bags eliminated from community landfills in 2016

Winnipeg MB, April 21, 2017– Northern/NorthMart stores throughout northern Canada will recognize customers’ contributions and celebrate a Greener Tomorrow with special Earth Day presentations commencing April 22, 2017.

Now in its sixth year, Northern/NorthMart’s Greener Tomorrow program, aimed at reducing plastic bag use, has made a significant impact throughout the North. “Since 2011, customers have reduced the use of plastic bags by 69 percent, eliminating an estimated 14 million plastic bags from community landfills,” said Craig Gilpin, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, The North West Company.

“This program is a simple step that carries significant environmental benefits. Much of the success of the program is thanks to our customers’ willingness to embrace the use of reusable bags,” said Gilpin.

To encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives, Northern/NorthMart charges a single bag fee for plastic bags in participating communities. Unique to the industry, the program fees are accumulated over the year, with 100 percent of the funds returned to the community to support environmental and social programs.

This year over $317,000 was collected and will be distributed to the 40 participating communities to support activities such as community clean-ups, waste and recycling programs, as well as the maintenance of parks and community centres.

“It is important to us that the community leads the initiatives and allocates the funds to the programs important to them. This year in addition to environmental programs, many communities have selected to distribute the funds to On the Land programs for Elders and youth, as well as to support youth education, sport and health initiatives,” said Gilpin Since 2011, the Greener Tomorrow program has been implemented in 40 communities across northern Canada and has reinvested $1.9 million into the communities. Additionally, Northern/NorthMart has bag-free locations throughout the Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Ontario and British Columbia.

“We work with the community to implement a choice that is right for them” said Gilpin.

How Greener Tomorrow Works

A community may elect to join the program any time throughout the year. Funds are collected each year (April 1 – March 31) and then distributed in full to a community-led initiative, selected by the community leadership, commencing on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. All funds collected stay in the community in which they were raised.

About The North West Company

The North West Company Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading retailer of food and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. North West operates 241 stores under the trading names Northern, NorthMart, Giant Tiger, Alaska Commercial Company, Cost-U-Less and RiteWay Food Markets and has annualized sales of approximately CDN$1.8 billion.

North West’s Northern and NorthMart stores are the largest local private employer of Indigenous people in Canada, with approximately 3,000 employees and an annual payroll exceeding $65 million.

– 30 –

For more information contact:

Derek Reimer
Director, Business Development
P: 204-934-1469


Manitoba Liberal leadership candidate says youth on her side – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017

By Steve Lambert


WINNIPEG _ The first candidate to step forward for the Manitoba Liberal Party leadership launched her bid Friday by arriving at a news conference on a motorcycle and touting her youth as an asset.

Cindy Lamoureux, a 25-year-old political rookie first elected to the legislature last April, said she has the enthusiasm to build up a party that captured three seats in the last election.

“I have the energy. I have no reason not to go and ask people to donate to the party and I believe that I can convince them to,” Lamoureux said.

“Edward Schreyer was 22 when he was first elected into the Manitoba legislative building. He went on to the be the premier of Manitoba. That is such an inspiration for me.”

Lamoureux is the first candidate to replace Rana Bokhari, who resigned after a rocky election campaign last year.

A handful of the party’s candidates in the provincial election were disqualified by Elections Manitoba and the party omitted the cost of its promises from its budget plans.

It’s not clear how much support Lamoureux has for the leadership to be decided Oct. 21.

One of her caucus colleagues, Jon Gerrard, who led the Liberals between 1998 and 2011, was not at Lamoureux’s launch and has not ruled out a leadership bid himself.

The other Liberal caucus member, interim leader Judy Klassen, stood behind Lamoureux on Friday, but said she had not yet made a decision on whether to endorse anyone or run herself.

“I have until June 20 to decide,” Klassen said. “I’m here to support the announcement and we’re going to wait and see.”

Lamoureux was endorsed by MaryAnn Mihychuk, a Liberal MP who was demoted from cabinet earlier this year.

Mihychuk described Lamoureux, who worked briefly as Mihychuk’s riding manager, as “hard-working, dedicated, politically astute.”

Lamoureux comes from a political family. Her father Kevin Lamoureux is the MP for Winnipeg North and her uncle Darrin Lamoureux is leader of the Saskatchewan Liberals.

She promised Friday to improve Liberal fundraising and election readiness.

“I do believe that we need to start creating that full slate of candidates today. We need to be courting quality candidates who are going to be representing their communities.”



Top court won’t weigh in on case about bidding for federal contracts – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017 

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ A company that argued the fairness and integrity of Canada’s public-procurement process is being compromised has lost its bid to make its case to the country’s top court.

In a decision this week, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from Ottawa-based TPG Technology, which lost a $428-million federal contract in 2007.

TPG maintains that the winning bidder for the contract to run the main computer networks at the Public Works department was unable to deliver what it had promised. Rather than disqualify the company, the government instead helped it become compliant by way of a new contract, TPG alleged in a $250-million lawsuit its president, Don Powell, filed against the government.

The courts, however, rejected the lawsuit despite one judge’s finding that the government had been unfair to TPG, prompting the company to turn to the Supreme Court.

Powell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Allan Cutler, an Ottawa-based consultant and procurement expert, said cases such as these exposed a “loophole” in current law that the Supreme Court should have closed. The current approach, he said, allows a firm to bid dishonestly for a public-sector contract and then rely on an amended contract to correct the dishonesty.

“This means that procurement corruption will continue,” Cutler said of the top court’s refusal to hear the case.

In arguing against granting leave to appeal, the federal government said TPG was trying to get the Supreme Court to weigh in on factual matters particular to a specific case that had already been decided and which had no wider bearing. The government also maintained relevant procurement law was already well settled.

The decision means TPG will have to pay the government more than $600,000 in legal costs as originally awarded by Federal Court.

The case arose when TPG Technology was shut out in 2007 from running the Public Works computers, something it had done since the late 1990s. Instead, the seven-year contract, which called for delivery of a team of more than 100 qualified IT professionals, went to a Montreal-based company.

Cutler has said he knows of a case in which a limousine company lost a contract, but then discovered the winning bidder did not have the needed licences. However, the government helped the competitor repair its bid and keep the contract, he said.



OLG Makes Fourth-Quarter Payments to Gaming Site Host Communities

April 21, 2017

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) today issued fourth-quarter (January to March, 2017) non-tax gaming revenue payments totalling $23,338,464 to 24 communities which currently host OLG facilities. To date, host communities have received more than $1.33 billion in non-tax gaming revenue.

“Revenue from OLG gaming sites provide host communities more funding to support important local infrastructure and community programs,” said Charles Sousa, Ontario’s Minister of Finance. “These funds also help support other public services for people across the province like health care and education.”

These payments are made under an equitable formula that determines the funds communities receive for hosting an OLG gaming facility and are based on an escalating scale of gaming revenue that is consistent across all sites in Ontario.

At approximately $2 billion annually, OLG provides the Ontario government with its largest source of non-tax revenue. Modernization will help OLG provide more money to Ontario for hospitals and other government priorities.

In fiscal 2016-2017, the province allocated $115 million in gaming revenue to support charities through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Every year, the Government of Ontario allocates funding to the province’s problem gambling program for research, treatment and prevention. The amount for fiscal 2016-2017 was $38 million.

OLG is the Ontario government agency that delivers gaming entertainment in a socially responsible manner. OLG conducts and manages gaming facilities, the sale of province-wide lottery games, PlayOLG Internet gaming, the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres and is helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $44 billion to the Province and the people of Ontario. These payments to the province support the operation of hospitals, amateur sport through the Quest for Gold program, local and provincial charities and problem gambling prevention, treatment and research.

All for Here – 100 per cent of OLG’s proceeds are invested in Ontario
Follow on Twitter @OLGtoday
“Know your limit. Play within it.”
Follow on Twitter @PlaySmartOLG


Disponible en français



Quebec announces mixed police force to fight sexual exploitation – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017

MONTREAL _ Quebec is budgeting $6.4 million over five years to create a special police unit dedicated to fighting sexual exploitation by targeting pimps and johns, the province’s public security minister said Friday.

The squad will be composed of 25 investigators from police forces in Quebec cities including Montreal and nearby communities, Quebec City and Gatineau, as well as from the provincial police and RCMP, Martin Coiteux told a news conference.

“Pimps are going to have a very tough life in Quebec over the next few years,” he told reporters.

Coiteux said the force will resemble the model used to investigate and prosecute organized crime.

Quebec’s police forces have always been fighting sexual exploitation, he said, but pimps often move women from city to city, which he said necessitates a better co-ordinated response from police agencies.

He said he was told of the extent of the problem in 2016 when a series of young women escaped from youth centres around Montreal and were feared to be vulnerable to exploitation.

“A number of cases (of sexual exploitation) have been made public, and we know the problem is bigger than that,” he said. “We don’t have to wait to have comprehensive statistics to consider this is serious enough to act.”

The sexual exploitation unit will be led by Montreal police and be headquartered in that city. Gatineau and Quebec City will have satellite bureaus.

Coiteux said the mixed squad will target pimps but also go after clients.

He added that individual police forces will contribute financially, bringing the total budget to $12 million over five years.



Summit Air Opens Calgary Base and Adds AVRO RJ-100 Aircraft

April 20, 2017

Summit Air announced today that it will be opening an operating base at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to support its growing footprint in Western Canada.  Summit Air provides fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) crew movement solutions to a number of mining clients in Canada’s north, using its fleet of Alberta-based jet and turboprop aircraft.  Simultaneously, Summit Air is pleased to announce the acquisition and deployment of its first AVRO RJ 100 jet aircraft.

“We have had a Calgary base in our plans for a number of years.  Some of our clients have come to us recently and expressed a desire to move their workforce rotations out of Calgary which aligned well with our long-term strategy,” said Paul McElligott, President of Summit Air and President & COO, Ledcor Resources and Transportation.  “Adding Calgary as an operational base will facilitate further growth into the southern markets not currently serviced by Summit Air and will help connect our jet fleet flights to Canada’s third largest airport and its network of national and international flights.”

Summit Air operates a fleet of AVRO regional jets (RJs) which are ideally suited for safe, reliable and rapid transport of work crews between conventional airports and undeveloped airstrips at remote mine sites in the Canadian North and beyond.  Summit Air’s AVRO RJ-85s and AVRO RJ-100 can carry 90 and 111 passengers respectively.

“We have been operating our AVRO RJ-85 fleet out of Yellowknife and Edmonton for the past two years and the aircraft have been well-received by the market,” said Lane Zirnhelt, Chief Operating Officer, Summit Aviation Group.  “With the addition of the Calgary operating base, we have also added an AVRO RJ-100 aircraft to our service offering, addressing the requirement for additional capacity, as well as fleet redundancy.”

“We have shortlisted a handful of possible locations for our base and we are in the final stages of negotiations.  The base will be fully operational by the summer of 2017,” said Zirnhelt.

The AVRO RJ-85 is a 90-seat high performance, short-haul passenger jet, offering modern, efficient operations on flights up to 1500 nautical miles (2,800 kilometres).  Rugged and versatile, its high wing design is capable of operations on both paved and gravel runways and is equipped with a self-contained boarding air stair and auxiliary power unit to provide independence at remote airfields.

The AVRO RJ-100 is an elongated version of the RJ-85, with a fuselage that is 10 feet longer and a seating capacity of 111.

All three of Summit’s AVRO RJ aircraft are in service now, and available for passenger charter services across Canada.


CRIME Sask Child Injured – CP

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Apr 21, 2017 

BIG RIVER, Sask. – Two people have been charged in an alleged hit-and-run in Saskatchewan that injured several children, including one seriously.

RCMP allege a vehicle failed to stop after colliding with five youth who were walking along a road on the Big River First Nation on April 9.

An 11-year-old girl remains in hospital in Saskatoon, while the four others suffered minor injuries.

Colt Morin, who is 20 and from the Big River First Nation, faces charges that include failing to stop at the scene of an injured person, impaired driving causing bodily harm and driving while suspended.

Elizabeth Joseph, who is 37 and also from Big River First Nation, is charged with failing to stop at the scene of an injured person and obstruction.

Morin is to appear in Prince Albert provincial court on Wednesday, while Joseph is to be in court May 9.

(The Canadian Press)



Liberal Leader Christy Clark says U.S. “greed” driving softwood spat – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017 

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. _ British Columbia Liberal Leader Christy Clark says the United States lumber industry is “driven by greed,” and she is the candidate who can lead the province to a softwood agreement with American producers.

Campaigning in Williams Lake, B.C., at a log home manufacturing business, Clark told a gathering she has been leading the fight for a softwood agreement for the last two years and does not intend to stop.

She says 140 forestry-dependent communities in the province are relying on her to use the courts and persuasion, to overcome what she calls the “selfish and greedy argument” from U.S. lumber barons to increase the price of softwood.

Leaders in several communities who have seen recent mill closures have said Clark hasn’t done enough to force lumber firms to mill the wood in the towns where it is cut.

Clark told her supporters she wants to see every tree used completely, but policies that required timber to be processed where it was cut harmed competitiveness and left B.C. companies vulnerable to criticism from U.S. producers.

A Liberal news release says the province has worked for more than a decade to reduce reliance on the U.S. lumber market by increasing exports to China and building trade links with India, Korea and Japan.



Minister Carr Calls on Canadians to Join Generation Energy and Share Their Ideas for Canada’s Energy Future

April 21, 2017     Winnipeg        Natural Resources Canada

Energy plays an important role in the daily lives of Canadians. It powers our homes, keeps us connected and takes us where we want to go.

The way we deliver and consume energy in Canada will evolve as the world works to address climate change while responsibly meeting rising demand for oil and gas and funding the next generation of clean energy. It’s time to articulate a vision of how Canada will develop its resources sustainably while investing in the energy of tomorrow.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, today launched Generation Energy, a national dialogue on Canada’s path to a low-carbon future. The purpose of this dialogue is to invite all Canadians to share their ideas and participate in helping define Canada’s energy future.

Minister Carr launched the event at Manitoba Hydro, where he led a panel discussion with energy experts including Cheryl Cardinal, CEO of the Indigenous Centre for Energy; Aisha Bukhari of the Women in Renewable Energy Advisory Committee; and, Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Construction Trades Council of Ontario, who shared their visions for the future of energy in Canada.

Today marks the beginning of a six-month national conversation, which will take place face to face with provinces and territories, Indigenous groups, international experts and academics, and online with all Canadians through

The conversation will conclude with a national symposium, in Winnipeg, which will allow international and Canadian experts, as well as stakeholders from a range of backgrounds, to review the ideas and opinions shared by Canadians. This information will be used to design an approach focused on how the federal government can work with the provinces and territories to create the affordable energy and innovative jobs Canadians want.


“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we should be proud that ingenuity and hard work have made us one of the leading energy producers and innovators in the world. One of the greatest challenges of this generation is building an energy future that addresses climate change while keeping energy affordable, ensures there are jobs for Canadians, and allows our industries to remain competitive.  Generation Energy is about engaging Canadians in helping us to chart that course.”

The Honourable Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources


Alexandre Deslongchamps
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada


BR CRIME Party Beating – CP

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Apr 21, 2017

CALGARY – A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of a Calgary mother who was beaten so badly that her father could not recognize her when he found her body.

Isaiah Riel Rider had been charged with second-degree murder in the October 2015 death of Christa Cachene, but entered the plea yesterday to the lesser count following negotiation between the defence and Crown.

In an agreed statement of facts read in court, the 26-year-old woman dropped her children off with her father and invited some friends to a party at her home — a group that included Rider.

While there, Cachene got into an argument with the accused and stabbed him.

Punches were thrown and the woman was knocked down before Rider stomped on her chest and head.

He later dumped her body down the basement stairs before using bleach to clean up the blood.

An autopsy determined Cachene died of multiple blunt-force trauma injuries.

About two weeks later, after an arrest warrant had been issued, Rider and four friends attacked three people who had stopped to help them after their car broke down near Ponoka.

Rider later went to a home and threatened the owner before fleeing in her Jeep, but he was arrested after the vehicle drove over a spike belt.

Rider pleaded guilty to four counts of assault and theft of a motor vehicle for those incidents.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Suzanne Bensler has ordered a Gladue report, which factors in an indigenous person’s life that may have contributed to their criminal history.

Sentencing arguments will be heard on October 16th. (CBC)

(The Canadian Press, Online Out)




NCC: General Membership Meeting – Happy Valley Goose Bay

April 21, 2017

The NunatuKavut Community Council will be having a General Membership Meeting

Monday, April 24, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

NCC Board Room, 200 Kelland Drive, Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador

The NunatuKavut Community Council would like to provide you an update of our progress and initiatives, and we continue to seek your valued input

** Refreshments to be provided **


Former cabinet minister turned Manitoba judge broke ethics law: commissioner – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017 

OTTAWA _ Canada’s former public safety minister has had his wrist slapped by the federal ethics commissioner for violating conflict of interest rules.

Vic Toews was a Conservative MP from Manitoba and senior minister in Stephen Harper’s government between 2006 and 2013. He is now a judge on the Court of Queen’s Bench in Manitoba.

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson says Toews violated the Conflict of Interest Act twice in the months after his departure by working for two Manitoba First Nations with whom he had dealt with as a minister.

In one instance, Toews provided strategic legal advice to Peguis First Nation and even helped draft a settlement proposal related to the Kapyong Barracks dispute in Winnipeg.

While in office, Toews was the minister who signed off on the sale of the former military barracks, and was later named as a defendant in a lawsuit from First Nations, including Peguis, about the sale.

Dawson said Toews’ actions meant he “switched sides” just two months after he left office, something that is not allowed under the Conflict of Interest Act.

In a separate instance, he provided work for the Norway House Cree Nation, an entity with which he had met with in his final year in office. That was also a violation of the law, said Dawson.

Dawson has no authority to issue any penalties for the violations.



21 Additional First Nations welcomed as Signatories to the Framework Agreement

(April 21, 2017)

On behalf of the Lands Advisory Board, and the Framework Agreement Signatory First Nations, and with the full support of Canada, we are delighted to welcome the following 21 new signatory nations to the Framework Agreement. This brings the total number of Framework Agreement Signatory First Nations to 148.

This year the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (Framework Agreement) celebrates 21 years of land governance authority, during which time it has helped communities across the country exercise their inherent rights over their reserve lands and resources. Under the Framework Agreement and the First Nations Land Management Act, 33 sections of the Indian Act no longer apply to those communities who ratify their community land codes enabling these communities to move ahead in their goals of self‐governance and self‐sufficiency beyond the boundaries of the Indian Act.

The Lands Advisory Board and the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre, have worked diligently to provide support to the Framework Agreement signatories, and to ensure that all First Nations are offered the opportunity to pursue this initiative, if they so desire. We are thankful to Canada, and to Minister Bennet and her staff, for the cooperation, partnership and continued support of First Nations across Canada in their pursuit to become signatories to the Framework Agreement.

We look forward to working with each of them as they continue their journey towards self‐ determination.

Nova Scotia: Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation
Quebec: Listiguj Mi’gmaq

Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishnaabek, Chapleau Cree, Big Grassy, Hiawatha,

Mattagami, Saugeen, Sheshegwaning

Saskatchewan: Carry The Kettle, James Smith, Sakimay
Alberta: Enoch Cree, Fort McMurray
British Ditidaht, Iskut, Kwaw‐kwaw‐apilt, Lytton, Penelakut, Splatsin Indian Band,
Columbia: T’it’q’et

“It is with great pride that we announce the addition of these 21 First Nations as signatories to the Framework Agreement. Under the Framework Agreement First Nations are recognized as the authority over their lands and resources and as such, land management activities are being completed at the speed of business. We are forging a new path of prosperity for our communities, and it is wonderful to welcome these 21 additional First Nations on our journey”

– Robert Louie

Chair, First Nations Land Advisory Board

“The Framework Agreement strengthens Aboriginal culture, renews our role as stewards of the land, promotes self‐sufficiency and community pride, and offers protection for our traditional values. It is a great day when we can welcome additional First Nations to the Framework Agreement, so that they too can experience the tremendous benefit it affords to our everyday lives. My thanks to Canada, and to Minister Bennet, for the continued support of this important, First Nation led initiative.”

– Chief Austin Bear

First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc.

“Congratulations to the 21 new signatory Nations to the Framework Agreement. Today marks an important step towards your journey to self‐determination. We will continue to work in full partnership with all the signatories as you assume greater control over reserve lands and resources ‐ leading to a brighter, more prosperous future for all.”

–The Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

For further information on this historic departure from the Indian Act, please contact:

First Nation Lands Management Resource Centre Communications Department



Pot taxes will stay low in order to push out pushers, Morneau suggests – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 21, 2017 

WASHINGTON _ Here’s some good news for Canadian pot smokers: high taxes will not join the munchies, the pasties and short-term memory loss as unwelcome side effects of smoking up.

The Canadian government is hinting it wants to keep pot taxes low.

As the feds design tax policy for soon-to-be-legalized marijuana, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he has one main goal: squeezing out the black market.

He is adamant that maximizing federal revenues is not, and will not be, the priority on pot.

Those comments are a strong hint that Ottawa favours lower taxes on marijuana, to keep the price competitive against the street value and push the local pusher out of business.

A C.D. Howe report this month found 90 per cent of the illegal market would disappear if pot cost $9 per gram, and governments applied only existing sales taxes, producing $675 million a year in federal and provincial revenues.

But the report concluded illegal sales would retain half the market if governments tried squeezing $1 billion in revenue from the sale of marijuana.



Spring 2017 Goozih Dust’lus Print Edition – CSFS

April 19, 2017

The spring 2017 print edition of the CSFS Goozih Dust’lus is here! Check it out and download here to read about Burns Lake Bridging program, Roots of Empathy, addictions recovery camp dates and more! or scroll to the bottom of this page in the “Related Documents” section.

The quarterly newsletter will be available at all CSFS offices, member Nation band offices, and health stations within the next few days. If you would like us to mail out out copies for your office, please email your request to along with your mailing address and the number of copies you would like to recieve.

Read More:

VIU Create Conference Shines Light on Student Research

April 21, 2017

VIU undergraduate and graduate researchers representing a wide range of disciplines presented their work at this year’s CREATE Conference

As the dust settles on what was for Vancouver Island University (VIU) the largest student-research showcase to date, organizers of the 5th annual CREATE Conference are able to reflect on the event that had more than 250 students presenting their work to the public.

CREATE Conference coordinator Kelly Atkins helped pull the event together with the help of VIU student Alejandra Gomez. Atkins says thanks to an effective campus-wide advertising campaign and Gomez’s ability to spread the word through social media, more people kept stepping forward. As a result, participation was up 70 per cent over last year.

“As organizers we just embraced the challenge and found ways to make room for them all,” said Atkins. “It was an incredible experience seeing the support of faculty members from virtually every department combined with the energy of the students. There was a buzz around the event that we hope will carry over to next year.”

Students presented their research findings on posters and topics included everything from the effects of certain pesticides on bees; to Facebook cyber-bullying and its impacts on female university students; to shellfish mortality at sites occupied by sea otters; and microplastics as a global pollutant.

Dr. Tim Goater is an award winning biology professor, author and researcher who has supervised dozens of student researchers on a wide range of projects over many years. He is a big supporter of CREATE and has been since it first got underway five years ago.

“Having students publically defend their research benefits them in so many ways. It improves critical thinking, teaches patience and shows initiative,” said Goater. “The diverse array of projects at CREATE really shines a light onto our student’s independent research abilities and depth of knowledge. The presentations really highlight the valuable undergraduate research happening at VIU, which is why we all encourage our students to be a part of it.”

A series of unique presentations combined biodiversity and conservation with art. Called “Is it too late?” biology and art students teamed up to create several displays that matched scientific research on environmental issues with illustrations in the hopes of conveying meaningful conservation messages more effectively.

“Sometimes people look at numbers and just forget them when they walk away,” said Christina Kruit, a fourth-year biology student. “We did a very visual presentation as a way of invoking emotion and passion in our subject.”

VIU encourages undergraduate and graduate research in a number of ways. One way is through the dedication of faculty members who create opportunities by writing funding grants, planning research projects and supervising field work. It’s a huge amount of work added to their already busy teaching schedules but the results of that commitment become clear as VIU faculty and student researchers continue to gain regional, national and international recognition for their projects.

Another way is through the Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity office, which is dedicated to supporting and assisting faculty and students in applying for and administering research grants and awards.

In 2015-16, VIU received almost $2.3 million in external research funding. That funding comes from federal organizations such as the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and provincially through partners like the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF). Research programming is also supported through ongoing relationships with non-profits like the Hakai Institute, an organization that conducts long-term research at remote coastal BC locations. Regional First Nations, businesses and communities also play an important role.

“For the public to have the opportunity to walk through CREATE, talk to the students about their research and listen to them explain their conclusions is inspiring and validates the work we’re doing to promote research at VIU,” said Dr. Nicole Vaugeois, Associate Vice-President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity. “Our research success flows from the relationships we have with our funders and community partners and the CREATE conference is a reflection of what our students and faculty can accomplish with their support.”

Awards totaling $3,600 were given out for People’s Choice Best Poster, Meritorious Best Presentation, and the Scholarship Slam competition. Congratulations to all of the CREATE Conference 2017 Award Winners.



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


Action for Indigenous People – U of T Magazine

The university aims to hire more Indigenous faculty and staff, recruit more students

The University of Toronto will hire more Indigenous faculty and staff and bolster efforts to recruit Indigenous students as part of what it acknowledges is an “overdue initiative” to expand the university’s Indigenous community. President Meric Gertler and Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr made the commitment earlier this year in response to the final report of U of T’s Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee, which called on the university to take action in several areas related to Indigenous peoples.

Entitled “Wecheehetowin,” which means “working together” in Cree, the report highlights that the work to be done at U of T will be a collective journey. “Creating this report was a process focused on inclusivity and engagement,” says Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, co-ordinator of U of T’s Council of Aboriginal Initiatives and co-chair of the committee. “There was a strong emphasis on incorporating a wide range of voices from both the university and the broader community.”

Read More:

ONWA supports ‘For the Earth and Water’ water walk with Josephine Mandamin

April 20, 2017

Today, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin is once again walking for the water. Starting at Spirit Mountain, Duluth MN, and heading east along the shores of Lake Superior, Josephine will walk from sunrise to sunset. She will carry water in a copper pail the entire journey.

Mandamin first began walking for water to raise awareness of the pollution and poisoning of our water in 2003. Since then she has walked around the Great Lakes, and to-date has walked over 25,000 km. Many people have joined in her efforts to protect the water.

The For the Earth and Water 2017 walk will take place along the Great Lakes to Matane, Quebec, joining the water of the St. Lawrence Seaway covers 2285 km, and is expected to take approximately 4 to 5 months.

You can follow Grandmother Josephine Mandamin’s walk on the Facebook page:

“For the Earth and Water Walk 2017” (@FortheEarthandWaterWalk2017FromWesttoEast)

For more information, please contact:

Jolene Banning, Public Relations Coordinator
Phone: 807-577-1490 ∙ Cell: 807-632-1225 ∙ Email:
Or Tasha Beeds @


Former NHL coach of the year coming to U of S – News.USask

Former National Hockey League coach of the year Ted Nolan will meet with senior leadership, faculty, students and staff at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) later this month.

On Monday, April 24, Nolan will spend a full day at the U of S, serving as the keynote speaker in a morning forum with university senior administration and Indigenous leaders from across the province. He will also meet with students and staff in Huskie Athletics and the College of Kinesiology about Aboriginal athlete development, and later with the Human Resources department and the U of S Aboriginal Advisors Circle.

Nolan will cap his day on campus with a Speaker’s Forum address that is open to everyone in the evening at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre, followed by an autograph and photograph session.

Read More:

Indigenous communities in New Brunswick to benefit from increased snow crab – APTN

April 20, 2017

Mi’kmaq and Maliseet communities in New Brunswick are hoping a bump in their snow crab quotas will help pay for programs that are underfunded by the federal government.

The department of Fisheries and Oceans announced April 12 it is using a surplus of crab stocks to ensure Indigenous communities receive an increase in their Total Allowable Catch (TAC).

“The communities will substantially benefit from any increase in the level of harvest,” said John G. Paul, executive director of Atlantic Policy Congress. “Both on the employment side, as well as the revenue side.”

Paul said the minister made a positive decision in targeting Indigenous communities so they can use the extra money to offset financial shortfalls or services not funded by the government.

Read More:

Métis National Council Board of Governors Sign Historic Accord with Canadian Government – Métis Nation of Alberta

April 20, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017 was a historic day for Métis rights in Canada. Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras and other Members of the Métis National Council Board of Governors joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and key members of his cabinet in Ottawa for the inaugural meeting of the Crown-Métis Nation Summit. At the meeting, both parties signed a groundbreaking accord, Canada- Métis Nation Accord, which establishes important mandates to foster the nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between Canada and the Métis Nation. An important mandate of the Accord is increased meetings with policy makers, including annual meetings with the Prime Minister, semi-annual meetings with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs (and key Cabinet Ministers), and quarterly meetings with various Assistant Deputy Ministers on issues of concern to the Métis Nation.

The Accord was signed by Métis National Council (MNC) President Clément Chartier, and each of the Governing Members, including President Poitras. President Poitras is excited to start a new relationship with the federal government based on respect and recognition, stating:

The Accord is another important milestone for Métis rights; I am highly encouraged to see the steps the federal government is taking under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. With the unprecedented access to policy makers that the Accord ensures, I am confident my fellow Métis leaders and myself will seek positive outcomes for Métis people of Alberta in significant and lasting ways.

In reference to the Accord, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated:

Last December, I made the promise that federal ministers and Métis Nation leaders would work together to solve important challenges. We did not take that commitment lightly. Today, we are proud to announce our joint signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. While there is still much that needs to be done if we are to address the unique social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues faced by the Métis, we now have a solid foundation upon which to move forward with a respectful, renewed Métis Nation-Crown relationship, for the benefit of all Canadians.

The federal government was represented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and key members of his cabinet, including Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould; President of the Treasury Board, Scott Brison; Minister of Health, Jane Philpot; Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patricia Hajdu; and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos.

Find a copy of the Accord here:
English Version Canada-Métis-Nation-AccordEn
French Version Canada-Métis-Nation-Accord

Media Contact:
Jasmine Breti
Communications Assistant
(780) 455-2200


Racism and diversity report addressed at Senate meeting – Queen’s Gazette

April 19, 2017

The final report of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion was the focus of discussion at Tuesday’s Senate meeting, with Principal Daniel Woolf addressing the comprehensive report in detail.

“These initial commitments and plans are just the beginning. We are committing the funds and making structural changes to ensure that meaningful change is effected on campus,” said Principal Woolf.

“While we have made inroads over the past number of years, there is more that can and will be done. The commitment to follow through on what’s been started, and what indeed started a long time ago, is here now. My goal is to ensure that 10 years from now, we don’t look back and realize we need to strike another committee to address these issues.”

Read More:

To help mark #Canada150, NFB’s What We Protect explores what we strive to defend as Canadians. Now online, second installment of 1 Nation. 4 Lenses includes a special film playlist on environmental issues to mark Earth Day, April 22

April 20, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

We stand on guard for thee. These are the words that ring through the air at the end of our national anthem.

It’s also the inspiration for What We Protect, the latest installment of the National Film Board of Canada’s 1 Nation. 4 Lenses, part of its special online programming for the 150th anniversary of Confederation (#Canada150).

What We Protect brings together works from the NFB’s storied archives that reflect what we strive to protect as a nation―and in recognition of Earth Day, April 22, includes a special playlist exploring Canada’s environment.

From asylum seekers arriving in Canada to escape homophobic violence to members of the Haisla Nation trying to protect a vital link to their ancestral heritage, how we respond to environmental, cultural, social, and human rights issues goes a long way in defining who we are.

Films and interactive works

Three feature-length documentaries are featured as part of What We Protect. Acclaimed Indigenous filmmaker Gil Cardinal’s Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole documents the successful efforts of the Haisla Nation to repatriate their traditional mortuary pole, taken from their community back in 1929. Acadian director Paul-Émile d’Entremont’s Last Chance follows the stories of five asylum seekers who flee their native countries to escape homophobic violence, while Montreal’s Paul Cowan garners unprecedented access to a UN peacekeeping mission trying to avert a humanitarian disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in The Peacekeepers (NFB/13 Production/ARTE France).

Also selected is the interactive documentary This Land, in which Dianne Whelan accompanies a military expedition to the northernmost tip of Canada to plant the flag, and Twice upon a Time/Il était deux fois, Giles Walker’s humorous short poking fun at Canadian bilingualism.

Environmental playlist

In honour of Earth Day and #Canada150, the NFB is curating 10 acclaimed films from its collection exploring Canada’s environment and the challenges it faces, in every corner of this vast and varied land:

·        Faced with the worrisome reality of monocropping in PEI, Millefiore Clarkes’s Island Green asks: What if Canada’s smallest province went organic?

·        Director Jacques Gagné and pioneering naturalist Jacques Cousteau journey up the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes aboard the Calypso, in St. Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea.

·        In Hole Story, Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie provide an essential look at how mining is practised in this country.

·        Cry of the Wild is acclaimed filmmaker and conservationist Bill Mason’s classic 1972 film, which helped change the way we view wolves.

·        Co-directed by Leanne Allison and Diana Wilson, Being Caribou follows Allison and her husband, Karsten Heuer, on a 1,500-kilometre trek along with 120,000 caribou, to explore the consequences of oil and gas development in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

·        Scott Parker’s A Rancher’s View shows how cattle are now seen as part of the conservation solution in southern Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park.

·        Sun, Wind and Wood is Dorothy Todd Hénaut’s 1978 look at people developing their own alternative sources of energy.

·        In Never Lose Sight, Sarah McNair-Landry documents grassroots efforts to meet Iqaluit’s trash problem, with the community’s two dumps filled beyond capacity.

·        Kaj Pindal and Les Drew’s Oscar-nominated 1966 animated short What on Earth! takes a comical look at car culture through the eyes of bemused Martians.

·        Teresa Marshall and Craig Berggold offer up a personal look at Canada’s unique “pocket desert,” nestled in BC’s dry interior, in Pocket Desert: Confessions of a Snake Killer.

Previous and upcoming chapters

What We Call Home, the first installment of 1 Nation. 4 Lenses, was launched online at on February 20. It will be followed by What We Seek (June) and What We Fight For (September).


About the NFB

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, and groundbreaking interactive stories, installations and participatory experiences. NFB producers are deeply embedded in communities across the country, working with talented artists and creators in production studios from St. John’s to Vancouver, on projects that stand out for their excellence in storytelling, their innovation, and their social resonance. NFB productions have won over 5,000 awards, including 18 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access many of these works, visit or download the NFB’s apps for mobile devices and connected TV.

Associated Links


Jennifer Mair
Publicist – Toronto
Cell: 416-436-0105
E-mail :
Twitter: @NFB_Jennifer

Katja De Bock
NFB Publicist – Vancouver
Tel.: 604-666-8585
Cell: 778-628-4890
Twitter: @NFB_Katja

Pat Dillon-Moore
NFB Publicist – Montreal
Cell: 514-206-1750
Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
Tel.: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261


2016 Taylor Award Regional Nominees

Pacific Region nominee – Susan Underwood

Susan is being nominated for the Taylor Award for her long-time voluntary work with Mission Institution minimum-security unit and the Fraser Valley community.

Susan’s work for approximately 20 years has been to connect and bridge different groups in the community toward mutual learning and healing. She works as a liaison to the FAVOR Group, a weekly restorative justice exploration group at Mission Institution’s minimum-security unit. She is also a long-time chair/co-chair of the Mission Institution minimum-security unit’s Restorative Justice Conference. She also volunteers as a community support for released offenders, in restorative justice education in the community, and as a non-security escort on offenders’ escorted temporary absences.

As director of the Partners in Learning program in Mission and Abbotsford, she oversaw the mentoring of countless youth by inmates of minimum-security unit at Mission Institution. Her most recent work is as is a Victim-Offender Mediation Program facilitator with the Community Justice Initiatives Association. This program assists both victims and offenders to work towards healing outcomes through a restorative justice approach.

Susan is a long-time resident and has raised her family in the Fraser Valley. Her earlier work with Abbotsford Community Services and with Rogers Communication helped root her deeply in that community. Her volunteer work has also included service as an executive member of the B.C. Association of Community Law Offices, a board member of Abbotsford Community Services, and as a media/video producer with the local Rogers Cable outlet.

As CSC’s mandate is to prepare inmates for successful reintegration, Susan and other volunteers provide support, modelling and encouragement for inmates as they learn pro-social and law-abiding ways of being contributing members of the community.

Ontario Region nominees – Neil and Gertie Minnema

For 47 years, Neil and Gertie have been chaplaincy volunteers at multiple facilities in the Kingston area.  Both regularly participate in leading worship, provide music at Chapel service, and give one-on-one support, counselling and religious education to offenders. They also provide citizen escorting and support to offenders released to the community.

Neil and Gertie have demonstrated a kind and compassionate spirit in their relationship with offenders and consistently demonstrate a genuine interest in the well being of offenders. They take time to listen, encourage and challenge inmates to think more positively and to seek ways of making better lifestyle choices.

Locally they also volunteer at a thrift store and assist with the Meals on Wheels Program in the Kingston area.

Outside of Canada, Neil and Gertie have traveled the world in humanitarian aid. They have assisted in the rebuilding homes, orphanages and schools in places after devastating natural disasters. They have assisted in places like Japan following the tsunami and helped rebuild homes in New Orleans, Texas and South Carolina devastated by hurricanes and floods. They’ve helped to build orphanages in Romania and volunteered in several African countries like Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.

Their efforts provide great inspiration to other volunteers, CSC staff and inmates alike. Their reputation is admired and recognized throughout the Kingston area. If two people carry on the legacy of Dr. Charles Taylor and his wife Charlotte with faith-based counseling with offenders in correctional facilities and in the community it is this outstanding team of givers – hats off to Neil and Gertie Minnema.

Prairie Region nominee – Captain Edward Dean

Captain Edward Dean of the Maple Creek Saskatchewan Salvation Army has been a valued volunteer and community champion for Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge for 10 years.

Captain Edward Dean, or “Captain Ed”, has escorted countless temporary absences for offenders participating in community service as well as work release opportunities with the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and Church. He encourages women offenders to volunteer and assists them in building and strengthening positive community relationships.

Captain Dean assists the healing lodge recognize yearly events such as Remembrance Day, and Christmas and Easter dinners. He is respectful of local traditions and First Nation teachings and participates in Spring and Fall Feast, and cultural and spiritual events and ceremonies such as Sundance, powwows, and the Horse dance. He also makes it possible for residents to sell their hobby crafts in the community, which means they can earn their own money and have a sense of satisfaction and pride at a job well done.

Captain Dean has housed families visiting offenders and helped them with meals and transportation. When a resident scheduled to be conditionally released had her bus cancelled due to poor weather, Captain Dean drove her to make sure she did not miss her connection. While there, he took the opportunity to visit another resident who had been released to a halfway house nearby.

Captain Dean is also a member of the Housing Board in Maple Creek, the Chaplain for the local RCMP detachment and legion branch, and a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee for the healing lodge.

Captain Edward Dean embodies the spirit of volunteerism. He is a wonderful, humble person who enhances offenders’ lives and strengthens the rehabilitation process. Captain Dean’s focus, determination and unrelenting ambition and energy are an inspiration to us all.

Atlantic Region nominee – Donna Gardiner

Donna Gardiner has volunteered in her community in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than 20 years in various capacities. She began volunteering with a local Circles of Support and Accountability.  She then was appointed to the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Newfoundland & Labrador Community Correctional Centre (CCC). About 18 years later, she is chair of the CAC at the CCC and is CAC vice-chair for the Atlantic Region. Donna is presently on the CAC Subcommittee for Women Offenders and an active volunteer for the 7thStep Society of Canada that she attends weekly in Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, a provincial facility.

Donna also previously held a position on the National Volunteer Association of CSC, has been involved with the St. John’s Cerebral Palsy Association, the Rainbow Riders Therapeutic Riding Program, and Community Chaplaincy.

Donna is a mother of three and grandmother of two. Her initial career began in nursing, after which she also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology, as well as a Criminology Certificate. In 2003 Donna received a Parole Officer Induction Program Certificate from CSC. In her spare time, she makes jewelry and home décor items from recycled silver plated cutlery.

Donna has also demonstrated a keen interest in Indigenous and women offender issues. She is an individual who continually demonstrates her commitment to this community and the volunteer sector. Donna is a valued asset to various community organizations and has demonstrated an ability to work collaboratively with other volunteers, community partners, CSC and offenders.


Prime Minister Trudeau to attend NATO Leaders’ Meeting, G7 Summit, and traveI to Italy and Vatican City

Ottawa, Ontario

April 21, 2017

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that he will travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the NATO Leaders’ Meeting on May 25. Following the NATO Meeting, he will visit Taormina, Italy, from May 26 to 27, to participate in the 43rd G7 Leaders’ Summit. He will then go to Rome and Vatican City.

Discussions at the NATO Meeting will focus on Euro-Atlantic security issues, including NATO’s counter-terrorism role and burden-sharing within the Alliance.

During the Prime Minister’s first official visit to Italy, the Prime Minister will seek ways to expand opportunities for Canadians and Italians alike, and to help create good, well-paying middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. He will discuss the timely ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and address pressing global issues, including international and regional security, climate change, and migration.

In Vatican City, Prime Minister Trudeau will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis for the first time.


“Canada is a leading member of NATO and will lead the multinational battlegroup that will soon deploy to Latvia. I look forward to next month’s meeting where we will reaffirm Canada’s unwavering commitment to NATO, and take important steps to promote international peace and security, and a safer world for all.”
— Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“The G7 is committed to addressing many of the most pressing global challenges of our time. At next month’s meeting, I will have the opportunity to sit down with some of our closest international partners, and promote the importance of a strong middle class, and building economies that benefit everyone, not just the wealthiest few.”
— Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“I look forward to meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis for the very first time. He is the religious leader for millions of Canadians, and our meeting will allow us to explore how Canada and the Holy See can further collaborate on a range of international issues.”
— Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • This will be Prime Minister Trudeau’s second visit to Belgium.
  • The NATO Leaders’ Meeting will include an inauguration of NATO’s new Headquarters.
  • Canada, along with 11 other countries, founded NATO in 1949 on the fundamental values of democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law. Over the past 68 years, NATO has proven itself to be a major contributor to international peace and security.
  • Since 2014, Canada has actively worked alongside NATO allies to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. Measures include training, exercises and other operational tasks.
  • The Leaders of the G7 – united by the common values of freedom and democracy, and respect for human rights – come together each year to discuss domestic and global issues. The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Representatives of the European Union also attend meetings.
  • A business delegation organized by the Italian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce will accompany Prime Minister Trudeau on his official bilateral visit to Rome.
  • Canada and Italy enjoy strong and historic people-to-people connections. Canada’s large and dynamic Italian-Canadian community, almost 1.5 million strong, is particularly interested and engaged in all aspects – cultural, social, economic and political – of our bilateral relations.
  • Canada and the Holy See share a commitment to promote dignity and freedom of conscience and religion.

Associated Links


New weapon in fight against antibiotic resistance discovered – UM Today

April 20, 2017 —

Scientists at St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and the University of Manitoba have developed a drug that combats 2 of the top 10 “priority pathogens” recently defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as antibiotic-resistant bacteria requiring new interventions.

The drug, dubbed PEG-2S, has received a provisional patent, and its development is highlighted in a study published today in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP). Without affecting healthy cells, the drug prevents the proliferation of a harmful bacteria that possesses a specific type of energy supply shared by a number of other bacteria.

“New drugs are not being approved because they share the same target to which the bacteria are developing resistance. We have not only defined a new and effective target, we have designed a drug to attack it without affecting normal cells,” says Grant Pierce, St. Boniface Hospital Executive Director of Research and University of Manitoba professor of physiology and pathophysiology. “The first pathogen our research team studied (Chlamydia trachomatis) has confirmed that NQR is a good target, and it is shared by many bacteria in need of a more effective antibiotic.”

Read More:

Ontario Seeking Public Input on Strengthening Rural Education

Consultations Taking Place in Communities Across Ontario

April 21, 2017

Ontario is seeking input from parents, teachers and community leaders as part of a provincewide engagement on improving education in rural and remote communities.

People are invited to share ideas about how the province can provide students with quality education programming, and make the best use of school space and public resources. Ontario is committed to supporting new opportunities to enhance education in rural and remote communities, and recognizes the value that schools bring to students and their communities as a whole.

Ten engagement sessions will take place across the province, led by Parliamentary Assistants Granville Anderson, Grant Crack and Lou Rinaldi:

  • Merrickville, Friday, May 5
  • Lakefield, Friday, May 5
  • Picton, Friday, May 12
  • Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23
  • Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23
  • Thedford, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markstay, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markdale, Thursday, May 25
  • Wawa, Thursday, May 25
  • Nipigon, Friday, May 26

People in Ontario can get involved by:

Strengthening education in rural and remote communities is part of our plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Roughly 15 per cent of students in Ontario’s publicly funded education system are enrolled in rural school boards.
  • Since 2013, annual funding for rural boards has increased by nearly $200 million or six per cent.
  • Since 2003, the government has provided $1.1 billion for capital projects in rural Ontario, including almost 60 new schools, 250 additions and 140 major retrofits.
Additional Resources


“We are committed to ensuring that all students have access to excellent education. We want to hear from municipalities, schools, communities and parents on the future of rural schools. This important feedback will help us enhance the quality and delivery of education in rural and remote communities in Ontario.”

Mitzie Hunter
Minister of Education

“We look forward to having these important conversations across the province to explore new opportunities to strengthen our communities and our schools, so they are great places to live and to learn.”

Grant Crack
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“Our government recognizes that schools are at the heart of our communities. This dialogue will help us ensure that schools continue to serve students and families in the most effective ways possible.”

Granville Anderson
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education

“By working together we can make sure that our students have the support their need to fulfill their potential while our communities continue to grow and thrive.”

Lou Rinaldi
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs

Media Contacts

Richard Francella
Minister’s Office

Heather Irwin
Communications Branch


Minister Crocker Requests Compensation for Fish Harvesters and Plant Workers Impacted by Severe Ice Conditions

April 20, 2017

The Honourable Steve Crocker, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, has written to the Federal Government to request compensation to harvesters and plant workers impacted by the severe ice conditions this spring.

Snow crab and lobster fisheries would normally be starting or about to start this time of year but ice conditions along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador have delayed the opening of these major inshore fisheries. Ice conditions could cause delays until at least mid-May which means many inshore harvesters and plant workers will be impacted as Employment Insurance (EI) benefits will have been exhausted by that time.

Compensation has been provided in the past and similar compensation for individuals will provide a reliable source of income for the foreseeable future.

A copy of the letter sent to federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, the Honourable Patricia Hajdu can be found online at

“I have asked the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, the Honourable Patricia Hajdu, to provide assistance to impacted individuals similar to past compensation. The Federal Government has shown its cooperation with respect to other areas of the fishery, most recently this week when they announced they would start conducting full scientific stock assessments on Northern cod for the next five years. Continuing EI benefits for those impacted will help them provide an income until the fishery is able to start.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

– 30 –

Learn more
Letter from Minister Steve Crocker to Minister Patricia Hajdu

Media contact:

Craig Renouf
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 632-8167


Help for seniors travelling to medical appointments

Apr 21, 2017

Improvements to the medical trip benefit will help low-income seniors who travel from rural or remote areas of the province for treatment or care.

Budget 2017 invests an additional $550,000 to help low-income seniors cover costs, like transportation and accommodation, associated with travel for specialist medical appointments.

The following changes to the Special Needs Assistance medical trip benefit will be effective July 1, 2017:

  • Overnight accommodation support increases from $75 to $100.
  • Minimum travel distance is reduced from 100 to 80 kilometres round-trip in order to qualify for the benefit.
  • A one-time benefit of $85 is provided to help with medical transport costs for a resident moving from a long-term care facility to another care facility.
  • Increased funding is available for seniors who travel more than 400 kilometres to their appointments.

“Seniors built our province and they deserve to retire in dignity. Our government is making life better by protecting and enhancing seniors’ benefits. Today’s announcement will help seniors afford to get the care they need.”

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“Our council supports the enhancements to the medical trip benefit and applauds the government’s commitment to providing greater supports to rural seniors who must travel to larger centres for care.”

Fred Olsen, president, Alberta Council on Aging

Quick facts

  • Seniors may apply for up to $5,000 per year in medical trip benefits.
  • Approximately 1,800 seniors receive assistance each year for medical trip benefits.

Related information

Media inquiries

Tim Chu
Press Secretary, Seniors and Housing


George was a special Elder in Attawapiskat –

20 April 2017

ATTAWAPISKAT – LIVING – It seems like every time I head out on a vacation for the past few years I get tragic news. Recently, as I was leaving the country, I heard my Uncle George had passed away. This made me very sad and my mind flooded with memories of my childhood back in Attawapiskat when I was surrounded by a very large family.

George was a special Elder in Attawapiskat and he had a rich and deep knowledge of the Cree culture and history of the James Bay coast. He was born and raised in a traditional lifestyle on the James Bay coast. At an early age, he travelled and visited the length of the James Bay coast as his family followed a nomadic lifestyle of hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering led by their parents James and Janie Kataquapit. They survived through bitter cold winters, warm summers in the mushkeg wilderness, through feasts of food they had gathered themselves and during difficult famines when the land grew empty.

Read More:

N.S. review of ‘conquered people’ brief complete, but minister won’t comment – APTN

April 20, 2017

A review of a controversial Crown brief that implied the Mi’kmaq are a conquered people is now complete, but Nova Scotia’s justice minister refused Wednesday to divulge its contents.

“I’ve seen the report and I’m not able to give any information about it,” Diana Whalen said after a cabinet meeting. “It’s got a lot of legal and personnel information in it.”

Whalen initiated the review after Mi’kmaq groups raised objections to the government’s decision to have Crown lawyer Alex Cameron handle a case involving the Indian Brook First Nation.

Late last year, the band argued that a plan by Alton Natural Gas Storage to create storage caverns near Stewiacke poses an environmental risk to the nearby Shubenacadie River.

Read More:

Production at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake oil sands to fully resume in June –

Suncor Energy (TSX, NYSE:SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas company, expects its Syncrude Mildred Lake oil sands upgrader to return to full operation by the end of June, as a result of an explosion and fire that shut down the operation last month.

In an update about the issue, the Calgary-based firm — the majority stakeholder in Syncrude — said the Mildred Lake oil sands upgrader is currently operating at a reduced rate, but that it does not expect that to have an impact in Suncor’s oil output target for the year.

The company had originally said it expected the upgrader to resume normal operations this month.

“The investigation and inspection show that damage was largely isolated to a piperack adjacent to the hydrotreater,” Suncor said in the statement.

Read More:

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks Earth Day With a Message to the Planet: Time to Work Together to Heal Mother Earth

OTTAWA, April 21, 2017– Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the following statement in advance of Earth Day, which will be celebrated April 22:

“Mother Earth is warming. She needs our help to heal so that we can all stay healthy and continue to enjoy the beauty and riches she provides. First Nations have both rights and responsibilities to the lands and waters. Our Indigenous worldview compels us to convey the message that we all must come together globally and work collectively to heal Mother Earth. We must act here in Canada, in the United States and around the world to protect our lands and waters, our traditional foods and sacred places, for future generations. First Nations are the first to feel the impacts of climate change. Our Traditional Knowledge is an important part of the solution to climate change.

Finding the right balance is the key. We must move away from development that contributes to global warming and embrace clean, green energy solutions. First Nations in Canada are leading the way in alternative energy projects, which are now the largest single sectoral driver of First Nations’ economic development and independence. Respecting our rights, our peoples, our territories and our knowledge is key to healing Mother Earth.”

Earth Day, founded in 1990, is celebrated every April 22.  It is the largest environmental event in the world. The goal is to foster and celebrate environmental respect, action and behavior change that lessens our impact on the earth. This year, celebrations across the country are highlighting the great outdoors through Earth Day Canada’s Earth PLAY for Earth Day 2017: Connect to your nature! For more information visit:

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, Cell: 613-292-0857,

Full Circle: First Nations Performance is accepting artist submissions for the 2018 Talking Stick Festival

Artist Submission

Submit an Application

Full Circle: First Nations Performance is accepting artist submissions for the 2018 Talking Stick Festival. We welcome artist submissions from both established and emerging artists from all areas of the performing arts.

Project in Development

The Talking Stick Festival also offers opportunities for artists whose work is in development and are seeking artistic support or guidance. You can apply to present your work in the “Development Series” by following the instructions below:

  1. Write a cover letter
  2. Obtain two (2) Reference Letters
  3. Submit a twenty (20) minute video of your Project in Development


NOTE: Lastly, out-of-town artists are encouraged to pursue travel funding opportunities and include details of this in their applications.

Click Here to Apply Now


Sweat Lodge Officially Opens for Students and Staff at RRC

Newest addition to the College’s Ceremonial Grounds will help RRC continue to infuse Indigenous culture and knowledge throughout our campus: Vogt

April 20, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB – Elders, students, and leaders from Red River College came together today in a special cultural ceremony to officially open the College’s first Sweat Lodge.

Led by Elders-in-Residence, Jules Lavallee and Mae Louise Campbell, today’s ceremony, which included a teaching about the Sweat Lodge, welcomed more than 40 participants – many of whom have never participated in this type of sacred ceremony before.

“I had a vision in 2004 of having a Sweat Lodge at Red River College available for students and staff and that vision has now become a reality,” said Elder-In-Residence, Jules Lavallee. “It’s a legacy for everyone to enjoy, that will help to heal for years to come and it was an incredible opportunity for staff and students to work together for the same purpose.”

The structure of the Sweat Lodge, which takes approximately three hours to build, represents the womb of Mother Earth and was made out of willow trees that were collected and prepared in the days prior to today’s ceremony. Once the willows were placed into position, along with sacred medicine, they were tied together and then the frame was completely covered with canvas to complete the Lodge.

“Today is a very important day as we continue our work to infuse Indigenous culture, knowledge, and teachings across our College,” said Paul Vogt, President & CEO, Red River College. “Indigenous student success is a priority at Red River College and that means providing culturally relevant student supports to help remove barriers and create more pathways to success for our Indigenous learners.”

“We have a significant Indigenous student population at Red River College and this important addition to our Ceremonial Grounds will have an amazing impact for many years to come. I want to thank our Elders for their guidance and everyone involved who helped make this important initiative for our College a success,” added Vogt.

Each Sweat Lodge has a different purpose and is led by an Elder or Spiritual Leader who provides Teachings and songs throughout the ceremony.  Through this unique and profoundly personal experience, the body is cleansed, which aids in removing stress and improves the participants mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. These ceremonies are used to give thanks, to heal, to seek wisdom, and to purify the mind, body, and soul.

“The Sweat Lodge, a vision of Indigenizing RRC, has been realized to help the success of our students and staff,” says Elder-In-Residence, Mae Louise Campbell. “I’m positive we will continue to grow in spirit, as a human family seeking unity, equality, and understanding and that this education will provide a more holistic approach for success.”

Currently, the Sweat Lodge is only available for students, staff, and faculty at Red River College to provide further learning opportunities and to enhance Indigenous cultural teachings and supports at RRC.

Advance Indigenous Achievement is one of RRC’s main Strategic Plan priorities (2016-2021) as well as a key goal of the Academic Division, which is committed to enhancing “the environment supporting Indigenous student success.” RRC is also a signatory to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint (2016) – one of nine post-secondary institutions in the Province – following the Calls to Action of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. RRC recognizes that the College has an important, proactive role in supporting reconciliation efforts in our province.

Click here to watch a video of our College community building the Sweat Lodge. 


Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup challenges Canadians to set a new record for Canada’s 150th birthday

ACROSS CANADA, April 21, 2017 – Canada is turning 150 this year and to celebrate the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is challenging Canadians to mark Canada’s big birthday by cleaning their shorelines in record-breaking numbers.

With Earth Day tomorrow, registration for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is now open and is easier than ever, with a new, user-friendly website at

“We had an incredible year in 2016,” said Rachel Schoeler, manager of the Shoreline Cleanup. “We broke all of our previous records, with more than 2,300 shorelines cleaned and 77,000 people helping us protect ecosystems and wildlife across the country.”

The Shoreline Cleanup isn’t coasting on its success for the year ahead; instead it will build on the momentum to almost double participation, with a birthday-themed target of 150,000 Canadians taking part for 2017.

“We’re setting an ambitious target because we believe Canadians have a responsibility to protect the nature around them — and as last year’s record participation shows, Canadians care deeply about the health of their communities and want to take action for the environment.”

Now in its 24th year, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is Canada’s largest conservation-based cleanup. An initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, it calls on Canadians from coast to coast to help rehabilitate shoreline areas throughout the year. Participating in the Shoreline Cleanup educates participants on the stewardship of the water, habitats and how to make a positive impact on the environment.

“From storm drains, parks and school yards to lakes, rivers and oceans, shoreline litter impacts people and wildlife such as frogs, turtles, whales and birds in every corner of the country. By participating in the Shoreline Cleanup, we’re picking up debris before it has the chance to get into our aquatic ecosystems,” said Schoeler.

The most widely collected litter items in 2016 included plastic and paper bags, cigarettes, food wrappers and containers, caps and lids, glass and plastic beverage bottles, beverage cans, disposable flatware, straws, tobacco packaging and building materials. Once these items enter aquatic ecosystems, they can contaminate and degrade habitat, and cause injury to wildlife from ingestion and entanglement.

Celebrate Canada and make a difference in your community by taking action against shoreline litter. Participants can start a cleanup any time of year, at any shoreline across the country, and are invited clean it multiple times throughout the year.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a non‐profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.

WWF-Canada creates solutions to the conservation challenges that matter most to Canadians, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife.

Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada’s food and pharmacy leader, the nation’s largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

Media contacts:

Deana Lancaster
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre

Emily Vandermeer
416-489-4567 ext. 7298


Gallery commemorates 150 years of Canadian Confederation – Beaverbrook Art Gallery

April 20, 2017

Gallery commemorates 150 years of Canadian Confederation with exhibition celebrating rich and diverse visual arts heritage

Fredericton, NB, April 20, 2017 — The Beaverbrook Art Gallery will launch its celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial year with a large-scale, commemorative exhibition. The exhibition, Canadian Mosaic: Celebrating 150 Years of Art from the Permanent Collection, will span multiple rooms and will showcase a variety of Canadian art. The public is cordially invited to attend the opening reception at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery of the new exhibition on Saturday, April 29th, 2017 at 5pm.

In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, Chief Curator Jeffrey Spalding will fill five galleries with artworks to encourage visitors to explore the development of Canadian art through the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s permanent collection. Different gallery spaces will focus on different periods in Canadian art – historical, modern and contemporary – with an additional presentation highlighting the art of Atlantic Canada.

“Through the nearly six decades of its history,” he says, “the Gallery has amassed a fine overview of the principal artists associated with our nation.” Canadian Mosaic will showcase some of the most admired works in the collection by artists across the decades: Cornelius Krieghoff, Paul Kane, J. W. Morrice, Emily Carr, David Milne, Lawren Harris, Tom Thomson, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Paul-Émile Borduas, Alex Colville, Mary Pratt, Jack Humphrey, Molly Bobak, Carl Beam and many more. As one particularly fitting inclusion, the Gallery will unveil a recently-donated 19th Century sculptural portrait of Sir George-Étienne Cartier, co-premier of the Province of Canada and Father of Confederation.

Spalding’s aspiration for the project is to send a love letter to Canada on the occasion of its 150th birthday. “Our presentation is a mosaic,” he continues, “of the extraordinary variety of approaches, ideas and feelings represented by Canadian art, coast to coast to coast and over the decades. We hope visitors will find the artworks in this exhibition inspiring.”

However, he cautions that, “it would be impossible to use the project to even attempt to construct a portrait of the art of the nation. The country is too vast: our demographics, cultural, ethnic, and geographic differences are wide-ranging. Invariably, someone and something would be left out. A mosaic, after all, is an image made up of fragments of other objects.”

Canadian Mosaic will be on display all summer, through September 10, allowing visitors from New Brunswick and away to make it part of their Canada 150 celebrations.

Also remaining on display through the summer are some of the Gallery’s most prized international artworks. Masterworks: Homecoming—A Celebratory Selection from the International Collection, invites visitors to explore another facet of the Gallery’s collection. Though not by Canadian artists, by virtue of the collection’s history and of Lord Beaverbrook, these works have also become part of a Canadian story.


About the exhibitions:

Canadian Mosaic: Celebrating 150 Years of Art from the Permanent Collection is curated by Jeffrey Spalding and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The exhibition is on display from April 29, 2017 through September 10, 2017.

Masterworks: Homecoming – A Celebratory Selection from the International Collection is curated by Terry Graff and Jeffrey Spalding and organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The exhibition is on display in the Harriet Irving Gallery from February 11, 2017 through September 10, 2017.

About the Beaverbrook Art Gallery

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery was founded by Lord Beaverbrook on September 16, 1959. The Gallery is internationally known for its collection of Atlantic Canadian, Canadian, British, and International works of art. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery “enriches life through art”. As the official art gallery of New Brunswick, and one of Canada’s leading art galleries and most important cultural treasures, its mission is to “bring art and community together in a dynamic cultural environment dedicated to the highest standards in acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, education and stewardship.”

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery enriches life through art.
La Galerie d’art Beaverbrook enrichit la vie par l’art.

Media Contact
Jeremy Elder-Jubelin
Manager of Communications and Visitor Services
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
703 Queen Street, P.O. Box 605
Fredericton, NB  E3E 5A6
Phone: (506) 458-2039
Fax: (506) 458-2028


Garden River FN: Upcoming Chief & Council Working Meeting

April 20, 2017

Upcoming Meetings

April 25th, 2017- 6:00pm, Working Meeting- Council Chambers- to be live streamed Live Stream:


Referral Officer Training Program hosted by The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council

The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council is hosting a Referral Officer Training Program in Fort St. John, BC from May 1-5, 2017 at the Pomeroy Hotel.  The training, supporting materials, breakfasts and lunches are covered by CSTC. Seats are limited and are on a first come first serve basis. To register, please use this link:

Description:  The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) has developed a First Nations Referrals Officer Training Program (ROTP) that is focused on assisting First Nations with building capacity to manage referrals and consultation requests regarding natural resource management projects.

This 5-day program will cover the basics on why referrals and consultation management is needed in First Nations communities. Students will also leave with an improved understanding of office and information management, natural resource management 101, communication and analytical skills, basic mapping skills, and decision-making processes.

Please feel free to share with your contacts. For more information and registration please email


AMP Sessions Video Series Returns – Manitoba Music

Our AMP Sessions video series is back with a new one from Indian City, produced and directed by Chris Gaudry. Indian City was founded by Vince Fontaine in 2012 and features a talented lineup of award-winning artists and rising stars. The group’s unique fusion of lyrics, music, and personalities captures the sound as a vibrant Indigenous culture. Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the heart of Turtle Island, Indian City brings to life music that stretches across a colourful landscape by fusing Indigenous imagery with pop and alternative rock, drawing inspiration from the rich heritage of Indigenous spirit. The music group is a music community and collaboration that can range in size from 5 to 10 people on stage and consists of band leader Fontaine, lead singers Pamela Davis, Don Amero, Jay Bodner, and Jeremy Koz, vocalist/keyboards Neewa Mason, Atik Mason on bass, and Rich Reid on drums. Guest musicians include traditional pow wow singer Ray Coco Stevenson and trumpet players Chuck Copenance and Phil Collins. Indian City has three album releases to date Supernation (2012), Colors (2014), and Here and Now (2017).

AMP Sessions is a series of live performance videos presented by Manitoba Music featuring new music from First Nation, Métis, and Inuit recording artists from Manitoba, filmed at Winnipeg’s Bedside Studios. Stay tuned for more videos in coming weeks from Jade Turner, Ila Barker, and Ashley Robertson at


Lending volumes and credit conditions are improving for SMEs, but many firms continue to struggle to obtain financing that meets their needs – OECD

April 21, 2017

Lending volumes and credit conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have gradually improved, according to a new report from the OECD, but demand-side obstacles such as a lack of financial knowledge are contributing to holding back a stronger recovery. Moreover, SME finance through non-bank instruments is still not sufficiently developed to meet the different needs of firms, and ensure resilience to changing economic conditions.

Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2017: An OECD Scoreboard provides comprehensive data on debt, equity, asset-based finance, solvency and framework conditions, complemented by an overview of policy measures to ease SMEs’ access to finance in 39 countries. The 2017 edition of this annual publication was launched by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Economy and Finances of Italy, in Washington on the margins of the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings on 20-21 April.

“SMEs are an important engine to pull our economies out of the current low growth trap, revive productivity growth and reduce inequalities,” Secretary-General Gurría said during the presentation of the Scoreboard. “We need a comprehensive strategy for SME development, with policies that tackle both demand- and supply-side obstacles to expand the range of financing instruments available to SMEs and reduce their vulnerability to changes in credit markets.” [Read transcript]

Minister Padoan welcomed the OECD Scoreboard as a contribution to Italy’s G7 Presidency and remarked that SMEs are critical players in the efforts to achieve inclusive growth. “In order to continue to drive innovation and competitiveness, SMEs and entrepreneurs need the right forms of financing that will enable them to adapt to and thrive in the context of the next production revolution”.

The sixth annual edition of the OECD Scoreboard highlights developments in SME financing over the 2013-15 period. Overall, lending to SMEs increased, as illustrated by a rise of 6.4% in 2015 in the median value of new lending to SMEs. SME interest rates are at record lows, and credit conditions generally remained accommodative, although the difference in interest rates paid by SMEs and larger firms has continued to widen, reaching a spread of 1.4 percentage points in 2015. In addition, declines in B2B payment delays and bankruptcies could be observed in a majority of participating countries by 11% and 9% respectively in 2015 (median values).

Nonetheless, the recovery in SME lending is not running at full speed, held back by weak demand for credit. In a number of countries, demand for credit dropped in recent years, especially among micro-enterprises. This may stem in part from a lack of investment opportunities, which are positively and significantly correlated with new SME lending, but may also indicate that discouraged borrowers have ceased to seek bank finance.

At the same time, many SMEs remain very reliant on bank debt. The uptake by SMEs of non-bank sources was mixed, with venture capital investments down in most countries. Other sources of finance, such as leasing, equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, increased in 2015, but often from a low base. Developing alternative financial instruments is especially important for those SMEs that still face difficulties in accessing bank finance, in particular start-ups, young firms and very small enterprises, the report says.

A special chapter in this year’s Scoreboard focuses on challenges which are limiting SME uptake of non-bank finance instruments and how to address them. On the demand side, many entrepreneurs lack financial knowledge, strategic vision, and the resources to attract alternative finance instruments. On the supply side, potential investors are often dissuaded by the opacity of the SME finance market, a lack of investor-ready projects and limited exit options, along with regulatory impediments. Policy must tackle these demand and supply side issues in tandem in order to be effective.

To find out more about the OECD’s work on SMEs and entrepreneurship, please visit:

For more information on the OECD Scoreboard, contact Miriam Koreen, Deputy Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism at the OECD or the OECD Media division (+33 1 4524 9700).


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