Posts By: First Nations Drum

First Nations say Trans Mountain review is rushed

Photo | Kinder Morgan

VANCOUVER – It has been reported  that The National Energy Board will hear from 31 Indigenous groups and individuals  on the oral traditional evidence beginning November 19th as part of its new review on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the federal government’s plan to go ahead with the project in August, citing inadequate Indigenous consultation and the energy board’s failure to review the project’s impacts on the marine environment.

The Indigenous groups and individuals are scheduled to attend hearings beginning in  Calgary the week of November 19, in Victoria the week of Nov. 26 and Nanaimo, B.C., the week of December 3.

British Columbia’s Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations say this process is too rushed and they’re considering filing fresh court challenges after the board issues its report.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government ordered The National Energy Board to review the marine impacts and submit a report no later than Feb. 22.

According to the Financial Post, the National Energy Board responded to concerns about the timeline in documents released Wednesday, November 7, saying there’s already significant evidence on the record and legislation requires it to conduct proceedings within the time limit set by the federal government.

On Our Sacred Journey

Robertjohn Knapp and Danny at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City, Utah

Robertjohn Knapp and Danny at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City Utah Photo by Oren Lyons 2015


In memory of Alicja Rozanska

When we give thanksgiving we honor the plant life first in our way of life, then we go to our Sacred Mother Earths blood, rivers, oceans and ponds the sacred drink that our mother give all Creation. After the plant life and rivers its our relations who we thank and honor four-legged, winged ones, fish life and insects these are the ones who share this sacred mother earth with Humans On Our Sacred Journey. When we all start our day this way, how can we go wrong, how can we we ever feel alone when this respect we have for life grows every day, when we connect our self to life, life can connect itself to the Humans. Our old ones teach us Indian people that all Creation can hear and feel our love when we speak to them, our trees, our plant life, the sky,Grandmother Moon, Brother Sun every insect can hear and feel our love ,respect and thanksgiving for sharing this sacred journey with us Humans, as we share this Sacred Mother Earth in that sacred oneness with the Great Mystery our Great Creator the Universe the Cosmos the life-giving forces Earth Air Fire and Water we are all one in the eyes of the Universe/Creator.

Blackcloud on Sacred Drum at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City, Utah

Blackcloud on Sacred Drum at Parliament of Worlds Religions Salt Lake City Utah photo by Danny Beaton

Indigenous people have showed Western ideologists and early explorers the oneness of living in harmony with Mother Earth from first contact 500 years ago and were called inferior beings, how can humans become so confused over the years about the Sacredness in life, how can the natural life become so meaningless to humans and become a commodity, a resource to extract and profit from for short-term profit and destroy our relations, fish, animals, birds and insects who need plants, forests, mountains, gardens, swamp, wetlands to live in as humans do, our relations need rivers, lakes and oceans to thrive, multiply and survive. Our oceans were once full of life species, sharks, whales, tuna, cod, shrimp, octopus endless fish life nurturing breeding endlessly with algae,  plankton, seaweed, Our oceans are a source of air supply possibly 75 percent of our fresh air supply comes from the oceans biodiversity and web of life support. Yet the governments of the world in charge have left the oceans to factory fishing to destroy and rape as does the mining industry /corporations pillage and rape Mother Earth for minerals, gold, diamonds, ore, nickel zinc and taking the organs out of Mother Earth then sucking the oil from her body till there is nothing but huge gaping wounds on her body. Chernobyl and Fukushima power plants have created higher cancer rates and leukemia since having uranium, plutonium extracted from Mother Earths body to support nuclear energy. Mismanagement after mismanagement of the world’s resources are killing all life on our Sacred planet.

The Sacredness of Life must be taught to those who have fallen asleep spiritually, the children of the world are now suffering and this suffering is growing everywhere as our hospital are filling up with cancer, diabetes, heart diseases depression are rampant. Every major river in the world is polluted. All of this was foretold to us in our Sacred Circles and Sacred Councils by our old elders 25 years ago in my lifetime, yet it was all prophesied by most cultures hundreds of years ago. Our work/jobs are to help those who are asleep spiritually each and every one of us people can do something positive to help Mother Earth or support justice and peace somewhere as the negativity is growing and the Fire Keepers of the world the Medicine People need to speak up of respect, equality, unity, peace and righteousness. Our Old Elders would say we need The Good Mind it is our way of life and we need to put our Minds together to solve these problems of the world, As One Minded People!           

Twenty-five years ago I remember waking up to the sound of the Sacred Drum and the songs of the morning, the Dawn Song to honour all life coming alive from a good night’s rest. We were gathered up by The American Indian Institute the united nations of native tribes based in Bozeman Montana, the elders and youth who were carrying traditional indigenous culture or better known as The Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth the wisdom keepers of North America. We gathered up to maintain our sacred culture and way of life to honour the Great Mystery our Great Creator Wakan Tanka, Mother Earth, all our Relations the Great Spirit and life-giving forces. We became Creators extended family and like Chief Tom Porter would say every man is a brother on this continent and every woman is a sister in this country that is the law of the land. Every person is indigenous every person has a homeland and territory we are the indigenous people of this continent.

The first year I attended sacred ceremonies was suggested by Chief Oren Lyons in 1990, Oren was one of the greatest environmentalists I ever met or have known in my life a Wolf Clan adopted into the Turtle Clan a spokesperson for the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth and Indigenous Working Group On Climate Change with the United Nations. The peace and respect on the Onondaga Reserve was overwhelming in Syracuse New York the community was the strongest place I had ever seen or been to in my life full of calmness, intelligence and respect and traditional Iroquois culture, Onondaga may be one of the only places that is free from the US government control and still organized by traditional Iroquois people. My first year attending sacred ceremonies was an experience that helped create the person I am now, I had already been attending sacred sweat lodge ceremonies in Guelph with elder Vern Harper but with the grassroots spiritual leaders of North America was a whole new awakening, It seemed like there were at least a hundred old elders with us that year in Onondaga with all the family’s there it was the largest spiritual gathering I had ever been to. Once the Sacred Fire was started by our Fire Keeper the Fire Keepers kept the fire going for 4 days and three nights. The day would start at sun rise and then Sacred Sunrise Ceremony with blessings from elders of the Four Directions. Then the prayers would continue from all the elders, clan mothers, chiefs, medicine people and runners who had gathered there at ceremony to give thanks to Great Creator/Wakan Tanka Creation the Universe/Cosmos and Mother Earth for the gifts we as Humans Beings were blessed with and our Relatives and Ancestors. We honoured the Spirit World we honoured the Four Directions we honoured Natural Life Natural Laws Earth, Air, Fire Water the Life Giving Forces from everything that moved or lived on Mother Earth to everything in the Sky world to everything invisible our old elders taught us we were at one with throughout Our Sacred Journey on this Sacred Mother Earth. That we as humans had a duty and responsibility to give Thanksgiving for All Creation. Uncle Robertjohn always told me that everything in the Spirit World can hear us Human Beings we were given the Sacred Tobacco to communicate with Great Creator with our Sacred Pipes and that our Songs were the highest form of prayer we could give each and every day.                

When we as Indians or non-Indians spend time with our old wisdom keepers/elders the ones who still laugh and joke the ones who still pray and understand the life around us and traditional culture we are being taught our relation to all life around us! When we spend time talking, eating, sleeping, praying, singing, drumming and being with elders who are peaceful healthy, we have a chance to learn stories and teachings of the way life was and should be. When we attended our Sacred Circles in our old days we was loved and nurtured by our elders because that is the way of life that they were taught and it is passed on to us then we pass that Healing and Wisdom on to those who are On Our Sacred Journey.

Vancouver is set for the 15th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival

With more than 100 events scheduled over 12 days at over 40 locations throughout the Downtown Eastside, the 15th Annual DTES Heart of the City Festival (October 24 – November 4, 2018) has a cornucopia of cultural events and artistic activities to attend, participate in, and enjoy.

The Heart of the City Festival will include twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, spoken word, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibitions, mixed media, art talks, history talks and history walks.

To acknowledge, honour and support our home communities long standing commitment to social justice, the theme of the 2018 Festival is “Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope”. We celebrate the history of the Downtown Eastside community advocacy for human rights and social justice as we move forward and create artistic activity that speaks to today’s vital concerns and burning issues.

Heart of the City Festival’s mandate is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people and great stories about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The festival involves a wide range of professional, community, emerging and student artists and lovers of the arts. Over 1,000 local artists and Downtown Eastside residents participated in last year’s Festival.

Here are some of the exciting Top Festival Picks.

Hope Matters, An Evening with Lee Maracle and Columpa Bobb: Acclaimed award-winning writer and elder Lee Maracle and award-winning actor, playwright, photographer, poet and teacher Columpa Bobb read from their upcoming book, Hope Matters. Thursday Oct 25, 7pm. Massy Books, 229 E. Georgia.

Material Witness: The Festival is honoured to present Material Witness, an international co-production between renowned Spiderwoman Theater of New York City, the longest running Native American women’s theatre company in the United States, and Aanmitaagzi, an Indigenous multi-disciplinary-arts company from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario. Friday Oct 26, Saturday Oct 27, 8pm. Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender.

Songs of Justice, Songs of Hope: This evening of stirring sing-along activist songs launches the Festival and this year’s theme Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope. Led by musician, composer, conductor, and 2018 Festival Artist in Residence Earle Peach (2017 Mayor Arts Award), this evening of song features, among others, social justice Solidarity Notes Labour Choir singing about historical and current events and issues; and accordionist-extraordinaire Geoff Berner, whose powerful and biting social satirical songs can make you laugh or weep – often at the same time. Come ready to sing!

Wednesday Oct 24, 7pm. Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main.

Emerging Heritage Fair 1928-2018-2108: Join the Festival and the Japanese Language School to celebrate the shared 90th anniversary of the Japanese Hall and of Japan/Canada diplomatic relations; and to laud the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking Downtown Eastside Community Play:  Saturday Oct 27, Education Fair 1pm, Performances 7pm Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall, 487 Alexander.

Vetta Chamber Music, Seasons of the Sea weaves together contemporary classical music by award-winning Vancouver composer Jeffrey Ryan with a narrative written by Rosemary Georgeson (Sahtu Dene/Coast Salish), recipient of the 2009 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award as Emerging artist/Community-engaged Arts. Sunday Oct 28, 3pm. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall.

Ukrainian Hall Community Concert & Supper: The festival ends on a high note at the east-end’s historic Ukrainian Hall with lively music, invigorating dance and colourful costumes, featuring among others Kat Zucomul’wat Norris (Coast Salish). The best full meal and concert deal in Vancouver! Sunday Nov 4, concert 3pm, supper follows. Ukrainian Hall, 805 E. Pender.

Many events are free or by suggested donation. Visit for full details.

Indian Resource Council Urges Senators to Oppose Bill C-69

TSUU T’INA, Alberta, Oct. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Indian Resource Council (IRC), an Indigenous advocacy organization which represents the oil and gas and associated economic interests of over 130 Indigenous communities in Canada, is urging Senators to oppose Bill C-69.

Bill C-69, which would drastically alter the review process for projects in the energy sector, would harm one of Canada’s greatest economic success stories; namely, the emergence of Indigenous communities and companies as major and successful participants in the energy sector.

“Indian Resource Council is urging all Senators to take a stand and oppose Bill C-69,” said IRC President and CEO, and member of the Samson Cree Nation, Stephen Buffalo. “Bill C-69 would wreak havoc on Indigenous economic development in many parts of Canada.”

At the same time, IRC is calling on the Government of Canada to withdraw Bill C-69 immediately, as the consultation process with Indigenous communities was not sufficient or meaningful.

In order for consultations with Indigenous communities to be meaningful, the Government of Canada must engage with all communities that want to be heard, not just those who agree with their agenda. Their legal and constitutional requirement to consult with Indigenous peoples extends well beyond safe discussions with like-minded thinkers.

Indigenous peoples must be at the table with the Government of Canada any time major decisions are being made that will have a dramatic impact on their economic future. The Government could provide a vital national service by encouraging Indigenous to Indigenous consultations, in an effort to bring greater understanding to debates about natural resource development.

“Indigenous communities are on the verge of a major economic breakthrough, one that finally allows Indigenous people to share in Canada’s economic prosperity,” said Buffalo. “Bill C-69 will stop this progress in its tracks.  New and expanded consultations are urgently required.”

The Indian Resource Council supports environmental sustainability, Indigenous economic development, and reconciliation. IRC has supported many worthy partnerships and collaborations with governments, private companies and between Indigenous communities.

“We support a balanced response to environmental regulation and insist on comprehensive consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities,” added Buffalo. “Left as it is, Bill C-69 will harm Indigenous economic development, create barriers to decision-making, and make Canada unattractive for resource investment. This legislation must be stopped immediately.”

For further information, please contact:
Stephen Buffalo, President and CEO Indian Resource Council
(403) 281-8308

The Canada Council for the Arts reveals the GGBooks finalists Seventy Canadian books up for the Governor General’s Literary Awards

Ottawa (Ontario), October 3, 2018 – The Canada Council for the Arts revealed the 2018 finalists for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks) today.

These 70 Canadian books are among the best published this year in seven categories, both in English and in French. They are the works that stood out to peer assessment committees from close to 1,400 titles submitted for consideration.

“Innovative, troubling, surprising and emotional. This year’s GGBooks finalists have once again proven just how rich, bold, diverse and strong our literature is. Whether they offer exciting ideas, extraordinary illustrations, inspiring verse or outstanding translations, the GGBooks finalists are sure to impress.”

– Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

About GGBooks:

• Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards are one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards program, with a total annual prize value of $450,000.

• The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administered and promoted the awards since 1959.

• Finalists are chosen by category-specific, language-based peer assessment committees (seven in English and seven in French), who consider eligible books published between September 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 for English-language books and between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 for French-language books.

• Each winner receives $25,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000.

• In their 82 years, the Governor General’s Literary Awards have celebrated more than 700 works by over 500 authors, poets, playwrights, translators and illustrators.

English-language finalists (seven categories)


• Beirut Hellfire Society – Rawi Hage (Montréal, Quebec) Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Jonny Appleseed – Joshua Whitehead (Calgary, Alberta) Arsenal Pulp Press

• The Red Word – Sarah Henstra (Toronto, Ontario)

ECW Press

• Women Talking – Miriam Toews (Toronto, Ontario) Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Zolitude – Paige Cooper (Montréal, Quebec) Biblioasis


• Because: A Lyric Memoir – Joshua Mensch (Prague, Czech Republic) W.W. Norton & Company

• Night Became Years – Jason Stefanik (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Coach House Books

• The Blue Clerk – Dionne Brand (Toronto, Ontario) McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada

• This Wound is a World – Billy-Ray Belcourt (Edmonton, Alberta) Frontenac House

• Wayside Sang – Cecily Nicholson (Burnaby, British Columbia) Talonbooks


• Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom – Jordan Tannahill (London, United Kingdom) Playwrights Canada Press

• Gertrude and Alice – Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry with Karin Randoja (Hamilton, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario) Playwrights Canada Press

• Paradise Lost – Erin Shields (Montréal, Quebec) Playwrights Canada Press

• The Men in White – Anosh Irani (North Vancouver, British Columbia) House of Anansi Press

• This Is How We Got Here – Keith Barker (Toronto, Ontario) Playwrights Canada Press


• Dead Reckoning: How I Came to Meet the Man Who Murdered My Father – Carys Cragg (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) Arsenal Pulp Press

• Heart Berries – Terese Marie Mailhot (Evansville, Indiana) Doubleday Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

• Homes: A Refugee Story – Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung (Edmonton, Alberta)

Freehand Books

• Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age – Darrel J. McLeod (Sooke, British Columbia) Douglas & McIntyre

• The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History – Aida Edemariam (Oxford, United Kingdom) Knopf Canada

Young People’s Literature – Text:

• Ebb & Flow – Heather Smith (Waterloo, Ontario) Kids Can Press

• Learning to Breathe – Janice Lynn Mather (Delta, British Columbia) Simon & Schuster

• Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster – Jonathan Auxier (Swissvale, Pennsylvania) Puffin Canada/Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers

• The Journey of Little Charlie – Christopher Paul Curtis (Windsor, Ontario) Scholastic Canada

• Winnie’s Great War – Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut (Toronto, Ontario) HarperCollins Publishers

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

• Africville – Shauntay Grant and Eva Campbell (Halifax, Nova Scotia/Victoria, British Columbia) Groundwood Books

• At the Pond – Werner Zimmermann (Guelph, Ontario) North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

• Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes – Wab Kinew and Joe Morse (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Toronto, Ontario) Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada

• Ocean Meets Sky – The Fan Brothers (Toronto, Ontario) Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

• They Say Blue – Jillian Tamaki (Toronto, Ontario) Groundwood Books

Translation (from French to English):

• Descent into Night – Translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott (Montréal, Quebec) Mawenzi House Publishers; translation of Explication de la nuit by Edem Awumey, Les Éditions du Boréal

• Explosions : Michael Bay and the Pyrotechnics of the Imagination – Translated by Aleshia Jensen (Montréal, QC) QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books; translation of Des explosions by Mathieu Poulin, Les Éditions de Ta Mère

• Jacob Isaac Segal: A Montreal Yiddish Poet and His Milieu – Translated by Vivian Felsen (Toronto, Ontario) University of Ottawa Press; translation of Jacob-Isaac Segal (1896-1954) : un poète yiddish de Montréal et son milieu by Pierre Anctil, Les Presses de l’Université Laval

• Little Beast – Translated by Rhonda Mullins (Montréal, Quebec) Coach House Books; translation of Barbe by Julie Demers, Héliotrope

• Songs for the Cold of Heart– Translated by Peter McCambridge (Cap-Rouge, Quebec) QC Fiction, an imprint of Baraka Books; translation of La fiancée américaine by Eric Dupont, Marchand de feuilles

French-language finalists (seven categories)


• De synthèse – Karoline Georges (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec) Éditions Alto

• La bête creuse – Christophe Bernard (Burlington, Vermont) Le Quartanier

• Les noyades secondaires – Maxime Raymond Bock (Montréal, Quebec) Le Cheval d’août

• Manikanetish – Naomi Fontaine (Québec, Quebec) Mémoire d’encrier

• noms fictifs – Olivier Sylvestre (Montréal, Quebec) Hamac, a division of Les éditions du Septentrion


• Cruauté du jeu – France Théoret (Montréal, Quebec) Écrits des Forges

• La dévoration des fées – Catherine Lalonde (Montréal, Quebec) Le Quartanier

• La raison des fleurs – Michaël Trahan (Montréal, Quebec) Le Quartanier

• Le revers – Roxane Desjardins (Montréal, Quebec) Les Herbes rouges

• Ne faites pas honte à votre siècle – Daria Colonna (Montréal, Quebec Poètes de brousse


• Enfant insignifiant! – Michel Tremblay (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur

• Invisibles – Guillaume Lapierre-Desnoyers (Montréal, Quebec)

L’instant même

• J’aime Hydro – Christine Beaulieu (Montréal, Quebec) Atelier 10

• Os : la montagne blanche – Steve Gagnon (Montréal, Quebec) L’instant même

• Venir au monde – Anne-Marie Olivier (Québec, Quebec) Atelier 10


• Avant l’après : voyages à Cuba avec George Orwell – Frédérick Lavoie (Montréal, Quebec) La Peuplade

• Histoire des Juifs du Québec – Pierre Anctil (Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Le piège de la liberté : les peuples autochtones dans l’engrenage des régimes coloniaux – Denys Delâge and Jean-Philippe Warren (St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec / Verdun, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Les chants du mime : en compagnie d’Étienne Decroux – Gabrielle Giasson-Dulude (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions du Noroît

• Mégantic : une tragédie annoncée – Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny (Val-David, Quebec) Les Éditions Écosociété

Young People’s Literature – Text:

• 13 000 ans et des poussières – Camille Bouchard (Fortierville, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

• Ferdinand F., 81 ans, chenille – Mario Brassard (Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

• Les Marées – Brigitte Vaillancourt (Eastman, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal

• Maman veut partir – Jonathan Bécotte (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur

• Un dernier songe avant le grand sommeil – Jocelyn Boisvert (Havre-aux-Maisons, Quebec) Soulières éditeur

Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

• Jules et Jim : frères d’armes – Jacques Goldstyn (Mont-Royal, Quebec) Bayard Canada

• Le chemin de la montagne – Marianne Dubuc (Montréal, Quebec) Comme des géants

• Les mots d’Eunice – Gabriella Gendreau and Nahid Kazemi (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions de l’Isatis

• Lili Macaroni : je suis comme je suis! – Nicole Testa and Annie Boulanger (Rimouski, Quebec/Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec)

Dominique et compagnie

• Une histoire de cancer qui finit bien – Marianne Ferrer and India Desjardins (Lasalle, Quebec/Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions de la Pastèque

Translation (from English to French):

• De l’utilité de l’ennui : textes de balle – Translated by Daniel Grenier and William S. Messier (Québec, Quebec / Sherbrooke, Quebec) Les Éditions de Ta Mère; translation of The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays by Andrew Forbes, Invisible Publishing

• Le Monde selon Barney – Translated by Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné (Montréal, Quebec) Les Éditions du Boréal; translation of Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler, Knopf Canada

• Le saint patron des merveilles – Translated by Catherine Leroux (Montréal, Quebec) Éditions Alto; translation of Fabrizio’s Return by Mark Frutkin, Vintage Canada

• Naissances – Translated by Laurence Gough (Montréal, Quebec) Marchand de feuilles; translation of How You Were Born by Kate Cayley, Pedlar Press

• Sweetland – Translated by Éric Fontaine (Montréal, Quebec) Leméac Éditeur; translation of Sweetland by Michael Crummey, Doubleday Canada

English-language peer assessment committees:

Fiction: Andrea MacPherson, Shani Mootoo, Craig Francis Power Poetry: Garry Gottfriedson, Sachiko Murakami, Patrick Warner Drama: Rosa Laborde, Ian Ross, Kent Stetson Non-fiction: Ted Bishop, Leslie Shimotakahara, Merrily Weisbord Young People’s Literature – Text: Shelley Hrdlitschka, Philip Roy, Sarah Tsiang Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Adwoa Badoe, Renata Liwska, Hugh MacDonald Translation (from French to English): Dawn M. Cornelio, Peter Feldstein, Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo

French-language peer assessment committees:

Fiction: Martine Batanian, Carole David, André Girard Poetry: Jean-Marc Desgent, Lise Gaboury-Diallo, Marie-Andrée Gill Drama: Nathalie Boisvert, Herménégilde Chiasson, Dave Jenniss Non-fiction: Ralph Elawani, Lucie Hotte, Jean-Jacques Pelletier Young People’s Literature – Text: Simon Boulerice, Michèle Laframboise, Hada López Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Oussama Mezher, Paul Roux, Danielle Simard Translation (from English to French) : Christophe Bernard, Rose Després, Geneviève Letarte

Important dates:

• October 30: The 14 winning books will be announced.

• November 28: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present the awards at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.

• November 28 and 29: Public readings will take place at the Canada Council, located at 150 Elgin St., Ottawa, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the GGBooks winners.

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national arts funder. Its grants and payments to artists and arts organizations benefit Canadians by ensuring a vibrant arts sector in Canada. In 2016-17, the Canada Council allocated 196.8 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through its grants, prizes and payments. It also conducts research, convenes activities and works with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. The Canada Council Art Bank is a national collection of over 17,000 Canadian contemporary artworks – all accessible to the public through rental, loan and outreach programs. The Canada Council also distributes payments to over 17,000 Canadian authors annually through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries. Furthermore, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the general authority of the Canada Council.

LNG Canada to benefit First Nations

The long-awaited $40-billion LNG Canada project at Kitimat, and the associated pipeline that will feed it natural gas, mean big and long-term benefits for First Nations, says the First Nations LNG Alliance of BC.

“This is huge news,” the Alliance’s CEO, Karen Ogen-Toews, former chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, said of the green light announced today by LNG Canada.

“It means jobs and training and education and it means opportunities for First Nations businesses and procurement and partnerships. Imagine what these can do for First Nations communities where unemployment now can be running at 50 and 60 and 70 per cent.

“And in the longer term it means lifetime careers, and steady, reliable, sources of revenue for First Nations and communities. It will also generate billions in taxes for all levels of government, and that means support for education and healthcare and social programs.”

The alliance chair, Chief Dan George of the Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation, said:

“We see the LNG Canada project as offering, over time, a way of helping First Nations tackle poverty, unemployment, and social issues, and as a way of building careers for our people and economies for our First Nations. The sooner the better, for all of us.

“My own nation in BC stands to gain from TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline that will serve LNG Canada. We have participated to ensure environmental impacts are minimized. We have negotiated benefits our communities need.

“Our northern nations have watched industry take resources from our lands for years and get nothing for it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our communities in the north. There is a natural-gas line that heats our community and we get nothing from that line. It’s been there since 1959 and has had no problems over the years. That proves its safety record, and with new technology this line will be even safer.”

The LNG plant at Kitimat will be built on the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation, whose chief councillor, Crystal Smith, a board member of the Alliance, sees long-term benefits from LNG Canada that go beyond employment.

“It will also enable us to focus on social impacts. We can focus on preserving our culture and our language, and focus on healing aspects, dealing with impact of the residential schools, for example. These are things that we hear about from our people. Indigenous people are resilient, and that’s inspiring. We would hope to reach out to other Nations in this area of social impact as well.”

She said LNG Canada had “set the bar very high in terms of interaction” when it comes to working with the Haisla people to protect the environment.

“Their approach is community-based. They have worked on our needs and the environmental impact with our environmental team. The environment is absolutely important to us, and LNG Canada has set a standard for how to address our concerns, and for how responsible development can be done.”

Ogen-Toews also praised LNG Canada’s co-operation on environmental protection, and its environmental promise.

“LNG Canada will produce LNG with fewer carbon emissions per tonne than all other large LNG facilities in the world. And that will help reduce emissions in Asia as LNG replaces coal to generate electricity there. This is going to be the equivalent of taking 19 million cars off the world’s roads, and making BC carbon-neutral.”

Ogen-Toews noted how Trans Canada Corporation and its Coastal GasLink Pipeline had also worked with First Nations to protect the environment around the pipeline that will feed natural gas from northeastern BC to LNG Canada.

“That is one reason why the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the pipeline route have reached agreements with Coastal GasLink. And those agreements also mean training, education, jobs, business opportunities, and careers.”

The First Nations LNG Alliance headed by Ogen-Toews is a collective of First Nations who are participating in, and supportive of, sustainable and responsible LNG development in BC.

AFNQL congratulates François Legault Chief Ghislain Picard expects a new political relationship between Quebec and First Nations

Wendake, October 1, 2018 – The Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, congratulates François Legault and the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) for their electoral win. He also congratulates the leaders of the other political parties and reaches out to them to establish a new relationship in the spirit of true reconciliation between our peoples.

“I want to congratulate the new premier, Mr. François Legault. Above all, I want to express the openness of the First Nations to work with his government to revive the political relationship that unites us,” said Chief Picard.

UN declaration and summit in the first 100 days

The Chief of the AFNQL wishes to remind the new premier of his commitment to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “We take François Legault to his word from what he wrote to me, in a letter sent during the election campaign, that a CAQ government will implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is an issue much too important for this commitment to remain only a simple election promise,” says Ghislain Picard.

Chief Picard also reiterated the AFNQL’s intention to call upon the new government, within 100 days of its formation, to a formal meeting with all First Nations Chiefs.

“We were clear during the election campaign that the new government will have to thoroughly review its political relationship with us. At the heart of this new relationship is the recognition of our rights and the respect of our governments and our ancestral territories. If there is a real political will with the new government, we are ready to collaborate,” concluded Chief Ghislain Picard.

About the l’AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization that brings together 43 First Nations Chiefs in Quebec and Labrador. Follow the AFNQL on Twitter @APNQL.

Respecting First Nations rights helps achieve economic stability and investment certainty: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Courtesy of AFN

(Ottawa, ON) – On the announcement of a tentative trade agreement now named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the general exception clause for Indigenous Peoples Rights will help ensure the protection of inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights and bring greater economic stability, certainty and integrity to international trade and prosperity to North America.

“I have consistently urged Minister Freeland to ensure the protection of inherent and Treaty rights in international trade and I am pleased this is included in the newly announced United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “The provisions addressing Indigenous Peoples in the USMCA make it the most inclusive international trade agreement for Indigenous peoples to date. The  protection for Indigenous peoples’ rights in the general exceptions to the agreement will protect inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights as well as increase stability, certainty and integrity to international trade.”

Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, late yesterday, released a joint statement with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, announcing the two countries reached an agreement alongside Mexico. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement comes 13 months after negotiations began.

Some highlights of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement include recognition of the important role First Nations and other Indigenous peoples play in the long-term conservation of the environment, and emphasis on cooperation activities to promote and enhance opportunities for First Nations businesses and trade. Specific provisions for Indigenous peoples are found in the Exceptions and General Provisions chapter, the Environment chapter, Investment chapter (corporate social responsibility), Textiles, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Chapter and Competitiveness Chapter.

“I strongly remind Canada, the United States and Mexico that with their endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples comes domestic obligations to Indigenous peoples, and that rights protected in the new agreement must include the rights and obligations in the Declaration,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “I will continue to urge Canada to work in partnership with First Nations to ensure recognition, protection, implementation and enforcement of First Nations rights in this agreement and other international trade and investment agreements.”

In January 2018, National Chief Bellegarde and a delegation of First Nations leaders, including members of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Economic Development, were in Montreal to discuss the importance of trade to First Nations economic growth, participation in the labour force and inter-tribal trade and to push for an Indigenous Peoples Chapter in the agreement.

National Chief Bellegarde was approached in July 2017 to participate on the NAFTA Council to offer advice to federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland during negotiations.

AFN resolution 36/2017, First Nations Trade Relations, affirms First Nations inherent right to trade and mandates efforts to advocate for First Nations economic growth and the development of options to secure greater economic independence.

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

Renowned Indigenous leader receives honorary LLD from Law Society of Ontario

TORONTO, ON — The Law Society of Ontario presented a degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD), to the Honorable Senator Murray Sinclair at its Call to the Bar ceremony on September 28, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

As part of its Call ceremonies each year, the Law Society awards honorary doctorates to distinguished people in recognition of outstanding achievements in the legal profession, the rule of law, or the cause of justice. Recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers for the new lawyers attending the ceremonies.

Senator Sinclair is a highly respected and dedicated leader in Canada. Following his call to the Manitoba Bar in 1980, he practised primarily in the fields of civil and criminal litigation and Aboriginal law. In 1988, he became the first Indigenous judge in Manitoba (and the second in Canada) when he was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba. In 2001, he was appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba.

As Chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2009 – 2015), Senator Sinclair was instrumental in documenting the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and the accounts of more than 6,750 residential school Survivors. His wisdom and leadership delivered the first comprehensive report on this dark chapter in our history, including 94 Calls to Action to guide Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to reconciliation.

His service to the country and Indigenous people has been widely recognized with numerous honorary degrees, Canada’s World Peace Award in 2016, the 2017 National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Meritorious Service Cross for his work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He has been widely recognized with numerous honorary degrees, and was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016. (See full biography online.)

Law Society Treasurer, Malcolm M. Mercer awarded the honorary LLD to Senator Murray Sinclair, who then delivered the keynote address to the new lawyers at the ceremony.

Provided by The Law Society

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

Orange Shirt Day: A Time for Recollection and Reconciliation

By Louise Bradley

Orange Shirt Day, September 30, is an occasion to pause and remember Canada’s residential school survivors and to reflect on our collective responsibility to take steps towards reconciliation.

On her first day of residential school, Phyllis Webstad’s prized possession, an orange shirt gifted by her grandmother, was taken away. Today, we wear orange to remember those whose cultures and kinships were systematically stolen.

The journey towards reconciliation is a long one— we cannot undo overnight trauma inflicted over many generations. But recent efforts, like the National Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, developed by and for Indigenous peoples in partnership with the federal government and provinces, is an important step to repairing the damage where it began: with vulnerable children. When it comes to mental wellness, a good beginning can reverberate across a lifetime.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada honours the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We have partnered with Reconciliation Canada to ensure all staff join reconciliation dialogue workshops, an essential foundation for the compassion that breeds healing.

On September 30, wear an orange shirt in the spirit of reconciliation and pledge your commitment to build a better tomorrow for every child in Canada.

Louise Bradley
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada