Posts By: First Nations Drum

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) Fiction: • 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 Poetry: • 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 Drama: • 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 Non-fiction: • 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) Fiction: • 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 Poetry: • 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 Drama: • 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 Non-fiction: • 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

Wood Production Strategy: First Nations must have their say

Wendake, September 26, 2018 – The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) has serious concerns about the Wood Production Strategy project presented by the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs. When all indicators are already set to red regarding environment and respect for First Nations’ rights, the government is showing, once again, its limited vision of land development geared solely towards the pursuit of short-term profit.

“The Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council is totally right when it affirms that we need to rethink the Strategy while ensuring the intrinsic presence of the First Nations and by integrating environmental issues in the equation. First Nations have already suffered enough from timber exploitation. Intensive forestry advocated by the Strategy is exerting even more pressure on the communities and it poses serious threats to the exercise of their rights. We have had another example of this with the long-standing Huron-Wendat Nation’s fight to protect the last large expanse of wild forest south of Quebec, Lac à Moïse. First Nations have an integrated perspective of the territory. The government should take example of them,” stated the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

Quebec needs to be consistent and innovative and seize the opportunity of developing this Strategy to integrate the First Nations meaningfully and ensure respect for and protection of their rights which have been denied for far too long.

The Intensified Wood Production Areas, to which the government is proposing to devote 25% of the forest area in Quebec, are a major source of concern for the First Nations.

The Intensified Wood Production Areas are indeed a major change in land use vocation and, in this case, require further specifications and indicators that the Strategy does not provide on the designation and decision-making process, notably on First Nation consultation and accommodation.

Chief Picard concludes: “the next Government of Quebec must commit to putting into effect the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the principle of a free, prior and informed consent, as fundamental bases for reconciliation. Yet, genuine reconciliation can be reached only through attentive listening and by sharing revenues, land and expertise”.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization which groups together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. Follow the AFNQL on Twitter @APNQL.

Lakehead University’s Achievement Program will now help Nipigon students realize their full potential

September 25, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Nipigon students will have a greater chance of attending university thanks to a memorandum of understanding signed with Lakehead University on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Current and future Grade 4 students from George O’Neill Public School and St. Edward Catholic School who are eligible will now have the opportunity to enroll in the Achievement program. Students who are eligible to participate, attend special on campus programming at the University and meet certain criteria to earn financial support toward their first year of tuition at Lakehead University. 

Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson signed the memorandum of understanding with Nicole Morden-Cormier, Interim Director of Education at Superior-Greenstone District School Board, and Maria Vasanelli, Interim Director for Superior North Catholic District School Board.

“The Achievement Program is Lakehead University’s commitment to supporting access to postsecondary education by providing opportunities for students who experience socioeconomic barriers,” Dr. McPherson said.

“This program is about hope and opportunity, and encouraging students to see themselves as Lakehead University graduates at an early age. It’s about changing attitudes and expectations,” she added.

Lakehead introduced the Program in 2011 to help students obtain a postsecondary education at the University. Eligible participants enrol in grade 4 and continue with the Program until grade 12, with annual opportunities to earn financial assistance by completing specific requirements at their school, community and at Lakehead University.

At the end of those nine years, the accrued value of each student’s financial support will help fund their first year at Lakehead University. Lakehead provides additional spots each year, based on available funding, for eligible students to enrol.

Morden-Cormier said the Superior-Greenstone District School Board is pleased to partner with Lakehead University to bring the Achievement Program to students at George O’Neill Public School. 

“We know that students who feel a strong sense of belonging are more likely to succeed. Lakehead University’s Achievement Program has been designed to do just that – to ensure that students become familiar with and feel welcome at the University beginning in grade 4,” she said.

“This program reflects our strong belief in providing equity of access to education as it offers children who might otherwise not have been able to attend University the opportunity to experience it. We believe that this program will have a significant impact on our students.”

Vasanelli said: “Superior North Catholic District School Board is pleased to partner with Lakehead University in providing a progressive opportunity to our students. It is partnerships such as these that strengthen the community in supporting students to reach their potential through relevant education.”

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council’s CEO Receives Order of British Columbia

Brentwood Bay, B.C. – We are proud to announce that FPCC’s Chief Executive Officer Tracey Herbert has been appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest form of recognition. Tracey received this honour at Government House in Victoria on September 20, 2018.

Tracey Herbert is the CEO of First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), a First Nations-run provincial Crown Corporation that supports the revitalization of Indigenous languages, arts, culture and heritage in B.C. She is a member of the St’uxwtews First Nation (Bonaparte Band). Tracey is honoured, as an Indigenous woman, to receive this award and recognition at a time when the profile of Indigenous languages and the importance of revitalization is increasing.

“My passion for language and culture comes from being raised by my grandparents, who instilled the Indigenous values of deeply respecting knowledge keepers, and giving back to your community,” said Tracey. “I have been privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to our Indigenous communities and hold Indigenous people up throughout my career.”

Prior to joining FPCC in 2003, Tracey served as elected councilor for the Bonaparte Band, and worked in community development at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.

Tracey has been a tireless advocate of Indigenous language revitalization at the provincial and national level. For the past 15 years, she has led FPCC in providing funding and resources to First Nations communities, monitoring the status of Indigenous languages and developing policy recommendations for First Nations and government.

Tracey’s leadership in language preservation, program development, and technology tools has shaped policy and influenced government, contributing to the development of federal language legislation in Canada, which is expected to be introduced in 2019.

Under Tracey’s leadership FPCC has achieved the following successes:

  • Development of innovative programs to support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages and arts in B.C.
  • Advocacy for Indigenous languages, resulting in a $50-million investment by the provincial government for Indigenous language revitalization in 2018.
  • Development of the award winning Our Living Languages exhibition at the Royal BC Museum in 2014 showcasing the work of B.C.’s Indigenous language champions and presenting the critical level of endangerment of B.C. First Nations Languages on an accessible, public platform.

Tracey is technician for B.C. on the national Chief’s Committee on Languages and Chair of the National Assembly of First Nations Costing Committee for the development of the national legislation on Indigenous languages.

Wanosts̓a7 Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education, University of Victoria –

“I was honoured to nominate Tracey for the Order of B.C. Her leadership in the field of arts, language and cultural revitalization has changed the approaches to language preservation and revitalization. Though her work to promote the value and beauty of B.C. languages, she has contributed to a significant shift to a better understanding by First Nations peoples and all British Columbians about why we need our languages for reconciliation, nation building and to strengthen us as individuals.

Tracey’s greatest legacy is that the Indigenous people’s voice is finally heard in telling their stories in song, art, music, exhibitions, performance and giving voice to how history is told and languages recovered, revitalized and maintained as they want it to be. The walls have been breached thanks to her persistence and respectful collaborations.”

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde 

“On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, I congratulate Tracey Hebert on her prestigious and highly deserved appointment to the Order of British Columbia. This is a clear and strong recognition of her life’s work for First Nations peoples in BC and across the country. Tracey has dedicated decades of service working on a range of issues in a variety of fields. In particular, her efforts to strengthen and revitalize First Nations languages will make 2019, the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages, a truly landmark year worthy of celebration. Tracey’s passion for our people, our cultures and our youth are inspiring, and we commend her on this appointment to the Order of British Columbia.”

Grand Chief Edward John, First Nations Summit Political Executive 

“An unfortunate part of our collective history includes not only the historical banning of Indigenous cultural practices, but also the use of Indigenous languages. This had tremendous negative impacts on Indigenous peoples and communities in BC. Tracey Herbert’s work provides but one example of our collective efforts to overcome the detrimental effects of this dark time in the history of BC. She is a very worthy recipient of this honour as she has been instrumental in not only promoting the preservation of Indigenous culture and arts, but also promoting the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages in BC.  We applaud her for these significant efforts and are pleased that she is being recognized for her significant body of work by being bestowed with the Order of BC”.  

Hon. Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

 “I hold my hands up to Tracey Herbert for her exceptional contribution to Indigenous language revitalization in British Columbia. Her recognition by the Order of B.C. is well deserved and her commitment and hard work on behalf of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council has not gone unnoticed. As a government we are proud to support work in such a critical area.”