Topic: Today’s News

Indigenous Action Artist Mentorship Program (I.A.A.M.P.) Stunt Training Apprenticeship For Indigenous men & women in Canada Next program: May 29 & 30 Ancient Fire dojo, Vancouver B.C.

Two of Canada’s most accomplished high flying stunt professionals are the force behind a brand new inclusivity initiative to give Indigenous athletes in Canada a chance to become action artists in major films and TV shows!

(Montreal, April 8, 2021) – The I.A.A.M.P. (Indigenous Action Artist Mentorship Program) Stunt Training Apprenticeship is a new, groundbreaking initiative for Indigenous men and women to learn basic skills, gain experience as entry-level action artists and be educated on the protocol and etiquette of being on set. This program, which creates opportunities for motivated members of the Indigenous community to empower them to rise to the challenge and acquire a skill set that will be valuable for the rest of their lives, was created by two A-list stuntmen who want to see more diversity on TV & film sets:

Lauro Chartrand Delvalle, known for his work in:
️  Rumble in the Bronx, 
️  The Last Samurai, 
️  Prison Break, 
and many more. See full credits here.  
Instagram: @delvalle_films_inc

Bruce Crawford, known for his work in:
️  Predator, 
️  Elysium, 
️  2012, 
and many more: See full credits here.    

Watch a short video here  (Password: Amp2)

As passionate cinefiles and stuntmen, Crawford and Delvalle have been working in film and television for over 30 years in British Columbia and around the world, and noticed something was missing. According to Delvalle, “I’ve always noticed, especially here in B.C., a huge lack of Indigenous cast and crew. I always thought to myself, this is their land, their home, why aren’t they participating and working more in film and television?”

For over 10 years Bruce Crawford (along with his wife Johnna) and Delvalle worked on a plan to help include Indigenous people and their culture into the film and TV industries. Johnna was born and raised on the Musqueum reserve in Vancouver, and through her special relationship with the band, Bruce Crawford obtained funding through the Musqueum Employment and Training program to sponsor the first I.A.A.M.P, a 2-day information session that took place in late February for 18 Indigenous participants from across Canada (including participants from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia). The program was also made possible by aid from the Squamish First Nations Band, the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations Band and Stunts Canada.

As a result of that successful first session, some of the participants are already working on some of the CW productions currently shooting in Vancouver, such as the new series Kung FuThe Maid and Midnight Mass for Netflix.

The main goal of this initiative is to teach Indigenous participants the importance of creating opportunities for themselves, and how essential it is to show up and do the work. There is so much talent, it is simply a matter of harnessing it, not only to work in film and TV, but also to carve out a space for more Indigenous roles to be created for the talent pool.

The next I.A.A.M.P, takes place May 29 & 30 at Ancient Fire in Vancouver, B.C.. Twenty Indigenous athletes will be enrolled on a first-come first-serve basis, all of who dream of a career as an action artist. Indigenous athletes age 18+ can sign up at the email address below to participate in the next program:

Next up, Crawford and Delvalle are working on the action/comedy Mexican Radio, written by Troy Rudolph. Delvalle finished work on acclaimed horror film director Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series Midnight Mass and is about to begin work on his series Midnight Club.

They have high hopes that they will be able to bring a new vanguard of Indigenous performers along with them for the journey of a lifetime! 

Next program: May 29 & 30 
Ancient Fire dojo, 15 W. 2nd Ave,
Vancouver B.C.
 For inquiries and registration please email Jesse Blue: Ancientfiredojo@gmail.com

Please note that all COVID-19 protocols set out by the B.C. Provincial Health Office, WorkSafeBC and the Motion Picture Pandemic Production Guide will be adhered to.

Conservancy protects area sacred to Tahltan Nation in northwestern B.C.

VICTORIA — Indigenous, provincial and federal leaders have worked beside industry and environmental groups to create a new conservancy in an area of northwestern British Columbia sacred to the Tahltan Nation.

A statement from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says the 35-square kilometre conservancy — historically known as the Ice Mountain Lands — is beside Mount Edziza Provincial Park, which is 500 kilometres north of Terrace.

Creation of the conservancy is the first step in the multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative aimed at building the nation’s self-determination.

The statement says the Tahltan Central Government plans to rename the area, to better reflect Indigenous heritage.

Low-impact economic opportunities are allowed in conservancies but commercial logging, mining and most hydroelectric plants are banned.

Skeena Resources Ltd., says it supports the Tahltan by returning mineral tenures for its claim in the area.

Energy Minister Bruce Ralston says the partnership between Aboriginal, provincial and federal governments, Skeena, BC Parks Foundation and the Nature Conservancy of Canada protects the land and “fosters long-term relationships between Indigenous Nations and mineral companies.”

Walter Coles, president and CEO of Skeena Resources, said his company came to appreciate the cultural importance of the region to the Tahltan after open and respectful conversations with its leaders.

“This is reconciliation in action and symbolic of our partnership commitment to Tahltan,” Coles said in the statement.

Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government said he is “relieved and thrilled” that a conservancy protects the area for future generations.

“The obsidian from this portion of our territory provided us with weaponry, tools and trading goods that ensured our Tahltan people could thrive for thousands of years,” said Day.

British Columbia has 157 conservancies, ranging in size from 11 hectares to more than 3,200 square kilometres. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX. V: SKE)

FIRST NATIONS MORATORIUM ON THE RING OF FIRE DEVELOPMENT

We First Nations in the James Bay lowlands, whose Territories and Rights stand to be  seriously and permanently desecrated by massive scale mining in the Ring of Fire, hereby  declare a MORATORIUM on any development in or to facilitate access to the Ring of Fire  area. 

This MORATORIUM is declared in accordance with: 

• Our Indigenous Laws including the Natural Laws of the Creator;  

• Our Inherent Rights (arising from the reality that we have always have been “in here” in  this place in the world); 

• Treaty No. 9 between our First Nations and the Crown; 

• International laws including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous  Peoples (UNDRIP) and its requirements for free, prior and informed consent, the  International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural  Rights, and customary laws that protect our right to self-determination, require  environmental due diligence, and prohibit destruction of our ability to survive in our  environments; and 

• Canadian domestic laws that adopted and intend to implement UNDRIP (such as the  federal Bill C-15); the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA); Canada’s Constitution  including section 35 affirming our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, and the Charter section 7  being the right to life, liberty and security of the person. 

This MORATORIUM is declared from this date and shall stand intact unless and until Canada  and Ontario act in accordance with their obligations under the laws stated above, in respect of  the Ring of Fire, and agree to a Regional Impact Assessment (RIA) that:  

• Is by regulation under IAA (section 114) or by agreement, led by an “Indigenous governing  body” composed of our First Nations and interested others who stand to be affected by  Ring of Fire development; 

• Must be completed prior to the issuance of any Crown permission for any development in  or that facilitates access to the Ring of Fire (including roads); 

• Has a terms of reference co-created between the Indigenous governing body and Canada  and consented to by the Indigenous governing body; 

• Has a terms of reference requiring a broad and deep RIA that thoroughly investigates  cumulative impacts and comprehensively governs through rules, criteria and plans what  development, if any, may occur in the Ring of Fire, when, where and how;

• Has the ultimate objective of ensuring that any approved Ring of Fire development adds  to the sustainability of the global and local environment and all beings who depend on it  for their survival. 

This MORATORIUM is declared because Canada, through the Impact Assessment Agency of  Canada (IAAC) has breached the honour of the Crown, all the laws stated above, and the project  of reconciliation and decolonization by acting with duplicity behind our backs in collaboration with  Ontario, to render the RIA little but political puffery, with mere token First Nation “involvement”,  narrow in its focus and weak in its result. Specifically: 

• Shortly after the IAA came into force in 2019, some First Nations and others requested an RIA under it for the Ring of Fire; 

• Due to these requests, and given that the Ring of Fire begs for an RIA anyway – it is by  definition a regional area for which much large scale mining and infrastructure  development is sought – Canada agreed that a RIA would be held; 

• First Nations have expressed our expectation of equal partnership in the RIA, and have  been requesting since early 2020 to have the RIA, including planning, not commence until  after the pandemic and the crises it has caused in the First Nation communities are over,  to ensure that First Nations could engage in this process safely and in accordance with  our Laws and Customs; 

• Canada agreed to such suspensions of time, and gave assurances that First Nations  would have meaningful involvement at all stages of the RIA, including planning; 

• First Nations have put Canada on notice since late 2020 that they intend to develop a  proposal for a First Nations – led, comprehensive and meaningful RIA that does not allow  Crown governments to use it as a mere window dressing, box-ticking exercise; 

• Despite Canada knowing of First Nations’ intent and agreeing to time to develop this  proposal after the pandemic crisis had ended, Canada now informs us it effectively had  no intent of paying any attention to any such proposal; and that Canada and Ontario have  been collaborating behind First Nations’ backs for the last year to agree on the terms of  reference for the RIA which they will show us in April “for comment”, and in which First  Nations have nothing but token involvement.  

This MORATORIUM is urgently required because, as the caretakers of this part of the Earth  where the Creator put us, we have a profound and sacred duty to ensure that this part of the Earth  is not so wounded from Ring of Fire development that it can longer support our relations and ways  of life, or help protect the world from catastrophic climate change; as the James Bay lowlands  stand as one of the last and most important bastions of defence against climate collapse. 

This MORATORIUM will be defended and enforced by our First Nations, our Mother Earth, and  our lawyers in Canadian courts for Crown breaches of all the laws stated above. The risks are too  great to allow the Crown to steamroll over our Mother Earth, our Rights and our future. 

Canada and Ontario may cause this MORATORIUM to be lifted if they agree to what Canada  had led us to believe it would do: agree to plan and conduct the RIA on terms that respect our  Rights and protect our Mother Earth. 

Bill 79: To ensure that justice is served for our children and families

Wendake, April 1, 2021 – Inspired by the motivation to ensure justice for First Nations  and Inuit families who have lost a child in a Quebec institution, the Assembly of First  Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health  and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) are presenting a joint brief on Bill 79 to the  National Assembly of Québec. 

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls  (NIMMIWG) brought to light the treatment to which these First Nations families suffering  from the disappearance or death of children have been subjected. 

The AFNQL and the FNQLHSSC have emphasized the inhumane nature of the treatment  to which the children and families of our nations have been subjected as well as the denial  by Quebec institutions of their fundamental right to the truth. 

Let us also remember the government’s approach, in the fall of 2019, when it tried to  respond to the NIMMIWG’s Call for Justice no. 20 by quickly incorporating six  amendments aimed at the “communication of personal information to families of missing  or deceased Indigenous children” in a bill whose object was quite different, completely  unrelated, all without consulting the main stakeholders or offering them the opportunity  to testify publicly. 

On December 9, 2020, the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière,  introduced Bill 79, An Act to authorize the communication of personal information to the  families of Indigenous children who went missing or died after being admitted to an  institution. This Bill aims to support families in their search for information. 

The AFNQL and the FNQLHSSC are uniting their voices with those of family  representatives to argue that the objective of the bill is too restrictive and does not allow  the fundamental right to the truth, fostering true healing, to be exercised. 

“These are serious matters that prove the flagrant lack of sensitivity of Quebec  institutions towards our peoples, particularly when one considers the barriers, such as  cultural and linguistic ones, that families wishing to hire a lawyer may face. This speaks  volume on the systemic discrimination and racism towards Quebec First Nations and Inuit 

resulting from of an archaic institutional framework inherited from colonialism,” said  Derek Montour, President of the FNQLHSSC Board of Directors. 

In a general sense, the two organizations salute the Government of Quebec’s desire to  support families who have experienced such a tragedy and to alleviate their suffering. On  the other hand, certain aspects of the bill should be reconsidered in order to better  support families who wish to initiate research. The AFNQL and the FNQLHSSC particularly recommend the following: 

• That the five-year limitation period be repealed for making a disclosure of  information request. 

• That the period covered by a request for access to personal information be  extended from 1940, instead of 1950, to present day, rather than ending in 1989. There are indications that there may have been admissions prior to 1940. 

• That families, in addition to being allowed to obtain information on the  circumstances surrounding the disappearance or death of their children, also be  allowed to obtain information on the underlying causes. 

• That families be allowed to file a complaint in their language of origin and have  access to interpreters. 

• That the Government of Quebec clarify the measures to support families,  undertake to provide services requested by families (e.g., psychosocial services)  and guarantee financial support to assist families in their research. 

“Even if I consider it inconceivable that our families are required to comply with a  framework that is totally foreign to them in order to gain access to justice and dignity, we  are committed to supporting them. The government must do the same and, above all, be  humane and allow them to get the answers to which they are entitled. For once, the law  must adapt to our realities rather than the other way around,” stated AFNQL Chief  Ghislain Picard. To read the brief, click here (French only). Please note that the English version will be  available at a later time.

Projet de loi no 79 : Pour que justice soit rendue à nos enfants et à nos familles

Wendake, le 1er avril 2021 – Inspirées par la motivation de rendre justice aux familles des Premières Nations et des Inuit ayant perdu un enfant dans un établissement québécois,  l’Assemblée des Premières Nations Québec-Labrador (APNQL) et la Commission de la  santé et des services sociaux des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador  (CSSSPNQL) présentent à l’Assemblée nationale du Québec un mémoire conjoint sur le  projet de loi no 79. 

L’Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées  (ENFFADA) a permis de révéler au grand jour le traitement subi par ces familles des  Premières Nations souffrant de la disparition ou du décès d’enfants. 

L’APNQL et la CSSSPNQL soulignent le caractère inhumain du traitement réservé aux  enfants et aux familles de nos nations ainsi que la négation par les établissements  québécois de leur droit fondamental à la vérité. 

Rappelons également l’approche du gouvernement, à l’automne 2019, lorsqu’il a tenté  de répondre à l’appel à la justice no 20 de l’ENFFADA en intégrant en vitesse six  amendements visant la « communication de renseignements personnels concernant  certains enfants autochtones disparus ou décédés à leur famille » dans un projet de loi  dont l’objet était tout autre, sans lien aucun, le tout sans que ne soient consultés les  principaux intéressés et sans que ne leur soit offerte la possibilité de témoigner  publiquement. 

Le 9 décembre 2020, le ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones, Ian Lafrenière, a  déposé le projet de loi no 79, Loi autorisant la communication de renseignements  personnels aux familles d’enfants autochtones disparus ou décédés à la suite d’une  admission en établissement. Celui-ci vise à soutenir les familles dans leurs recherches de  renseignements. 

L’APNQL et la CSSSPNQL unissent leur voix à celle des représentants des familles pour  soutenir que l’objectif du projet de loi est trop restrictif et ne permet pas l’exercice du  droit fondamental à la vérité, favorisant une véritable guérison.

« Il s’agit là de faits graves qui témoignent du manque flagrant de sensibilité des établissements québécois envers nos peuples, surtout lorsqu’on considère les obstacles,  notamment culturels et linguistiques, que peuventrencontrer les familles désirant retenir les services d’un avocat. C’est une démonstration éloquente de la discrimination  systémique et du racisme exercés envers les Premières Nations et les Inuit au Québec à  cause d’un cadre institutionnel archaïque, hérité du colonialisme », soutient Derek  Montour, président du conseil d’administration de la CSSSPNQL. 

De manière générale, les deux organisations saluent la volonté du gouvernement du  Québec de soutenir les familles qui ont vécu un tel drame et d’apaiser leurs souffrances.  En revanche, certains aspects du projet de loi méritent d’être reconsidérés afin de mieux  accompagner les familles qui souhaiteraient entreprendre des recherches. L’APNQL et la  CSSSPNQL recommandent notamment : 

• Que le délai de prescription de cinq ans soit abrogé pour effectuer une demande  de communication de renseignements. 

• Que la période visée par une demande de communication de renseignements  personnels s’étende au-delà de 1940, au lieu de 1950, à aujourd’hui, au lieu de se terminer en 1989. Des indices nous indiquent qu’il y aurait eu des admissions  antérieures à 1940. 

Que les familles puissent non seulement obtenir des renseignements sur les  circonstances ayant entouré la disparition ou le décès de leurs enfants, mais aussi  sur les causes à l’origine de ces faits. 

• Que les familles puissent porter plainte dans leur langue d’origine et avoir accès à  des interprètes. 

• Que le gouvernement du Québec clarifie les mesures pour accompagner et  soutenir les familles, s’engage à fournir des services demandés par les familles  (p. ex. : psychosociaux) et puisse garantir un soutien financier pour soutenir les  familles dans leurs recherches. 

« Même si je considère inconcevable que nos familles aient à se plier à un cadre qui leur  est totalement étranger pour accéder à la justice et à la dignité, nous nous sommes  engagés à les accompagner. Le gouvernement doit en faire autant, surtout faire preuve  d’humanisme et leur permettre d’obtenir les réponses auxquelles elles ont droit. Pour  une fois, la loi doit s’adapter à notre réalité plutôt que le contraire », conclut le chef de  l’APNQL, Ghislain Picard. 

Pour lire le mémoire, cliquez ici. Prenez note que la version anglaise sera disponible  ultérieurement. 

Secretive plans to store nuclear waste in Labrador

The Nunatsiavut Government is not aware of any proposed plans to dispose nuclear waste in Labrador,  and was surprised to learn of it through the media. The Constitutionally-protected Labrador Inuit Land  Claims Agreement clearly defines Inuit rights and titles within Nunatsiavut. Under the agreement, the  provincial and federal governments have a legal duty to consult with the Nunatsiavut Government. At  this point, the Nunatsiavut Government is still gathering information, and will be following up with both  the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador before making any  further statements.

SAIT’s latest project aims to become one of the most environmentally-friendly homes in the world

One of the greenest homes on Earth is taking shape in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Named “The Confluence,” it produces more energy than it uses, captures water on site and creates a positive impact on its people and environment.

The home, located in Alberta, Canada, northwest of Calgary, is a partnership between Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (SAIT) Green Building Technologies (GBT), Woodpecker European Timber Framing and an Alberta family. The project aims to achieve full certification of the home through the Living Building Challenge (LBC) — the world’s most rigorous green building rating system and sustainable design framework. If successful, it is anticipated to be the world’s fourth home of its kind.

“Having a family, becoming a parent and being responsible for their lives, is the reason why we built a Living Building Challenge home — one that protects their health and the environment,” says homeowner Gerton Molenaar. “SAIT and Woodpecker helped us fulfill this dream.”

Molenaar says it’s been an exciting journey for him and his wife Joleen and notes the bigger implications of the project. “I think about the next generation and how it links to the essence of the Living Building Challenge — to change the world one green building at a time.”

The challenge goes far beyond installing solar panels and low-flow toilets. To achieve LBC certification, the 2,238 sq. ft. custom home must adhere to seven areas of sustainability — from growing their own food through to incorporating biophilic design elements — during the phases of design, construction, operation and end-of-life. For example, SAIT’s GBT LBC project team and the homeowners searched far and wide for salvaged materials, vetted more than 800 products for toxicity and diverted approximately 90-100% of construction waste from landfills.

After three years of construction, The Confluence will now undergo a 12-month process to certification — a process SAIT and its partners will monitor and report on during the coming year. 

“The Confluence is unlike the three other fully certified LBC projects before it,” says Tracey Chala, Principal Investigator, SAIT Green Building Technologies. “The home is located in a remote hamlet bound by the challenges of a northern climate compared to its suburban, more southerly counterparts. And, where some of those other projects had budgets of several million, this home will be completed for a fraction of that.” 

Knowing the value of applied education, the GBT team — five of whom are SAIT graduates themselves — involved 19 SAIT students to work on this unique project. Students gained career-building experience which included sourcing sustainably-certified wood, researching non-toxic cleaning products, designing the project website, and creating architectural renderings. 

“The project was beyond anything I could have imagined in a traditional classroom setting. It was certainly a highlight in my education, and a rewarding experience to have been a part of the team,” says Keith Leung, a SAIT graduate who worked on the project in his second year practicum of the Architectural Technologies program.

Leung says he’s since moved on to work for a great architectural firm. He adds he will always look back on the experience as it motivates him to continue to learn about and help advance a more sustainable future in the building and construction industry.

“The Confluence is exactly the type of project that showcases SAIT’s technological and skills leadership in delivering real world solutions,” says Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. 

“Together with our students and partners, we are building what’s next. Through projects such as this, we are equipping our students in trades and technology to not only drive innovation in Alberta, but to lead it globally.” 

SAIT is grateful for the funding support of this project from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of CanadaAlberta InnovatesEnvironmental Careers Organization (ECO) CanadaUnited Nations Association of Canada and Clean Foundation.

Study Finds More Than Half of Inuit Women Working in Extraction Industry Experience Sexual Harassment on the Job

Inuit women working in resource industry at economic disadvantage 
despite being primary providers for many large households in Inuit Nunangat

 Today, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada released the results of a ground-breaking research study examining Inuit women’s economic security and prosperity as well as experiences of sexual violence and harassment while working in the resource extraction industry.

The survey found more than half of the Inuit women surveyed experienced repeated events of sexual harassment and violence while working in the historically male-dominated mining industry. The most common incidents involved sexual comments, jokes, unwanted touching and emotional abuse. 

Results of the investigation also found that Inuit women are often supporting large households in Inuit Nunangat on the most meagre salaries in the resource extraction industry. Although the survey did not specifically identify the employee positions of Inuit women, it revealed that these women are supporting families on salaries much lower than both Inuit and non-Inuit men, as well as non-Inuit women. 

“This study underscores the urgent need to improve conditions to allow Inuit women to safely participate and enjoy the many benefits of the resource extraction industry in the North,” said Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, which commissioned the study with funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

The report, Addressing Inuit Women’s Economic Security and Prosperity in the Resource Extraction Industry, identifies gaps and opportunities for Inuit women in the resource sector, as well as illuminates the reality of workplace sexual violence and harassment directed at female Inuit employees. 

The research results indicate that although Inuit women generally feel safe in remote workplace camps, many experience sexual harassment and violence while performing their duties

The gendered division of labour common in the resource extraction industry continues to place women – particularly Inuit women – in job areas such as human resources, janitorial work and food services. Positions related to housekeeping and kitchen duties can expose women to increased risks of violence and harassment as the work occurs in private areas of the camps, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

In addition, the research revealed that incidents of workplace sexual harassment and violence are often under-reported by Inuit women for fear of job loss, shame, stigma or trepidation about reliving the humiliation. 
As part of the study, participants were asked what could be done to improve the experience of Inuit women working in the industry.  Chief among their recommendations is the need for specific sexual harassment

Audible Indigenous Writers’ Circle

Audible initiative that will elevate the stories and voices of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Until April 30, Audible.ca will be accepting applications for the inaugural Audible Indigenous Writers’ Circle, a six-month mentorship and workshop program for emerging First Nations, Métis and Inuit writers. 

Selected participants will partake in three full-day workshops with a group of well-known Indigenous writers from across Canada who will act as mentors – the full list of mentors will be announced at a later date. In a mix of creative and practical sessions, participants will learn a variety of topics to help them not only grow as writers, but as entrepreneurs, learning about the available tools to help fund and promote their works. You can learn more and access the application here.

We are also pleased to announce award-winning Anishinaabe author and journalist Tanya Talaga as our first mentor.  She was previously a journalist at the Toronto Star, and is the acclaimed author of Seven Fallen Feathers. In 2020, she debuted her Canadian Audible Original series, Seven Truthswhich tells her personal story of the fight for human rights by First Nations peoples, as told through the lens of the Seven Grandfather Teachings that guide Anishinaabe life.