Topic: Today’s News

PREMIER LEGAULT HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE A MISTAKE BUT DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO MISGUIDED STUBBORNNESS

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“My first thoughts are with Carol Dubé, his children and the entire  community of Manawan who, today, are subjected to another stage added in an already extremely  painful ordeal,” said the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL),  Ghislain Picard. 

Premier Legault is making the mistake of denying the presence of systemic racism in Quebec. Yet  no society is immune from this scourge. Why would Quebec be any different? It is no longer a  matter of opinion. Systemic racism is now identified in the coroner’s report as a determining factor  in avoiding tragedies like the one that caused Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death and plunged her  family, community and nation into mourning in addition to all of Quebec.  

“The Government of Quebec has a moral obligation to follow-up without hesitation on the first  recommendation of the report that the Government of Quebec recognize the existence of systemic  racism within our institutions and undertake to contribute to its elimination. How can we  effectively combat systemic racism in Quebec if the Premier of the province continues to deny it?”  added Chief Picard. 

Premier Legault is wrong to think that dedicating a statutory holiday to reconciliation with  Indigenous peoples compromises Quebec’s productivity. How much does Quebec’s economy  stand to gain from more frequent partnerships with Indigenous peoples? How beneficial could  more harmonious and less conflictual relations between the nations which coexist on the territory 

be? The Premier needs to acknowledge that taking a day to think it over together is not a waste of  time. 

Premier Legault is also wrong to think that the people of Quebec are looking to the past, that they  want the status quo, and that they are not interested in issues affecting the Indigenous peoples. The  AFNQL’s experience following a first year of its Action Plan on Racism and Discrimination shows  the opposite, with a survey supporting it!  

“The Premier and Deputy Premier constantly talk about building ‘bridges’ with First Nations.  After three years of the Caquiste government, it is high time they got down to it. The First Nations  have been waiting at the river for a long time. We must ensure that no one loses their life at the  hands of the system,” concluded Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

Statement from AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald on Joyce Echaquan’s Coroner’s Report:

“The coroner’s report on Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death further confirms the existence of systemic racism in the health care system. 

Seeking medical care should never increase the likelihood of one’s death, but sadly that is what happened to Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman and mother. 

Instead of love, care and treatment, she experienced indifference and overt racism that ultimately killed her. Unfortunately, there are many cases of First Nations people who have similar experiences.

The Assembly of First Nations calls on the Government of Canada to take concrete action to eliminate systemic racism entrenched in the country’s institutions and commit to Joyce’s Principle. First Nations citizens need culturally-safe, trauma-informed care. It’s time for transformative change and a true healing path forward.”

Sécurité des femmes et des filles des Premières Nations : Le Conseil des femmes élues de l’APNQL tend la main à la vice-première ministre et ministre de la Sécurité publique, Mme Geneviève Guilbault

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En cette Journée nationale de commémoration des femmes autochtones disparues et assassinées, le Conseil des femmes élues de l’Assemblée des Premières  Nations Québec-Labrador (APNQL), en l’honneur de toutes ces disparues et assassinées, profite de cette journée pour remettre à l’ordre du jour la sécurité des femmes et des filles autochtones. 

« Il y a maintenant cinq ans, nos courageuses femmes de Val-d’Or ont dénoncé des situations  intolérables. Où en sommes-nous aujourd’hui? Nos femmes et nos filles sont-elles plus en sécurité  dans les villes? Sont-elles vraiment plus en sécurité dans nos communautés de Premières Nations  dont les services policiers manquent chroniquement de ressources, ou ont carrément dû fermer  leurs portes? Vers qui nos femmes et nos filles peuvent-elles se tourner quand leur sécurité est  menacée? Mme Guilbault est une jeune femme élue, elle est vice-première ministre et ministre de  la Sécurité publique. Elle peut nous aider à transformer les appels à l’action et les plans d’action  en actions concrètes », affirme la cheffe du Lac Simon, Adrienne Jérôme, porte-parole du Conseil  des femmes élues de l’APNQL. 

« Nous sommes plus de quatre-vingts femmes élues par les membres de nos nations pour siéger  dans nos gouvernements locaux à titre de cheffes ou de conseillères. Toutes ces femmes vivent  dans nos communautés, connaissent à fond l’importante question de la sécurité publique et  partagent régulièrement avec leurs collègues masculins. La sécurité publique n’est pas que la  responsabilité des femmes, mais leur solidarité peut grandement aider à changer les choses.  

Nous comptons inviter la vice-première ministre et sa collègue à la Condition féminine,  Mme Isabelle Charest, à rencontrer les membres de notre conseil sur les enjeux que pose la sécurité  des femmes et des filles des Premières Nations. Nous le ferons sans jamais oublier les disparues.  C’est notre façon de leur rendre hommage », ajoute la conseillère Nadia Robertson, également  porte-parole du Conseil des femmes élues de l’APNQL.

Safety of First Nations women and girls: The AFNQL’s Elected Women Council reaches out to the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security, Ms. Geneviève Guilbault

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On this National Day of Commemoration for Missing and Murdered  Indigenous Women and Girls, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) Elected  Women Council, in honour of all missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, wishes to  use this day as an opportunity to put the safety of Indigenous women and girls back on the agenda. 

“Five years ago, our courageous women in Val-d’Or spoke out against intolerable situations. So  where are we today? Are our women and girls safer in cities? Are they really safer in our First  Nations communities whose police services are chronically under-funded, or have been forced to  completely shut down? Who can our women and girls turn to when their safety is threatened? Ms.  Guilbault is an elected young woman who is the Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Security.  She can help us transform the calls to action and action plans into concrete actions,” said the Chief  of Lac Simon, Ms. Adrienne Jérôme, spokesperson for the AFNQL’s Elected Women Council. 

“There are more than eighty women who are elected by the members of our nations for our local  governments as Chiefs or Councillors. All of these women live in our communities, know the  important issue of public safety inside out, and work regularly with their male colleagues. Public  safety is not just the responsibility of women, but their solidarity can go a long way towards making a difference.  

We intend to invite the Deputy Premier and her colleague, the Minister Responsible for the Status  of Women, Ms. Isabelle Charest, to meet with the members of our council on the issues concerning the safety of First Nations women and girls. We will do so without ever forgetting those we have  lost. This is our way of paying tribute to them,” added Councillor Nadia Robertson, who is also a spokesperson for the AFNQL’s Elected Women Council.

California Procurement Bill Threatens Canadian Forestry Jobs and State Social Housing Initiative.

California Governor Gavin Newsom currently has on his desk a state procurement bill (AB 416) that threatens Canadian forestry jobs as well as a recently tabled and critical State social housing initiative.

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the United Steelworkers (USW) fully support the legislation’s laudable intention to ensure that wood products are responsibly sourced from sustainably managed forests.  Our concern is that AB 416 – if not vetoed by Governor Newsom – will make it more difficult for the State of California to address affordable housing needs and puts Canadian jobs at risk in the process. At a time when governments around the world are investing in community infrastructure, the bill will limit competition and wood supply while increasing the cost of sustainably sourced wood from leading markets like Canada.

We are also concerned that the bill will impact Canadian forestry jobs by driving State procurement decisions to markets that don’t enjoy Canada’s robust commitment to sustainable forest management, family-supporting wages, and health and safety protections.

Canada is a world-leader in sustainable forest management.  Our sector has an opportunity to use forest management as a tool to fight climate change and keep communities safer from worsening fire patterns. At the same time – the use of long-lived wood products that store carbon (such as in buildings), further contributes to a low-carbon economy.

Our workers are proud to be part of a sector that is built upon key principles that include ecosystems-based management, engagement with local rightsholders and stakeholders, limiting annual harvests to less than 0.5% of harvestable forests, and replacing more than what’s harvested to ensure that Canadian forests remain as forests forever.

We believe that California and Canada share common interests in building back a post-pandemic economy that’s greener and more inclusive. This bill stands in the way of that by creating unintended consequences that puts Canadian forestry jobs at risk and will drive costs up for Californians who are already facing an affordable housing crisis.

Derek Nighbor is the President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada
Jeff Bromley is the Wood Council Chair for the United Steelworkers Union

Un projet de loi californien menace des emplois en foresterie au Canada et une initiative de l’État en matière de logement social

Par Derek Nighbor et Jeff Bromley 

Le gouverneur de la Californie, Gavin Newsom, examine actuellement un projet de loi sur les marchés publics (AB 416) qui menace des emplois en foresterie au Canada ainsi qu’une récente initiative essentielle de son État en matière de logement social.

L’Association des produits forestiers du Canada (APFC) et le syndicat des Métallos (USW) soutiennent pleinement l’intention louable du projet de loi, qui vise à garantir que les produits du bois proviennent de forêts gérées de façon durable. Nous craignons cependant que le projet – si le gouverneur Newsom n’y oppose pas son veto – fasse en sorte qu’il sera plus difficile pour la Californie de répondre aux besoins en matière de logement abordable et menace des emplois au Canada. Au moment où les gouvernements du monde entier investissent dans les infrastructures communautaires, le projet de loi limitera la concurrence et l’approvisionnement en bois tout en augmentant le coût du bois de source durable provenant de grands marchés comme le Canada. 

Nous craignons également que le projet de loi ait un impact sur les emplois forestiers canadiens en poussant les décideurs vers des marchés qui ne bénéficient pas de l’engagement solide du Canada en matière d’aménagement durable des forêts, de salaires favorables aux familles et de protection en matière de santé et de sécurité. 

Le Canada est un chef de file mondial de l’aménagement durable des forêts. Notre secteur a l’occasion d’utiliser la gestion forestière comme un outil pour lutter contre les changements climatiques et protéger les collectivités contre l’aggravation des incendies. De même, l’utilisation de produits du bois à longue durée de vie qui stockent le carbone (dans les bâtiments, par exemple) contribue à une économie à faibles émissions de carbone.

Nos travailleurs sont fiers de faire partie d’un secteur qui se base sur de grands principes : gestion écosystémique, participation des détenteurs de droits et des parties prenantes locales, limitation des récoltes annuelles à moins de 0,5 % des forêts exploitables et remplacement des arbres récoltés pour garantir que les forêts canadiennes restent des forêts à perpétuité.

Nous pensons que la Californie et le Canada ont des intérêts communs dans l’établissement d’une économie postpandémique plus verte et plus inclusive. Ce projet de loi y fait obstacle en créant des conséquences inattendues qui menacent les emplois forestiers canadiens et feront augmenter les coûts pour les Californiens, déjà confrontés à une crise du logement abordable. 

Derek Nighbor est président et chef de la direction de l’Association des produits forestiers du Canada.
Jeff Bromley est président du Conseil du bois du syndicat des Métallos.

BC Ferries and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council announce name of artist for new Salish Class vessel artwork

VICTORIA – BC Ferries, in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, has selected Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. from Chemainus, B.C., to create the design for BC Ferries’ newest Salish Class vessel, Salish Heron. The vessels are named to honour and recognize the Coast Salish as the original mariners of the Salish Sea. Mr. Johnny is Coast Salish from Penelakut on his father’s side and is connected to Cape Mudge Kwakwaka’wakw on his mother’s side. For 27 years he has focused his art practice on Coast Salish style.

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council issued a call for artists in March and invited Coast Salish artists to submit their portfolios for consideration. From 36 expressions of interest, a jury of artist peers and BC Ferries representatives identified a shortlist of six artists. Criteria for selection included artistic excellence, Coast Salish artistic style, and ability to express the vessel name through artwork while effectively using the available vessel surface.

Johnny’s signature use of bold, bright colours and graceful line work embodies the beauty and energy of contemporary Coast Salish art while drawing upon the rich history of Coast Salish two-dimensional design. He has been inspired by many North West Coast artists and for the past 27 years has focused on Coast Salish style and iconography in his work. Although Johnny is known primarily for his prints, he also works with wood carvings and engraving precious metals.

Johnny was featured in the Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2 exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design, New York, in 2005. In 2009, Johnny’s work adorned the cedar gift boxes that were given to special guests at the Canadian Juno Music Awards. His works can also be seen in film (Say it Ain’t So) and television series (Grey’s Anatomy).

The vessel Johnny’s artwork will adorn, Salish Heron, is currently under construction. It will be the fourth Salish Class vessel to join BC Ferries’ fleet and will sail in the Southern Gulf Islands starting in 2022. It will share routes with Salish Orca, Salish Eagle, and Salish Raven which entered service in 2017, sailing between Comox and Powell River and in the Southern Gulf Islands. BC Ferries held a public naming contest for the Salish Class ferries in 2015. Salish Heron was among the shortlisted names because it reflects both the land and culture of British Columbia, and the West Coast travel experience.

Working in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to facilitate artwork commissioning for the first three Salish Class vessels, BC Ferries selected Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation to design the artwork for the Salish Orca, John Marston from the Stz’uminus First Nation designed the artwork for the Salish Eagle, and the Salish Raven is adorned with a design by Thomas Cannell from Musqueam

BC Ferries vessel Salish Raven
Salish Raven with artwork designed by Thomas Cannell from Musqueam.

Line 3 to Begin Flow of Dirty Tar Sands Oil Friday

Washington, DC — This morning, Enbridge announced that oil on the illegally permitted Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota will begin flowing on Friday. 

“The announcement that Line 3 will begin operating is sad news for anyone who cares about respecting indigenous cultural resources and communities and the need to fight climate change,” said Earthjustice Attorney Moneen Nasmith.  

“Line 3’s operations will be responsible for more yearly greenhouse gas emissions than many medium-sized countries,” Nasmith said, adding: “The fact that the Biden administration is allowing the project to start operating without having considered those emissions is unacceptable. We need the President to lead on climate.” 

“The Biden administration has had months to rescind Enbridge’s permits and make good on its promises to take tribal concerns and the climate crisis seriously,” said Earthjustice Attorney Alexis Andiman. “The Administration and the Army Corps can still do the right thing and reverse course on the Trump administration’s illegal approval of the water permit and conduct the analysis that’s required under federal law of climate change impacts and treaty-protected resources.” 

Honor the Earth’s Executive Director Winona LaDuke saidLine 3 is a crime against the environment and Indigenous rights, waters and lands, and it marks the end of the tar sands era — but not the end of the resistance to it. Enbridge has raced to build this line before the Federal court has passed judgment on our appeals about the line, but the people have: We believe the most expensive tar sands oil pipeline ever built in the U.S. will be the last. And I personally want to recognize the many Water Protectors over the years who came from Native communities, from Minnesota cities and from around the country to put their lives on hold to bear witness to the dangerous environmental folly that is Line 3. Your brave efforts about Enbridge’s Line 3 have reshaped the world’s views on the climate crisis we are in, the Treaty Rights of the Anishinaabe, and the escalating divestment in fossil fuels around the world and here at home. You are the true heroes of this tragic saga.” 

Background 

Earthjustice, which is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — on behalf of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Honor the Earth, and the Sierra Club — is arguing the federal agency illegally approved a water permit so Enbridge could construct a 330-mile pipeline carrying tar sands oil. 

Earthjustice argues in the lawsuit filed in December that the Army Corps, in approving the permit, failed to fulfill its duty to evaluate the pipeline’s risks to tribes and tribal resources and contributions to climate change, as well as other devastating impacts the pipeline would have on waters and wetlands in Minnesota. 

In November, under the Trump administration, Canadian oil giant Enbridge received a permit from the Army Corps after ignoring environmental risks and threats to tribes and the environment. 

UAS Faculty Emerita Ernestine Hayes honored by the Rasmuson Foundation and Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Ernestine Saankalaxt Hayes has recently been honored with two awards. A former Alaska State Writer Laureate, she was chosen to receive the Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist award as well as the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s first ever Marie Darlin Prize.

The Rasmuson Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award “honors a lifetime of creative excellence and outstanding contribution to the state’s arts and culture,” and comes with a $40k prize. Hayes is the 18th Alaskan named by the Foundation as a Distinguished Artist. 

Hayes is also the recipient of the first annual $5,000 Marie Darlin Prize from the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. This is to be awarded annually to “an individual or collaboration whose work, through a combination of vision and shared sense of community, expresses a regional commitment to women’s rights, social history, or community advocacy,” according to its announcement. “Ernestine Hayes’ passionate commitment to Juneau and Alaska history, and her advocacy for Alaska Native rights, culture, and decolonization, expressed both through her writing and countless public presentations, is unparalleled.”

Ernestine is the author of several critically acclaimed works, including two memoirs, Blonde Indian and The Tao of Raven. She earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from UAS and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Literary Arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Growing up in Juneau, Saankalaxt is a member of the Kaagwaataan clan. In 2019 she retired as a Professor of English Emerita, a distinction conferred by the Chancellor, on just a small portion of retiring professors who have demonstrated excellence, following consideration of recommendations by the faculty.

Chancellor Karen Carey remarked, “I can’t think of a more deserving person for these awards than emerita Ernestine Hayes. Her work at UAS made a significant mark on the lives of our students throughout her time on campus.”

Photo: 

Ernestine Hayes with Chancellor Emeritus Rick Caulfield at UAS Friends of the Egan Library annual Author’s Reception

(credit: University of Alaska Southeast Egan Library)

USING PILOT TESTING TO ADDRESS DRINKING WATER CONCERNS IN FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES

The Walkerton Clean Water Centre has completed 13 pilot testing projects with First Nations clients to empower them to improve their drinking water

Walkerton, ON — Since 2017 the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) has completed 13 pilot testing projects to help First Nations communities improve the quality of their drinking water, and in some cases, help lift the long-term drinking water advisories that have been in place for many years.

First Nations clients have reached out to WCWC for help with pilot testing projects — small-scale and larger practical studies to evaluate the feasibility or performance of water treatment strategies and their effects on water quality. Pilot testing projects can address health-based, operational, or aesthetic water quality parameters. These projects can be completed at a client’s site or at the Technology Demonstration Facility in Walkerton, Ontario.

WCWC’s state-of-the-art Technology Demonstration Facility features the latest conventional and advanced water treatment and control technologies, Some of the pilot treatment units available include: dissolved air flotation; ultrafiltration; nanofiltration; reverse osmosis; fixed bed and magnetic ion exchange; slow sand filtration; ozone; ultraviolet light; and advanced oxidation processes.

WCWC provides clients with preliminary data throughout each project and once the project is complete, a detailed report, which is also available on WCWC’s Drinking Water Resource Library at DrinkingWaterResourceLibrary.ca is published. Clients may use the project results with engineering consultants in the selection and design of appropriate treatment systems.

WCWC has years of pilot testing experience in areas such as disinfection by-products (DBPs), iron and manganese treatment, natural organic matter, arsenic and coagulation. To learn more about how WCWC’s pilot testing services can help you optimize your water system, please visit wcwc.ca/services/pilot-testing/ or contact us at 866-515-0550.

Background: WCWC is an agency of the Government of Ontario, established in 2004, to help
ensure clean and safe drinking water for the entire province. WCWC coordinates and provides
education, training and information to drinking water system owners, operators and operating
authorities, and the public, in order to safeguard Ontario’s drinking water. To date, high-quality
drinking water training has been provided to more than 98,000 participants across Ontario.
Through partnerships, WCWC also provides training for the 134 First Nations communities in
Ontario. For more information please visit wcwc.ca.

Interior Department to Hold Tribal Consultations on the Federal Boarding School Initiative

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced it would begin Tribal consultations as the next step of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies. 

In June, Secretary Deb Haaland announced the Federal Boarding School Initiative directing the Department, under the supervision of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, to prepare a report detailing available historical records, with an emphasis on cemeteries or potential burial sites, relating to the federal boarding school program in preparation for future action.

In letters to Tribal leaders today, Interior invited Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations to provide feedback on key issues for inclusion in the Department’s report and help lay the foundation for future site work to protect potential burial sites and other sensitive information. 

“I launched the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to begin the long healing process that our country must address in order to build a future we can all be proud to embrace.  As we move forward, working with Tribal Nations is critical to addressing this legacy with transparency and accountability,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Tribal consultations are at the core of this long and painful process to address the inter-generational trauma of Indian boarding schools and to shed light on the truth in a way that honors those we have lost and those that continue to suffer trauma.”

“Engaging Tribes is a necessary step as we work to shed light on what happened at federal boarding schools and chart our path forward,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “These conversations will not be easy, but they are critical as we truly investigate the legacy that these institutions left behind.” 

To facilitate discussion during the consultations, participants are requested to address the following topics:

  • Appropriate protocols on handling sensitive information in existing records;
  • Ways to address cultural concerns and handling of information generated from existing records or from potential sitework activities;
  • Potential repatriation of human remains, including cultural concerns and compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act;
  • Future policy and procedure implementation to protect burial sites, locations, confidential information, and culturally sensitive information;
  • Management of sites of former boarding schools;
  • Privacy issues or cultural concerns to be identified as part of the Initiative; and
  • Other issues the Department should address in its review.

Formal consultations mark a new phase in the ongoing work of this initiative. Agency staff are currently compiling decades of files and records to facilitate a proper review to organize documents, identify available and missing information, and ensure that records systems are  standardized. The Department is also building a framework for how it will partner with outside organizations to guide the next steps of review. In addition, leaders are working with the Indian Health Service to develop culturally appropriate support resources for those who might experience trauma resulting from the initiative. This work will build towards the submission of a final written report on the investigation to the Secretary by April 1, 2022.