Topic: Today’s News

Canada and Long Plain First Nation reach settlement agreement on 1916 Surrender – Mismanagement of Sales Specific Claim

Long Plain First Nation, Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Honouring Canada’s legal obligations to Indigenous Peoples and working collaboratively to resolve historical grievances is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada.  

Today, Chief Dennis Meeches and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced that Long Plain First Nation and the Government of Canada have reached a settlement on the 1916 Surrender – Mismanagement of Sales Specific Claim. This achievement marks a significant step toward addressing the wrongs done to the community and rebuilding Canada’s relationship with Long Plain First Nation.

Submitted by Long Plain First Nation in November 1999, this specific claim concerns the sale of First Nation reserve land in 1916, whereby Canada failed to administer the land sales according to the terms of the surrender. Canada accepted the claim for negotiations in September 2011 and has worked alongside the community to achieve a settlement. The First Nation held a successful ratification vote on August 1, 2021. The settlement agreement was executed by Minister Miller on November 8, 2021, formally concluding the claim.

In the settlement agreement, Canada agreed to provide $31,942,680 in compensation, and to provide the option for the First Nation to acquire up to 1,750 acres of land and apply to have that land added to reserve.

Through mutual collaboration and the community’s engagement, this agreement between Long Plain First Nation and Canada represents a mutual understanding to rectify the error in our history for the members of the community, and for the generations to come. The successful resolution of this settlement, which is due to Long Plain First Nation, is a key step in Canada’s commitment toward reconciliation—one that demonstrates our commitment to rebuilding trust and one that acknowledges and respects the Treaty relationship and helps build a better future for all Canadians.

Dialogues for the Vaccine Hesitant and Those Who Love Them

Free Plays and Podcasts Available Starting December 14

Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo Theatre has partnered with the Dr. Peter Centre
to produce four short scripts from playwrights across the nation to explore
different root causes of vaccine hesitancy.  They range from fear of
needles, through to reducing the harm of spreading mis-information, and the
understandable wariness in racialized communities when it comes to
government mandated procedures.

Algonquin/Irish playwright Yvette Nolan’s play, The Case of You is one of
the four scripts in the project.

Inspired by Boca del Lupo’s national Plays2Perform@Home project, free
digital book versions of these plays will be available for all to see and
share.  These scripts are meant as practice dialogues for people who might
find themselves in any number of difficult conversations, especially as
folks gather for the holidays.

Boca del Lupo also worked with four theatre companies from coast to coast
to record the plays and will be releasing four podcasts to accompany the
digital books. These podcasts include performances of the plays by
professional actors, as well as interviews between Boca del Lupo’s Artistic
Director, Sherry J Yoon and the playwrights along with special guests and
experts.

The playwrights are: Omari Newton, Yvette Nolan, Mary-Colin Chisholm, and
Karen Hines. Our partner theatres are Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax),
Centaur Theatre (Montreal), Manitoba Theatre Centre (Winnipeg) and One
Yellow Rabbit (Calgary).

Boca del Lupo’s Sherry J Yoon and Artistic Producer Jay Dodge said,
“Throughout the pandemic our focus has been to centre artists to help us
make sense of these extraordinary times. When the Dr. Peter Centre
approached us about working on the vaccine roll out, we had to say yes.  We
approached four playwrights who’s lived experience might offer insight and
support to those of us who are hesitant ourselves or have loved ones in our
circle who are.”

“We think of these as theatrical conversations embodying the difficult
situations that many of us are finding ourselves in.  Whether it’s a
discussion you are having with yourself, or someone in your circle, we hope
these short plays will help you navigate this issue with compassion and
empathy.”

Scott Elliott, Executive Director of the Dr. Peter Centre, said, “We know
there are many reasons for people to feel distrustful towards the vaccine
and our healthcare system in general. For many of us who do have confidence
in the vaccine, we are worried about the safety of our loved ones.  Boca del
Lupo’s ‘Dialogues for the Vaccine Hesitant’ are designed to build empathy
towards people on both sides of the conversations and give us tools to
navigate difficult conversations.”

Valerie Thai, the award winning graphic designer who created Boca del
Lupo’s Plays2Perform@Home, also designed the graphics for Dialogues for the
Vaccine Hesitant.

THE GLOBAL Z RECORDING PROJECT PROVIDES A VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENT MUSICIANS TO RECORD A SONG, CREATE A MUSIC VIDEO, AND WORK WITH A NAMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER

Program made possible through grants and sponsorships from AudioMovers/Abbey Road Studios; Delaplaine Foundation; DreamHost; KMC Music; Maryland Humanities; Mockingbird Foundation; Nora Roberts Foundation; Sweetwater Sound; TechZone Audio.

(Urbana, MD) –   The Global Z Recording Project is pleased to announce that it has launched an exciting Internet-based audio/video production and networking opportunity available to all Indigenous student musicians living within the geographic borders of the United States and Canada titled, ‘Phase II North American Indigenous Music Project.’ 

The Phase II North American Indigenous Music Project invites Indigenous student musicians across the US and Canada to unite through the creation of music using Internet-based technologies. Songwriters and musicians will audition via YouTube for the project. A tribally-diverse group of selected musicians will work virtually with NAMMY award-winning producer Wade Fernandez (Menominee) and our audio engineer to create a commercial-quality recording. While producing music, musicians will create new friendships and build an inter-tribal and musician support network. The project provides healing, facilitates dialogue on what it means to be an Indigenous musician, explores how Indigenous musicians are currently telling powerful stories through music, and how musicians might apply their music toward environmental, cultural and social change. Student musicians will also have fun! Music is medicine.

“Living in a pandemic world has imposed significant inconveniences, hardships, and had a devastating toll on the arts. This project empowers Indigenous student musicians based in tribes from across the US and Canada to have their stories, imagery, and music be seen and heard. It is a tremendous networking opportunity from which music will be created and healing will occur,” said Dr. Bill Lord, Founder and Executive Director of The Global Z Recording Project.

To learn more about our initiative, visit the Current Projects tab on the Global Z website.

About The Global Z Recording Project 

The Global Z Recording Project is 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Urbana, Maryland USA). Per our mission statement, we unite culturally diverse student musicians through virtual audio/video production experiences. Specifically, we discover talented student musicians from around the world and bring them together using Internet-based technologies to produce world-class music. Through the music-making experience, scholars facilitate discussions pertaining to civility, appreciation and value of diverse others, and peace-mindedness. By building cross-cultural global friendships, we give peace a chance through music

We also serve in tangential capacities during unusual circumstances and times of need.

imagineNATIVE is Hiring!

imagineNATIVE

imagineNATIVE is seeking a dynamic individual who is First Nations, Métis, or Inuk for a senior leadership role as Artistic Director! 🎉

The Artistic Director is responsible for conceiving, developing and implementing the artistic vision and focus for imagineNATIVE’s Festival, year-round programming, and special artistic initiatives.     The Artistic Director is responsible for securing and planning film, video, audio, digital, and other programming in keeping with imagineNATIVE’s mandate, artistic policy, and selection processes.  This position requires someone who is enthusiastic, artist-first-minded, and is a team leader who works well through inter-departmental collaboration.  Our ideal candidate would have a personal    and professional knowledge of Indigenous communities (artistic, cultural, social), with experience working in an arts Festival environment and is passionate about Indigenous-made media arts. This position is full-time, Toronto-based with a blend of in-office and work from home requirements. Deadline to apply is January 10, 2022, at 5:00 PM ET. 

We value a diverse workplace and strongly encourage BIPOC, women, LGBTQQIP2SAA individuals, and people with disabilities to apply. Apply now at imagineNATIVE.org/employment. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Apply Now

FCC recognized as a Kincentric Best Employer for 2021

Regina, Saskatchewan, November 30, 2021 – Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has once again been recognized as one of Canada’s best employers, even as organizations around the world grapple with the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“We have always known that in order to provide the best possible experience for our customers, we need to provide an equally positive and engaging employee experience – and that feels especially true now,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO, speaking about Kincentric’s Best Employers global certification program that measures and recognizes leading employers.

“Like everyone, we have navigated tremendous change and complexity over the last year and a half, and through it all, FCC employees have remained engaged, adaptable and committed to working together in new ways to maintain strong relationships with our customers,” Hoffort said. “Our employees continue to be the number one reason why FCC is one of the most highly regarded companies in Canada.”

Kincentric, an international human capital and management consulting firm, annually certifies companies that have captured the full potential of their employees. To certify a company as a best employer, Kincentric compares organizations to identify those that strive to continuously inspire their people, spark change and accelerate business success. 

To achieve this recognition, FCC was assessed on four measures: 

  • Employee engagement: employees speak positively about their employer, intend to stay and are motivated to exert extra effort at work.
  • Organizational agility: employees see the organization is highly adaptive, innovative, inclusive and responsive to the changing needs of its customers.
  • Engaging leadership: leaders are deeply connected with employees to drive engagement, communicate a clear vision and demonstrate strong personal values.
  • Talent focus: employees see the organization is focused on attracting and retaining great talent and creating an inspirational environment where people can thrive.

This is the 19th consecutive year FCC has been identified by Kincentric as one of the nation’s best employers. 

Hoffort said FCC’s work environment will continue to evolve to ensure employee safety during the pandemic, as well as to promote flexibility without compromising on teamwork, performance or strong customer relations.

“The pandemic has accelerated our move toward a more flexible work environment for most of our 2,100 employees across Canada, depending on their roles within the organization,” Hoffort said. “Our commitment to this exciting and dynamic industry will never change – we are 100 per cent invested in the success of Canada’s agriculture and food industry.”

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $41 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industry. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, we provide an appropriate return to our shareholder, and reinvest our profits back into the industry and communities we serve. For more information, visit fcc.ca.

Coast Mountain College students host fine dining for Ksan Society

Terrace, BC—Coast Mountain College’s (CMTN) culinary department hosted two fine dining evening events in Terrace on November 24 and 25 for the Ksan Society to give back to the community.  Approximately 50 patrons invited by the Ksan Society gathered at the Waap Haawk Cafeteria over two nights for an extravagant four-course meal planned and prepared by professional cook students as part of their curriculum.   
“This is an important night because it gives the students a sense of pride to do something good for Terrace… where they are uplifting people who are left out at times,” says CMTN instructor and coordinator Chef Darlene Godfrey.  
“It also gives them an educational experience by serving actual guests so students can learn how to work in a real restaurant setting like this.”  


The event was filled with lots of excitement and delight as guests were taken aback by the extra effort CMTN students took to make the evening a memorable one. Napkins were shaped into roses on plates, candles were lit and students scurried in the kitchen to create masterpieces out of food for those who may struggle to afford a nice meal out.   


“It’s been a very fun and festive night, everyone was so moved by seeing the amount of effort put in for us. We often associate these kinds of dinners for people with big pocket books so it’s nice for everyone to get dressed-up and feel celebrated,” says Ev Bishop, assistant coordinator for the Ksan food share program.
The four-course menu featured deluxe plates that guests could choose from. Choices included a honey glazed wild sockeye salmon filet, a roast pork loin, stuffed mushrooms, honey caramel cheesecake, chocolate mousse and other delicious items sourced from local ingredients.  


For guests Gordon Rachel and his mother Lena Penner, the event surpassed all their expectations.  
“We usually go to the food bank every Friday so they know us at Ksan, and when we received the invite to come up out to the College for this, we were blown away,” says Rachel.  


“It’s very relaxing and cozy here, we’re just so thankful to experience this during the holiday season.”  
For the duration of the semester, the culinary students have been preparing soups and sandwiches that are delivered to the Ksan Society once a month but had missed seeing people’s reactions to their dishes due to pandemic precautions.  


It wasn’t until this event that students had the opportunity to create an entire menu and hear feedback from their guests.


“It’s been so encouraging to hear how much everyone loves our food. This event has also given us the creativity to get our plating skills right for every possible dish…. it feels like we’re a real kitchen staff in a real kitchen,” says Mathew Pigeon, a student in the professional cook level II program at CMTN.
“Food brings people from all different background together to one place to connect us with our communities. It’s so wonderful to build those relationships through events like this.”  


Coast Mountain College will be hosting four more fine dining nights for Ksan Society come January 2022.  

Michif Language Through Stories K-6 Curriculum now available!

BC Metis Federation is proud to announce the release of a new Michif-French language curriculum developed for early learners and beginners. 

Michif Language Curriculum Volumes 1 to 3 are designed for any early learner, each level is broken down into a full K-6 Michif French Curriculum. There are 102 lesson plans that have been developed for use in schools, communities, and daycare centres with scoring options to measure the learning capacity of the language. These lesson plans also include additional extras such as recipes, games, cultural and traditional knowledge and audio files to support learning. The completion of the K-6 curriculum includes a one-thousand word Michif Glossary with illustration photos, the first of its kind.

If you are interested in the curriculum, fill out the request form below to request a resource package to lead your community in using the Michif French Language through Stories Curriculum K-6.  Request a Copy Here

What is Michif?

Michif has been a historical language used by the Metis people of Canada, the skill and adaptability of this Canadian-developed language resulted in the Metis people being part of the economic development of Canada. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that three-quarters of Indigenous languages in Canada are “definitely”, “severely” or “critically” endangered, Michif language is in the critically endangered category.

The Michif language allows us to share and communicate culture, world views, knowledge systems, values, traditions, customs, history, spirituality, social and political identity today and for future generations. The Michif language is integral to our sense of self and a key aspect of self-determination as Métis. The Michif Language Project was funded in partnership with Heritage Canada and BC Metis Federation to pursue the language preservation efforts of the French Michif Dialect by developing a full curriculum and resource library for beginner-level learners. The project success is a direct result of BC Metis Federations leadership in targeting Michif Language Revitalization as a priority.Learn More about Michif on our Website

Developing a Meaningful Curriculum

Michif Language through Stories Curriculum K-6 is a community-led storytelling project. A call for Metis story submissions was put out by BCMF Michif Language Revitalization Elders and Language Team. Metis community across the province of BC responded by submitting stories of their family histories, culture and relationship experiences which enhanced the sharing of our Metis culture and content for the curriculum. 

Each story was contributed by the community, vetted by Michif Elders Committee and Speakers, and was transcribed into key Michif French words and French words with full English translations. Each lesson includes Michif French audio of each lesson, full story reading by the Michif Speaker telling a story with Michif audio of keywords spoken in Michif for pronouncing from each of the stories. These stories have allowed us to preserve knowledge from our Elders and cherished language keepers while we still can. 

According to census data, there are less than a thousand Michif speakers remaining across Canada, the majority of which are over 70 years old.

Through BC Metis Federation’s ongoing partnership with Heritage Canada, this work will be expanded on to create a curriculum appropriate for grades 7-12 and there is much more to come. BCMF would like to thank Heritage Canada for their continued support and commitment to the important work ahead as we preserve this key aspect of our Metis culture. Download the Michif Language Project Update

NESKANTAGA FIRST NATION GOES TO COURT OVER ONTARIO’S FLAWED CONSULTATIONS ON RING OF FIRE ROAD

Remote First Nation asks court to clarify Ontario’s obligations under the duty to consult and accommodate on environmental assessments.

With the support of its partner RAVEN (see https://raventrust.com/campaigns/neskantaga), Neskantaga First Nation has filed an application in the Superior Court of Ontario with respect to the consultations framework of the provincial Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). The EAA, which fails to make any provision for Indigenous peoples and their consultation processes, has created an unworkable landscape for environmental assessments, posing a direct threat to Aboriginal, Treaty, and inherent rights. (See  Application, Court No. CV-21-00672552- 0000, issued November 23, 2021.)

Specifically, Neskantaga is asking the court to weigh in on what Ontario’s consultation obligations are with respect to the development of terms of reference for an environmental assessment, when a First Nation is in crisis. Neskantaga is a remote Oji-Cree community, whose homeland is host to a portion of the so-called “Ring of Fire” mining region.

Following years of Neskantaga’s concerns going unheeded by Ontario and by project proponents, Neskantaga is seeking the Court’s declaration on the extent of the Duty to Consult and Accommodate Indigenous communities with respect to consultations on environmental assessments, in particular for remote communities in crisis. In the middle of the pandemic, while Neskantaga was dealing with a lockdown, boil-water advisory, and community evacuation, Ontario started the clock on a key access road project that would enable a massive expansion of mining in the ecologically sensitive Ring of Fire.

The province imposed impossible deadlines, disregarding Neskantaga’s own laws and protocols for community decision-making, and the multiple crises the Nation was facing. Ontario also facilitated the splitting of the project, so that a single road initiative was split into multiple separate projects. As a result of this project-splitting, Neskantaga now faces increased pressure, forcing them to engage in multiple overlapping but distinct processes.

Chief Wayne Moonias explained: “For too long, our community’s laws and protocols have been disregarded by an Ontario government focused on economic development at the expense of Aboriginal, Treaty, and inherent rights. We respectfully and repeatedly advised Ontario of the need to halt an Environmental Assessment while we dealt with crises on multiple fronts, only for our needs to go ignored. Our people are strong and humble and we will defend our way of life. Justice demands a meaningful process, and we have shown we are willing to go to the courts to get it.”

Julian Falconer, legal counsel to Neskantaga, commented: “It is stunning in this day and age that a law intended to apply to mining and exploration in Indigenous homelands is utterly lacking in a framework for meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples. Quite simply, we are going to court to create some ground rules around consultations with Indigenous peoples, starting at the earliest stages of an environmental assessment and the drafting of terms of reference. By failing to build in considerations around consultations which take into account the unique requirements of First Nations, it is hardly surprising that the legislation is insensitive to obligations of Reconciliation and the Honour of the Crown.”

Key points:

  • The Ring of Fire is a 5,000 square-kilometre potential multi-metal mining region, the largest in Canada.
  • The Ring of Fire is located within the James Bay lowlands, a globally significant wetland, massive carbon storehouse, and landscape that has sustained the lifeways of Anishinaabe and Anishini peoples since time immemorial.
  • Neskantaga First Nation is a remote Oji-Cree community, home to approximately 400 members, in addition to more than one hundred members living off-reserve.
  • Neskantaga is subject to the longest-running boil water advisory in Canadian history, at 26 years and counting.
  • The Duty to Consult and Accommodate is a legal principle requiring consultations with Indigenous communities whose rights may be affected by a project.
  • Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) is the governing legislation for environmental assessments on mining and infrastructure initiatives. Neskantaga’s application focuses on sections 5. 1 and 6 of the EAA, which govern consultations when drafting Terms of Reference for an environmental assessment.
  • The EAA lacks a clear statement and guidance on the Duty to Consult and Accommodate with respect to environmental assessments. This has created an unworkable system where project proponents, from governments to mining companies to other First Nations, are unable to meaningfully consult with affected communities.
  • This legal challenge is brought pursuant to Rule 14.05 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure.RAVEN is a registered charity operating in Canada. They work with Indigenous Nations to defend their rights in court by raising legal funds. For more on RAVEN and its support for Neskantaga’s Application, see:
    https://raventrust.com/campaigns/neskantaga/

Reference: Notice of Application, Court No. CV-21-00672552-0000, re: Duty to Consult and Accommodate Under the EAA (Issued November 23, 2021)

Pauktuutit launches harm-reduction toolkit to share information with Inuit communities about cannabis use

OTTAWA – November 29, 2021 – Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada has launched Let’s Talk about Ujarak: A Cannabis Harm Reduction Toolkit as part of the Cannabis in Our Communities: A Focus on Inuit Youth and Maternal Health and Well-Being project. This project aims to help Inuit youth, expecting parents, and families to better understand the facts and myths about cannabis and how to reduce possible harms to promote healthy families and communities. 

Let’s Talk about Ujarak: A Cannabis Harm Reduction Toolkit provides Inuit-specific, evidence-based, and relatable information to Inuit who are interested in trying cannabis, or who already use cannabis, to do so in a way that reduces risks and potential harms. 

“During engagement, community members shared their belief that cannabis use is common and normalized in our communities. So, Let’s Talk about Ujarak: A Cannabis Harm Reduction Toolkit addresses the need for accurate and trustworthy information to help Inuit make informed choices,” said Pauktuutit President Rebecca Kudloo. “By providing culturally relevant materials that increase awareness, reduce stigma, and reduce harm, we hope to open up conversations about cannabis and help minimize risks among Inuit youth and families.”

Featuring artwork by artist Charlotte Karetak, the toolkit’s key theme is “There’s More to This Than Cannabis.” Cannabis use among Inuit is complex. To help make the topic more accessible, Pauktuutit’s toolkit includes fact sheets, a discussion guide, posters, branded clothing, promotional items, and a tool for self-reflection on cannabis use habits to share information in an engaging way.

Let’s Talk about Ujarak: A Cannabis Harm Reduction Toolkit can be found on the Cannabis in Our Communities project page or at letstalkaboutujarak.com

To schedule an interview:

Please contact Amanda Deseure, 613.806.3336 or email communications@pauktuutit.ca.

Lakehead University launches tuition waiver for youth in care

Lakehead University has introduced a new tuition waiver that will reduce barriers to  postsecondary education for individuals in the foster care system.  

Announced today in collaboration with the Child Welfare Political Action Committee  (Child Welfare PAC), the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver will support the full cost of  tuition and affiliated program fees for current and former youth in care working toward  an undergraduate degree at Lakehead University.  

Starting in September 2022, the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver will be available to  students of any age pursuing their first postsecondary credential at Lakehead  University. In its first year the program will support two full-time students – one at the  Thunder Bay campus and one at the Orillia campus – gradually increasing to a  maximum of eight students annually. The program will accept applications from current  and incoming high-school graduates and mature students who are currently or were  formerly in the foster care system in Simcoe County or Northwestern Ontario for at least  one year. The bursary will be renewable for up to four years. 

“Youth who have experienced the child welfare system are uniquely vulnerable and  require specifically tailored support mechanisms to realize success within structures of  higher learning,” said Child Welfare PAC Canada President Ingrid Palmer. “By adopting  a relevant and responsive pathway to accessible postsecondary education, Lakehead  University will also nurture upward social and economic mobility for those who have  already endured undue hardship. Thank you, Lakehead, for opening up equitable access  to postsecondary education in the North!” 

“All Ontarians deserve access to a postsecondary education experience and a higher  education system that embraces accessibility and inclusivity and promotes success,” said  Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This is a key government priority  because we know learners need the opportunity to get the training required for good  jobs and because diverse representation in education and the workplace is integral to  building a stronger and more innovative province and economy.”

Ensuring that students have the opportunity to access education regardless of their  circumstance is one of the reasons why the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario  has referred to Lakehead University as an equity of access powerhouse, explained Dr.  Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor of Lakehead University. 

“The launch of Lakehead’s Youth in Care Tuition Waiver is in keeping with our strategic  priorities to provide access to a transformative university experience grounded in  exceptional scholarship and student potential,” she said.  

It also aligns with the University’s commitment to serving and removing barriers to  education for underrepresented students in Simcoe County and Northwestern Ontario.  In addition to the tuition waiver, Lakehead University also offers the Gateway Program  and Indigenous Transition Year Program to help students from underrepresented  groups and students who don’t meet traditional admission requirements access a  university-level education.  

“We want our students to succeed and feel supported during their time at Lakehead,”  explained Andrea Tarsitano, Vice-Provost (Students) and Registrar. “This tuition waiver  is just an extension of the wraparound supports and individualized services that  Lakehead already provides to our students to help them navigate the transition to  university and support them throughout their education.” More information on the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver can be found at www.lakeheadu.ca/studentcentral/financing-budgeting/yic_waiver.