Windspeaker

Canada's National Aboriginal News Source

Ted and Brandon Nolan sign on to Ontario’s NAHC squads

Author: 
By Sam Laskaris Windspeaker Contributor MISSISSAUGA
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2016

Members of the two Ontario squads for this year’s National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC) have plenty of reasons to be excited.
For starters, officials from both clubs believe they have assembled rosters that will challenge for top spot in their respective categories at the national tournament.

 

 


Caption: Ontario’s silver medal girls’ team is seeking gold with top-shelf roster and coaching staff for this year’s National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Mississauga.
 
Photo: Marcia Trudeau


 

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Tobacco trade not illegal say Iroquois communities

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2016

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke and the Elected Council of Six Nations of the Grand River are setting the record straight on statements recently issued by the Sûreté du Québec, a press release states.

As First Nations, Kahnawà:ke and Six Nations have the legal right to produce, distribute and trade tobacco, reads the statement. Attempts to regulate or restrict a First Nation from manufacturing and participating in inter-Nation trade within the tobacco industry is an attack on this inherent Indigenous right, it continues.

"Tobacco is our natural product," said Kahnawà:ke Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. "We've used it for centuries. We use it for ceremonies and, when the Europeans came, we later used it for trade. They took the product, made it 'their own' and – all of a sudden – it's illegal."

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FSIN expect more lobbying, more advocacy with Wall win

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor SASKATOON
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party was re-elected Monday taking 63 per cent of the popular vote and 51 of 61 seats. It’s Wall’s third term as premier.

The election victory means that the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations will push harder to get further in an agenda that is based on inherent and treaty rights.

“No matter who gets elected to any provincial or federal government, the onus is on us as First Nations’ elected officials to do more lobbying or advocating to ensure that our voices are heard, that our presence are at these tables when our issues are being discussed and decided on,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

Over the course of the Sask Party’s tenure, Cameron says some headway has been made. He points to a “good working relationship” that has been developed between himself and Education Minister Don Morgan as they focus on kindergarten to Grade 12 education both on and off reserve.

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Court rules on AIP records

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Ontario’s Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that evidence on the abuse of 3,800 of residential school survivors could be destroyed after 15 years. This period will allow time to notify survivors and ask whether they want their records archived.

The chief adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) wanted the destruction of the recordings, transcripts and decisions of compensation adjudications under privacy rules. The IAP argued for keeping the records only for two years.


Related articles:

Judge decides for privacy on IAP documents

Chief Adam says IAP records need to be destroyed now

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Play hard, go home healthy; non-contact key to tourney’s success

Author: 
By Sam Laskaris Windspeaker Contributor NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask.
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Organizers of an Aboriginal men’s hockey tournament in Saskatchewan believe they have found the secret to success—non-contact hockey.

The 16th annual Lawrence Weenie Cup wrapped up this March 27 in North Battleford, Sask. Twelve teams from across Saskatchewan took part in the men’s recreational category. And six other squads participated in the Masters division, which was restricted to those 40 and over.

Milton Tootoosis started this tournament after his father Lawrence Weenie died. Weenie, a former chief of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, was also a huge sports supporter.

He earned the nickname The Voice of Native Sports as he served as the public address announcer for three decades at various hockey, basketball, fastball and rodeo events.

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Honours for TRC commissioners

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

The Calgary Peace Prize 2016 will be awarded to Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild, the three commissions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Calgary Peace Prize recognizes outstanding individuals from the global community, who work toward making the world a more just, safer and less violent place.

This year it celebrates the commissioners’ many contributions to the advancement of Indigenous rights and reconciliation in Canada.

A reception and prize ceremony will be held April 7 held in the Bella Concert Hall. This is a Faculty of Arts Peace Prize Studies Initiative of Mount Royal University.

Dr. Wilson will be in attendance at the reception and award ceremony.

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Women to be commemorated for good works at Esquao Awards

Author: 
By Andrea Smith Windspeaker Contributor EDMONTON
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

The list of recipients for this year’s 21st Annual Esquao Awards is out. Notable and noteworthy women from across the province will share the stage on April 15 as they are presented with awards, one-by-one, in areas ranging from community involvement in justice activism to environmental work.

Angeline Gutierrez-Rain, Krista Laboucane, Rhonda Metallic and Joanne Pompana, all of Edmonton, Lisa Ground and Michelle Wilsdon of Enoch, Ona Berteig of Fort McMurray, Eva Cardinal of Saddle Lake, Beatrice Carpentier of Drayton Valley, Holly Fortier of Fort McKay, D. Joyce Hunt of Joussard, Delores Pruden-Barrie of Athabasca, Shirley Reid of Caslan, Priscilla Sharpe of Rocky Mountain House, Mildred Alvina Supernault of High Prairie, and Cheryl Williams of Buffalo Lake will be celebrated in a ceremony in Edmonton.

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Raid: Operation Tarantula nabs drugs, $13 million in tobacco

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

 
Sixty people have been arrested in Quebec, Ontario, Kahnawake and on Six Nations at Brantford with police targeting a money laundering ring, reports CTV Montreal.

Operation Tarantula (Mygale) resulted in 70 raids March 30 targeting biker gangs who are said to have worked with criminals on reserve to buy tobacco in the United States, which was smuggled it into Canada and sold in Kahnawake and Six Nations.

This was an investigation over many months. Quebec police are said to have seized $13.5 million worth of tobacco in the raids, with the criminals smuggling more than 2 million kgs of tobacco between August 2014 and this month.

The organized crime ring spanned North America, South America, and Europe.

The operation culminated in 70 raids Wednesday in Ste. Therese, St. Marthe sur le lac, in Kahnawake, in the Six Nations reserve in Ontario, and in other areas near Montreal.

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Bellegarde talks tough on water concerns

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor SASKATOON
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to end all boil water advisories on First Nations within five years.

The budget delivered by his government on March 22 committed $1.8 billion to strengthen on reserve water and waste water infrastructure and $141.7 million to monitor water on reserve. Both commitments are over a five-year period beginning in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Meeting that five-year goal “is a challenge,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who points out that of 634 First Nations, 132 have boil water advisories in place. Some communities have had boil water advisories for 20 years.

“That’s not acceptable. So get to the table, put a strategic plan in place, make sure the proper fiscal resources are there and let’s get this done,” said Bellegarde.

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Metis Nation of Ontario is ready for a woman president, says Froh

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor BARRIE, Ont.
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Margaret Froh is confident that the Metis Nation of Ontario is ready to be led by a woman. Froh announced on March 21 her intention to seek the position of president. She says she was encouraged to run by retiring MNO President Gary Lipinski, who has also endorsed her candidacy.

Froh presently serves as both in-house legal counsel and associate chief operating officer to the MNO, as well as teaches Indigenous governance at the Banff Centre in Alberta. She says she’s is ready to take the next step.

“I’ve been doing this work for so long… I’m out there and I’m teaching it and I’m practising it and I see the opportunity here to bring those skills home to my nation, which is the whole reason I went to law school in the first place,” she said.

Froh said this is an exciting time to be at the helm of the MNO.

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Go speak English to the Queen; this house is for Cree

Author: 
By Andrea Smith Windspeaker Contributor EDMONTON
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

In response to the growing crisis of dwindling Indigenous languages, members of an art group with a social action agenda have come up with an interesting—though intensified—way to create new Indigenous speakers.

Members of the Onaman Collective—Erin Konsmo, Christi Belcourt, and Isaac Murdoch—have launched “Language Immersion House” projects across Canada. The original three were held in Ontario, while a fourth, the Nehiyawewin Cree Language House, is coming up April 8 to April 10 in Edmonton.

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Yolanda Bonnell walks the cracks of society

Author: 
By Nigel Irwin Windspeaker Contributor TORONTO
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

It is disheartening that plays such as Judith Thompson’s The Crackwalker, which premiered 36 years ago, are still deeply relevant today. Because of some darkness within us, the dreadful experiences of physical and substance abuse, internalized racism and infanticide that The Crackwalker explores are realities that remain with us.

Factory Theatre is in its Naked Season, with six “Canadian Classics Re-imagined.” The Crackwalker, a dark, loosely-based account of Thompson’s work as a social worker at Adult Protective Services in Kingston, Ont., is one of the six. It opens at the Factory Theatre March 24 and runs to April 10.

 

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Indigenous trail system starts at Simpcw Nation

Author: 
By Sam Laskaris Windspeaker Contributor SIMPCW FIRST NATION, B.C.
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
2
Year: 
2016

Members of a First Nation in British Columbia are hoping a short film will help its residents become more active and eventually turn its community into a tourist attraction.

The film, which is titled All Trails Are Indigenous, was released last week. The movie, just over seven minutes long, was shot this past October on the Simpcw First Nation.

The entire film can be viewed through this link https://vimeo.com/155172362

Members of the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program made the film. It is about a two-day trail building workshop that was held this past October on the First Nation, located about 80 kilometres northeast of Kamloops.

Some members of the Adams Lake and Nisconlith First Nations also took part in the workshop. Also taking part were people from the communities of Valemount, Clearwater and Sun Peaks.

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Shrug: What's a few more years of discrimination? [editorial]

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

It seems a curious misstep for the Liberal government, so adroit at building its brand as enlightened, fair and just, to simply fail to address the serious—and proven—discrimination in child welfare funding on reserve.

Why didn’t they just get that monkey off their backs in the federal budget March 22? Why didn’t they just choose to get out from underneath the political burden of it, an ugly stain that’s going to dog Trudeau’s record for at least three years to come?

It makes no sense. Something is missing from this equation.

It seems so counter-intuitive to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s personal brand. He is a feminist, choosing a gender-equal Cabinet “because it’s 2015,” sitting on international panels to espouse the feminist male. He’s a compassionate man, wrapping Canada’s loving arms around 25,000 Syrian refugees, telling the first arrivals “You’re safe now” as he greeted them at the airport.

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Budget 2016: Discrimination used as fiscal restraint, says Blackstock

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor OTTAWA
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

In a budget that runs a deficit of $29.4 billion, Cindy Blackstock does not understand why the federal government drew the line at $71 million for this upcoming fiscal year for child welfare services on reserve.

“When you have a deficit… you can’t fund everything. But racial discrimination against children should never be one of those criteria upon which they base their decision. We should not be using racial discrimination as a fiscal restraint measure and that is continuing to happen,” said Blackstock, executive director with First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

On March 22, Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau allocated nearly $635 million over five years to strengthen child welfare services on First Nations. Of that funding, only 15 per cent will come in 2016-2017 fiscal year with an additional $99 million in the following fiscal year. 

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Budget 2016: All smiles around budget, despite lack of detail

Author: 
By Shari Narine Windspeaker Contributor OTTAWA
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

Indigenous leaders are pleased, saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has followed up on his campaign promises with funding. The federal budget delivered by the Liberal government on Tuesday committed $8.4 billion to Indigenous peoples over the next five years.

But while one Indigenous leader sees this budget as a strong step forward in closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, another Indigenous leader says he is unclear as to exactly how this budget will impact urban Indigenous peoples. More than 70 per cent of Indigenous people live off-reserve.

“I’m feeling fairly optimistic, although we still have to go through the details and there are matters to get clarified. But overall, it’s a good feeling kind of budget,” said Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Dwight Dorey.

CAP is the national voice for Métis, status and non-status Indians, and southern Inuit Indigenous people living off-reserve.

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Wolverine, a leader of the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff in B.C., has died

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

CBC is reporting that 82-year-old Wolverine, a leader of the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff in B.C., has died. William Jones Ignace, a Secwepemc man, spent five years in jail for his role in the standoff when 20 First Nations occupied sacred, unceded land near 100-mile House. The confrontation lasted 31 days, and this year people called for a national inquiry into the force brought to bear on the occupiers. Ignace, who will be forever remembered as Wolverine succumbed to cancer on March 22.

 

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Hereditary leader say community has been “betrayed”

Author: 
Compiled by Debora Steel
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

“We have been betrayed by our elected leader," said Hereditary Chief Yahaan of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe of the Lax Kw'alaams. He said elected Mayor John Helin did not hold a community-wide meeting to secure a mandate to write “the highly questionable letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which offered qualified conditional support for the LNG project on Lelu Island.

"Our community voted unanimously to reject Petronas’s proposed LNG project,” Yahaan said.

Now the First Nations hereditary leadership has publicly rejected BC Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman's comments that the provincial government has the full support of First Nations impacted by the Petronas LNG project.

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Release: AFN National chief says federal budget a significant step in "closing the gap"

Author: 
Windspeaker Staff
Volume: 
34
Issue: 
1
Year: 
2016

RELEASE:   Today's federal budget is a significant step in closing the gap in the quality of life between First Nations peoples and Canadians and beginning the process of reconciliation, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says.
 
"The budget begins to address decades of underfunding and neglect, which have perpetuated a growing gap in the quality of life between First Nations and other Canadians," said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  "This budget invests in important priorities for First Nations and all Canadians. Investments in housing, clean water, education, and child welfare will bring long-needed relief for those living in third world conditions, and build a stronger economy for everyone."
 

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