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Edmonton Briefs - April
River Cree Resort hosts educational conferences
In early March, the River Cree, on the Enoch First Nation, hosted the 7th Annual Western Canadian First Nations Administrators Education Symposium, which included Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, Truth and Reconciliation Commission member Wilton Littlechild and Education Minister David Hancock. In mid-March the site was the location of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Council Conference.
Suspicious death on Enoch reserve
RCMP from the Stony Plain and Spruce Grove detachments along with the RCMP’s major crimes unit are investigating the suspicious death of a man on the Enoch Cree First Nation. Myron Dakota Cutknife, 19, was found dead outside of a home March 19. “We are still investigating all avenues of this case,” Sgt. Jim Martin with the Spruce Grove and Stony Plain RCMP told the Edmonton Sun. “We can’t identify if we have any suspects in mind, but we are still at the stage where we are looking for information from the general public about this case.”
NDP kick off federal campaign in Edmonton
NDP leader Jack Layton launched his party’s federal campaign at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Lewis Cardinal, candidate for Edmonton-Centre, is seen as a bright spot for the NDP, who hold only one riding in Alberta. “Edmonton is a place of change. If we can demonstrate change here in Edmonton, it will show that we can change anywhere in Canada,” said Cardinal, a longtime First Nations activist. The Edmonton Journal reports that Edmonton is a pivotal battleground where the NDP hopes to earn more seats with its star candidates Cardinal and former provincial ND leader Ray Martin.
MNC president begins university tour
Métis National Council President Clément Chartier began a President’s Tour March 21st at the University of Alberta to discuss the significance of declaring 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of the Métis Nation with this year’s theme, “Paying Tribute to Our Métis Veterans.” Said Chartier, “We are making progress in getting our message out as Métis people about our history, culture and language and our continuing struggles as a rights bearing people. We hope to use the decade as an avenue to promote our issues, whether it’s our push for a land base for our peoples, securing harvesting rights or recognition for Métis Veterans.” From Edmonton, Chartier went to the universities of Saskatchewan and Winnipeg.
Drawing attention to missing women
Flowers for Nitanis, an exhibition which draws attention to women and girls at risk, concluded its run in Edmonton last month. This exhibiton featured over 500 pieces of floral beadwork from fine craft artists across Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and British Columbia. The work represents the 500 Aboriginal women who have died or disappeared in recent years. Nitanis means “my daughter.” The exhibition was sponsored by Aboriginal Arts Council of Alberta and Department of Justice Canada.
Blackstock joins U of A extension
Cindy Blackstock, executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, joined the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta in February. This partnership is expected to strengthen the university’s commitment to engage with Aboriginal communities. Partnering with Blackstock and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada “is a significant addition to Aboriginal initiatives that already exist within our faculty and at the university,” said Katy Campbell, dean of the Faculty of Extension. She said the collaboration will result in meaningful research, discovery and action for children.
CBC Radio airs series on Aboriginal life in Edmonton
From March 18-25, CBC Edmonton presented Learning the Path: Heal, Discover, Empower; a special series on Aboriginal education. The series was broadcast on Edmonton AM and Radio Active, with CBC News Edmonton carrying selected stories. This is the fourth series detailing Aboriginal life in Edmonton and will investigate barriers, community influence and control in Aboriginal Education.
Compiled by Shari Narine
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