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Edmonton News Briefs - June 2013

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Compiled by Shari Narine







School district, city celebrate with powwow

The Edmonton Catholic School District and Aboriginal Learning Services along with the City of Edmonton presented the annual Ben Calf Robe Society powwow in mid-May. The event was hosted by Eugene Alexis with Blackstone as the host drum group. The traditional powwow followed a silent auction, which raised funds for the ECSD lunch programs, the Rites of Passage Culture Camp and the Dance Regalia program. The event took place at the Commonwealth Recreation Centre. (Photo: Paula Kirman)

Former INAC minister honoured

Jim Prentice, former minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada, will be among 11 distinguished people receiving honorary degrees from the University of Alberta at convocation ceremonies in June. Prentice, a U of A alumnus, held the position of INAC minister for 18 months beginning in February 2006. His work on addressing Indian residential schools was recognized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper when Harper issued his apology in 2008 for the residential school system. Also to be honoured is former Premier Ed Stelmach.

CD showcases Crowfoot

Dr. Milton Schlosser, music professor at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, recently released his fifth album which includes the world premiere recording of Crowfoot, a work written for Schlosser in 2010 by University of Alberta graduate and Métis artist Nicholas Howells. The CD entitled 1890, is a cross-cultural exploration that touches upon major events that happened in that year. Crowfoot is 12-minute work, which contains among other Aboriginal aspects, words attributed to Chief Crowfoot around the time of his death in 1890: “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” With few Aboriginal composers active in the Western European tradition, the CD is significant for showcasing Howells’ unique artistic voice. Howells’ Crowfoot has been performed by Schlosser in Canada, the US, and Japan. On June 6, it was given its European premiere by Schlosser at the Canadian embassy in Berlin.

NorQuest hosts Aboriginal Workforce Summit

NorQuest College worked in collaboration with First Nations representatives to host the college’s first ever Aboriginal Workforce Summit at the end of May. Also collaborating in the effort were business, industry and government. The summit’s goal was to bring these groups together, along with college staff, faculty and students, in the spirit of friendship and mutual benefit. With the Aboriginal community representing the fastest growing demographic in Canadian society – and yet still the most underutilized segment of the workforce – this forum aimed to set the groundwork for the creation of partnerships and workforce-relevant post-secondary programs at NorQuest College to help meet the needs of those the college partners with and serves.

Foyer pilot project aimed at homeless youth

Homeward Trust Edmonton is initiating The Foyer, a pilot project which incorporates an innovative support model for youth. The Foyer will provide a range of supports to formerly homeless youth in scattered site and short-term supportive housing projects. The emphasis on service delivery will be to build resiliency and capacity for successful independent living, and to prevent a return to homelessness. The three key principles of a Foyer are a focus on helping disadvantaged youth, who are homeless or at risk of returning to homelessness, to achieve the transition from dependence to independence; a holistic approach to meeting the young person’s needs by offering integrated access to, at a minimum, training, guidance, personal development and job search facilities; and a formal agreement between the Foyer and young person as to how the Foyer’s facilities and local community resources will be used in making the transition to independence. The Foyer project is time-limited and will end March 31, 2014.

Compiled by Shari Narine