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  • Indigenous leader makes plea for unity among B.C. First Nations to save wild salmon
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 9:12 pm

    The Canadian Press  21/06/2024 17:04 Indigenous dancers have circled a fire inside Victoria’s Mungo Martin House in a celebration of wild salmon on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Members of the Namgis First Nation from the Alert Bay area of northern Vancouver Island gathered at the traditional long house to honour their deep connections to the fish. Eighty-two-year-old Hereditary Chief Chris Cook says he remembers years ago when local rivers and streams were so full of wild salmon he could almost walk across their backs. He says he and the Namgis hope the days of plentiful wild salmon will return after the federal government this week said it would ban open net-pen fish farms in B.C. waters by 2029. Cook is pleading for unity among B.C. First Nations to rebuild wild The post Indigenous leader makes plea for unity among B.C. First Nations to save wild salmon appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • People rally outside ‘Kamloops’ court as Curtis Sagmoen set to appear: ‘We’re there for all women’
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 7:58 pm

     By Aaron Hemens, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter  21/06/2024 14:36 Content warning: This story contains details about Canada’s epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people. Please be gentle with your spirit and read with care. More than a dozen people rallied outside of a courthouse in Secwepemcúl’ecw on Thursday as Curtis Sagmoen, a notorious Okanagan-based man with a history of violence against women, was set to make an appearance. Sagmoen was scheduled to appear in the Kamloops court on June 20 on two counts of possession of a firearm contrary to order. His lawyer was present online for the hearing, but just like his previous court date on June 6 for the same allegations, Sagmoen was nowhere to be seen. His next appearance is now booked for The post People rally outside ‘Kamloops’ court as Curtis Sagmoen set to appear: ‘We’re there for all women’ appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • “We’ve been at the table”: Hajdu on Ginoogaming’s state of emergency
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 6:15 pm

     By Austin Campbell  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter  21/06/2024 13:54 Following a speech made by Chief Sheri Taylor of Ginoogaming First Nation and comments from Greg Rickford, minister of northern affairs and First Nations economic reconciliation, at Premier Doug Ford’s recent announcement in Greenstone, Minister Patty Hajdu has issued a response. Ginoogaming declared a state of emergency in May and, with the support of Matawa First Nations Management and the Chiefs Council, a letter written by Chief Taylor was hand-delivered to Premier Ford’s office. Dougall Media recently caught up with Hajdu at her office in Thunder Bay, where she responded to Rickford’s comments and offered some examples of what she and her staff have been doing not only for Ginoogaming but the province as a whole. “I think we’ve been at The post “We’ve been at the table”: Hajdu on Ginoogaming’s state of emergency appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • Winnipeg street named after controversial bishop officially renamed in ceremony
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 6:11 pm

    The Canadian Press 21/06/2024 14:03 Winnipeg is holding a ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day to rename a major street originally named for a Catholic bishop who championed residential schools. City council voted to rename Bishop Grandin Boulevard in the city’s south end to Abinojii Mikanah last year. The new name translates to “children’s way” in Anishinaabemowin. Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin was identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as leading the campaign for residential schools. Mayor Scott Gillingham says renaming the street acknowledges the past injustices and honours the resilience and strength of Indigenous communities. Frank Beaulieu, a knowledge keeper and member of the group who chose the new name, says it unites all Manitobans regardless of race or culture. “I believe our children and grandchildren unborn will walk in The post Winnipeg street named after controversial bishop officially renamed in ceremony appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • Demo shows use of drones by RCMP in rural, Indigenous communities
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 6:09 pm

    By Jessica Lee  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A five-year-old has taken off from a residence into a wooded area in Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation. This was the mock scenario Cochrane RCMP painted for a drone demonstration on Friday (June 14) during trials it was conducting in the First Nation earlier this month. From a meeting room at the Cochrane detachment, a remote drone pilot reached the site where the child was last seen in about two minutes and honed in on a bushy area where a white sedan and a person imitating the child could be seen on a big television screen. “In this scenario, we would have radioed a local RCMP member on the ground and advised that we have eyes on the individual and they would have The post Demo shows use of drones by RCMP in rural, Indigenous communities appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • Trudeau announces two multimillion-dollar agreements with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 6:06 pm

    The Canadian Press  21/06/2024 13:23 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a proposed $125-million agreement with a First Nation in Cape Breton to settle a dispute over reserve land sold in 1862. The prime minister made the announcement in Whycocomagh, N.S., where members of the We’koqma’q First Nation say an improper sale deprived them of the opportunity to benefit economically from the land. The 1,100 members of the band will be asked to vote on the proposed settlement, which has been many years in the making. As well, Trudeau announced $16 million in annual funding aimed at helping 12 of Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaq communities repair, replace and maintain education infrastructure. The money will be handed to the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, which brings together Indigenous chiefs, staff, parents and educators to The post Trudeau announces two multimillion-dollar agreements with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • Statement by the Prime Minister on National Indigenous Peoples Day
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 6:04 pm

    June 21, 2024 Ottawa, Ontario The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day: “Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the rich histories, heritage, and resilience of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across Canada. Celebrated on the first day of summer, this day is of great significance for Indigenous Peoples. It’s a day to celebrate the mosaic of traditions, languages, and cultures that have shaped and continue to shape Canada. Many Indigenous communities will hold ceremonies with cultural celebrations, vibrant displays of art, and traditional storytelling. “Despite past attempts by Canada to erase Indigenous cultures, traditions, and languages, Indigenous Peoples persevered. Today, we celebrate their achievements, their courage, and their unwavering resilience. “I spent the day in We’koqma’q, Nova Scotia, where we announced The post Statement by the Prime Minister on National Indigenous Peoples Day appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • How to protect yourself from the health effects of extreme heat
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 3:45 pm

        Did you know that when the outside air temperature is 23ºC, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach over 50ºC?  Many places in Canada have a high number of extreme heat events or heat waves. Extreme heat can put your health at risk, causing illnesses like heat stroke and even death. It is important to take precautions to protect your health and the health of your family and loved ones. What are the signs and symptoms of heat illness? Heat exhaustion can cause skin rash, muscle cramps, dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, heavy sweating, headaches, extreme thirst, dark urine and decreased urination. If you experience any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink water preferably. Heat Stroke is manifested by The post How to protect yourself from the health effects of extreme heat appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • Prison, restitution ordered for ex-tribal leader convicted of defrauding Oglala Sioux Tribe
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 3:34 pm

    The Associated Press 21/06/2024 11:23 RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former tribal leader in South Dakota to serve nearly two years in prison and pay tens of thousands in restitution after a jury convicted him earlier this year of defrauding his tribe. Former Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner, 39, of Batesland, was convicted in April of six counts of wire fraud, and larceny and embezzlement offenses. In 2022, a federal indictment alleged Bear Runner submitted vouchers when he was president in 2019 and 2020 for official trips to other states he didn’t take, and received about $80,000 in checks, which authorities said he cashed for his personal use, including gambling and hotel stays. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade sentenced Bear Runner The post Prison, restitution ordered for ex-tribal leader convicted of defrauding Oglala Sioux Tribe appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

  • OPP arrest man for impaired driving
    by Lynda Powless on June 21, 2024 at 1:52 pm

    HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Haldimand  Ontario Provinal Police (OPP)  have arrested and charged a 29-year-old man with impaired driving  after spotting a truck been driven erratically in Hagersville. OPP said  on June 19, 2024, at about 10:55 p.m., the Haldimand OPP was on general patrol and   a pick-up truck came to the attention of the officer on Main Street in Hagersville. A traffic stop was conducted and upon speaking with the driver, OPP said  it became obvious they had consumed alcohol. The driver was  placed under arrest, but OPP said  immediately became resistant. The accused was subdued by officers and transported to the OPP detachment for testing. As a result of the investigation, Taiotorake King, of Ohsweken was charged with the following Criminal Code offences: Operation While Impaired Assault with Intent The post OPP arrest man for impaired driving appeared first on The Turtle Island News.

Ku'ku'kwes News

Windspeaker News

Wawatay News Online

  • In loving memory of Kanina Kakekayash
    by chrisk on September 27, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Wacheeyea Booshoo On behalf of Wawatay Communications, from all staff, past and present, and from the board of directors. It is with profound sadness. We extend our deepest heartfelt condolences, To the family to the communities on the departed spirit of Kennina Kakekayash She was a dedicated and true servant to her people, To the elders. She dedicated her life to keeping the airwaves open. for the benefit of the elders she deeply respected. She was a strong believer in keeping the language and ensuring, the elders were the benefactors in all that Wawatay did. Kennina was committed to her work. She served as an Oji Cree language broadcaster over 40 years to the 49 communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Our condolences to her family and to everyone in the community of North Caribou Lake First Nation. Visitation and Service in Sioux Lookout Funeral Home Kanina Clara Kakekayash September 27, 2023 3:00 p.m. Officiating: Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene Opening Prayer: Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene Song by Family – niikaapiimootaten meskana Obituary – Linda Sakchekapo Song by Eric Kamenawatamin Verse Reading Thessalonians 4: 13-18 – read by Mary Faus and Clinton Family and Friends – Open Mic Gaetan St-Hilaire Song by Eric Kamenawatamin Sermon: Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene Song– by Family – Shall we gather at the River Thank you and Special Mention – George Sakchekapo Song by Linda Beardy- In the Sweet By and By Public Viewing Closing of Casket 5:00 p.m. Closing Prayer – Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene Announcements: Visitation and Funeral services will be held: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Sioux Lookout Funeral Home, Sioux Lookout, Ontario Officiated by: Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Thursday, September 28, 2023 St. Andrews United Church hosted by River of Glory All Nations Church, Sioux Lookout, Ontario Officiated by: Reverend Bill Morris Funeral Service at St. Andrews United Church hosted by River of Glory All Nations Church, Sioux Lookout, Ontario Thursday, September 28, 2023 10:00 a.m. Officiating - Reverend Bill Morris Opening Prayer: Reverend Bill Morris Song and Sharing –Eric Kamenawatamin Eulogy by immediate family members and Reverend Bill Morris (each family member will say a few words) Family Song – Shall we gather at the river Sermon: Pastor Vanessa Moskotaywenene Song by Linda Beardy - What a day that will be. Viewing to start and Closing of Casket Linda Beardy, Eric Kamenawatamin, Hilda DeRose In the Sweet By and By Closing of the casket– 196 White Hymn Book to be led by Reverend Bill Morris (Family and Friends gather around the casket) 12:00 p.m. Closing Prayer – Reverend Bill Morris Processional Hymn – Pallbearers to take casket Interment at Hillcrest Cemetery Reverend Bill Morris/Jake Sawanis Pallbearers Jarvis Anderson Samuel Loon Mario Lalande George Sakchekapo Matthew Gordon Shane Sakchekapo Honorary Pallbearers Clinton Kakekayash Gaetan St-Hilaire Daniel Sakchekapo Nadine Meekis Dakota Sakchekapo Dominic Sakchekapo Ross Montour Ashley Kenequanash Natasha Sakchekapo Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Wawatay NewsDate Published: Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 01:51

  • Northern Ontario First Nations Announce Decision To Partner With Hydro One To Develop Major New Greenfield Transmission Line
    by chrisk on September 12, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    The Wabun Tribal Council Chiefs announced their support to partner with Hydro One to develop an important power line project in Northeastern Ontario. The Wabun Chiefs undertook a comparative analysis of prospective private sector partners, assisted by expert consultation. The clear decision is that Hydro One provides the best way forward in terms of ability to perform and deliver, and that Hydro One offers a fair and equitable 50-50 partnership and has a proven track record with equity partnerships. “This is an opportunity we welcome, as Wabun Tribal Council and our member First Nations are well positioned to partner with Hydro One on this Transmission Infrastructure Partnership. We have been left out of the loop historically in terms of development on our traditional lands, so this partnership with Hydro One is one more example that there is reconciliation at work in real time. The Ontario government’s support to make this partnership project happen will go a long way to healing on the road to reconciliation,” explained Chief Chad Boissoneau of Mattagami First Nation. The five Wabun communities make up a majority of the potential coalition of First Nation communities that are proximate to the proposed project. The developmental coalition includes the Wabun First Nations of Mattagami, Brunswick House, Matachewan, Flying Post and Chapleau Ojibwe. The decision to partner with Hydro One came after an extensive review of the proponents’ proposals and included the independent review of consultants and financial experts. Partnering with Hydro One, an Ontario distribution and transmission company, will ensure that the Nations have access to the necessary financial backing and expertise required to complete the transmission line. Wabun Tribal Council Executive Director Jason Batise explained that the partnership with Hydro One is important in terms of economic development and pointed out that Wabun Tribal Council is a leader in Indigenous success working with resource developers in striving towards self sufficiency. “I am very proud of all the good work our Chiefs have done over the years in establishing Wabun Tribal Council and its First Nations as leaders in driving economic development. This work has resulted in many agreements and partnerships that honour our traditions and culture as well as protections on an environmental basis,” commented Batise. “With a 50 per cent equity stake in the line, these revenues will benefit our communities for generations to come.” “With the assistance of our Wabun Tribal Council administration, we as Wabun Chiefs have reviewed all of the analysis in determining which partner best fits with this huge power line development opportunity and our choice is without a doubt Hydro One. We trust that the Ontario regulators will provide us with a decision to move this project ahead in a timely manner,” said Chief Murray Ray, Flying Post First Nation. The proposed 230-kilovolt transmission line will span over 260 kilometres and connect the Wawa and Porcupine transmission stations, bringing important benefits to northeastern Ontario and the Indigenous communities in the region. The Ontario Ministry of Energy is presently undertaking its own comparative analysis to select a transmission company to develop the new greenfield line. Wabun Tribal Council (WTC) is a non-profit regional Chief’s Council that represents, advocates and provides services to six First Nations (Beaverhouse, Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibwe, Flying Post, Matachewan and Mattagami.) Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Xavier KataquapitDate Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 20:19

  • Traditional Land Based Teachings For Wabun Youth
    by chrisk on August 22, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Land Based Teachings were featured during a recent gathering of Wabun Tribal Council youth. Here we see the group of youth with organizers, chaperones and facilitators. Wabun Tribal Council is a regional territorial organization which represents the six First Nation communities of Beaverhouse, Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibwe, Flying Post, Matachewan and Mattagami. (Photo provided by Wabun Health Services) Indigenous youth from the Wabun Tribal Council territory came together for a land based event at the 16th Annual Wabun Senior Youth Gathering. The event was held in western Ontario in Neebing, Ontario at the School Of Indigenous Learning (SOIL), a land based traditional facility. The week long event from August 15 to 17 was held for youth between the ages of 14 to 18. The event was organized by the Wabun Tribal Council Health Department with the support of the tribal council’s member First Nations. “It’s great to have this gathering every summer. I’ve been to this camp several times over the years and we all look forward to it as we get to make new friends and stay in touch with others we got know from other communities. It makes me happy to be here to see everyone, to learn about our culture and our language,” said 15 year old Kiara Millen, of Brunswick House First Nation. The youth gathering brought together Wabun youth to take part in activities to learn about culture, traditions and language on the land. Daily events featured traditional smudging ceremonies, sharing circles and group gatherings where history, teachings and storytelling was taught by Elders and traditional teachers. The daily teaching events also included traditional activities including birch bark making, language lessons and drumming and singing. “Our youth look forward to this annual gathering as it allows them to connect with friends they make from other First Nations. It keeps our youth connected to one another in a shared environment where they also get to learn about this history, their culture, their language and their people,” said Josee Forget, Wabun Regional Crisis Coordinator and event organizer. Wabun Youth took part in traditional food methods including the plucking and preparation of wild goose, as well as preparing and eating other wild foods including fish and moose meat. They spent evenings around camp fires where traditional stories and history was shared. They also spent several nights camping where they slept in a traditional teepees that were set up at the wilderness camp. One day of events included a hike in the nearby wilderness to a scenic lookout where they performed ceremonies and a drumming circle. Jeordi Pierre, owner and operator of the School Of Indigenous Learning (SOIL) features this land based organization as a facility to share and promote Indigenous culture to First Nation people, youth and the public at large to foster understanding and education on Indigenous issues. “Our youth deserve every opportunity to learn about their culture and history. These were such wonderfully attentive and helpful group of young men and women and it was pleasure to serve them,” commented Pierre. He and his mother Elder and Honourary Doctor Marlene Pierre, who are both from Fort William First Nation, lead the SOIL land based organization to provide traditional teachings and sharing. They work together with Dorothy Rody, a traditional teacher who is from Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek. Lessons and presentations at the Wabun Youth Gathering were also provided by health care teachers about health lifestyles and self care. Special lessons were also provided to youth concerning gender diversity, suicide prevention and grief counselling. Facilitators from the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre assisted in guiding the youth. “It felt good to be around people where we were all able to laugh, share stories and have a lot of fun. I got to reconnect to many people I got to know over the years. This gathering is special for me because it will be the last time I can take part as a youth participant. But I hope to come back again as a chaperone in the future,” explained 18 year old Leeon Prince, of Mattagami FN. Prince is one of many Wabun youth over the past 16 years who have attended the annual gathering over the years starting as a junior participant and then graduating to the senior event. At the end of the week of events, the Wabun Youth were also given a tour of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Wabun Health leadership and staff led the planning and development of this year’s event. “This is an important event for our young people as we need to expose them to land based events where we can place them in a traditional setting. When we spend time on the land we are more able to share the traditional teachings and lessons of our people’s past,” explained Angie Collins, Wabun Health Director. The Wabun Elder for the event was Elder Laura Flood of Matachewan FN. The Wabun Youth Gathering originated through the vision and dream of Wabun Elder Thomas Saunders of Brunswick House FN who lobbied for a youth gathering. The first gathering was held in Mattagami FN in 2007 through the leadership of past Health Director Jean Lemieux of Matachewan FN. Sadly, Elder Saunders passed on before his dream came to be. Wabun Tribal Council is a regional territorial organization which represents the six First Nation communities of Beaverhouse, Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibwe, Flying Post, Matachewan and Mattagami in Northeastern Ontario and it is directed by its respective Chiefs. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Xavier KataquapitDate Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2023 - 22:30

  • Life In The Fast Lane For Local Indigenous Car Racing Couple
    by chrisk on June 28, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Indigenous Car Racing Couple Brianna Julien, of Matachewan First Nation and Morgan Meaniss, of Beaverhouse First Nation, are racing on the Northern Ontario event circuit. They are pictured here in front of Meaniss’s 1977 Chevy Camaro Z28. (submitted photo) An Indigenous car racing couple Morgan Meaniss and Brianna Julien are taking their love of vehicles on the road. Meaniss is a member of Beaverhouse First Nation and Julien is a member of Matachewan First Nation in Northern Ontario. The couple have been on the northern racing circuit for a few years as Meaniss entered his first car in 2016 and Julien in 2020. Recently they participated in the Kirkland drag racing event June 23, 24 and 25. They are looking forward to attending this year’s Kirkland Lake TNT drag racing event on August 18, 19 and 20 as well as the Bonfield Fall Classic Race event near North Bay in September. “We like to race because we get to chase the adrenaline every time we go down the track. It is like meditation for us. In the race, you don’t worry about anything else for those few seconds. For us, nothing matters during race weekends except for how our cars are performing and we enjoy being together with everyone who we consider our racing family,” explained Julien. The couple take part in a type of car competition known as drag racing which is also referred to as bracket racing. They regularly take part in racing events at the annual Kirkland Lake TNT drag races at the Kirkland Lake Airport. They also travel every year to events at the Bonfield Event Park drag races near North Bay and Circuit au Bosquet drag races near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. “The best part about being an Indigenous racing couple is in showing our communities and First Nations a sport that not a lot of people are aware of. It’s exciting every time we see a familiar face in the crowd cheering us on. When you get to share your love for the sport with your best friend, there is no better feeling,” said Meaniss. The young couple met during middle school in Kirkland Lake and the annual Wabun Tribal Council Youth Gathering and they have been racing together for years. Both of their First Nations are part of the Wabun Tribal Council. Meaniss, who works full time as a mechanic, maintains and services both their cars including his 1977 Chevy Camaro Z28 and her 1985 Chevy Camaro Z28. The 1985 car which Meaniss purchased when he was only 13 years of age, was rebuilt by him for Julien when she decided to race. They were both introduced to the world of automotive mechanics and car racing through Julien’s stepfather the late Chris Lambert. He worked as an entrepreneur shop owner in the Kirkland Lake area for many years. At one point Meaniss was mentored by Lambert when he was still in high school. “Chris was a wonderful father to our family and he was an excellent mentor to Morgan as he passed on so much knowledge and his love of automobiles to both of us. He gave us this passion for cars that we both enjoy on the racing circuit today,” commented Julien. Her car now includes a window decal in memory of her late stepfather. Meaniss receives sponsorship from Kirkland Lake Towing and Julien’s car is sponsored by FXR Racing. Meaniss’s grandfather, the legendary late Chief Roy Meaniss was a long time advocate and representative of their First Nation community of Beaverhouse FN. The First Nation struggled for over a century on their lands near Kirkland Lake as their people had First Nation heritage but no official First Nation status. They had been overlooked and ignored in the treaties that were created in this part of northern Ontario in the early 1900s. Chief Meaniss was instrumental in keeping his community represented and in working towards gaining official recognition for his people for many years. Although he was not able to see it, his tireless work and dedication to his community culminated with Beaverhouse FN gaining recognition from the government of Canada in April 2022 under Chief Wayne Wabie. “I am so happy to know that my grandfather as Chief had done so much for our people and I know that he would be very proud of the path we are on with racing in our traditional territory today,” commented Morgan Meaniss. To follow their racing career, just search for their names on Facebook to see their latest racing events and photos. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Xavier KataquapitDate Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2023 - 21:08

  • Dilico Christmas wish campaign a success
    by chrisk on December 20, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Dilico Anishinabek Family Care staff Tom Auger and Vanessa McLaughlin pose with some the 800 Christmas Wish bags that were filled through Dilico’s 2022 Christmas Wish Campaign. Photo by Rick Garrick. Dilico Anishinabek Family Care’s 2022 Christmas Wish Campaign was successful in achieving its goal of filling 800 Christmas Wish bags for local babies, children and youth across Thunder Bay and district. “We are truly moved by the generosity of the community,” says Darcia Borg, executive director at Dilico. “Every year we see so many individuals and families making Christmas Wish one of their holiday traditions and we’re proud to say that this year is no exception. For children who may not otherwise receive the gift they hope for at Christmas, this is an opportunity to bring them joy. Every child deserves to feel special and due to the generosity of this community, hundreds of children will now have their Christmas wishes come true.” Vanessa McLaughlin, assistant director at Dilico, says there was a great response from the community to the Christmas Wish Campaign, which ran for about three weeks in November and early December. “People have enjoyed shopping for the gifts,” McLaughlin says. “A lot of families are buying the bags for children who are similar ages as their own and it turns into a family affair, so it’s been really good.” Tom Auger, assistant director at Dilico, says the Christmas Wish Campaign is very well received by the children and youth. “They love getting these Christmas Wish bags,” Auger says. “It’s just exciting for them, our workers show up at the home and drop off the gifts so it’s an exciting time for them.” Sherry Lessard, manager at Sovereign Dental, says it is very important to continue being involved with the Christmas Wish Campaign because the need in the community is so strong. “With our office being a pediatric specialty office also, we are seeing a lot of these children coming into our office,” Lessard says. “Seeing the size of their hearts, we want to just increase that size of their heart and give back to them. The feedback is awesome, and (we’re) hoping we encourage others to give and to donate. Any little bit can help make a little one’s morning just a little more special.” The Christmas Wish bags were filled with toys and basic necessities tailored to the needs and wishes of each child, including dolls, LEGO, toothbrushes and warm mittens. “We want to extend a giant Chi Miigwetch/thank you to Thunder Bay,” says John Dixon, director of Integrated Services at Dilico. “From individuals and families to workplaces, so many people have stepped up to provide support and donations for children in need. Many of the Christmas Wish bags were filled by people who have made Christmas Wish a tradition in their families for years, and we’re so grateful for this ongoing generosity.” One unnamed individual shared her story of tradition with the Christmas Wish Campaign, noting that she had always wanted a jewelry box with a lid that opened to a dancing ballerina when she was a little girl. “As a family tradition, we have participated in Dilico’s Christmas Wish Campaign for years and we always choose the profile of a little girl,” she says. “Together, we enjoy shopping for the items on her wish list and imagining her joy as she opens her gifts on Christmas morning, including her very own jewelry box with a dancing ballerina.” The Christmas Wish Campaign was launched on Nov. 17 at Creekside Nursery and Garden Centre’s Christmas Market in Thunder Bay with an option for participants to add a copy of Dilico’s new book, How I Found My Voice, which is about a young Indigenous person searching for the courage to speak up, to a Christmas Wish bag. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Rick GarrickDate Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - 02:55

  • DGC Narcisse highlights importance of Treaties Recognition Week
    by chrisk on November 25, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse delivered a presentation on how treaties have impacted First Nations people during a Treaties Recognition Week talk at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Photo by Rick Garrick. Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse highlighted how treaties have impacted First Nations people during his Treaties Recognition Week talk on Nov. 11 at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. “We all are treaty people, but I’m here to speak to you about the true history of this country and how this country called Canada was formed on a litany of broken legal agreements, broken promises and mistruths and how this has caused two Canadas to exist,” Narcisse says. “One Canada tells itself that it is a model to the outside world when it comes to human rights and a wealth of opportunities granted to all who live within its borders, from universal health care to free public education, access to the job market, the right to vote and chase the dream of home ownership and acquiring various things like an SUV or a boat and motor.” Narcisse says this is not the Canada that many First Nations people have experienced across Treaty 5 and Treaty 9, which cover the northern two-thirds of Ontario. “Our ancestors signed those treaties with the Crown, with the government of Canada and even with Ontario,” Narcisse says. “We entered into these treaties with the newcomers, the settlers in absolute and good faith. Back then we’ve heard stories and historical references where we lived on helping each other, assisting the newcomers. They thought this would be the same with us, that they’d create a society where we would all prosper jointly.” Narcisse says Canada has broken every treaty that it signed with First Nations people. “As a result our children do not have the same rights, privileges and freedoms as non-Indigenous students,” Narcisse says. “One of my portfolios is child welfare — we are constantly working with our First Nations families and children to get them equitable services at the community level.” Narcisse says the Royal Proclamation issued by King George III in 1763 contained provisions to recognize and protect land rights, including title of Indigenous nations. “The Proclamation established protocols for dealing with Indigenous nations and set up a treaty process which required there be consent between two parties, that compensation be provided for any lands or resources secured by the Crown,” Narcisse says. Narcisse says they often get questions about what treaties are. “Some people don’t think treaties are real, they don’t think they mean the same as laws but that’s not true,” Narcisse says. “Treaties are a formal agreement between two or more nations, treaties between Indigenous people and the Crown are solemn agreements that set out promises, obligations and benefits for both parties.” Narcisse says First Nations people entered into treaties with the understanding that both sides would benefit. “This hasn’t happened yet, there’s inroads going into that but it really hasn’t happened,” Narcisse says. “People in general need to be educated about the true history of this country.” Narcisse says Treaty 5 and Treaty 9 are among about 70 historic treaties recognized by the Crown. “Historic treaties combined with policies such as the Indian Act have served to control … and diminish our peoples, move us off the land so others could come and reap the rewards for these lands of plenty that we have,” Narcisse says. “In doing so, these treaties have penned our peoples into tiny tracts of land where our peoples could not prosper as well as non-First Nations people coming from Europe and the British Isles.” Narcisse says the First Nation ancestors would not have signed the treaties if they knew that would happen. “The number one goal (of our First Nations) was to protect our families, our children, our land and our ways of life,” Narcisse says. “Our ancestors believed and agreed to share the lands and resources and to live peacefully and coexist together. We never gave rights to the land away.” Narcisse says the first promise of the treaty was broken from the start, that all those who signed the treaty would physically ratify it once it was written up. “Anishinabek and Mushkegowuk peoples never actually physically saw and ratified the treaty again,” Narcisse says. Narcisse adds that widespread public education was promised under the treaty. “But instead of fully functional proper schools in our communities, a side deal was made with a religious order to establish and run Indian residential schools all throughout our lands and territory,” Narcisse says. “These schools in no way honoured the spirit and intention of the treaties our people signed, quite the opposite.” Narcisse says First Nations people were also shut out of resource extraction and sharing the wealth of the land and many business developments in the north and their voices have consistently been ignored at negotiating tables. “This has prevented us from exercising legal rights to be the stewards of the land and making more sustainable development happen in northern Ontario, especially within our treaty areas,” Narcisse says. “There is no way our forefathers would have signed an agreement that allowed this or kept our people shut out of development, leaving us as paupers in our own land, unable to create and live in stable, clean affordable housing within our communities.” Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Rick GarrickDate Published: Friday, November 25, 2022 - 22:30

  • Huge turnout in support of the second annual “Every Child Matters” Powwow
    by chrisk on October 3, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Photo by Xavier Kataquapit Some of the Grand Entry participants for the Second Annual “Every Child Matters” Pow Wow in Kirkland Lake on September 30 are from L-R: Head Male Dancer George Rose, Gavin Gill, Matachewan FN youth; Bertha Cormier, Executive Director of Keepers Of The Circle and Councillor Tom Fox, Matachewan FN. Northern Ontario featured the hugely successful Second Annual “Every Child Matters” Pow Wow in Kirkland Lake on September 30. The event which was held at Civic Park brought in over 2,000 visitors from Northeastern Ontario including the participation of children from schools from Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Temiskaming Shores. The gathering also brought performers, drummers and singers from across the north and Quebec. As part of the day’s commemoration of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and acknowledgement of the residential school era, lead male dancer George Rose of Attawapiskat First Nation gave an emotional speech in Cree and English. He is a survivor of the notorious St Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany on the James Bay coast which he attended for seven years as a child in the late 1960s. “I remember my treatment and the abuse I suffered at this place and the hardships many others around me endured including my mother and father. It is sad for me to remember but we are finding healing, especially by connecting to our culture, by dancing, by singing and by being part of events like this surrounded by so many young people. It is love for one another across all cultures and communities that can help us and give us all hope,” explained Rose. The event was coordinated by the staff of Keepers Of The Circle led by Chelsea Daley and Brianna Julien. “This was something our people couldn’t do a long time ago but to see such a big event today makes me feel really happy. I’m thankful to our supporters for all they’ve done but we are also grateful to our Elders and for me it is especially true for my grandmother Vina Hendrix-Landry,” said Daley. Keepers Of The Circle led the organizing efforts of this event along with the support of Beaverhouse FN and Matachewan FN. “I want to thank everyone who made this event possible. My heart is full today in seeing all the orange shirts here. It’s an important reminder of why we are here and it is my hope that all these educators will be able to pass on that history to their students so that they grow to understand what happened to our people,” said Berther Cormier, Executive Director of Keepers of the Circle. First Nation leadership was also in attendance. “The sea of orange shirts and colours everywhere is very heart warming. It’s important for us to share the history of the residential school era with everyone, especially to young generations in an appropriate manner because it will bring about a more positive change for the country in the future,” commented Chief Wayne Wabie, Beaverhouse FN. The event featured many vendors who sold traditional arts, crafts and food for visitors. “This is a beautiful event for everyone and it shows what our people can accomplish when we all work together. It also shows how important today’s commemoration means to everyone and how we can share and pass on that history so that everyone can understand what happened to our communities,” said Councillor Tom Fox, Matachewan FN. Many local and regional dignitaries took part in the event including Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay; Kirkland Lake Mayor Pat Kiely and Member of Provincial Parliament John Vanthof. “It was great to see everyone here today and to see all these young people taking part in this event. This Pow Wow and today’s national day of remembrance is important because it recognizes not just the Indigenous children that were lost in the residential school era but also the Indigenous children that were denied their basic rights right up until today. It’s important for us to understand this history and the ongoing struggle to make things right” said Angus. The day’s event was started in the morning with an opening prayer by Elder Vina Hendrix-Landry of Matachewan FN. A Grand Entry of flag bearers included Bertha Cormier, Matachewan Councillor Tom Fox, Beaverhouse FN Chief Wayne Wabie, Lead Male Dancer George Rose, Matachewan FN youth Gavin Gill, Mike Clark, Elder Ed Wabie, Lorette McKnight and the Town of Kirkland Lake Mayor Pat Kiely and Councillor Lad Shaba. Traditional performances were led by Head Male dancer George Rose and Head Female dancer Holly Buffalo Rodrique of Matachewan FN. The Pow Wow Master of Ceremonies was Kyle Chevier and Arena Director was Nate McMartin. The Host Drum for the event was Iron Stone Drum Group from Temiskaming First Nation, Quebec which included drummers Wayne McKenzie, Cody Sackaney, Evan Polsen, Justin Polsen and Jessie Chaput. The co-Host Drum was One Nation Drum Group from Temiskaming First Nation, Quebec which included drummers Roy Paul, Lindsay Cote, Dave Stanger and Alex Armstrong. The Pow Wow was made possible with main sponsorship support of Agnico Eagle Mine, Beaverhouse FN, Metis Nation of Ontario, Matachewan First Nation and Mino M’Shki-ki Health Team. The event was also supported by Creative Designs, Northern Lights Computing, Dr. Yades Optometrist, Kirkland Lake Community Complex, The Federal Tavern, Vienna’s Bar And Grill, The Great Outdoor Centre, BDR Drug Mart, Lakeshore Motors, Canadian Tire, RBC Bank, TD Bank, Shear Beauty Hairstyling, Plum Blossom Bakery, Northern Bargains and Alamos Gold. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Xavier KataquapitDate Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 00:57

  • Leaders want financial investment after the Pope’s visit
    by chrisk on August 18, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Pope Francis spoke about asking for forgiveness in the name of the church during his six-day “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada. He also expressed his indignation and shame about the evil perpetrated in Catholic Church residential schools. Photos by George Nakogee. Grand Chief Derek Fox stressed how First Nation leaders are calling for a financial investment after Pope Francis made his residential school apology during his six-day “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada. “One of the things that was said to me was there should be a financial investment behind that apology, for example language,” Fox says on the first day of the Keewaywin Conference, held Aug. 9-11 in Timmins. “They helped take the language from us, why don’t they invest in the language, why don’t they throw a couple of million (dollars) at NAN (Nishnawbe Aski Nation) to help us with the language strategy, why don’t they invest in our school boards, put it into the curriculum to ensure that those things are not lost.” Pope Francis spoke about asking for forgiveness in the name of the church during his July 24-29 “penitential pilgrimage” at an Aug. 3 General Audience at the Vatican. “It was unlike other journeys, in fact the main motivation was to meet the Indigenous peoples to express to them my closeness and my sorrow, closeness of the church and my sorrow and to ask forgiveness for the harm done to them by those Christians, including many Catholics, who in the past collaborated in the forced assimilation and enfranchisement policies of the governments of the time,” the Pope says, as translated into English during the General Audience. “An in-depth study shows that on the one hand some men and women of the church were among the most decisive and courageous supporters of the dignity of the Indigenous peoples, coming to their defence and contributing to raising awareness of their languages, but on the other hand there was unfortunately no shortage of those who participated in programs that today we understand is unacceptable and contrary to the gospel, and for this I went to ask for forgiveness in the name of the church.” The Pope had expressed his indignation and shame about the evil perpetrated in Catholic Church residential schools on the final day of his “penitential pilgrimage” to listen to, dialogue with and apologize to Indigenous people across the country. “A short while ago I listened to several of you who were students of residential schools — I thank you for having had the courage to tell your stories and to share your great suffering that I could not imagine,” the Pope says, as translated into English during his July 29 visit to Iqaluit, Nunavut. “This only renewed in me the indignation and shame I have felt for months. Today too, in this place, I want to tell you how very sorry I am and to ask for forgiveness for the evil perpetrated by not a few Catholics who in these schools contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation and enfranchisement.” The Pope stressed the testimony of an Elder who spoke about the beautiful spirit that reigned in Indigenous families before the advent of the residential school system. “He compared those days when grandparents, parents and children were harmoniously together to springtime, when young birds chirp happily around their mother,” the Pope says. “But suddenly, he said, the singing stopped, families were broken up and the little ones were taken far away from home. Winter fell over everything.” The Pope says stories such as the one shared by the Elder not only cause pain, they also create scandal. “All the more so if we compare them with the word of God and its commandment, honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the lord your God gives you,” the Pope says. “That possibility did not exist for many of your families, it vanished when children were separated from their parents and their own nation was perceived as dangerous and foreign.” The Pope says those forced assimilations evoke a biblical story about the just man Naboth, who refused to give the vineyard he inherited from his ancestors to those in power, who were willing to use every means to snatch it from him. “And we think too of the forceful words of Jesus about those who scandalize or despise even one of the little ones,” the Pope says. “How evil it is to break the bonds uniting parents and children, to damage our closest relationships, to harm and scandalize the little ones.” The Pope encouraged the Inuit youth to continue listening to the Elders and to embrace their past in order to write new pages of history, and offered them three pieces of advice as an Elder brother. “The first piece of advice is keep walking upwards — you live in these vast regions of the north, may they remind you of your vocation to strive ever higher without letting yourself get dragged down by those who would have you believe that it is better to think only of yourself and to use your time solely for your leisure and your interests,” the Pope says. “Don’t think that life’s great dreams are as unattainable as the sky above. No, you were made to fly, to embrace the courage of truth and the beauty of justice, to elevate your moral temper, to be compassionate, to serve others and to build relationships, to sow seeds of peace and loving care wherever you are, to ignite the enthusiasm of those all around you, to keep pressing forward and to not flatten everything out.” The Pope’s second piece of advice was to come to the light. “The third piece of advice, be part of a team,” the Pope says. The Pope’s visit included a meeting with Indigenous people at the former Ermineskin residential school, in Maskwacis, Alberta and a meeting with Indigenous people and the parish community at the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, in Edmonton on July 25; a Holy Mass at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton and a Pilgrimage to the site of Lac Ste. Anne and Liturgy of the Word at Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta on July 26; a visit with state officials and public address at the Citadelle de Québec/Plains of Abraham, Quebec on July 27; and a Holy Mass at the National Shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupré at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Quebec and a Vespers with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers at the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec in Quebec City on July 28. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Rick GarrickDate Published: Thursday, August 18, 2022 - 22:30

  • Award winning journalist Jody Porter passes
    by chrisk on August 18, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    The late Jody Porter, a former Wawatay News editor and CBC Thunder Bay senior reporter, was recognized with the Anishinabek Nation’s Debwewin Citation in 2013. Wawatay News archive photo. Former Wawatay News editor and CBC Thunder Bay senior reporter Jody Porter was remembered for her award-winning journalism on Indigenous and social justice issues after she passed on July 19. Porter’s awards included the Radio Television Digital News Association’s 2011 Adrienne Clarkson Award for diversity and the Anishinabek Nation’s 2013 Debwewin Citation, which was launched in 2002 to honour excellence in storytelling about Indigenous issues. “When we started the Debwewin Citations just about 20 years ago now, it was exactly with people in mind like Jody Porter, people who whether they were Indigenous or not had dedicated their important writing work or journalism or storytelling about Indigenous peoples and issues,” says Maurice Switzer, former communications director at Anishinabek Nation and Mississaugas of Alderville citizen. “Jody certainly was an ally of Indigenous people — she cared very deeply about the Indigenous people she met.” Switzer says Porter was “way ahead of her time” in the reporting she did on Indigenous issues such as the Seven Youth Inquest, which looked into the deaths of seven Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) high school students who died while pursuing their secondary school education goals in Thunder Bay. “We’re going to miss her, she’s a real role model for people to follow,” Switzer says. “And she was a community leader in every sense of the word. Our main thoughts right now are with her family — we know they are going to miss her but they can be really proud of the contributions she made in her relatively few years on this planet.” Grand Chief Derek Fox, on behalf of the NAN Executive Council, says Porter was “relentless in her pursuit of truth and accountability.” “She produced award-winning journalism that revealed injustices faced by First Nations and gave a voice to people who did not have one,” Fox says. “Her exemplary reporting was highlighted during the 2015 inquest into the death of seven NAN youth, which was followed Canada-wide. She presented complex and painful issues with truth, accuracy and compassion.” Fox says Porter’s “unflinching work” presented the tragic circumstances around the deaths of the seven NAN youth, Jethro Anderson in 2000, Curran Strang in 2005, Paul Panacheese in 2006, Robyn Harper in 2007, Reggie Bushie in 2007, Kyle Morrisseau in 2009 and Jordan Wabasse in 2011, and illuminated the challenges faced by First Nations youth while pursuing their education. “During the Seven Youth Inquest her reporting reframed the issues, highlighting deficiencies in police investigations, the resistance of the coroner’s office to investigate and the broader issue of racism in Thunder Bay,” Fox says. “This was not always popular, but Jody had the courage to question the roles and responsibilities of the institutions that played critical roles in the lives of these young people.” Porter was also recognized with Massey College’s Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service in 2015 for her work in connecting Indigenous and northern communities through her reporting, including the radio/social media project Common Ground Café. “Jody’s integrity and professionalism were matched only by her caring and compassion,” Fox says. “We give thanks for her life, and our prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues.” Porter was also the only person to be recognized with both the Anishinabek Nation’s honourable Debwewin Citation mention, which she received in 2005, and the Debwewin Citation. A Centennial College journalism graduate, Porter first worked as a journalist in the Northwest Territories before moving to Sioux Lookout in 1998 to continue her journalism career with Wawatay News. She later moved to Thunder Bay in 2000 to work with CBC Thunder Bay. Featured In Slider: noAuthor: Rick GarrickDate Published: Thursday, August 18, 2022 - 22:27

  • 2022 Keewaywin award winners
    by chrisk on August 12, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Former grand chiefs Wally McKay, Bentley Cheechoo, Stan Beardy and Alvin Fiddler were honoured for their outstanding leadership and dedication at the Keewaywin Awards ceremony on Aug. 10. NAN Elder Helen Cromarty accepted the award on behalf of her late husband Dennis Cromarty and Jon Rudy accepted the award on behalf of his late father Frank Beardy. Photo from NAN Facebook page. Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) recognized the outstanding contributions of six citizens and two groups during the 2022 Keewaywin Awards ceremony on the second day of the Keewaywin Conference, held Aug. 9-11 in Timmins. “We are pleased to congratulate this year’s recipients and we are proud to honour our past grand chiefs for their tireless efforts and significant contributions to our nation,” says Grand Chief Derek Fox. “We acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments and commitments they have made to improving the lives of our people and strengthening our communities. It is important that we take time when we gather to recognize the contributions that our leaders and citizens make to our communities and celebrate their success. Their dedication and accomplishments are inspiring.” The Elder Recognition Award was presented to Delores McKay, Mattagami, who has worked at many places across the country, including currently as the executive director of the Parry Sound Friendship Centre and previously as executive director at the Native Women’s Association, Sheshegwaning First Nation and Mattagami. She is also a member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge. The Woman Award was presented to Vanessa Genier, Missanabie Cree, who is running for councillor in her community and previously started a project that became the non-profit organization Quilts for Survivors, which presents residential school survivors with quilts to honour their journey. She shares her love of quilting and her education in business with others through Quilts for Survivors. The Emile Nakogee Award for Outstanding Leadership was presented to Cat Lake Chief Russell Wesley, who was recently elected for a second straight term and was previously chief from 2013-2015. He has focused on two main initiatives, mental health and addictions and natural resources, during his terms as chief, and during his 40-plus year career in senior management roles he was an active contributor to the development of intergovernmental and government policies at the federal and provincial levels including Indigenous Services Canada, First Nation and Indigenous Health Canada, the Ontario Ministries of Aboriginal Affairs and Natural Resources and Forestry and Northern Development. The Youth Leadership/Community Involvement Award was presented to Jamal Gagnon, Taykwa Tagamou, a youth councillor who has worked to launch a Youth Council in his community and was able to raise $70,000 for a budget. He hopes the Youth Council will provide youth with a voice, input on community matters and inspire more youth participation. The Youth Academic Award was presented to Logan Metatawabin, Kashechewan, who recently graduated from Kapuskasing District High School with four bursaries and plans to attend Cambrian College’s two-year Power Engineering Technician program this fall. His goals are to work as a stationary engineer in nuclear energy. The NAN Staff Award was presented to Stewart Kamenawatamin, Bearskin Lake, who was quick to throw in his hat to assist in the First Nation immunization project and works very hard to support his people. He is a dedicated family man who lives the Seven Grandfather Teachings in his everyday life and work. The Youth Outstanding Service Award was presented to the Sandy Lake Patrol, whose three members, Grace Goodman, Simeon Kakepetum and Lenny Anishninabie, saved a young person at risk. The Sandy Lake Patrol provides a street patrol in the seven different areas of Sandy Lake. The Youth Community Involvement Award was presented to the North Caribou Lake Youth Council for being active in their roles and vocal in advocating for the children and youth to bring programming and activities to their peers. Their goal as a Youth Council is to bring healing in the areas of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual healing. All of the former Grand Council Treaty No. 9 and NAN grand chiefs were honoured for their outstanding leadership and dedication, including Andrew Rickard, 1973-77 with Grand Council Treaty No. 9 and 1978-1979 with NAN; Dennis Cromarty, 1980-1981 and 1984-1988; Wally McKay, 1981-1983; Frank Beardy, 1983-1984; Bentley Cheechoo, 1988-1994; Charles Fox, 1994-2000; Stan Beardy, 2000-2012; Harvey Yesno, 2012-2015; and Alvin Fiddler, 2015-2021. Featured In Slider: yesAuthor: Rick GarrickDate Published: Saturday, August 13, 2022 - 00:13