Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Non-Mining Issues

PM scores a direct hit on the core of Brand Trudeau – by Matt Gurney (National Post – March 29, 2019)

https://nationalpost.com/

Wednesday night’s debacle had nothing to do with SNC-Lavalin. Trudeau was in a safe Liberal space. And he screwed it up

The prime minister who we saw Wednesday night is about as far from the Justin Trudeau who campaigned for the top job in 2015 as can be imagined.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a true believer or one who thinks the prime minister’s entire public persona is a carefully created political act. In either case, you’d be baffled after the performance.

Trudeau was in Toronto, at the gorgeous downtown Omni King Edward Hotel, for a meeting with top Liberal donors. The event was for members of the so-called Laurier Club — those Liberal supporters who donate the maximum to the party each year. If you’re under 35, $750 a year gets you into the club. Continue Reading →

[Aboriginal Northern Reserve/Urban Migration] OPINION: A tale of two refugees: Canada is facing two refugee crises, not one – by Charles Cirtwill (Northern Ontario Business – March 20, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Canada is facing two refugee crises, not one. Our responses are similar, but by no means identical, and they are demonstrably not equally effective. These thoughts struck me as I listened to an exchange at the recent immigration forum held in Thunder Bay.

The exchange was between one of the panellists and one of the Indigenous singers who had been invited to set the tone for the day – one of welcoming and reflection.

The panellist was a recent refugee arrival, a new homeowner, and was presented as a case study for successful emergency immigration to Canada. He spoke about the important role his host family played in helping his family learn about their new community. Continue Reading →

‘A never-ending cycle unless you break it’: Snotty Nose Rez Kids push against racism – by David Friend (Canadian Press/City News – March 12, 2019)

 

https://toronto.citynews.ca/

TORONTO — Snotty Nose Rez Kids rappers Darren Metz and Quinton Nyce weren’t equipped as children to analyze the vicious Indigenous stereotypes and racist caricatures flashing on their TV screens.

Like many kids of the late 1990s, they were raised on a steady diet of Disney classics while living in Kitamaat Village on Haisla Nation in northwest B.C. Some of those animated movies sent clear negative messages about their identities that echoed throughout the community.

“Peter Pan” presented Native Americans as “savages” who spoke in monosyllables, while “Pocahontas” romanticized colonialism by framing it against a love story. Metz and Nyce remember how elders rarely questioned the ways Hollywood movies taught the Indigenous youth to devalue themselves. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Our national shame: The racism inherent in our First Nations water crisis – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 30, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Eight years ago, the state government in Michigan was forced to take over the financial affairs of the city of Flint, which had fallen on hard times and been run into the ground through ineptitude and gross mismanagement.

In what was deemed a cost-saving move, officials decided to build a new pipeline to deliver water from Lake Huron. Meantime, the city turned to the Flint River as its source.

Not long after the switch, residents began noticing something odd with the water: It looked, smelled and tasted funny. It would later be determined that it contained dangerous levels of lead, which can, and did, lead to a plethora of health issues. Twelve people died after more than 80 people were infected with Legionnaires’ disease. Continue Reading →

[Neskantaga FN] Not a drop to drink – by Kyle Edwards (MACLEAN’S Magazine – January 2019)

https://www.macleans.ca/

On a November afternoon, Casey Moonias, a 26-year-old mother of three, places firewood in her stove and soon it gives off the warmth and smell of charred lumber. The inside of her home is small and overcrowded with toys and piles of clothes.

Outside, like many houses on the Neskantaga First Nation, about 450 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., a black-and-white husky is curled up in the snow by the doorsteps. After about an hour, when the house is warm enough, Moonias fills an electric kettle from a nearby jug, eschewing the water from her tap. Her community has had unsafe water for nearly as long as she’s been alive—unsafe not only for drinking but also, many residents say, for bathing. And this is bath time.

The day before, Ashley Sakanee, Moonias’s partner, fetched three plastic jugs of clean water, each holding four litres, from the community’s reverse-osmosis machine, a laborious process that requires him to trudge 10 minutes down an icy road to the local hotel to fill up, then pull the jugs back on a sled. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Marten Falls First Nation Selects AECOM to Conduct Road Study and Environmental Assessment for new All-Season Road

THUNDER BAY, ON, Nov. 22, 2018 /CNW/ – Marten Falls First Nation and Ontario announced the agreement to study a long-awaited community access road on August 21, 2017. Since then, Marten Falls has entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design (PD) for the proposed community access road from Marten Falls First Nation going south to existing provincial highways.

The First Nation has established a project team and conducted one field season of baseline surveys; but to carry out the full suite of technical services and studies, and other steps within the EA process, Marten Falls has brought on AECOM.

This global engineering firm provides design, consulting, construction, and management services. AECOM will consult with Marten Falls and neighbouring communities, perform data collection, prepare technical studies and all documents associated with the project, to complete the EA process. Continue Reading →

The First Entrepreneurs: Income of First Nations with resource deals exceed national averages – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – November 6, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The report found that First Nations people working in the mining sector
had a median 2016 annual income of $91,572, double the nationwide First
Nations median of $43,812 per year, and well above the $53,648 per year
for non-Indigenous people.

Similarly, First Nations members working in the oil and gas sector earned
close to three times the average personal income of First Nations people
across the country, earning an average of nearly $150,000 in 2016,
compared with $51,500 outside the industry.

Reconciliation is not just atoning for past misdeeds but there also needs to be economic reconciliation, according to the Montreal Economic Institute

CALGARY — A dramatic change in First Nations’ approaches to natural resources development has led, in certain cases, to rising incomes in Indigenous communities where members now out-earn national averages.

The Montreal Economic Institute found in a study released Tuesday that First Nations communities and members involved in resource development earn multiples of what both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people earn in other industries. Continue Reading →

Why the B.C. First Nation with the most on the line is going to bat for Trans Mountain – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – April 27, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Chief Nathan Matthew of the Simpcw First Nation in British Columbia has had enough that no one in government, the green lobby, or among First Nations opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has ever talked to him about why his community stands behind the project.

The 700-member Simpcw First Nation is one of 33 bands in B.C. that want the $7.4 billion expansion to go ahead. Another 10 bands in Alberta also support the project.

Yet the Simpcw have more on the line than the vast majority of those who have an opinion. One third of the pipeline traverses its traditional lands in the B.C. interior, stretching from Jasper to Barriere, which means it has the greatest land exposure to the project. Continue Reading →

The hunt Canada loves: Why seal clubbing will never die – by Tristin Hopper (National Post – April 4, 2018)

Angry Inuk: The anti-sealing industry has had dire impacts on Canada’s Inuit families – CBC Docs POV

http://nationalpost.com/

Hunting seals may ignite outrage abroad, but it is one of the few issues supported by virtually every Canadian MP, regardless of region or party

It’s sealing season once again in Canada. This means that, once again, activists are out in strength to decry Canadians as baby-killers and, in some cases, ISIS. And on Tuesday, Canada’s strained relationship with India got just a bit worse when India banned the import of seal skins (although, for obvious reasons, they were never a major seal skin market).

Below, a quick guide to the one of the world’s most embattled hunts. What’s true, what’s a myth and why Canadians will never, ever stop doing this.

‘Subsistence’ exemptions for Inuit are meaningless Continue Reading →

Data reveals close to 600 suicides in northern Ontario since the mid-1980s – by Martha Troian (APTN News.ca – March 27, 2018)

http://aptnnews.ca/

Brian Rae remembers his nephew, Dario Strang, as someone who was smart and did well in school. Rae thought Strang had a bright future ahead of him. But on June 8, 2009 everything changed.

After visiting a family member from Sioux Lookout, Ont., Strang returned to his home in Pikangikum First Nation and lost his life to suicide. He was just 18 years old. “He was a young man, he had everything going for him at that time,” says Brian Rae, originally from Sandy Lake First Nation, from his home in Sioux Lookout.

“He was in school. He had aspirations of going into the army. He was already accepted to go into the Bold Eagle Program.” The Bold Eagle Program is a summer military program for Indigenous youth. Continue Reading →

[DeBeers Greenhouse] Writer raising funds to build greenhouse in Attawapiskat – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – February 14, 2018)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – It’s far from a done deal, but if David Franks has his way, a greenhouse will be built in Attawapiskat First Nation thanks to the proceeds of his book.

Published late last year, 30 Days in Attawapiskat details “the observations and impressions of a once-proud, yet blissfully ignorant Canadian writer who spent a month on the fly-in First Nation reserve,” according to the description on Amazon. Half of net profits from that book will be used to design and build a community greenhouse on the reserve.

Franks was recently back in the community to talk to Chief Ignace Gull. The meeting left the writer “kind of stymied at the moment for where we can build this.” Gull told The Daily Press there simply isn’t space. “We don’t have space in the community for other buildings or structures. Everything has been designated for our housing project,” said the chief. Nearby Potato Island is an option. Continue Reading →

Goldcorp re-submits rejected application to build Yukon mine – by Dave Croft (CBC News North – January 17, 2018)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Project manager believes company has done everything it can to ensure application makes it through process

Mining giant Goldcorp has re-submitted its massive application for environmental permitting to build a gold mine 130 kilometres south of Dawson City, Yukon. The original proposal was filed last March and rejected by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) a few months later.

YESAB found the application inadequate because Goldcorp had not properly consulted four potentially affected First Nations.

The re-submitted application — a document of more than 20,000 pages — says that since then, the company has been meeting with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Selkirk, Na-Cho Nyak Dun and White River First Nations. Continue Reading →

Excitement is hard to share, mines chamber says – by Chuck Tobin (Whitehorse Star – December 4, 2017)

http://www.whitehorsestar.com/

Yukoners should pay close attention as land use planning goes forward in the future, says the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. With Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada decision, the amount of land unavailable to pursue mineral exploration in the territory is now up over 50 per cent, he pointed out.

Samson Hartland said today the mining industry is very competitive around the world, and investment dollars are already tight to come by. The Yukon needs to be careful it doesn’t push itself out of that marketplace by closing the door on the industry, he suggested during an interview.

He said with several more regional land use plans still to be hashed out – Dawson City, Mayo, Whitehorse, Teslin – it’s certain there will be more land withdrawals. Land withdrawals, Hartland said, are the number one concern for the mining sector, and the industry pays attention to them. Continue Reading →

AUDIO: Ontario’s far north one step closer to building all-season road (CBC News Sudbury – September 17, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Project becoming more urgent as winter road season becomes shorter every year

Plans to build an all-season road to the James Bay Coast in northern Ontario are moving forward with a feasibility study. It will examine information gathered from community consultations, environmental data and refine cost estimates, which have been pegged between $500 to $700 million.

“We’re no longer going to be isolated,” Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon said. “You’re going to see forestry. You’re going to see resource development. Companies coming into your territory.” Solomon adds that he hopes a permanent road will ease the cost of living.

“For instance, back home I was in my own community of Kashechewan this week and my wife went to the store to pick up a slab of bacon,” Solomon said. “She paid $17 for that … where they’re selling $3 or $4 in Timmins.” Continue Reading →

First Nations-owned company receives ‘up to $60M’ to connect Pikangikum to Ontario power grid (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 17, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs says the federal government has pledged “up to $60 million,” for a long-awaited power project in Ontario’s far north.

Carolyn Bennett announced in Thunder Bay on Thursday that Wataynikaneyap Power — a transmission company owned by 22 First Nations in partnership with Fortis, a Canadian utility — will receive the money to connect Pikangikum to the province’s electricity grid.

The announcement, which sets the stage for work to be done to ensure a reliable flow of electricity to the community, is “thrilling,” Chief Dean Owen said. “The community will just be jubilant about it now, and now we can move forward,” he said. Construction on a 117 kilometre-long power line from Red Lake to Pikangikum is scheduled to begin in October, 2017, according to officials with Watay Power, with an estimated completion date of November, 2018. Continue Reading →