Nova Scotia’s Minister of Justice, Ross Landry will meet the Wagmatcook band council in January to discuss their concerns regarding the shooting death of John Andrew Simon by the RCMP on December 2, 2008. Family members, who said the victim was suicidal and drunk at the time, have voiced concerns that the RCMP should not be investigating itself and the band has said it will file a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints.
Statistics Canada has posted a study describing mortality patterns among Métis and Registered Indian adults, compared with the non-Aboriginal population. The study is a follow-up to the 1991-2001 Canadian census, and concludes that Métis adults had higher mortality rates compared with the non-Aboriginal members of the cohort, but lower rates than did Registered Indians.
The New Brunswick government and Tobique First Nation signed a five-year, $2.5-million deal on Monday, ending years of frustration and protest over the impact two hydro dams have had on the western community. New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Minister Rick Brewer stated that the Tobique First Nation is one of the more financially distressed out of the 15 First Nations in New Brunswick. Under the deal the provincial government will repair erosion damage incurred and analyze and remediate dump site contamination plus provide mentoring and training for band members to enable them to obtain employment maintaining the dams.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), an Indigenous organization founded in 1977, which represents approximately 160,000 Inuit from Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia have issued a document containing a series of action points in relation to climate change. This document is intended to be the basis of a plan to contain the impacts of climate change in regards to the current United Nations climate change conference underway in Copenhagen.
The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today introduced the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act that will enable First Nations across Canada to develop commercial real estate on reserve land. The Squamish First Nation in British Columbia requested this legislation in order to facilitate a proposed commercial condominium development on the reserve in West Vancouver. The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act would permit the registration of on-reserve commercial real estate developments in a system that replicates the provincial land titles or registry system. This would help make the value of on-reserve properties, including housing, stores, offices, and other buildings, comparable to equivalent properties off reserve land.
Jimmy Stotts, Chairman of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) commented at the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen that Northerners should be exempt from greenhouse-gas cutbacks. He went on to state that Inuit people still have needs similar to developing countries when it comes to making their economies grow via mining and oil and gas exploration.
According to Nativehockey.com there are currently 11 hockey players in the National Hockey League (NHL) whom have acknowledged their Native heritage whether full-blooded status Indians, Métis or Inuit. These players are usually active in Native communities across North America. A recent example of this is Jonathan Cheechoo of the Ottawa Senators, a winner of the Rocket Richard trophy as the league’s top scorer who donated an autographed Senators jersey to add to silent and live auctions in support of the First Nation school breakfast program, children in care and Heroes of Our Time scholarships.
Highlights of a report, “The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success” states that First Nations, Inuit and Métis people display higher rates of volunteerism, informal learning and community involvement than non-Aboriginal Canadians. The report by the Ottawa-based Canadian Council on Learning recognizes that aboriginal learning is lifelong, goes beyond the classroom and is about more than just school dropout rates.
After four years of discussions, Winnipeg’s first urban reserve could be completed by the end of this year. Long Point First Nation Chief David Meeches said a service agreement with the City of Winnipeg is the last legal hurdle to the Federal Government turning the land near Polo Park into a reserve and allowing the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to build a $100 million legislature and government administration building there.