50th Anniversary Of First Nations Voting Rights

Wednesday March 31, 2010 is the 50th anniversary of amendments to the Canada Elections Act by then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to extend voting rights to First Nations Canadians. Studies have determined that voting rates for on-reserve elections for chief and band council are sharply higher than turnout rates for those living off reserve. Studies have also noted that in the last 50 years there have been only eight First Nations people elected to the House of Commons.

Aboriginal Housing Demonstration Project Celebrated

Members of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) attended the completion celebrations for a pilot project, the Aboriginal Housing Demonstration Project, held at the Riverbend Institution in Prince Albert recently. The project is the first phase in developing a sustainable partnership with a purpose of providing federal offenders with meaningful employment experience and training while assisting Aboriginal communities in addressing their priority of providing adequate housing, according to the Corrections Service of Canada.

Renewed Housing Agreement For Nunavik

The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Regions and the Land Occupancy of the Territory, Laurent Lessard, and the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Pierre Corbeil, have announced the renewal of an agreement between the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and the Inuit of Nunavik that will translate into construction of around 340 housing units in Nunavik.
This multipartite agreement will come into effect on April 1, 2010 and will conclude in 2015.

FNUC Has Turned The Corner

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix, on Thursday March 25th, published a personal viewpoint by Gary Merasty on the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC). He was Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council for six years and also served as MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding in northern Saskatchewan.