Effective July 1, 2010 the amount of tobacco that First Nations individuals may purchase tax-free is being reduced from three cartons a week to one. The provincial government says that this is part of their strategy to reduce tobacco usage in Saskatchewan. The changes are expected to generate between $5-7 million dollars in additional revenue for the government.
The Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre, located in Winnipeg’s Douglas area, reopens today, June 30th. The cultural centre holds over 10,000 resources, including books, videos, artifacts and works of art.
A discussion paper titled, Taking Action for First Nations Post-Secondary Education: Access, Opportunity, and Outcomes, released by the Assembly of First Nations, is a dialogue between members. The intent of the paper is to inform and advance a policy regarding the need to support post-secondary education and skills training for First Nations youth and adults.
The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) and the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) have collaborated to put together a report on the health status of the Metis population of Manitoba. Researchers from the University of Manitoba have compared over 90,000 Metis, in Manitoba, with the rest of the population and concluded that the Metis have “more health problems”.
The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation through its subsidiary, the Canoe Creek Hydro Company, has built and will operate a run-of-the-river hydro electric facility located on Tla-o-qui-aht traditional territory. This project will enable the First Nation to generate and sell renewable energy to BC Hydro under long-term electricity purchase agreements. In the short-term the project will provide opportunities for employment and capacity building. The revenues from hydro-power generation will be invested in the community in areas such as economic development, resource stewardship, education and support of cultural initiatives. Federal funding of $2,500,000 is being provided as a repayable contribution through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF).
For over 20 years up to 80 visual artists and 40 performers from across the North gather each summer to celebrate the diversity that is Canada’s North. The participants are Inuit, Unuvialuit, Gwich’in, Dene Métis, as well as non-Aboriginal artists and artisans. The Great Northern Arts Festival runs from July 9 to July 18, 2010 and is being held in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
The Ontario First Nations have struck an agreement with federal and provincial officials for a point of sale (POS) exemption from provincial sales tax. This exemption from the provincial tax portion of the harmonized sales tax (HST) will continue for those with Certificates of Indian Status.
The provincial government announced their input of $500,000 to the Back to Batoche Days festival. The annual festival celebrates and acknowledges the history and culture of Saskatchewan’s Metis people. The funding will go towards a three-year plan to upgrade the grounds at Batoche and attract more visitors to the Metis cultural site.
Students in grade 9 and 11 in Manitoba will be the first in Canada to study residential schools as a significant part of mandatory history courses. The new program will be piloted in schools this fall and implemented province-wide by September 2011. Extensive training, resources, and materials will be offered to support teachers in educating their students about residential schools and colonization.
Ochapowace First Nation tops governance index, which rates First Nations on elections, administration, human rights, transparency and economy to determine good governance, and found that several other First Nations in Saskatchewan are well-governed.