Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Advocates Self-Sufficiency

It makes more sense for governments to invest in First Nations’ economic development than in social programs for Canada’s aboriginal population, a well-known First Nations chief said Monday.
The country’s indigenous people have a better chance of achieving self-sufficiency through economic means than social handouts, Chief Clarence Louie of British Columbia’s Osoyoos Indian Band said at the Aboriginal Business Development Forum in Saskatoon.
Louie knows first-hand the benefits of successful First Nation economic development. Nearly 75 per cent of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s 460-person population live on-reserve thanks to the jobs created by the band, which runs several businesses including a golf course, winery, spa, cultural centre, construction company and several retail stores.

Government of Canada Invests in Prairie Spirit Connections

On September 28, 2010 the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament (Palliser), announced funding for Prairie Spirit Connections.
This investment will support Phase II of the Mending the Family Circle project, which provides low-income Aboriginal women affected by domestic violence with programming to help them and their families rebuild their lives. Some of the activities offered include sharing/healing circles, as well as family dynamic and self-care workshops.

University of Saskatchewan Aboriginal Student Centre Stalled

Funding problems have stalled a University of Saskatchewan project that aims to centralize aboriginal student services and resources into a prominent building designed by one of Canada’s foremost architects. The Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre, designed by renowned architect Douglas Cardinal, was approved by the U of S board of governors in 2006, but donors have been slow to support the project.
About $5 million of the estimated $15 million price tag has been raised to date and possibly $2 million could be added from the $12 million U of S alumus Karim Nasser and his family donated to the university in February, University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon said.

Government of Canada Supports Nunavut Women

On September 21, 2010, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Status of Women Canada, recognized the leadership being shown among Nunavut’s women community leaders, who are making a difference in the lives women and girls across the region. The Minister also had the opportunity to meet with leaders at the Arnait Nipingit Women’s Leadership Summit.
Minister Ambrose had the opportunity to attend a community event held at Nakasuk Elementary School in Iqaluit. She also joined the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut, to announce $624,000 in federal funding for the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, which over the next three years will help support Nunavut’s artists in showcasing their work in new markets.

Big River First Nation and Green Lake Receive CDTF Funding

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the approval of two projects totaling more than $3.1 million for the communities of Big River First Nation and Green Lake under the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF). Big River First Nation will receive $1.66 million in funding for construction of a Centre of Excellence that will serve as a central location for the incubation of small businesses. The Centre will also offer skill development, job training and counseling for job opportunities.

Rock and Rolling Off The Mother Tongue

Art Napoleon, an Aboriginal musician, seeks to entertain with classical pop tunes translated into Cree. His work, however, also has a serious side. He acts and performs stand-up comedy and makes music. His latest release is a remarkable collection featuring covers of familiar songs by the likes of Smokey Robinson and Hank Williams. The tunes are familiar, though, for most, the lyrics are indecipherable. On the disc, titled Creeland Covers, he sings almost exclusively in Cree.