Students First!, the National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education has launched their website and is asking for ideas to improve the education of First Nation children who live on reserve.
Oskayak High School in Saskatoon has 30 students graduating this year, which is the largest class in the 30 year history of the school. Oskayak’s focus on spirituality, culture, and language attracts young people who want to learn more about their history.
Perrin Beatty, former Brian Mulroney era cabinet minister and current President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber wrote a column extolling the benefits for the Aboriginal community from the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The project group is proposing extensive Aboriginal partnerships including equity positions in the pipeline operation and in the terminal at Kitamat, B.C. Currently 99% of Canada’s oil exports go to one country, the United States, and the Northern Gateway project would reduce that dependence.
Everyone is invited to watch live portions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’sNorthern National Event taking place June 28th – Friday, July 1st in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Once again people will share stories about the Residential School Experience, continuing the process of revealing truths and finding reconciliation. The theme is “It’s About Courage – A Journey of Survival, Strength and Resilience”.
Paul Favel, Q.C., originally from the Poundmaker Cree Nation near Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, has been appointed to serve on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Favel, a highly regarded lawyer with McKercher LLP, has worked extensively within the First Nations community. He is currently a board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Saskatoon and is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association. Paul was awarded a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2010.
Premiers from the West met on June 20th-22nd, 2011 for the annual Western Premiers Conference which is being hosted by the Northwest Territories. Fiddlers, drummers and young Métis dancers will perform for the premiers, and youth leaders will have an opportunity to ask pointed questions about cultural support and civic engagement.
The sale of oil and gas tenures in northeast British Columbia by the provincial government for $260-million is being challenged in court by a native band. The Dene Tha, a first nation that straddles the B.C.-Alberta-Northwest Territories boundaries, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. The band alleges that the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines failed to adequately consult with the first nation, or to undertake studies on the environmental impact of gas drilling, before selling the leases in the Cordova Basin, near Fort Nelson.
The federal government must do more to help hundreds of Saskatchewan First Nation residents whose homes have been destroyed or are in danger from flooding, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Guy Lonechild said Wednesday.
The main concern is Cumberland House, the community of 2,200 residents preparing for flooding as a deluge of rainwater flows into the North and South Saskatchewan rivers this week. Cumberland House, the oldest permanent settlement in Western Canada, sits on an island in the Saskatchewan River, 150 kilometres northeast of Nipawin.
The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), on June 21st, 2011 officially launched an engagement process to explore solutions that will improve First Nation elementary and secondary education on reserves. The National Panel will make recommendations to the Minister and National Chief on options to make concrete and positive changes for First Nation students, including possible legislation, to improve the governance framework and clarify accountability for First Nation elementary and secondary education. The Panel will submit a report by the end of the 2011 calendar year.
A law which took effect on Saturday June 18, 2011 will allow people living on aboriginal reserves to seek protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act if they feel they have faced discrimination by their band council. The changes were passed into law in 2008 but only take effect now after a grace period. Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo called on the federal government Thursday to ensure enough funds are supplied to implement the shift.