Kasabonika Mini Ladies Invitational Broomball Tournament
January 26-28, 2006
CHAMPIONSHIP - $5,000.00
RUNNERS UP- $1,500.00
ENTRY FEE - Local Teams $1,000.00
**Outside Teams $800.00**
**2 Imports allowed**
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority - Transitional Youth Initiatives Program is hosting a 2 day workshop scheduled for February 8 & 9, 2006 in Sioux Lookout.
The workshop is being planned to support community service providers in First Nations that are served by Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. The TYIP will cover the accommodations and travel expenses for 1 person per community.
The focus of the workshop is to help create a strong awareness of the Transitional Youth Initiatives Program, as well as other developmental services in the area.
For more information, please contact Rita Duncan at 1-800-842-0681 - ext 6111, or 807-737-6111. Email: Rita.Duncan@nodin.on.ca
Today, Monday January 23, is your last chance to help elect your next member of parliament. Be sure to remind your friends, family and everyone in your community to get out today to cast their vote today.
Everyone's vote is important! Showing that you care about the decisions that are being made in Ottawa helps sends a strong message to our next member of parliament that everyone in your riding is expecting a responsible and accountable representative.
If you need more information about the people who are trying to become your next member of parliament, visit http://www.elections.ca and type in your postal code.
The resolutions (number 58 through 76) adopted by the Chiefs and their representatives at the December AFN gathering in Ottawa are now available online starting at http://afn.ca/article.asp?id=2078.
Four of these resolutions were presented to the chiefs by the team from Keewaytinook Okimakanak who worked with chiefs from across the country to move and second these resolutions. The four KO resolutions include:
Resolution 73 directs AFN to begin "Webcasting All Assembly Of First Nations (AFN) Assemblies", something that Keewaytinook Okimakanak has been facilitating for several years now at the KO Chiefs meetings and other special events. This will allow everyone with a broadband connection to watch and even participate in these gatherings.
On Wednesday after a brief network shut down to upgrade the electrical system feeding the server farm in Sioux Lookout, a critical KO server failed to restart properly resulting in several online services being offline for a day and half. The KO Network team were able to keep the e-mail and IP phone service operating throughout this period.
Nearly all services are now returned to normal. Due to the massive size of the MyKnet.Org service is still in the process of being returned to its original state before the system failure. We hope this service will be back online over the weekend.
The team at K-Net is pleased that our back-up systems and processes have proven to be successful at maintaining a secure network service for our partners. We do apologize to everyone for any inconvenience that this system failure caused.
With the new back up generator now in place we anticipate that the Kuhkenah Network is now able to provide continuous online services even throughout any lengthy power outages. Funding for these network services have been obtained from our partners at Industry Canada's FedNor program.
From ICF web site at http://intelligentcommunity.org/
Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) Names Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2006
On January 17, ICF announced its list of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2006 at the annual conference of the Pacific Telecommunications Council in Honolulu, Hawaii, January 15-18. This announcement followed the selection of the Smart 21 Communities on November 18, which were finalists for the prestigious Top Seven list. One of the Top Seven will be selected on June 9 as Intelligent Community of the Year by ICF's research team and jury of experts.
The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2006 are:
From http://ctv.ca news site ....
The communities were announced by the Intelligent Community Forum, a think-tank that focuses on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy.
John Jung, the chairman of the ICF, said Waterloo met all of the organization's criteria for an intelligent community.
"The city of Waterloo and the region of Waterloo are well-known worldwide not only for its excellence in education through the University of Waterloo," Jung said.
"But also because of the many entrepreneurs that are located there. Of course you know RIM and the BlackBerry."
The Waterloo-based Research in Motion is a global leader in wireless messaging, thanks to the BlackBerry, the most popular of all such devices.
The collaboration between Waterloo's academia, businesses and the government was also an important factor.
"We're also talking about a huge community of collaborators," Jung said.
"We're talking about people who are leaders, and we're talking about a community that understands and utilizes technology and broadband capabilities for the betterment of its community."
The ICF believes the broadband economy is changing communities throughout the world.
The top intelligent community was Cleveland, Ohio. The city was chosen because it used to be a poor community that built a broadband network to boost its economy. It also uses the network to deliver many government services.
Communities apply to be an intelligent community in the annual awards. The ICF then evaluates the applications.
"We look at things like leadership, collaboration and the synergy of the community," Jung said.
Criteria used to select the communities:
from Wawaty Online News ...
Kenora's rugged beauty and lakeside setting is a magnet for the outdoor types. But there's a dark side to the city you won't read about in the tourist brochures. If you're poor and native, Kenora can be a dangerous place.
The number of assaults, many of them fueled by booze, is rising every year. If you want to make money in Kenora, just open a bar.
There is one exception, with the unlikely name of the Whistling Monkey. Justin Carambetsos, who owns the place, has become a pariah in his hometown -- afraid to even walk on the streets.
In Kenora, many believe Justin is a killer.
"I don't go out alone very much at all," he says. "So I prefer to just stay with friends or at the pub where I'm comfortable."
It all goes back to a favour that Justin did for a friend five years ago. Maria Campanella was alone in her apartment after midnight when she heard a noise -- somebody was in her apartment.
"I got a little bit nervous. I was home by myself, sleeping. And I had no idea who it was," she says.
Maria called the bar where Justin was working at the time and he offered to come over to take a look around. What Justin and Maria discovered was a man passed out on a chair in her living room, with blood on his face.
"I figured he'd got in a fight," says Maria. "I automatically freak out, start swearing, start crying. I'm, like, what's going on? I don't understand this."
Justin says he carried Maria's uninvited guest -- someone he'd never seen before -- out of the apartment and dumped him unceremoniously on the sidewalk outside. But neither Maria nor Justin ever called the police.
"No, I didn't even think of it," says Justin. "I didn't think it was a big deal. I figured he'd get up and stagger away wherever he was going."
And Justin insists the man was alive when he left him.
"I tossed his shoes at him. One of the shoes hit him in the leg and he wasn't too happy and he called me an 'asshole,' I believe."
What Justin didn't know was that someone was watching -- a woman out walking her dogs. She saw Justin throw something -- probably the running shoes -- at the figure on the ground. Once Justin had left, the woman crossed the street to get a closer look.
What she says she saw then, and what she would see a short time later, became crucial evidence that the police would try to ignore.
In the meantime, though, things were getting a whole lot worse for Justin. He was arrested and charged with murdering Max Kakegamic, the man he had hauled out of Maria's apartment the previous night.
An autopsy found injuries all over Max's body. The coroner testified he was likely killed by a vicious kick to the neck. Just how and why Max, a native from North Spirit Lake reserve north of Kenora, ended up in that apartment remains a mystery.
Two Kenora police officers, Tom Favreau and Lloyd White, were put in charge of the case. Justin explained to Officer White what had happened and insisted Max Kakegamic was alive when he left him on the sidewalk. But White never recorded Justin's statement or told the prosecution about it, as required by law. That was the first problem.
The second problem involved the woman out walking her dogs the night of the murder. After she saw Max Kakegamic lying on the sidewalk she went back to her apartment, just across the street. And from her back window she says she saw something else -- another man acting suspiciously.
She went back outside for a closer look and saw him again, this time hurrying away.
From his characteristic limp and his white cap, she identified him as Danny Favreau, a local troublemaker. She also noticed something else. Max had been moved a couple of metres from where she first saw him, his pockets turned out. All of a sudden police had an eyewitness, another suspect and another motive.
But the police would do little, if anything, to investigate Danny Favreau, even though Favreau had a criminal record and had been seen assaulting and robbing an unconscious aboriginal man not far from where Max was found. Surprising? Perhaps not. Danny Favreau, it turns out, is the nephew of one of the investigating officers, Tom Favreau.
"Certainly he should have removed himself immediately from the investigation at the minute that his nephew's name was raised and that was a problem," says David Gibson, the criminal defence lawyer who represented Justin Carambetsos.
And there was another problem -- a history between Justin and Lloyd White, the other investigating officer. Justin says an incident happened one night at the bar when Officer White was off duty.
"He was drunk and belligerent, wanted to fight me. He was the last person in the bar and he was trying to come behind the bar to get another drink and we wouldn't let him. He threatened to go home, get a gun, come back and shoot me," says Justin.
For Justin, the criminal charges and the bad blood spelled big trouble.
"There were some obvious legal issues right from the beginning of the case," says Gibson.
The issues started with Justin's initial statement to police that was never recorded or entered into evidence. Then, of course, there was the eyewitness who told police about a second suspect, and that Max's body had been moved from where she first saw it -- all facts that were ignored or not immediately followed up on by the police.
And when prosecutors began realizing there were problems with the investigation, and started asking questions, the officers held a secret meeting to try to get their stories straight.
"A number of the officers present in the meeting realized that the affidavits that they had prepared independently were not consistent and they took the affidavits back, changed them to make them consistent and then submitted the altered affidavits as original affidavits," says Gibson. "At that point it became clear that there was something very seriously amiss."
As the case against Justin began to unravel, his lawyer asked the judge to stay the charges against Justin -- in effect, to throw the case out. He eventually did, ruling that it was impossible for Justin to get a fair trial. But the judge reserved his harshest language for Officers White and Favreau of the Kenora police.
In his ruling, Ontario Superior Court Justice Peter Hambly said: "These officers were a force unto themselves…. The courts will sometimes make allowances for poor police work done in good faith. What the courts cannot tolerate is police dishonesty."
Justin's lawyer says he believes the judge felt personally misled by the police officers' testimony.
"His outrage at that stage was quite palpable to anybody who had been following the case," says David Gibson.
Justin was a free man again, but he was never proven innocent -- or guilty -- in court. His problems were far from over.
FIVE YEARS LATER
On October 4th, 2005, the fifth anniversary of Max Kakegamic's death, natives and their supporters marched through Kenora to protest the lack of progress in the investigation. The case against Justin had been thrown out but the police were no closer to finding Max Kakegamic's killer. Among the protesters was Max's mother, Margaret Kakegamic.
"I cannot explain how saddening and frustrating it is that five years after our son's death no one is currently being tried for his murder," she told the crowd.
The case has become a flash point for native grievances. Proof -- as if more were needed, they say -- that when an aboriginal person is murdered, it's not a priority for the police or the justice system.
"The most troubling aspect is the possibility that this case will be forgotten, that the whole thing will disappear and people will think, 'Oh well, so what?'" said Mary Alice Smith, a local advocate for native rights.
One thing that hasn't disappeared is the cloud of suspicion that still hangs over Justin Carambetsos. Even though the charges against him were thrown out, many people in Kenora continue to believe he killed Max Kakegamic.
"I've had three death threats in the last month," Justin told W-FIVE. "Like people actually coming into the restaurant and telling me they were going to shoot and kill me."
It's little wonder that business at the Whistling Monkey is way down. Justin's parents, George and Arlene, had to mortgage everything to cover their son's legal bills. And they still worry about their son's future.
"Do I think he'll forget it? Never," says his mother Arlene. "On the day of the stay when our lawyer walked in here and told Justin (the charges were stayed), Justin stood up and said, 'What do I do? What do I do now? For three and a half years I put a suit on and I sat in a little box. What do I do now?' How do you answer that?"
Much of Justin's anger is still directed at Tom Favreau and Lloyd White, the two Kenora cops accused by Justice Hambly of dishonesty.
Following the judge's ruling, the Ontario Provincial Police were called in to investigate the officers' behavior. But in spite of the judge's unusually blunt language, saying that Officers White and Favreau had lied under oath and suppressed or fabricated evidence, the OPP said it could find no reason to lay criminal charges against them -- a decision that surprised Justin's lawyer, David Gibson.
But the two officers were charged with misconduct in an internal disciplinary hearing. Officer Favreau is still fighting the Police Services Act charges, while Officer White pleaded guilty. White was demoted but is back on the job -- something that shocks Justin Carambetsos.
"I don't know how they could ever take his word for anything ever again in court. There's no way he should have kept his job. I think it's absolutely ridiculous," said Justin.
W-FIVE wanted to hear Officer White's side of the story, but when we met up with him, he was in no mood to speak to us.
Justin is now suing the Kenora Police Service and the officers involved for $5 million. It's because of that suit that the Kenora police, the Crown Attorney's office and the OPP all refused to speak to W-FIVE.
In a letter to W-FIVE, the OPP, which has taken over the Max Kakegamic murder investigation, insisted the case was not closed and that all information is investigated thoroughly.
Investigated thoroughly? What about the second suspect, the man identified as Danny Favreau? From court records, we discovered another startling fact. Favreau had worked as an informant for the OPP. The woman who spotted him on the street the night of the murder was Heather Gunne. And here's what she told the OPP in a videotaped statement obtained by W -FIVE:
"I said his pants pockets were taken, pulled out and I figured he was robbed," she said of Max Kakegamic. "I told them that. And I had seen Danny. I am sure it was Danny."
Some time after the murder, Danny Favreau packed up and left town and no one in Kenora has seen him since. W-FIVE did manage to track him down in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Remember, not only is Favreau the nephew of one of the Kenora officers, he was also a paid informer for the OPP, which took over the investigation.
Favreau, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and does indeed have a distinctive limp, is living on a disability pension with his girlfriend and their newborn child. He agreed to speak with W-FIVE as long as his lawyer, Christopher Watkins, was present.
Favreau denied assaulting or killing Max Kakegamic and insisted he wasn't even in the area the night of the murder. He also denied his uncle, Officer Tom Favreau, was trying to protect him.
"He wouldn't cover for me. He wouldn't want to lose his job just for me," Favreau told W-FIVE.
When pressed, though, Favreau did admit he once worked for the OPP as a paid informant.
So were the police protecting an informant? Favreau said he has no idea -- but he did confirm the OPP never talked to him after they took over the Kakegamic murder investigation, even though Judge Hambly, in his ruling staying the charges against Justin Carambetsos, pointed to Favreau as a possible alternative suspect.
"That's something for the authorities to decide. That's not for Mr. Favreau to decide," said Favreau's lawyer, Christopher Watkins. "If there's some suggestion that he's an alternative suspect, that position is wrong."
MAY NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH
At the site where Max Kakegamic's body was found, friends and supporters still come to place offerings. And they're now pressing for a public inquiry into a justice system they say has failed.
"The Crown Attorneys are saying that they're not going to pursue any further investigation. And they're saying that's mainly because of the judge's ruling, that because of the way the investigation was conducted in the first place they can't ever go back and reopen it. And we're saying that's not acceptable," says native rights advocate Mary Alice Smith.
Still, Justin's lawyer, David Gibson, said with the passage of so much time, with a police investigation that was bungled from the start, we might never find out the truth about who killed Max Kakegamic.
"Short of a confession, short of someone coming forward and acknowledging that they committed the offence, I think it's hard to imagine that," says Gibson.
While the murder charges against Justin were thrown out, his troubles with the law are not over.
A few days before this broadcast, the OPP raided the Whistling Monkey as part of a crackdown on Hells Angels and their associates. Justin was arrested and charged with possessing a prohibited weapon ... apparently brass knuckles.
So, just who killed Max Kakegamic is a question that will continue to divide Kenora … a small town with a dark side and a long memory.
from Wawaty Online News
Election issues to be discussed on National Youth Radio program
On-line workshops popular with teachers working in remote and isolated First Nations schools...
The Chiefs of Keewaytinook Okimakanak are pleased with the on-line workshops on special education, literacy and early childhood development hosted by KORI and K-Net Services, the regional management organization for Industry Canada’s First Nation SchoolNet program.
"These workshops are exactly what our teachers need," Chief Roy Gray of Fort Severn said. He says it's important to support the teachers in Fort Severn right now who are struggling to educate the children without the benefits of a school building. The Fort Severn School was closed by Chief and Council last June after three engineering reports found levels of mould harmful to human health.
Chief Eli James of McDowell Lake also supports the initiative. "This can only help," he said. He added it's important to ensure than parents and other interested community members are involved. "Parents," he said, "need more information about what goes on within the walls of the school. We are preparing our children for the future and we need the entire community working together if we are going to produce future leaders," he said.
Chief Raymond Mason says the workshops promote awareness for the need to support classroom teachers working in the communities. "We don’t have many specialists in special ed and literacy. These workshops help with professional development," he said. He believes that some teachers might choose to remain in the north if they have better professional development opportunities and more support for their work in the classroom.
Keewaytinook Okimakanak, K-Net Services (Industry Canada First Nations SchoolNet - Regional Management Organization), and KORI are presenting a series of on-line workshops in Special Education, Literacy and Early Childhood Development by experts throughout the region. The workshops are designed to assist and support classroom teachers working in First Nations schools, however, education directors, principals, teaching assistants and parents are welcomed to participate. The on-line workshops are available live via IP video-conference every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12 noon Central Time (Sioux Lookout time) commencing January 16th, 2006. Workshops will be archived and available through the following K-Net website: http://www.knet.ca/PD/SpecEd.html
To register, email your contact information including name, telephone number, email address and IP videoconferencing address (if you know it) to firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, go to the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute at http://research.knet.ca
During the first week of workshops, teachers, teachers’ assistants and tutor escorts from First Nations Schools in Fort William, Kejick Bay, Keewaywin, Sachigo, Muskrat Dam, Bearskin, and Sandy Lake participated in the first three on-line workshops on special education, literacy and early childhood development.
NAN PRESS RELEASE
THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler is requesting the implementation of a 2003 Health Canada commitment to First Nations.
"The concern for the people of Nishnawbe Aski is the broad amount of discretion afforded to First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) representatives and the imminent danger it poses to the health of our members," said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler in a December 2005 letter to Gavin Brown A/Regional Director of First Nations and Inuit Health Branch - a department of Health Canada.
"The current system has serious flaws and amendments are required to represent a needs based approach acknowledging the Crown's fiduciary responsibility toward the First Nation members of NAN instead a cost-containment program that is jeopardizing the health of our NAN population. If the mission of the non-insured health benefits program is to help the people of Canada maintain and improve their health, why are NAN members being denied the assistance they require?"
In 2003 Ontario Regional Director of FNIHB Al Garman signed a letter of understanding with Wunnumin Lake First Nation and Sioux Lookout Zone Chiefs stating a commitment to First Nations health.
This commitment was also outlined in a resolution adopted by the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in December 2005 stating the administrative undue hardships and burdens the policies are creating for First Nation people need to be identified and an immediate resolution is required regarding the Medical Transportation Policy.
Health Canada released the Medical Transportation Policy in 2005 which failed to adopt the policy changes submitted on behalf of First Nations users in NAN territory.
The current wording of the Medical Transportation Policy obstructs access to health care for many NAN First Nation community members, including Janet Cromarty - a pregnant woman with chronic Cholecystitis from Wunnumin Lake First Nation.
Janet Cromarty was denied a request for an alternate location for surgery once the medical transportation policy determined medical treatment was only to be performed in Sioux Lookout.
In addition to the implementation of Health Canada's commitment to the health of First Nations made in 2003, Fiddler is calling for immediate medical intervention to ensure Cromarty gets appropriate assessments and treatments before her condition and that of her unborn child worsens.
Despite Fiddler's demands on Health Canada for an investigation into this latest rejection of non-insured health benefits for medical transportation of an eligible NAN First Nation member, Health Canada has not budged - falling back on faulty policy and responsibilities of the Ontario government.
"The assertion that the policy is National confirms that the unique issues NAN members are dealing with, like remoteness and geography, are of little consequence during decision-making," said Fiddler in a follow up letter to Health Canada dated January 16, 2006.
"Repeatedly, eligible NAN First Nation members have been denied medical transportation and/or other eligible benefits under the policies because of discretionary powers afforded to FNIHB clerks who have the authority to approve or deny an individual's claim. The inconsistencies in decision-making are putting individuals at risk due to the arbitrary nature of the policies."
/For further information: Jenna Young, Communications Officer, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952, (807) 628-3953 (cellular); Dean Cromarty, Contact for Janet Cromarty, (807) 474 2624/