OTTAWA, ONTARIO (May 31, 2006) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, with Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Environment, today announced the creation of a panel of experts that will examine and provide options on the establishment of a regulatory framework to ensure safe drinking water in First Nations communities.
"This expert panel will conduct public hearings across the country to identify ways to ensure that all First Nations communities have access to safe drinking water," said Minister Prentice. "This is an important part of the action plan I announced in March 2006 which will create a regulatory framework for water quality, to be developed with all our partners."
"Our First Nations Action Plan recognizes the need for a regulatory framework on safe water in our communities. The key to success is recognizing that First Nations governments need support to meet any recommended standards,"added National Chief Phil Fontaine.
The expert panel is composed of three highly experienced and qualified individuals, including Mr. Harry Swain, who will serve as Chair, Grand Chief Stan Louttit, and Dr. Steve Hrudey. The expert panel will submit an options paper to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the National Chief at the end of August 2006. A report of the findings will be made public in September 2006.
"Access to safe drinking water is vital to the health of all Canadians, including First Nations people living on reserve," stated Minister of Health Tony Clement. "I look forward to participating in this process so First Nations communities can benefit from the same protection of water quality and safety as other communities in Canada."
"A clean environment and sound policies for drinking water protection are both essential to the health and safety of First Nations communities," said Minister of Environment Rona Ambrose.
For further information, contact:
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Media Relations Unit
Carole Saindon, Media Relations
(819) 934-8008 or 1-888-908-8008
Assembly of First Nations
Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director
(613) 241-6789 ext. 320
Press Release from Native Women's Association of Canada
Premiers commit to an Aboriginal Women's Summit to address Violence
OTTAWA, May 30 /CNW Telbec/ - "The Western and Northern Premiers are committed to honouring Aboriginal women's issues as identified at Kelowna" stated President Beverley Jacobs of the Native Women's Association of Canada. "This is a monumental step for all women across Canada and will lead to a pivotal shift in awareness and perceptions of Aboriginal women and the high rates of violence they experience. To address these issues will encourage healing for all women and will assist in addressing issues in our communities that have kept us silenced for way too long."
Commitments to address violence against Aboriginal women were made at a meeting between the Western and Northern Premiers and national Aboriginal leaders that took place yesterday in Gimli, Manitoba. Most notable for Aboriginal women is the commitment to hold an Aboriginal Women's Summit to address Violence.
During the Canada Aboriginal Peoples Roundtable process, NWAC provided documentation in all areas of economic development, health, education, and housing. In NWAC's research, it was reiterated that violations of human rights and violence were underlying factors that needed to be addressed in order to have access to the above noted areas. NWAC was advised that the issues of violence against Aboriginal women would be addressed at the First Ministers Meeting in Kelowna in November, 2005. The issue was addressed by the Premiers and the Liberal government and commitments were made at that time to hold an Aboriginal Women's Summit. President Beverley Jacobs believes that in order to close the socio-economic gap, issues of violence must be addressed.
NWAC was recently advised by Minister Prentice that Aboriginal women and children are a high priority for this new government. NWAC is looking forward to addressing the Aboriginal Women's Summit with him as well as issues that were not on the table in Kelowna.
NWAC was very honoured that the Western and Northern Premiers made this commitment to hold an Aboriginal Women's Summit to address Violence. "We have a common vision and a common goal to have our children grow up in healthy secure homes and within safe communities."
For further information: Linda Kayseas, Media Coordinator, (613) 722-3033 ext. 231, Mobile: (613) 552-4249
Two news items addressing the Western Premiers' efforts to support the Kelowna Accord. See the CTV.ca article below.
From the Toronto Star
Ottawa urged to adhere to Kelowna deal - May 29, 2006
TIM COOK - CANADIAN PRESS
GIMLI, Man. — Western premiers went into their annual meeting Monday urging the federal government not to back away from a $5.1 billion deal to improve the lives of aboriginal people.
The so-called Kelowna accord was signed last November by former prime minister Paul Martin, the premiers, territorial leaders and aboriginal organizations.
But Stephen Harper's new Conservative government has been cool to the deal. And the fact that it was not mentioned in the federal budget has led some to speculate that it's dead.
Western premiers met with aboriginal leaders at the outset of their meeting to discuss the issue. They reaffirmed their backing of the accord and said they would push the federal government for a meeting of aboriginal affairs ministers from across the country to plan how to proceed from here.
The premiers also reaffirmed the commitment to having an aboriginal economic summit next January in Saskatoon and a summit on violence against aboriginal women.
Host Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba said it would be "morally wrong" to backtrack on the commitments outlined in the Kelowna deal.
"In my view the Kelowna accord could never deal with 120 years of Canadian history, but at least it was a start."
Doer added the Harper government "should have the right to look at things but not have the right to walk away" from the principles of closing the gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals.
British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said he is hopeful the federal government has not abandoned the accord and suggested the provinces should proceed with their parts of the deal.
"I can tell you, in British Columbia we are committed to it. I believe the federal government will come to the table," Campbell said.
"We're coming up to an anniversary, if you want, of the Kelowna accord in November. My hope is that all provincial governments will have laid out their plans for First Nations, Inuit and Metis people about how they are going to close those gaps and bring the federal government in to provide the kind of resources that are necessary over the long term."
Assembly of First Nation national chief Phil Fontaine said the support of the western premiers leads him to believe that the Kelowna accord is not dead.
"I don't think there has been any word that the deal is done," Fontaine said.
"It may be a matter as simple as rebranding and we have no objection to that. If it is going to bring about the continuation of this process . . . then we would be happy with that."
Doer said he hopes if groups such as the western premiers throw their support behind the deal the federal government won't be so inclined to go another way.
"The will of the public always determines the best way to go," he said.
The Kelowna accord was struck after 18 months of talks. It included a 19-page plan of targets and reporting requirements over 10 years in areas such as health, education, housing and clean water.
It would have provided $624 million for First Nations in the first year alone, plus millions of dollars more for the Inuit and Metis.
The federal government's budget contained promises of two years of firm funding for aboriginal issues — $150 million is promised this year and $300 million next year.
The new government has said it "is committed to meeting the targets agreed upon" at the Kelowna meeting.
Still, that hasn't been enough to allay the concerns of some within the aboriginal community who fear the deal is dead.
Western premiers stand up for Kelowna accord - May. 30 2006
Western premiers started off their annual meeting with a plea for the federal government to maintain the Kelowna Accord.
Late last November, Canada's premiers, territorial leaders, aboriginal leaders and then-prime minister Paul Martin signed off on the $5.1 billion deal designed to improve the lives of aboriginal people.
Manitoba's NDP Premier Gary Doer, host of the meeting in Gimli on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg, told reporters Monday that it would be "morally wrong" to backtrack on Kelowna.
"In my view the Kelowna accord could never deal with 120 years of Canadian history, but at least it was a start."
B.C.'s Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell said he's hopeful the Tory government hasn't abandoned the accord and suggested the provinces should proceed with their commitments under the deal.
"I can tell you, in British Columbia we are committed to it. I believe the federal government will come to the table,'' Campbell said.
"We're coming up to an anniversary, if you want, of the Kelowna accord in November. My hope is that all provincial governments will have laid out their plans for First Nations, Inuit and Metis people about how they are going to close those gaps and bring the federal government in to provide the kind of resources that are necessary over the long term.''
Doer hoped that if the western premiers stand up for the accord, the federal government will be less inclined to go in another direction.
"The will of the public always determines the best way to go,'' he said.
Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said stand taken by the western premiers gives him hope that the Kelowna accord is not dead.
"I don't think there has been any word that the deal is done,'' he said.
"It may be a matter as simple as rebranding and we have no objection to that. If it is going to bring about the continuation of this process ... then we would be happy with that.''
The deal took 18 months to negotiate and includes a 19-page plan of targets and reporting requirements for a 10-year period.
While the Tories have said it "is committed to meeting the targets agreed upon'' in Kelowna, they haven't committed to the accord itself.
Besides the accord, the premiers intend to talk about border security and international trade.
On Wednesday, some U.S. and Mexican politicians will be in attendance for a one-day summit on international issues. ...
The Wildlands League is sponsoring an online petition in support the people of KI and their efforts to protect their traditional territories. The petition is called Stop mining from threatening Canada's First Nations and is addressed to Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Premier. It can be seen at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/405283786?ltl=1148962631.
News updates about the efforts being made by the people of Big Trout Lake can be seen by clicking here.
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, from Washington DC, who is a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC - www.nrdc.org) along with Anna Baggio from the Wildlands League and a Toronto Star reporter traveled to Big Trout Lake to visit the community and the mining exploration site. Click here to see the pictures of this visit.
Two online news reports describe the confusion around the attempts by mining company to develop mine on Big Trout Lake traditional territory.
First Nation sues province in attempt to stop mine: platinum mine spurs lawsuit
Canadian Press - Monday, May 29, 2006
TORONTO (CP) -- The development of a potentially rare and lucrative platinum mine near Aboriginal land in Northern Ontario has prompted a First Nation to sue the provincial government, while it faces a $10-billion lawsuit from a Canadian exploration company.
The cases centre around Platinex Inc.'s hopes to mine for platinum in an area populated by about 1,200 members of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, located about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
The company says about 90 per cent of the world's platinum comes from mines in South Africa, and a Canadian mine would be an extraordinary opportunity for all those involved, including the Aboriginal community.
But the community has made it clear they are against mining on their traditional territory and a landmark Supreme Court ruling dictates they should have been consulted before Platinex was cleared by the province to go forward, said deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which is providing assistance in the legal fight.
"For any company to work in (Aboriginal) territory, it's just common courtesy to call the chief and council and say, 'We're interested in doing this type of work in your community, can we come and sit down and talk about it,"' Fiddler said.
He said the First Nation was shocked to find the company setting up to work and drill in a lake about 15 kilometres from their community, an area they consider to be part of their traditional territory.
They asked the company to leave the area but Platinex said it had received a permit from the province to do exploratory work and refused. But Platinex pulled out after further confrontations and sought legal assistance.
"The company turned around and sued the community for $10 billion. We thought it was maybe a typo, we thought it was $10 million but it was really $10 billion," Fiddler said. "So that was a shock to the community."
The company has filed the injunction to continue its work because it was legally cleared to do so, on land which -- according to some legal interpretation -- may be Crown property, said Platinex lawyer Neil Smitheman.
He said the monetary value attached to the case may give a wrong impression of what Platinex is after, since it refers to the maximum value the company believes the mine could be worth, and not a sum being sought from the First Nation.
He said Platinex just wants to continue its work and is caught in the middle of a fight between the First Nation and the government over an ongoing land claim.
Mine files lawsuit against First Nation
Tb News Source - Web Posted: 5/29/2006
A northern Ontario First Nation is named in a $10 billion dollar lawsuit for opposing a proposed platinum mine near its reserve.
The K-I First Nation, formerly called the Big Trout Lake First Nation, tried to stop a Canadian company from building the mine on what they feel is their traditional territory. But the company, Platinex Inc., is taking the First Nation to court, saying the site 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay could be worth billions.
Platinex says developing the mine would provide tremendous opportunities for all involved, including the aboriginal community. The K-I First Nation is suing the province for giving Platinex permits to begin its work and wants control over the land.
The legal battle over the mineral development caused a flurry of questions at Queens Park Monday.
The Big Trout Lake First Nation is suing the province in connection with its approval of exploration work being done in the bands traditional lands by Platinex Inc.
A Supreme Court ruling says the province is obliged to consult with affected first nations before any such approval is given. NDP Leader Howard Hampton accused the government of ignoring the ruling, even though band officials had made their objections to the development clear. But Northern Development Minister Rick Bartolucci says all protocols are being respected.
Three women from the Mi'gmaq First Nation from the community of Listuguj, QC began their cross country cycling journey yesterday, leaving from Vancouver, BC. The Aboriginal Women on the Move-Cross Canada Cycle Tour (http://www.aboriginalwomenonthemove.org) is about making a difference and getting people involved .... "we want to raise awareness and bring attention to the social and health issues of family violence". The trip is sponsored in part by the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence (www.nacafv.ca) along with many other individuals, groups and communities.
Preparing for Launch : May 28th, 2006 in Vancouver
Greetings from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation….Home to the Aboriginal Women on the Move-Cross Canada Cycle Tour 2006
Cycling to End Family Violence
Time is fast approaching to the day we kick off from our pedals and start our cycling journey across Canada with our message in hand and in our hearts; to raise awareness and bring attention, initiate dialogue, share best practices and our goal to one day break the cycle of violence in our communities.
Attached is the most recent revised Route and Date Schedule, there will be revisions depending upon what we experience along the way, visit our website and/or blog for any changes.
Aboriginal Women on the Move proudly announces that our “blog” is on-line at www.awotm.blogspot.com and you also link to the AWOTM blog through our website. You will be able to follow our journey on a day-to-day basis, as we share our journey, our experiences.
While on the road, AWOTM can be reached in a couple of ways; e-mail: email@example.com , cell: (506)789-3369, Messages at Haven House: (418) 788-5544 and National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence: (613) 236 1844
Aboriginal Women on the Move greatly appreciates all the support and kind words of encouragement extended to us over the past two years as we planned and promoted the cycle tour. Your support, encouragement and friendship have fuelled our spirit, determination and commitment to make a difference.
Share in the AWOTM Journey….Get Involved….Together Can We Make a Difference
William W. Creighton Youth Services is Looking for a Community Support Worker - Sioux Lookout
William W. Creighton Youth Services invites applications for a new position,
COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER
LOCATION: SIOUX LOOKOUT
The COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER is part of a team dedicated to the philosophy that community safety and the needs of young persons are best served by the provision of positive, rehabilitative programs in conjunction with the youth’s offence. The location of a worker in the Sioux Lookout area is a one year pilot project with the option for permanent designation. This position requires qualified aboriginal staffing.
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS REQUIRED:
Honours Bachelor of Social Work (H.B.S.W.) PLUS three (3) years related experience.
Candidates with other qualifications and related work experience may be considered.
Jack Martin, Manager of Community Services
Kenora/Rainy River Community Support Team
243 Rabbit Lake Road
Kenora, ON P9N 4L8
Fax: (807) 548-2835
CLOSING DATE: JUNE 14, 2006
Band in Ontario threatens to block access to cottages
Last updated May 25 2006 - CBC News
A First Nations group in Ontario is threatening to block access to a subdivision on its reserve that contains cottages unless Ottawa quickly renews a leasing agreement that brings money to the reserve.
The Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, whose reserve is north of Wiarton, say they are upset that the federal Indian Affairs Department has not yet renewed the agreement with non-natives who own cottages on 140 lots on their land. They say they have waited 10 years for the department to sign the agreement.
Their reserve occupies part of eastern shore of the Bruce Peninsula on Georgian Bay.
Under the Indian Act, the department is responsible for administering the leasing agreement, but the Chippewas say their 2,300 band members are running out of patience. They believe the delay in signing is a result of legal issues.
Chief Chief Paul Nadjiwan said if the agreement is not renewed soon, the band will have no choice but to prevent cottagers from entering the reserve. A "No Trepassing" sign put up in the subdivision a few weeks ago was taken down but was replaced with a new one over the Victoria Day weekend.
Nadjiwan said money from the cottagers cannot reach the community unless the lease is signed.
"If there is an agreement, they know that they are welcome, and they have always been treated well by our community," he said. "But if there is no agreement? Then they really can't access the site."
Cottagers in the subdivision, called Hope Bay, said they are caught in the middle, unable to sell their cottages because they do not have a lease to the land and unsure of what access they will have because of the dispute.
Paul Van der Camer, a cottager in the area, said the people who lease the cottages are not the problem.
"We've been there 38 years we've enjoyed it we haven't had a problem until this," he said.
"And it is unsettling because nobody knows what's going on."
Indian Affairs has issued temporary permits to the cottagers for the summer. The Chippewas are expected to meet with Indian Affairs on Monday to talk about the issue
By David Loyn
BBC Developing World correspondent
Indigenous people are much worse off even in developing nations
This is among the findings of a major investigation launched by the medical journal The Lancet into indigenous communities.
The relatively poor health of aboriginal people in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand has been well-documented.
But this study finds that indigenous communities are much worse off than other poor people in Asia, Latin America and Africa as well.
Looking at infant mortality among the Nanti tribe in Peru, the Xavante in Brazil, the Kuttiya Kandhs of India and the Pygmy peoples of Uganda, researchers found much worse figures than in the "host" communities.
In India for example, 25% of the population live below the poverty line, but among so-called "Scheduled Tribes" the figure rises to 45%.
Colonialism [created] an image of indigenous peoples as primitive, backward and deliberately obstructive to modernity
The concept of "indigenous" is a complex one, particularly in India and Africa.
The Indian government acknowledges the existence of "tribals", or "adivasis", adhering to pre-Hindu animist faiths.
It is among these "tribals" that India's biggest current security concern, the Maoist Naxalites, recruit and operate.
Lancet researchers record even more difficulty in defining indigenous people in Africa, blaming colonial persecution - inherited by other dominant groups since the end of Empire - for the poor health of some marginalised communities who live outside the mainstream.
Colonialism began the decline in health for indigenous peoples by introducing unknown diseases, and displacing them from their ancestral lands.
"Colonialism impacted as profoundly in a conceptual sense - creating an image of indigenous peoples as primitive, backward and deliberately obstructive to modernity," says the study.
Many of the indigenous people surveyed shared a sense of the loss or pollution of tribal lands, as mining, and other industries came in.
Unemployment, alcoholism, and drug dependency came along with their proximity to "civilisation". Homicide is a much more common cause of death among Australian aboriginal women than among the general population.
UN goals 'divert attention'
The biggest concern of the Lancet researchers, led by Dr Carolyn Stephens from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is that the health of indigenous people does not register on world statistics at all.
The current priority in development funding is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets set during the UN Summit in 2000. But the report says: "The MDGs could be achieved even if indigenous peoples disappear from our world."
Dr Stephens says the focus of the MDGs on "headline-capturing big numbers has an [negative] impact on indigenous peoples - both in terms of their international visibility, and in fund allocation".
The cultural traditions and knowledge of herbal medicine of indigenous people predate the collective knowledge of globalisation, and the Lancet researchers believe that we could lose much if these people are allowed to die.
"Globally, indigenous peoples represent a demographic minority and they are amongst the world's most disenfranchised peoples," says the study.
"Despite this, they have lived in and protected our most precious ecosystems and many of their ideas are vital to the survival of the ecosystem on which we ultimately all depend."
The authors quote approvingly the words of Mexican poet Octavio Paz: "The ideal of a single civilisation for everyone implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life."
AFN Press Release - May 11, 2006
AFN National Chief Says Drug Spending in Canada Report Confirms Discrimination of First Nations
Yesterdays’ Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) report on drug spending in Canada confirms that First Nations receive the least amount of health funding per person.
“We are among the poorest of the poor in Canada, which includes having the poorest health status. Health Canada has acknowledged this for many years.” said National Chief Phil Fontaine. “The average per person drug spending for First Nations is $419 compared to an average of $770 per Canadian, a difference of $350. This is simply unacceptable.
“This situation will only continue to get much worse since there is a projected $2 billion deficit over the next five years on health spending for First Nations,” commented the National Chief. “Our people suffer from poor health as a direct result of living in poverty. And yet the government continues to cut corners with our health services.”
In 2004-5, the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada, spent approximately $320.6 million on drug benefits, which averages out to $419 per person for the total population of 765,000 First Nations and Inuit. By contrast, the drug spending for Canada’s 133,000 veterans is approximately $843 per person; the 67,000 members of the Department of National Defence receive $3,519 per person; for the 21,255 inmates in federal prisons, it is $6,492 per person.
“The NIHB Program has many barriers and restrictions for First Nations accessing the drug plan. Most drugs on the NIHB Benefit list are cheaper generics, while the more expensive drugs or therapies are often listed as limited use, or may require prior approvals,” noted the National Chief. “Health Canada’s mandate is to increase the health status of First Nations. Why then is the government openly restricting access to benefits? With a 3% cap on the NIHB funding envelope, as opposed to a 6 per escalator for the rest of Canadians, First Nations will continue to suffer unnecessarily.”
The AFN released a First Nations Action Plan on NIHB in April, 2005 that sets out recommendations for addressing the current discrimination.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
Bryan Hendry, AFN Health and Social Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext. 229 or cell 613-293-6106
Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director
613-241-6789 ext. 320 or cell 613-292-2787
Ian McLeod, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 336 or cell 613-859-4335
Evaluation Report on UNESCO's Community Multimedia Centre Initiative - 22-05-2006 (Paris)
UNESCO’s Community Multimedia Centres initiative is contributing “to improving quality of life through access to information” according to an independent evaluation report carried out by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Click here for a copy of the CMC Evaluation_Final.pdf
UNESCO’s CMC initiative promotes sustainable local development through community-based facilities that combine traditional media like radio, television and print with new information communication technologies (ICTs) such as computers, the Internet, and mobile devices.
Since 2001, UNESCO has established more than 87 CMCs in over 22 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean with major funding provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The evaluation describes the initiative’s main achievement: “The CMCs are accepted by and fully integrated into the communities and can in many cases be sustained beyond the pilot phase without core operating grants. The effort and funding that UNESCO has channeled into this transformative initiative have been exceeded by the hard work and commitment of the CMC staff and the communities where they are based.”
Among other key findings, the evaluators clearly acknowledge the contribution of CMCs to local development, noting that “Longer term benefits are already being realized within individual communities, such as the gradual removal of barriers to social inclusion, the stimulation of poverty alleviation through access to knowledge of better health, resource management, agriculture practices and the creation of new livelihoods opportunities.”
CMCs are also recognized as critical tools for local communities to mediate changes brought on by globalization and the advent of new technologies: “The CMC role in fostering cultural resilience – the capacity of a community to retain critical knowledge and at the same time adapt to external influences and pressures - is particularly remarkable.”
In addition to an extensive review of documentation, the evaluation used field research, interviews, questionnaires, an online survey, and case studies to review the CMC initiative, a flagship activity of UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector.
Equitable and expanded access to ICTs is promoted in many ways, such as subsidized training for those with special requirements and/or marginalized groups; close work with schools, small businesses and the independent sector; or the provision of information to more remote communities through radio, says the evaluation report.
The evaluation also points out challenges faced by the CMC initiative, including the strategic use of CMC networks as delivery mechanisms for development services, from projects and programmes of UN agencies and national governments to those of local civil society groups. Many challenges relate to sustainability of local facilities in low-income and least-developed localities. As CMCs depend on volunteers for the delivery of training, radio programming and other services, they face difficulties in finding appropriate incentives for volunteers and struggle with managing volunteer turnover.
Another challenge consists of opportunities for networking and staff development, which to date have been limited. Evaluators point out the need for CMCs to learn from and access expertise more easily and systematically from each other in order to be sustainable.
Enabling national policy environments are very important for the development and sustainability of CMCs. Sudden changes in national policies on connectivity charges can destabilize CMCs and broadcast licensing restrictions or restrictions on press freedom can prevent CMCs from being able to broadcast freely and to a broader constituency, says the report.
The evaluation has recognized the extent of success achieved over the years and the uniqueness of UNESCO’s CMC concept as a potential solution to mitigate the digital divide in marginalized communities. UNESCO is beginning a process of broad consultation with its partners and other stakeholders to formulate strategies for the future of the CMC initiatives.