Wayne Zimmer, Coordinator of Apprenticeship Programs at Seven Generations Education Institute spent most of Wednesday learning about the Kuhkenah Network. Wayne is working on developing a strategy to link the Aboriginal Post Secondary Consortium to a common platform where programs can shared across the province.
As well, Wayne is interested in seeing the Fort Frances area First Nations connected to a network service that will support video conferencing and other broadband e-learning applications for the effective delivery of apprenticeship programs.
Once these apprenticeship programs and services are available online, other First Nations from anywhere in the province will be able to access these services.
Video conference meetings were also held with Brian Walmark from the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute (KORI - http://research.knet.ca) and Carl Seibel, Telecom Officer, Industry Canada FedNor.
Wayne's contact information is:
Coordinator of Apprenticeship Programs
Seven Generations Education Institute
115 Chipman Street, 3rd Floor
Box 1640, Kenora, ON, P9N 3X7
From Windspeaker Online at http://www.ammsa.com/windspeaker/editorials/2006/wind-editorial-6.html
Negligence costs - June, 2006 - Windspeaker Editorial
Forget what you've read in the mainstream papers or have seen on the national news: we're here to tell you there are plenty of good people on both sides of the barricades at Caledonia. A mere handful of knuckleheads are getting most of the attention and, while that may feed the media beast, it does nothing to get to the truth of this critically important matter.
Here's what you need to know: Ten years ago, the elected council of Six Nations asked the federal government for an accounting of its lands and monies held in trust by the Crown. Since then, Canada's departments of Justice and Indian Affairs, under the guidance of the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister's Office, have done everything in their considerable power to avoid providing said accounting.
Ten years ago, Six Nations stated it was not interested in displacing third parties. It acknowledged that Canada could never pay what it owed to the community after a century of plunder and injustice. All it wanted was information, to know what happened to their lands and monies held in trust by their fiduciary-Canada.
How much in lands and money? At the time, Six Nations officials refused to say publicly what they believed to be owed, but Windspeaker's trip to Six Nations in May has revealed that at the time of the statement of claim the figure was $800 billion; yes, that's with a 'b'. Steve Williams, the elected leader at the time, said he has no doubt that number stands today at $1 trillion.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he believes in accountability. It's one of the five priorities established by the Conservative government for this Parliament. Can Six Nations then expect that under his watch, a voluntary and spontaneous effort at an accounting of Six Nations trusts will occur? If not, why not?
A similar case played out in the United States in a suit called Cobell and has led to charges of contempt against the secretary of the Interior, that country's equivalent to Indian Affairs minister, for obfuscation and delay. But in Canada, nothing. In the U.S. it is generally acknowledged, as a result of the Cobell case, that the U.S government plundered Indian trusts believing it would never be held accountable. Turns out the U.S. might have been wrong, especially if Judge Royce Lambert has his way. Is there no equivalent of Judge Lambert in Canada?
The one thing that had worked against Six Nations in the past was division in the community. What we saw at three separate public meetings at the Six Nations community hall between April 30 and May 3 was that those divisions are still there, but the outrage within the community over the continued frustration of its legitimate attempts to seek justice have united the Big Six like never before.
And that could mean big trouble for Canada. Especially if residents of Caledonia clue in to why this is happening to them.
If enough voters across this country at any time since 1867 had let their elected representatives know that they expected a fair and immediate settlement to all outstanding Aboriginal land issues, the MPs would have got it done. They haven't so far because Canadians haven't bothered to get informed and demand action. That was because of ignorance or because of complicity in the injustice. The good people of Caledonia are now seeing what that kind of negligence costs.
You saw the burning tires and the scenes of Ontario Provincial Police officers struggling with camouflaged "occupiers" at the site of development on the disputed lands of Douglas Creek Estates. You saw angry town residents spewing hatred across the divide between the police line and the edge of the occupation. But what you didn't see could mark the beginning of a sea-change in Canada.
You didn't see the non-Native women at the barricades arguing for cooler heads to prevail when a few townsfolk got out of hand. You didn't see the queries and the questioning from those regular Joes who thirst for information so they can understand the history of the conflict. You didn't see Aboriginal clergy walking amongst the angry Calidonians, their mere presence in their vestments a plea for calm and rational behavior. These are considered non-stories by the media, but they could be at the heart of a new relationship that is developing between thinking non-Aboriginal people and their long-suffering Native neighbors.