Don Paterson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TBayTel along with Peter Diedrich, President and CEO of TBayTel and Kevin Burns, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing travelled to Balmertown for an afternoon and evening with the chiefs and staff at Keewaytinook Okimakanak.
To see photos, click here.
Wahgoshig First Nation and Apollo Gold press release ...
Apollo Gold and Wahgoshig First Nation Announce Entry into a Memorandum of Understanding
DENVER, January 23 /CNW/ - Apollo Gold Corporation ("Apollo" or the "Company") (TSX: APG) (AMEX: AGT) and the Wahgoshig First Nation ("Wahgoshig") announced today that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (the "MOU") with regard to the Company's Black Fox project.
The Black Fox project, located near Matheson, Ontario, Canada, was acquired by the Company in 2002 and lies within lands to which the Wahgoshig asserts treaty and aboriginal rights. The Black Fox project is currently in the permitting and feasibility stage, which we expect to be completed in 2007.
The Company believes that the MOU establishes the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between the Wahgoshig and Apollo by setting out interim provisions which will apply while the Black Fox project is still in the advanced exploration stage. These provisions include such measures as training, ongoing communication, a good faith financial contribution and, subject to approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, an issuance of a nominal amount of the Company's common shares to the Wahgoshig. Negotiations toward an Impact Benefit Agreement ("IBA") will commence if and when the Apollo Board of Directors decides to move from exploration to production at the Black Fox project. The MOU outlines the agenda and the process for conducting the IBA negotiations, which will include, among other things, such topics as employment, training, business opportunities and financial compensation.
"This is a significant agreement for our First Nation," said Chief David Babin. "It provides some immediate benefits which we appreciate, but more importantly from our perspective, it includes a commitment to negotiate a comprehensive agreement should the project move to the operations phase."
The President and CEO of Apollo, R. David Russell, agreed: "We see this MOU as the beginning of a positive and continuing relationship with the Wahgoshig community. During the course of our negotiations, we have become aware of the importance and the benefits of working cooperatively with the Wahgoshig First Nation."
Maurice J. Kistabish, who acted as head negotiator for Wahgoshig on the MOU negotiations, confirmed the Wahgoshig First Nation's intent of negotiating similar agreements with other resource companies operating in Wahgoshig traditional lands. Mr. Kistabish stated, "The agreement with Apollo is an important first step for our community. We consider it a precedent for our discussions with other companies in the area, and we are hopeful that they will show the same respect and cooperation in accommodating our interests as Apollo has demonstrated."
Apollo Gold Corporation
Apollo is a gold mining and exploration Company with a mine in Montana, the Black Fox advanced stage development project in Ontario, Canada, and the Huizopa Project, an early stage exploration project in the Sierra Madres in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Ontario government press release ...
McGuinty Government Invests In New Strategy To Improve Aboriginal Student Achievement - First Nations, Métis And Inuit Students To Benefit
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is launching an Aboriginal Education Strategy that includes a new education framework and an initial $6 million investment to improve achievement for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.
"We are committed to reaching every student," said Wynne. "And our new education strategy has been designed to help improve opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students - whether they live in remote areas or in urban centres."
A key part of the strategy is the new First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, which will set the foundation for improving achievement among Aboriginal students in provincially funded schools.
"This new strategy is part of Ontario's new approach to building relationships with Aboriginal communities and creating a better future for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth," said Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs David Ramsay. "The framework is an important part of that strategy, as a foundation for improving opportunities for Aboriginal students."
The framework includes plans to:
"The Ontario government's new policy framework is a positive first step towards recognizing and meeting the educational needs of First Nations students within the Ontario school system," said Angus Toulouse, Ontario Regional Chief from Chiefs of Ontario. "We look forward to working with the Ontario government on the implementation of this framework."
In addition to the framework, the Ontario government is investing $6 million to support capacity-building efforts within school boards and build partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organizations.
"We are pleased that the Métis Nation was given the opportunity to provide feedback on the framework," said Tony Belcourt, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario. "It's great that this framework has the potential to help so many students achieve their future aspirations, and that it was given such broad consultation."
"The new framework and accompanying funding is intended to provide support to the education system to improve the academic achievement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students," said Mario Turco, Director of Education, Algoma District School Board. "This strategy will also benefit non-Aboriginal students as they learn more about the culture and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples in Ontario."
In addition to the $6 million in funding, the McGuinty government has already invested more than $5 million in initiatives across the province that support Aboriginal student success, including:
"We are committed to strengthening Aboriginal voices and involvement in education, and to ensuring our First Nations, Métis and Inuit students have every opportunity for success," said Wynne. "By working with Aboriginal peoples and communities, we are delivering excellence in education for all of Ontario's students."
Backgrounder - ABORIGINAL EDUCATION STRATEGY
The Ontario government is dedicated to excellence in publicly funded education for all students and recognizes the need to develop specific strategies to meet the needs of Ontario's First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in provincially funded schools.
Ontario's new Aboriginal Education Strategy will help support learning and achievement for Aboriginal students. The strategy will also help raise awareness about First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples' cultures, histories and perspectives in schools.
The new strategy is in line with the commitments made in Ontario's New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs, released in spring 2005, which envisions prosperous and healthy Aboriginal communities that will create a better future for Aboriginal children and youth.
Part of this new approach included a commitment to working together with Aboriginal organizations and communities to improve achievement among Aboriginal children and youth.
Investment in Aboriginal Education
The $6 million investment will provide funding for initiatives that support Aboriginal student success, such as:
This in addition to more than $5 million that has already been invested in initiatives across the province that support Aboriginal student success, including:
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework will be the foundation for delivering quality education to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in Ontario.
The framework includes strategies for schools and school boards that will boost Aboriginal student achievement and close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.
These strategies include resources to support teaching strategies that are appropriate to Aboriginal learner needs, increasing the number of Aboriginal staff working in school boards, and improving literacy and numeracy skills among Aboriginal students.
In addition, the framework sets out strategies to encourage more parent involvement, build capacity within school boards to build partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organizations, and to integrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples' histories, cultures and perspectives throughout the Ontario curriculum to increase knowledge and awareness among all students.
Through regional consultations with school boards and school authorities, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and other education stakeholders, nearly 500 people provided feedback on the framework.
As part of the Ontario government's Aboriginal Education Strategy, the framework and investment will help create a school environment that encourages Aboriginal student engagement and achievement.
For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892
Ontario government press release ...
McGuinty Government Supporting Grandparents Who Care For Vulnerable Grandchildren
Extended Family, Community Members May Be Eligible For Support
NIAGARA FALLS, ON, Jan. 23 - Grandparents, extended family members and community members who care for children in need of protection may now be eligible for financial support and services as part of new reforms to Ontario's child well-being and protection system, Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers announced today.
"Children who are unable to grow up with their parents due to protection concerns should have the opportunity, wherever possible, to grow up with members of their extended families," said Chambers. "Protection of Ontario's children is our number one priority. These new supports and services will encourage and enable grandparents and extended family or community members to provide the stability and security where children are not able to stay with their parents because of safety concerns."
Under the new policy, grandparents and extended family or community members who are looking after a child in the care of a children's aid society (CAS), and who are approved as foster parents, will receive the foster care rate of approximately $900 per month from their local CAS. This includes members of aboriginal communities who are looking after a child under customary care arrangements.
"Some grandparents have told us that they want a system that makes it easier for them to adopt their grandchildren or become their legal guardians or foster parents," said Niagara Falls MPP, Kim Craitor. "As a result of today's announcement, more grandparents and extended family members will be able to provide vulnerable children with caring, secure homes."
Grandparents and extended family or community members caring for Crown wards who obtain legal custody, or who decide to adopt those children, may also be eligible for funding and support services, up to the foster care rate.
The changes also mean that grandparents and extended family or community members looking after children who are in need of protection, but have not been admitted to the formal care of a CAS, could be eligible for emergency financial aid for a variety of needs.
"For a long time, many grandparents and kinship family members have wanted to care for their vulnerable grandchildren and kinship children, however have been unable to do so because they could not get the funding or services they needed," said Betty Cornelius, president of CANGRANDS, a national support group for grandparents and Kinship family members raising kin-children. "We are delighted that the government has listened to those who advocate for kinship children who need care, and the grandparents and extended family or community members who are willing to give them safe, loving, permanent homes to grow up in."
"Grand-Parenting Again Canada has made it a goal for the past 5 years to receive financial support for children living with alternate kin equal to that of foster parents," said Sandra Schoenfeldt, president of Grand-Parenting Again Canada. "Our hope is more children will be able to stay with their family members now that our provincial government is making this commitment."
"We have advocated for over six years for recognition for grandparents raising grandchildren. We see more and more grandparents, many of whom are widows, on fixed incomes taking care of their grandchildren and in desperate need of financial assistance," said Sheila Volchert, spokesperson for Second Chance for Kids. "Today's announcement will finally give grandparents and their grandchildren a more secure future."
These measures are part of the reforms the McGuinty government has made to strengthen Ontario's child well-being and protection system. In February 2006, the government also introduced a kinship regulation to require background checks on all adults in the home where children in need of protection will be living.
Other improvements that came into effect in November 2006 under amendments to the Child and Family Services Act include:
For more information :
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