Falcon Communications press release ...
Launch Of New Service Brings Greater Access To Broadband Across The Northwest Territories
Yellowknife, NWT (06 February 2007)– A new and innovative Broadband service for communities of the Northwest Territories has officially been launched.
Thirty previously un-served communities are now able to access Broadband thanks to a collaborative initiative between the Government of Canada, SSI Micro Ltd. and the Broadband Business Alliance Limited Partnership, consisting of Denendeh Investments Incorporated, Tetlit Gwich’in Council, Deline Land Corporation, Deh Cho Economic Corporation, Dogrib Nation Trustco and Akaitcho Regional Investment Corporation.
Through satellite based connectivity provided by SSI Micro Ltd., users will enjoy easily installed Broadband connectivity through state-of-the-art art wireless technology offering roaming services throughout most areas of the Northwest Territories. SSI Micro, an award winning communications solution provider, designed and implemented the network. SSI Micro will also be responsible for the long term maintenance and operation of the service.
This service will provide significant opportunities for the un-served Aboriginal and remote rural communities of the Northwest Territories to access education, healthcare, and a competitive business environment, all of which will provide enhancements to the quality of life. It will serve towards ensuring the sustainability of these communities and assist in providing families and youth with an economic and social future.
“As the General Partner of the Broadband Business Alliance Limited Partnership, Falcon Communications is working with our service provider SSI Micro to deliver this secure technology, providing for a consistent solution allowing for affordable, open access to communities across the North,” said Darrell Beaulieu of Falcon Communications.
The Government of Canada has contributed more than $5 million for the network through the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program. In addition to the Government funding, SSI Micro has invested more than $5 million toward the design and implementation of the services.
“Through the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program, Canada’s new government continues to help Canadians in rural, remote and Aboriginal communities benefit from all the economic, business and social opportunities that broadband access can bring,” said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.
The Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program was created to help provide high speed Internet access to rural, remote, northern and First Nations communities. It has been successful in engaging partners across the country through a community driven approach and will be providing service to approximately 900 communities.
The Government of Canada has also contributed support of this network through the National Satellite Initiative (NSI).Up to $7 million came from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, to help defray the costs of satellite delivered connections. The goal of the NSI is to provide affordable satellite capacity for broadband services in communities in the far to mid-North, and in isolated and remote areas of Canada, where satellite technology is the only practical solution.
Further information is available at www.airware.ca.
About Industry Canada / BRAND
More information about the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program can be accessed at www.broadband.gc.ca.
The Finance minister is inviting everyone to write to him about what needs to be included in the upcoming Federal government budget expected in late March. The deadline for submissions is February 28. Visit http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/prebud07_e.html to share your priorities and needs with Finance Minister Flaherty.
Federal government press release
Federal Government Launches Nationwide Pre-Budget Consultations Related document - Invitation by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to Pre-Budget Web Consultations - Ottawa, February 7, 2007
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today launched online consultations, giving Canadians from coast to coast to coast an opportunity to participate in the development of Budget 2007. Canada’s New Government held federal online consultations for the first time during the development of last year’s budget.
"By offering these consultations, we are giving all Canadians an opportunity to play a role in the federal budget process," said Minister Flaherty. "I encourage everyone to take the time to submit any ideas and comments they might have. Their input will be seriously considered for this budget and future budgets."
Last year nearly 6,000 Canadians participated in the online consultation process. People provided a wide range of responses touching on everything from tax reductions to infrastructure investments.
In order to make the consultations as user-friendly and efficient as possible, this year responses will be organized under the following five headings: spending, personal tax, corporate tax, debt and other. Responses will be limited to no more than 50 words per topic to ensure succinctness and allow for quick evaluation.
The consultations will end at 12 midnight EST on February 28, 2007. "The online consultations will conclude at the end of February, giving us plenty of time to reflect on the ideas and comments submitted by Canadians well in advance of the budget date, which has not yet been set," said Minister Flaherty.
The pre-budget consultation page on the Department of Finance website can be found at http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult_e.html.
The page contains an invitation to all Canadians to participate in the online consultations. It also features links to Advantage Canada, a long-term economic plan that sets out a bold and exciting course for a strong, united and outward-looking Canada.
Ottawa criticized over Saskatchewan treatment
By DEAN BEEBY
OTTAWA (CP) - The Harper government got blasted over its treatment of Saskatchewan when Canadians were asked about the fiscal imbalance in an Internet survey last summer.
But you won't read that in the official report from the Finance Department about the web consultations - it's found only in an internal document obtained by The Canadian Press.
Saskatchewan's demand to exclude non-renewable resources from a revamped equalization program - a $12-billion transfer of cash to Canada's have-not provinces - was clearly the hot-button issue for Canadians responding to the month-long consultation, which ended Sept. 8.
Of the 108 submissions, 50 criticized the Conservative government for failing to live up to promises to exclude resource revenues, just as Atlantic Canada's offshore energy wealth has effectively been excluded for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador under special deals with those provinces.
None of the other 60 issues raised came even close to that level of consensus, an internal accounting of the responses shows.
The web-based consultations on "restoring fiscal balance" were open only to individuals, businesses and other non-governmental groups. About three-quarters of the submissions came from individuals.
Internal documents obtained under the Access to Information Act carefully exclude all identifying information, including province of origin except in one or two cases.
"Mr. Stephen Harper came to our province (Saskatchewan) prior to the federal election and stated time and time again if elected he would exempt our natural resources from the equalization program," said one respondent.
"The Conservatives argued when they were in Opposition that the federal government treat Saskatchewan the same as they treated Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia," said another.
Only seven submissions urged the Tory government to include provincial resource revenues in any revamped equalization program.
Since being elected, Harper has backed off from his promises to exclude non-renewable resource revenue from equalization. The issue is the most pressing in Saskatchewan, which stands to gain $800 million or more in equalization money if the general rule were adopted.
The Finance Department's official report on the web-based consultations does not reflect the overwhelmingly pro-Saskatchewan nature of the web contributions.
"There were wide views on the treatment of natural resources," says the final report, posted on the Internet last month.
"Some suggested that all non-renewable resource revenues should be excluded from the equalization formula, a view shared by the substantial number of submissions from Saskatchewan.
"There were also submissions that supported the full inclusion of resource revenues in the equalization formula."
The Finance Department warned last summer when it announced the consultation that it was not intended to be a poll, though the internal documents indicate bureaucrats conducted a careful accounting of which issues received the most comment.
The department initially refused to release the documents under the Access to Information Act, saying all results would eventually be published. But officials relented last week after the office of the Information Commissioner of Canada launched an investigation.
Saskatchewan's premier said the province did not organize a write-in campaign for the consultations.
"We did not advertise or organize . . . We certainly did nothing to exceptionally encourage anyone," Lorne Calvert said in an interview. Rather, more and more ordinary Canadians are becoming aware of how much is at stake, he added.
Asked why the official report did not highlight the apparent consensus over resources and equalization, Finance Canada spokeswoman Nathalie Gauthier said "the summary report on the website does in fact refer to the substantial number of submissions from Saskatchewan."
Some of the web comments sent to Ottawa included sniping at specific provinces.
One respondent complained about the Atlantic region being given a break on oil and gas revenues.
"It's like a welfare recipient winning the lottery and wanting to keep his monthly social assistance cheque."
Several respondents objected to Ontario being used as the milch cow of Confederation.
"Billions of dollars are flowing out of Ontario to support generous government spending in provinces like Quebec," said one.
Said another: "It seems preposterous that Ontario, as one of the very few provinces which never receives equalization payments, is a province with one of the lowest 'fiscal capacities' in the country."
The relatively small number of web respondents for the fiscal imbalance question is in marked contrast to the Finance Department's pre-budget online consultations, which last year attracted almost 6,000 submissions.
Last week, the department announced a similar web consultation leading to the March 20 budget, with a deadline of Feb. 28. The budget is expected to include the Tory government's solution to the fiscal imbalance issue.
From CBC news online at
Alberta native group attends Grammys - February 10, 2007 - CBC Arts online
Among the global stars of music such as Shakira and Beyoncé making their way to the Grammys in Los Angeles is a group of native singers from Alberta nominated for its third Grammy in five years.
The Northern Cree Singers have been nominated again in the traditional pow-wow music category.
The group, composed of teachers, construction workers and students, has been belting its haunting Cree lyrics and heavy drum beats for more than 20 years.
Steve Wood, the group's founder describes the experience as ...
"When I started this group, I would have never thought, I never thought [we'd be] going to the Grammy awards and to be recognized by the epitome of the industry, it is, like, wow."
Wood and his two brothers formed the group back in 1983 when they found themselves penniless at a sports meet in Idaho. Desperate to make money to get home, they borrowed a drum from a local museum and performed the songs their father had taught them.
The group has 27 albums under its belt, has gone through a few changes in members, and has performed around the world.
Northern Cree CDs are also sold at mainstream music stores. Wood points out their music is free of synthesizers — it's pure.
"There is no word for it … it's powerful, it's energetic … high tempo."
Band member Jonas Toototsis says it has been transformative in his life.
"Without it, there would be a part of me missing without that drum, because that drum does bring, I don't know what that feeling is, but you definitely feel it and whoever hears it will feel that music, too."
The group is planning to drive thousand of kilometres to the gala on Sunday night.
"It's like a dream come true," says singer Dezi Chacan. "I never thought of this coming along at all as a kid. I knew I loved to sing and travel around, but to be nominated for a Grammy, it's gonna be a wonderful experience."
Press Release ...
HONOR THE WATER, RESPECT THE WATER, BE THANKFUL FOR THE WATER, PROTECT THE WATER
A CALL TO ACTION
INDIGENOUS WORLD WATER DAY MARCH 22, 2007
INDIGENOUS BROTHERS AND SISTERS STRUGGLING TO DEFEND THE ANCESTRAL LANDS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Free Trade Agreements and neo-liberalism have brought about a rapid expansion in economic globalisation in recent decades. We now see how poor and indebted countries look to the exploitation of natural resources as the solution to their economic problems. The wealthy and industrialized nations continue this resource exploitation within their own countries as well as continuing the resource incursions into other people’s lands in other parts of the world. In many cases, these resources are found on the ancestral lands of Indigenous Peoples. Mining, oil, gas, corporation agriculture, and water extraction, water privatisation and pollution are at the heart of many resource conflicts on and around Indigenous Lands throughout this Western Hemisphere. In the past, we have been marginalized in the decision-making processes that end up harming our People and the land we care for.
WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE
Our Indigenous Peoples and communities have known and demonstrated that we have the knowledge and capacity to take care of the Earth and various cultural and natural resources that we have been given. Governments and corporations have sought our Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge that may be beneficial to their interests. When Indigenous and corporate interests collide, governments politically, socially, and economically isolate us into geo-political paradigms where we are forced to make decisions about the sanctioning exploitation of mineral and fossil fuel resources. In other situations, water and air pollution come from sources outside of our territories. This exploitation, privatisation and contamination upset the balance of cultural resources and sacred sites. As Indigenous Peoples and communities come to better understand the risks associated to resource exploitation, there is an increasing amount of resistance to project proposals and/or a growing demand for remediation of existing problems. This has had the effect of forcing governments and corporations to respond to our concerns.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO BRING CHANGE
INDIGENOUS WORLD WATER DAY is March 22. This is an invitation to your community to participate in an international event that will raise the Indigenous Voice in defence of Sacred Water. It consists of organizing in each community a public event according to your traditions and according to the unique forms of your people. We must illustrate to the national and international audience, and the media, that Indigenous Peoples are united to defend water in all places where it is threatened. We must demand clean up where it is polluted. We must promote laws that recognize the sacredness of water and inherent customary rights to water, by Indigenous Peoples. As these events take place in all regions of the Americas, we will remind the world of the role and responsibilities as Guardians and Protectors of Water that we, as the Original Peoples have played since the beginning of time. The world is out of balance; this is the moment to act on behalf of our Mother Earth, and the water that sustains all life.
It is important to invite the press to witness your event. We must speak individually and collectively to protect the water. Together let’s make an Indigenous Movement to protect water by forming a human chain holding containers of water or other types of ceremonies and celebrations throughout the Americas on Indigenous World Water Day.
NO MORE MINE WASTE, AGRICULTURAL WASTE, HUMAN WASTE, OR INDUSTRIAL WASTE IN OUR WATER
The Indigenous Environmental Network (www.ienearth.org), along with many elders and others who care about the legacy we leave for future generations bring this invitation to you. To add your voice to an international press release or more information about the event, and to inform us about the event to be held in your community, please communicate with:
Click here to watch and listen to Akina Shirt, 13 year old Saddle Lake First Nation member, sing the Canadian National Anthem in Cree at the February 3rd, 2007, CBC Hockey Night In Canada - NHL Game - Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks.
Keewaytinook Centre of Excellence
LOGO and NAME CONTEST
The Keewaytinook Centre of Excellence prides itself with providing exceptional, technical water plant operator training. Students come to our Centre for water and wastewater training programs.
We are looking for a fresh NEW look.
We would like you to design a logo for our Centre to compliment what we do here, which is watertraining.
Contest Contact Information:
Paul Otis—Program Manager
Susan Lappage—Program Assistant
Suite 209– 100 Casimir Ave
Dryden, ON P8N 3L4
The Logo should be:
In addition to a Logo, help us out with a unique new Name for our Centre.
Each class may submit one Name.
FAX ENTRIES TO: 807-223-8426
DEADLINE DATE: FEB 23/07
This information is mostly for new moms ... I recently moved from Thunder Bay to Calgary. I would say that moving to Calgary has opened my eyes to all these things: importance of Breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and baby wearing. Therefore, I just wanted to share it back to northern Ontario since these are my roots. Being a new mom has opened my eyes to so much. I realise how challenging this is and I just want to share this with other moms because these concepts are important in raising healthy strong Anishnabe children.
AFN press release ...
National Chief Responds to Minister Prentice's Dismissal of The First Nations Child Welfare Crisis
OTTAWA, Feb. 8 - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Phil Fontaine recently announced that the AFN is considering filing a Canadian Human Rights Complaint against the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) based on discriminatory funding of First Nation Child Welfare Agencies.
"It is unfortunate that the Minister will not acknowledge the true extent of the problem, and instead chooses to focus on the exact number of on-reserve First Nation children in state care. As the Minister responsible for status Indians in Canada it is disappointing that the Minister is not concerned with the total number of First Nations children in care. Whether it is 27,000 or 37,000, it is tens of thousands too many. But to set the record straight, the following is based on indisputable evidence generated by third party AND joint INAC-AFN collaborative studies:
"The Minister went on to state that funding for First Nations Child and Family Services is not capped at 2% but increases annually by 11%. There are two budget components for any given child welfare agency, operational and maintenance," pointed out the National Chief. "The operational budget is the component that would enable the agencies to raise the quality of protection and engage in prevention services, this budget has been capped at 2% for the past decade."
"To equate the departmental maintenance budget increases of 11% annually as a good thing, is like saying the fact that the increasing numbers of First Nations children coming into care is a good thing. I would hope that Minister Prentice agrees with this point as evidenced by the following quotes from his own departmental website:
"The current Program also lacks the authority to provide adoption subsidies and supports and less costly placement options such as kinship care, which are more effective for the child."
"The reimbursement regime for high cost placements out of the parental home combined with the lack of resources for least disruptive measures/prevention services is contributing to escalating program costs."
"At the end of the day, we must remember one thing, no matter what the exact number of our children in care is, these current high levels are unacceptable," concluded the National Chief.
"The Minister may acknowledge 9,000 and choose to ignore those in off reserve agencies. However it is the responsibility of First Nations to address the health and well being of every single First Nations child, no matter where they reside."
A fact sheet with more detailed information has been contributed by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, a partner of the Assembly of First Nations
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
The Evidence Supporting Human Rights Case in Child Welfare
Prepared by Cindy Blackstock of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
February 7, 2007
Position: Number of First Nations children in care on and off the reserve
- Wen:de: We are Coming to Light of Day pp. 42-43
- INAC Year End Data
- Blackstock (2003)
- Ferris Manning and Zands
- Minister Prentice (2007)
In Wen de, an analysis of provincial child welfare data found there were 9771 First Nations children in care in three sample provinces alone. This lines up with the estimate of 27000 on and off reserve across Canada. The estimate that there were between 22,500 and 28,000 First Nations children in care was
first published by Ferris-Manning and Zandstra and separately
by Blackstock in 2003 have remained unchallenged. "I've looked at the stats over the last 10 years - the number of kids in apprehension has increased by 65 per cent," Prentice told CBC News Monday. CBC News (2007)
Position: It is important to support the work of First Nation child welfare agencies.
- United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2003) Article 26
- Joint National Policy Review on First Nations welfare (McDonald and Ladd 2000)
- McKenzie B (2002)
- Wen de Report
Article 26 "It(The UNCRC) is equally encouraged by establishment of Nations child and family service agencies providing culturally sensitive services to children and families within their communities"Note: there are numerous citations supporting FN CFSA work I have included just a couple here but more could be provided if needed"
Position: Inadequacy of Federal child welfare funding.
- Minister Prentice (2007)
Prentice said he know the system (child welfare) needs work and his department is try to figure out what to. CBC News Feb 6, 2007
- BC Children and Youth Review (AKA the Hughes Commission) (2006)
Recommendation 14 "... replace Directive 20-1 with a new approach that is more supportive of measures that protect the integrity of the family.
-Amnesty International (2006)
"In 2000, the federal government acknowledged that chronic under- funding of child and family services in Indigenous communities means that Indigenous communities were often denied access to services that could provide for Indigenous children's welfare while keeping them within their families and communities."
INAC First Nations Child and Family Services National Program Manual(2005)
"the majority of the(NPR) recommendations, however, have not beenimplemented." "for example when the formula was conceived in the early 1980s computers were not used to the same extent that they are today. As well there was less emphasis on prevention than there is now. These changes have put more pressure on Recipients with little resources to adapt to current trends."
- INAC (2003) Evidence to Sub committee on children and youth at risk Mr. Smith, Acting DM INAC
"Having said that, let me assure you that INAC does not minimize the role it plays in child and familyservices, nor the effect our policy has on the lives of Indian children living on reserve. As recently stated by my minister, INAC's current one-size-fits-all first nations child and family services policy, developed in the late 1980s, has simply not kept up with provincial development in this area."
- Saskatchewan Government Community Resources and (2004)
- Wen de Reports
- Joint National Policy Review on First Nations Child and Family Services (McDonald and Ladd, 2000)
"The department continues Employment to press INAC on a funding approach for FNCFS agencies that would support equivalent child welfare services on and off reserve"
Position: Jordan's Principle to Jurisdiction Disputes as recommended in Wen de.
- Wen de: Report
- Lavallee (2005)
Over 200 including Canadian Paediatric Society, National Youth in Care Network, UNICEF Canada, Canadian Child Care Federation, Laidlaw Foundation, Family Services Canada, International Social Services Canada,
Position: Neglect as Key Reason Why FN over represented in care
- Wen de Reports
- Trocme, Knoke and Blackstock (2004)
- Trocmé, N.., Fallon, B., MacLaurin, B., & Shangreaux, C. (2005)
- Trocmé, N. MacLaurin, B., Fallon., B., Knoke, D., Pitman,L. & McCormack,.M. (2006)
Two cycles of the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect confirm that the leading reason why First Nations children come to the attention of child welfare is neglect fueled by poverty, poorhousing and care giver substance misuse.
Position: Link of Neglect to Poverty
- Trocmé, N.., Fallon, B., MacLaurin, B.,& Shangreaux, C. (2005)
- Trocmé, N. MacLaurin, B., Fallon., B., Knoke, D., Pitman,L. & McCormack,.M. (2006)
Secondary data analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child and Abuse and Neglect find that poverty is a key contributing factor to the over representation of First Nations children substantiated for neglect. Other factors are poor housing (correlated with poverty) and caregiver substance misuse. Both reports recommended additional investments in prevention services and long term sustainable community development to reduce poverty
- United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Committee Cultural Rights(2006)Reviewing Canada's 5th and 6th periodic reports
Article 56 " the recommends the State Party (Canada) gather disaggregated statistical data inrelation to the relinquishment to foster care of children belonging to low income families, single mother led families, Aboriginal families and African Canadian families in order to accurately assess the extent of the problem.....in accordance with the provisions of Article 10 of the Covenant on the protection of families, the federal, provincial and territorial governments undertake all measures including through financial support, where necessary, to avoid such relinquishment"
For further information: Bryan Henry, AFN A/Communications Director, (613) 241-6789 ext. 229, cell (613) 293-6106, email@example.com;. Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor, Office of the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext. 243, cell, (613) 298-6382, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press release ...
Submission Deadline: 2007 Native American Music Awards
February 7, 2007
The submission deadline for the Native American Music Awards is next week. In order to submit, you first have to become one of their members. The details:
DEADLINE: February 15, 2007
The Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards is tentatively scheduled for September 15, 2007
Each year the annual Awards show program features over one dozen mesmerizing and dynamic performances by some of today’s leading Native American artists along with awards presentations in over 30 categories including; Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame.
Press release ...
Angus Calls For Action On Suicide Crisis In Kashechewan
Charlie Angus says a spate of suicide attempts in Kashechewan is a shocking indictment of the failure of Canada’s commitments to the community. Over the past month, 21 young people have attempted suicide, the youngest being nine-years-old. Angus says he is shaken by this wave of hopelessness in the crisis-ridden community.
Today in the House, he challenged Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice to make a clear commitment to the community. “What future is there for the young people in Kashechewan? The grade school is shut down. There is no community centre for young people. This is not a regional shame. It is not a national shame. Kashechewan has become an international symbol of utter hopelessness.”
Over the last two years, the community has been evacuated three times. The community is in the final stages of an internal process to choose a location for a new community. Angus challenged Prentice to live up to commitments made to the community.
“The government of Canada signed an agreement with the people of Kashechewan to build a new community. This minister needs to make a clear and public commitment to give hope to the people of Kashechewan.”
In November 2005, Kashechewan gathered international attention over an e-coli crisis in the water supply. Out of the Kashechewan water crisis, the government was forced to set national standards for on reserve water supplies.
"Once again, Kashechewan is calling out for all first nations. What about the crime of hopelessness? What about the complete disregard for the young? These children don’t even have a bloody school to go to."
Angus says the government needs to take the lead in addressing the failure of First Nation education funding. He calls on the government to insist that reserve schools are given the same resources for special education, schooling and youth at risk programs.
1. During Question Period, Charlie Angus says many young kids have tried to kill themselves recently. http://www.charlieangus.net/audio/charliekashesuicide.mp3
2. During Question Period, Charlie Angus says the situation is getting so deplorable that international save the children are now looking at Canada. http://www.charlieangus.net/audio/charliekashesuicide2.mp3