Thunder Bay, Ontario – Tuesday, April 03, 2007 Wasaya Group Inc. hosted a Reception and Press Event today at the Travelodge Airlane to make three important announcements.
1. Pledges in the amount of $505,000 from Wasaya Group Inc., Wasaya Airways LP, Wasaya WeeCheeWayWin, and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (K.I.) to Sioux Lookout’s Meno Ya Win Health Foundation. The money will go towards a CT Scanner for the new Regional Health Centre in honour of the late Grace Tesky, a community member of K.I.
2. Wasaya Group Inc. and its ownership communities signed a wholesale agreement with TruServ Canada Inc., Pratts Wholesale Ltd., and Triple 4 Advertising Ltd., for First Nations Stores.
3. Wasaya Airways LP welcomed Keewaywin First Nation as the 10th ownership community to join the 100% First Nation owned partnership.
About Wasaya Group Inc.Wasaya Group Inc. is a partnership of nine northern First Nations. It was originally founded as a First Nation business enterprise in 1989 and is comprised of Bearskin Lake First Nation, Kasabonika Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Nibinamik First Nation, Wapekeka First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Muskrat Dam First Nation and Pikangikum First Nation.
The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute (KORI) and the Faculty of Education of Lakehead University are hosting a series of on-line workshops on First Nations Digital Education.
The first workshop with take place on April 20th at 3:30 Central Standard Time.
The workshop is entitled Community-based Aboriginal Education and is facilitated by Ethel Gardener, the director of the Department of Aboriginal Education at the Lakehead University Faculty of Education.
The series is open to professionals, community champions and anyone interested in the opportunities and challenges associated with First Nations Digital Education. If your school would like to be a host video conference site for this workshop series, email firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-737-5638 ext 1261. You can also participate on streaming video using the chat feature...
For more information, join the Digital Education with Remote Aboriginal Communities (DERAC) discussion forum website at http://meeting.knet.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=20 (you need to sign up for an account to join this forum).
- JOINT NEWS RELEASE -
Courts to issue further notice to former students of Canada's Indian residential schools and their families
The settlement has been approved by the courts, and now former students must decide whether to opt out
OTTAWA, March 29 - The second phase of a national notification programme has begun, on behalf of courts across Canada, to alert former students of the Indian residential school system and their families that they must decide whether to stay in the settlement or remove themselves (opt out) from it by August 20, 2007.
Notices will be distributed, published, mailed, and broadcast throughout Canada, describing the settlement benefits and how to get them for those who stay in, and explaining what it means to opt out and how to opt out.
This is the continuation of a notification programme that began in June of last year, when former students and their families learned how to give their views about the fairness of the settlement.
Then, nine courts across Canada held public hearings.
All of the courts approved the settlement after those hearings.
The opt out period formally began immediately following a court hearing on March 22, 2007, and notices were placed on the court website (http://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/).
Community outreach coordinators will begin informing former students across Canada, and phone calls will be placed to those who previously came forward.
The settlement provides:
- At least $1.9 billion for "common experience" payments to former students who lived at one of the schools. Payments will be $10,000 for the first school year (or part of a school year), plus $3,000 for each school year (or part of a school year) after that.
- A process to allow those who suffered sexual or serious physical abuses, or other abuses that caused serious psychological effects, to get between $5,000 and $275,000 each. Those students could get more money if they also show a loss of income.
- Money for programmes for former students and their families for healing, truth, reconciliation, and commemoration of the residential schools and the abuses suffered: $125 million to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation; $60 million to research, document, and preserve the experiences of the survivors; and $20 million for national and community commemorative projects.
Family members who were not students will not get payments.
Former students who opt out will not get any payment from the settlement.
However, former students or family members who opt out will keep any right they may have to sue the Government of Canada, the churches that joined in the settlement, or any of the defendants in the class action lawsuits, over residential schools.
The opt out deadline is August 20, 2007.
Those who wish to opt out must complete, sign, and mail an opt out form postmarked by August 20, 2007.
The opt out form is available at http://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/EXC2-ENG.pdf, by calling 1-866-879-4913, or by writing to:
133 Weber St. North
Eligible former students who stay in the settlement can get a payment from it.
However, former students - and family members - who stay in the settlement will never again be able to sue the Government of Canada, the churches who joined in the settlement, or any other defendant in the class actions, over residential schools.
Those who want to stay in the settlement and ask for a payment, may write, call 1-866-879-4913, or go to the website.
Claim forms will be mailed after August 20, 2007.
A toll-free telephone call center at 1-866-879-4913 has been set up to handle inquiries, with a link to crisis line services.
Also, a website displays the detailed notice, settlement agreement, list of recognized schools and hostels, and other information here: (http://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca).
The following LU Press release indicates their new Honours Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Education but the team at NNEC working with Brock U. is starting a similar program in the fall of 2007 in Sioux Lookout.
Lakehead University: New Program in Aboriginal Education Focuses on Aboriginal Learner; Program First in Ontario
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(April 2, 2007) - Lakehead University's Faculty of Education has established a four-year Honours Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Education to start in January 2008. The proposal was overwhelmingly approved by Lakehead University's Senate on March 23, 2007.
The HBEd (Aboriginal Education) will be the first 4-year honours degree program offered by an Ontario university and the first to focus on critical foundations in Aboriginal education and Aboriginal pedagogy. The program prepares people of Aboriginal ancestry to become teachers with particular expertise to meet the needs of Aboriginal learners.
"This is a giant step forward for teacher education, especially Aboriginal teacher education in Ontario," says Dr. Julia O'Sullivan, Dean, Lakehead University Faculty of Education. "Graduates of this program will be highly qualified to teach primary and junior children using culturally relevant approaches and resources, and will have special expertise in early literacy and early numeracy education."
"For the past two years, we have worked in consultation with Aboriginal communities to design a program which will reflect the needs of these communities," says Dr. Ethel Gardner, Chair of Aboriginal Education at Lakehead University. "Aboriginal communities want their children to find academic success in education that is culturally relevant to them and responds to their learning needs. Several new courses have been created for the HBEd (Aboriginal Education) which address the issues brought up through our consultation process."
"This program provides graduates who will be well-rounded individuals who can teach in a context that is culturally relevant to Aboriginal students," says Goyce Kakegamic, recently retired Deputy Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. "This program ensures that there will be First Nation teachers available for our schools, and this will help with the success of First Nations students. We are delighted with this development and thank all those who have put much effort and support into this initiative."
Students who graduate from this program will have an understanding of culturally appropriate education grounded in Aboriginal philosophies. The graduates will have a thorough understanding of the needs of Aboriginal learners at the primary/junior level, and will utilize knowledge of Native language and culture in lessons and unit-planning.
Members of the Media: Dr. O'Sullivan and Dr. Gardner are available for interview by calling Eleanor Abaya at 807-343-8372. Goyce Kakegamic is available by calling 807-627-8070.
Lakehead University's main campus is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Superior. With a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a worldwide reputation for innovative programs and research. Lakehead has over 7,600 students and 2,200 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006 Lakehead University was named Canada's Research University of the Year 2005 in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.
Eleanor Abaya, Director of Communications
Mobile (807) 472-9110