Health Canada Press Release ...
Federal Government Announces Historic Health Care Agreement with Northern Ontario First Nations
August 30, 2007
MOOSONEE - The Honourable Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Health, announced today a new plan to resolve the duplication of health care services and health care gaps for First Nations in the Northern Ontario Weeneebayko region.
Traditionally, federal and provincial governments have both offered health care services to First Nations communities in this James Bay region, resulting in a duplication of health care delivery, health services gaps, and not providing all communities with the quality, timely health care they need and deserve.
The new agreement, which the Federal Government will be signing with the Province of Ontario and communities in the Weeneebayko area, is called the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement.
"This agreement demonstrates once again our government's commitment to improving health care services for First Nations people,” said Minister Clement. "First Nations in the region will be able to take a greater role in managing health care services in their communities."
Once the agreement is underway, the Federal Government will be investing $12 million per year towards ensuring the new focused and collaborative objectives are achieved. By integrating federal and provincial health services under a community-controlled organization, local residents will see real and positive change in health care delivery focused on community needs.
The new agreement will allow parties to collaborate on a more effective way to deliver health care services, including:
As this agreement evolves over time it will address patient needs, demographics, performance standards and other factors concerning health care in order to provide residents in the Weeneebayko area with an efficient and effective health care system.
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Federal Minister of Health
Prepared by the Chiefs of Ontario
As provincial legislation pertaining to water is being proposed and federal strategies are being implemented, First Nations are voicing concern about not only their lack of input in these initiatives, but also the virtual absence of any cultural reference therein. The Chiefs of Ontario, in collaboration with Environment Canada, embarked on a project to capture some of the First Nations’ traditional views on taking care of water, and how this knowledge can fit with current government source water protection plans. This report is an informative compilation of the Elders’ and Traditional Knowledge Holders’ views of the appropriate role of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Source Water Protection. In addition, this report contains some of the concerns and questions regarding the implementation of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Source Water Protection regimes in Ontario raised by policy makers and people responsible for water stewardship. Finally, the report contains some suggestion on the ways in which the challenges of integrating ATK in Source Water Protection can be addressed.
First Nations communities have identified the need to include Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) in source water protection planning and environmental planning. Environment Canada and First Nations in Ontario are interested in understanding better the role that ATK will play in Source Water Protection (SWP) in the province at the community and watershed level.
In 2001, the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) commissioned a report, Water Quality in the Province of Ontario: An Aboriginal Knowledge Perspective, which provided an overview of “what water means to Aboriginal people in Ontario” (McGregor and Whitaker, 2001). It presented the traditional perspectives of a small group of selected Elders and Aboriginal knowledge holders from various Aboriginal cultural groups. This report was incorporated into COO’s submission to the Walkerton Inquiry (Kamanga, 2001). The submission overall emphasized that including ATK in Ontario’s decision making on source water protection is imperative.
Click here to download the entire report (PDF - 142Kb)
Hockey gear brings hope to First Nations kids - Oshawa sends truckload of equipment north
By Jillian Follert - Aug 30, 2007
OSHAWA -- It may look like bags of skates and jerseys, but to Grand Chief Stan Beardy, the hockey equipment overflowing from Oshawa MPP Jerry Ouellette's office is a lifesaver.
On Wednesday afternoon, Grand Chief Beardy, of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, met with the local MPP and representatives from the hockey community, to thank Oshawa for donating truckloads of gear to the youth in his far-flung northern communities.
"For you, it might not mean that much to collect some hockey equipment," Grand Chief Beardy said. "But the difference you're making is life and death."
Youth suicide is a horrifying trend in the 50 First Nation communities represented by the Grand Chief.
In the past year alone, 28 young people between the ages of 12 and 25 have taken their own lives.
But there is hope, and sports programs are proving to be part of the solution.
"Sports programs, like hockey, give the kids hope and direction," explained Mr. Ouellette.
Two years ago, the Grand Chief issued a plea for help at Queens Park, and the Oshawa MPP responded by setting up a donation program for hockey equipment.
The call went out to local hockey leagues and sports stores, and generated an overwhelming response. The first truckload made its way north last fall, and another is set to leave this week courtesy of Rockbrune Brothers Movers.
Organizations that helped collect donations include the Oshawa Lady Generals Hockey Association, Oshawa Minor Hockey Association, Crow Sports, Oshawa Church Hockey League and Neighbourhood Association Sports Committee.
Grand Chief Beardy said people living in southern Ontario often don't realize how difficult it is youth in his communities to do things others take for granted, like play hockey.
Thirty-six of his 50 communities are 'fly-in', which means residents must pay for a $1,000 flight to the nearest service centre, to purchase things like sports gear.
The only things sold in the individual communities, are basic staples stocked at the general stores.
"What you're doing is very touching for me," the Grand Chief said, wiping a tear from his eye. "My people have a lot of hopelessness... but you are making a difference."
For information on donating hockey or other sports equipment to this project, contact MPP Ouellette's office at 905-723-2411.
Ontario releases plan for Woodland Caribou Signature Site
The Ontario government is releasing the final management plan for the Woodland Caribou Signature Site in northwestern Ontario, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said today.
“The plan protects the site’s unique features, including rare woodland caribou, while allowing for appropriate recreational uses as part of the economic strategy for the area,” Ramsay said.
The final management plan provides a vision and directions for the Woodland Caribou Signature Site area. Located in the Canadian Shield, north of Kenora, west of Red Lake and Ear Falls and south of Pikangikum, the site covers 537,000 hectares of boreal forest. It comprises the Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve and Woodland Caribou Forest Reserve, the Pipestone Bay-McIntosh Enhanced Management Area and Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and its recommended additions.
The plan was developed over five years with input and advice from an advisory committee, a First Nations Working Group, regional and municipal representatives and the public. The plan protects the area and enhances the management of the ecological and economic health of the signature site area and its communities, now and for future generations.
The site has many outstanding cultural, recreational, and environmental features, including prehistoric artifacts and pictographs. With over 2,000 kilometres of canoe routes, an excellent sports fishery and many rare species of plants and animals, it is a popular destination for backcountry camping, wildlife viewing and remote tourism at high-quality operations. Other existing uses include trapping, rice harvesting and Aboriginal subsistence harvesting.
The Municipality of Red Lake was a significant contributor from the early stages of the planning process. “As a member of the advisory committee, I was pleased to have been involved in such an important initiative,” said Mayor Phil Vinet. “The municipality and surrounding region can now begin realizing the benefits of living next to this world-class adventure destination.”
The plan supports the development of an inter-provincial wilderness area with the Province of Manitoba. It also supports the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site initiative, a joint effort of the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and four First Nation partners to have 42,000 square kilometres of land in eastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The final plans are available on the Environmental Registry at http://ontario.ca/environmentalregistry, Registry Number PB02E6023. Copies are also available at ministry district offices in Kenora and Red Lake, at the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park office, or at www.OntarioParks.com.
Gaps in records could cause problems under residential schools deal
August 29, 2007
Former students of Indian residential schools hoping to get a compensation cheque may not receive as much money as they expect because records proving they attended the schools may not exist.
Ray Mason, co-chair of Spirit Wind, a support group for former students in Peguis, Man., says he attended residential school for 12 years, but the federal government has records for only two.
As other students file claims, Mason worries they too will find their records incomplete.
While he plans to fight for compensation for his full 12 years of attendance, he is concerned that elderly residential school survivors will simply take whatever is offered.
"Say if somebody went to school for seven years and the government can only find three or four years of you there, they would get tired of waiting and a lot of the elders will say, 'Well, just give me my money that's owing to me and let's get it over with,'" he told CBC News.
"So that's why I get a little nervous."
The difference between two years at a residential school and a dozen translates into tens of thousands of dollars under the agreement, which applies to about 80,000 native people.
The "common experience payment" section of the agreement sees aboriginal people who lived in residential schools receiving $10,000 for their first year of attendance in the schools and $3,000 for every subsequent year.
Ottawa trying to fill in blanks
CBC News has obtained documents, some going back to the 1940s, showing governments ordered files destroyed because of a paper shortage, and years later because of a lack of storage space.
"At the time, many of the Indian residential school attendance records were seen as invoices, so the significance of the documents historically was not recognized until more recently," says David Russell, director of national research and analysis for Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada.
Russell says his department is working hard to fill in the gaps in records.
"We're looking at provincial and territorial archives, as well as existing ministries of education, churches, community archives, certain band offices that took over administration of the buildings in the 1970s," he said.
"We're looking at every available source."
Former residential school students can begin filing their applications for compensation under the program on Sept. 20.
Come and visit in our community, join our celebration for "our children, our youth and our way". The youth committee and First Nation Council presents Adam Beach and "Elvis" Daylin James. The theme is "live and follow your dreams" a celebration for first nation youth as they will become leaders of tomorrow.
Meet & Greet - Daylin James and Adam Beach
Fireworks Display (London Fireworks)
Live in concert with Elvis (impersonator) Daylin James
Activities (2 hours)
Square Dancing featuring Live Musicians from Webequie First Nation
Location: Missabay School Grounds - Sandy Road
Local Transportation will be provided.
For more information please contact Destani Skunk at 928-2881 or Kendra Roundhead at 928-2820
Northern Ontario School of Medicine press release ...
NOSM Welcomes Third Intake of 56 Medical Students
For the PDF version, please click on the link:
Today officially marks the first day of school for 56 new students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), following a whirlwind orientation week of exposure to the diversity and vitality of Northern Ontario.
During their unique orientation, the School’s third intake of students traveled, participated in working sessions, met physicians and community leaders, and became acquainted with their new life as a medical student. Following introductory sessions at their home campuses at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, the students gathered at Laurentian, where they embarked on a week-long bus excursion to Thunder Bay.
Stops along the way included Sault Ste. Marie, where the students participated in a tour of the world famous Soo Locks, and experienced a warm welcome from physicians and local dignitaries. In Marathon, they enjoyed beach sports and a hearty barbeque at Penn Lake organized by Dr.
Sarah Newbery and a group of community physicians. The final stop for the group was Thunder Bay, where they attended a dinner hosted by NOSM’s Founding Dean Dr. Roger Strasser and participated in a Hippocratic Oath ceremony, before returning to their respective campuses.
In its recruitment efforts, NOSM continues to follow its mandate of social accountability, and aims to have class profiles which reflect the cultural diversity of Northern Ontario. Demographic profiles of the
2007 incoming class show that:
* 91% are from Northern Ontario
* 9% are self-identified Aboriginals
* 27% are self-identified Francophones
More than 2,000 applications were received for the 2007-08 academic year, of which 408 were interviewed. NOSM’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, Dr. Tom Szabo, noted that this was an exciting time for NOSM. “With members of the 2006 class moving forward into their second year, NOSM now officially welcomes its third group of students, bringing our student complement to 168 aspiring physicians,”
Students will now get down to work and immerse themselves in all things
NOSM: state-of-the-art smart classrooms, a progressive distributed learning curriculum, and a community-based learning environment with placements across Northern Ontario. Each of these elements helps to ensure that NOSM graduates physicians with an appreciation for the unique health-care needs of Northern Ontario, as well as the cultural diversity of the people who call it home.
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is a pioneering faculty of medicine. The School is a joint initiative of Lakehead and Laurentian Universities with main campuses in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, and multiple teaching and research sites across Northern Ontario. By educating skilled physicians and undertaking health research suited to community needs, the School will become a cornerstone of community health care in Northern Ontario.
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For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Communications Officer, West
Communications Officer, East
The First Nations of Bearskin Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Koocheching and Wawakepewin received visitors from Blair Electronics, Keewaytinook Okimakanak, Shibogama and Windigo on Thursday and Friday of this past week.
Site visits are required to complete the equipment, site plans and community consultations in preparation for the construction of the local broadband connectivity solutions proposed for each community.
This construction work, described below, is being funded by Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC), Industry Canada's FedNor and INAC's First Nations SchoolNet. This Keewaytinook Okimakanak (K-Net) led project is being completed in partnership with the nine First Nations as well as Shibogama and Windigo First Nation.
The team from Blair Electronics was selected as the winning contractor to complete this construction work after a public Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued last month.
From the Request for Proposals that was posted on MERX on July 4, 2007 (click here to see a copy of the RFP) ...
The purpose of the broadband initiative for the nine remote First Nations, which comprise of
is to facilitate the installation and delivery of affordable broadband telecommunications infrastructure to the residents, businesses, and public institutions. This service will fulfill the unique needs of these First Nations and will be a partnership that will also take into consideration the training, support and sustainability issues of the project. This service will be at a minimum, equal to what is considered broadband to the home commonly known as cable/modem or DSL service for the residents of each community. The final solution should be capable of providing and offering competitive monthly rates for users ($39 -$59) and higher end online services for local business and organizations, such as videoconferencing, VOIP, telemedicine, etc.
This service will allow residents access to services not previously possible with dial up services. Telehealth, distance education, online research and file transfer will now be possible for those that utilize the service. For small business and public institutions remote access to centralized systems, application service providers and tele-work will be possible.
PREMIER THANKS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR FOR SERVICE TO ONTARIO - New Writing Awards Honour James K. Bartleman’s Commitment To Literacy
TORONTO, August 23, 2007 — Premier Dalton McGuinty today thanked outgoing Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. James K. Bartleman, for his service to Ontario and announced new writing awards for Aboriginal youth created in his honour.
"His Honour made a real difference in the lives of many Aboriginal young people in Ontario with his unwavering commitment to promoting literacy," said Premier McGuinty. "We want to honour his work by helping more Aboriginal youth reach their full potential and achieve their dreams."
The James Bartleman Awards for Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing will recognize excellence in short story and poetry writing. Four awards, worth $2,500 each, will be handed out annually to Aboriginal youth up to 18 years old.
During his four-year term, the Lieutenant Governor launched two book drives, collecting over a million books for Aboriginal youth. His Honour also established summer literacy camps and reading clubs for Aboriginal youth and launched a Twinning Program for Native and non-Native schools in Ontario and Nunavut.
"On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to thank His Honour for his leadership and his dedication to helping others," said Premier McGuinty. "Ontario is an even better place to live thanks to his efforts."
Aboriginal writers offered $2,500 awards
Louise Brown, Education Reporter - Aug 24, 2007
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has created four $2,500 awards for young aboriginal writers to honour outgoing Lieutenant-Governor James Bartleman.
To be presented each year to promising aboriginal poets and short story writers up to 18 years old, the new James Bartleman Awards for Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing are a bid to "help more aboriginal youth reach their full potential and achieve their dreams," said McGuinty in unveiling the scholarships at a farewell reception Bartleman, Canada's first aboriginal representative of the Queen.
He will be succeeded in September by Toronto broadcaster David Onley.
During his five-year term, Bartleman - whose mother is Ojibwa - ran two book drives that collected more than 1 million used books for children in remote northern reserves where school library shelves had stood empty for lack of funds. As well, he has created a long-distance book club that sends four new books a year to each of 5,000 northern aborginal children, where many homes have few reading materials.
Bartleman, who has written four books himself, made literacy a cornerstone of his tenure as lieutenant-governor.
First Nations "Major Bantam" Hockey Tournament is scheduled in Sioux Lookout on December 14-16th, 2007.
First 12 major Bantam Teams to register will be accepted.
To confirm the registration, a non-refundable deposit of $500.00 is required, due to a number of teams interested in playing.
To submit your deposit, please make cheque payable to, and mail to:
First Solutions Inc. c/o Eno C. Anderson
P.O. Box 414, Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1A5.
For further inquiries: please call 1 807 737 7653 ( leave a message )
Eno C. Anderson, Convenor