Community News

Blockade continues in Grassy Narrows

The blockade at Grassy Narrows is still up and running despite some reports suggesting they came down. There are two or three different blockades just a few minutes from the reserve. This blockade will be up for a long time because they believe that the loggers will not leave that easily.

In a Wawatay Interview one of the spokespersons for the blockade said that the loggers pulled out but that was just one of the small sub-contractors.

The Logging and Clear-cutting continues and as long as they continue the blockades will remain.

We are asking people to join this blockade because we need more man-power.  In addition, we would appreciate any support from different native organizations in terms of letters, clothing, blankets and financial donations.

If you would like to help you can call Roberta Keesic at 925-2201or Judy Dasilva at 925-2077.

Presentation of Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal to Ennis Fiddler

On the morning of February 6, Howard Hampton, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River and leader of the NDP, presented Ennis Fiddler with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions over the years in his community and across the region.

The entire event was broadcast live over Sandy Lake community radio and webcast from the Kuh-ke-nah Network office in Sioux Lookout.

The event is archived and available for viewing from the web site. Read the entire story Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal Presentation to Ennis Fiddler, watch the 20 minute video clip on-line and leave your congratulatory comments for Ennis.

DFC mourns for the death of respected elder

Thunder Bay- Students and Staff at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay are mourning after a death of elder Johnny Tait of Sachigo Lake First Nation.

Tait, who has been working at DFCHS since its opening in 2000 was a leader, teacher and a guide throughout the hardships that the students had to take. He was one of the must respective people we've known. His love, devotion and courage helped all those around him to have a great success.

Despite his illness, he managed to hold on and tell everyone about God and what he can do. He accomplished his father's will on February 3 at around 1:30 am EST.

The following night, NAN hosted a memorial singing night at the DFCHS gymnasium where about half of the students showed up to encourage and support the family.

The next morning, all students were taken to the Jenkens Funeral home to attend a viewing of the body, which was followed by a service. Everyone that knew Tait, came out to show their last respect to their friend and brother in Christ.

Tait's body has been taken to Sachigo Lake where they'll have a service there on Thursday.

Tait, will be sadly missed by his fellow workers and most importantly, the students he worked with at DFCHS.

Gone, but not forgotten....

Webequie Election results for Chief and Council

Webequie First Nation had its General Band Election in January 2003.

The elected Chief and Councillors are as follows:

Chief Gordon Wabasse
Councillor Elsie MacDonald
Councillor Roy Spence
Councillor Harry Wabasse
Councillor Mike Mekanak
Councillor Alec Suganaqueb
Councillor Cameron Shewaybick

Effective as of February 02, 2003.

LTTA and KO Workshop Great Success

The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council Education Unit, under the direction of Mr. James Teskey and the Learning Through the Arts ( LTTA ), Royal Conservatory of Music's program manager Mr. Conrad Bobiwash hosted the LTTA workshop at the Red Lake Conference Center over the weekend (January 31 to February 2).

All five of the KO First Nation operated schools had teachers, artist practitioners and education staff taking part in the workshop. In all, over thirty particpants joined us for this workshop. One outcome of the workshop is that each participant will be able to take the information back to the community to provide more relevent education to support our children more effectively in the classroom.

The LTTA  program was shared with all the particpants. The partnership between the KO and LTTA was explained to particpants. After this, the hard  work of getting down to writing lesson plans from the existing community resources was completed. As an example the Poplar Hill teachers and artist practitioner will be studying the local animals in the community (excluding the Rez dogs) and developing the language usage in the near future.

All five of the communities will start to implement the lesson plans immediately in their schools.  Congratulations goes out to all particpants from all the communities on making our first workshop a great success.

The "Moccasin Telegraph" gets on the digital highway

I just received this very special story from a friend who lives in the north (she did grant me permission to share this one) ...

"I was just thinking about concrete examples of the use of e-mail that I could use to illustrate its power.

One tiny example is an e-mail I got yesterday from a friend of a person I know asking me to order her another pair of the great moccasins that my friend got from me some time ago.  As it happens, a mother of friend in one of the remote First Nations made them so I was able to e-mail this person the e-mail of address of my friend in the north, at the same carbon copying both of the people who set up the deal for the original moccasins. So now this person can order direct from the north and my friend in the south has contact information about this great supplier of beautiful crafts.

It is a very powerful communications tool for sharing information and networking with others"

Industry Canada's BRAND Announces Successful Applicants

Three Nishnawbe Aski Nation Tribal Councils are included in the first round of funding under Industry Canada's Broadband for Rural and Northern Development (BRAND) program. The complete list of successful applicants can be found at There are at least 156 First Nations across Canada included in these different successful applicants.

Windigo First Nations Council in Sioux Lookout, Wabun Tribal Council in Timmins and Matawa First Nations Management in Thunder Bay will be working on developing business cases to develop local broadband connectivity solutions and applications for their member First Nations. Other NAN First Nations will continue to be supported in developing their business cases in partnership with NAN's Broadband ICT work.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak's K-Net Services will be partnering with many of these groups to support the development of successful business cases. As more First Nations access these resources the opportunity to develop and support more broadband applications become a reality for all the First Nations across the country.

Treaty #3 First Nation Councils were also successful in obtaining broadband business case development funding as well.

Elder Passes Away In Weagamow Lake

A elder passed away today. His name is David Quequish from Weagamow Lake. Sarah Sachekapo, another elder, annouced the death o­n the radio this afternoon. She spoke about her belief that he'll be in Heaven and will always be missed by his family and friends.

I felt sad that he died but I know that he will always be in our memory.

R.I.P we love you and miss you.

Learning Through the Arts Conference Jan 31st to Feb 2nd in Red Lake

The Royal Conservatory of Music
Learning through the Arts Program
Keewaytinook Okimakanak


Teachers and Artists as Partners in the Classroom

Jan 31st  to Feb. 2nd, 2003
Red Lake Training and Conference Center

for further information, please contact
Conrad Bobiwash,
First Peoples Program Manager
Learning Through the Arts
Royal Conservatory of Music

Learning through the Arts Require Local Artists

Call for
Artists and Crafts People
in the KO First Nations

There is an urgent need for artists and crafts people  to work ten days in the following schools: Deer Lake, Keewaywin, North Spirit lake, Poplar Hill and Fort Severn.

Successful artists will have to attend training in Red Lake in Feburary and then  start immediately in the the community schools identified above. You must also speak or write to the Education Director in your community who will approve your  name as an applicant .

The positions are short contract work and will involve 10 working days in your the community identified above.

Please forward your name to Crystal  Neilson,  Artist Coordinator, LTTA,

This is a partnership intiative between Keewatinook Okimakanak  Education and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

For further information or questions , please contact

Conrad Bobiwash, Program Manager
Learning Through the Arts
Royal Conservatory of Music