Nishnawbe Aski-Nation

NAN working with Voices for Children on Suicide Preventation strategy

"The greatest omission in the work that I see is that it fails to stress the reality that most of the mental health disorders affecting Canadians today begin in childhood and adolescence. Failure to recognize this fact leads us to dealing with a stage-four cancer, often with major secondary effects, instead of a stage-one or stage-two disease. Like obesity, mental health issues, if not addressed early in life, threaten to bankrupt our health care system. "

Diane Sacks, Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada. Final Report of The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, May 2006, p. 135

September 21, 2006

Stigma is a serious issue affecting children and youth with mental health difficulties and families beleaguered by a fragmented system

Research shows that perhaps up to 20% of Canadian children and youth are living with mental illness. In Ontario, many of these children have trouble in school.

Whether they are being teased by their peers or waiting on long lists for referral and treatment, these children and families live every day with the stigma and shame that goes hand in hand with mental illness and mental health problems.

Can stigma be reduced? Could our schools become the solution? The Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health invites all of us to work together to find out.

Read the full report: Sticks and Stones: Breaking the stigma of child and youth mental health difficulties through our schools

New from The Seventh Generation Project: events to mark International Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week in Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) communities

"There is a suicide epidemic where I live in Northwestern Ontario." Find out what the NAN Decade Youth Council and VOICES are doing to commemorate Yellow Ribbon International Suicide Awareness and Prevention Week.

And, read the recent youth report on the suicide epidemic in First Nations communities and what they're doing about it.

Visit The Seventh Generation website

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is a registered charity dedicated to promoting the well-being of Ontario's young people. We disseminate knowledge and ideas to influence public awareness, policy and practice. We produce the information you need to know.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact: Cathy Vine, Executive Director, tel: 416-489-5485 or email:

Voices for Children is proud to acknowledge our sustaining partners: Child Development Institute, the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation and Scotia Capital.

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Visit to see the NAN press release below.

NAN Decade for Youth Promotes Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Posted by: Communications and Media

NAN Decade for Youth and Development kicked off events recognizing the 12th Annual Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention and Awareness week during a news conference in Thunder Bay Monday September 18, 2006.

Click Here for a full schedule of events of Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week September 18-23, 2006

Some of the events taking place during the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week include youth forums and roundtable discussions on suicide prevention, ceremonial yellow balloon launch for NAN members lost to suicide, and powwow.

NAN Decade for Youth and Development is a 2001 initiative declaring an entire decade to empowering and mentoring youth within NAN territory. Suicide prevention is one of many focuses of the program which launched the We Care Yellow Balloon campaign in March.

Voices for Children promotes the well-being of children and youth in Ontario by disseminating information to influence policy, practice and awareness.

There have been 19 suicides in NAN territory this year. There were 25 suicides in 2005 which is almost double the national average.

Keewaywin Award Winners recognized at the NAN conference in Sachigo Lake

From the NAN web site at

Keewaywin Award Winners

Posted by: Communications - 8/15/2006
Congratulations to the 2006 Keewaywin Award Winners from the 25th Annual Keewawayin Conference in Sachigo Lake, August 2-4, 2006.

Keewaywin Award Winners

Youth Achievement Awards

Henry Tyson Baker, 18, Mishkeegogamang FN-
Athletic/Recreation Award

Winning awards isn’t new to Henry who graduated this year from Pelican Falls First Nation High School on the honour roll.  Some of his awards include:  Gary Quill Memorial Award: Overall Student of the Year, Most Improved Player      Volleyball 2004-05, MVP Basketball and Volleyball 2005-06, Senior Boys Athlete of the Year 2005-06 and the Colin Hood OFSAA School Sport Award 2005-06.  This past year Henry, who was new to the sport of running, qualified for OFSAA Championships for Cross Country Running in Kingston Ontario. He was the first PFFNHS student athlete to qualify for any OFSAA Championship.

Junior Canadian Rangers, 14-16, Kashechewan FN-Leadership/ Community Involvement –Stan Mckay Memorial Award

Chelsea Goodwin, Leonard Goodwin, Kaitlin Nakogee, Joseph Paulmartin, Lawrence Sutherland, Corbin Wesley, Stephanie Wesley, Ernie Wynee

During the tainted water crisis in Kashechewan (October-December 2005) these eight Junior Canadian Rangers volunteered their services to the community by assisting Canadian Rangers to deliver water bottles to the homes.  They also assisted evacuees, particularly the old and infirm and mothers with young children, to get from their homes to the airport and onto evacuation planes.

 “In the name of the Queen and on behalf of the people of Ontario, I want to thank you for your commitment to your country and community. As Junior Rangers you are role models for the youth in your community,” said the Honourable James Bartleman, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.

Marcus Ostamus, 18,  Eabametoong FN –Education/Academic Award

Marcus is entering grade 12 in September at Sir Winston Churchill High School.  Marcus, a bright and intelligent student, is very dedicated to his academics and is planning his post secondary education in Computer Engineering. He enjoys his computer programs and is very talented.  Some of the awards he has received in the past include: Xavier Michon Memorial Award, Grade 10 Honour Roll- Outstanding Achievement, Grade 10 Mathematics-Outstanding Achievement and Eabametoong Education Authority Board of Directors Award.

Daniel Cheechoo, 22, Moose Cree FN-
Youth Council Award

Daniel is a great athlete, a dedicated student and a role model for the youth and his peers.  Daniel is a vital asset to the basketball community in the Moose Factory area, as he and a couple of friends founded and organized a team called The Jazz.  Many players from this team went on to represent Team Ontario, winning the 2005 Ontario Aboriginal Summer Games and later a bronze medal at the 2006 North American Indigenous Games in Denver Colorado. Daniel was instrumental in bringing the first ever summer basketball tournament CREEHOOPS to Moose Factory.  This year Daniel has taken on the lead role in planning and organizing the event.  He has also developed a CREEHOOPS website to promote the tournament.  He took on other leadership roles when he was elected Vice President for two years on the Engineering Access Program Council at the University of Manitoba.  Daniel’s knowledge, vision, skills, creativity and design are definitely an asset to his people and his community.

Kyle Stone, 10, Whitewater Lake FN-
Youth Leaders of Tomorrow Award

Kyle is a natural leader, he works hard and has excellent academic achievements.   In September he will be going into Grade 6 at CD Howe Public School.  This past year he was presented with two awards: the Classroom Achievement Award and the Athletic Achievement Award.  Kyle demonstrates leadership qualities while participating in many athletic activities.  He was the assistant Captain for the Thunder Bay 9AAA Hockey and the Port Arthur Contentials, Minor All-Star team.  Kyle actively promotes his First Nation’s heritage at school and in his sporting activities.  He is an ambassador for bringing awareness of aboriginal   culture to his classmates, by producing reports on First Nations and by dancing in his regalia.  Kyle continuously earns respect from his peers for his outgoing and charismatic personality.

Other Keewaywin Awards  

NAN Woman of the Year Award
Theresa Sutherland

Emile Nakogee Award for Leadership
David Paul Achneepineskum

NAN Elder of the Year Award
Moses Angees

NAN Staff of the Year Award
Jenna Young

Chiefs re-elect Stan Beardy Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation

NAN Press Release

NAN Chiefs re-elect Stan Beardy as Grand Chief

     SACHIGO LAKE FIRST NATION, ON, Aug. 3 - Chiefs and proxies from Nishnawbe Aski Nation's (NAN) 49 First Nation communities re-elected Stan Beardy as Grand Chief this afternoon during the 25th Annual Keewaywin Chiefs Conference in Sachigo Lake First Nation.

     "I look forward to serving the people of Nishnawbe Aski as we move forward to effectively address the fundamental challenges of First Nations across Ontario," said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy who has now entered his third term representing communities throughout James Bay Treaty 9 territory.

"I'd like to recognize and thank my family and all supporters and look forward to working together with NAN leadership to improve the quality of life of our people."

     Beardy was elected along with three Deputy Grand Chiefs who will each be responsible for specific portfolios at NAN, such as education, health, justice, and governance.

     Incumbent Alvin Fiddler, Roseanne Archibald, and Terry Waboose were elected as Deputy Grand Chiefs.

     The Keewaywin Conference will continue to Friday, August 4 in Sachigo Lake First Nation.

     The new NAN Executive Council will meet again next week at the 2006 James Bay Treaty 9 Centennial Commemoration in Ginnoogaming (Longlac) First Nation August 9th and 10th.


/For further information: please visit or contact: Jenna Young, Director of Communications, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Sachigo Lake NAN office: (807) 595-2526; Larry Amos, Head Electoral Officer, (204) 956-7413/

NAN Keewaywin Conference webcast from Sachigo First Nation

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is holding it's Keewaywin Conference August 1,2,3 in Sachigo Lake.  Many of the activities are being webcast live from Sachigo Lake First Nation.  Click here to go the the NAN Elections Website for the webcast. 

NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy alarmed with directions taken by Federal gov't


NAN GRAND Chief raises alarm on Harper government stance on First Nations and the courts

     TORONTO, July 28 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy is raising the alarm on the new public agenda of the Harper government that takes aim at the courts and First Nations.

     Beardy's remarks come on the heels of Indian Affairs Minister Prentice's hard line message to Chiefs in Vancouver where the Minister made it clear that the government was opposed to a so-called "racially segregated fishery."

     Beardy said that "The Harper government is now trying to close the door on a court process that First Nations have successfully used to expose the failure of governments to deliver on constitutional obligations and treaty promises to First Nations."

     Over the last months the Harper government by deeds and words and have made it clear that they believe that groups like First Nations have been too successful in pressing their claims, claims like the treaty right to fish, in the courts.

     Beardy said that "the Prime Minister wants a return to a Canada where political parties and the Cabinet enjoy a monopoly on public policy; where First Nations have little or no access to the political process; and where the courts are bit players on the political stage.

     "Unfortunately, there is no turning back the clock. First Nations are here to stay, our demands are legitimate and we will continue to use the courts to back up our demands," said Beardy.

     "While Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and her colleagues may not be Gods, we have more faith in the Supreme Court than in the political whims of governments."

     On July 24, one of the member nations of Treaty No. 9, the Kitchenuhmaykoosin Innuwug , launched a court action to challenge the constitutionality of the Mining Act.

     Minister Prentice's reference to a race based fishery is just the latest in a long list of public statements by the Harper government that includes rejection of the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the Prime Minister's letter opposing the so-called race-based fishery and the resignation of aboriginal affairs Committee chair Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott for intemperate remarks regarding Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.


/For further information: Kristy Hankila, Communications Assistant, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625 4902, (807) 472-9604 (mobile)/

Oshki and NAN team up with IBM to host a ICT and Engineering Camp in T.Bay

Oshki and NAN are working with IBM to host a 3 day camp for young people (8 to 14 years of age) starting August 15. Everyone interested is encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible because there are only 20 seats available.

Click here for a copy of the complete registration package (PDF document)


Ralph Rowe trial to continue in Kenora after Superior court ruling


Trial date to be set for Ralph Rowe

     THUNDER BAY, ON, July 11 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy and Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler are pleased with last Friday's decision to continue court processes in the current criminal case against Ralph Rowe - a former pilot and missionary school master charged with various counts of assault.

     "The decision is definitely a sense of relief for those affected not only across NAN territory, but the entire province of Ontario," said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. "Now it's our job to move forward to prepare for the trial by gaining support for the victims."

     Fiddler's comments come after a July 7th official response from Superior Court Justice E.W. Stach stating the following in a written report regarding a defense charter motion submitted by Rowe in May: "In short there is simply no support on these grounds for Mr. Rowe's claim for a stay of the current proceedings. To hold otherwise would effectively require young victims of sexual abuse to speak up immediately or never be heard."

     Despite Rowe's charter motion for a stay of proceedings due to court delays and abuse of process, court proceedings on this case will resume August 2006 to set a date for trial.

     In addition to serving 3 years of a six year sentence in 1994 for indecent and sexual assaults, Rowe is currently charged with an additional 38 counts of indecent assaults and 34 counts of sexual assault against a total of 28 male victims in nine different settings, most of them northern First Nations, alleged to have taken place between June 29, 1971 and May 1, 1986 (a 16-year span).

     "This isn't just about Ralph Rowe, but about an assault on our people by the church," said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "By employing Ralph Rowe, the church did not fulfil its obligation to ensure the safety of its patrons - the church should be a safe place."

     Rowe worked in at least 18 NAN First Nation communities between 1971 and 1986. He currently lives in Surrey, BC.


/For further information: Jenna Young, NAN Director of Communications, (807) 625-4952, (807) 628 3953 (mobile)/

Chiefs of Sioux Lookout health zone march to condemn and close hostel

Nishnawbe Aski Press Release

NAN community leadership and members condemn hostel

     SIOUX LOOKOUT, ON, July 7 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler (NAN health portfolio holder) together with NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, Lac Seul First Nation Chief David Gordon, Sandy Lake First Nation Chief Pardemus Anishinabie, and community members of Sioux Lookout and surrounding First Nations declared the Sioux Lookout Hostel condemned, officially closing its doors yesterday at noon.

     "The health and safety of the people who access the services of the Hostel is being compromised daily by old heat and water systems, mould, and asbestos," said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, adding the construction of a new Hostel is part of an agreement made almost ten years ago.

     "We're still committed to working with Health Canada and would reconsider re-opening the Hostel if we can secure a ministerial guarantee, however at this point in time and for the safety of our people we have no choice but to close the doors."

     A four party agreement to build a new hospital and hostel in Sioux Lookout was signed April 1997 by the Governments of Canada and Ontario, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, and Nishnawbe Aski Nation plus four Treaty 3 communities. As part of this agreement the Sioux Lookout Hostel was deemed an essential support service for First Nation members across Ontario and the Government of Canada promised to provide or ensure the availability of funding for a new building.

     The condemnation comes after a Wednesday meeting with First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Assistant Deputy Minister Ian Potter who could not commit to the construction of a new building until the House of Commons sits again Fall 2006.

     The construction of the $84 million new Meno Ya Win Health Centre is scheduled to begin this summer with expectation to be available for occupancy 2009.

     To date there is no official plan for construction of a new Hostel that will cost approximately $9 million.

     The current Hostel with 39 beds is 57 years old and requires heat and water upgrades. There is asbestos and mould in the building and there are only 2 co-ed washrooms.

     "I urge all parties to continue to work together to address this very vital issue. We have been given some assurances by the federal government, but what we want is a concrete commitment," said AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine. "We must ensure that this essential support service - a hostel that meets the basic standards most Canadians take for granted - is in place as quickly as possible."

     Despite yesterday's condemnation of the Sioux Lookout Hostel, the current Hostel residents will continue to receive support services as part of an alternate care plan being developed by Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and NAN.

     "The doors are closing today, but an alternate care plan in terms of transportation, accommodation, and health care is in place for the current patients residing at the Hostel," Fiddler said yesterday.

     The hostel houses patients from more than 30 First Nation communities across Northwestern Ontario when receiving medical care from Sioux Lookout Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre (Sioux Lookout Zone hospital and Sioux Lookout District hospital). Health services are provided to all residents within Sioux Lookout and surrounding area, including NAN First Nation communities north of Sioux Lookout, Lac Seul First Nation, and residents of Pickle Lake and Savant Lake.


/For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952, (807) 628-3953 (mobile); Bryan Hendry, Communications Officer - Health, Assembly of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 OR (613) 293-6106 (mobile)/

Health Canada potential delay of funding for construction of new Sioux Lookout hostel

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Press Release ...

NAN and AFN to seek commitment to former agreement to construct Sioux Lookout Zone hostel

THUNDER BAY, ON, July 4 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler together with Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, Lac Seul First Nation Chief David Gordon, and Sandy Lake First Nation Chief Pardemus Anishinabie, will host a news conference in Sioux Lookout Thursday to announce the results of a Wednesday meeting with Assistant Deputy Minister of First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (a division of Health Canada).

  • DATE: Thursday July 6, 2006
  • TIME: 12:00 p.m.
  • LOCATION: Sioux Lookout Hostel, 76 Seventh Avenue, Sioux Lookout

* Please note: Supporters will gather at the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre at 11:30 a.m. prior to walking to the Hostel

The group is meeting with Assistant Deputy Minister Ian Potter to seek a formal commitment to start construction of a new hostel in Sioux Lookout - part of a 1997 four-party agreement between the Governments of Canada and Ontario, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, and Nishnawbe Aski Nation plus four Treaty 3 communities to build a new hospital in Sioux Lookout.

Depending on the outcome of Wednesday's meeting taking place in Ottawa, First Nation community leadership and members are prepared to close the doors and label condemned the 57-year-old, 39-bed hostel containing asbestos, mould, graffiti-covered walls, and only two co-ed washrooms.

As an essential support to hospital services, the hostel houses patients from more than 30 First Nation communities across Northwestern Ontario when receiving medical care from Sioux Lookout Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre (Sioux Lookout Zone hospital and Sioux Lookout District hospital). Health services are provided to all residents within Sioux Lookout and surrounding area, including NAN First Nation communities north of Sioux Lookout, Lac Seul First Nation, and residents of Pickle Lake and Savant Lake.


/For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952 or (807) 628-3953 mobile; Bryan Hendry, Communications Officer - Health, Assembly of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 or (613) 293-6106
 View Photos Here

Official Candidate List for NAN Grand Chief and Deputy Chief positions

Tuesday, July 4 2006

As per the NAN Election Code the following is the official list of candidates for the NAN Election to be held on Thursday August 3rd 2006 in Sachigo Lake First Nation. Click here for a copy of the PDF document from circulated from NAN.


A list of the candidates for Grand Chief and for Deputy Grand Chiefs shall be circulated by facsimile and mail to all NAN First Nations and Tribal Councils within seven days after the closing date for nominations, which is 30 days before the date of the election.

Grand Chief Nominations (By Chiefs)

  • Stan Beardy
  • Brian Davey
  • Mike Metatawabin

Deputy Grand Chief Nominations (By Chiefs)

  • Roseanne Archibald
  • John D. Beardy
  • Alvin Fiddler
  • David L. Flood
  • Michael Fox
  • Ivan Iserhoff
  • Archie Meekis
  • Bill Nothing
  • Terry Waboose
All candidates are welcome to submit their campaign information to be posted on Please contact Alanna McKenzie at (807)627-5606 or email

Prepared By: Alanna McKenzie, NAN/Canada Bilateral Protocol Coordinator
Approved By: Larry Amos, Head Electoral Officer

Contact Information:

Mr. Larry Amos
Head Electoral Officer
166 Anderson Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2W 1E2
Telephone: (204)956-7413
Fax: (204)942-8840