#ArcticWinterGames; #Whitehorse; Ukon,#Canada; #APrideHouse; #LGBTQI2S+
Whitehouse (Yukon), Jan 25 (Canadian-Media): Organisation of Pride House, in a semi-private space at Yukon College from March 16 to 20 for young people, would be the new feature in this year's Arctic Winter Games (AWG) to be held from from March 15-21 in Whitehorse, the capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory, media reports said.
Pride House. Image credit: Twitter
"It's kind of aiming to be a safe space for LGBTQI2S+-identified athletes, and especially for these Arctic Winter Games we want to focus on making sure that that space really is safe," said Mia Val, who works for the AWG host society and sits on its inclusion committee.
The first Pride House was at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Val said and they have become common now at major sporting events.
"The main idea is that it's just a safe place for youth to come hang out in their off-time during the games," Sofia Fortin, volunteer coordinator for Pride House said.
"They know it's a place where they're not going to face discrimination, they're not going to face any bullying, they're just going to get lots of support and love for who they are."
Fortin says it could serve as a meeting place for young people come from small communities get to meet others like them not just for youth who identify as LGBTQI2S+.
"Certainly, allies would be welcome but basically anything that's unfriendly or hostile is not welcome," Fortin said.
#UBC; #FNHA; #collaboration; #improveCancerOutcomes; #FirstNations; #Cancer
British Columbia, Jan 8 (Canadian-Media): The University of British Columbia (UBC) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are collaborating to try and improve the outcome among indigenous cancer victims, media reports said.
According to a report by the FNHA, First Nation, Métis and Inuit are less likely to survive a cancer diagnosis than non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The study showed that cancers such as colorectal and cervical are significantly higher among First Nations in B.C.
The UBC and FNHA will spend $3-million over the next five years will examine experiences and outcomes of Indigenous cancer patients to see how the health system is responding to their needs.
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#AFN; #IndigenousLanguages; #FederalGovernment; #vitalConnectionToTheirAncestors; #InternationalYearOfIndigenousLanguages; #UNDelegation
Ottawa, Dec 17 (Canadian-Media): Speaking today at UN Headquarters in New York City, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said many action needed to be taken from the federal government and the wider international community to prevent Indigenous languages facing extinction, media reports said.
Our languages connect us all to our ceremonies, to our lands, to our waters and to our right to self-determination as Indigenous peoples...For our languages to survive they must be taught ... Work with us to help bring Indigenous languages back from the brink of destruction." he told UN delegates gathered for a day marking the end of the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
In the last few years there had been some progress, said Bellegarde, as elders were eager to reclaim part of their identity and started teaching their languages to young people.
More action is needed, added Bellegarde, to repair the damage done by residential schools, where English and French were forced on Indigenous students.
While addressing the UN on Tuesday, Indigenous Service Minister Marc Miller pointed to Bill C-91 as a way forward in allowing for the translation of federal documents into Indigenous languages and interpretation services.
Three out of four of the 90 different living Indigenous languages in Canada are said to be endangered.
"If we do not act now to protect these beautiful languages, many of us will not hear it for ourselves in the years to come..I look forward to seeing the work continue with all Indigenous partners in Canada for the co-implementation of the [languages] act in a spirit of mutual trust and respect," Miller said.
#UN; #IndigenousLanguages; #InternationalYearofIndigenousLanguages; #UNESCO; #UNDESA
New York, Dec 17 (Canadian-Media): Despite UN efforts throughout this International Year of Indigenous Languages to highlight the daily disappearance of mother tongues across the world, the President of the General Assembly (PGA) warned on Tuesday that “challenges persist nonetheless,” UN reports said.
A group of women in traditional clothing, Kenya. Credit: World Bank/Curt Carnemark
“Every fortnight, at least one indigenous language vanishes from the face of the earth”, spelled out Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. “This translates into two extinct indigenous languages each month”.
Turning to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the PGA pointed out that the 2007 milestone calls on States, among other things, to enact policies and laws aimed at preserving and strengthening indigenous languages.
“The status-quo is indeed grave”, he asserted, painting a picture of only 4,000 surviving indigenous languages, spoken by a mere 6 per cent of the total world population.
Mr. Muhammad-Bande said it was “equally noteworthy”, that 15 per cent of the poorest people on the planet are indigenous.
Why indigenous languages matter
Indigenous traditions have served as a “dependable means of acquiring knowledge” which can be transmitted across generations, he stated, citing examples of herbal medicine, food processing and settling disputes within communities.
And although linguistic diversity is essential to preserve humanity’s common heritage, which is critical to its survival, it is imperiled with every language that goes extinct.
“With the death of languages, the indigenous people who speak them lose a significant part of their identity”, he lamented.
Keeping the languages alive
Among the markers of progress are the creation of a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples, the Interactive Informal Hearing with Indigenous Peoples, and the sensitization of the international community to their plight.
Mr. Muhammad-Bande said the year is itself evidence of the UN’s commitment to preserve endangered languages
He urged the world to focus attention on the measures to ensure the survival of those which remain, underscoring that “schools have a major role to play”.
“By integrating indigenous languages into their curricula, they would have fulfilled the vital mission of shielding the languages from external onslaught and internal decay”, said the PGA.
In closing, he recalled that “languages are scientific insights, hints of wisdom, and community practices that move civilizations from one stage to another”.
‘A source of pride’, says Roma star
Oscar nominated actress and star of the film Roma, who is also UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples, Yalitza Aparicio, shared her hopes for preserving indigenous cultures and traditions.
She looks forward to the day when “parents are not obliged to forget who they are, where they came from, or have to hide their languages to protect their children from a society that stereotypes and limits employment opportunities”.
And “that no girl or boy grows up ashamed of their roots and that they know that speaking an indigenous language is a source of pride that gives a rich perspective”.
The event was co-organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), along with the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Member States and others, to assess progress made during the year and review existing challenges – sharing key lessons learned about the preservation, promotion and revitalization of indigenous languages.
General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, with participants at the closing of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages in New York. Credits: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
#FirstNations; #FirstNationsChildWelfare; #FirstNationsChiefsMeeting; #Ottawa
Manitoba, Dec 3 (Canadian-Media): Increased funding for the First Nations child welfare would be the priority of the First Nations chiefs' meeting this week in Ottawa for the annual Assembly of First Nations (AFN) special chiefs assembly, media reports said.
Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly/Twitter
About $3.5 billion in funding over five years would be needed by the First Nations to cover all the legal complexities of taking over a child-welfare agency and co-ordinating with provincial agencies, said Kevin Hart, Manitoba's Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regional chief, to effectively take over responsibility for child welfare services under a new law that comes into force on Jan. 1.
Bill C-92, or An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, passed earlier this year lacked statutory funding.
"That is something we find unacceptable and unfair when we are taking over the sovereignty and jurisdiction of our children, and it needs to be properly and adequately resourced," Hart said.
Federal government's decision to challenge the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order for compensation to First Nations children Many chiefs caused great concern many chiefs.
"I am pretty disheartened, but I am hoping Canada gets it right sooner rather than later because our kids are falling through the cracks as we speak," said Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand of the government's decision to fight the order.
One of the resolutions chiefs will be debating calls on the federal government to provide transitional funding for Bill C-92 to for implementation planning process of all stages and in all regions.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller's office sent a statement saying money under Bill C-92 would be tailored to what individual First Nations need.
"We cannot presume how partners will want to exercise their jurisdiction," said the statement.
"We will work with those partners to identify needs and ensure funding that supports their jurisdiction over child and family services."
#BritishColumbia; #largestSolarFarm; #FirstNations
British Columbia, Dec 2 (Canadian-Media): The first and the largest operational solar farms 100 percent owned and operated by a First Nation in the province of British Columbia would soon be operated, said the chief of a small First Nations community in British Columbia's Interior who expects the power to go on any day, media reports said.
Chief Russell Myers Ross of the Yunesit'in in the Chilcotin region west of Williams Lake says the 1.25-megawatt hours per year project is also among the largest operational solar farms in the province.
"We were trying to find ways to build out community infrastructure and supplement any higher costs with clean energy," Ross said in an interview Sunday.
Having 3,456 solar modules that will convert the sun's rays into electricity, the Tsilhqot'in hopes to sell this electricity BC Hydro to generate revenue shared by each of the member nations.
With capacity to generate enough energy to power between 130 and 150 homes, it's small on a global scale but large for British Columbia and the first solar farm of its size to be fully owned and operated by a First Nation.
Ross added that even the construction phase was almost entirely completed by members of the community.
"It was almost all First Nation-built, which is a feat in itself," he said.
#Ottawa; #FirstNationsChildren&FamilyCaringSocietyofCanada; #JusticeCanada; #AssemblyOfFirstNations; #CanadianHumanRightsTribunal;
Ottawa, Nov 25 (Canadian-Media): Federal Justice Minister David Lametti and Justice Canada lawyers were of the view that compensating First Nations children impacted by the on-reserve child welfare system covers a wider group of people than the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling, media reports said.
Minister David Lametti/Twitter
Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, had been trying to get the federal government to compensate First Nations children since 2007.
But Ottawa wants to settle the entire matter with cases from 1991 onward outside of the tribunal.
"We have accepted the fact that we have to compensate...but we have to do it in a way that respects everybody who was wronged whether they be children or whether they be families across a wider swath of time," said Lametti.
Advocates for First Nations children accuse the government of trying to dodge the full cost.
"I can't believe I'm still going back to court 13 years after this thing was filed," said Blackstock.
On Monday, the federal government takes its legal fight against the order to Federal Court for two days of hearings because it wants to make amends differently.
All sides of the case -- Ottawa, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) -- were ordered by the Tribunal to negotiate a method for dealing with the compensation and present it by Dec. 10.
It was also ordered by the tribunal that the parents or grandparents — depending on who was the primary guardian — whose children were taken unjustly from their care would be eligible for at least $20,000.
The federal government had also been urged by Perry Bellegarde, AFN National Chief to drop its judicial review, if that's what families and children prefer.
#Alberta; #FirstNations; #CentralAlbertaFirstNations; #O’ChieseandSunchildFirstNations;
Alberta, Nov 22 (Canadian-Media): Bylaws had been signed on Wednesday by Chiefs from the O’Chiese and Sunchild First Nation to empower two Central Alberta First Nations to drive out the illegal drug trade to improve the lives of local youth, media reports said.
The chiefs of the O’Chiese First Nation and Sunchild First Nation sign a bylaw to evict drug dealers from their communities on Nov. 20, 2019
Image credit: Facebook
Overwhelming support for the new bylaws were received, from the residents of O’Chiese and Sunchild First Nations, with great assurance to work collaboratively with the RCMP on enforcement of the new bylaws and all aspects of the criminal justice system.
A body made up of seven First Nations community members was formed to handle penalties and appeals.
“This is an historic event for both nations… we’re a strong nation as one,” said Chief Douglas Beaverbones of the O’Chiese First Nation.
During Wednesday’s signing ceremony Chief Beaverbones described the agony he had felt watching his community suffer and said,
“It hurt me to see them like that, I wanted to help,”
Both First Nations were well aware of the difficulties they would have to face and the amount of pushback they may have to endure but they said “It may be tough, but we’re doing it for the kids.”
“We need to look beyond our struggles, we need to look past the wrongdoings and instead, heal from it,” said Elder Advisor Theresa Strawberry.
Ottawa, Nov 13 (Canadian-Media): Amid a worldwide campaign to promote cultural pride known as Rock Your Mocs, indigenous people from coast to coast are rocking their moccasins at school, at the office and in communities this week, media reports said.
Rock Your Mocs/Twitter
Jessica Jaylyn Atsye of Laguna Pueblo, N.M. had started the campaign Rock Your Mocs in 2011 and since 2013 event producer Melissa Sanchez has been organizing it as a worldwide movement every Nov. 15.
For the first time this year the campaign has been extended to a week, running Nov. 9-16.
Besides promoting cultural pride and showcasing the diversity of nations, the campaign aims to unify Indigenous Peoples globally through social media.
"I'm showing my representation in public spaces, including social media," said Ashley Daniels, the Manitoba representative on the Assembly of First Nations national youth council.
"Just to be reminded that we hold these spaces, too."
#FSIN; STF; #firstNations; #Saskatchewan; #Education; #DropInGraduationRates
Saskatchewan, Nov 2 (Canadian-Media): The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) are alarmed at the declining graduation rates for First Nations students compared with non-First Nations students, media reports said.
“First Nations students continue to face barriers and obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential in school,” said FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt. “Government has to step up to the plate and ensure the proper support systems are in place to increase First Nations graduation rates. Our children are our most precious resource and they deserve better.”
“Government has committed to improving graduation rates for Indigenous students, but the plan isn’t working,” said Patrick Maze, President of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. “It is unacceptable that the education gap remains so large. It’s time to do more.”