COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: Nunavut reports its 1st community cases

November 11, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases on First Nations reserves across Canada continues to climb, according to data from Indigenous Services Canada, and Nunavut has reported its first cases in one of the territory’s communities. SC reported 771 active cases on reserves as of Nov. 9, and 440 new cases in the last week with the majority occurring in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/indigenous-covid-19-update-1.5796610

Ontario reports 1,575 new COVID-19 cases on 3rd straight record high day

November 12, 2020

Ontario reported another 1,575 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a third straight record-high day for the province.

The new cases push the seven-day average of daily cases to 1,299, the highest it has been since the first confirmed case of the illness was reported in Ontario in late January. The curve has continued on a steep upward trajectory in the last week.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-coronavirus-ontario-november-12-new-record-high-1.5799141

Remembrance Day 2020: Ontario Regional Chief honours Indigenous veterans

November 11, 2020

During a Remembrance Day ceremony at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald honoured the contributions of Indigenous veterans, including the warriors and hunters who shared their skills and “volunteered to serve and fight for a country that at that time, didn’t even consider them equals.”

https://globalnews.ca/video/7456479/remembrance-day-2020-ontario-regional-chief-honours-indigenous-veterans

AIAI Honors Our Indigenous Veterans Today

November 11, 2020

Listed here are names from AIAI member Nations of those who have served, or are still serving, so that we may honor and thank them for their service. Sunday November 8th is Indigenous Veterans Day. There are still other names out there from many other Nations, both within and outside of AIAI, and we would like to very much honor them as well. If you can please thank those you know, both that are not with us now or those that still are, who have given so much for our land and our people.

http://www.aiai.on.ca/newsroom/aiai-honors-our-indigenous-veterans-today/

First case of COVID-19 identified at Shoal Lake 40 First Nation

November 11, 2020

The Shoal Lake Number 40 pandemic planning team, Chief and council have confirmed the first case of COVID-19 within the community. According to a press release shared on social media, “a member had been receiving health care at the Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg, where an outbreak had occurred. The member had been tested at the hospital and then again upon return into the community, in which the test returned positive for COVID-19.”

https://www.kenoraonline.com/local/first-case-of-covid-19-identified-at-shoal-lake-40-first-nation

Left behind in Neskantaga and exiled in Thunder Bay, a nation still waits for clean water at home

November 11, 2020

It’s been weeks since a First Nation in Northern Ontario evacuated all but a few people due to contaminated water, and the repair job is racing against the seasons so residents can come home before winter sets in. Neskantaga is also pressing Ottawa to address long-term problems so they never have to do this again

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-left-behind-in-neskantaga-and-exiled-in-thunder-bay-a-nation-still/

Ottawa to probe contractors hired to fix longest-standing boil water advisory

November 11, 2020

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is preparing to launch a third-party investigation into the business practices of consultants and engineering companies hired to end Canada’s longest-standing boil water advisory — a probe that could extend to other communities, CBC News has learned.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/neskantaga-drinking-water-investigation-1.5797823

What Ontario’s new modelling for the COVID-19 second wave can — and can’t — tell us

November 12, 2020

Ontario will release updated modelling on Thursday forecasting the course of its second wave of COVID-19, as some epidemiologists already project the province will surpass 2,000 new cases per day by early December. This comes as Ontario sees a renewed surge in infections, despite recent comments by Premier Doug Ford suggesting the pandemic curve is flattening or going down.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-cases-modelling-peak-wave-december-1.5798357

Indigenous-led program aims to improve drinking water in Ontario First Nations

November 10, 2020

More than 20 First Nations across Ontario are taking part in a new project aimed at improving the drinking water standard in their communities. The project is funded by the federal government and administered by the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation. The Indigenous-led corporation says it will provide on-site training to operators of water treatment facilities located in the 22 participating First Nations.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/ontario-first-nations-drinking-water-project-1.5797156

Mamakwa fights to ‘end a quarter century of neglect’ in Neskantaga

November 10, 2020

It’s been 23 days since the remaining members of Neskantaga First Nation have had access to water from their taps, on top of over 25 years since the water’s been safe to drink. Chief Chris Moonias says there’s still no date on when the 271 evacuated community members will be able to return to Neskantaga, and they’re still staying in Thunder Bay hotels.

https://www.drydennow.com/local/mamakwa-fights-to-end-a-quarter-century-of-neglect-in-neskantaga

‘We won’: Indigenous group in Canada scoops up billion dollar seafood firm

November 12, 2020

For generations, Indigenous peoples in Canada have watched, often in frustration, as commercial industries profit from the land and waters their ancestors once harvested. This week, however, excitement replaced irritation as a group of First Nations announced plans to scoop up one of the largest seafood companies in North America.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/12/canada-clearwater-seafoods-mikmaq-first-nation-fishing

Eabametoong Chief concerned about hydrocarbon spill after vehicle capsizes in lake near the First Nation

November 11, 2020

After an amphibious vehicle capsized on a lake just upstream from Eabametoong First Nation last week, the community’s chief is raising alarm about the possibility of a hydrocarbon spill and about the way the incident is being handled. Eabametoong Chief Harvey Yesno called the response to the incident “gross negligence” and “environmental racism on First Nation lands.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/eabametoong-vehicle-capsize-opikeigen-lake-1.5798519

What was not being said at the trial of a dead Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay

November 11, 2020

It matters that what happened to Barbara Kentner, as she walked with her sister Melissa that cold night in January 2017, happened in Thunder Bay — a city with a long-standing racist tradition of throwing objects at Indigenous peoples. Kentner died five months after the trailer hitch attack. Brayden Bushby pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, although his lawyer argued he was not guilty of manslaughter, a charge downgraded from second-degree murder, in Barbara’s death. The trial finally began on Nov. 2 in our Northwestern Ontario city.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2020/11/11/what-was-not-being-said-at-the-trial-of-a-dead-indigenous-woman-in-thunder-bay.html

History: Anishinabek Nation members weigh in on Poppy Protocols

November 11, 2020

In May 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea’s poem, In Flanders Fields, introduced Canadians to the idea of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance. Poppies grew wild in the fallow fields of France and Belgium’s Western Frontier. When the war reduced these lands to mud and rubble, the papaver rhoeas, or corn poppy, appeared only in secluded corners, particularly “between the crosses, row on row” in makeshift commonwealth cemeteries.

https://anishinabeknews.ca/2020/11/11/anishinabek-nation-members-weigh-in-on-poppy-protocols/

Canada marks Remembrance Day with small, socially distanced ceremonies

November 11, 2020

The boom of a gun rang out in the sky above Ottawa at 11 a.m. ET to mark the start of a moment of silence, but the tens of thousands of people who normally gather to mark Remembrance Day in the nation’s capital weren’t there in person to hear it.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/remembrance-day-2020-1.5798042

Indigenous veterans share their stories on Remembrance Day

November 11, 2020

As Canada celebrates Remembrance Day, many are taking the time to acknowledge the contributions of Indigenous veterans, sharing their stories of courage and nationhood. According to Veteran Affairs Canada, it’s estimated that as many as 12,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis people served in the great conflicts of the 20th century, with at least 500 recorded deaths.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/indigenous-veterans-share-their-stories-on-remembrance-day-1.5185509

3 First Nations youth reflect on their military service and honour Indigenous veterans

November 11, 2020

This Remembrance Day, three First Nations youth serving in the military are reflecting on their experiences and why it’s important to honour Indigenous veterans.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/first-nations-youth-serving-military-1.5797282

98-year-old First Nations warrior Philip Favel honoured by the Canadian War Museum

November 11, 2020

On Indigenous Veteran’s Day the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian War Museum honored Pte. Philip Favel with the unveiling of a portrait for his service during the Second World War. The ceremony honouring the veteran took place in the tank room of the War Museum in Ottawa and in attendance were chiefs, politicians and military officials.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/98-year-old-first-nations-warrior-philip-favel-honoured-by-the-canadian-war-museum/

Fort William First Nation citizen inspired by great-great-uncle to enlist and serve on Canadian Armed Forces

November 11, 2020

Fort William’s Michael Dick realized a lifelong goal when he joined the Canadian Armed Forces Lake Superior Scottish Regiment in Thunder Bay. “In 2019, I was sent to Saskatoon and CFD Dundurn to do my basic military qualification course,” says Dick, executive director of programs and specials for CBC Network Radio.

https://anishinabeknews.ca/2020/11/11/fort-william-first-nation-citizen-inspired-by-great-great-uncle-to-enlist-and-serve-on-canadian-armed-forces/

Permanent ’60s Scoop foundation set to launch on Thursday

November 11, 2020

Survivors of the notorious ’60s Scoop are set to mark a key milestone on Thursday with the ceremonial launch of a $50-million foundation aimed at healing the damage wrought by the practice of taking Indigenous children from their families and placing them in non-Indigenous homes.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ont-60s-scoop-1.5798866

$61M coming to help Manitoba First Nations fight COVID-19: Indigenous services minister

November 10, 2020

Indigenous communities in Manitoba will get an immediate boost in funding to help battle COVID-19 both on- and off-reserve after an “alarming rise” in COVID-19 cases in the province. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said $61.4 million in additional funding will flow to the province. “In light of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, Indigenous Services Canada, in partnership with Manitoba First Nations, is immediately providing $61.4 million in additional surge capacity funding to fight the virus in a number of key areas,” Miller said in a series of tweets Monday.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/funding-first-nations-covid-1.5797000

Why rollout of COVID-19 vaccine could be ‘the most difficult part’ in Canada

November 11, 2020

Despite promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates on the horizon worldwide, experts say Canada needs to overcome major hurdles before it can develop rollout strategies to get the right shot into Canadians’ arms.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-canada-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-1.5797082

An Aboriginal-led approach saved communities from Covid. Now it’s time to tackle mental health

November 12, 2020

I took part in a workshop recently where we were asked to describe an Aboriginal community controlled health organization. The answers from participants were revealing in that they did not mention GPs, nurses or community health programs. Instead they described a state of feeling: “a hug from an aunty or uncle”, a place “where you’re safe to just be”, “a place free from racism and prejudice”, a “connectedness”.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/12/an-aboriginal-led-approach-saved-communities-from-covid-now-its-time-to-tackle-mental-health

Ziibiwan among grant recipients splitting prize money awarded to Inconvenient Indian film

November 12, 2020

An Indigenous electronic music producer and composer from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory has received a career boost from another well-known Indigenous artist. The film Inconvenient Indian, which has been receiving rave reviews, captured the Canada Goose 2020 Amplify Voices Award after it was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

https://anishinabeknews.ca/2020/11/12/ziibiwan-among-grant-recipients-splitting-prize-money-awarded-to-inconvenient-indian-film/

Weengushk’s Shirley Cheechoo nabs Reelworld Visionary Award

November 10, 2020

Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute is presenting filmmaker, actor, writer and visual artist Dr. Shirley Cheechoo of M’Chigeeng with the 2020 Reelworld Visionary Award. The award is being presented in recognition of Dr. Cheechoo’s “incredible 30 years of dedication toward diversifying the Canadian entertainment industry and in honour of her living legacy.”

https://www.manitoulin.com/weengushks-shirley-cheechoo-nabs-reelworld-visionary-award/

Screening at Indie Cinema shares Kashechewan man’s journey with homelessness

November 12, 2020

A film screening in Sudbury this weekend aims to bring attention and understanding to issues of poverty and anti-Indigenous racism in northern Ontario. Indie Cinema, in collaboration with the community group Planet Over Profit, will show a free screening Saturday of A Will To Live, a film that documents one man’s experiences with homelessness in northern Ontario.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/indie-cinema-screening-a-will-to-live-1.5798686

Indigenous workforce at greater risk of automation job loss

November 10, 2020

Approximately 250,000 jobs held by Indigenous workers—one-third of the Indigenous workforce—are at high risk of automation, according to a July 2020 report by the Ted Rogers School of Management’s Diversity Institute. The research, in collaboration with the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB), found that Indigenous workers are disproportionately represented in the top five industries at risk for automation.

https://theeyeopener.com/2020/11/indigenous-workforce-at-greater-risk-of-automation-job-loss/

Fort Frances to debate renaming Colonization Road

November 11, 2020

The town of Fort Frances is set for a debate over its controversially named Colonization Road, for the second time in four years.

Town councillor Douglas Judson, who supported a failed bid to change its name in 2017 before his election, said he sees a growing appetite to move forward on the issue in the community, located about 350 kilometres west of Thunder Bay.

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/fort-frances-to-debate-renaming-colonization-road-2867547

Caldwell First Nation starts first Indigenous-owned winery east of B.C.

November 11, 2020

Members of Caldwell First Nation in Essex County didn’t expect to find wine grapes on a property they purchased through a land claim settlement, but when they did, it gave them an idea. Now, the nation is preparing to open the first Indigenous-owned winery east of British Columbia after having its first harvest in September. It hopes the venture will bring jobs and revenue along with great tasting wines.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/caldwell-indigenous-winery-1.5797843

Protests support hunger striker in Eagle Lake

November 10, 2020

Protesters in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Ottawa are in support of an elder from Eagle Lake, who is on a hunger strike. Brenda Morison is in the 32nd day of her protest, as she advocates for better child welfare. The elder has been denied access to her great-grandchildren, and she’d like to see provincial guidelines for child welfare replaced with Anishinaabe laws.

https://www.drydennow.com/local/protests-support-hunger-striker-in-eagle-lake

Finding your Ancestors’ World War I Personnel File: A step-by-step guide

November 11, 2020

In 2017, to commemorate the centennial of the Great War, Library and Archives Canada released the personnel files of those Canadians who fought in the war. Thousands of these soldiers were Indigenous.

Finding your ancestor is easy.
http://anishinabeknews.ca/2020/11/11/finding-your-ancestors-world-war-i-personnel-file-a-step-by-step-guide/

Eagle feathers gain importance in Prince Edward Island

November 11, 2020

Another milestone has been passed as Canada continues to inch toward reconciliation to repair a fractured relationship with First Nations peoples. People living in the tiny Maritime province of Prince Edward Island can now swear oaths with an eagle feather, a deeply revered symbol in native culture. Every RCMP detachment on P.E.I. now has an eagle feather that can be used in swearing an oath, in the same way as a Bible or legal affirmation can.

https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2020/11/11/eagle-feathers-gain-importance-in-prince-edward-island/

Families deal with uncertainty as Winnipeg is faced with deadly outbreaks in personal term care homes

November 10, 2020

The Manitoba government and the for-profit company who owns several care homes in Winnipeg have come under fire for its handling of COVID-19 outbreaks at two personal care homes resulting in at least 45 deaths. Parkview Place and Maples Long Term Care Homes are both in the grips of an outbreak.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/families-deal-with-uncertainty-as-winnipeg-is-faced-with-deadly-outbreaks-in-personal-term-care-homes/

 

‘I want my kids to feel safe’: Mi’kmaw father speaks out about racism in Lunenburg

November 12, 2020

Stephen Labrador is tired of seeing his kids hide who they are. That’s why the father of six from the Acadia First Nation in Nova Scotia is speaking out about the racism his family has endured in Lunenburg, where they’ve lived since 2014.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/lunenburg-mi-kmaw-family-stephen-labrador-racist-facebook-message-rcmp-complaint-1.5795058

Family searching for answers after woman dies in RCMP custody hours after arrest

November 10, 2020

The family of an Manitoba woman wants to know why she died in an RCMP jail cell hours after being picked up on suspicion of being intoxicated. Celine Samuel, 44, from Northlands Denesuline First Nation, spent the last minutes of her life alone in a cold cell in Thompson, Man. There was no mattress, no pillows, no blanket — just a concrete cell designed to let intoxicated people sleep it off.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/rcmp-death-thompson-detachment-1.5795579

‘I like selling to the world’: Siksika First Nation business finds success online

November 10, 2020

The owners of Boy Chief Trading Post on the Siksika First Nation have seen business boom despite, or perhaps even because of, the pandemic. The trading post, located along Highway 901 about 55 kilometres east of Calgary, sells Indigenous arts and crafts, many created by local artists. About three years ago husband-and-wife owners, Darryl McDonald and Mona Royal, started producing blankets adorned with traditional Blackfoot designs.

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/i-like-selling-to-the-world-siksika-first-nation-business-finds-success-online-1.5183535

‘Spreading good love’: Bear Clan Patrol now serving on the streets of Edmonton

November 11, 2020

Armed with stew, bannock and warm clothes – Edmonton’s new Bear Clan Patrol hit the cold, snowy sidewalks of 118 Avenue Wednesday night. What started in Winnipeg as a community initiative to reduce crime has now spread to Beaver Hills House, also known as Edmonton, but with a focus on outreach and community service.

https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/spreading-good-love-bear-clan-patrol-now-serving-on-the-streets-of-edmonton-1.5185551

Civil liberties group takes RCMP to court over delayed response to alleged spying complaint

November 10, 2020

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is suing RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki over delays in a police watchdog report related to alleged spying on Indigenous and environmental groups involved in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. The lawsuit filed in Federal Court is looking to the courts to force the commissioner to respond to a report from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP so that a final report can be released.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/bccla-lawsuit-rcmp-watchdog-report-delay-1.5797285

Physician Barry Lavallee on standing up to the ‘smiling faces’ of systemic racism

November 10, 2020

Racism does not always show itself in nefarious ways. Having a degree, diploma or letters in front of your name certainly does not mean you cannot be racist. According to Dr. Barry Lavallee, “Racism comes in nice white smiling faces.” For much of his career, the Metis/Saulteaux physician has tried to counter the institutional racism Indigenous people face.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/featured/physician-barry-lavallee-on-standing-up-to-the-smiling-faces-of-systemic-racism/

Last Post: Remembering Indigenous veterans of N.W.T. one unmarked grave at a time

November 11, 2020

Floyd Powder kneels down in the fresh snow beside an old wooden cross and staples a sheet of paper with the name Joseph Xavier Powder printed in bold font. He’s diligently working to give each veteran the recognition they deserve. Joseph is one of many whose unmarked grave bears no mention of his heroic contribution in service.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/last-post-remembering-indigenous-veterans-of-n-w-t-one-unmarked-grave-at-a-time/

‘Cultural genocide:’ Nunavut passes changes to education, language protection acts

November 10, 2020

A bill passed in the Nunavut legislature that will shape how Inuit languages are taught in school for years to come is being called a form of cultural genocide. The territory’s original Education Act guaranteed bilingual education in Inuktut and English at all grade levels by the 2019-2020 school year, but amendments that passed third reading last week change that.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/cultural-genocide-nunavut-passes-changes-to-education-language-protection-acts/

Indigenous leaders applaud most recent Canadian bank to nix financing Arctic oil and gas

November 10, 2020

“By rejecting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge within their climate policy, TD has underscored the knowledge that the Gwich’in Nation, as stewards of the land, have been sharing for decades now; that development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is not sustainable,” said Dana Tizya-Tramm, chief of the Vuntut Gwitch’in First Nation located in the Arctic region of Canada’s western Yukon territory.

https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2020/11/10/indigenous-leaders-applaud-most-recent-canadian-bank-to-nix-financing-arctic-oil-and-gas/

N.W.T finance minister promises more jobs for Indigenous Peoples in public service

November 10, 2020

The government of the Northwest Territories is promising to hire more Indigenous Peoples to work in the public service. On a Nov. 4, session in the legislative assembly, Caroline Wawzonek, minister of Finance, said new targets will be set for every department in government. “This Framework will begin with a look at best practices from other jurisdictions, the development of an Indigenous Labour Force Analysis of the Northwest Territories and a thorough review of current programs, tools, and resources,” Wawzonek said.

https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/n-w-t-finance-minister-promises-more-jobs-for-indigenous-peoples-in-public-service/

UPCOMING EVENTS

Notice: Chiefs of Ontario Special Chiefs Assembly

Please see the attached save the date notice for the next Special Chiefs Assembly held online on February 3-4th, 2020. More information will be shared at www.chiefsmeeting.com in the coming weeks.

Chiefs of Ontario Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

October 15, 2020

Find Our Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates Here. This website provides information on emergency planning and preparedness, as well as on the unique programs and services that are available to First Nations in Ontario during times of emergency.

https://www.coo-covid19.com/

Issue 8 of The Official Chiefs of Ontario Magazine, The Advocate is now online! To view, please click here: https://www.mediaedgemagazines.com/the-chiefs-of-ontario-coo/oo20/

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