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Calgary Briefs - January 2012

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Compiled by Darlene Chrapko







Photo caption: Youth singers come from Saskatchewan, Northern Alberta, T’suu Tina, Siksika and Morley to learn and continue age old traditions as older singers shared with the younger ones.

Pathways Community Services hosts annual round dance

Pathways Community Services held its 6th annual friendship round dance on Jan. 21. The drug and alcohol free event began with a traditional feast, followed by the round dance emceed by Francis Green, “Shining Elbow” and Daniel Wildman, with Gordon McGilvery honoured as special guest. Drawing on the guidance of Aboriginal traditions and teachings, Pathways delivers a continuum of resources and services to children, youth and families, strengthens Aboriginal cultural identity and celebrates community unity and wellness. Last year’s round dance drew hundreds of people from local communities and surrounding reserves to enjoy a traditional feast and celebrate friendship and community.

Calliou Group hired to consult with First Nations on Bipole III transmission line

The Calliou Group of Calgary has been hired to assist the province of Manitoba to carry out Section 35 hearings with about 20 communities as part of the new Bipole III transmission line’s approval process. Under Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution, the province is required to consult with each First Nation on projects that may infringe upon treaty rights. “Given that the Bipole III Crown consultation is the largest Crown-Aboriginal consultation undertaken by Manitoba to date, due to the very large geographic scope of the project, outside help was needed,” said a Conservation department spokeswoman. The consultations with First Nations are separate from the environmental review process that will include public hearings before the Clean Environment Commission. The $3.28-billion Bipole III project intends to bring hydroelectric power from northern dams to southern Manitoba for export to the United States. The 1,364 km line involves the proposed construction of two new dams on the Nelson River: the $5.5-billion Keeyask generating station and the $7.7-billion Conawapa generating station. Premier Greg Selinger told a Senate committee the province will consult thoroughly with First Nations on the project.

Karoleena Homes leads in prefab construction for First Nations

Karoleena Homes, a leader in modern prefab homes, has been contracted by a southern Alberta First Nation community to construct a new social services building. Karoleena builds homes, cabins and offices in its indoors southeast Calgary manufacturing site and ships them ready for occupancy. The products are hardy, energy-efficient and eco-friendly. “We’ve been extremely proud to work directly with First Nation representative Terry Metatawabin over the last year,” said Kurt Goodjohn, Karoleena co-founder and CEO. “Terry came to us as someone who deeply understood not only the serious housing issues plaguing these communities, but the history, culture and broader issues surrounding the current crisis we’re seeing as a whole.” Fourteen converted shipping containers form the indestructible steel frame of the innovative 5,800 sq. ft. Child and Family Services building.  Karoleena has also recently completed The Waskahegan Series, a line of First Nations-specific homes designed to meet the unique cultural and functional needs of Canada’s Aboriginal people. “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for First Nations across Canada to consider a new type of engineering and construction method for sustainable housing,” said Metatawabin, special projects manager with Tsuu Tina First Nation. The Equan office building is slated for completion and installation in Feb. 2012.

Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award

Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 29 for the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award. The Youth Achievement Award recognizes an Aboriginal youth who demonstrates community leadership among his/her peers, supports others in their academic endeavours, and participates in cross-cultural activities including Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. The Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award honours the efforts of a person, group, or organization, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal who have created bridges of cross-cultural understanding, fostered an understanding of the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture, and encouraged Aboriginal people in education, employment and training.

Compiled by Darlene Chrapko