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Edmonton Briefs - April 2012

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Compiled by Shari Narine







The University of Alberta was host last month to 100 Years of Loss: The Residential School System in Canada travelling exhibit.

Exhibit provides opportunity for learning, healing
100 Years of Loss: The Residential School System in Canada, an exhibit from the Legacy of Hope Foundation, spent some time at the University of Alberta, brought in by Dean of Education, the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program and the Indigenous Education Council. The exhibit is designed to raise awareness about the legacy and history of the residential schools in Canada as well as promote talk and sharing.  The exhibit also has a curriculum component that is targeted to Canadian youth – both are designed to support educators and administrators in raising awareness and teaching about the history and legacy of residential schools. The U of A is the first university in Western Canada to host the exhibit.  

Ground broken on Boyle Renaissance project
The Métis Capital Housing Corporation last month broke ground on the Boyle Renaissance Project Phase II – a 90-unit seniors-friendly, barrier-free residential complex, featuring the latest in “green” design.  The $22-million, 120,000-square-foot complex will cater to the needs of Aboriginals, seniors and people with disabilities. The complex, located on 95 Street between 104 Avenue and 105 Avenue, is slated to open November 2013. The project is part of a City of Edmonton-led sustainable, community revitalization strategy supporting the revitalization of The Quarters. Home construction expert Mike Holmes, of the Holmes Group, is one of the partners on the project.

Local mayors back Gateway pipeline
Early last month, Edmonton-area mayors sent a letter of support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to the national panel. “I’m going to call it a regional action for a global opportunity,” Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston told the Edmonton Journal. Houston spearheaded the effort, which was done on behalf of the Capital Region Board, which consists of 24 municipalities in the Edmonton-area. Gibbons Mayor Bill Nimmo was the lone voice of dissent, listing a number of concerns including environmental and economic. Nimmo told the Journal, “You know, the oil’s not going anywhere, so we could take some time to make sure that we’re doing it a little bit better.” The letter from the Capital Region Board will be among the information the national panel takes into consideration, along with opposition by First Nations, in making its decision.

Social Justice award handed out
Retired RCMP officer Robert Urbanoski was recognized last month by the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice and the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women for his dedicated work which resulted in the arrest and conviction of the men involved in the sexual assault and brutal death of Helen Betty Osborne, in The Pas, Man. Osborne’s death occurred in 1971. It was 16 years later that Cst. Urbanoski solved it. In the ceremony held in Edmonton, Urbanoski was presented with the Social Justice award by Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chair Justice Murray Sinclair. Shortly after his appointment as Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in 1988, Sinclair was appointed co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, which investigated the death of Osborne. Urbanoski was also recognized by the RCMP with two Commissioner Commendations, one in 1989 for the tenacity, perseverance, and professionalism displayed in the successful re-investigation of the 1971 homicide of Osborne and another in 1994 for his work on the re-investigation of a 1979 homicide of a young boy at Stonewall, Man.

Braving elements to understand clients
NorQuest social work students got hands-on experience about being homeless when they spent one night outside the downtown Edmonton college recently. “Students participating in An Unsheltered Evening (spent) a night outside, without creature comforts like mobile devices,” said NorQuest social work instructor Robert Marvin, in a news release. “Developing insight into conditions experienced by Edmonton’s homeless is another way our students will be workforce ready upon graduation and better equipped to assist their clients.” An Unsheltered Evening also helped raise awareness for the Inner City Youth Housing Project, which provides safe housing and supportive services for marginalized youth ages 14 to 17 years.

Compiled by Shari Narine