Treaty caravan led by AMC
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs was joined by other Aboriginal leaders on a 10-day motorcycle tour of First Nations across the prairies on what was dubbed the Treaty Freedom Caravan and Ride. The tour, covering more than 4,000 km, was to raise awareness of treaty rights. It departed June 6 from Winnipeg’s Lower Fort Garry where Treaty 1 was signed in 1871. Each First Nation that is visited will then light a fire on June 21, which is National Aboriginal Day.
Governor General’s visit focuses on Aboriginal education
Governor General David Johnston’s recent visit to Winnipeg included a focus on Aboriginal education. On June 6, Johnston spent time at the Children of the Earth High School, and heard how programs offered there are helping prepare Aboriginal students for post-secondary education. He also toured the Collegiate Model School at the University of Winnipeg and participated in a round-table discussion with UWinnipeg faculty, staff and students and Indigenous partners focused on programs and approaches to education that are achieving results in supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit students through to graduation. “UWinnipeg is located on Treaty One land in the heart of the Métis Nation, and has one of the largest Indigenous student populations in the country at more than 12 per cent. We know when properly supported with relevant and respectful programming, these students thrive, and are graduating to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy.
Urban reserve created in Winnipeg
The Long Plain First Nation has established an urban reserve in Winnipeg. Yellowquill College is currently located on the site and an 80,000 square foot office complex, as well as a gas station, are planned. The developed land is 2.81 acres and bounded by St. Matthews Avenue on the north, Madison Street on the west, Silver Avenue on the south and Kensington Street on the east. “It’s been a significant amount of time that we’ve been working on this file, and we’re overwhelmed with the fact that we’ve finally achieved our goal,” said Chief David Meeches of Long Plain First Nation. “This will open the doors for many opportunities – for economic development, for jobs and for resources that will go a long way for the future generations of our community.” Long Plain First Nation purchased the land from Manitoba Hydro in 2006 and initiated the addition to reserve process. As part of the process, all of the required environmental assessments, permits and easements have now been completed, including a Municipal Development and Services Agreement which was signed with the City of Winnipeg in July 2010.
Three First Nations sign partnership agreement
Fisher River Cree Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, and Sagkeeng First Nation have signed a Political Protocol and a Limited Partnership Agreement establishing a formal political and economic relationship between the three First Nations. The intent of the agreement is to advance the interests of the First Nations, advocate for the protection of treaties, and work collaboratively. “This agreement establishes a formal relationship based on mutual respect, understanding and commitment in support of one another while respecting, recognizing and promoting each other’s interests as autonomous and sovereign First Nations,” said Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate in a news release.
Recycling centre purchased
The Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg and the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development have formed Mother Earth Recycling and acquired Syrotech Industries from Tom Syrota. Syrotech Industries is a Winnipeg-based electronics-recycling business. Along with capitalizing on opportunities in the “green” economy, the business will also serve as an on-the-job training laboratory for the Aboriginal community. Manitoba Aboriginal and Northern Affairs provided $50,000 to MER for the purchase of a truck. However the $300,000 purchase price came from the ACW and CAHRD.
Louis Riel Institute to offer courses at National Historic Site
An agreement between Parks Canada and the Louis Riel Institute will see the institute provide educational programs for students and tours for visitors at Riel House National Historic Site in 2013. In July and August, the Louis Riel Institute will offer guided tours at Riel House National Historic Site, joining Parks Canada in helping visitors to learn about the stories of Canada’s past and what it means today. Riel House National Historic Site, the St. Vital home of Louis Riel’s mother, is of national historic significance as a place to commemorate Louis Riel, a founder of Manitoba, and to provide an example of Métis river lots, a unique form of prairie settlement.
Fontaine recognized with prestigious award
Former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine is recipient of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations. The award is presented to a Canadian who has personally contributed, through his professional and voluntary commitments, to building bridges between Aboriginal people and Canada’s business community. Fontaine, a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation, also served as Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. “Phil Fontaine has been a role model for the Aboriginal community as well as the Canadian population….He truly is the kind of leader the Award for Excellence was designed to honour,” said JP Gladu, president and CEO of CCAB. CCAB partners with Sodexo Canada to present the award.