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Edmonton News Briefs - March 2014

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Compiled by Shari Narine







March recognizes missing, murdered men, boys as well

Papaschase First Nation Chief Calvin Bruneau led the Memorial March in Edmonton, which took place on Valentine’s Day. An annual event honouring missing and murdered women, similar marches took place in other cities across Canada. This year, Edmonton’s march also honoured men and boys who are missing or who have met an untimely end. The march began and ended at Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples.

Grandin Station to get new mural

Métis activist and artist Aaron Paquette will be responding to Sylvie Nadeau’s controversial mural alluding to residential school with a mural of his own at the Grandin LRT station. Paquette’s work has been commissioned by the Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta — donors of the original mural in 1989 – in an act of reconciliation. Paquette’s imagery will include a Cree Thunderbird sprouting humans, the last creatures to come to the land, according to tradition. The 6.7-metre piece will be bookended by circular drum images on both sides — new to the existing mural — bringing the two unique artistic styles together. The project’s partners include City of Edmonton’s Edmonton Aboriginal Relations Office, Edmonton Arts Council, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, ETS and members of the urban Aboriginal community. The collaborative piece will be unveiled during the TRC’S final national event, taking place in Edmonton March 27-30.

CAP National Chief hears local concerns

Betty Lavallee, National Chief for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, held an informal gathering at Poundmakers Lodge, in St. Albert, as part of her grassroots national tour that brought her to Edmonton and area March 11. The goal of the cross-country tour is to conduct open, meaningful and productive conversations about off-reserve Aboriginal issues. Edmonton, which has the second highest urban Aboriginal population in the country, was one of a number of stops on CAP’s cross-country tour. CAP was formed in 1971 and serves as an advocate for the off-reserve, non-Status, and Status Indians, Métis and Southern Inuit living in urban, rural remote and isolated areas throughout Canada.

Inuit heritage workers receive instruction on better museum management

A group of Inuit heritage workers from Nunavut were in Edmonton recently to learn how to better manage museums and cultural centres in Nunavut. Participants from Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Iqaluit, and Qikiqtarjuaq were funded through the Inuit Heritage Trust’s Heritage Training Program. They visited a number of local museums and archives including the University of Alberta Museums, Royal Alberta Museum, Fort Edmonton Park, Provincial Archives of Alberta, St. James Cultural Centre and Amiskwaciy Academy. The Inuit Heritage Trust is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of Inuit cultural heritage and identity embodied in Nunavut’s archaeology sites, ethnographic resources and traditional place names.

Denny’s donation supports Bissell programs

Denny’s downtown restaurant celebrated its re-opening March 4 by giving all proceeds from its Original Grand Slam breakfast to support the Bissell Centre’s programs and services. The Grand Slam sold for $2 and was available from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bissell Centre has over 20 programs focused on assisting people living in poverty. “It’s going to take teamwork to eliminate poverty in our community, so we’re encouraged that Denny’s is stepping up to the plate to help,” said Devin Komarniski, acting manager of marketing and communications with Bissell Centre. Dean Kraychy, Edmonton district manager for Denny’s Restaurant, said Denny’s was “excited about helping people in the (community).” Bissell Centre offers a fully accredited child care program for impoverished families; employment services for the unemployed to find work; food services that provides over 350 meals per day for the hungry; and a drop-in centre utilized by approximately 500 people every day who are looking for refuge.

Youth to gather to learn about trades

Pathways: Gathering our Nations’ Youth for Trades is a national conference bringing together Canada’s Indigenous youth and exposing them to information and resources about careers in the trades. The conference, which will take place Apr. 1-3 in Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall, will be an opportunity for Indigenous youth to educate themselves on what constitutes a trade, what the educational paths are to learning a trade, and what types of businesses hire skilled tradespeople. “We have the opportunity to provide a real benefit to both Canada’s economy, and our nations’ youth,” said conference manager Karen McCarthy. “It’s estimated that by 2017 there could be a massive shortfall of workers. But with a significant number of Indigenous youth entering the labour force in the next few years, we could make a real dent in that shortfall.” The conference will also showcase the importance of understanding and supporting Indigenous cultures within the work place. By creating an inclusive environment, employers have the opportunity to showcase their Indigenous programs and gain access to an up and coming workforce. Throughout the conference successful examples of Indigenous development within the trades will also be highlighted.

Compiled by Shari Narine