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Sweetgrass and CFWE news - April 28, 2016

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Indigenous artists headline new exhibit at AGA

April 28, 2016. An exhibition of new works by two internationally known Indigenous artists opens in the Art Gallery of Alberta, in Edmonton, on Saturday. A Parallel Excavation: Duane Linklater & Tanya Lukin Linklater is curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. The exhibition features installation work by both artists, and explores notions of excavation in relation to the intellectual, environmental and cultural resources most immediate to the artists. Linklater investigates the structure and materiality of the gallery wall itself, which includes gypsum, wood and steel, and considers the political implications of those materials as resources extracted in Canada. Lukin Linklater’s scinklulptural work excavates the Art Gallery of Alberta’s archival records to investigate the complex relationships of Indigenous peoples and artists to institutions, museums and galleries. Linklater is Omaskêko Cree, from Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, while Lukin Linklater is Alutiiq from Alaska. A Parallel Excavation runs through to Sept. 18.



Tressel bridge fire investigation being treated as arson


April 27, 2016. RCMP have confirmed that they are investigating a suspicious fire that consumed the CN rail trestle bridge on the northwest edge of Mayerthorpe on Tuesday. Provincial fire Investigators along with CN Rail authorities are investigating what may have caused the fire. Although there are no leads, Cpl. Grant Kneller said it is being treated as an arson investigation. The fire is crippling for industry and will cause delays in moving material.



Agreement with TransAlta will help control flood, drought in the south


April 27, 2016. A five-year agreement between the province and TransAlta allows modified operations at Ghost Reservoir for flood mitigation purposes from May 16 to July 7 each year, to adjust reservoir levels at three Kananaskis-area reservoirs year-round to supplement flows on the Bow River during dry periods, or provide additional flood storage. Modified use of existing water management infrastructure complements the province’s other flood and drought resiliency efforts, including community-level mitigation, new flood hazard mapping, and the restoration of wetlands and riparian areas. Last year’s agreement provided the province with up to 65 million cubic metres of flood storage at Ghost Reservoir during the high run-off season. The new agreement adds year-round control of reservoir levels at Barrier Lake, Upper Kananaskis Lake, and Lower Kananaskis Lake. Initial reservoir target levels will be set prior to each operating season based on the provincial water supply outlook, snowpack and soil moisture conditions, and prevailing weather patterns. However, water levels will fluctuate during the modified operations period to reflect ongoing risk assessments for both flood and drought. The Alberta government will provide TransAlta with $5.5 million in compensation annually for five years to offset the impacts that modified operations will have on TransAlta’s ability to generate power at these facilities. 



Living allowance increased for Advancing Futures bursary


April 27, 2016. As part of the Alberta Jobs Plan, the living allowance for the Advancing Futures bursary is being increased to help former youth in care focus on education. “This funding increase will make a difference in the lives of many former youth in care preparing for their future,” said Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir, in a statement. The bursary supports students aged 18-30 by mentoring them through their transition out of care and into post-secondary education. Students are provided with funding to complete training in one employable skill, to a maximum of $40,000 in educational expenses or 60 months of funding. Recipients also receive a living allowance to help supplement monthly living costs, such as rent and food, and to alleviate stress associated with paying for living expenses during school. The Alberta government is providing an increase of $723,000, impacting 517 students under the Advancing Futures bursary in 2016-17. Funding has been increased for individual students and individual parents applying with up to four children. The bursary began in 2004 and since then 1,000 students have graduated from post-secondary.



New ADM for INAC named


April 27, 2016. Diane Lafleur has been named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as new associate deputy minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, effective May 9. She currently serves as ADM in federal-provincial relations and social policy branch, with Finance Canada.