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I am honoured to have been appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
I look forward to working with you to improve the quality of life for First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Northerners by addressing key priorities such as First Nation education, child and family services on reserve, implementing Canada's Economic Action Plan, negotiating land claims and self-government agreements, and implementing the Northern Strategy.
I also want to take this opportunity to recognize the significant contributions made by Minister Strahl during his three years at the head of this important portfolio.
Congratulations to Shelley Glover, MP for Saint Boniface, who was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Previously the Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages, Mrs. Glover is a police officer and a proud Métis woman.
From August 23rd to 27th, Prime Minister Harper toured Northern Canada, making the following announcements during the trip:
In Inuvik, NWT, on August 20th, Senator Daniel Lang announced support for increased research to inform potential offshore exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea. Canada will provide the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment initiative with $21.8 million over five years. Read the News Release
On August 18th, Minister Duncan apologized for relocating Inuit from Inukjuak and Pond Inlet to Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay in the High Arctic in the 1950s, and for the hardship, suffering and loss they experienced as a result of the relocation. Read the News Release.
MP Rob Clarke, on behalf of Minister Duncan, with the representatives from the province of Saskatchewan and Birch Narrows First Nation, unveiled a new $25-million comprehensive school on the Birch Narrows First Nation. Construction of the new school, which represents the first First Nation school project completed under Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP), began in 2009. In total, the Government of Canada has invested $20.3 million towards the school under CEAP. Read the News Release.
Member of Parliament Rick Norlock, on behalf of the Government of Canada, and Mayor Neil Ellis, of the City of Belleville, participated in a special ceremony on August 6th. Hosted by Chief James Marsden of the Alderville First Nation, the ceremony commemorated the First Nation's past presence in the City of Belleville, as well as the resolution of their specific claim. Read the News Release.
On July 28th, the Government of Canada announced that a contract worth approximately $43 million for remediation work at the former Tundra Mine site in NWT was awarded to a joint venture between two Aboriginal firms, Tlicho Environmental Engineering Services Ltd. and Aboriginal Engineering Ltd. Read the News Release.
On July 26th, Minister Strahl, the Government of Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie, the Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ruth Massie, and Chiefs from self-governing Yukon First Nations gathered for an Intergovernmental Forum in Dawson City. The Forum provided an opportunity for Canada, Yukon and self-governing First Nations to affirm their partnerships around the implementation of land claims and self-government agreements, discuss areas of mutual interest, and advance intergovernmental relationships. Read the News Release.
On July 22nd, Minister Strahl announced that INAC will be engaging First Nations governments and organizations in an effort to revise its policy dealing with defaults in funding agreements, commonly known as the Intervention Policy. Read the News Release.
On July 19th, Minister Strahl announced funding of $200,000 to go toward Winnipeg's Urban Circle Training Centre's Project Makoonsag, a family centre for Aboriginal children, youth, Elders and adults. This program will offer an intergenerational approach to educational outcomes, life skills and crime prevention. Read the News Release.
On July 19th, representatives of the Government of Canada, the province of Manitoba and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) announced a historic framework for First Nations Child and Family Services in Manitoba. Funding for the Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach will help more First Nations children and parents get the help they need to prevent the types of crises that lead to intervention and family breakdown. Read the News Release.
On July 18th, Parliamentary Secretary John Duncan participated in Back to Batoche Days in Batoche, Saskatchewan, where he took part in the grand entry and delivered a speech that highlighted the achievements of the Métis. Read the News Release.
On July 16th, the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg made a major commitment to improve the socio-economic circumstances of local Aboriginal people with the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration. Read the News Release.
On July 8th, Minister Strahl congratulated the Alderville First Nation, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and the Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation on the opening of their innovative multi-unit housing developments. These projects were made possible through investments under Canada's Economic Action Plan . Read the News Release.
On April 11, 2011, the Food Mail Program will be replaced by Nutrition North Canada, a food subsidy program designed to make healthy food more accessible and affordable for Canadians living in isolated Northern communities. INAC is creating an external Advisory Board to give Northerners a voice in the program and to provide strategic advice. We are looking for candidates who can provide information and advice to help guide the management, direction and activities of the program. Visit the website for more information. The application deadline is September 17, 2010.
Two short videos recently posted on the INAC website feature successful Specific Claim settlements with the Michipicoten First Nation in Ontario and English River First Nation in Saskatchewan. In the videos, First Nation members and representatives from neighbouring communities explain how the claim settlements helped to create economic opportunity, renewed relationships and optimism for the future. View the videos.
To ensure continuous delivery of fuel to their communities, First Nations and third party owners of fuel storage tank systems on reserves should ensure that their applicable fuel storage tank systems are in compliance with the new requirements of the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations. For more information, please consult Environment Canada's storage tank website , contact your INAC Regional Office, or visit our website.
From August 30th to 31st, Minister Duncan toured the Atlantic region, making announcements in Charlottetown, PEI, Millbrook, NS, and Truro, NS.
Prior to his trip, Minister Duncan announced investments of over $5.9 million over three years, commencing in 2010-2011, to improve First Nation infrastructure initiatives in the Atlantic. In all, nine projects ranging from broadband and fibre optic connectivity, to community planning road construction will be completed through the First Nations Infrastructure Fund (FNIF). Read the News Release.
On August 30th, the Government of Canada, the Government of Prince Edward Island and the Mi'kmaq First Nations of Prince Edward Island signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on education. The MOU will support the province's First Nation learners from early childhood through to post-secondary. Read the News Release.
On August 31st, Minister Duncan, with Chiefs Jesse Simon and Lawrence Paul of the Atlantic Policy Congress, announced new investments through the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development to support Atlantic First Nations fisheries enterprises. The Government of Canada is investing $7.7 million over three years to help Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations in the Maritimes and Gaspé Region of Quebec pursue economic opportunities in new areas of the fisheries sector, including aquaculture, seafood processing and marketing. Read the News Release.
On August 31st, Minister Duncan, with Nova Scotia Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Darrell Dexter and Co-Chairs of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, Chief Terrance Paul of Membertou and Chief Gerard Julian of Paqtnkek, finalized an agreement to create one-window access to consultation with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. Read the News Release.
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