e-Bulletin - December 2009

Message from the Minister

Information-sharing is vital to the success of the efforts we are making in partnership to address the issues facing First Nations, Inuit and Métis. That's why I hope you'll find Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's new e-bulletin to be a useful, convenient and quick vehicle for finding key information on announcements, appointments, funding opportunities, new initiatives and more.

I'm also happy to note there will be a different Regional Focus in each monthly issue, to keep you up to date on developments right across the country. This December we focus on British Columbia where Aboriginal involvement in the Winter Olympic Games is unprecedented and legacy projects are benefiting many Aboriginal people.

We hope you enjoy this edition of our e-Bulletin, and we invite you to share it with others who would benefit from the information provided.



News

Minister Addresses Assembly of First Nations - Special Chiefs Assembly

December 10th, Minister Strahl delivered remarks to the Assembly of First Nations – Special Chiefs Assembly, in Ottawa, emphasizing the importance of continued partnerships and presenting highlights of the past year. Read the Minister's Speech


Know What to Do to Fight the H1N1 Flu Virus

The H1N1 flu virus is affecting many people across Canada. For information on how you can help protect your community against this disease:

  • contact your local nursing station or community health centre;
  • call 1-800-454-8302, available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    (Eastern Daylight Time);
  • check the Public Health Agency of Canada's Web site www.fightflu.ca for information and a list of resources, including materials specifically for First Nations and Inuit.

Minister Signs H1N1 Communications Protocol

In September, Minister Strahl signed a communications protocol between Health Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Assembly of First Nations that commits all partners to plan for, and respond quickly and effectively to, an H1N1 flu virus pandemic in First Nation communities. It identifies each partner's responsibilities and their roles with respect to pandemic planning and communications, and it identifies the specific areas in which all partners must and will work closely together.


Specific Claims Tribunal Appointments Announced

On November 27th, the Minister of Justice announced the appointment of Mr. Justice Harry Slade of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Mr. Justice Patrick Smith of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, and Madame Justice Johanne Mainville of the Superior Court of Quebec as full-time members of the Specific Claims Tribunal. Read the press release.


Taking Action: Resolving Specific Claims

Since the launch of the Specific Claims Action Plan just over two years ago, the resolution of claims in Canada continues to improve and accelerate. A progress report is now available that tracks the overall progress of specific claims in the past fiscal year (2008–2009). You can now also verify the progress of individual specific claims by searching a new status report, which is updated daily. Visit the updated specific claims website for an overview of these new resources.


Minister Honours Métis and First Nation Soldiers

On November 11th at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, Minister Strahl recognized Métis and First Nation participation in Canadian war efforts and peacekeeping missions, speaking to the great contributions and sacrifices these soldiers made. To commemorate the Métis veterans, Minister Strahl unveiled a Red River Cart, a historic symbol that will stand as a permanent reminder of the dedication, strength and determination of Métis veterans. Read the Minister's speech.


Partnerships: Aboriginal Participation in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

On October 16th, 2009, Andrew Saxton, MP (North Vancouver) and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of Minister Strahl, announced funding that will assist five Aboriginal art groups to exhibit their works at 2010 Olympic Winter Games venues and additional support to stage the 2010 Winter Games Aboriginal Fine Art Auction and Art Market in Vancouver.  Watch the Four Host Nations - Olympic Arts & Culture vignette.

This announcement reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to working with its Olympic Winter Games partners to achieve unprecedented Aboriginal participation in all aspects of the Games.


Start of a Legacy: The Aboriginal Pavilion

On December 7th, in Vancouver, Senator Nancy Greene Raine announced the Government of Canada's $2.9 million contribution to the Four Host First Nations Society towards the Aboriginal Pavilion initiative. The Pavilion will showcase the businesses, achievements, and cultures of all Aboriginal heritage groups in Canada. Read the media release.


Join the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

The 2010 Winter Olympic Torch Relay has begun, and the inclusion of Aboriginal peoples in the relay is outstanding, with 124 relay stops in Northern and Aboriginal communities. Encourage your community to participate by joining in the Torch Relay festivities – plan with INAC's Aboriginal and Northern Torch Relay map.


Launch of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

On August 18th, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), which has a mandate to deliver federal programs that are tailored to the needs of Northern Canada. [read the news release]

On August 25th, 2009, Minister Strahl was sworn in as Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.


Implementing Canada's Economic Action Plan: Impacts for Aboriginal People and Communities

The Government has released Implementing Canada's Economic Action Plan: Impacts for Aboriginal People and Communities, a report that complements the first, second, and third government-wide Report to Canadians and provides the updates on the Economic Action Plan with respect to Aboriginal people and communities. The Government will continue to provide reports on its progress on a regular basis.


Historic Frameworks on Child and Family Services for Quebec and PEI First Nations

In August 2009, frameworks to implement an Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach to First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) on reserves were announced in Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Band councils in Quebec will receive $59.8 million over the next five years and First Nations in Prince Edward Island will receive $1.7 million over five years, to implement an Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach to First Nations Child and Family Services on reserves. Previous Child and Family Services tripartite frameworks were announced in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.



Regional Focus: British Columbia

In each issue of the e-Bulletin, a different region will be highlighted in the Regional Focus section.

Preserving and Sharing Culture: Haida Heritage Centre

Through not only the display but also the production of traditional artwork, the Haida Heritage Centre is truly a living museum, perpetuating culture. See how this multi-function facility teaches community members old and new skills with which to build a new and brighter future. Watch the vignette.


The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Gets Space to Grow

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, near Tofino, BC, is moving forward with the Ty-Histanis Community Development project, which will include more than 160 housing units, a new health centre and a community building. The Ty-Histanis Community Development project is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan - Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will provide up to $26.9 million toward the Ty-Histanis community development project.


TSou-ke First Nation Harnesses the Power of the Sun

In August 2009, the T'Sou-ke First Nation unveiled its new solar power installation at a gathering in their community. The program has made this small First Nation, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the largest solar energy producing community in BC. There is now enough clean energy to power the entire community of T'Sou-ke, and there is even surplus energy produced and sold back to BC Hydro. Read this First Nation Success Story


New School Construction Starts in Penticton, BC

Shovels hit the ground on September 1st, 2009, as construction started on the Penticton Indian Band's Outma Squilx'w Cultural School. The curriculum at this Kindergarten to Grade Six school, built for on- and off-reserve students, will focus on local First Nation culture. The school will also be used as an adult learning facility. This $9.2 million school is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Read the news release.


New School Opens in Lytton, BC

In September 2009, the grand opening of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux School took place in Lytton, BC. The Government contributed more than $13 million to this school, where students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 will receive a culturally based education. Read the news release.


Community Stories: Aboriginal Successes in British Columbia

A new compilation of success stories will be going out to all BC First Nations in January 2010. It's a collection of stories that celebrate progress and success in BC First Nations communities across the province. We hope you enjoy reading about new Aboriginal tourism initiatives, new schools, innovative housing projects, and more! Watch the BC region website.



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