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–A summary of recent Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada announcements, opportunities and initiatives –
In this issue, find updates on Education and Schools, Legislation, Infrastructure Investments, Claims, Economic Development, Elections, Consultation, the North, Matrimonial Real Property, Commemorations and Recognition and National Aboriginal Day.
On November 26th, Minister Duncan presented to the Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, a stained glass window commemorating the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. This stained glass window, designed by renowned Métis artist Christi Belcourt, is permanently installed in Centre Block on Parliament Hill. The window is a visible reminder of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools; it is also a window to a future founded on reconciliation and respect. Access additional information.
For teachers and educators, the AANDC website has great resources that can be used in the classroom to teach students about the historic Apology:
On December 11th, Minister Duncan announced the start of the Government's intensive consultations with First Nations on the development of a First Nation Education Act. The consultation process consists of two key stages. Between December 2012 and April 2013, First Nation parents, educators, leaders and others are invited to participate in regional consultation sessions. As well, there will be opportunities to provide input for consideration in the drafting of legislation. Read the News Release.
On December 6th, Minister Duncan met with the AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, AFN Regional Chief Morley Googoo and other members of the Chiefs Committee on Education to focus on how they can work together to achieve a shared objective: to improve First Nation education. Read the Statement.
Information on more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and other incentives worth over $10-million is now a click away for Aboriginal students. The AANDC Aboriginal bursaries search tool is available to view online or to download to mobile devices, such as smart phones. A widget is also available for download to your website. Visit the website.
On November 7th, MP O'Neill-Gordon, on behalf of Minister Duncan, joined Chief Alvery Murray Paul to celebrate the official opening of a new school for the First Nation. AANDC invested $9.4 million in the construction of this new facility. Read the News Release.
On October 5th, MP Blaine Calkins, on behalf of Minister Duncan, joined Chief Marvin Yellowbird, Chief Craig Makinaw, Chief Russell Threefingers and Chief Bradley Rabbit of the four Hobbema Nations to celebrate the official opening of the newly renovated Maskwacis Outreach School at Ermineskin Cree Nation. Read the News Release.
On September 28th, Minister Duncan congratulated the Stz'uminus First Nation on the opening of the Stz'uminus Community School, which can accommodate approximately 144 students in a modern, energy-efficient building that will use a geothermal heating system. Read the News Release.
On November 27th, Minister Duncan issued a statement after the passage of Bill C-27, First Nations Financial Transparency Act , by the House of Commons. Once it receives Royal Assent, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act will ensure that First Nation leaders are held to the same standard of accountability and transparency as other levels of government in Canada. Read the Statement.
On November 6th, Minister Duncan introduced Bill C-47, the Northern Jobs and Growth Act, which will lead to jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity in Canada's North. The Northern Jobs and Growth Act was developed through consultations with representatives of the territorial governments and key representatives of Inuit of Nunavut and Aboriginal groups in the Northwest Territories. Read the News Release.
On October 19th, Minister Duncan announced amendments to the land designation provisions of the Indian Act, as part of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012. The proposed amendments will speed up the process to designate reserve lands, allowing First Nations the flexibility they require to take advantage of economic opportunities. Read the News Release.
On October 18th, Minister Duncan announced the Government of Canada's support in principle for Private Member's Bill C-428, the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act, brought forward by Rob Clarke, the Member from Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. Bill C-428 proposes a number of concrete actions that give First Nations greater responsibility over day-to-day issues. Read the News Release.
On October 18th, Parliamentary Secretary Greg Rickford, on behalf of Minister Duncan, congratulated Wasauksing First Nation on the completion of its new drinking water treatment system. Read the News Release.
On October 4th, Minister Duncan congratulated the Heiltsuk Tribal Council on the grand opening of Eco-Depot Product Steward Facility in Bella Bella, BC. The Eco-Depot is the first of its kind in a First Nation community in British Columbia and will improve recycling and solid waste management in the community. Read the News Release.
On October 17th, Minister Duncan joined Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne at a ceremony to commemorate the final settlement of a specific claim dating back to the 1820s. This historic agreement shows that negotiations deliver results when there is a firm resolve on both sides to find a solution. Read the News Release.
On October 5th, Minister Duncan congratulated the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation following its successful community vote to ratify its self-government agreements with the governments of Canada and Manitoba. Once finalized, these agreements will give Sioux Valley Dakota Nation greater control and law-making authority over a comprehensive range of jurisdictions. Read the News Release.
On October 16th, Minister Duncan marked the closing of the Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Conference and Tradeshow 2012. Over 360 participants came together for this year's event. As this conference demonstrated, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Aboriginal businesses and communities. Read the Statement.
On October 19th, Minister Duncan congratulated Betty Ann Lavallée on her re-election as National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Read the Statement.
On October 31st, Minister Duncan and the Honourable Darrel Dexter, Nova Scotia's Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Aboriginal consultation. The MOU is a commitment between both governments to coordinate, share information, strengthen collaborative efforts and improve the efficiency of Aboriginal consultation processes in the province. Read the News Release.
On November 16th, Minister Duncan met with members of the northern business community to speak about the benefits of Bill C-47, the Northern Jobs and Growth Act. Then on November 20th, he met with members of the Mining Association of Canada to discuss the bill.
On October 1st, Minister Duncan announced the implementation of the Nutrition North Canada subsidized foods list. The subsidized foods list reflects input received from the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board, Northerners, nutritionists at Health Canada and other sources. Read the News Release.
On November 20th, the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board visited Nain, Labrador, where they met with residents of the community to hear their views on the Nutrition North Canada Program. Read the News Release.
On November 28th, Minister Duncan appointed Elisabeth Cayen as the newest member of the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board. The goal of the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board is to provide advice to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development on the management of the Nutrition North Canada program. Read the News Release.
Bill S-2, the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, is currently awaiting continuation of second reading in the House of Commons. AANDC launched an anticipatory call for proposals to establish and maintain the Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property, should Bill S-2 become law. The deadline for submitting proposals is January 31, 2013.
On November 12th, Minister Duncan acknowledged the second anniversary of Canada's endorsement of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read the Statement.
On November 4th, Minister Duncan issued a statement on the celebration of the canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha held at Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Quebec. Saint Kateri was canonized on October 21st by Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City, Rome, due to her unwavering dedication and devotion to God, making her the first North American Native person to become a Saint. Read the Statement.
On October 25th, Minister Duncan attended the National Recognition Ceremony for First Nations and Métis communities with a heritage linked to the War of 1812. Forty-eight First Nations and Métis communities were presented with commemorative War of 1812 banners and medals by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada , accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Read the News Release.
On September 20th, Minister Duncan marked the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Northern Scientific Training Program. Established in 1961, the Northern Scientific Training Program supports the efforts of Canadian universities to foster northern science and technology. Read the News Release.
Canadian Heritage provides financial support for activities organized during the Celebrate Canada period, from June 21st to July 1st. The Celebrate Canada! program deadline for funding applications is January 15, 2013. Visit the Canadian Heritage website for more information.
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