Keeping the Circle Strong - 2016-2017 Calendar by the Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment and the Pacific Aboriginal Network

QS-B058-100-EE-A1
Catalogue: R1-66E
ISSN: 2369-8454
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, 2015

PDF Version (4,769 Kb, 40 Pages)

 

Table of contents

Joint Message from BC CANE and PAN

The Executives of the BC Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment (CANE) and the Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) are pleased to present the seventh edition of the calendar published by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) BC Region CANE members. We are especially proud of the opportunity to collaborate on this calendar. This year our theme is: Keeping The Circle Strong. Under this banner, we are continuing to support the recruitment, retention and advancement of Aboriginal employees in the federal public service, and to raise awareness of the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Both networks play active roles in supporting efforts to improve the quality of the workplaces in federal government offices in BC Region. Both groups meet regularly within their collectives to discuss opportunities for meaningful change in our workplaces; to share best practices and to identify areas of common interest where we can work together to move forward.

Both networks participate in and organize several cultural and employment-related activities in federal departments, and we invite you to read more about them in the Cultural Activities and Recruitment section of this calendar.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the many people involved in the production of this calendar, and to those who supported and assisted BC CANE and PAN initiatives to meet our goals and objectives.

BC CANE and PAN Executives

Top (left to right): Bill Guerin (CANE Champion), Petula Maxwell (CANE Executive), Terry Geddes (CANE Executive)

Bottom (left to right): Rowena Marko (CANE Secretary), Vanessa Schols (PAN Executive), Naneek Graham (CANE Executive), Terra French (CANE Executive)

Paul Miller

Paul Miller (CANE Executive)

Tim Low

Tim Low (PAN Executive)

History of the Calendar

Past calendars

CANE issued its first calendar in 2006 to celebrate Aboriginal employees at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The calendar offered CANE an opportunity to advance its mandate to increase the number of Aboriginal persons employed at the Department, to retain these employees and to improve the quality of their employment.

This 2016-17 calendar is the seventh edition of the publication. Over the years, the calendars have featured the stories, aspirations and advice of more than 80 Aboriginal employees. The calendars have also included messages from Aboriginal leaders, cultural awareness information and a list of key historic events for Aboriginal people. The reach of the calendar has spanned across Canada with distribution to libraries and education institutions, and at cultural events such as National Aboriginal Day and the 2010 Winter and Paralympic Games in Vancouver.

This year, CANE has collaborated with PAN with the aim of expanding its original vision for the calendar. The partnership has provided the opportunity to feature the stories of other federal Aboriginal employees in British Columbia, as well as to provide more Aboriginal awareness information.

Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment

The purpose of the Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment (CANE) is to examine, explore and recommend ways to increase the number of Aboriginal persons employed within Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, seek ways to retain these employees and improve the quality of their employment. To this end, CANE works co-operatively with senior management and other levels of the Department to recommend and facilitate change to Aboriginal employment policies and programs within the Department, and to address concerns raised by Aboriginal employees. CANE also plays an important role in raising awareness about Aboriginal peoples through workshops, cultural activities, guest speakers, and other means. CANE's work to raise awareness supports the Department's efforts to increase the understanding and respect for the culture and history of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

INAC staff

CANE Drum Group at the 2015 INAC BC Region Reconciliation Walk

Pacific Aboriginal Network

The Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) was established as an interdepartmental resource for Aboriginal employees in BC Region. PAN has been growing since it started in 2006 and now has a membership of 165 employees representing over 19 departments and agencies.

PAN aims to provide an inclusive environment where Aboriginal employees are valued, respected and supported through the sharing of resources, ideas, information and guidance. The committee also seeks to connect and work with departmental committees such as CANE in an effort to strengthen and collaborate on common issues and initiatives.

PAN is a Standing Committee with the BC Federal Council (BCFC) and works collaboratively with the BCFC on initiatives that support Aboriginal federal public servants in BC, as well as line departments in their efforts to recruit and retain Aboriginal employees.

INAC staff

PAN/CANE booth at the 2015 INAC BC Region Wellness Fair (for employees)

Acknowledgements

Deputy Minster, INAC

Colleen Swords

At Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and traditions every day. The Department's Indigenous employees enable our learning and provide invaluable insight into the challenges and opportunities First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities face today.

The theme of the Committee for the Advancement of Native Employment (CANE) and the Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) 2016-17 calendar is "Keeping the Circle Strong", and I'm pleased to provide a foreword under such a fitting theme. For many years, CANE has showcased the successes and diversity of Indigenous employees. CANE's partnership with PAN will further enrich this great calendar and the career and learning opportunities for Indigenous public servants. I remember well getting my first CANE calendar for 2010 from Jeff Loucks, the Regional Director General at the time, when I made my first visit to BC in the fall of 2009. I am so glad to see it continues.

Through the Deputy Minister's Aboriginal Workforce Initiative II (DMAWI II) and the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative (ALDI), the Department strives to be an employer of choice for Indigenous peoples and aims to give employees the guidance and resources they need to grow their leadership competencies and achieve their career goals. In fact, the ALDI program was expanded in 2014-2015 for the first time to include other departments, welcoming Indigenous employees from Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and Correctional Service Canada. Congratulations to all program graduates and all the best to future cohorts. I look forward to seeing this initiative grow and benefit more employees.

Congratulations to CANE and PAN for publishing another successful calendar and thank you to all of our Indigenous employees. Without you, the work that we do for Indigenous communities across Canada would not be possible.

Colleen Swords, Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Acting Regional Director General, INAC, BC Region

Allyson Rowe

As a Métis person, a public servant and a past volunteer for the calendar, I am deeply honoured to provide this welcome message to the seventh edition of the calendar produced by the BC Committee for the Advancement of Native Employeement (CANE). CANE's ongoing work to promote Aboriginal awareness in the workplace, and to recruit, support and retain Indigenous employees is deeply appreciated across BC Region.

For over 10 years, CANE has worked tirelessly to showcase the diverse talent, spirit and dedication of Indigenous INAC employees through these calendars. Now, in light of this year's theme, "Keeping the Circle Strong", I am thrilled to say we have added a new partner – the Pacific Aboriginal Network – to our calendar. The Pacific Aboriginal Network is open to all federal Indigenous public servants working in BC and its members will further add to the vitality and diversity of this calendar.

In these pages, you'll read about passionate and committed Indigenous employees from a number of federal departments who share their experiences working in the public service. The result is a showcase of how diverse the public service can be in terms of career paths and learning opportunities.

More than 20 years ago, I made the transition from private practice to the public service and haven't looked back. I have found there is so much variety and fulfillment in the work we do that I would encourage all Canadians, and Indigenous youth in particular, to consider a career within the federal public service.

Thank you to all those who helped make this calendar a reality, and congratulations to CANE and PAN on your continued successes.

Allyson Rowe, Acting Regional Director General, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, BC Region

Chair, British Columbia Federal Council

Daphne Meredith

As the Chair of the British Columbia Federal Council (BCFC), I am pleased to support the initiatives of the Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) and their partners to present this calendar to you. In line with the BCFC priorities for 2015-2016, the calendar serves to highlight the contributions of Indigenous employees in the federal public service, as well as promote the Federal Government as an employer of choice to Indigenous peoples.

The BCFC is comprised of executive heads from all federal departments and agencies that conduct government business in British Columbia. The Council promotes horizontal collaboration and knowledge exchange, and helps advance Government of Canada priorities, as well as regional priorities such as Talent Management and Aboriginal Interests and Issues.

The Council structure includes a robust network of nine Communities of Interest that help us deliver on our priorities. The BCFC is proud to collaborate with our PAN Community of Interest, which operates under the Council's umbrella, to foster and promote an inclusive environment, where Indigenous peoples in the federal public service are valued, respected and supported.

We are also proud of the collaboration with the Canada School of Public Service and the PAN to deliver Aboriginal Awareness sessions to federal employees to raise awareness about our history and rich cultural landscape.

We hope you find the resources included in the calendar useful.

Daphne Meredith, Chair, British Columbia Federal Council and Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is a public gallery nestled in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It is named after the acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid (1920–1998). Reid was a master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, broadcaster and spokesman. The Bill Reid Gallery opened in May 2008, and is the only public gallery in Canada devoted to contemporary Aboriginal Art of the Northwest Coast. It is home to the Simon Fraser University Bill Reid Collection and special exhibitions of contemporary Aboriginal Art of the Northwest Coast of North America. Through his art, Bill Reid continues to inspire emerging and established contemporary Aboriginal artists of the Northwest Coast.

CANE and PAN would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the Bill Reid Gallery for opening their doors and allowing us to showcase selected artworks in this calendar.

Bill Reid Gallery exterior

Bill Reid Gallery exterior, Photo: effordphotography.com

Employment Opportunities in the Government of Canada

Government of Canada Career Site

This official federal government website lists jobs open to the public, students, graduates and professionals. Your job search can be refined in a number of ways, including preferred work locations, salary, and types of job postings.

Job postings will be organized by closing date, department, work location, language required for the position, and salary. More details are available when you click on the job title.

Test Requirements for Some Jobs

For some positions, you may be asked to write a test. Information about some of the tests, along with practice questions, can be found at the following web links:

How to Apply for a Job in the Government of Canada

This guide helps job seekers understand the steps required to successfully apply for a job, and to determine the status of your application after you have applied.

Careers for Aboriginal Persons

Aboriginal Persons Inventory

In a continued effort to hire a diversified and representative workforce, the federal government recruits Aboriginal persons for a variety of jobs requiring a post-secondary education.

If you are an Aboriginal person residing in Canada or an Aboriginal Canadian citizen residing abroad, we invite you to submit your application to the Aboriginal Persons Inventory.

This Inventory is advertised each year through the Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign. The 2015 campaign closes March 15, 2016. Dates and information around the 2016 campaign will be updated on the Post-Secondary Recruitment website.

Programs for Students

The Government of Canada offers programs for high school and post-secondary students who want to work for the federal public service while they are still in school or during their summer break.

Federal Student Work Experience Program

The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) provides full-time students with the opportunity to explore their interests and develop their skills. Jobs can be offered on a full-time or part-time basis and students are not required to have previous work experience.

Co-operative Education and Internship Program

The Co-op/Internship Program is one way students can obtain hands-on experience in their fields of study, with federal government organizations. Register in a Co-op/Internship Program with your academic institution and consult the job notice boards at your campus career placement centre or the Co-op/Internship placement office for Government of Canada opportunities.

Research Affiliate Program

The Research Affiliate Program (RAP) is for post-secondary students interested in obtaining experience in research. Students in this program are normally placed with ongoing research operations in federal government facilities. The research projects are structured to help students develop specific knowledge and research skills in their degree program.

Programs for Graduates

Post-Secondary Recruitment Program

The Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR) program is advertised once a year, launching after Labour Day in September, and closing at the beginning of October. The program offers a variety of career opportunities in the federal government to college and university graduates. You can apply to advertised jobs through this campaign, or to a career inventory.

Recruitment of Policy Leaders Program

The Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) program targets and recruits exceptional candidates for mid to senior-level policy positions in the federal public service. The program is designed to attract top-level professionals and graduates from an array of academic disciplines, who have the drive and potential to shape the future of Canada's public policy landscape.

Follow Public Service Commission on Twitter: @jobs_gc

Five Reasons to Join the Federal Public Service

1. Make Your Mark

Come be a part of a non-partisan professional team delivering programs and services aimed at advancing the quality of life for all Canadians. You could improve Canadians' health, protect the environment, communicate emergency preparedness or even strengthen Canada's international role.

Whether you work in an office or outdoors, in the far North, a rural area or a large urban centre, the public service offers you the opportunity to contribute to your country's future — and to make a difference in people's lives.

2. Kick-start Your Career

You can choose from a wide range of rewarding and stimulating careers abroad or anywhere in Canada. With more than 250,000 employees, the size and diversity of the public service create an unmatched variety of employment opportunities in areas such as psychology, communications, law, auditing, biological sciences, economics, chemistry, forestry and human resources.

With 1,600 office locations across Canada and operations in 150 countries, the federal government has more lines of business and points of service, both nationally and internationally, than any other Canadian organization.

3. Never Stop Learning

Whether you want to continue your education, learn new skills or build your professional career, the public service offers a culture of learning and development.

Career Development

The public service offers excellent learning and development opportunities. Here are some ways to help you develop your career in the public service:

Each employee creates an individual learning plan based on his/her needs for the current position or for career development. Managers meet with individuals three times a year to review and evaluate an employee's performance, learning plan and training needs.

4. Be Part of a Community

You can become an active member of professional networks and functional communities based on your job and professional interests. There are many opportunities to find support from mentors, coaches and colleagues who share your goals and interests.

Your Ideas Matter

Canada's public service faces new challenges every day as we work in a complex environment of a globalized economic landscape, fast-paced communications and information technologies, and new emerging horizontal issues. The public service needs employees' ideas, dynamism and experience to remain relevant and effective in the 21st century.

A Culture of Social Responsiblity

Be part of a "giving back" culture and join a large number of public servants who volunteer in their community or participate in initiatives such as the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign.

5. Get the Balance You Want

Canada's public service supports work-life balance and creates an intellectually stimulating work environment where excellence is recognized and rewarded.

The public service also offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, flexible work arrangements, and safe and healthy workplaces.

50 Per Cent Aboriginal Hiring Strategy

INAC is committed to an Aboriginal Hiring Strategy where 50 per cent of its workforce is Aboriginal.

This commitment was strengthened by the Letter of Understanding between the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, now known as Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, signed on November 22, 1996. The letter states:

"In view of its unique mandate and its special relationship with First Nations, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) has a long-term objective of having a majority of DIAND employees with Aboriginal ancestry. The Department will make every reasonable effort to reach an objective of a 50 per cent hiring share for Aboriginal peoples until the Department meets its objective. The Department undertakes to make every effort to ensure that Aboriginals are equitably represented across all occupational groups and levels in the Department, including management positions."

Aboriginal Employees in the Government of Canada

Federal public servants who self-identify as Aboriginal come from all parts of Canada. They are of different age groups and have diverse backgrounds. Nearly 12,000 Aboriginal peoples are employed throughout the federal public service. They take pride in their work, work that serves all Canadians. Organizations like CANE and PAN give them an opportunity to make other contributions in the workplace.

Moogly Tetrault-Hamel - National Defence

Sergeant • Abenaki First Nation

Moogly Tetrault-Hamel

"Looking for structure and discipline, I joined the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 18. Since then, I have had the opportunity to travel across Canada and the world, and to pursue my education. I am very involved in the Aboriginal community and am always looking for opportunities to better my cultural awareness. Currently, I serve as the Regional Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group Military Co-chair for British Columbia and I am proud to have contributed to the efforts towards supporting Aboriginal issues in the Forces. For any Aboriginal peoples considering a career in the Forces, I would say that the military gives us many tools and experiences that enhance our problem-solving skills so that we can eventually go back to our communities and become part of the solution."

Miranda Lezard - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Services Assistant • Nlaka'pamux, Syilx, Secwepemc and Nez Perce

Miranda Lezard

"I have worked for the government since I was 19 years old. I have worked for the Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, Canadian Food Inspection and currently here at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Whether it was at a provincial level or federal level, I believe my calling has always been to work for the government to represent and show what the Aboriginal community can bring to the table. Since working for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, I have brought in speakers and worked hard on Aboriginal Awareness month and National Aboriginal Day to promote the achievements of current Aboriginal leaders and not to be remembered by the stereotypes of our past."

John Gaudaur Savage - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Litigation Information Analyst • Métis

John Gaudaur Savage

"It's been interesting working with the Settlement Agreement Branch, helping to resolve Indian Residential School claims and participating in the Pacific Aboriginal Network for federal employees. This experience has confirmed my belief that it's important for Aboriginal peoples to contribute to the governance of Canada, to provide our perspective and help avoid costly mistakes. For example, if more Aboriginals had influenced public sector decision-making, would the harms of Indian Residential School ever have happened? To counterbalance generations of exclusion from the public service and old biases, I believe we need even more Aboriginal employees to deal with Canada's challenges."

Wendy Jeddry - Correctional Service of Canada

Primary Worker • Cree/Black Lake First Nation

Wendy Jeddry

"After living and working in Northern Saskatchewan, I decided a career as a public servant was the best choice for me. I worked for many years in Provincial Corrections before joining the Correctional Service of Canada in 2007. My purpose is to be a positive and supportive role model for all Aboriginal women. I'm proud to volunteer with the Employee Assistance Program and the Honour Guard. I would encourage everyone to consider employment as a public servant; there are so many opportunities across Canada!"

Duncan Stephen - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Duncan Stephen

Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor • Métis

"I recently joined INAC because I am passionate about supporting the aspirations of Indigenous communities. Previously, I worked for Service Canada and Public Safety Canada. As a public servant, I have had the opportunity to see parts of our country that I otherwise may never have reached. My advice for people entering the public service would be to embrace unexpected opportunities that arise – you never know where they might lead!"

Isabel Jackson - Department of Justice, Aboriginal Law Section

Counsel • Gitxsan

Isabel Jackson

"I've worked at Department of Justice since 2001 and I also teach the section on Aboriginal history during Aboriginal Awareness sessions for public servants. It is great that the government celebrates National Aboriginal Day, but somehow we have to integrate Aboriginal awareness on a daily basis. There continues to be a large gap in the knowledge and understanding around the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples. I appreciate that people sympathize with what happened through colonization, but it's not sympathy that Aboriginal peoples want or need, it's respect."

Michael Ballard - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Michael Ballard

Field Supervisor, Conservation and Protection • Metis / Mohawk

"Since the world's Indigenous people are now and have always been stewards of the natural earth, I feel that it makes sense that they are included in the ongoing governance of all matters related to the protection of the Earth. Indigenous people are able to fulfill this role through opportunities in the public service. In my opinion, roles that serve future generations and provide much needed, well-paying and relevant jobs are the best fit for Canada's Aboriginal communities."

Aboriginal Awareness

Being aware of Aboriginal issues, culture and history can help in understanding what contributes to a positive and respectful relationship with Aboriginal peoples.

Although Aboriginal peoples are forming a growing segment of the Canadian population, and are playing an increasingly important role in Canada's social and economic development, many Canadians are not very familiar with Aboriginal issues.

Aboriginal Peoples in BC

According to the 2011 National Housing Survey:

Aboriginal Awareness 101

Through the Aboriginal Awareness 101 Workshop, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) helps celebrate, raise awareness of, and preserve Aboriginal culture and heritage. These help define our national identity and enrich the lives of all Canadians.

The workshop facilitators encourage participants to engage in continuous learning about Aboriginal peoples in Canada by sharing their knowledge on the history, values, customs, aspirations, beliefs and diversity of the First Nations in BC, as well as the issues facing them today. Resources are provided to INAC employees to help them communicate and work effectively with Aboriginal communities, and to increase the respect for, and understanding of, Aboriginal cultures and values.

Since its inception in 2005, the Aboriginal Awareness 101 Workshop has been delivered to public servants at many federal government departments, students and educators at post-secondary institutions and some non-profit agencies.

Etiquette and Protocol Tips

Glossary

Aboriginal Peoples (Native)
The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. The 1982 Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians, Inuit, and Métis. These separate groups have unique heritages, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs. "Native" is another general term used to describe people of Aboriginal ancestry.
Aboriginal Rights
The rights that Aboriginal peoples in Canada hold are as a result of their ancestors' long-standing use and occupancy of the land. The rights of certain Aboriginal peoples to hunt, trap and fish on ancestral lands are examples of Aboriginal rights accorded either through treaties or formal agreements. Aboriginal rights vary from group to group depending on the customs, practices, and traditions that form part of the group's distinctive culture.
Band
A group of First Nations people for whom lands have been set apart and money is held by the Crown. Each band has its own governing band council, usually consisting of one or more Chiefs and several councillors. Community members choose the Chief and councillors either by election, or through traditional custom. The members of a band generally share common values, traditions and practices rooted in their language and ancestral heritage. Today, many bands prefer to be known as First Nations.
Elder
A man or a woman whose wisdom about spirituality, culture and life is recognized. Not all elders are "old." The Aboriginal community and individuals will, normally, seek the advice and assistance of Elders regarding traditional, as well as contemporary issues.
First Nation
The term First Nation came into usage in the 1970s to replace the word "Indian," which some may find offensive. Although the term "First Nation" is widely used no legal definition exists. The term "First Nation" has also been adopted to replace the word "band" in the name of communities.
Indian
The term Indian describes Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are not Inuit or Métis. The term was first used by Christopher Columbus in 1492, believing that he had reached India.
Indigenous
While an official definition of "indigenous" has not been adopted by any UN-system body, the modern understanding of this term is based on the following:
  • Those who self-identify as indigenous peoples and are accepted by the community as their member; have historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies; have a strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources; have a distinct social, economic or political systems; have a distinct language, culture and beliefs; form non-dominant groups of society; and, resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.
Inuit
Until recently Inuit were formerly known as "Eskimos". This term was later replaced with "Inuit", an Inuit word describing themselves as the People. Inuit in Canada are located from the Labrador coast to the Western Arctic in the Northwest Territories. Inuit are in four circumpolar countries, living in Canada, United States (Alaska), Greenland and Northern Russia (Chukotka). There are approximately 150,000 Inuit in the world today.
Métis
People of mixed First Nation and European ancestry who identify themselves as Métis, as distinct from First Nations people, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people. The Métis have a unique culture that draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree.
Reserve
Land set aside by the federal government through the Indian Act or through treaties for the use of a specific band or First Nation. The band council has "exclusive user rights" to the land, but the land is "owned" by the Crown. The Indian Act states that this land can't be owned by individual band members.
Status Indians
People who are entitled to have their names included on the Indian Register, an official list maintained by the federal government. Certain criteria determine who can be registered as a Status Indian. Only Status Indians are recognized as Indians under the Indian Act, which defines an Indian as "a person who, pursuant to this Act, is registered as an Indian or is entitled to be registered as an Indian." Status Indians are entitled to certain rights and benefits under the law.
Non-Status Indians
People who consider themselves Indians or members of a First Nation but whom the Government of Canada does not recognize as Indians under the Indian Act, either because they are unable to prove their status or have lost their status rights. Many Indian people in Canada, especially women, lost their Indian status through discriminatory practices in the past. Non-Status Indians are not entitled to the same rights and benefits available to Status Indians.
Treaty Indian
A Status Indian who belongs to a First Nation that signed a treaty with the Crown.
Tribal Council
A grouping of First Nations with common interests who have voluntarily joined together to provide services to member First Nations.

Selection of Key Historical Events

1492

October 11: The Aboriginal peoples of North America met Christopher Columbus on their shores.

1763

October 7: Royal Proclamation on Indian Rights; sometimes called the Indian Magna Carta. This was the first time a government recognized that Aboriginals had certain rights to the land because they were the first ones to live on it.

1844

October 21: Louis Riel, future Métis leader, was born.

1850

April 29: Douglas Treaty No. 1 was signed with the Teechamitsa (Songhees).

April 30: Douglas Treaties No. 2-6 were signed with the Kosampson (Esquimalt), Swengwhung (Songhees), Chilcowitch (Songhees), Whyomilth (Songhees) and Chekonein (Songhees).

May 1: Douglas Treaties No. 7-9 were signed with the Soke (Sooke), Kakyaakan (Beecher Bay) and Chewhaytsum (Beecher Bay).

1851

February 8: Douglas Treaties No. 10-11 were signed with the Queachkar (Kwakiutl) and Quakeolth (Kwakiutl).

1852

February 7: Douglas Treaty No. 12 was signed with the South Saanich (Malahat).

February 11: Douglas Treaty No. 13 was signed with the North Saanich (Tsawout, Pauquachin, Tseycum, Tsartlip).

1854

December 23: Douglas Treaty No. 14 was signed with the Saalequun (Nanaimo, Nanoose).

1867

July 1: Canada became a nation.

1876

April 11: Indian Act was passed to regulate Indians and their lands.

1885

January 1: Potlatch Law declared anyone engaging or assisting in a potlatch ceremony guilty of a misdemeanour.

November 16: Louis Riel was hanged in Regina for treason. He was later exonerated of this charge and officially recognized as a founder of the province of Manitoba. November 16 is widely regarded as Louis Riel Day in the Métis Nation.

1888

November 26: Fisheries Act was passed – Indian commercial fishing was outlawed.

1899

June 21: The original Treaty No. 8 was signed at Lesser Slave Lake with the Cree.

1949

March 24: Indians were granted the right to vote in provincial elections.

June 15: Nisga'a Chief Frank Calder was elected to the BC legislature.

1951

June 20: First Indian Act amendment – First Nations were allowed to organize for a land claim.

1958

January 31: James Gladstone, a member of the Blood Tribe in Alberta, was appointed to the Canadian Senate. He is Canada's first Aboriginal Senator.

1960

March 31: Indians were granted the right to vote in federal elections.

1966

June 16: Department of Indian Affairs was formed by Act of Parliament.

1971

October 19: A Federal court decided that Status Indian women who married non-Status Indians would no longer lose their status and rights as Indians.

1973

February 22: The Calder Decision: the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Nisga'a held Aboriginal title before settlers came but the judges were split evenly on land title.

1974

September 28: Canadian-born North American Indians were granted the right to pass freely over the United States - Canada border.

1977

April 10: Willie Adams of Rankin Inlet was appointed Senator for the Northwest Territories and was the first Inuit to sit in the Senate.

1981

April 26: The World Council of Indigenous People declared the International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

1985

June 28: Parliament passed Bill C-31 – it removed sections of the Indian Act that treated First Nations women unfairly; change allowed thousands of First Nations people to regain their Indian status.

1989

September 12: Nisga'a Framework Agreement was signed with the federal government.

1990

May 31: Sparrow Case affirmed Aboriginal fishing rights.

October 3: Province of British Columbia entered tripartite negotiations with the Nisga'a and the Government of Canada.

1992

September 21: Agreement establishing the BC Treaty Commission was signed by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, and Honourable Mike Harcourt, and First Nations Summit representatives.

1995

December 6: The late Elijah Harper, a Cree Member of Canada's Parliament from Manitoba, organized the first Sacred Assembly. This was a gathering for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal spiritual leaders in Canada.

1996

June 13: The Governor General of Canada proclaimed June 21st to be National Aboriginal Day: a time for all Canadians to recognize the diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

1997

December 11: Delgamuuxw Supreme Court decision.

1999

April 1: Canada formally created the territory Nunavut.

2000

April 13: Nisga'a treaty was officially ratified.

2007

September 19: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which included the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), was implemented. The IAP is a claimant-centred, non-adversarial, out-of-court process for the resolution of claims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse, and other wrongful acts suffered at Indian Residential Schools.

2008

June 11: The Government of Canada made a statement of apology to the former students of the Indian Residential Schools system.

2009

April 3: Tsawwassen First Nation treaty took effect as the first modern treaty negotiated under the British Columbia Treaty Commission process.

2010

June 16, 2010 to March 30, 2014:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission held seven national events in Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Québec, British Columbia, and Alberta. The national events educated and engaged the Canadian public in dialogue on the history of the Indian Residential Schools system, the experiences of former students and their families, and the ongoing legacy of the institutions within communities.

2011

April 1: Maa-nulth First Nations treaty took effect as the second modern treaty negotiated under the BC Treaty Commission process.

2013

June 20: The City of Vancouver in British Columbia was the first Canadian municipality to proclaim June 21, 2013 to June 20, 2014 as the Year of Reconciliation.

September 16 to 22: Reconciliation Week took place in British Columbia. Organised by Reconciliation Canada, the week of activities bookended the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's BC National Event. With events such as the All Nations Canoe Gathering and the Walk for Reconciliation, event organizers aimed to unite all cultures in BC in discussions about reconciliation.

October 1: The British Columbia First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the first of its kind in Canada, assumed control of the programs, services, and responsibilities previously handled by Health Canada's First Nations Inuit Health (FNIH) Branch – Pacific Region.

October 7: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 entered its 250th anniversary. The Proclamation established the beginnings of the treaty-making process through which historic treaties were negotiated, and through which Canada and First Nations continue to negotiate land claims (or modern treaties) today.

2014

June 25: The Supreme Court of Canada granted declaration of Aboriginal title to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in British Columbia to the Tsilhqot'in First Nation.

2015

June 2: The Truth and Reconciliation released its report, titled "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action", containing 94 recommendations for redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of Canadian reconciliation.

Disclaimer: This list does not present a comprehensive list of BC Aboriginal historical events, but rather an eclectic collection of dates and events contributed by INAC employees.

Personal and Professional Development

Sherry-Ann Louis, Okanagan Indian Band

Program Assistant, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Sherry-Ann Louis

Jim Hart: Celebration of Bill Reid Pole (detail), 2007. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

With a passion for empowering her community, Sherry-Ann Louis jumped on the opportunity to gain hands-on experience to further her career to become a Lands Development expert for the Okanagan Indian Band.

Sherry was offered a four-month contract with INAC to gain direct experience working with lands management systems. She was midway through her two-year Reserve Land and Environment Management Program (RLEMP) when her Lands Department manager collaborated with INAC to offer her a chance to apply her studies in a direct and meaningful way.

"Here at INAC, I'm working with the Individual Land Holdings files and the Lands Registration area. In learning the systems here, I'll be able to take the knowledge back into our community and to also teach other staff."

When Sherry returns to the Okanagan Indian Band at the end of her contact with INAC, she will facilitate the community's transition through the RLEMP process.

Her career aspirations have always been firmly rooted in community involvement. From working with the Chief and Council to now in the Lands Department, Sherry believes in a lifetime of learning.

"I encourage our young people, our students and people my age that learning is never-ending. You have to embrace it and keep moving forward with the changes."

Sherry hopes that her personal experience working in the community will help provide a different understanding to some of the files she is working on at INAC. "Creating a balance between cultures goes a long way in a positive working relationship; understanding from both the public service and First Nation governments creates willingness and solutions to achieve First Nation successes."

January 2016
1

New Year's Day

2  
3  
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9  
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11

Sir John A. Macdonald Day

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18

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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February 2016
1  
2

Groundhog Day

3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8

Family Day (BC)

9  
10  
11  
12  
13  
14

Valentine's Day

15

National Flag of Canada Day

Family Day (AB, ON, SK)

Heritage Day

Louis Riel Day (Manitoba)

16  
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18  
19  
20  
21

International Mother Language Day

22  
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Bringing Aboriginal Culture to the Workplace

Hilary Lawson, Nisga'a / Heiltsuk

Boating Safety Officer, Transport Canada

Hilary Lawson

Paul Ygartua: Portrait of Chief Dan George, 2008. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Hilary Lawson was 16 and had just started working at the Vancouver Friendship Society when she was asked to take minutes at a meeting being chaired by the Honourable Chief Dan George. Uncertain, she asked Chief George to review the minutes before they were provided to the rest of the Board Members. He said he didn't need to. "You be proud of what you've done," she remembers him saying. She was sure that he saw her writing as fast as she could.

Hilary has worked at Transport Canada for 27 years; for the last two years, she has been in the Office of Boating Safety. "We're not enforcers; we're educators," she explains.

She loves the work and has found a sense of community. Marine work has also allowed Hilary to reconnect with her childhood and share the hospitality of Aboriginal culture with her non-Aboriginal co-workers. Hilary's mother is from Kincolith and her father is from Bella Bella. Growing up, Hilary spent her summers on the family's fishing boat off Vancouver Island and BC's north coast. She said once you get fishing in your blood, it is there forever.

In 2014, she and her colleagues were in Terrace to make a safety presentation. Someone in the crowd recognized her and warmly welcomed her as a returning sister. Her boss was clearly impressed with the reception. "Sharing and caring is a big part of our culture."

"People honestly care and share from their hearts. This is so evident when guests travel into their communities for various reasons," Hilary says.

Did you know?

March 2016
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8

International Women's Day

9  
10  
11  
12  
13

Daylight Saving Time Begins

14

Commonwealth Day

15  
16  
17

St. Patrick's Day

18  
19  
20

Spring Equinox

21  
22

World Water Day

23  
24  
25

Good Friday

26  
27

Easter Sunday

28

Easter Monday

29  
30  
31

National Aboriginal Languages Day

April 2016
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7

World Health Day

8  
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Earth Day

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29

International Dance Day

30  

National Aboriginal Day

Sylvia Andrews, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation

Legal Assistant, Department of Justice, Aboriginal Law Section

Sylvia Andrews

Jim Hart: Celebration of Bill Reid Pole (detail), 2007. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Sylvia Andrews is a strong advocate for National Aboriginal Day. She has been working for the Department of Justice since 1999, where she is proud to be part of a workplace that encourages participation in National Aboriginal Day events each June.

Sylvia believes that National Aboriginal Day is a way for Canadians to get to know and understand Aboriginal peoples and their diverse cultures across Canada. She also thinks of it as an important day for Aboriginal youth.

"If they haven't experienced a lot of Aboriginal culture in their lives, this is an opportunity for them to see and participate in it. A lot of them don't live on reserves anymore, they live in urban communities and they can get caught up in the shuffle of city life."

With her husband and daughters, Sylvia often participates in National Aboriginal Day celebrations that take place each year at Trout Lake in Vancouver. They have also attended local powwows in the Lower Mainland, which feature stories, songs, dancing and food, to celebrate Aboriginal culture.

Sylvia also sees National Aboriginal Day as a time to acknowledge and honour the work of First Nations elders and leaders in the communities.

"Elders play a vital role in keeping our culture alive and National Aboriginal Day is an excellent time to recognize and respect our ancestors."

Did you know?

May 2016
1

May Day

Emergency Preparedness Week (1-7)

2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8

Mother's Day

9  
10  
11  
12

Canada Health Day

13  
14  
15

International Day of Families

16  
17  
18  
19  
20  
21  
22  
23

Victoria Day

24

Aboriginal Awareness Week (24-28)

25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
31

World No Tobacco Day

June 2016
1  
2  
3  
4  
5

World Environment Day

6  
7  
8

World Oceans Day

9  
10  
11  
12

National Public Service Week (12-18)

13  
14  
15  
16  
17  
18  
19

Father's Day

20

Summer Solstice

21

National Aboriginal Day

22  
23

United Nations Public Service Day

24

St. Jean Baptiste Day

25  
26

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

27

Canadian Multi-culturalism Day

28  
29  
30  

Finding Inspiration and Role Models

Trudy Swidley, Métis

Land Management and Leasing Officer, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Trudy Swidley

Beau Dick: Bella Coola Sky Mask, 2014. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Inspiration can come from many places. It can come from a beautiful painting or words from a famous leader. For Trudy Swidley, her inspiration comes from her family. Trudy sees her mother and father as role models who have shaped her into the person she is today. The love for her children also inspires her to be a better person and a good role model for them.

Now, as a Land Management and Leasing Officer at INAC, and a mother and grandmother, Trudy lives her life by inspirational traits she has learned from her family such as working through adversity, caring for family, and believing in yourself.

Trudy feels she is truly lucky to come from a big family and blessed to be inspired by the people close to her. It has made her realize that as important as it is to have role models, it is equally important to give back. For example, from her experience, a new staff member or student intern could benefit from some guidance. A simple way to give back is to show them around or let them know you're available to answer questions.

At work, CANE has been an additional source of inspiration for Trudy. It has taught her that no one has to struggle alone and there is power in numbers. Being part of a network that surrounds her with supportive people has given her the strength and courage to stand up and overcome challenging situations. During difficult times, Trudy also finds the motivation to move forward from wise words once told to her.

"Do not fear change. You may lose something good, but you'll gain something better."

Being a role model can be a lifelong journey, like parenting, or a small act of kindness like helping a new colleague or passing on a meaningful quote. Anyone can be inspiring or be someone's role model in some way.

July 2016
1

Canada Day

2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9

Nunavut Day

10  
11

World Population Day

12  
13  
14  
15  
16

Canada's Parks Day

17  
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31  
August 2016
1

BC Day

2  
3  
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5  
6  
7  
8  
9

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

10  
11  
12

International Youth Day

13  
14  
15

National Acadian Day

16  
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31  

A Way Forward Towards Reconciliation

Vanessa Schols, Métis / Saulteaux First Nation

Program Analyst, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Tanya Stelkia, Osoyoos Indian Band

Program Analyst, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Vanessa Schols and Tanya Stelkia

Bill Reid: Canoe Paddles and Rudder, 1986. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Vanessa Schols and Tanya Stelkia are members of the Reconciliation Working Group, which was established in September 2014 to promote understanding of reconciliation among staff at INAC. "Our goal is to inspire staff to integrate reconciliation into their lives and work." The Working Group continues the progress made by the 2013 Walk for Reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) activities.

"I attended the TRC event in 2013 to show my support for friends that wanted to tell their stories. I was touched by their stories and felt honoured to be a part of their healing process," Tanya says. It was inspiring to see how sharing and listening as a community can lighten the burden.

Unfortunately, some people have little understanding of how residential school experiences have contributed to the difficulties communities face. "The Reconciliation Working Group is focused on education, so people can understand this history and its importance. They will have a better understanding of the community impacts, and be more attentive, more caring, when working with First Nations," Vanessa says. "Reconciliation is an ongoing journey for all of us."

The Working Group promotes awareness through classroom-style education, dialogue sessions and guest speakers. Tanya says that our knowledge is deepened by hearing survivors tell their stories.

Over the years, Vanessa believes that the Reconciliation process will yield positive results, from individual healing, better understanding and sensitivity, and, ultimately, to a more diverse and accepting workplace. When asked how we can begin our own reconciliation journey, she responds, "Reconciliation starts with kindness in human interactions. Just being kind and respectful, those are things anyone can do. And anyone can learn more about Aboriginal history."

September 2016
1  
2  
3  
4  
5

Labour Day

6  
7  
8

International Literacy Day

9  
10

World Suicide Prevention Day

11

Grandparents Day

12  
13  
14  
15  
16  
17  
18  
19  
20  
21

International Day of Peace

22

Fall Equinox

23  
24  
25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
October 2016
1

International Day of Older Persons

2  
3

World Habitat Day

4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9

Fire Prevention Week (9-15)

10

World Mental Health Day

Thanksgiving Day

11  
12  
13  
14  
15  
16

World Food Day

17

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

18

Persons Day

19  
20  
21  
22  
23  
24

United Nations Day

25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
31

Halloween

The Métis Culture

Tim Low, Métis

Director, Citizen Services, Service Canada

Tim Low

Bill Reid: Mythic Messengers, 1984. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

From growing up in a Métis family in Saskatchewan to studying the Métis history in school, and working for various Métis organizations, Tim Low has acquired a wealth of knowledge on the Métis culture.

Tim best describes the Métis as "children of the fur trade," a cultural evolution of people originating from the First Nations communities in central to Eastern Canada and the European trappers and traders that came in the 17th Century. The offspring of the two distinct groups eventually formed one unique culture, with their own traditions, language, and way of life.

The awareness of Métis culture, Tim believes, has increased over the years. Coming from a time when many Métis wouldn't call themselves Aboriginal or Métis, to now, there is a stronger desire and sense of pride for Métis to self-identify. According to the National Household Survey (NHS) in 2011, over 451,795 people identified themselves as Métis. This represents 32% of Canada's total Aboriginal population, and 1.3% of the total Canadian population.

Because of the leadership of Louis Riel, the Métis culture is very much alive. In 1869-70, many Métis farmers in the Red River Colony (presently parts of Manitoba and North Dakota) felt threatened when the government took control over their lands and way of life. Métis political leader Louis Riel led a rebellion known as the Red River Resistance to defend Métis rights, and later influenced the forming of Manitoba as Canada's next province. He was later prosecuted for treason but his legacy lives on.

Riel was exonerated for the charge, and every third Monday in February in Manitoba, Louis Riel Day is celebrated. Across Canada, November 16 is another date to commemorate the leadership of Louis Riel.

Tim encourages everyone to learn about the Métis. He recommends seeking a variety of sources such as the Métis National Council and its affiliates, or attending a Métis celebration such as Louis Riel Day or Back to Batoche Days to learn about the culture and meet other Métis. Increasing one's knowledge about the Métis is very much key to expanding one's awareness of Canada's history and its social fabric of today.

November 2016
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6

Daylight Saving Time Ends

7

Inuit Day

8  
9  
10  
11

Remembrance Day

12  
13  
14

World Diabetes Day

15  
16

International Day for Tolerance

Louis Riel Day

17  
18  
19  
20

National Child Day

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day

21  
22  
23  
24  
25

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
December 2016
1

World AIDS Day

2  
3

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

4  
5  
6

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

7  
8  
9  
10

Human Rights Day

11  
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14  
15  
16  
17  
18  
19  
20  
21

Winter Solstice

22  
23  
24

Christmas Eve

25

Christmas Day

26

Boxing Day

27  
28  
29  
30  
31

New Year's Eve

Aboriginal Representation in the Public Service

Taryn Richardson, Skidegate First Nation

Executive Assistant, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Taryn Richardson

Nancy Brigall: Paper Cast of Bill Reid's Dogfish Door, 1991. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Taryn Richardson first joined INAC in 2008, after graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in French. She worked in Funding Services and saw firsthand how the Department supports First Nations. After a few years overseas working with the Canadian High Commission in London, she returned to INAC in 2012 as the Executive Assistant to the Regional Director General.

Working at INAC has given Taryn a better appreciation for other Aboriginal communities. She continues to maintain her connection to Haida Gwaii where her father was raised and her grandmother still lives. She would like people to know how diverse and culturally vibrant Aboriginal peoples are. She believes this diversity should also be reflected in the public service.

"At INAC, but also throughout the public service, we serve Aboriginal people; so, it's important that they are represented in our workforce. Aboriginal employees bring valuable experience and perspective to the public service and to the wide variety of work we do."
For those contemplating a career in the public service, Taryn paints a bright picture. She recommends the Government of Canada as an employer of choice and is encouraged by the various employment possibilities.

"Our hiring policies and opportunities for students help Aboriginal peoples gain entry into the workforce," she said, adding that "INAC is a great place to work, gain valuable experience and build a career."

Taryn appreciates the opportunities she has had interacting with First Nations while managing the Regional Director General's office.

"I hope that my contribution to the work we do at INAC is, at least in a small way, helping Canadians and particularly Aboriginal peoples."

She aspires to someday work in a program area where she can further her contributions to the well-being of First Nations in British Columbia.

January 2017
1

New Year's Day

2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9  
10  
11

Sir John A. Macdonald Day

12  
13  
14  
15  
16

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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February 2017
1  
2

Groundhog Day

3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9  
10  
11  
12  
13

Family Day (BC)

14

Valentine's Day

15

National Flag of Canada Day

16  
17  
18  
19  
20

Family Day (AB, ON, SK))

Heritage Day

Louis Riel Day (Manitoba)

21

International Mother Language Day

22  
23  
24  
25  
26  
27  
28  

Urban Aboriginal

Bryan Eggleston, Fort Nelson First Nation

Manager, Intelligence Section, Environmental Enforcement Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Bryan Eggleston

Jim Hart: The Raven, 2010. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Bryan Eggleston has worked for the Government of Canada for 22 years. Although a member of the Fort Nelson First Nation, his father was in the Canadian Armed Forces so Bryan grew up on military bases away from the reserve. Having lived in many towns and cities across Canada, Bryan identifies himself as an Urban Aboriginal.

After graduating from university, Bryan entered government service as an intelligence officer. He had studied communications so it felt like a good fit.

For the last 12 years, Bryan has been the manager of the Intelligence Section of the Environmental Enforcement Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada in Vancouver.

"What I'm doing for Environment and Climate Change Canada is protecting the environment. You're going after the polluters," he says. Good intelligence focuses valuable resources on issues that matter.

"What matters is that our land continues to be protected from companies and individuals that seek to do it harm."

Bryan says identifying as an Urban Aboriginal helps him connect with other Urban Aboriginals. "You have something in common and that's a good basis to build a friendship."

Did you know?

March 2017
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8

International Women's Day

9  
10  
11  
12

Daylight Saving Time Begins

13

Commonwealth Day

14  
15  
16  
17

St. Patrick's Day

18  
19  
20

Spring Equinox

21  
22

World Water Day

23  
24  
25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
31

National Aboriginal Languages Day

April 2017
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7

World Health Day

8  
9  
10  
11  
12  
13  
14

Good Friday

15  
16

Easter Sunday

17

Easter Monday

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19  
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22

Earth Day

23  
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26  
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29

International Dance Day

30  

Opportunities for Students in the Public Service

Mahalia Nahanee, Squamish Nation

Program Assistant, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Mahalia Nahanee

Bill Reid: Killer Whale, 1986. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Every year thousands of students across Canada participate in co-operative education and internship programs within the public service. Mahalia Nahanee, is one of several students working at INAC.

Currently studying Business Management at Langara College, Mahalia finds that her work as a Program Assistant aligns not only with her studies but also her personal interest in Aboriginal issues. When asked about her responsibilities at INAC, she says, "I assist the lands operations team in registering documents in the Indian Land Registry System, as well as with processing payments for leases and permits."

She chose to apply for a position with the federal government because she felt, from the job description, that her duties and responsibilities would give her a wide breadth of experience. While the interview process was initially intimidating, Mahalia says her transition from the classroom to the workplace has been made easier thanks to her co-workers and the supportive environment the public service offers. She didn't expect to feel as welcome and as comfortable as she did on her first day.

In her opinion, the public service is a good place for students because they are treated as regular co-workers, with the same responsibilities and expectations as anyone else. Based on her positive experience, Mahalia would recommend students apply for work opportunities with the federal government.

Mahalia also encourages students to embrace the learning opportunities offered and to not be afraid to ask questions.

"There are a lot of really awesome and knowledgeable people to learn from, so make sure to ask questions."

May 2017
1

May Day

2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7

Emergency Preparedness Week (7-13)

8  
9  
10  
11  
12

Canada Health Day

13  
14

Mother's Day

15

International Day of Families

16  
17  
18  
19  
20  
21  
22

Victoria Day

23

Aboriginal Awareness Week (23-27)

24  
25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
31

World No Tobacco Day

June 2017
1  
2  
3  
4  
5

World Environment Day

6  
7  
8

World Oceans Day

9  
10  
11

National Public Service Week (11-17)

12  
13  
14  
15  
16  
17  
18

Father's Day

19  
20

Summer Solstice

21

National Aboriginal Day

22  
23

United Nations Public Service Day

24

St. Jean Baptiste Day

25  
26

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

27

Canadian Multi-culturalism Day

28  
29  
30  

Celebrating Aboriginal Success

Alexis Fells, Métis

Acting Senior Program Officer, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Alexis Fells

Bill Reid: The Raven and the First Men, 1986. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

What does Aboriginal success mean to you? For Alexis Fells, it means being afforded the same opportunities as someone who is not Aboriginal and is given a chance to succeed in all possible ways.

Since joining INAC in 2008, Alexis has worked in various directorates including Funding Services, Community Development, Corporate Services, and Programs and Partnerships. The various portfolios gave her an appreciation for INAC's work in supporting First Nation communities. In her current role, she supports the Director of Programs and Partnerships in developing projects and monitoring and responding to emerging issues within the Directorate.

As an Urban Aboriginal born in Alberta and raised on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Alexis has found a supportive environment at INAC that has allowed her to thrive in her career. Alexis appreciates the opportunities she has been given to work in different directorates to learn new skills and connect with colleagues. She is able to celebrate her culture through events offered by CANE and Aboriginal Awareness sessions that strengthen her understanding of her heritage.

Alexis is inspired by the Department's approach in facilitating First Nations success at a community development level. For the future, she sees INAC playing a supportive role by providing First Nations with the right tools to drive their own success.

"Comprehensive Community Planning is an excellent example of how the Department is recognizing that First Nations want to be independent. They want to define their own future. They want to go about success in their own unique way that respects their own culture and history."

July 2017
1

Canada Day

2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9

Nunavut Day

10  
11

World Population Day

12  
13  
14  
15

Canada's Parks Day

16  
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August 2017
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  
6  
7

BC Day

8  
9

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

10  
11  
12

International Youth Day

13  
14  
15

National Acadian Day

16  
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Making a Difference as a Public Servant

Dan Yamelst, Nlaka'pamux First Nation / Cook's Ferry Indian Band

Acting Service Manager, Processing and Payment Services, Service Canada

Dan Yamelst

Harvey John: Orca Panel, 2015. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art | BillReidGallery.ca | 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

From the start of his career, Dan Yamelst has helped to promote the Aboriginal voice in the public service. He started at Service Canada, first as an intern through the Native Internship Program providing support for the program itself. He was then hired full time and eventually became a Program Advisor where he helped other Aboriginal students to gain valuable work experience in the federal government.

He knows how important it is to have Aboriginal staff at federal departments and agencies that work closely with First Nations.

"At Service Canada, we have many programs that touch on Aboriginal issues, programs that help to build life skills, get comfortable in interviews and get in a good position to enter the workforce."

As a proud member of the Cook's Ferry Indian Band and the Nlaka'pamux First Nation, he often tells colleagues about growing up on the Kumsheen Indian Reserve near Spences Bridge, BC, and how that informs his work as a public servant. Dan feels that the best way to make these programs effective is to have employees that understand the complexity of issues faced by First Nation communities.

As one of only a few Aboriginals in his branch of Service Canada, he knows how critical it is to connect with other Aboriginals in the public service. He joined the Pacific Aboriginal Network (PAN) because he values its ability to build communities.

"PAN acts as the liaison between different organizations to help Aboriginal employees share knowledge and learn together, and serves as a meeting place for those of us that would not have another venue to meet up."

September 2017
1  
2  
3  
4

Labour Day

5  
6  
7  
8

International Literacy Day

9  
10

Grandparents Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

11  
12  
13  
14  
15  
16  
17  
18  
19  
20  
21

International Day of Peace

22

Fall Equinox

23  
24  
25  
26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
October 2017
1

International Day of Older Persons

2

World Habitat Day

3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8

Fire Prevention Week (8-14)

9

Thanksgiving Day

10

World Mental Health Day

11  
12  
13  
14  
15  
16

World Food Day

17

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

18

Persons Day

19  
20  
21  
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23  
24

United Nations Day

25  
26  
27  
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29  
30  
31

Halloween

The Inuit Culture

Henry Kudluk, Inuk

Aboriginal Awareness Officer, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Henry Kudluk

For the last ten years, Henry Angootimmagik Kudluk has been on a mission to share the Inuit experience through his Inuit Awareness sessions and he always speaks from the heart. "It really gives a different perspective to the audience when someone is speaking from experience rather than the abstract. I talk about having gone through residential schools and having my Dad and Grandfather relocated. I take those experiences and I bring them back to life. Rather than have people think that it happened a long time ago, I use these stories to remind them that people are still affected today."

That is why he promotes the celebration of Inuit Day. "It reminds people that Inuit are still around. People may not know who Inuit are because we were generally known as "Eskimos" back then. Inuit Day is to celebrate our culture and to take pride in who we are; in the recent past, Aboriginal peoples were made to feel ashamed of who we were and to not take pride in our languages and culture."

Henry also shares his culture by teaching an introduction to Inuktitut language class. Although the classes were started as a way to help staff that travelled north to learn the basics, he has also used it as an important cultural sharing tool. "The language courses are important as many Aboriginal languages are declining in use. If this issue is front and centre to federal employees, maybe they will appreciate what languages mean to Aboriginal peoples."

"Every government department touches on Aboriginal issues. Public servants should at least get to know the basics of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada — their history, struggles and successes, and where they're at today."

Did you know?

November 2017
1  
2  
3  
4  
5

Daylight Saving Time Ends

6  
7

Inuit Day

8  
9  
10  
11

Remembrance Day

12  
13  
14

World Diabetes Day

15  
16

International Day for Tolerance

Louis Riel Day

17  
18  
19  
20

National Child Day

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day

21  
22  
23  
24  
25

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

26  
27  
28  
29  
30  
December 2016
1

World AIDS Day

2  
3

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

4  
5  
6

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

7  
8  
9  
10

Human Rights Day

11  
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21

Winter Solstice

22  
23  
24

Christmas Eve

25

Christmas Day

26

Boxing Day

27  
28  
29  
30  
31

New Year's Eve

Where are they now?

For this edition of the calendar, CANE reached out to several past INAC BC volunteers to see where their careers have gone since they were featured in past calendars. Whether they have started their own companies, taken on new roles within the public service, or have moved into the private sector, these featured past volunteers are examples of what can be achieved within the workplace. The question posed to these volunteers was: "What is the best way to advance in your career?" Read their responses below.

Patrick Kelly
featured in the 2006-2007 calendar

Patrick Kelly

Then: Director, Strategic Planning and Communications
Now: Consultant, Patrick Kelly Consulting

"Know and understand your strengths, keep building them, and live and work true to good values and principles."

Petula Maxwell
featured in the 2008-2009 calendar

Petula Maxwell

Then: Ministerial Services Officer
Now: Land Mangement and Leasing Officer, INAC

"During my career I have focused on creating deep roots of learning and experience in each of my roles in order to increase my competency and confidence, which has resulted in better performance outcomes on my part."

Chief Math'ieya Alatini
featured in the 2006-2007 calendar

Chief Math'ieya Alatini

Then: Capital Specialist
Now: Chief, Kluane First Nation

"Find work that you are passionate about and pursue that with a passion. The attitude of wanting to learn something new every day will open doors and your mind. Know that change is not a bad thing, it develops resiliency and strength, as well as some great stories to tell in the future."

Paul Martinson
featured in the 2014-2015 calendar

Paul Martinson

Then: Programs and Partnerships Advisor
Now: Regional Socio-Economic Advisor, INAC

"Don't worry about asking for help, but come prepared to offer options and potential solutions to the problem."

Vickie Whitehead
featured in the 2008-2009 calendar

Vickie Whitehead

Then: Manager, Resource Planning and Allocations
Now: BC Leader, Aboriginal Client Services, Deloitte

"A career path is an individual journey and it's important to find what is going to work best for you, given your circumstances. The best career path is the one that helps you focus on what you are passionate about and what your values are, what makes you feel strong. I believe in helping First Nation communities and organizations, using whatever knowledge or connections I may have to help others realize their goals. It's okay to not have the answers, in fact, it's better if you don't. Sometimes just providing advice or encouragement to others can be what helps them get to where they want to be. Working at INAC and the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative (ALDI) has helped me come to this realization and I will always be grateful for that experience."

Jehan Casey
featured in the 2012-2013 calendar

Jehan Casey

Then: Manager, Communications
Now: Manager, International Cooperation, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C.

"Take on the unfamiliar and the issues that no one else wants to tackle. There is no better way of learning something than by doing it. No one is going to give you your dream job until you prove how valuable you are – and sometimes that takes getting your hands dirty and tackling a not-so-glamorous job for a little while. I think the experience one gains working for the federal government, and INAC in particular, is invaluable. There are very few arenas in either the public or private sector where you are exposed to all levels of government, a wide variety of industry, partners, clients and stakeholders, and such a broad spectrum of issues. The breadth of skills and knowledge gained can be transferred to almost anything, anywhere!"

Mary-Luisa Kapelus
featured in the 2009-2010 calendar

Mary-Luisa Kapelus

Then: Director, Dispute Resolution Operations - West
Now: Director General, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada

"I have always found working with a mentor to be an amazing experience but the greatest reward has been sharing the knowledge I have obtained with others. It is not just about paying it forward but sideways and backwards. We have so much to learn from one another if we would only take the time to ask and listen."

Amory Adrian
featured in the 2009-2010 calendar

Amory Adrian

Then: Student Intern
Now: Economic Development Programs Officer, INAC

"Do not be afraid to take chances when it comes to career decisions! You never know where it could lead, or what doors may open for you along the way."

Thank You

Members of CANE and PAN

Members of CANE and PAN

Woliwon (Maliseet)
Kuk'chem (Shuswap)
Medu (Tahltan)
Kuks-chum (Nlaka'pamux)
Hay ch q'a' (Hul'q'umi'num')
T'oyaxsut 'nüün (Tsimshian)
Giaxsixa (Heiltsuk)
'Toyaxsii'niisim! (Gitxsan)
Quyanamiik (Inuktitut)
Kleco (Nuu-chah-nulth)
Giyanaca'ci (Wuikinuxv)
Ona (Mohawk)
Hay chxw q'u (Salish)
Marsee (Michif)
Mussi (Carrier)
Gilakas'la (Kwakwala)
How'aa (Haida)
Hi Hi (Cree)
Emote (Sliammon)
Meegwech (Ojibwe)
Tabi Mussi (Athapascan)

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