Mobile Version

    You can use your smart phone to browse stories in the comfort of your hand. Simply browse this site on your smart phone.

    RSS Feeds

    Using an RSS Reader you can access most recent stories and other feeds posted on this network.

    SNetwork Recent Stories

MMIWG: Date to Apply for Standing Extended to April 18

Deadline for Standing Extended to April 18

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has extended the deadline to April 18 from April 10 for interested parties to apply for standing.

The application forms and instructions are available on the National Inquiry’s website, at under “Legal Notices and Documents.” There is also an opportunity for those parties seeking standing to apply for funding.

Applicants will receive written decisions from the Commissioners on whether their applications for standing and funding have been accepted and, if so, on what terms. Applications can be submitted by:

fax: 1-604-775-5009
mail: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Head Office, P.O. Box 500, Station A, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2N3.

For more information about standing, interested parties may call 1-604-775-9702.

Importantly, family members of missing or murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited individuals, and survivors of violence who wish to share their experiences with the Commissioners do not have to apply for standing. There is no need for these individuals to apply for funding under the standing process, as their reasonable expenses for attending to give their testimony will be paid by the National Inquiry, in accordance with the guidelines established.

Families and survivors who would like to share their stories with the National Inquiry should send an email to or call toll free 1-844-348-4119.

For more information, please contact:

Christa Big Canoe, Commission Counsel or Susan Vella, Lead Counsel via Sue Montgomery 514-240-0368 or


NunatuKavut: Temporary closure of Aboriginal Service Centre – Labrador West

Please note that the Aboriginal Service Centre in Labrador West will be closed temporarily while we wait on approval of new fiscal funding. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have a NunatuKavut-related question or concern, please call our head office toll-free at 1-877-896-0592 or email


Acadian federation wants electoral boundaries restored or will take court action – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

By Keith Doucette


HALIFAX _ The Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia is warning the province’s Liberal government it will face legal action if an election is called before the electoral map is redrawn to restore three so-called protected ridings eliminated in 2012.

The federation said Monday it will seek a court order if the government fails to act.

A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling released in January found a previous boundary redrawing in 2012 violated the voter rights section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The boundary changes eliminated the protected Acadian ridings of Clare, Argyle and Richmond.

“I don’t think it is in the government’s best interest to call an election before this issue is resolved,” said executive director Marie-Claude Rioux. “It opens a whole Pandora’s box, and I don’t think the government wants to go there.”

Rioux said her organization believes an interim solution can be found in a short amount of time.

She said that could be done by having an electoral boundaries commission reconsider a minority representation report that was rejected in 2012.

“We know that a commission was called back in New Brunswick for a federal election . . . and the commission lasted one day,” said Rioux.

She said the federation wants a full electoral boundaries commission process to decide the boundaries within the next two years.

The federation said it wants immediate discussions with the province aimed at obtaining court orders to reinforce the appeal court ruling.

Those orders would: confirm the unconstitutionality of the 2012 boundaries and the abolishment of the Acadian ridings and order the government to establish a new electoral boundaries commission with a mandate of ensuring effective representation for the Acadian community, among other things.

Rioux said the federation doesn’t want to go to court.

“We’d rather have an honest and constructive discussion with the government in order to achieve a resolution to this issue that would be satisfactory to the Acadian population,” she said.

There have been some talks with the province since the court decision, but the federation wouldn’t reveal what the government has proposed.

To date, the Liberal government hasn’t publicly stated its position, although last week, Premier Stephen McNeil said the government believes it would be fair to have an election under the current boundaries.

McNeil also said that any redrawing of the electoral map would have to start with a fresh terms of reference once a boundaries commission is selected.

Rioux said the federation “begs to differ” with the premier’s assertion that an election under the current boundaries would be constitutional in light of the appeal court ruling.

She also warned that proceeding with an election could call into question government legislation passed since the boundaries were redrawn.

“That’s why we are asking for a suspension of the decision for two years because in the meantime you have chaos. You have to solve the situation and get something in the interim that is going to be constitutional.”

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives and NDP legislature member Sterling Belliveau have also said they are looking at legal options if there is no formal boundary review.



Circle tour offers Superior travel experience; splendours of Gichigami abound – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 

By Colin Perkel


TORONTO _ It might not have the must-do cachet of California’s Highway 101, of South Africa’s Garden Route or of the Rockies.

Yet a voyage around the world’s largest freshwater lake, the big sea they once called Gichigami, reveals a sublime and in-your-face spectacular natural wonderland unrivalled anywhere.

The 2,000-kilometre “Circle Tour,” done over multiple visits or for the more adventurous in one go, is to be savoured like one of the fine Group of Seven paintings the area north of Lake Superior inspired.

“It’s like every piece of shoreline is different and unique in some way,” says Dan Bevilacqua, executive director of Superior Country. “It goes for the communities as well.”

There are the Ontario city splendours of Sault Ste. Marie or Blues Fest in Thunder Bay. At its most westerly point, travel Bob Dylan Way through a charming Duluth, Minn., perched above the lake at the start of Highway 61, near the place from where the famed poet-singer hails.

In between, find out where a bear cub named Winnie-the-Pooh began his long journey to literary fame, check out the motel where renowned pianist Glenn Gould would get away from it all, or take in the striking monument where a cancer-stricken Terry Fox gave up his one-legged trans-Canada run.

Stop and admire the revamped main street of Terrace Bay, or on the south shore _ which the Americans call the north shore _ meander through picturesque Marquette or breeze past Christmas on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Mostly, however, it’s about a lake that splits its sparkling waters between Canada and the United States.

Indeed, as the largest of the Great Lakes, Superior offers seemingly boundless shoreline _ log-strewn beaches, gentle river mouths, pristine sunbathing sands, rock cliffs and waterfall trails _ all replete with oceanic vistas. In fact, it would be easy to confuse the greatest of the lakes for an ocean _ were it not for its glass-clear water that on serene summer days makes for a bracing, salt-free swim.

At other times, however, that water can turn ferocious _ with steely-grey waves two or three storeys high. Moodiness and power both awesome and breath-taking. Stop and look out over where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a November gale in 1975 just a few kilometres from safety _ a tragedy immortalized in song by Canadian singer-songwriting legend Gordon Lightfoot.

Getting a sense of scale is difficult. At its longest, Lake Superior stretches some 560 kilometres as the eagle flies, abutting one province and three states. By some counts, if you poured out its water, it would flood the entire continents of North and South America to a depth of 30 centimetres.

The shoreline of twists and turns that runs to about 2,780 kilometres offers stunning views and unsurpassed magnificence around most every corner _ not to mention stupendous motorcycling or driving territory for the enthusiast.

Everywhere there are surprises, some steeped in indigenous history that traces back as far as 10,000 years, such as the Ojibwa pictographs at Agawa Rock. There is the delight of Old Woman Bay, where river meets lake, or places whose very names are the lure: Rabbit Blanket Lake, Pinguisibi Falls or Kakabeka Falls, nicknamed Niagara of the North.

Hunt or fish. Walk or cycle innumerable trails. Camp out in well-equipped provincial or federal parks, or stop by at hotels, motels, inns or lodges along the way. But mostly, says Bevilacqua, stop and talk to the locals for their advice on what secret treasures their communities might offer.

“There’s lots of little hidden gems,” says Bevilacqua, whose Superior Country not-for-profit puts out a Circle Tour guide full of ideas. The guide can be picked up at tourist information spots or ordered online.

“The one thing that we strive to do is not make it an inexpensive journey, but to make it an experience that you want to do no matter what,” he says.

The route, he says, appeals to baby boomers, RVers and motorcycle enthusiasts, although increasing numbers of younger adventurers are discovering the excellent hiking or kayaking opportunities. Others prefer to do the circumnavigation by boat.

More and more, Bevilacqua says, there’s a move toward event-based travel, with people asking, “What’s happening here at this time?”

One answer, for example, might be the three-day Live from the Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, Ont., south of Nipigon and its striking suspension bridge over the Nipissing River that joins east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway.

This year, Superior Country has revived a “passport” program for both lake and auto travellers. Visitors can collect stamps along the way and, ultimately, a certificate of completion if they get all the way around. It’s also an opportunity for the organization to gather intelligence on who exactly is doing the touring.

“It’s absolutely fascinating how many people are interested in doing the Circle Tour,” Bevilacqua says.


If You Go…

_ Plan stops, don’t rush and remember to carry a passport if crossing the border.

_ Check out the Circle Tour guide at

_ Get provincial park info at



Celebrating the Aboriginal Health Sciences Initiative as Dal looks toward province‑wide services for students – Dal News

March 31, 2017

The reach and impact of Dalhousie’s Aboriginal Health Sciences Initiative (AHSI) over its eight-year run stretches far beyond its small offices and two staff members based in the Mona Campbell Building.

After eight years, the program is winding down as initiatives transition to a broader university-wide effort to advance student-focused Indigenous programs. The AHSI has played a key role in transforming Dalhousie’s approach to Indigenous support services and programming, helping the university grow its leadership in diversity and inclusion of Canada’s Indigenous peoples as it approaches its third century.

From student support and research to policy development, the AHSI, led by managing director Kara Paul, has established a strong foundation from which the university can build.

Read More:

Qalipu FN: Message from the Chief – March 31 2017

After nearly a decade from the time the Agreement to create our first nation was signed, the Qalipu enrolment process recently culminated in the mailout of 101,000 decision letters. By now members and applicants should have received a letter from the Enrolment Committee. I am aware that there are some people who are still waiting. Whether it is due to a changed address that didn’t get updated, or some other potential issue, I want you to know that Canada and the FNI are monitoring the situation. It should be noted that requests for copies of the decision letters are addressed within 48 hours, and ensuring that all applicants have received their decision letter is of utmost importance. This played an important part in the decision to extend the Appeal Notice submission deadline first from March 17 to the 31st, and recently to April 13, 2017.

The release of these letters on our communities, which included notification to some 10,500 current members that may potentially have their status revoked, has caused a great upset among our families and communities.

On February 13, I set out on a difficult journey to meet with members and applicants in communities across the province. In each of the communities along the tour, I heard similar frustrations, confusion and uncertainty. In Flat Bay, I witnessed the anger and frustration of three generations divided by status and non-status in one family; in St. George’s I met a veteran who was denied status due to residency, or his absence from the community while on multiple tours of duty; in Stephenville, a well-spoken woman from the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network brought forward the concerns of those who were lost in the confusion and paperwork of a long enrolment process. At every stop on the community tour—Port au Port, Burgeo, Corner Brook, Benoit’s Cove, Port Saunders, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gambo, Appleton and St. John’s—I heard stories of upset that I now carry with me on my shoulders and in my heart.

I can sincerely say that I have heard and felt the struggle of people in our communities. I know that our meetings were a good chance to talk to one another and I am truly greatful to have had the opportunity to meet so many of you during this difficult time. I want you to know that while I cannot solve all the issues that I have heard about, I am doing everything that I can to ensure the most positive outcome possible.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all of our End of Enrolment Support Team which has been put in place at each of our office locations-St. George’s, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Glenwood and Grand Falls-Windsor. If you haven’t already reached out to a member of the team I encourage you to do so. Each has been trained to help you understand the meaning of your decision letter, the appeals process, and the enrolment process as it unfolded overall. We have also provided training for community members in Flat Bay, Burgeo, Port au Port, Port Saunders and Parsons Pond so that people in those areas may find the support they need.

Additionally, we recognize the strain that may be impacting our mental well-being and assistance is being made available to applicants in this regard.

My prayer is that we continue to find ways to work together to face the challenges that the enrolment issue presents.


Chief Brendan Mitchell


More days of fishing and increased retention opportunities for the 2017 recreational Striped bass fishery

Miramichi, New Brunswick – Recreational fishing is an integral part of the local economy and the Government of Canada is pleased to extend the striped bass season this year. On behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard,

Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi — Grand Lake, was in Miramichi today to announce management measures for the Striped bass recreational fishery in 2017 throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This area includes the Maritime Provinces adjacent to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In recent years, the Striped bass population in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence has shown signs of improvement that allow for an increase in fishing days and opportunities to retain fish. As such, compared to 2016, the season will start earlier with the retention period starting April 15 and ending October 31, 2017. This year, anglers will be able to retain fish for 200 days, an increase of 95 days compared to the 2016 season.

In addition, the bag limit will be one fish per day from April 15 to June 14 and from September 1 to October 31, and two fish per day from June 15 to August 31.

Distinct seasons in inland and tidal waters in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will be established to prevent the accidental by-catch of other species such as Atlantic salmon.

Fishing will not be permitted in a portion of the Northwest Miramichi River for three weeks during the spawning period, which takes place approximately from mid-May to mid-June. This is the only confirmed spawning ground for this population of Striped bass. DFO fishery officers will monitor spawning activity to determine when the closure will take place.

This season’s management measures take into consideration input from consultations held in the fall 2016 and winter 2017. During that period, DFO met with First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, fishing organizations, Provincial departments, and held online consultations for the general public.

Management measures for the 2017 recreational Striped bass fishery are as follows:

Fishing season

  • The recreational Striped bass fishery will take place from April 15 to October 31, 2017.
  • Fishing period in tidal waters adjacent to N.B., N.S. and P.E.I. in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence: April 15 to October 31.
  • Fishing period in inland waters of N.B.* and N.S. draining into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and inland waters of P.E.I.: May 1 to September 15 (*inland waters of the Miramichi river system: April 15 to October 15).

Retention sizes

  • As in the past two years, the maximum fish length is 65 centimeters in order to protect the larger spawners. A minimum retention length of 50 centimeters aims to minimize the catch of fish that are not yet mature.

Gear restrictions

  • It is mandatory to use single non-offset barbless hooks (when using bait) throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • This type of hook decreases the chances of mortality when a fish is returned to the water.

Illegal activity

  • Enforcement activities will be carried out throughout the season. The public is encouraged to help protect this and other species by reporting any illegal activity by calling toll-free1-800-222-8477, or by contacting the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office.


“This season, anglers will be able to fish more days as well as benefit from increased opportunities to retain Striped bass in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. These increased fishing opportunities are the direct result of management measures introduced since the1990s to significantly help the long-term recovery of the species and the sustainability of the fishery.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“In recent years, the Striped bass population in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence has shown signs of improvement which supports an increase in fishing days and opportunities to retain fish. This season, there will be more days of fishing and increased retention opportunities for anglers compared to 2016.”

Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi — Grand Lake

Associated Links


Steve Hachey
Communications Advisor
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Gulf Region

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans  Canada


Six stories in the news today, April 3 – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 3, 2017 4:59

Six stories in the news for Monday, April 3


Five seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in five byelections today. Two of the seats are in Alberta, two are in Ontario and the fifth is in Montreal. The Alberta seats were held by the Conservatives while the others were held by the governing Liberals. All have been long-time strongholds for both parties.


Bombardier has further retreated on a hefty pay hike to six senior executives, announcing Sunday they will defer receiving payment on a sizeable chunk until a later time. Public anger over the roughly 50 per cent increase in compensation has mounted steadily in the past few days in light of the fact the transportation giant has received hundreds of millions of tax dollars.


Lawyers for a Saskatchewan man charged with second-degree murder in the death of an indigenous man get a chance to test the evidence against their client. A hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence for a trial for Gerald Stanley begins today. Stanley has pleaded not guilty to the charge laid in the killing of Colten Boushie. Boushie died last August after the vehicle he was in got a flat tire and he and another person went to a farm to get help.


An airline pilot who was so drunk he appeared to pass out in the cockpit before takeoff will be sentenced in Calgary today. Miroslav Gronych pleaded guilty last month to having care and control of an aircraft while he had a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. Gronych was escorted off a Sunwing Airlines plane in Calgary on Dec. 31.


Sunday night’s Juno Awards show in Ottawa opened with a skit that had Prime Minister Trudeau phoning in a request for Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.” And it closed with an all-star performance that included new Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Sarah McLachlan. In between there were poignant tributes to two of the year’s big winners, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and the late Leonard Cohen.


For several years the severe medical issues suffered by a little boy named Daniel baffled his doctors at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Testing of his genome finally revealed a mutation never before seen. The rare defect has since been identified in about 20 other kids around the world. But most important to Daniel and his family is that his doctors now believe a bone-marrow transplant may, at long last, offer a cure.


FMCC/FNI researcher presents at First Nations Information Governance Centre conference

March 31, 2017

The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) held a conference from March 28-30 called “First Nations Data Governance: Tools for Empowerment”.  FMCC coordinator and University of Alberta researcher Rob McMahon travelled to Gatineau, QC to give two presentations at the event. The conference showcased the work of a range of participants, from First Nations community leaders, data management experts, and staff from regional data governance centres to federal government representatives from departments including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Treasury Board.

Rob McMahon provided an overview of the FMCC’s work, with a focus on potential links between data and connectivity, in the context of First Nations data governance. This presentation generated questions and discussion about shared opportunities and ways that FMCC member organizations might work together with conference participants in the field of data governance and management, particularly in the context of technical infrastructure.

In his second presentation, Rob provided a workshop on digital data management in the education sector. This highlighted the work of the FMCC member organizations, such as the Membertou Data centre in Nova Scotia, and K-Net’s training work with the DadaVan student information system in Ontario. He also spoke about the First Nation Education Council’s work developing ICT governance standards in First Nations schools in Quebec, and implementing the CANO student information system. The CANO project included research with the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke. Rob provided an overview of this work, which was published in the International Journal of Indigenous Policy and co-authored with Tim Whiteduck from FNEC ad  Kahnawà:ke.

The conference was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from the FNIGC, and from data governance projects happening in First Nations across Canada. The FMCC team looks forward to learning more about this work moving forward.

Download the FNIGC conference schedule here.


Winners announced in $5M nonprofit challenge from Google Canada

TORONTO, March 30, 2017 – The winners of the $5M Impact Challenge were revealed today.

The Impact Challenge asked Canadian nonprofits to share their best ideas for how to use technology to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. More than 900 nonprofits applied, and today the winners were announced following a live competition.

Five winning projects will each receive $750,000  in grant funding from Google, alongside hands-on support from both Google and their local support partner, the LEAP Centre, for the next year to help them bring their projects to life. An additional five finalists will receive $250,000 in funding from Google, along with the same support program.

These ten projects all use innovative applications of technology to solve big problems with the potential to scale. From growing fresh food in the Arctic to providing a bird’s eye view of disaster zones to changing the way disease is diagnosed in the developing world, these are bold ideas that highlight both Canada’s talent for innovation and our culture of helping others.

“We had huge expectations for what Canada could deliver as part of this Challenge, and these projects exceeded even those high expectations,” explained Sam Sebastian, VP, Google and Country Director, Canada. “Canada’s capacity to deploy innovative technology in the service of social challenges is truly something to behold.”

“There are a whole lot of innovators in Canada who understand the needs of underserved populations, and who are ready to create new and unexpected solutions to address inequities,” said Jacquelline Fuller, managing director of “This a country with humanitarianism and innovation baked into its DNA, and that comes out in these big ideas to make the world better through technology.”

Winning Projects – $750K:

  • The Rumie Initiative – Only 40% of students on indigenous reserves graduate from high school, compared to 90% of students in the rest of Canada. The LearnCloud Portal is an offline, tablet-based curriculum to help high school students learn about Indigenous culture, history and language while gaining employment skills and financial literacy.
  • World Wide Hearing Foundation International – Globally, 32 million children suffer from significant hearing loss, the majority of whom live in countries where access to hearing care can be a significant barrier. The Teleaudiology Cloud will connect children living in remote communities with audiologists and speech therapists who can assist with remote screening, hearing aid fitting, speech therapy and parent counselling.
  • Arctic Eider Society – With Arctic sea ice declining at over 13% per decade, changing conditions make navigation unpredictable and limits access to traditional foods for Arctic communities. The SIKU platform will provide a set of open-source tools that help Inuit communities map changing sea ice, and build a living archive of Inuit knowledge to help inform decision making for stewardship and sustainable development.
  • PeaceGeeks Society – It can take up to ten years for the employment rate of recent immigrant cohorts to reach the equivalent rates for those born in Canada. With information provided in their native language, Services Advisor is an application aimed at welcoming new Canadians to our shores, making it easier for newcomers to access immigrant services like mentorship and employment skills.
  • People’s Choice Award, selected by nearly 500,000 votes
    • Food Banks Canada – Each year, close to $31 billion of food is wasted in Canada, yet nearly one in ten Canadian households have to worry about whether they have food on the table. The FoodAccess App diverts surplus quality food away from landfill by connecting farmers, manufacturers and restaurants with donation agencies and Canadian dinner tables that might otherwise go empty.

Finalist Projects – $250K:

  • British Columbia Children’s Hospital Foundation – Globally, pneumonia is the single largest cause of death among children under five. The PocketDoc for Pneumonia is a mobile platform to accurately diagnose pneumonia in the developing world and save children’s lives.
  • GlobalMedic – In the chaos after an earthquake or a tsunami, every minute counts. The RescUAV project will use Canadian-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to fly over disaster areas, allowing emergency responders to see the terrain they are heading into and help them get aid to where it’s needed most.
  • Victoria Hand Project– Only 5% of the 40 million people who need prosthetic care can access the resources they need. The Victoria Hand Project will provide affordable 3D-printed prosthetics in low-to-mid income countries.
  • Growing North – In Nunavut, nearly 70% of adults are food insecure – meaning they lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Growing North addresses food insecurity issues by building greenhouses that will provide fresh produce all year round in latitudes above the Arctic Circle at about half of the present cost.
  • Canadian Red Cross – The Register Educate Deliver System (REDS) system will take a pilot project developed in the days following the Fort McMurray Wildfire and scale it so it’s ready for the next big disaster. The program registers those affected, shares critical information about how to respond, and quickly delivers financial assistance into the hands of Canadians when they need it most.

Additional Resources:

About Impact Challenge
The Impact Challenge is an opportunity for registered nonprofits and charities to share their vision for using technology to change the world. Winning organizations will share $5 million CAD in grant funding, as well as mentorship from Google and our challenge support partner, the LEAP Centre for Social Impact.

About Google Canada
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  As a global technology leader, Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with nearly 1,000 ‘Canooglers’ working on teams across Engineering, Sales, Marketing, PR, Policy, and HR.

For further information: To speak with any of the winners, or with someone from Google, please contact: Nicole Bell, Google Canada,


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More