A bridge to freedom: 100 years of politics – 2 days of construction

Jan. 31, 2013 –  Shoal Lake #40 First Nation has made a break for freedom.  After 100 years of forced isolation, the First Nation has bridged the main obstacle, a diversion canal dug through their reserve by Winnipeg in 1914.  The First Nation has been supported in their efforts by Winnipeg and Manitoba under the terms of a Tripartite Agreement that requires those governments to make every effort to promote economic development of benefit to the First Nation.

http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/2013/02/01/new-bridge-first-step-in-ending-century-of-isolation-for-shoal-lake-40

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Shoal Lake #40 takes their issue to the top.

This ran in the Globe and Mail on January 11th, 2013 – the day chief Spence and Shawn Atleo were to meet with Prime Minister Harper.

…much more to come…

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Ring of Fire – “We need to get it right”

““Unquestionably, this is just an extraordinarily big opportunity for the next 100 years, for generations to come,” (Ontario Minister of Mines,) Gravelle said. “We need to get it right, that is why we have set up a Ring of Fire coordinator, why we are setting up a Ring of Fire Secretariat, and why we are working so hard with all the partners, the First Nations and the companies, to make sure we move forward together. That is crucially important.”

Dennis Wallace and Cuyler Cotton of Dovetail Resources were called upon to facilitate the multi-party Ring of Fire Infrastructure Conference.

“It was a very positive, amicable session …”  Ontario Minister of Mines, Michael Gravelle.

A new vision for Women’s Place

Women’s Place sets course for financial independence

Women’s Place Kenora is going into business and believes its new executive director has the right combination of commercial and social skills to lead its collective to greater independence.

Colette Surovy’s education in business administration and non-profit management, plus experience with Saakaate House and as a founding member of both the Kenora Women’s Action Network and the Kenora Resource Team is a recipe for the new direction the centre will be taking.

Hand-in-hand with the women who use the centre, Women’s Place intends to create a social enterprise that will function as a non-profit corporation to gain independence for funding

“Right now, we’re at a crossroads. We had a visioning in January and out of that visioning came through that we want to be independent of funding. We want to be able to steer this ship in the direction we want to steer it in without having to constantly be beholden to funders and what they’re wanting. We’re always going to need the funding, I know that, but we’re looking at other avenues.”

Signed On

By Jamie Smith of tbnewswatch.com

Chiefs sign an agreement Wednesday afternoon.

An agreement signed Wednesday is an historic moment over a decade in the making say area First Nations leaders.

Five Lake Nipigon First Nations communities signed a statement of relationship in order to have a unified voice and show a commitment to development in their territories. With the proposed 100 megawatt hydroelectric project at Little Jackfish River as an anchor, Whitesand First Nation economic development officer Clifford Tibishkogijig said coming together is an important step to economic development in the area.

“This is historical in the sense that the Lake Nipigon chiefs have decided to work in unison with all of the potential development here in the region,” Tibishkogijig.

Although traditionally struggling to find economic opportunities in the region, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishnaabek development officer J.P. Gladu said spin-offs from the Little Jackfish project could include wind power projects for his community that could tie into the proposed Northwest Transmission power line project that would be built with Little Jackfish.

“We’re recognizing the strength in numbers the strength in not only our financial but our human resources to work together because we all bring special strengths and abilities and knowledge to the table,” Gladu said. “I think five voices are stronger and louder than one.”

Gladu said anyone looking to develop energy projects around Lake Nipigon can now have “one-stop-shopping” and more certainty by dealing with one unified economic development corporation.

Animbiigo Zaagi Igan Anishnaabek development officer Joe Donio added the partnership will also help control development in the area.

By demonstrating to government a commitment to development through uniting, Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishnaabek councillor James Mishquart said educational and training opportunities will come along with proposed energy projects.

“I think that’s our common goal here is trying to build healthier and sustainable communities for our people within Northwestern Ontario,” said Mishquart.

Edward Wawia, a councillor from Red Rock Indian Band, agreed. From high school diplomas to high quality jobs like line technicians and electricians, Wawia said development will bring training for members in his community. Red Rock chief Pierre Pelltier said with Little Jackfish proposed to start construction in 2013 and hydro lines hopefully being installed starting in 2012, the partnership will speed the projects up and get community members trained.

“We have to definitely get our people trained to be ready to go when this happens,” said Pelletier.

Spring Feast Ceremony

On May 29th 2009 of the morning a Spring Feast ceremony took place to honor and give life for the third time to Waa’ Say’ Gaa’ Bo’ known as Tunnel Island. Her name and Thunderbird feather surfaced from the ceremony and is honored by it’s meaning.

Her name was passed from the Wassay’ Gezhig Grandfather Drum who sang ceremonial healing songs years ago for it’s people. I like to thank all the people who took part again and the new visitors for this important ceremony.” Meegwetch – Vernon Copenace

OPG Apology to the Ochiichagwe’Babigo’Ining Ojibway Nation

The latest (and largest,) of three longstanding grievances between Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining Ojibway Nation and what used to be Ontario Hydro is finally concluded. The people voted 100% in favour of the agreement.

Jake Epp, Chairman of Ontario Power Generation came to the community to apologize for the damage Hydro had done and their disrespect for the Anishnaabeg. (The apology was nice but the FN made sure that the cheque got wired ahead of time.)

Common Ground Fall Feast

Unique Anishnaabe/non-Anishnaabe relationships are evolving: Check it out using the link at the bottom.

The ’08 Fall Feast on incredible Common Ground.