Government of Canada nurturing cross-cultural awareness in Newfoundland and Labrador through Canada Service Corps project

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

News release

Cross-Cultural Youth Project to empower youth to address needs of Happy Valley-Goose Bay

June 24, 2019 Goose Bay, Labrador Employment and Social Development Canada

Canada’s future prosperity depends on young Canadians getting the experience and skills they need to start their careers and succeed. That is why today, Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, highlighted funding for the NunatuKavut Youth Community Engagement Project (NYCEP) in Goose Bay, Labrador.

The NYCEP project will provide multimedia training and work with 24 youth in eight communities to co-create meaningful service opportunities. Youth participants will spend a minimum of 120 hours over 12 months addressing issues and needs faced by their communities. This collaborative initiative aims to create a civic service mindset among young Canadians while nurturing Indigenous reconciliation and promoting mutual understanding and respect between Inuit, First Nations and non-Indigenous youth living in Labrador.

NYCEP is receiving over $550,000 for this project through the Canada Service Corps (CSC), Canada’s national youth service initiative. Now in its second year, the CSC provides access to service opportunities that enable youth to make a difference in their communities while gaining important life and work skills.

Quotes

“The Canada Service Corps is about giving young people the opportunity to give back and develop individual strengths. Through projects like the Youth Community Engagement Project our government is helping Canada’s young people gain essential life experiences and contribute to reconciliation within their own communities.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Programs like the NunatuKavut Youth Community Engagement Project provide youth with the opportunity to have meaningful impact in their communities. Young people are the key to real and lasting change, and our government is committed to giving them the best possible chance at success. Canada Service Corps offers youth the opportunity to get involved in causes they care about, and acquire leadership and life skills.”

–Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador

“On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council, we are pleased that this significant youth project was funded by the Government of Canada. It is an exciting multimedia project that engages NunatuKavut Inuit youth. It encourages them to become more involved and contribute to the life and wellbeing of our communities. It also brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together on initiatives that help to foster reconciliation in NunatuKavut communities. We value and appreciate the perspectives of youth in telling our story in their own way. We need their energy, their strength and their skills to carry our culture, history and traditions forward. Their contributions now will help shape our path to the future.”

-Todd Russell, President of the NunatuKavut Community Council

Quick facts

  • Formed as a society in 1981 and incorporated under provincial law in 1986, NunatuKavut Community Council Inc. represents the Southern Inuit of Labrador, currently comprising over 6,000 individuals with links to 24 communities in Labrador.
  • The CSC helps young people gain valuable skills while making an impact on communities across Canada. The program is designed to build a culture of service among young Canadians; create concrete results for communities; enable personal growth through participation in a diverse team of peers; and make lasting impacts on participants.
  • To make the CSC Canada’s signature national youth service program, Budget 2019 proposed to invest up to an additional $314.8 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $83.8 million per year ongoing.
  • To make the CSC Canada’s signature national youth service program, Budget 2019 proposed to invest up to an additional $314.8 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $83.8 million per year ongoing.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:
Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
819-654-5611
veronique.simard@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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Canada Invests in Indigenous Communities’ Clean Energy Capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador

From: Natural Resources Canada

News release

June 24, 2019 Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador Natural Resources Canada

The best ideas for clean energy in remote Indigenous communities come from the people who live there. Canada is proud to help bring these ideas forward and create long-term clean energy sustainability.

Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) will receive $245,000 to hire a clean energy research coordinator to liaise between the NCC, research and not-for-profit partners, and communities to implement clean energy alternatives to diesel fuel.

This project aims to increase community-level involvement in clean energy by hosting accessible, collaborative and culturally appropriate gatherings that focus on community perspectives and youth engagement activities tailored to community needs. The gatherings will create opportunities for education, training and youth employment through NCC’s research partners, and improve intergenerational and intercommunity communication.

Funding for the project comes from the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program and is part of Canada’s more than $700 million investments to help rural and remote communities move off diesel.

Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that reliable, affordable clean energy solutions are not a luxury but a necessity for Canada’s low-carbon future. The Government of Canada will continue to support clean energy initiatives that create jobs, support investment and industry competitiveness, advance our clean future and help realize our global climate change goals.

Quotes

“Led by a new clean energy research coordinator, this initiative will increase community-level involvement and generate opportunities through solutions and strategies that are relevant to them. This is an example of how our government is putting communities first.”

– Yvonne Jones,

Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

“On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council, we welcome the Government of Canada’s partnership and funding of this project. It is a project that focuses on clean energy research and initiatives in NunatuKavut. It builds on the innovative sustainability, climate change and energy work that we have been leading in our communities over the past number of years. Our new clean energy research coordinator will work collaboratively with communities on developing and implementing energy plans. As well, a dynamic youth council has been established to build skills and capacity in sustainable and clean energy now and for the future. We are a people whose identity is shaped by the land, sea and ice and we have a deep connection and relationship to our territory. This work, like so much of what we do, will be guided by local and traditional knowledge so that it respects our longstanding relationship with our environment and appropriately reflects the voices and priorities of NunatuKavut Inuit.”

– Todd Russell,

President of the NunatuKavut Community Council

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
343-292-6100
NRCan.media_relations-media_relations.RNCan@canada.ca

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
343-543-7645
Vanessa.Adams@canada.ca

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Media Advisory – Indigenous Women and Children to Benefit from new Transitional Housing in Halifax

HALIFAX, June 24, 2019  – Join Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Kelly Regan, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and members of the Mi’kmaw Native Frienship Centre, as they make an announcement related to safe and affordable housing for Indigenous women and children.

Date:

June 25, 2019

Time:

1:00 p.m.

Place:

2158 Gottingen St

Halifax, NS

For further information: Valérie Glazer, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 613-220-1841, valerie.glazer@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca; Alexandre Tremblay, Public Affairs, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 613-748-2559, aatrembl@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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TD Bank Group donates $500,000 to MSVU for Indigenous students and programming

At an event held at the Wikuom on the Mount Saint Vincent University campus today, June 20, 2019 – the eve of National Indigenous Peoples’ Day – TD Bank Group announced a donation of $500,000 to the Mount in support of Indigenous students and programming.

“With this generous gift, the Mount will invest in people, programs and bursaries in support of Indigenous students,” said Dr. Mary Bluechardt, President and Vice-Chancellor (pictured below, at the podium). “Thanks to TD Bank, we are improving supports for students, expanding programming and furthering our collaborations with Indigenous communities – always taking a ‘with community, by community’ approach.”

Specifically, with this support, the Mount will:

  • Benefit from the leadership of a Special Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. The Mount’s special advisor (Patrick Small Legs-Nagge) will provide support to Aboriginal learners through the student life cycle and strategic direction on Aboriginal Affairs, and help in the development of initiatives, programs and policies that respond to student, Aboriginal community and institutional needs.
  • Establish a new TD Aboriginal Student Bursary that will provide financial assistance for Aboriginal students.

Jennifer Auld, Vice-President, Atlantic Region – TD Canada Trust (pictured above), spoke of her organization’s community giving strategy, known as The Ready Commitment. As part of that strategy, she announced a combined total investment of $1.2 million over the next ten years in Indigenous student programming at the Mount, Memorial University and Acadia University.

“We have searched out programs and initiatives that generate understanding and engagement, strengthen relationships, and provide products and services that contribute to the prosperity of Indigenous communities today, and for generations to come,” Jennifer said. “We will be watching with pride as these programs take shape and students begin to soar.”

Mount Child & Youth Study graduate student Samanth Rioux (pictured above) shared her story as an example of the critical importance of Indigenous student supports to overall student success. “I’ve had the amazing experience of being able to write about and study a topic that has always been near and dear to my heart: Indigenous youth and their experiences with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Aboriginal Student Centre and open mindedness of my supervisor, the Child and Youth Study Department and the university as a whole,” she said.

“The support and guidance I have received at the Mount have been overwhelming – I’ve had opportunities that I never previously would have thought possible. I want to thank TD for what they are doing for Indigenous students. Their generosity will change the experiences of Indigenous students at the Mount in many positive ways.”

The Mount has a strong commitment to supporting Indigenous students and collaborating with Indigenous communities – a commitment that is embodied in a diversity of initiatives across University people, programs, infrastructure and policy.

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Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and MSVU to launch new university access program

June 24, 2019

The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre and Mount Saint Vincent University are pleased to be launching a pilot of a new university access program designed to support Aboriginal students in achieving their education and career goals.

Made possible by funding from the Province of Nova Scotia, the Aboriginal Academic Access Post-Secondary (AAAPS) program will bring university courses and academic supports to students at the Friendship Centre in order to provide a solid foundation before students transition to their chosen university programs. During the program, students will have the opportunity to explore and expand their academic interests and abilities.

Program delivery at the Friendship Centre will mean that students can learn in a familiar community setting, while also accessing the cultural supports, childcare, and other services the Centre provides.

“There are great benefits in the delivery of a program like this one,” said Pam Glode-Desrochers, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. “It will minimize the impacts of barriers Aboriginal students often face in their first year of post-secondary education, such as alienation, discrimination, financial burdens and social stresses.”

The AAAPS program will balance academic curriculum and co-curricular activities to enhance the range of knowledge and skills for students to transition to campus learning and future employment. Students will take six university half credit courses during the fall and winter academic terms, including Mathematics, Writing, Research Skills, Public Speaking, and Social Sciences. Course content will integrate Aboriginal perspectives to make learning meaningful and respectful. In addition to tutoring, career counselling, and group interaction, co-curricular activities will be woven into the curriculum.

While most of the program will be delivered on-site at the Friendship Centre, AAAPS students will make several visits to the Mount so that they can become familiar with the Aboriginal Student Centre and the full range of available student supports. Students will also have the opportunity to network with and be mentored by current Mount Aboriginal students.

“Over the last number of years, the Mount has worked alongside the Aboriginal communities of Nova Scotia to identify pathways for higher learning for Aboriginal and Mi’kmaw students,” said Dr. Elizabeth Church, Vice-President Academic and Provost, Mount Saint Vincent University. “We are thrilled to be launching the AAAPS program with our colleagues at the Friendship Centre – it’s reflective of our shared vision of accessible higher education for Aboriginal students.”

A program coordinator has been hired to lead the initiative, which will welcome its first cohort this September. Approximately 15-18 students are expected in the first year.

Media contacts:

Gillian Batten
Director, Communications
Mount Saint Vincent University
902-457-6439
msvu.ca

Corinne MacLellan
Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
corinne@groupatn.ca

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Acadia among post-secondary institutions receiving $1.2 million from TD to advance Indigenous programming and services

WOLFVILLE, June 20, 2019 – TD Bank Group announced today a $1.2 million CDN donation to three post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada to help develop on-campus support services for Indigenous students.

Acadia University, Memorial University, and Mount Saint Vincent University will use the new funding for strategic Indigenous initiatives that will enhance educational experiences for students and encourage inclusion. Acadia will receive $200,000 over three years.

“TD launched The Ready Commitment, our Global Corporate Citizenship platform to help open doors,” said Tuesday Skaine, District Vice-President, Greater Nova Scotia, TD Canada Trust. “There is no better incubator for talent than on the campuses and in the classrooms of Atlantic Canada’s post-secondary schools.”

Acadia’s initiative, Msit No’kmaq, which means “we are all related” or “all my relations,” will enhance and accelerate programming for Indigenous students.

Led by Acadia’s Indigenous Affairs and Student Advisor and supported by the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia, the Msit No’kmaq program will increase the participation of Indigenous youth at Acadia. The program’s goal is to provide opportunities to achieve social and economic engagement, career success, and financial security for Indigenous students. Specifically, the program will offer experiential learning on local reserves, special health initiatives, and student success programs to support Indigenous students.

“We are extremely grateful to TD Bank Group for funding this initiative, which is one more step in a long journey toward decolonization,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “It is a partnership that requires all of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, governments, institutions and organizations to create the space and support for Indigenous peoples to take their full and rightful place in Canada.”

Since 2011, Acadia has had a memorandum of understanding in place with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, committing the two organizations to work together to improve Indigenous student participation in post-secondary education and open Indigenous communities to academic research.

“In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) sent a clear message to us all with its calls to action, and at Acadia, we are working to determine how best to respond to its recommendations and its vision of a better future,” Ricketts said. “Education plays a vital role in the reconciliation process, and Acadia is committed to doing our part by helping Indigenous students achieve their potential through higher education, and working with Indigenous communities to create new partnerships for reconciliation.”

“Education plays a vital role in the reconciliation process, and Acadia is committed to doing our part by helping Indigenous students achieve their potential through higher education, and working with Indigenous communities to create new partnerships for reconciliation.”

There are more than 100 domestic students at Acadia who have self-identified as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit. Indigenous students from countries other than Canada are currently identified as International students, so the actual number of Indigenous students is likely higher.

In 2017, the President’s Advisory Council on Decolonization released its report, and in 2018 President Ricketts announced Acadia’s response by accepting the recommendations. Actions to date have included the hiring of a full-time Indigenous Coordinator and Student Advisor, the establishment of the Indigenous Education Advisory Council, and increased supports through the Indigenous Student Services Centre.

These funds from TD Bank Group will add further momentum to Acadia’s decolonization agenda, and allow the University to enhance its level of support for Indigenous students at a faster pace.

Third-year Acadia student Makenzie O’Quinn is pursuing a double major in Biology and Sociology. He is also the President of the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia and sits on the newly-formed Indigenous Education Advisory Council. He is pleased to see new funding for Indigenous programming.

“This support will provide for more changes in a shorter timeframe, and I am hopeful that the face of Acadia will change so that we see more of a presence of Indigenous Peoples and culture on campus,” he said.

“This support will provide for more changes in a shorter timeframe, and I am hopeful that the face of Acadia will change so that we see more of a presence of Indigenous Peoples and culture on campus.”

Events like the Grand Council Flag Mi’kmaq Nation being installed permanently on Acadia’s University Hall, celebrating a Mid-Winter Feast, and monthly dinners with an Elder are important to him.

O’Quinn said he sees a connection to the experiential learning he has had in his classes to the work that needs to be done to decolonize Acadia. “I believe no true change in thought occurs until we physically understand things – so experiential learning is essential to empathetic understanding. This is how we can bridge gaps.”

“The reality is that a lot of Indigenous students are away from home and experiencing a very different environment in terms of culture when they arrive at university,” explained Dion Kaszas, Coordinator of Indigenous Affairs and Student Advising at Acadia. “We want them to feel safe – spiritually and emotionally – and feel okay about being who they are.”

The Indigenous Student Resource Centre provides a place to gather, share activities, and get a range of support from the University in partnership with local Indigenous communities and leaders.

“We need funding to make these projects and supports possible and to do the work we need to do,” Kaszas said. “When Indigenous students come to campus, they don’t necessarily see themselves reflected in the system. I hope that we create a mirror so that Indigenous students can see themselves reflected here and become visible to themselves and to others.

Co-Chair of Acadia’s Indigenous Education Advisory Council, Zabrina Whitman, said it is important to consider the history of Indigenous Peoples. She explained that through efforts of the past, and recent work in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process is allowing voices to be heard. Although progress can be slow, she said it is happening.

“Decolonization is knowing about the injustices of the past and present and saying ‘I am not going to do what my ancestors did or what I did yesterday,” she said, adding that people often misunderstand the term ‘reconciliation’ or use it as a token gesture.

“I am proud to say that reconciliation at Acadia University is a genuine desire to implement change. Acadia truly knows what reconciliation means,” Whitman said. “Thank you to TD Bank Group because you are supporting this shift in landscape and in academia.”

Funding for Msit No’kmaq will be counted toward Campaign for Acadia, an ambitious $75-million fundraising initiative. The comprehensive fundraising campaign, announced in October 2018, will strengthen support for students and faculty, enhance investment in research, and improve campus infrastructure.

“I am proud to say that reconciliation at Acadia University is a genuine desire to implement change. Acadia truly knows what reconciliation means,”

Funding for Msit No’kmaq will be counted toward Campaign for Acadia, an ambitious $75-million fundraising initiative. The comprehensive fundraising campaign, announced in October 2018, will strengthen support for students and faculty, enhance investment in research, and improve campus infrastructure.

“Acadia is an outstanding university, and the Campaign for Acadia will make it even better,” said Nancy McCain, Chair of Campaign for Acadia. “Being better also means doing better.

As we all recognize, support for indigenous students at Acadia is critical – not just for them as individuals – but to the University community as we embark on a process of decolonization so that we can create a welcoming campus for all individuals.”

About The Ready Commitment

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/TheReadyCommitment.

About Acadia University

Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes, and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at acadiau.ca

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J.D. Irving, Ltd.: Butternut Tree Donated to Local Artist and Pathways to Shipbuilding Wins Gold Award

June 21, 2019

Butternut Tree Donated to Local Artist

This winter a Butternut tree was found on land owned by J.D. Irving, Limited. Justin Sappier, a Peskotomuhkati and Wolastoqey traditional carver in the Fredericton area, has called around to find out if there was anyway the dying tree could be donated to the local art college.

Nearly two years ago Sappier decided to go back to school with the thought of becoming a basket maker, and wanting to teach his children a craft. He only had to try traditional carving masks to realize that was his true artistic calling.  Sappier now teaches a Traditional Mask Carving course at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and was looking for wood to use in his class as well as for his own work. When Woodlands Chief Naturalist, Kelly Honeyman, heard about the ask, he was quick to offer the artist a look at the tree.

“Some people don’t know that Butternut is in trouble and we’ve been having a hard time getting a hold of it.  [JDI] gave us a call..asked us if we wanted to see this piece of wood,” Justin Sappier said about getting new materials for his class. ” The shape we’re getting into right now is perfect for carving, and gives it a second life.”

Follow these artists on Social media:

Justin Sappier’s Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/justinsappier/

Tim ‘Bjorn’ Jones’ Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/bjornswoodcarving/

Pathways to Shipbuilding Wins Gold Award

Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians program has received the Program Excellence Gold Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

The CICan Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements.

Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Canadians is a partnership between Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC),  Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Unifor, GE Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Government that offers education, apprenticeship and career opportunities in the shipbuilding industry to Indigenous Canadians, who are historically underrepresented in the industry.

The program involved a 14-week preparatory training program focused on personal and academic readiness, a Metal Fabrication Diploma program, mentoring and coaching by community and industry supporters, two work terms at Irving Shipbuilding, and upon graduation an opportunity for full-time employment at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard.

The twelve students in the Pathways to Shipbuilding for Indigenous Students program graduated with their diploma in Metal Fabrication on July 6, 2018 at NSCC and were offered full-time employment with Halifax Shipyard.

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It’s time,’ says first Inuk woman to become honorary colonel at 5 Wing Goose Bay – CBC

Veteran, former Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo makes history

Jun 23, 2019

An Indigenous woman has been named honorary colonel of a squadron based at 5 Wing Goose Bay for the first time.

Sarah Leo, a former president of Nunatsiavut and Canadian Army veteran, is taking on the civilian role, which bridges the divide between members of the 444 Combat Support Squadron and the general public in Labrador.

“I think it’s exciting and I think it’s time,” said Leo.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/honorary-colonel-sarah-leo-1.5186444

Nunatsiavut Government: Former President named Honorary Colonel of 444 Squadron

June 21, 2019

Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe today extended congratulations to former President Sarah Leo on her appointment as Honorary Colonel of 444 Squadron at 5 Wing Goose Bay.

“On behalf of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, I want to extend congratulations to Ms. Leo on being the first Indigenous woman every appointed to this prestigious position. It is certainly well deserved, and we look forward to working with her in building a stronger relationship between the Nunatsiavut Government and the Canadian Forces.”

Born in Makkovik, Ms. Leo grew up in Nain and joined the Canadian Armed Forces where she worked as a Mobile Support Equipment Operator, including deployments to Yugoslavia and the Balkins. After 21 years of service, she returned to Nain and was appointed as Town Manager in 2005. The following year she was elected as AngajukKâk. She also served as the Executive Director of the OK Society before being elected as President of Nunatsiavut in 2012 – a position she held for four years. Following her tenure as President she was employed as the Aboriginal Affairs Superintendent for Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine. She currently serves as the Vice-President of Corporate Development for the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies.

Media Contact:

Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
(709)896-8582
bert.pomeroy@nunatsiavut.com

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MMIWG: Moving Forward Together to Reclaim Power and Place

June 21, 2019

On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, we are at a critical moment in Canada’s history. On June 3, 2019, we released a comprehensive report, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, that documents the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers, shared over two years of cross-country hearings and evidence gathering.

The heart and voice of this report belongs to families and survivors, who ache for their lost sisters, aunts, daughters, mothers and grandmothers. This heartache now belongs to all of us. We are all accountable, and we must turn that into real and tangible actions. We are often asked, what can we do? How can we get started on such a monumental task? These are good questions. There are things we can do immediately, both big and small, as a country, as community members, and as individuals.

The federal government has accepted our Call for Justice to create a National Action Plan with Indigenous people at the table to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. That work can begin immediately. We also call on all provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous governments to develop action plans in their jurisdictions, and some have already started to do so. As voters, we can make sure elected leaders know what is important to us and what we expect of them.

Families and survivors want clear answers about what happened to their loved ones. We need an independent, national Police Task Force established that is able to re-open investigations and delve deeper into the cases of missing and murdered women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. This work could also start immediately.

Our Final Report also includes Calls for Justice for the media and social influencers, health and wellness service providers, police services, lawyers and law societies, educators, social workers, those involved in child welfare, and for extractive and development industries and for Correctional Service Canada.

As individuals, we need to decolonize ourselves by learning the true history of Canada. June is National Indigenous History Month, and we call on all institutions and educators to understand and teach the reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and explore the root causes of violence. In addition to the Final Report and resources noted within it, the National Inquiry developed Their Voices Will Guide Us in collaboration with Indigenous educators. A guide for students of all ages, it provides key resources around the issue of violence against First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. We invite everyone to access this free resource at http://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/publications/.

Each of us needs to stand up and become a strong ally. We must confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, wherever and whenever we witness it, and teach or encourage others to do the same, in our workplace, in social settings, and everywhere else. Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect.

This National Indigenous Peoples Day, let’s resolve to create a new future together. Restoring safety for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people is an urgent responsibility for us all. Let’s get to it.

Kinana’skomitinnow-ow
Marion Buller
Chief Commissioner

Tshinashkumitnau
Michèle Audette
Commissioner

Chi-meegwetch
Brian Eyolfson
Commissioner

Nakurmiik
Qajaq Robinson
Commissioner

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