SSHRC: Launch of new tri-agency Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation—Connection Grants

The new tri-agency Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation—Connection Grants invites proposals from applicants affiliated with First Nations, Métis and Inuit not-for-profit organizations, as well as with other not-for-profit organizations or Canadian postsecondary institutions in any discipline.

The initiative will support short-term targeted interdisciplinary events, outreach activities and position papers to help guide new ways of engaging in research by and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. This will include holistic, interdisciplinary and distinctions-based approaches that are transformative and contribute to reconciliation.

These Connection Grants are valued at up to $50,000 for six months, with the possibility of a six-month extension. The leadership and governance of all proposed projects must involve the participation of First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities.


Wendy Rose: National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated in St. John’s – The Telegram

A flutter of colourful cultural activities, the Techniplex Centre by Quidi Vidi Lake hosted the St. John’s celebrations of National Indigenous Peoples Day, hosted by the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre.

Observed on Thursday, June 21, Canadians coast to coast commemorated Indigenous Peoples’ culture and heritage, as we work together towards reconciliation, recognizing and implementing indigenous rights, and just generally making Canada a better country for everyone within it.

St. John’s kicked off the nation’s celebrations, starting off early with a sunrise ceremony of singing and drumming in Bannerman Park.

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RCMP: National Indigenous Peoples Day – Read about some of our projects and initiatives

The RCMP has a proud history of more than 140 years of service to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. Today, we work in more than 600 Indigenous communities across Canada. Read about some of our activities and initiatives.

An Eagle Staff to honour and acknowledge First Nations people in Canada
Staff Sgt. Jeff Poulette constructed this sacred Indigenous symbol for the RCMP.

Maskwacis Intervention – Collaborative Approach Reduces Gang Violence
Violent crime and school absenteeism was a big problem on some Alberta reserves – until they employed a unique solution.

Survival Skills – Outdoor camps bridge gap between youth, police
Outdoor programs in B.C. are helping Indigenous youth learn new skills, and bond with local police.

Contest Inspires Northern Youth to get creative
When the RCMP in the Northwest Territories needed a new Aboriginal policing ensign, they reached out to local students to try their hand.

New Blanket Exercise on Indigenous History moves RCMP Cadets
A “Blanket Exercise” on Indigenous history has been added to the mandatory training for all RCMP Cadets.

Eagle Feather flies into Nova Scotia Detachments
Instead of a bible, Indigenous people can now use an eagle feather to swear legal oaths in RCMP detachments and courts.

Local officers, staff and youth complete Pulling Together Canoe Journey
RCMP members from Surrey, B.C. took part to help build relationships with Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Youth Return from RCMP National Youth Leadership Workshop
This Workshop, held since 2011, teaches leadership skills to Indigenous high school students.

NHL Star, RCMP Score with Anti-Violence Ad
NHL player Jordin Tootoo teamed up with the RCMP on a video to prevent violence against Indigenous women and girls.


Chiefs and ministers hold Indigenous economic development roundtable

22 June 2018

MONCTON (GNB) – An Indigenous economic development roundtable was held today in Moncton. Participants included Mi’kmaq, Wolastoq and Peskotomuhkati chiefs and ministers of the provincial and federal governments.

The concept for the roundtable emerged from earlier conversations among chiefs and ministers in Miramichi. Its goal is to honour the commitment to work together to advance economic opportunities in all New Brunswick communities.

Participants agreed that collaborative efforts to promote investment certainty and First Nation partnerships will enhance investor confidence and generate better economic opportunities. All agreed that having strong local/municipal and Indigenous community economies and partnerships will help to create jobs for all New Brunswickers.

The chiefs and ministers agreed to continue their collaboration. One of their next priorities will be to explore new economic development initiatives taking into consideration the Atlantic Growth Strategy and issues of importance identified by Indigenous communities and the provincial government.

“I am encouraged by today’s roundtable and the opportunity for ongoing collaboration with our federal and Indigenous partners for a strong New Brunswick economy,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs. “I am excited to take a more innovative approach towards creating a climate of investment certainty and predictability by working more closely together.”

“Today’s discussion highlights the benefits of a strong, positive‎ and lasting collaboration with Indigenous and provincial partners,” said federal Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott. “I know that, by working together, we are supporting healthy, successful and economically prosperous Indigenous communities across New Brunswick.”

“The Mi’kmaq of New Brunswick welcome the opportunity to have meaningful dialogue with Canada, New Brunswick and New Brunswick First Nations in regard to rebuilding our economies by creating the conditions necessary for Indigenous economic success, including access to land in key locations, investment for skills and innovation, and collaboration between federal, provincial, business and First Nations partners,” said Chief George Ginnish, co-chair of the non-profit organization Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn. “Inclusion, co-management, co-development and revenue sharing need to be the norm, not the exception. These pillars of Indigenous economic development need to be the best and standard practice. Double-digit unemployment, 40-per cent food insecurity and an underutilized youth population are not acceptable. Investment in First Nations is investing in Canada and recognizes that the sharing envisioned by our Peace and Friendship Treaties is the only path forward.”

“Our lands, our waters, our treaties and our relationships are sacred,” said Tobique First Nation Chief Ross Perley. “If we are to build and promote successful First Nation communities and economic prosperity, we must work in partnership. Our youth, our elders, the Wolastoqey and other Indigenous communities across New Brunswick demand and expect this leadership so that the benefits from our territories can be enjoyed by all, not just governments and industry.”

“We have a unique opportunity to build relationships and a common future for all people in New Brunswick with the participation of the Peskotomuhkatiq and other New Brunswick Indigenous communities,” said Chief Hugh Akagi of the Peskotomuhkati Nation at Skutik. “Today’s discussion on promoting community and economic prosperity is a small part of the conversation but it is an important starting point on this nation-building journey. Together we can rebuild our communities, our culture and our relationships so we can build a better future for our youth.”


Media advisory: Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador will announce support to help Indigenous people in Labrador get vital job skills and work experience

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, will announce Government of Canada and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador support to help Indigenous people in Labrador get vital job skills and work experience.

MP Jones is making the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

A photo opportunity and media availability will follow the announcement.

Please note that all details are subject to change. All times are local.

:     Tuesday, June 26, 2018

TIME:       9:00 a.m.

PLACE:   College of the North Atlantic
Happy Valley Goose Bay Campus
219 Hamilton River Road
Happy Valley-Goose Bay,
Newfoundland and Labrador

– 30 –

FOR INFORMATION (media only):
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


Indigenous prof resigns in protest over lack of Aboriginal faculty, curriculum – CHEK News

HALIFAX — An Indigenous professor at Saint Mary’s University is resigning in protest over what she calls the Halifax university’s failure to “indigenize the academy” and confront the legacy of colonialism.

Sandra Muse Isaacs says she’s quitting her job as an Indigenous literature professor over the lack of progress on the recommendations outlined in a report by a task force on Aboriginal students struck in the wake of a student’s murder.

Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuk student researching missing and murdered Indigenous women, was killed in 2014.

Her murder appeared to serve as a catalyst for change at the small university. The task force recommended hiring Indigenous faculty and expanding Indigenous curriculum to “enhance the indigenization of the academy.”

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Government of Canada and Eel Ground First Nation work in partnership to improve water and community infrastructure

From: Indigenous Services Canada

News release

June 22, 2018 – Moncton, NB – Indigenous Services Canada

Working in partnership with First Nation communities, investing in on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure is a priority for Indigenous Services Canada and the federal government.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, visited Eel Ground First Nation today to congratulate the community for progress made on a number of infrastructure projects. In addition to the completion of water systems upgrades and on-going work towards lifting a long-term drinking water advisory, work is underway on a new subdivision and waste diversion centre in Eel Ground.

Overall, $9.22 million has been invested in Eel Ground. This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing long-term drinking water advisories on reserve and improving community infrastructure to benefit First Nation communities for years to come.


“I am excited to visit Eel Ground First Nation to see the work that is happening toward lifting the existing drinking water advisory at Big Hole Tract. Great work is also being done in the community to address future housing development needs, as well as the construction of the new waste diversion centre. These projects are great examples of how we are working together with First Nations to implement long term infrastructure solutions.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services Canada

Quick facts

  • Indigenous Services Canada provided $6.5 million for upgrades to the First Nation’s existing water system. The project also included the drilling and commissioning of a second well that will increase the system’s capacity, allowing it to meet the needs of the community’s future population.
  • Work is underway to upgrade the water and wastewater treatment systems on Eel Ground First Nation’s Big Hole Tract reserve. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $720,000 for the project, which will address water quality issues and enable the community to lift a long-term drinking water advisory that has been in place since 2008.
  • Eel Ground’s Big Hole Tract Reserve is the one remaining First Nation community with a long-term drinking water advisory on a public system in Atlantic Canada. It is anticipated the advisory will be lifted by December 2018.
  • Construction of a new subdivision in Eel Ground has recently started. The subdivision project will include the construction of approximately 35 serviced lots for future housing development and the expansion of the water main and the wastewater collection system. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $1.5 million for the project.
  • Indigenous Services Canada has approved $500,000 in funding for the development of a waste diversion centre on the Eel Ground reserve. The project was designed by the First Nation to promote the proper management of solid waste materials and will provide an additional option for waste disposal to complement the community’s curbside collection program. The new diversion centre will open in July 2018.
  • Eel Ground First Nation (Natoaganeg) is a Mi’kmaq community with a population of approximately 900 members located on the Miramichi River in northern New Brunswick.
  • First Nations are the owners and operators of community infrastructure on reserve, and the Government of Canada provides financial support for on-reserve public water and wastewater systems.
  • In 2008, Eel Ground First Nation issued a boil water advisory for Big Hole Tract following unacceptable bacterial water quality test results and the lack of a disinfection process.
  • The Eel Ground band originally established Big Hole Tract as a seasonal cabin location. The cabin location now includes permanent year-round occupancy by band members, making an upgrade to the water treatment process/system essential.

Associated links


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


Nova Scotia unveils new Mi’kmaq licence plate featuring petroglyph – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Jun 22, 2018 

TRURO, N.S. _ The Nova Scotia government has unveiled a new Mi’kmaq licence plate, the latest cultural group in the province to receive its own plate.

The licence plate, unveiled Friday in Truro, N.S., features a Mi’kmaq petroglyph and bears the phrase “Mi’kma’ki Land of the Mi’kmaq.”

The province said many Mi’kmaq connect the petroglyph with the eight-point star, which has political and historical significance, while some connect the image to the traditional districts of Mi’kma’ki _ traditional Mi’kmaq territory.

Premier Stephen McNeil, who is also Aboriginal Affairs minister, said the plate enhances the visibility and appreciation of Mi’kmaq culture in Nova Scotia.

“I am pleased that our ongoing work with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs has resulted in a wonderful plate available to anyone registering a vehicle in Nova Scotia,” McNeil said in a news release.

A $24 donation fee for the plate will go towards Mi’kmaq youth sports and recreation.

“It is great to see this project become a reality,” Chief Wilbert Marshall of the assembly of chiefs said in the release. “This truly is a project that involved our community members and something that we all can be very proud of.”

The establishment of the plate was listed in the government’s cultural action plan to help increase the visibility and appreciation of Mi’kmaq culture.

Nova Scotia also recently unveiled licence plates celebrating the Gaelic and Acadian cultures.


Celebrating a Canadian first: The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada –

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Nellie Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut, leaders representing First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation, Indigenous artists, and John Geiger, CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, kicked off celebrations for the launch of Canadian Geographic’s long-awaited Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada.

This was a Canada 150 project funded by the Government of Canada and for the Honourable Mélanie Joly, the Atlas will make a positive contribution to Canada’s educational landscape. “For years to come the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada will help build capacity for open discussion, empathy and mutual respect, as well as act as a powerful educational tool to help facilitate the renewal of Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples, and we are proud to have contributed to this important initiative.”

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The Government of Canada takes immediate action to protect endangered whales through the Oceans Protection Plan

From: Transport Canada

June 22, 2018                Vancouver

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, serving as home to rich biodiversity and precious ecosystems. The Government of Canada is building on its historic Oceans Protection Plan, and taking immediate action to preserve and restore marine ecosystems to help endangered whale populations recover.

Today, Canada’s Whales Initiative was announced in Vancouver by the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. This $167.4 million initiative under Budget 2018, will protect and support the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale, the North Atlantic right whale, and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whale through comprehensive actions tailored to address the unique combinations of threats.

Specifically in regards to the Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea, the Government of Canada recognizes that they face an imminent threat to survival and recovery which requires immediate attention. Canada’s Whales Initiative includes immediate and comprehensive action to support their recovery by addressing the main threats they face: lack of prey, disturbance from vessels, including noise and pollution from land-based sources. Key actions include:

Improving prey availability for the Southern Resident Killer Whales by:

  • Reducing the total fishery removal for Chinook salmon by 25-35 per cent, to help increase prey availability;
  • Implementing mandatory fishery closures in specific areas where  whales forage for food by closing these areas to recreational finfishing and commercial salmon fishing, and exploring the use of additional regulatory measures; and
  • Increasing scientific research, monitoring and controls of contaminants in whales and their prey, and funding additional research on prey availability.

Reducing disturbance from underwater vessel noise by:

  • Imposing a new mandatory requirement for all marine vessels (including recreational boats) to stay at least 200 metres away from killer whales, effective July 11, 2018;
  • Asking vessels to move further away from key foraging grounds within shipping lanes of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, and partnering with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program on a voluntary vessel slowdown in Haro Strait starting in July 2018;
  • Working with BC Ferries to develop a noise management plan to reduce underwater noise impacts of its fleet on killer whales; and
  • Developing the necessary tools to implement mandatory measures where needed to reduce noise from vessel traffic, such legislation if required.

Enhancing monitoring under the water and in the air by:

  • Adding to the under-water hydrophone network in the Salish Sea to  better  measure noise impacts and track the noise profile of individual vessels; and
  • Increasing aerial surveillance patrols through the Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Fisheries Aerial Surveillance and Enforcement Program to better monitor and enforce new measures.

Encouraging compliance and strengthening enforcement by:

  • Investing in education and awareness among recreational boaters to reduce their impact on the whales by providing, for example the Cetus Research and Conservation Society with  funding of up to $415,000 for three years to deliver the Straitwatch program;
  • Adding more fishery officers on the water to verify compliance with approach distances and disturbances and harassment provisions of the regulations and enforce fisheries closures; and
  • Enhancing strong enforcement of environmental regulations to reduce contaminants affecting the killer whales.

Building partnerships for additional action

The Government of Canada is committed to working with Indigenous Peoples, environmental organizations, members of ECHO, fishing organizations and the marine industry, as well as other governments to develop additional measures needed to secure the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale. These actions could include additional mandatory measures, legislative changes and adoption of new technologies.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also undertaking a Whale Innovation Challenge initiative in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre to develop solutions towards real-time detection and location of whales. This initiative aims to mobilize the technology development community in Canada and globally to develop whale-specific solutions to better understand the location, abundance and movements of whales and whale populations. This will contribute to scientific whale research and overall efforts to protect endangered whales in Canada.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Through this plan, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come. This work is being done in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, and in close collaboration with local stakeholders and coastal communities.


“I am encouraged by how the Government of Canada and its partners have come together to help protect and recover Canada’s endangered whales. With more eyes in the sky and ears in the water, the Southern Resident Killer Whale will get additional protection as we work together to reduce threats. Human-caused threats, including lack of prey, underwater noise, and contaminants, are things we can address together to help save this iconic species.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“Whales play a very important role in our marine ecosystems, and these iconic species also hold immense cultural value. We have a responsibility to continue to take action to protect our whale populations. Building on the important work done under the Oceans Protection Plan, our government’s Whales Initiative will take concrete steps in helping these endangered whales by increasing our science and reducing the impact of human-caused threats.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The Southern Resident Killer Whale has captured the imagination of British Columbians and has been deeply embedded in the cultures of Indigenous Peoples for many generations. We’re taking meaningful action to address threats to this magnificent creature by implementing additional new measures in partnership with environmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples, governments and stakeholders. We will protect this iconic species for us and for generations to come.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

Quick facts

  • Southern Resident Killer Whales were listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act in 2003. Today, it is estimated that about 76 Southern Resident Killer Whales remain in this population.
  • The known range of the Southern Resident Killer Whale extends from northern British Columbia to central California. However, during the summer months they concentrate off the southern end of Vancouver Island and are most frequently sighted in Haro Strait, Georgia Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Vincent Hughes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)


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