News

Attorney General to make submission in controversial aboriginal medicine case

An 11-year-old Six Nations girl who is battling leukemia can go on with her treatment without the interference of government or legal action.

The family of the girl, who can only be identified as J.J., cried with relief at a Brantford courthouse Friday afternoon after the Ontario Attorney General's office sought a clarification of a ruling last November by Justice Gethin Edward declaring the family has a right to pursue Indigenous medical treatments for J.J.

The threat of an appeal had been looming, with a deadline of May 1, before Edward's clarification Friday.

J.J., whose name cannot be revealed due to a publication ban, was receiving chemo last September before her mother removed her and began treating her with traditional and alternative medicine.

That decision prompted McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton to take Brant Family and Children's Services to court, seeking to have the child apprehended and placed back into chemotherapy.

Gethin dismissed the hospital's application in November, saying traditional Indigenous treatments were in existence before First Nations communities were in contact with Europeans, and that she had a constitutionally-protected right to use Indigenous medicine.

The Ontario government, Six Nations Band Council and the family of J.J. released a joint statement Friday on "integrated and respectful health care."

The statement said:
"Earlier this afternoon, all parties to a proceeding dealing with the treatment of an 11-year-old girl known as J.J. from the Six Nations of the Grand River, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, appeared before Justice [Gethin] Edward to seek clarification on his reasons for his decision November 14, 2014."

Edward released an addendum to his November decision that, "recognizes that Haudenosaunee medicine is an integral aspect of the Haudenosaunee identity as a people. As such, it has the protection of the Canadian constitution as an Aboriginal right."

It further stated that, "the best interests of the child are paramount and that the aboriginal right to practice traditional medicine must be respected. The practice of this right can and may work together with other approaches to health care."

The statement said the clarification "now allows the family to proceed, with peace of mind and privacy, with their daughter's treatment, using the best that both medicines have to offer."

The clarification of Edward's ruling also encourages "governments, agencies, hospitals and health care practitioners to continue important conversations about an integrated approach to health care, one that respects and can bring together different healing traditions."

J.J. and her family attended court Friday for the first time since proceedings began last September.

The court heard that J.J., who had gone into remission earlier this year, had relapsed and her cancer was back.

The family exited the court through a private door after Edward stepped down from the bench and personally introduced himself to the girl and her family, shaking hands and smiling, after the session wrapped up.

The family did not address the media.

Edward also shook hands with Elected Chief Ava Hill as others milled about the courtroom, telling her, "This is a good day."

Part of Edward's clarification included an emphasis on aboriginal people's rights to practice traditional medicine under both the Canadian Constitution and United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples but only if it is consistent with "the principle that the best interests of the child remain paramount. The Aboriginal right to use traditional medicine must be respected, and must be considered, among other factors, in any analysis of the best interests of the child, and whether the child is need of protection."

Outside the courthouse, the media grilled the family's lawyer, Paul Williams, about the girl's current medical condition and current mode of treatment.

He confirmed she was seeing an oncologist but he did not elaborate further.

"That's a matter that's private to the family," he said. "The family has always acknowledged that mainstream medicine is one of its options."

Williams said last November's ruling and Friday's clarification ensures Haudenosaunee medicine and Western medicine will work together in a "complex and respectful way. I think it's an alliance between the two. Everybody in the Six Nations community at some point deals with both types of medicine. The question is how do these two systems work together? It's a problem sometimes. Now it's been clarified that Haudenosaunee medicine is a legal right."

McMaster has continually stated it does not intend to appeal Edward's decision.

Daphne Jarvis, a lawyer for McMaster Children's Hospital, said they wish nothing but "the best" for J.J. and her family.

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MTO epropriating Grand River Navigation Co. lands, no consultation with Six Nations

Gary Frasier was among several people asking questions and commenting on the draft tobacco law at the third in a series of community meetings held. (Photo by Donna Duric)
Grand River Navigation Co. lands

The Ministry of Transportation is seeking to expropriate lands that once belonged to the Grand River Navigation Company to provide a detour during replacement of the Argyle Street Bridge over the Grand River.

The MTO says it needs the lands for the next five years to provide a detour of Argyle Street traffic.

MTO has placed a notice in the local newspaper, Turtle Island News but so far no contact with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council has taken place.

Six Nations Elected Council communications officer did not return Turtle Island?News requests for comments by press time.

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Montour says Ontario approached Six Nations about tobacco

Former elected chief Bill Montour
Former elected chief Bill Montour

Six Nations Band Council says it is not in talks with Ontario about tobacco despite claims by a local lawyer that discussions have taken place over the community’s tobacco industry.

But former elected chief Bill Montour says yes, brief discussions have taken place.

“Yes when I was elected chief we did have discussions but it’s a red herring. I told Minister (David) Zimmer, our community has to get something out of any discussions on tobacco.”

He said band council was aware of the discussions.

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Daycare renovations may be causing rashes council told

At least one child appears to have developed a rash from the renovations (Submitted photo)
At least one child appears to have developed a rash from the renovations (Submitted photo)

At least two complaints have come to band council about the effects of on-going renovations at Bicentennial Daycare on some of the children.

Elvera Garlow complained to band council last Tuesday night that her granddaughter broke out in a rash recently and she believes it’s related to renovation work.

“My granddaughter had an allergic reaction from whatever was in the air—dust, paint and glue fumes etc.,” Garlow alleged. “We are keeping her home now. She did see our doctor.”

The doctor confirmed the child was suffering from an allergic reaction, said Garlow, but didn’t pinpoint the cause.

Garlow asked band council last Tuesday night to look into the effects the renovations were having on the children while the work was being done.

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Mexican student survivor to speak here, 43 disappeared

Mexican student survivor to speak here, 43 disappeared

Parents and relatives of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa in a protest in Acapulco on March 24.Parents and relatives of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa in a protest in Acapulco on March 24.

“They took them alive, we want them back alive”

On September 26, 2014, Mexican state security forces attacked a group of students from the teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

They were collecting donations for a trip to Mexico City to participate in the annual commemoration of a 1968 government massacre of students. The attack left 6 people dead – three students and three bystanders.

It ended with the forcible disappearance of 43 others picked up by police and never seen again.

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This Week's Local News Headlines

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Sports News

This Week's Sports Headlines

Six Nations Midget Rep

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Athletics-Brazil to host first Indigenous Peoples World Games

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - A year after hosting the soccer World Cup and a year before staging the Summer Olympics, Brazil is set to stage a new international event -- the Indigenous Peoples World Games.

The inaugural games will be held from Sept. 18-27 in Palmas in the northern state of Tocantins.

"It's a very important moment for Brazil," Brazil's Sports Minister, George Hilton, told Reuters through an interpreter in an interview on Wednesday.

"It's a time of exchanging knowledge and it's a good time to promote the indigenous peoples through the games."

Hilton said some 48 ethnicities would be represented among 4,000 athletes from 22 countries.

Brazil, home to nearly 900,000 indigenous peoples from 305 different nations that speak 274 languages, has held a dozen Indigenous Games for its own natives since 1996 and decided to expand the games into a truly international event.

The Brazilians were to make a presentation about the games at the United Nations on Friday to delegations that participate in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

A Canadian indigenous leader named Little Child will be speaking at the U.N., Hilton said.

Some of the sports contested are unique and include a type of lacrosse (rokra) using sticks and coconuts, as well as a variety of soccer (xikunahity) using only the head to move the ball.

"Now we have the U.N. declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples. This event will be a cultural interchange among the tribes and it's very important for all involved," Hilton said.

"It's not only about the games but they are also going to be showing their culture through food, through their art and they are bringing their own interpreters so that one tribe can communicate with the other."

Worldwide, it is estimated that there are 370 million indigenous peoples making up more than five percent of the world's population, according to the U.N.

Hilton said Peru, Mexico, Philippines and the United States were bidding to host the next Indigenous Peoples World Games expected to be held in 2019.

The motto for September's games in Brazil is: "We are all Indigenous". (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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News

Joint Statement by the Government of Ontario, Six Nations and J.J.'s Family on Integrated and Respectful Health Care

Today, the Government of Ontario, Six Nations and J.J.'s family released the following statement:

"Earlier this afternoon, all parties to a proceeding dealing with the treatment of an 11 year old girl known as "J.J." from the Six Nations of the Grand River, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, appeared before Justice Edward to seek clarification on his reasons for decision dated November 14, 2014.

Justice Edward released an addendum to his decision that recognizes that Haudenosaunee medicine is an integral aspect of the Haudenosaunee identity as a people. As such, it has the protection of the Canadian constitution as an Aboriginal right.

Justice Edward's addendum further clarifies that the best interests of the child are paramount and that the Aboriginal right to practice traditional medicine must be respected. The practice of this right can and may work together with other approaches to health care.

This clarification now allows the family to proceed, with peace of mind and privacy, with their daughter's treatment, using the best that both medicines have to offer. The clarification also enables and encourages governments, agencies, hospitals and health care practitioners to continue important conversations about an integrated approach to health care, one that respects and can bring together different healing traditions."

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Joint Submission of the Parties

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But Elected Chief Hill questions personal salary of CEO

Former Six Nations Elected Chief, now CEO of Inspire, Roberta Jamieson provides presentation to band council Monday while current elected chief Ava Hill looks on (Photo by Donna Duric)
Former Six Nations Elected Chief, now CEO of Indspire, Roberta Jamieson provides presentation to band council Monday while current elected chief Ava Hill looks on (Photo by Donna Duric)

For Inspire, an educational charity, charity begins at home.

The charity has helped First Nations students become doctors, lawyers, engineers and more.

They’ve created a teachers’ mentoring program that allows new teachers to learn from experienced teachers.

And they are based at Six Nations.

The First Nations educational charity has over the past 29 years provided almost $65 million in financial assistance through nearly 20,000 bursaries and scholarships to Indigenous students.

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Brant County/Six Nations to share revenues from solar roof here

Six Nations Band Council is going into business with Brant County in a solar farm roof project that will be built on the roof of the Oneida Business Park building.

The joint solar panel project at the Oneida Business Park was approved by Brant County Council’s corporate development committee last week.

The project is a 500-kilowatt roof-mounted solar generation project for the roof of the Oneida Business Park on Fourth Line at Highway 6.

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Ground-breaking ceremony for new Six Nations fire hall

Conceptual drawing of new Six Nations Fire Hall. Ground breaking ceremony will be held April 23, 2015
Conceptual drawing of new Six Nations Fire Hall. Ground breaking ceremony will be held April 23, 2015

Six Nations Fire Chief Matthew Miller is looking forward to the construction of a new main fire hall this year, with a sod-turning ceremony for the much-anticipated $2.6 million building set for tomorrow.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said the newly-hired fire chief. “I’m excited.”

Six Nations Elected Council will be holding a ground breaking ceremony at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to kick off construction of the brand new fire hall.

The new building will be located on the same property as the old fire hall at 17 Veteran’s Lane in central Ohsweken near the main intersection of Fourth Line Road and Chiefswood Road.

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Three new recruits welcomed to Six Nations Police force

New cops on the block: Jesse Garlow-Miller, Priscilla Staats and Terry O’Halloran will be out on their beats within the next few weeks patrolling the community.
New cops on the block: Jesse Garlow-Miller, Priscilla Staats and Terry O’Halloran will be out on their beats within the next few weeks patrolling the community.

The Six Nations Police force has just hired three more officers to replace three officers who retired last year, bringing the number of officers on the force to 31. The force has been in existence since 1985.

The officers trained from January to April at the Ontario Police College and are on the road this week.

Each one is assigned to three of the four platoons on the Six Nations Police force.

They will be assigned a coach officer for the first year of their policing career to continue their training and integration into the force.

Two of the officers are Six Nations band members and one is from the Wahta Mohawk community.

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Opinion

Lynda Powless, Editor

Really you want to bite the hand that feeds students

Okay, really...seriously.

Elected Chief Ava Hill needs to take a moment and seriously look at her leadership and where she is taking it.

She took aim at Indspire CEO Roberta Jamieson Monday during what Indspire had planned to be a polite and friendly presentation about the millions of dollars in scholarships and bursaries the charity hands out to Indigenous students across the country.

Including over 700 right here at Six Nations.

An admirable feat. Let’s remember this is a charity, not a government-funded band office!

Instead of hearing the success of the national charity, Hill took aim at the CEO’s salary and even whether or not they are communicating enough with Six Nations, their home community.

Really! Seriously. Not communicating enough!

Six Nations Band Council is not in any position to talk about communicating with its community when it works so hard to try to avoid even talking to Turtle Island?News no matter how many times they are called and emailed and asked for weekly meetings with the chief that used to be a regular routine to help sort out any questions or misunderstandings on issues.

Instead Turtle Island News, as we have particularly noticed this week, has to ferret it out or find out about Six Nations issues at outside city and county councils who have a responsibility to their constituents to be open and transparent.

But let’s face the facts. What happened at the band’s Committee of the Whole meeting Monday had nothing to do with taking the national charity to task for neglecting Six Nations.

It had everything to do with a personal grudge the elected chief holds against the CEO who fired her when Jamieson was elected chief here.

Hill’s animosity is clearly showing in her personal questioning of Jamieson on her salary, on the percentage that goes to salaries and even Jamieson had to try to bring reason to the argument over improving communication. Something a guest at the band council shouldn’t have to do, especially when, as she said, all Six Nations has to do is pick up a phone or wander over to their offices just down the street.

And they should.

This is an organization that provides funding to students...over $2 million to Six Nations alone.

Elected Chief Ava Hill’s job is to be the face of Six Nations...to everyone. Her job is to enrich Six Nations, socially and financially, and do the best job she can for the community and to work with everyone that comes her way. And for clarity, understanding and correctness, she has an obligation to talk to the local newspaper, us, on issues that are cropping up. She is the elected leader. It is her job to communicate, not play at it with newsletters and videos that no one watches or reads.

But more importantly Indspire did not deserve their treatment Monday.

Hill needs to get over past issues and look to the future for the community and that means putting grudges behind her and working with everyone, whether she likes them or not.

And it includes Indspire and its CEO Roberta Jamieson.

To accuse Jamieson of taking $10 million from the feds for Indspire’s coffers is both childish and narrow.

Jamieson, securing that money for Indspire, again for students, only served to prove one thing...she is doing a good job at Indspire.

It’s the CEO and president’s job of any organization to bring in the money.

Jamieson has shown she can do it.

Perhaps Hill should call over to Indspire and ask her how she did it instead of accusing her of virtually impoverishing First Nations.

Six Nations Band Council needs to apologize to Indspire for its antics and reach out to them for any assistance they can get for our students.

Anything less is rude, childish and beneath the office of any leader.

Weekly Cartoon

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