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Dinner fit for a president: Friday’s menu showcases Canadian ingredients

 By Sarah Ritchie THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA- United States President Joe Biden is staying in Ottawa on his short trip north of the border, but the catering team from the National Arts Centre plans to take him on a cross-country culinary tour Friday evening. The president and first lady Jill Biden are set to be the guests of honour at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. The meal, put together by executive chef Kenton Leier, features ingredients such as East Coast yellowfin tuna, Alberta beef, flaxseed, Quebec maple syrup and Yukon gold potatoes. The three courses also include a cabernet sauvignon jus made with wine from Pelee Island Winery in Kingsville, Ont., and a rum

Canada facing fresh U.S. pressure to agree to review cross border mining toxins

WASHINGTON- President Joe Biden is expected to add today to the pressure on Canada for a bilateral investigation into toxic mining runoff in a key cross-border watershed. Activists, experts and Indigenous leaders in both Canada and the U.S. want an investigation into toxins from B.C. mining operations they say have been polluting the Kootenay River basin for decades. The “reference,” as it’s known, would be overseen by the International Joint Commission, a bilateral body established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. Both countries must agree to a reference, and Canada has been reluctant, despite pressure from Indigenous groups, conservationists  and even the U.S. State Department. Erin Sexton, a University of Montana research scientist who specializes in Canada-U.S. transboundary rivers, calls Canada’s reticence “confounding.” Sexton says the White House will

Why claim to be Indigenous when you’re not?

 By Peter Jackson  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter When a recent CBC investigative piece questioned the indigeneity claims of Memorial University president Vianne Timmons, the revelations may have come as a shock to many. For others, it reflected a pattern that’s been going on for many years. Timmons has taken a paid leave of absence while the university ponders its next move. The parallels between her case and that of prominent Indigenous health expert Carrie Bourassa are striking, so much so that when two sets of journalists with the public broadcaster broke the stories separately, they opened with much the same scenario. The local article sets the tone with Timmons walking across the stage at the 2019 Indspire awards, holding a trophy awarded for her efforts in education in one hand

Historic partnership renewed at Christ Church

By Jan Murphy  Local Journalism Initiative TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY- A partnership that predates Canada as we know it today was renewed inside the historic Christ Church in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Rev. Canon Paul Wright, SubDean to His Majesty’s Chapels Royal and St. James Palace, visited at the request of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to bring gifts, greetings from the new king and a message of continued friendship. “It’s my great honour, as chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, to welcome Rev. Canon Paul Wight,” Chief R. Donald Maracle said to open the nearly hour-long ceremony inside the Church, which was declared a Chapel Royal by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004. Wright, who was accompanied by Chaplain General Guy Chapdelaine, was greeted by a procession

Emotions run high as Imperial Oil VP talks to Indigenous communities about seepage from Kearl mine

Water tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, dissolved metals and hydrocarbons seepage from the Kearl project onto Crown lands north of Fort McMurray, Alta.,  has been leaking since May and is located next to a small fish-bearing lake and tributaries to the Firebag and Muskeg rivers.NICHOLAS VARDY/HANDOUT  By Shari Narine  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Anger, distrust and fear were evident in the first community meeting hosted by an Imperial Oil official since news broke last month of tailings pond seepage that had been occurring since May 2022 at the Kearl mine upstream of Indigenous communities in the Fort Chipewyan area. Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First  Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Fort Chipewyan Metis were in attendance. Jamie Long, Imperial’s vice-president of oil sands mining, had little chance

New Mexico tribe keeps title to portion of national preserve 

By Susan Montoya Bryan THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)- A Native American tribe has been granted title to a portion of a national preserve in northern New Mexico following a yearslong court battle against the federal government, a ruling that could provide hope to other tribes seeking to regain rights to their traditional homelands. The 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals issued a split ruling Wednesday in the case brought by Jemez Pueblo over lands it was seeking to reclaim in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The pueblo had argued its aboriginal property rights, or rights to occupy and use land as their ancestors did, were never extinguished despite a lower court ruling in 2019 that found the U.S. government had clear title to the expansive preserve. Following an appeal

Alberta Energy Regulator cites company for causing seismic events in Peace River area

By Bob Weber THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON- The Alberta Energy Regulator has cited an energy company for causing a series of earthquakes, including the largest recorded tremblor in the province’s history. The environmental protection order issued against Obsidian Energy Ltd. Thursday came the same day a scientific paper was published showing those earthquakes were caused by industry activity — not natural causes, as the regulator initially suggested. In November, parts of Alberta near the northwestern town of Peace River were rocked by a series of quakes culminating in one that reached a 5.6 magnitude. Residents reported being knocked to their knees. The earth was pushed upward by more than three centimetres, enough to register on satellites. “This event was caused by wastewater disposal,” said Ryan Schultz, a Canadian seismologist who

STATE OF EMERGENCY: Northern First Nations ask feds, province for help

By Dave Baxter  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Eleven Manitoba First Nations declared states of emergency on Thursday, as leaders say conditions are dire and deteriorating rapidly and leading to wide-scale suffering. At a media conference in Winnipeg on Thursday, Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) Grand Chief Walter Wastesicoot joined several other First Nations leaders, and said that the 11 communities represented by KTC are now calling a “regional state of emergency.” The Keewatin Tribal Council represents 11 communities located in Northern Manitoba, and Wastesicoot said the state of emergency is due to “system-wide deficiencies in public safety, health services, and infrastructure.” During Thursday’s media conference, Wastesicoot read from a letter that he said is now being sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, and to other federal and

Appeal Court hears trucker convicted of killing Edmonton woman wants new trial

 By Angela Amato THE CANADIAN PRESS EDMONTON- Alberta’s Court of Appeal heard arguments Thursday that a former Ontario truck driver should be tried for a third time in the 2011 death of an Indigenous woman. Bradley Barton, 55, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years for manslaughter in the death of Cindy Gladue, a Metis and Cree woman who bled to death in a bathtub at the Yellowhead Inn in Edmonton. Peter Sankoff, one of Barton’s lawyers, said the exclusion of some evidence and the question of consent should warrant a new trial. Sankoff said Barton was unlawfully detained for an exceptionally long period of time. “You try spending 6 1/2 hours in police custody,” Sankoff told reporters outside the courthouse. “That is not a pleasant time no matter how many

Feds give Kamloops, B.C., nation $12.5 million for healing centre 

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -The federal government is contributing $12.5 million to the construction of a healing centre at the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation almost two years after the nation announced the discovery of 215 suspected unmarked graves near a former residential school. Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu told a crowd in Kamloops, B.C., that the nation has led the way in opening the eyes of the country to the truths that were always known to Indigenous Peoples. The federal funding is in addition to $2.5 million committed by the First Nation Health Authority to address the harms of residential schools on Indigenous families, and $1.3 million from the authority to help the community with engagement and planning. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the funding commitment when he visited the community

Alberta Court of Appeal hearing begins for Ontario man found guilty of manslaughter in death of Indigenous woman

EDMONTON- The Alberta Court of Appeal is hearing arguments that an Ontario truck driver should be tried for a third time in the death of an Indigenous woman in 2011. Bradley Barton was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in July 2021 for manslaughter in the death of Cindy Gladue, a Metis and Cree woman who bled to death in a bathtub at the Yellowhead Inn in Edmonton. Barton’s lawyer, Peter Sankoff, says the exclusion of evidence and the question of consent should warrant a new trial. The Crown filed its own appeal following Barton’s second trial in 2021, calling the sentence “demonstrably unfit.” A jury found Barton not guilty in 2015 of first-degree murder in the death of Gladue’s death. That decision sparked rallies and calls for justice for Indigenous

Ontario puts $113M in budget to emergency preparedness

 By Allison Jones THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO- Community organizations and municipalities in Ontario could get a piece of $110 million in funding the province has committed over three years for emergency readiness. The province must ensure first responders and community organizations have the tools, training, systems, co-ordination and funding to help residents, the government said in the budget released Thursday. “Failure to plan is preparing to fail,” the budget said. “When people need help, they must be assured everything has been done to prepare for the best response possible.” The money will partly go toward an emergency management preparedness grant to help community organizations buy equipment for emergencies, and toward a new emergency response fund. That fund would be for municipalities,First Nations and communities to provide urgent relief in the

Six Nations man facing child exploitation charges

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND- Six Nations Police and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Child Sexual Exploitation and Digital Forensics Unit have arrested and charged a 57-year-old Ohsweken man in connection with a child sexual exploitation investigation. The arrest came after the combined forces raided a Tuscarora Township house  Thursday, March 23, 2023, seizing a quantity of electronic devises and arrested Kevin W. Jayne, 57. Jayne has been charged with two counts of luring a child contrary to section 172 1(1b) of the Criminal Code. Jayne is in custody after a bail hearing . In a statement police said “Children are our most valuable and precious members of society. Many victims of child sexual abuse are so young that they cannot tell their story. Every time an image or video


HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – The Haldimand County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has installed and activated the Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) and In-Car-Camera (ICC) systems in all patrol vehicles. The new equipment comes as a result of government funding. The OPP  is introducing ICC video recording equipment with an integrated ALPR functionality to all its frontline police vehicles at detachments across Ontario. The ICC and ALPR have been operating at Haldimand County Detachment since March 13, 2023.  The OPP statement said Haldimand OPP officers continue to see drivers operating vehicles that do not have valid, registered licence plates. Although vehicle owners are not required to purchase a validation sticker for their vehicle, licence plates are still required to be renewed annually or bi-annually. The Haldimand OPP wants

United Nations water conference will hear Indigenous contributions from Yukon ambassadors 

By Lawrie Crawford Local Journalism Initiative Reporter It’s no small deal to be invited to participate in a United Nations Conference. Besides the attention, the paperwork, the registrations, the permits _ its humbling, and it’s scary. That’s according to Colleen James as she readied to depart for New York City.   Colleen James Ghooch Tla and Jewel Davies Yekhunashin/Khatuku of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation are invited as part of a delegation from the University of Manitoba selected to demonstrate how Indigenous people can play a significant role in decision-making about water-related policies.   The UN23 Water Conference event is scheduled March 22 to 24 at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The conference is hosted by the governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan.

AMC decries appointment of WPS to oversee missing person hub

By Dave Baxter  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter One of this province’s most powerful Indigenous leaders says she has “little faith” that a newly announced Integrated Missing Persons Response unit that will be run by the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) will help police locate more missing Indigenous people in Manitoba. “We have little faith that the Winnipeg Police Service can handle a hub for our missing loved ones,” Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said in a Tuesday media release. “Families of missing persons feel time and time again that police do not prioritize their cases, and lack proper effort and cooperation with communities.” On Monday, the province announced $2.1 million in funding to create the new Integrated Missing Persons Response unit, which will see WPS oversee all

Apaches get new chance to argue mine will harm sacred sites

 By Anita Snow THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOENIX (AP)- An Apache group battling a foreign mining firm that wants to build one of the largest copper mines in the United States on what tribal members say is sacred land will get a new chance to make its point Tuesday when a full federal appeals court panel takes another look at the case. The panel of 11 judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to meet at a Pasadena, California, courthouse to review the appeal by Apache Stronghold to save Oak Flat, a site east of Phoenix the group considers sacred. “This isn’t just about Oak Flat, but about all cases involving American Indian sacred site litigation,” said Luke Goodrich, the attorney who will be arguing for Apache

What are Australia’s plans for Indigenous Voice?

By Rod Mcguirk THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANBERRA, Australia (AP)- Australians expect to vote this year in a referendum that would enshrine in the nation’s constitution a mechanism for Indigenous people to advise Parliament on policies that effect their lives known as the Voice. Proponents say embedding the Voice in the constitution would recognize the special place that Indigenous people have in Australian history while giving them input in government policies. Skeptics and opponents say Australians need more details before they vote on a proposal that risks dividing the nation along racial lines without reducing Indigenous disadvantage. As Australia’s first referendum in a generation approaches, the bipartisan support regarded as essential to successfully changing the constitution has yet to emerge and Indigenous leaders remain divided. Here are some questions and answers

Northern communities get support on food security from federal program

 By Marc Lalonde  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A two-year federal investment in northern food security is looking to provide support to remote Indigenous communities as they aim to determine and implement their own food security priorities, the government announced recently. The federal government announced March 14 it is signing grant agreements with 24 regional Indigenous governments and organizations to distribute over $120 million in funding from the to eligible communities. Through a two-year investment in two federal food-security programs, communities will be able to determine and implement their own food security priorities. The first program is the Harvesters Support Grant, which provides funding for traditional hunting, harvesting and food sharing activities, and has supported over 5,500 harvesters in northern communities since 2020. The second is the newly launched Community Food

Legal action against Saskatchewan First Act on the horizon 

By Shari Narine  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The Metis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) are both threatening legal action now that the province has passed the Saskatchewan First Act. This despite a last-minute amendment stating, “Nothing in the Act abrogates or derogates from the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada that are recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.” “I think at the end of the day what will happen is, with respect to the infringement of our rights, it will likely end up in the courts and we will see how constitutional it is,” said Michelle LeClair, vice president for MN-S. LeClair offered her remarks last Thursday in the legislature rotunda after the act received third

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