Blog 2 - The Turtle Island News
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Assembly of First Nations says $349B is needed to close infrastructure gap by 2030

The Assembly of First Nations says decades of underfunding and failed fiduciary duties have created a $349-billion infrastructure gap. The assembly says the gap desperately needs to be closed and is calling on the federal government for help in doing so. The report out today calls for $135 billion for housing, $5 billion for digital connectivity and another $209 billion for other infrastructure. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to close the infrastructure gap by 2030, but the federal auditor general concluded earlier this year that it’s only getting wider. And the assembly, which advocates on behalf of more than 600 First Nations chiefs, says the cost will balloon if no action is taken now. Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, whose department helped pen the report, says Canada is still committed...

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Six Nations marks 2024 solar eclipse

Getting an Eclipse tan during… solar eclipse 2024 By Lisa Iesse Writer Heavy clouds turned out to be just a tease when stargazers chasing the sun and the moon were treated to a totally “awesome” total solar eclipse in Six Nations. On April 8, NASA reported the total solar eclipse began in Mexico and was moving eastwards, making its way across the continent. Stargazers came to witness the celestial event wore funky solar viewing glasses, looked through cameras, pin-hole cameras, iphones, and telescopes. At Six Nations Parks and Recreation center, eager stargazers set up lawn chairs at the event organized by Cindy Martin, Traditional Wellness co-ordinator at Six Nations, and Feather Maracle, CEO of Six Nations library services. They handed out eclipse glasses, and booklets about the solar eclipse while...

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Numerous Indigenous burial sites in Norfolk County

By Lisa Iesse Writer Norfolk County’s Bayview cemetery, is within a one kilometre radius of First Nation burial sites dating back thousands of years. Tanya Hill-Montour, a Six Nations archaeological supervisor says there are “Indigenous burials all over” the area of Long Point near where the Bayview cemetery, built by European settlers in the 1800s, sits. Long Point is a beach landform on the north shore of Lake Erie. She said there are at least six burial sites in the Long Point area, just within a 1 km radius. The soft “sandy soil”, which is easy to dig, made the space ideal for First Nations ancestors to bury their loved ones back then, explained Montour. It’s also the site of the well known “Shaman of Long Point” an Indigenous man...

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Six Nations’ energy storage initiative discussed at Toronto forum of Indigenous projects

By Sam Laskaris Writer TORONTO-Matt Jamieson loves to tout Six Nations’ accomplishments. Jamieson, the CEO of the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, was in Toronto on Apr. 2 participating in the Indigenous Led Projects Forum. Jamieson was a panelist for a session titled Energy Storage Innovation at the two-day event, which was held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Jamieson was invited to the session to discuss Six Nation’s Oneida Storage Project, which is currently under construction. “It’s a $700-million project, 250-megawatt of four-hour cycle time so 1,000 megawatts of energy storage product, the largest of its kind in Canada,” Jamieson said of the initiative, expected to be operational by May of 2025. “And the third largest in North America. We’re very proud of it.” While countries...

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Farmers group hoping to revive almost $6 million grocery store and resource centre idea

The Six Nations Farmers Association is still trying to find funding to build a $5.6 million grocery store and a resource centre. Frank Montour and Jesse Porter gave Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) another presentation on what they hope will become the association’s “Six Nations Agricultural Resource Centre” (SNARC) and grocery store during SNEC’s Political Liaison meeting Monday (April 8) . The farmers were seeking support for the project they have been working on since 2017. “This is going to impact a lot of things in our community. It’s more than just a grocery store. There’s more here than just that. We’ve given you a lot of information, we want your participation. We don’t want you to come in with blinders on,” Montour said. “What do you see? How can...

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Our place in the universe

Wow. For all of us the 2024 eclipse will be talked about for some time to come. And for everyone that had a chance to step outside, don their safety glasses and look up it was a rare and amazing experience when the moon caught up with the sun. And it was also an enlighting experience. For one thing we didn’t expected it to get so cold. An odd reaction since we were about to watch the sun disappear. No sunlight to warm us as we stood outside so of course it would get cold. What else would happen if the sun went away? The light took on a different hue. And it was like a moment to come together as family or as they saw at the community centre...

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Graham and Smith selected to lead Rivermen in 2024

By Sam Laskaris Writer The Six Nations Rivermen have some new men at the helm. It was officially announced on the weekend that Derek Graham, whose lengthy list of accomplishments include winning a National Lacrosse League (NLL) championship with the Buffalo Bandits, has been named as the head coach of the local Senior B team. And Six Nations member Jay Smith has been appointed as the general manager for the Rivermen. Smith joins the organization via the Six Nations Tomahawks. Last year Smith served as both the head coach and the GM of the Tomahawks, a Senior C club that captured the provincial Senior Series Lacrosse championship. The Rivermen compete in the six-team Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL). The circuit also includes the Brooklin Merchants, Ennismore James Gang, Clearview Crushers, Owen...

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Stealth to compete in five-team, pre-season tournament in Plattsville

By Sam Laskaris Writer Members of the Six Nations Stealth are gearing up for a pre-season tournament this weekend. The local Junior C lacrosse squad will participate in the Wild West Shootout, which will be held on Saturday in Plattsville. The tournament will feature five clubs. Also taking part are the Wilmot Wild, Huntsville Hawks, Brantford Warriors and Orangeville Northmen. Wilmot is hosting the tourney. But since the community still has ice in its local rink the tourney will be held in nearby Plattsville. All games will be staged at the Plattsville Arena. Each team will play three matches on Saturday. The opening game for the Stealth will be at 9 a.m. against Brandford. The Stealth will then face off against Huntsville in a contest, which has an opening faceoff...

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Six Nations Fire preparing for its inaugural lacrosse season

By Sam Laskaris Writer The bench staff is in place. And now the Six Nations Fire, a new Junior B lacrosse squad, is looking for a few more players ahead of its inaugural season. The Fire will compete in the First Nations Junior B Lacrosse League. The Six Nations club is the only Canadian entry in the league. Others participating in the league are all based in the state of New York. They are the Tuscarora Tomahawks, Allegany Arrows, Onondaga Redhawks, Tonawanda Braves and Seneca WarChiefs. Six Nations’ Johnny Powless, who won numerous amateur and professional championships as a player, will serve as the head coach of the Fire. Powless’ younger brother Marshall, who is currently playing for the National Lacrosse League’s Albany FireWolves, will be the offensive co-ordinator for...

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Fort Wall restoration underway in Kahnawake

By Eve Cable  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter For many in Kahnawake, the Fort St-Louis Wall is an important piece of the community’s history. To some, it’s a reminder of the painful legacy of colonization, and should be torn down. To others, it’s a marker not to forget the past, and should be restored as a physical way to teach future generations about Kahnawake’s story. The wall has been crumbling for years, with sections of the wall removed in 2016 and 2019 after collapsing. Now, with funding from Parks Canada, the section of the wall that collapsed is being restored, with work having started at the beginning of this week. “It’s about preservation, not necessarily updating it with modern materials but rather trying our best to keep it to what it...

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Judge dismisses lawsuit of injured Dakota Access pipeline protester

 By Jack Dura THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BISMARCK, N.D. (AP)- A federal judge in North Dakota has dismissed the excessive-force lawsuit of a New York woman who was injured in an explosion during the protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. In orders on Wednesday and Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Traynor granted motions to dismiss the 2018 lawsuit by Sophia Wilansky, whose left forearm was injured in the blast from an “explosive munition” or a flashbang during a clash between protesters and law enforcement officers at a blocked highway bridge in November 2016. The lawsuit named Morton County, its sheriff and two officers. The judge said Wilansky’s 2023 amended complaint “plainly shows the officers use of the munitions and grenades were set in place to disperse Wilansky from the...

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Six Nations solar eclipse viewing event for community members only

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-The Six Nations Elected Council is holding a solar elipse viewing event Monday, Apruil 8, 2024 for community members only. A statement released Friday said the event is limited to community members only. “As excitement builds for the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, Six Nations of the Grand River (SNGR) is informing the public that our event to view the Total Solar Eclipse on the territory is intended for the benefit of community members.” The statement said SNEC is prioritizing community safety and has limited resources and infrastructure and is unable to “to support an influx of unexpected visitors. To keep everyone safe, we must ensure our roads are clear in case of an emergency,” the statement said. The event at Parks and Recreation...

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Former tribal leader in South Dakota convicted of defrauding tribe

(AP)- A jury on Thursday convicted a former tribal leader in South Dakota of defrauding his tribe out of thousands of dollars. After a three-day trial, the jury convicted former Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner, 38, of Pine Ridge, of six counts of wire fraud as well as larceny and embezzlement charges. A 2022 federal indictment alleged Bear Runner submitted vouchers while he was president in 2019 and 2020 for work-related travel he didn’t go on, and received about $80,000 in checks, which authorities said he took for his personal use, including gambling and hotel stays. “When government leaders abuse positions of power for personal financial gain, it’s the public that pays the price,” South Dakota U.S. Attorney Alison Ramsdell said in a statement. “In this case, Julian...

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An earthquake centered near New York City rattles, and unnerves, much of the Northeast

By Jennifer Peltz And Mike Catalini THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK (AP)- An earthquake shook the densely populated New York City metropolitan area Friday morning, with residents across the Northeast reporting rumbling in a region unaccustomed to it. The U.S. Geological Survey reported a quake at 10:23 a.m. with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8, centered near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, or about 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia. The agency’s figures indicated that the quake might have been felt by more than 42 million people. People from Baltimore to the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border reported feeling the ground shake. While there were no immediate reports of serious damage, officials were checking bridges and other major infrastructure, Amtrak slowed trains throughout the busy Northeast Corridor,...

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Charlie Angus, Parliament’s ‘punk rock politician,’ joins federal NDP exodus

(From left to right) NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Algoma–Manitoulin–Kapuskasing Carol Hughes and NDP MP for North Island-Powell River Rachel Blaney are pictured in a composite image. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby, THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick, THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) By Mickey Djuric THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA- Charlie Angus felt so much love Thursday, he joked that it felt like his funeral. The outspoken, often combative New Democrat MP triggered the outpouring when he declared he would not be seeking re-election after two decades representing his far-flung northern Ontario riding. The news _ fellow NDP stalwarts Carol Hughes and Rachel Blaney are also standing down, will come as a body blow to the federal party, which faces a stout electoral challenge from Pierre Poilievre’s resurgent Conservatives....

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 Federal government reaches $7M settlement with B.C. First Nation

CRANBROOK, B.C.- The federal government and a British Columbia First Nation have reached a $7-million settlement over a lumber grievance that dates back to 1942. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree and ?aqam Chief Joe Pierre Jr. announced the settlement Thursday, where Canada will pay the cash to compensate the First Nation for its economic losses from the timber surrender. The Crown-Indigenous Relations Ministry says in a statement the socio-economic gaps between First Nations and non-Indigenous communities exist because of “decades of colonial policies” that “led to the denial and dispossession of land and resources.” Anandasangaree says the latest settlement is a step made by the federal government to “be a good partner” in the development of Indigenous communities. The grievance stemmed from the surrender and sale of timber on Aq’am’s...

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Downtown biz leaders told education is key on road to reconciliation

 By Dave Baxter  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The leader of Manitoba’s largest First Nations advocacy organization spoke to downtown business leaders on Thursday about what can be done in Winnipeg’s downtown to create stronger relationships with Indigenous people and work towards reconciliation. Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Cathy Merrick addressed an event hosted by Downtown Winnipeg Biz. Merrick said she believes there cannot be meaningful work done towards reconciliation in downtown Winnipeg until all downtown-based organizations, businesses, business owners, and employees have a full and complete understanding of the history of First Nations people, but she added many are still not educated on that history. “Reconciliation requires cultural competency and sensitivity,” Merrick said. “This includes a commitment towards education and training to increase understanding and awareness of First...

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B.C. orders a stop to ship breaking pollution in Union Bay

 By Madeline Dunnett  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Deep Water Recovery, the company taking apart derelict vessels in Union Bay, has been hit with a pollution abatement order from the province. The company is illegally allowing toxic effluent to run off into Baynes Sound and the marine environment, B.C.’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has found. Discharges from the ship-breaking operations are collected in sump pits, which occasionally overflow with untreated effluent. Testing of that runoff confirmed high concentrations of pollutants, including copper, iron, zinc and cadmium. “I am satisfied with reasonable grounds that a substance is causing pollution on or about lands occupied by Deep Water Recovery Ltd,” wrote Jennifer Mayberry, Director of Operations and Compliance for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The ministry has...

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“We don’t need saviours, we need conspirators” Time to move past land acknowledgements to solidarity statements, says educator

 By Brock Weir  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Land acknowledgements have become a routine part of our public life, a regular feature at cultural and political events, concerts, and even ribbon-cuttings. But what do these words mean? Who wrote them? What do they convey? Those are questions Dr. Ruth Green, an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at York University, is asking the community to consider ahead of a talk later this month at the Aurora Public Library (APL). Dr. Green, a member of the Haudenosaunee nation, will explore these questions at APL on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m., encouraging a move away from Land towards Solidary Statements. Ahead of the talk, she shared as much as land acknowledgements are ostensibly to further efforts towards Truth & Reconciliation,...

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