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Brantford Police looking for “vehicle of interest” after sexual assault

BRANTFORD, ONT-Brantford Police Service (BPS) wants to speak with  the driver of a vehicle of interest that was in the area where a sexual assault took place last week. BPS received a report of a sexual assault on Jan. 19 between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. near Grand River Ave. and Church St. The vehicle of interest is described as a dark-coloured SUV,  similar to a Ford Explorer with  a factory chrome detail and a sticker on its passenger side. The rear window also has the words similar to “mom” underneath. Police said the vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the incident. Police believe the driver may have information that could assist them in the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Meagan Hart

A dozen First Nations in B.C. funded to pursue clean energy projects

 By Rochelle Baker  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter A dozen First Nations in B.C. are taking strides to reduce their dependence on dirty diesel fuel and secure a clean energy future for their communities for generations to come. The First Nations have received a total of $7.1 million to develop alternative-energy projects and improve energy efficiency through a wide range of initiatives in the first round of funding via the provincial Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program, developed and operated in co-operation with the First Nations organizations New Relationship Trust and Coast Funds. The objective of the $29-million, three-year program is to support First Nations clean energy or efficiency projects, particularly for communities not connected to the provincial electrical grid or that rely on diesel fuel to generate electricity. Many of

Federal minister promises funding to bring water pipeline to Oneida

 By Calvi Leon  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter ONEIDA NATION OF THE THAMES – Canada’s Indigenous services minister made a promise to Oneida Nation of the Thames on Monday, pledging cash to connect the First Nation to a water supply system that would give residents clean drinking water. “The department and the government of Canada will be able to support this work financially,” Minister Patty Hajdu said in an interview. “The money is committed, and obviously, this is super important, not only to the Oneida Nation of the Thames but to the federal government in our work to make sure that everybody has access to clean drinking water.” Oneida, a 6,500-member community about 30 kilometres southwest of London, has been under a boil water advisory since 2019 and intermittently long before

Indigenous Women Empowered to Make History on Canadian Banknotes through Native Women’s Association of Canada’s ‘Change the Bill’

TORONTO, Jan.  23, 2023  — The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is proud to announce the launch of “Change the Bill”, a call to action that aims to promote reconciliation through art. Despite being the original inhabitants of this land, an Indigenous person has never been represented on a permanent Canadian banknote. The underrepresentation and marginalization of Indigenous women in Canadian society is a longstanding issue that must be addressed. Despite playing a crucial role in shaping the country’s history and culture, Indigenous women have been historically excluded from mainstream representation. It is imperative that Canadians prioritize and amplify the voices of Indigenous women in mainstream media and representation. In recognition of this important issue, The Local Gallery in Toronto will host an exhibition from January 20th to 28,

Mental health agencies in Kenora offering support to community

By Eric Shih  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Mental health service providers in Kenora are offering services in the wake of the announcement by Wauzhushk Onigum Nation that 171 plausible burials had been found at the former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School site. The Kenora Youth Hub announced it was holding space and providing access to counselling support and traditional medicines as needed. It said because of current events, it would extend counselling services for people outside its 12-25 year old age service range. The agency offers counselling on a walk-in basis daily Monday through Friday from noon until 6 p.m. The CMHA Kenora Branch posted a reminder that crisis workers were available 24/7. The Lake of the Woods District Hospital also offered its support to the people of Wauzhushk Onigum

Remote Labrador location potential training ground for astronauts 

By Hina Alam THE CANADIAN PRESS When scientists determined in the mid-1970s that the Mistastin crater in Labrador had lunar-like properties, the last Apollo mission had flown and it was too late for astronauts to take advantage of the site for training.   But now, as Artemis astronauts prepare for the next moon mission, one Canadian expert says the remote crater could provide vital insight into what awaits them.   Gordon Osinski, a professor in the department of Earth sciences at Western University in London, Ont., said Mistastin was found to be an impact crater in the mid-1970s.   An impact crater is created when an asteroid or meteorite crashes into the Earth, melting and recrystallizing rock through shock waves. One of the unique things about Mistastin, he said, is

Ottawa announces $2.8-billion settlement for rest of B.C. day scholar lawsuit

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER-The federal government says it’s come to a $2.8-billion agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two British Columbia first nations related to the collective harms caused by residential schools. Crown-Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller says the government signed the deal with plaintiffs representing 325 members of the Gottfriedson Band that opted into the suit. The lawsuit originally involved three classes of complainants and focused on harms suffered by students who attended the schools only during the day, but in 2021 all parties agreed to concentrate initial settlement efforts on survivors and their descendants to ensure they’d receive compensation in their lifetimes. Today’s announcement marks the settlement for the band class of plaintiffs. Former shishalh chief Garry Feschuk and former Tk’emlups te Secwepemc chief Shane Gottfriedson

`Significant increases’ in mental health hospitalizations for First Nations youth, StatCan says

By Matteo Cimellaro  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter First Nations youth were twice as likely to be hospitalized for mental health issues in 2011 as they were in 2006, according to a report published by Statistics Canada on Wednesday.   The study is the first to investigate changes in patterns of hospitalization among Indigenous children and youth over time in order to “more comprehensively report the health-care use of Indigenous populations,” the report said.   Though they were less likely to be hospitalized for injuries or other diseases, there were “significant increases” in mental health-related hospitalizations for nearly all youth groups over that time, including those on and off reserve, the report’s authors wrote.   “Follow-up into the future could evaluate these patterns for emerging trends,” the authors wrote.   In

Important case confirms that spiritual beliefs of Indigenous people can be considered by government decision makers

 By Shari Narine  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of a 2017 British Columbia government decision that turned down an application to allow a small-scale hydroelectric generation plant to operate on a creek that has spiritual significance for the Cheam First Nation. SCC’s refusal Jan. 12 to grant an application for leave to appeal was in keeping with the decisions rendered by the two lower BC courts. They denied developer and civil engineer Eric Redmond’s applications to set aside the B.C. decision made by the director of authorizations for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Redmond appealed the director’s decision arguing the “right to freedom of conscience and religion.” He said the director violated the state’s requirement

Ottawa announces $2.8 billion to settle remaining part of B.C. day scholar lawsuit

 By Brieanna Charlebois THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER- The federal government has come to a $2.8-billion agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two British Columbia first nations related to the collective harms caused by residential schools. At a Saturday morning news conference in Vancouver, Crown-Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Miller said the government signed  the deal with plaintiffs representing 325 nations that opted into the Gottfriedson Band suit. “While settlements that are being announced like these today do not erase or make up for the past … what it can do is help address the collective harm caused by Canada’s past — a deeply colonial one — in the loss of language, the loss of culture and the loss of heritage,” said Miller. The lawsuit originally involved three classes of complainants,

Federal cabinet set for three day retreat in Hamilton ahead of Parliament’s return 

By Mia Rabson THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA- The ongoing affordability crunch and the threat of a looming recession will be front and centre as the federal Liberal cabinet holds a post-holiday cabinet retreat this week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers will spend the next three days in a Hamilton hotel, hammering out their political and policy strategy for the weeks and months ahead. In a written statement last week, Trudeau said the retreat will have ministers look at ways to make life more affordable, and “seize new opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses.” He is fresh off a week of cross-country travel that focused heavily on Canada’s push to expand its battery and electric-vehicle industries, including mining the critical minerals they both rely on. But the retreat comes

Feds say ‘no willing partners’ to bring fire codes onto First Nations, including AFN 

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA-The federal government does not have a willing partner to find a way to introduce fire codes on First Nation reserves, a newly released document shows. The senior director for the Indigenous Fire Marshal Service, however, says there are steps Ottawa can take now to better protect communities. “Doing nothing is not an option,” said Blaine Wiggins. “Analyzing the problem that they already know is not an option.” A meeting scenario note for Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information legislation, details some of the sticking points the department says it has run into when it comes to improving fire prevention. The note was prepared ahead of an anticipated meeting with Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald

Man Killed In Single Vehicle Collision On Cockshutt Road

BRANT, ON – A 19-year-old Ancaster man has been killed in a motor vehicle accident Saturday, January 21, 2023 after the vehicle left the roadway and struck a hydro pole on Cockshutt Road in Brant County. On Saturday January 21, 2023, at approximately 7:51 a.m., Brant County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), County of Brant Fire Department and Brant-Brantford Paramedic Services responded to a collision on Cockshutt Road in the County of Brant.  OPP determined that a passenger vehicle had left the roadway and struck a hydro pole. One person was pronounced deceased at the scene. The deceased has been identified as  Quinn Haienr 19, of Ancaster. Cockshutt Road was closed for approximately seven hours while emergency crews and investigators were on scene. OPP West Region Traffic Incident Management Enforcement (TIME)

South Dakota tribe: Storm deaths ‘could have been prevented’

 By Heather Hollingsworth THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Honor Beauvais’ every breath was a battle as a snowstorm battered the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. The asthmatic 12-year-old’s worried aunt and uncle begged for help clearing a path to their cattle ranch near the community of Two Strike as his condition worsened, his fragile lungs fighting a massive infection. But when an ambulance finally managed to get through, Honor’s uncle already was performing CPR, said his grandmother, Rose Cordier-Beauvais. Honor, whose Lakota name is Yuonihan Ihanble, was pronounced dead last month at the Indian Health Service’s hospital on the reservation, one of six deaths that tribal leaders say “could have been prevented” if not for a series of systemic failures. Targets of the frustration include Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, the U.S.

Kanesatake hung out to dry on cement plant

By Marcus Bankuti  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter The government appeared unmoved by a letter submitted by Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) grand chief Victor Bonspille in December asserting the community’s right to be consulted on a potentially harmful cement plant project slated for L’Orignal, Ontario. Bonspille’s letter, sent to environment and climate change minister Steven Guilbeault, who oversees the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), raised environmental and health concerns on Kanesatake’s behalf. The site of the future Colacem Canada cement plant is only about 50 KM upstream from the community. According to IAAC spokesperson Anna Pittas, the province of Ontario gave instructions to Colacem about consulting First Nations communities that could be impacted by the project, including Kanesatake. Yet, according to Bonspille and former MCK chief Serge Otsi Simon,

First Nations Technical Institute keeps flying after flames destroy fleet By Benjamin Powless  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Back in the air First Nations Technical Institute keeps flying after flames destroy fleet After a devastating fire destroyed the First Nations Technical Institute’s hangar and fleet of airplanes last year, the FNTI is preparing to welcome a new cohort of students and a rebuilt hangar.   Located in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the Bay of Quinte near Belleville, Ontario, FNTI is an Indigenous-owned and -governed institute that has been around for over 35 years. They provide certificate, diploma and degree credentials through partnerships with colleges and universities in Ontario.   FNTI offers an “intensive professional delivery model for students,” Vice-President of Enrolment Management and Student Services Shari Beaver observed. “We were created

Meet the candidates in the Kanesatake by election

By Marcus Bankuti  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Tomorrow, January 21, Kanehsata’kehro:non will finally choose the seventh Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) chief in a by-election that has been anything but routine.   The seat was vacated last winter by Teiawenhniserahte Tomlinson after he accepted a job leading the Kanesatake Health Center (KHC), but the September 24 vote to replace him was abruptly cancelled on September 17, leading to battles on Council and in the community at large about how to proceed.   To help you decide how to cast your ballot, The Eastern Door has given the candidates a chance to make one last pitch to community members in their own words. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at United Church Hall and Ratihen:te High School.

How ground penetrating radar is used to find unmarked graves at residential schools 

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA- Ground-penetrating radar is the technology behind the discoveries of what are believed to be unmarked burial sites on the grounds of former residential schools, by providing communities with the first glimpses of physical evidence of possible graves. But it is not well understood, and is being used to fuel misinformation about the findings. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated the residential school system and its legacy estimated around 6,000 Indigenous children died at the federally funded institutions. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation maintains a student memorial register that includes more than 4,000 recorded names. Many experts believe the actual number to be much higher. Kisha Supernant is the director of the University of Alberta’s Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology

Ottawa’s Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to get an Indigenous name 

By Cindy Tran THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA- An Ottawa thoroughfare currently named after Canada’s first prime minister is expected to receive a new Indigenous name later this year, the National Capital Commission said Thursday. “I’m fully supportive of this decision,” Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said Thursday after the commission’s board of directors unanimously approved the recommendation to move forward with renaming the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. “I think this is something that Canadians and residents of Ottawa can be proud of once this process is complete,” Sutcliffe said. In June 2021, three Ottawa city councillors sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the federal government to facilitate an Indigenous-led consultation process to rename the parkway. They wrote the letter after ground-penetrating radar located some 200 suspected unmarked

Retired Cree senator stunned by ‘facade’ of Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond’s heritage 

By Brenna Owen THE CANADIAN PRESS Retired senator Lillian Dyck said she was “stunned” to see reports last fall questioning the Indigenous heritage of former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, whose story she had related to, and whose career she had celebrated. Dyck, who is Cree and Chinese Canadian, said in an interview on Thursday she thought “hallelujah” as Turpel-Lafond became Saskatchewan’s first Indigenous female judge in 1998. It was “wonderful” to know Turpel-Lafond had overcome the numerous challenges Indigenous women disproportionately face in their personal lives and careers, said the professor emeritus in psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. “And then I found out, it was all a facade.” Dyck said a CBC investigation convinced her that Turpel-Lafond lied about being Indigenous, specifically Cree, causing real harm by exploiting the

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