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Inuit Recognition Award, Northern Travel Award Presented At ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting

December 6, 2019, Halifax, Nova Scotia – Members of the ArcticNet Inuit Advisory Committee presented the 2019 Inuit Recognition Award yesterday evening at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Halifax. The award recognizes Inuit who are contributing to meaningful involvement in Inuit Nunangat research. This year’s recipient is Dr. Robert Way of Nunatsiavut.  

Way is an Inuk, born and raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University. He has conducted research in Nunatsiavut for more than a decade. For his master’s work, he studied glaciers in the Torngat Mountains and his doctorate research looked at the relationship between permafrost and vegetation.  

“Through his commitment to developing and implementing research projects with full and proper partnership with Inuit, Robert Way is helping to reshape the research dynamic in Inuit Nunangat. Academic researchers should take notice of the work that he is doing and learn from the way that he engages and works with Labrador Inuit,” said Antoni G. Lewkowicz, President of the Canadian Permafrost Association, who nominated Way for the award. 

“Through the leadership of researchers like Robert Way, we come closer to our goal of Inuit self-determination in research and we build our capacity to bring about substantive change in the policies and processes that determine our relationship with research in Canada. I congratulate Dr. Way on this well-deserved recognition,” said Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. 

The Inuit Advisory Committee also presents the Northern Travel Award, which provides funding for eight individuals to attend the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting. The recipients are Kayla Wyatt of Nain, Nunatsiavut; Elena Berthe of Tasiujaq, Nunavik; Charlotte Irish of Tuktoyaktuk in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region; Karen Nutarak of Pond Inlet, Nunavut; Josiah Nakoolak of Coral Harbour, Nunavut; and Joe Tulurialik of Taloyoak, Nunavut; plus Chantal Emiktaut of Iqaluit and Tundra Kuliktana of Cambridge Bay, both students of the Environmental Technology Program at Nunavut Arctic College. 


Statement by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the Honourable Dan Vandal and the Honourable Marc Miller on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (December 6, 2019) – The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Northern Affairs, Dan Vandal, and the Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller, issued the following statement today:

“Thirty years ago today, on December 6, 1989, at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, 14 women were murdered and many others were wounded in a mass-shooting. These women were targeted simply because they were women. December 6th has been designated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women to honour the memory of the women who lost their lives and to bring Canadians together to defend the rights of women and girls and to end all forms of violence against them.

In Canada, while all women and girls face an unacceptable risk of violence, research shows that Indigenous women and girls are victim to dramatically higher rates of violence. Ending violence against Indigenous women and girls is one of the most urgent issues in Canada today.

The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous partners and provincial and territorial governments to co-develop a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people. Through co-development, the resulting distinctions-based National Action Plan will be rooted in, and will address the unique needs, experiences, and cultural contexts of Indigenous peoples and communities. It will also represent the diverse regional perspectives and needs of communities across Canada, and the views of family members of victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S people is something we must all work together to achieve so that everyone in Canada can feel safe from violence and empowered to be themselves and achieve their goals.”


For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal,
Minister of Northern Affairs

Kevin Deagle
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


Marcus Powlowski – Speech from Throne Sets Positive Direction – Net Newsledger

December 6, 2019

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – “This Government’s Throne Speech placed special emphasis on working with Canada’s different regions to improve our economy. As a Member of Parliament for a northern and rural riding like ours, I am happy to see this focus. Our towns and First Nations face different challenges than those down south, so we need local solutions for local problems.

The speech also reiterated much of what was in the platform that our Government was elected on. Being a throne speech meant that it was by tradition a broad, big-picture document, offering a general roadmap for our future legislative work. This work will include our plans to address climate change by reducing our carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, making life more affordable for working and middle-class Canadians through tax cuts and social spending, committing to dealing with gang violence, substance abuse, and mental health, and working towards implementing national pharmacare. Of importance also was our Government’s commitment to advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities, including eliminating all remaining long-term water advisories by 2021.

I am glad to be starting the new legislative session. The first act of this Government will be passing a tax cut for working and middle-class Canadians. I look forward to getting this done for the people of Thunder Bay-Rainy River.

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Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald Acknowledges the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

(December 6, 2019) Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald and the Chiefs of Ontario acknowledge the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6, 2019, and we remember the massacre of 14 female students at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, thirty years ago today on December 6, 1989, by an act of gender-based violence. Today, we mourn the loss and honour the memory of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, and every woman, girl, and people of diverse gender identities that continue to face violence and discrimination based on their gender.

“This is a day to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence,” said Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald. “While also commemorating and honouring the lives of those 14 young women, and ensuring that this will never happen again.”

In 1991, the Parliament of Canada announced December 6 to be the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. This day represents a time to reflect on the violence and discrimination faced by women in our society and across the world. It is also a day for our communities and individuals to come together to heal and speak out against  violence against women and its subsequent impact on victims and their families and friends.

“The Chiefs of Ontario have been working towards combating all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination within our communities and we want to ensure that we are fully involved in the development of a coordinated and comprehensive National Action Plan to implement the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, one that is based on the promotion and prevention of all forms of violence and founded on community-based approaches that will address the high rates violence and discrimination felt by women, girls and all people of diverse genders.

I’m echoing my previous statement this week, “Justice must be high on the agenda of the new parliament.’ We must continue this dialogue and call for accountability and responsibility and forge a gender-balanced safe space for all.

As we stand behind the families today and keep the missing and murder Indigenous women and girls in our minds and hearts, we must continue to on this journey and work together toward a more just and inclusive environment where the youth can grow up knowing they are valued and free from all forms of gender-based violence. Today, I encourage all to attend a candlelight vigil and honour the lives and memories of all who have been harmed or lost due to senseless violence, discrimination, and misogyny. “


Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald

“As Canada stands against the horrendous atrocities committed towards women on December 6, 1989, in Montreal, the Ontario First Nations Women’s Caucus stands against all the gender-based genocidal violence, terrorism and crimes committed against Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) across Turtle Island. As revealed in the National Inquiry Report on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, these tragedies have occurred far too often and have been unnoticed by Canada for far too long. We share in your passion as we say, Not One More Death; Not One More Motherless Child…Not One More! We are working on breathing life into MMIWG Calls for Justice to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. Canada, will you stand beside us?”

Sandra Montour

Six Nations, Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services

Ontario First Nations Women’s Caucus


The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Media Contact: Scott Cavan, or cell: 416-522-0706


Reparations for slavery and genocide should be used to address health inequities: U of T expert – U of T News

As soon as I entered Elmina Castle (the dungeons) in Cape Coast in Ghana, I felt haunted by over 400 years of brutality and the enslavement and genocide of millions of African and Indigenous Peoples. That violence still impacts the health of Black and Indigenous folks today.

The literal branding of Black people through mostly European state-sanctioned chattel transatlantic slavery by the Portuguese, British, French, Swedish, Dutch and Danish among others, haunted me in those dungeons. Colonialists built churches on top and below prisons, chambers, pits and caves where my ancestors were chained, branded, raped, killed and violated.

The international decade for people of African descent (2015-24), the “year of return,” encourages Africans living in the diaspora to travel back to Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast) to embrace their African heritage and ancestry.

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U of G Releases Annual Report on National Femicide Rates

A woman or girl is killed every three days in Canada, with a total of 118 killed by violence in 2019, according to the latest report from the University of Guelph-led Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability (CFOJA).

The annual #CallItFemicide report provides statistics and insights into the killing of women and girls in Canada. Tracking cases of femicide – defined as the killing of women and girls, primarily but not exclusively by men – to understand its causes and consequences is the goal of CFOJA, an initiative of U of G’s Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Response to Violence headed by Prof. Myrna Dawson.

“While we’ve seen some significant transformations since the Montreal massacre in terms of legislation and policy change, it’s evident that we are still having the same discussions underscoring the need to prioritize changing stereotypes, attitudes and beliefs about violence against women and girls and femicide so that legislation and policy can make a difference,” said Dawson. “Right now, these changes are on paper more than on the ground.”

The second annual report found that nine of every 10 women killed in Canada last year had at least one child. Women aged 24-54 are over-represented in numbers of killings, and women over 65 are now over-represented as victims as well – a change from 2018.

“We’ve identified particular groups of women and girls who are at risk of femicide, especially the increasing vulnerability of older women, which is concerning in a rapidly aging population,” said Dawson. “Are we set up to address the basic needs of these women, including keeping them safe from violence? This is a question we need to ask ourselves quickly.”

The highest rates of killing of women and girls by violence in Canada continues to be in Nunavut, followed by Yukon, Manitoba and Alberta. The lowest rates were in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In total, 38 per cent of women and girls were killed in non-urban regions, including small towns as well as rural, remote and northern areas of the country.

“Indigenous women and girls continue to be over-represented among victims of femicide despite the increased attention to their marginalization and vulnerability in recent years,” said Dawson. “This means we need less talk and more action and a particular focus on the calls for justice identified in the final report of the MMIWG inquiry this past June.”

The report found 87 per cent of the primary accused person in the killings were male and 13 per cent female.

Where the nature of the relationship between the victim and the accused was known, 57 per cent of the primary victims in 2019 shared a current or former relationship with the accused – killings known as intimate partner femicide.

Among those killings, 36 per cent were by shooting, 29 per cent by stabbing and 19 per cent by beatings. Cause of death information was missing in just over half of all cases, the report states.

“We continue to see the role of firearms in femicide particularly in non-urban areas,” said Dawson. “But the risk of firearms to women is glaringly absent from current discussions about firearms regulation and control, which focus on handguns and gangs. Long guns and rifles are a risk to women primarily from current or former male partners.”

The report looked at incidents involving males accused or convicted of killing a total of 431 women and girls between 2016 and 2019. The highest rates of such killings were in Nunavut over the four-year period, followed by Yukon and Saskatchewan.

The report also found over the four-year period, killings of women and girls in non-urban areas were 42 per cent, higher than in 2019 alone. Where information was known, shooting was the most common method of killing over the four years at 32 per cent, slightly lower than in 2019.

Where the victim-accused relationship was known, a slightly lower proportion (53 per cent) was intimate partner femicide during the four years than in 2019 (57 per cent), and a higher proportion was acquaintance and stranger femicide.

More than half (55 per cent) of women and girls were killed in their own home or the home they shared with the accused.

The U of G project is the first of its kind in Canada and was created to fill a gap in Canada’s tracking and monitoring of femicide rates. The CFOJA was established after a call for action from the UN’s Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner Special Rapporteur on violence against women.

“Accurately documenting femicide and violence against women requires a shift in how we conceptualize data collection and measurement so that it reflects violence prevention rather than purely administrative needs,” said Dawson. “Currently, the lives of women and girls are at risk because we are not collecting the right information or we aren’t making the minimal information we have available to those who can use it for prevention.”


Prof. Myrna Dawson


York U – Colloquium: Next steps in supporting Canada’s Indigenous languages

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2019 – What needs to happen next after federal legislation in support of Canada’s 90 Indigenous languages passed this summer? York University’s Glendon Campus will host a national colloquium this weekend looking at the future of Indigenous languages, how the legislation should be enacted, and what work still needs to be done.

Many of Canada’s Indigenous languages are considered endangered. As 2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, the colloquium will bring Indigenous policy researchers and practitioners from across Canada together to discuss what the legislation will mean for Canada’s Indigenous languages, and how to support these languages at the federal, provincial and local levels. The colloquium, Canada’s Indigenous Language Policies in the Wake of Bill C-91, will run from Dec. 6 to 8.

Several keynote speakers will address various aspects of the legislation and the importance of protecting Indigenous languages going forward, including:

Stephen Gagnon of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the federal ministry responsible for implementing the legislation, will deliver the keynote addressing questions about the future of Canada’s Indigenous languages Friday at 6:45 p.m.

Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and representing the Inuit of Nunavut, will deliver the keynote plenary address Saturday at 9 a.m. on “The Threatened State of Inuktut in Nunavut Today: What is needed to help it flourish? followed by a Q&A.

Roger Jones, senior advisor of the Assembly of First Nations, will deliver his speech at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday.

The colloquium, organized by Glendon English Professor Ian Martin and Amos Key Jr., vice-provost of Indigenous engagement at Brock University, with the support of Glendon Anishinaabemowin instructor Maya Chacaby, is a continuation of a similar event held at Glendon in 2016. This year’s colloquium looks at what has been achieved in the three years since the first one and next steps.

For a full schedule of speakers, visit the Canada’s Indigenous Language Policies in the Wake of Bill C-91 website.


York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U’s fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contacts:

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-272-6317,

Ian Martin, Glendon Campus English Professor and colloquium co-organizer, 416-460-5241


Supreme Court sides with Ontario against previous owners of abandoned Dryden mercury disposal site – APTN News

December 6, 2019

Canada’s Supreme Court sided with Ontario Friday on who bears responsibility for remediating a mercury waste disposal site on Ontario’s Wabigoon and English rivers.

The contamination damaged the health and livelihood of multiple generations on Grassy Narrows and Islington First Nations downstream.

In a written decision, the court concluded Resolute FP Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, previous owners of the site, have to comply with 2011 directorial order from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to “repair the waste disposal site, keep monitoring and testing, and take steps to prevent and deal with leaks.”

This means, the companies will have to begin paying for this process

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Conestoga College: Applications open for free pre-apprenticeship program

December 5, 2019

Conestoga is now accepting applications for the tuition-free Pre-Apprenticeship Welder/Metal Fabricator program. Funded by the Government of Canada, the program will prepare students for in-demand careers and will provide a head start for those wishing to achieve apprenticeship certification.

The program will run full-time for 25 weeks starting April 2020 at Conestoga’s Waterloo campus, and includes multiple trade exposure with Welder and Metal Fabricator common core Level 1 apprenticeship in-class training. Students will also complete an additional eight-week practical work placement.

Enrolment is limited to 24 spaces and interested candidates are required to attend an information session where program faculty will be available to answer questions and provide a tour of the shop. Information sessions run from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Waterloo campus on the following dates:

Visit the School of Trades and Apprenticeship website for more information, or contact Kristen Goetz at 519-824-9390, ext. 5484 or 519-885-0300, ext. 5484.


CHRA Board of Directors Approves New 4 Year Strategic Plan

December 5, 2019

On November 13, the CHRA Board of Directors approved a new 4-year Strategic Plan (PDF) to guide the organization between 2020 and 2024. The Plan was developed with the input of members, the CHRA Board of Directors, and staff. It contains five Key Result Areas – Advocacy, Policy and Research, Member Services, Strategic Partnerships, and Organizational Excellence, which will focus on and prioritize CHRA activities over the coming 4 years.

Thank you to all CHRA members who took the time to provide feedback and input into the development of this Strategic Plan.


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