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Male Inmate Escapes Custody in Saskatoon While on Temporary Absence

On December 14, 2017, William John KEEWATIN (DOB: May 31, 1990) reported to the Saskatoon Community Training Residence and was deemed to be in violation of his temporary absence.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., KEEWATIN escaped while staff were in the process of returning him to the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.  KEEWATIN had been living in the community on temporary absence from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre since November 29, 2017, and was scheduled for full release on December 29, 2017.

KEEWATIN’S description is as follows:
Height: 5’10” = 178 cm
Weight: 170 lbs = 77 kg
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Scars: Above right eye

View Photo 1

View Photo 2

KEEWATIN was serving 236 days for Breach of a Conditional Sentence.  Saskatoon Police Service has been notified.

If you have information on the whereabouts of this individual, please contact Saskatoon Police Service, your local police service or any detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  KEEEWATIN is not considered a threat to public safety.


For more information, contact:

Noel Busse
Phone: 306-787-8959


An emotional thing:’ Returning sacred objects lifts Indigenous communities – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 15, 2017 

By Bob Weber


Ryan Heavy Hand had been helping First Nations bring home ceremonial objects from museums for years, but this call from an institution in Oregon was a first.

“The museum had a beaver bundle,” said Heavy Hand, referring to one of the Blackfoot people’s most sacred and ceremonially important objects.

Many institutions were reluctant for such items to leave their collections, but not this one.

“(This museum) actually phoned the tribe and said, ‘Can somebody come and pick this up? Our staff are hearing animals sounds in the storage .. where the bundle was kept.

“’They’d just like you to come and take it and bring it back home.”’

First Nations have been repatriating items for decades now. Masks, rattles, bundles, medicine pipes, bentwood boxes and headdresses in the hundreds have left urban museum cases and collection storehouses for the lands where they were made.

And, when they arrive, they no longer sit behind glass. Many have resumed their place at the heart of Indigenous cultural life. They have become spiritual and artistic inspirations to the descendants of those who made them.

“It definitely gave life to a lot of people,” said Jerry Potts Jr., a Piikani elder from southern Alberta, who was involved in many repatriations of Blackfoot ceremonial items. “There’s universities and collections all over that have given stuff back to the communities that’s back in full use right now.”

The movement home began in the 1970s, driven by the desire of young Indigenous people to revive their ceremonies and traditions before the elders who knew them died. Many of those ceremonies had one-of-a-kind objects at their heart and many, if not most, were in museums, universities and private collections.

Getting them back was hard work, said Heavy Hand.

In 1994, he sat down with a fat directory of museums worldwide and sent out 4,000 form letters asking them if they had any Blackfoot material. Almost 200 museums wrote back saying they did.

“There were many, many thousands of items,” he said. “All of the major museums in Canada have really big Blackfoot collections.”

On the West Coast, Andy Wilson, co-founder of the Skidegate and Haida repatriation committees, was getting summer students to look through museum catalogues and write letters.

“They had to be proactive about it,” he said. “Now, museums are starting to contact First Nations.

Sometimes negotiations took months; sometimes they took years.

Museums were reluctant to part with some artifacts or were uncertain about where they should go. First Nations had to work out who was entitled to receive the material and how the transfer should be done.

They were determined. Bundles are considered to be living things that gain strength from use and which connect their owners to their creation myths.

The objects started coming home. And, as soon as they did, the ceremonies and societies that depended on them resumed.

In 1992, a thunder medicine pipe bundle was used for the first time in 30 years. A decade or so later, the Blackfoot had possession of and were using all 25 bundles associated with the Horn society.

“I don’t think (that society) has been complete since about 1923,” wrote the late Kainai elder Frank Weasel Head in a recent book on repatriation titled “We Are Coming Home.”

For Wilson, repatriation involved artifacts and human remains. The Haida had almost lost the art of making bentwood boxes, used, among other things, for burials.

Wilson and others used the returned boxes _ and totem poles, drums, masks, paddles and rattles _ to relearn how to make them.

The boxes were painted, but not just with any design.

“It’s got to be your family crest,” said Wilson. “And if you don’t know what your crests are, then you have to go and ask your family about it. You have to open that line of communication and history.”

The return of the bentwood boxes also led people to recover the songs and language appropriate to their use.

“It’s an emotional thing,” Wilson said. “All this stuff was beaten out of them (and) when they’re doing it, they realize how much they’ve lost, so there’s quite a bit of grief in there.”

For the Blackfoot, repatriation has meant rejuvenation. Many of the traditional societies _ the Brave Dogs, the Horns _ have bounced back.

Potts said his reserve used to have the resources for one pipe ceremony a year, but now they can do two or three on the same day.

“There’s people that make vows to (bundles) for sickness, for good luck. There’s been nothing less than miracles that have happened from some of the ceremonial protocols.”

The ripples of repatriation, said Wilson, spread wider than anyone expected.

“One of the things we didn’t realize with repatriation was it said ‘Enough is enough. We’re not going to allow you to take away our ancestors, our sacred artifacts, our knowledge.’

“If we had all day, I couldn’t explain to you what it did for us.”


Better airstrip needed after northern Saskatchewan plane crash: First Nations – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 15, 2017 

FOND DU LAC, Sask. _ First Nations chiefs say a plane crash in northern Saskatchewan demonstrates the need for upgraded runways and all-season roads in remote communities.

A West Wind Aviation turboprop crashed Wednesday night with 22 passengers and three crew members aboard a flight from Fond du Lac to Stony Rapids.

No one was killed but at least five people were seriously injured and needed to be airlifted to hospital.

Fond du Lac Chief Louie Mercredi says the crash shows the airstrip in the fly-in community must be upgraded.

He says the community has one of the shortest runways in northern Saskatchewan, even though the size of planes using the airstrip continue to grow.

Mercredi says they could also use an all-season road so people have a choice about whether they want to fly in and out of the community.

“We as leaders need to sit down with the province regarding all-season roads and upgrades to our runways,” Mercredi said.

There is an ice road in the winter, but the chief says many people still fly.

Prince Albert General Council vice-chief Chris Jobb said similar concerns need to be addressed in other remote Saskatchewan communities such as Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake.



Escape and Recapture of Inmate from Willow Cree Healing Lodge

December 15, 2017 – Duck Lake, Saskatchewan – Correctional Service Canada

On December 13, 2017 staff members at Willow Cree Healing Lodge, a minimum security federal institution, determined that Dean Lachance had left the property without authorization. He was immediately apprehended by CSC staff members.

CSC is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Ensuring the safety and security of institutions, staff, and public remains the highest priority in the operations of the federal correctional system.



Kelly Dae Dash

A/Media Relations and Outreach Advisor

Regional Headquarters Prairies

(306) 659-9215


Regina elder told she’s not allowed to smudge in her home by property manager – CBC

Traditional spiritual practice vital to her everyday life, says Nellie Rider

Dec 14, 2017

A Regina woman says she was shocked and confused when she received a letter from her property manager that said smudging was not allowed in her home.

The letter, which came last week, states smoking or creating smoke indoors is not allowed on the property.

“This also means smudging,” a spiritual act common to many Indigenous cultures, “is not allowed indoors,” the letter adds.

“I was very shocked,” said Nellie Rider, who is an elder from Carry The Kettle First Nation, roughly 80 kilometres east of the city.

Read More:

Fond du Lac RCMP – Plane Crash

December 13 , 2017
Fond du Lac, Saskatchewan

10:30 p.m. December 13 Update:

Fond du Lac RCMP can now confirm that all 22 passengers and 3 crew members aboard the West Wind Aviation flight out of Fond du Lac have been accounted for and removed from the scene of the crash with no fatalities reported. There was no explosion or fire. A number of people have suffered injuries; some serious enough to require air ambulance services which are currently en route. The RCMP is not in a position to provide specific medical information.

No photos or video of the scene will be made available by the RCMP.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been advised and will be taking over the investigation into the cause of the crash.

The RCMP would like to thank all agencies who are assisting in this incident.

8:05 p.m. December 13:

At approximately 6:15 p.m. this evening, Fond du Lac RCMP responded to reports of a downed aircraft near the Fond du Lac airport.

A fixed-wing plane carrying approximately 22 passengers along with 3 crew members had crashed shortly after take-off from Fond du Lac. RCMP members located the aircraft less than a kilometer from the airstrip. Multiple injuries are being reported. At this time, there does not appear to be any fatalities. We cannot confirm further details at this time as emergency responders are focused on the rescue effort.

RCMP members from Stony Rapids are assisting as are local emergency responders. Additional emergency/rescue resources are on the way to the scene from Royal Canadian Air Force and Search and Rescue.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been advised and will be taking over the investigation into the cause of the crash.



Cumberland College: Great Stocking Stuffer!

December 12, 2017

In need of a 2018 calendar?  Cumberland College and the North East School Division (NESD) partnered to develop the “Celebration of Indigenous Art Calendar”.   Students from NESD and the College submitted a variety of artwork using different media.  Proceeds from the sale of the calendars will go towards a scholarship for an NESD student furthering their education at Cumberland College.

The calendars cost $20 (including taxes).  You can pick up your calendar at Cumberland College in Nipawin, Melfort or Tisdale or the NESD office in Melfort.


First Nations woman comes forward alleging Saskatchewan hospital partially sterilized her – APTN

December 13, 2017

A First Nations woman has come forward with startling allegations of medical malpractice.

She alleges that 40 years ago, doctors from a Saskatchewan Health Regional Hospital performed an emergency procedure on her when she was approximately six months pregnant.

She said she did not consent to this.

The procedure resulted in the loss of her baby and left her partially sterilized at the age of 15.

Doctors never told her what happened to the baby.

Read More:

U of S-led Global Water Futures announces 21 new projects

SASKATOON – Global Water Futures (GWF), the world’s largest university-led freshwater research program, has announced 21 new projects across Canada—valued at over $10 million in total—to address critical water security challenges, from the melt of mountain glaciers and the thaw of northern permafrost, to prairie food production, river basin prediction and the health of the Great Lakes.

“With the hydrology of Canada and all cold regions changing dramatically due to climate change, these 21 new projects will help us understand, diagnose and predict change, and develop new tools, such as sensors, analytical procedures, and computer models to support water-related decision making,” said John Pomeroy, director of GWF and professor of hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

“The outcomes of this torrent of new science will include a better understanding of snow and rain storms, floods and droughts, as well as how to better measure and manage the quality of source waters; how deep groundwater is affected by the surface; how water affects human health in Indigenous communities; how to improve water governance; and even how to encourage global water citizenship,” he said. “This new knowledge will let us develop a picture of what Canada’s water might look like and how we can best manage water for the future.”

The U of S will lead nine of the new projects, with the University of Waterloo leading six, McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University each leading two, and the University of Quebec at Montreal and University of Manitoba each leading one.

Funded by a Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant, GWF now has 33 projects underway across Canada, valued at over $170 million and involving 15 universities and 172 partners.

Over the next three years, GWF will train and hire 450 researchers and scientists, many as graduate students, to work on these projects and provide core support for the research program.

“We have entered the ‘Great Thaw’ due to rapid climate change, and with economic growth and changing ways in which we use the land, we now have more damaging droughts, fires, floods, algal blooms, and water quality advisories than in the past, yet also emerging opportunities for food and energy production through enlightened water management,” said Pomeroy.

He noted that water is “Canada’s most precious natural resource—one that drives our economy, supports our communities and is the basis for our ecosystems and life itself.”

For more information on these projects, visit our website at:

About Global Water Futures

Global Water Futures is a seven-year, University of Saskatchewan-led research program established within the Global Institute for Water Security in 2016 and funded in part by a $77.8-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The research goal is to transform the way communities, governments and industries in Canada and other cold regions of the world prepare for and manage increasing water-related threats. The program was developed and funded in part by the U of S with three key partners – the University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University.


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan-led projects:

  1. Collaborative Modelling Framework for Water Futures and Holistic Human Health Effects, Lalita Bharadwaj, University of Saskatchewan
  2. Old Meets New: Subsurface Hydrogeological Connectivity and Groundwater Protection, Grant Ferguson, University of Saskatchewan
  3. Omic and Chemical Fingerprinting Methodologies using Ultrahigh-Resolution Mass Spectrometry for Geochemistry and Healthy Waters, Paul Jones, University of Saskatchewan
  4. Short‐Duration Extreme Precipitation in Future Climate, Yanping Li, University of Saskatchewan
  5. Diagnosing Policy and Governance Effectiveness for Agricultural Water Management During Times of Change, Philip Loring, University of Saskatchewan
  6. Crowdsourcing Water Science, Graham Strickert, University of Saskatchewan
  7. Adaptation Governance and Policy Changes in Relation to a Changing Moisture Regime Across the Southern Boreal Forest, Colin Laroque, University of Saskatchewan
  8. Hydrological Processes in Frozen Soils, Andrew Ireson, University of Saskatchewan
  9. Improved Estimates of Wetland Evaporation, Warren Helgason, University of Saskatchewan

Other Canadian university-led projects:

  1. Linking Water Governance in Canada to Global Economic, Social and Political Drivers, Rob de Loe, University of Waterloo
  2. Evaluation of ice models in Large Lakes using Three-Dimensional Coupled Hydrodynamic-Ice Models, Kevin Lamb, University of Waterloo
  3. Linking Stream Network Process Models to Robust Data Management Systems for the Purpose of Land-Use Decision Support, Bruce MacVicar, University of Waterloo
  4. Winter Soil Processes in Transition, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, University of Waterloo
  5. Linking Multiple Stressors to Adverse Ecological Responses Across Watersheds, Mark Servos, University of Waterloo
  6. Significance of Groundwater Dynamics within Hydrologic Models, Walter Illman, University of Waterloo
  7. Southern Forests Water Futures, Altaf Arain, McMaster University
  8. Sensors and Sensing Systems for Water Quality Monitoring, Ravi Selvaganapathy, McMaster University
  9. Global Water Citizenship – Integrating Networked Citizens, Scientists and Local Decision Makers, Colin Robertson, Wilfrid Laurier University
  10. SAMMS: Sub-Arctic Metal Mobility Study, Brent Wolfe, Wilfrid Laurier University
  11. Storms and Precipitation Across the Continental Divide Experiment (SPADE), Julie Theriault, University of Quebec at Montreal
  12. Diagnosing and Mitigating Hydrologic Model Uncertainty in High-Latitude Canadian Watersheds, Tricia Stadnyk, University of Manitoba


University of Regina honoured with Eagle Staff presentation

On December 11, 2017, Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Regina was honoured  to receive on behalf of the University, an Eagle Staff created by Elder Roy Bison and his son Teddy Bison, a student in the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance.

“It is a tremendous honour for our University to be presented with an Eagle Staff, which is traditionally reserved for a warrior or leader who has earned distinction through service to the community,” says Timmons. “As we continue our efforts toward Indigenization and reconciliation in the coming years, we will do our utmost to live up to this honour and build an inclusive, respectful campus community where we are proud to say and demonstrate that we are all treaty people.”

The Eagle Staff is a sacred symbol that is held in high esteem and used for ceremonial purposes much like a nation’s flag. Each Eagle Staff is unique to the people who created it, to the people to whom it is given and, to the time and place where it was made. The University’s staff includes eagle feathers representing the President’s and Vice-Presidents’ offices as well as each of the University’s faculties. It will be housed in the Office of Indigenization.

“The Eagle Staff is representative of a nation. In our traditional societies when visitors approached an encampment or community the presence of the Eagle Staff meant that the visitors were coming in peace and respect. In contemporary times, the Eagle Staff represents the ideals and values of the owner. It may represent a history. In this case, the Eagle Staff is a powerful symbol of the relationship with the indigenous people of this territory, ” Elder Roy Bison says.

“The Eagle Staff, which is held in very high regard, contains stories, teachings, and most importantly identity,” Teddy Bison says. “I felt the University of Regina needed an Eagle Staff to recognize the perseverance of First Nations students who continue to come through these hallways to obtain their degrees and want to better their lives for themselves, families, and communities.”

The University’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan: peyak aski kikawinaw, Cree for “We are one with mother earth,” includes the overarching commitment to Indigenization and increasing Indigenous student access to and success at the University.

Some of the many actions undertaken to Indigenize the University include:

•    incorporating Indigenous content and ways of knowledge into curriculum, lectures and research;

•    establishing the Aboriginal Student Centre to support Indigenous students’ transition to university, retention and success;

•    providing streets and buildings with Indigenous names;

•    creating the Office of Indigenization and hiring an Indigenous Lead who reports directly to the President; and

•    establishing an Indigenous Advisory Circle composed of Indigenous faculty, staff and students whose role is to provide advice and guidance on the University’s Indigenization efforts.

In total, 1,943 Indigenous students were registered for classes in Fall 2017, comprising 13 per cent of the University’s student population. This is a 91 per cent increase in the number of students who have self-identified as Aboriginal compared to 2010.

“I’m optimistic that our continuing efforts to Indigenize the University are having a positive impact, there is still more we can and will do,” Timmons said. “For example as part of the Eagle Staff ceremony today the University installed two Treaty Four flags in the hallway of the Research and Innovation Centre. They now hang beside the Aboriginal Student Centre and Office of Indigenization in recognition that as Canadians we are all treaty people.”

The University of Regina Main and College Avenue Campuses, the City of Regina and most of southern Saskatchewan are encompassed by Treaty Four, which also extends into Manitoba and Alberta.


About The University of Regina:

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota Nakota nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 15,000 students study within the University’s 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees. In 2017, the University of Regina was ranked in the Top 200 Best Young Universities in the world by Times Higher Education.

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