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Regina event showcases Indigenous women’s voices on day that controversial lecture had been scheduled – CBC

Organizing group Matriarchs on Duty inspired by traditional role of women

Jan 23, 2020

An event at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina Thursday is bringing together women to have their voices heard.

Speaking for Ourselves will feature women performing songs and poetry, as well as an open mic. The event runs from 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CST and open to the public.

It comes after a Campus Smudge Walk set to begin at the Tipi Doors at the First Nations University of Canada at 11 a.m. CST.

Chasity Delorme said the idea for the event was sparked after the University of Regina invited George Elliot Clarke to speak at the previously planned Woodrow Lloyd Lecture. The lecture had been scheduled for Thursday.

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MLTC career tour focuses on trades and education – meadowlakeNOW

Jan 22, 2020

Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) is hosting a job fair for nine local First Nation Communities.

Chris Mazuren, organizer of the MLTC job fair, told meadowlakeNOW the council is committed and obligated to all nine nations.

“Some of the industries collecting resumes will be the mining, oil, power and forestry sector, heavy equipment jobs, we have [the] Fort McKay group of companies coming across the ice route to land in Clearwater and coming down to Flying Dust,” he said.

Mazuren noted he’s received feedback on past events. There were some requests for jobs in eco-tourism, farming innovation or sport fishing. Others expressed concern against environmentally destructive industries such as potash, uranium or clearcutting.

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Local Chamber of Commerce signs on to Indigenous Engagement Charter – battlefordsNOW

Jan 23, 2020

The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce signed on to the Indigenous Engagement Charter in a special ceremony in Saskatoon Wednesday.

The aim of the charter is to increase business relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Battlefords Chamber’s Chief Operating Officer Linda Machniak said chamber members were pleased to participate in the ceremony.

When the local chamber signed on to the charter it committed to a three-year partnership that includes implementing an Indigenous engagement strategy.

“We know that Saskatchewan has many positive attributes to make us a great place to live, work and invest,” Machniak said of the charter’s mandate. “But one of the key challenges for us is to champion the opportunities to reach our full potential. One of those opportunities is to engage fully the Indigenous peoples in our economy.”

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Reclaiming the Michif Language: The MN-S launches trailblazing Michif Language Program

Saskatoon, January 22, 2020 — The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which helped to raise public awareness of the perilous state of many Indigenous languages in Canada. For the Métis, the Michif language faces extinction if decisive action is not taken soon. Just how high are the stakes? According to Canada’s most recent census data (2016), there are only about 640 people living in Canada who speak Michif, as either a first or second language.

The Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S) is taking strategic action to reverse the Michif language downward trend. Today, President Glen McCallum announced the The Future of Michif Program, a multi-faceted educational initiative designed to get more Métis speaking their traditional language. “When I go to my hometown, I know I belong because I can hear my own language and I can be me. We have to implement language preservation because it is so important for our people. When we know our language, we shall never forget who we are as Métis. Identity, language, and culture are important to our Métis Citizens,” says President McCallum.

The MN-S is partnering with Canadian Geographic on The Future of Michif Program. Through this historic partnership, the MN-S and Canadian Geographic will collaborate on “The Future of Michif”, a multiplatform engagement program that will celebrate Michif and Métis culture, while building national capacity to educate and inspire the next generation of Métis youth to learn their heritage language.

Through this program, Canadian Geographic will leverage its expertise and reach to elevate the MN-S’ important work within the national consciousness. Elements of the project will include a Michif Language Speakers Bureau to promote and teach Michif; an online Michif language conversation forum on the MN-S website; a free, summer camp-style program for Métis youth focusing on Michif language learning during the 2020 Batoche Days celebration, as well a Michif language training program for educators. The Canadian Geographic magazine will also feature a story on the Michif language with an associated poster map to reach millions of Canadians.

For Gilles Gagnier, Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Geographic Enterprises, The Future of Michif Program provides an exciting opportunity to support the Métis People of Saskatchewan in growing the number of Michif speakers and helping Canadians learn more about the language. “Our experience in publishing the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada was instrumental in guiding Canadian Geographic towards and upon its first steps on the path to reconciliation,” says Gagnier. “We are proud to continue this important journey, in partnership with the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, as they fulfill the historic dream of Louis Riel in building their nation.”

The Future of Michif Program affirms MN-S’s commitment to building a stronger path for future generations through education – a path built on trust, respect, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness.


About the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) is a government that represents Métis citizens in Saskatchewan. The Métis Nation Legislative Assembly (MNLA) is the governing authority of MN-S, made up of the Presidents of Métis Locals and the Provincial Métis Council. The MNLA has the authority to enact legislation, regulations, rules and resolutions governing the affairs and conduct of the Métis in Saskatchewan.

About Canadian Geographic

Canadian Geographic (in English) and Géographica (in French), are published by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and highlight the latest geographic news and trends. Canadian Geographic has featured award-winning journalism focused on our cultural and natural heritage since it was founded in 1930 and is Canada’s 2nd most read full-size magazine with over 3.2 million readers per issue.

Media information

Julia Burns
Director of Communications
Métis Nation Saskatchewan
(306) 343-8285

Deb Chapman
Communications Manager
Canadian Geographic Enterprises
(613) 299-8995


Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health on Nicotine Vaping in Canada

January 22, 2020

During National Non-Smoking Week, the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) wants to highlight that smoking continues to pose a significant risk to the health of Canadians with over 45,000 people dying from smoking-related causes each year. We recommend that Canadians needing support with nicotine addiction speak to  a health care provider and seek out proven cessation therapies, such as medication or approved nicotine replacement therapies.

At this time, we also remain significantly concerned by the substantial rise of nicotine vaping among Canadian youth. In follow up to our previous position statements on this issue in July 2014, April 2019 and October 2019, we provide the following set of regulatory and policy recommendations that we believe are necessary to be taken by federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments to address this rapidly emerging public health threat. We acknowledge that governments have already taken steps to implement some of these recommendations.

This statement pertains to nicotine vaping devices. The CCMOH released a related statement on cannabis vaping on January 6, 2020.

The overarching objectives of these recommendations are to protect young people from inducements to use vaping devices by regulating such devices as equivalent to tobacco products, and to encourage smokers who use vaping devices to use them solely to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products.

These recommendations are made in the context of the emerging evidence of the short and long-term harms associated with the use of vaping products. We recognize that evidence is still emerging on the effectiveness of nicotine vaping products to help smokers decrease or stop their use of all nicotine-containing products. It is important that the regulatory and policy approaches for vaping products be reviewed as the evidence of health risks and benefits evolve. For example, if it becomes clear that vaping products are effective in helping people stop or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products, then it may then be appropriate to approve, license and regulate vaping products in the same way as other tobacco cessation products.

Opportunities for both federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions

Federal action would be preferred to create national consistency, but individual provinces/territories can consider individual action.

  • Ban all flavoured vaping products and then provide regulatory exemptions or market authorizations for a minimum set of flavours to support smokers who choose to use vaping to end or reduce their use of nicotine-containing products
  • Limit the nicotine content in vaping products, including pods, to a maximum of 20mg/ml (levels lower than this may further decrease the addictive potential for youth) and adopt other appropriate standards regarding nicotine delivery
    (e.g. temperature, use of nicotine salts) as evidence on vaping products evolves
  • Regulate all constituents of e-liquids based on potential to cause harm when inhaled rather than oral ingestion
  • Tax vaping products in a manner consistent with maximizing youth protection while providing some degree of preferential pricing as compared to tobacco products
  • Consider making the age of 21 the minimum sales age for both tobacco and vaping products, knowing that establishing the legal minimum sales age requires balancing policy objectives to minimize an illegal market while delaying the onset of youth use through limiting access through social sources
  • Create requirements for age-verification of internet purchases of vaping products that are the same as those required for cannabis
  • Enhance surveillance and reporting of vaping product use and population health impacts

Opportunities for Federal Jurisdiction

  • Restrict the advertising/marketing/promotion/sponsorship of vaping devices in a manner consistent with maximizing youth protection, including online advertising/promotion and social influencers, while allowing adult-oriented marketing of vaping devices as a product that supports adult smokers solely to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products
  • Require product manufacturers to disclose all ingredients of vaping devices to Health Canada as a condition of being marketed, including establishing consistency in reporting nicotine levels in both open and closed vaping systems
  • Require plain and standardized packaging along with health risk warnings for all vaping products
  • Include vaping as part of smoke-free restrictions for locations under federal jurisdiction
  • Enhance compliance, enforcement and public reporting of the provisions of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act

Opportunities for Provincial/Territorial Jurisdictions

  • Ban all point of sale advertising of vaping devices and products with an exception for specialized vaping product stores accessible only to those of minimum age
  • Require a vendor’s licence for those selling vaping devices and products
  • Include vaping as part of provincial/territorial smoke-free restrictions
  • Routinely use youth test purchaser programs for all tobacco and vaping product retail locations

Opportunities for Municipal Jurisdictions:

  • Include vaping as part of municipal smoke-free restrictions
  • Restrict the density of tobacco and vaping products retail sites and ban the sale of vaping products and devices within at least 250 metres of a school

Along with these policy and regulatory actions, we recommend that federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work collaboratively to:

  • Enhance public awareness and educational initiatives on the risks of vaping products targeted at youth, parents, educators and health care professionals
  • Establish comprehensive cessation initiatives for people with nicotine addiction, especially for youth
  • Monitor and research the short and long-term health effects of vaping products
  • Research the effectiveness of vaping products in supporting smokers to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products
  • Research the effectiveness of policy approaches to address youth vaping

A number of other products for the delivery of nicotine have or are being developed (e.g. heated tobacco devices, oral nicotine products). We encourage federal and provincial/territorial governments to work together to develop a broad regulatory approach to all alternative methods of nicotine delivery (i.e. other than tobacco products) that offers strong youth protection while allowing appropriate access for adult smokers to products if they are proven effective in decreasing or stopping the use of all nicotine-containing products.  A key component of any such regulatory approach should be the requirement for the manufacturer to provide enough evidence to satisfy the regulator that allowing any new product on the market is in the public interest before that product can be legally sold.

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia
Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health

Dr. Brendan E. Hanley
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Yukon
Vice-Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
I/Chief Medical Officer of Health, Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Heather Morrison
Chief Public Health Officer, Prince Edward Island

Dr. Robert Strang
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nova Scotia

Dr. Jennifer Russell
Chief Medical Officer of Health, New Brunswick

Dr. Horacio Arruda
Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister
Ministry of Health and Social Services, Québec

Dr. David Williams
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario

Dr. Brent Roussin
Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Manitoba

Dr. Saqib Shahab
Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan

Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta

Dr. Michael Patterson
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nunavut

Dr. Kami Kandola
Chief Public Health Officer, Northwest Territories

Dr. Evan Adams
Chief Medical Officer, First Nations Health Authority, British Columbia

Dr. Tom Wong
Chief Medical Officer, Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada

Important Links


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries
Call toll-free: 1-866-225-0709


Sask oil project generates controversy – CBC

Jan 22, 2020

Serafina Energy’s project would require nearly five million litres of water per day

A proposed oil project in northwest Saskatchewan is fueling controversy.

Calgary-based Serafina Energy plans to extract 8,000 barrels of oil per day near Glenbogie, which is near the town of St. Walburg about 250 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. The Serafina Glenbogie SAGD project will require nearly five million litres of water per day from the North Saskatchewan River.

The provincial government said the project does not require an environmental impact assessment, according to a Ministry of Environment document.

That’s not sitting well with Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation Chief Ron Mitsuing. He said the project must not go ahead until their questions are answered around water use, waste water and other issues.

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NHL announcer overcomes odds to realize lifelong dream – APTN News

January 21, 2020

Clarence Iron has overcome many challenges in his lifetime.

“I had a rough upbringing. Some I did it to myself,” says Iron adding “I was roughing it in life but then I was given a new life.”

Iron, a residential school survivor says “I got involved in alcohol, drugs and everything, I lived off the streets.”

He also ended up in jail more than a few times.

Iron says he believes if he continued down the path he was on, he would be “six feet under the ground, right now.”

Now, Iron says he’s let go of drugs and alcohol and has been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

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Sask. Chamber of Commerce launches new charter to enhance Indigenous engagement –

January 21, 2020

A new initiative from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) aims to bring Indigenous people in the province to the same economic level as the broader population.

The SCC launched its Indigenous Engagement Charter at the First Nations University in Regina Tuesday.

“We are the youngest, fastest-growing population in Canada, and in Saskatchewan, so the business community has to get ready,” said Nick Crighton, the SCC director of Indigenous engagement.

Crighton said 25 businesses have already signed on to the charter, which was developed by a task force that started in January 2019 specifically for Saskatchewan employers.

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Provincial Chamber Launches Indigenous Engagement Charter

On Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) launched its Indigenous Engagement Charter at the First Nations University in Regina, with an additional launch event in Saskatoon on January 22nd at the World Trade Centre at Prairieland Park.

The Indigenous Engagement Charter has been developed with expertise and cultural sensitivity and aims to bring Saskatchewan’s Indigenous population to the same economic level as the broader population by enhancing engagement from businesses. The Charter will assist businesses as they work towards enhanced engagement with Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities.

“Indigenous engagement has been on the Chamber agenda for decades. I am thrilled that we have now launched this Charter, our most tangible and important effort in fully engaging Indigenous people with business,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the SCC.

“The Indigenous population in Saskatchewan is the youngest and fastest growing population and businesses have the opportunity to begin creating inclusive hiring policies that will lead to attracting, recruiting and retaining Indigenous people. This Charter is a valuable first step in this process” said Nick Crighton, Director of Indigenous Engagement at the SCC.

The following investors have supported the Indigenous Engagement Charter and made this initiative possible: Nutrien, Finning, Graham Group Ltd., SaskPower, CIBC, Workers’ Compensation Board of Saskatchewan, RBC, Meridian Surveys Ltd., Farm Credit Canada, Scotiabank, PCL Construction Ltd., and Cameco.

More information on the Indigenous Engagement Charter can be found here:

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and represents the interests of over 10,000 individual businesses, industry associations, and local Chambers across the province through the Chamber network.
Nick Crighton, Director of Indigenous Engagement
(306) 352-2671


SK Government: Following Their Voices Improves Graduation Rates And Credit Attainment For First Nations, Métis And Inuit Students

January 21, 2020

Over the past five years, the Following Their Voices initiative has been successful in improving First Nations, Métis and Inuit student credit attainment and grad rates. The Government of Saskatchewan is encouraged by the positive results it is seeing at the 34 Saskatchewan schools that are participating in initiative.

Since FTV has been put into place in these classrooms, positive outcomes of the initiative include:

  • a 20 per cent increase in credit attainment; and
  • an 11.8 per cent increase in three-year graduation rates.

“It is great to see the positive impact Following Their Voices has had on the students of our province,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said.  “There are now more First Nations, Métis and Inuit students attaining more credits and graduating from high school than ever before.”

Following Their Voices offers support to teachers as they build strong and positive relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.  This is achieved by changing student-teacher relationships and interactions, changing how teachers instruct and what the classroom or learning environment looks and feels like.

The initiative partners with provincial and First Nation schools to provide ongoing training and support to school-based teams and teachers.  In addition, a broad representation of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Elders and Knowledge Keepers representing all the Indigenous language groups in the province provide ongoing engagement, advice and guidance.

Canoe Lake Miksiw School and Rossignol High School in Île-à-la-Crosse recently participated in a video highlighting the benefits of FTV in their schools and the positive impact it has had on staff, teachers and students.  Watch the video here at

Canoe Lake Miksiw School became an FTV school in 2017.  Since then, Principal Arliss Coulineur has seen a noticeable change in teacher-student relationships and improved student participation and grades.

“I feel that I can best explain how the cultural responsiveness has changed with the implementation of Following Their Voices into the Canoe Lake Miksiw School,” Canoe Lake Miksiw School Principal Arliss Coulineur said.  “By using nehiyawewin-Cree language terminology, the spirit of our language, you can gain a sense of the relationship that is gained between the student and teacher.

“First word is tipeyimisowin: it means ‘take charge of it’.  Taking charge of oneself.  Helping a student to manage oneself to the point that they can take charge of themselves and become an independent learner.

“Second word is kakehtawisowin: this refers to being like a wise old person.  Teachers recognize that students are intelligent beings.  The teacher brings out the strengths in their students by recognizing how each individual student learns and employs a variety of teaching practices to do so.

“Moving forward, this program has enabled the relationships between the students and our educators to begin, generate, and flourish.  Following Their Voices will always be a part of the culture of the Canoe Lake Miksiw School.”

Over the past five years, the FTV initiative has involved:

  • 39 schools, including 26 provincial schools, 12 First Nation schools and one joint provincial and federal school;
  • more than 1,000 participants, including 870 teachers and more than 130 school administrators; and
  • approximately 36,000 students, with 14,000 self-declaring as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

The Government of Saskatchewan has contributed $8.65 million to Following Their Voices since 2014.  In 2017, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) committed $3.32 million to this initiative in a three-year funding agreement.  ISC staff members have also provided support to the initiative.


For more information, contact:

Chris Hodges
Phone: 306-787-1069
Cell: 306-533-7506

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