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MMIWG: Honouring National Indigenous Month

June 14, 2019

In 2009, June was declared National Indigenous History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. On June 3 of this year, we released our Final Report with significant Calls for Justice to make Canada a safer and more respectful place for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. Families and survivors spoke their truths. As Canadians we are now discussing is-sues never talked about before. This national conversation must now become tangible actions.

A key Call for Justice addresses how, collectively, we must understand our shared history. We call upon all institutions and education authorities to educate and provide awareness to the public about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and about the issues and root causes of violence they experience. This includes historical and current truths about the genocide committed against Indigenous peoples through laws, policies and colonial practices.

In collaboration with Indigenous educators, the National Inquiry created a free document called Their Voices Will Guide Us as an educational and outreach initiative. It is designed to engage students and teachers in meaningful learning about the important roles of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people in their families, communities, and nations, highlighting their strength, agency and resilience.

We believe we have the power to change by educating ourselves, our children, our communities, and all Canadians. During this National Indigenous History Month, we invite everyone to read the Final Report, Reclaiming Power and Place, and our Calls for Justice at as well as our free resource, Their Voices Will Guide Us, at

Marion Buller
Chief Commissioner

Michèle Audette

Brian Eyolfson

Qajaq Robinson


Minister Goodale unveils Government of Canada’s plan to support Saskatchewan’s economic future

From: Western Economic Diversification Canada

June 14, 2019 – Regina, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada remains committed to growing the economy, creating good jobs, and keeping Canada competitive. That is why the Government, today, laid out priorities to accelerate western Canada’s growth, productivity, and competitiveness.

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, unveiled the next chapter of Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy—a strategy to grow the western economy through four interconnected pillars:

  • Diversification: Build a broader economy by growing emerging sectors and transforming resource sectors
  • Trade: Seize global opportunities by improving export access and growing markets
  • Skills: Foster talent for the new economy by strengthening education and upskilling
  • Communities: Connect to innovation and growth by building resilience and liveability, and enhancing digital access

Western Canada has significant opportunities for strong growth, even with the natural and economic challenges of recent years. For example, in Saskatchewan, producers and food processors are building value-added agriculture to help feed growing world demand, while new digital technologies are creating opportunities for communication and business growth. With a rich endowment of natural resources, strategically located trade corridors, a highly skilled workforce, and strong capacity for research, the West is well-positioned to continue to thrive.

In 2018, the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, started laying the foundation to capitalize on home field advantages by engaging in meaningful conversations with Canadians about western Canada’s future. Budget 2019 allocated $100 million in new funding over the next three years for Western Economic Diversification Canada to strengthen programming and advance Grow West with like-minded partners. With a strong history of supporting industry, innovation, and economic development, the Department will coordinate efforts under the diversification priority.

To learn more about Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy, visit


“The world we know is changing and in order to succeed in the new global economy, we must mobilize all Canadians to deliver real change for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy sets our path forward towards building an inclusive and innovative Canada. We’re excited to work alongside Canadians to realize the vision of the future, while creating the jobs of tomorrow.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“The launch of Grow West underscores the Government of Canada’s full commitment to Saskatchewan’s economy. We’re working together to unlock transportation bottlenecks, get our products to new markets, and drive innovation. And we’ve backed that work with key federal investments like the Protein Industries Supercluster, the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, road upgrades for national trade corridors, training nearly one million Saskatchewan students to code and bringing faster internet to 30 rural Saskatchewan communities.”

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick facts

  • Over the past two decades, western Canada’s strengths have helped drive national economic growth. In 2017, the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $756 billion.
  • The western provinces are home to nearly a third of the national population, more than half of all Indigenous peoples in Canada, and over 40 per cent of its recent immigrants.
  • According to the last census, six of Canada’s fastest growing cities are in the West: Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Lethbridge, and Kelowna.
  • Western Canadians are entrepreneurial and innovative. The region has more than 450,000 small- and medium-sized businesses that account for 92 per cent of private sector employment.
  • In 2017, western Canada exported over $193 billion in goods and over $30 billion in services to other countries. The western provinces also exported $154 billion worth of goods and services to each other and the rest of Canada.
  • Western Canada is home to the world’s largest potash reserves, third-largest crude oil reserves, and fourth-largest uranium reserves.

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Associated links


Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada


$6 million awarded for Canada Research Chairs at USask

SASKATOON – Three new Canada Research Chairs (CRCs)—all held by female academics recognized as potential leaders in their fields—have been established at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to carry out innovative research into air quality in cold climates, enhancing Indigenous health and well-being, and preventing cyberattacks.

Jun 14, 2019

The announcement comes alongside the renewal of three existing USask CRCs researching bacterial resistance, the electronic structure of novel materials, and economic development barriers facing northern, remote and Indigenous communities.

“These prestigious awards underscore USask’s place as a centre of research excellence and our commitment to a diverse and inclusive research community,” said USask Vice-President Research Karen Chad. “From cyber security to bacterial resistance, USask is pushing the boundaries of knowledge and finding answers to some of the most pressing issues facing our world today.”

At an event today at the University of Victoria, Canada’s Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan announced a total investment of more than $275 million in new and renewed CRCs at 52 institutions.

The CRC program was created by the Government of Canada in 2000 to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds and to boost Canada’s competitiveness in the global knowledge-based economy.

USask’s new Tier 2 CRCs—all based in the College of Arts and Science—will each receive $120,000 a year for five years. Tier 2 CRCs are awarded to excellent emerging researchers who have been recognized by their peers as having potential to lead in their field.

Dr. Natalia Stakhanova (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Security and Privacy, recruited from the University of New Brunswick, studies the digital identity of human adversaries and behaviour behind cyberattacks.

Stakhanova, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, investigates methods to track and analyze the digital identity of an adversary, examines strategies commonly deployed by adversaries to disguise their behaviour, and designs techniques for identifying, and understanding malware and legitimate software.

Her research goal is to enable scientific exploration of adversarial communities and to provide security practitioners with the tools to predict and detect threats.

Dr. Michelle Johnson-Jennings (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Community-Engaged Research, recruited from the University of Minnesota, is one of the few Indigenous psychologists focused on healing interventions on the land. The associate professor in Indigenous studies will engage Indigenous communities around food and land-based healing practices that reduce addiction and obesity risks and promote well-being.

Research has found that being on the land affects the brain positively and produces more life-long behavioural changes. Johnson-Jennings, a Choctaw Nation Enrolled Tribal Member, will investigate whether Indigenous groups heal more swiftly and experience longer-lasting change if health interventions are made on the land, reconnecting communities to ancestral teachings. By engaging Indigenous communities in Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand, Johnson-Jennings will develop a global approach to land-based healing.

Dr. Tara Kahan (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Analytical Environmental Chemistry, recruited from Syracuse University, researches environmental pollutants in snow and ice that could affect people’s health, as well as air quality inside people’s homes. Kahan, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, investigates chemical transformations of pollutants in ice. Some environmental pollutants undergo different chemical reactions in snow and ice than in liquid water. The health effects of these pollutants may, therefore, be different in the presence of snow.

Canada’s cold weather also means that, during the winter, people in many parts of the country spend most of their lives indoors. Yet, we lack a good understanding of the chemistry that affects air quality in houses, cars and the workplace. Kahan has developed an instrument to measure the composition of air indoors.

Three Tier 1 CRCs, whose terms at USask are being renewed, will each receive $1.4 million over seven years to pursue their research. They are full professors and outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields.

Dr. Ken Coates (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, identifies barriers preventing rural and remote communities from reaping the benefits of scientific and technological innovation enjoyed in more metropolitan areas. For instance, the Internet in the Canadian North is five to 10 years behind the south.

Working with Indigenous groups, northern and rural communities, business groups, and provincial and federal governments, Coates examines innovation-based investment, skills training and entrepreneurship in non-metropolitan areas, looking at best practices in other countries that can be applied in Canada. He is co-ordinating international efforts to encourage the use of new technologies in northern, remote and Indigenous communities.

Dr. Miroslaw Cygler (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine Using Synchrotron Light, in the biochemistry, microbiology and immunology department, uses the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, a national research facility of the University of Saskatchewan, to work on a new approach to combat disease-causing bacterial resistance. By targeting the bacteria’s ability to cause disease instead of killing the whole pathogen, the pressure to develop resistance is reduced. Cygler’s research in the College of Medicine provides ammunition in the war against antibiotic-resistant super bugs.

Dr. Alexander Moewes (PhD), Canada Research Chair in Materials Science using Synchrotron Radiation, uses the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, a national research facility of the University of Saskatchewan, to answer key questions about the electronic structure of novel and advanced materials.

He pushes boundaries in the field of spintronics, controlling the electron spin to store information more efficiently, and the study of modern luminescence materials that provide dramatic energy savings. His research, in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, promises to increase the processing speed and storage capacity of computers and to develop more efficient lighting applications.

USask currently has 19 active CRCs in a wide range of disciplines.


For more information contact:

Jennifer Thoma
University of Saskatchewan
Media Relations


CIF Approves $6.4 Million in Funding in Support of 407 Projects

The Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) is delighted that Saskatchewan communities will benefit from 407 grants totaling $6,411,037 from CIF’s February 1st and April 1st deadlines. CIF supports initiatives that enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of people living throughout Saskatchewan.

Through its Community Grant Program’s April 1st deadline, CIF approved $5,324,014 in support of 160 grants, for projects that contribute to the wellbeing of children and youth, families, and communities. These projects provide opportunities for children and youth to gain the knowledge, skills, and supports to develop positive mental health, self-esteem, and healthy lifestyle behaviours, and ensure families have access to support and resources to create healthy and caring environments. Projects also provide training and resources for nonprofit staff, Board members, and volunteers to improve program delivery, governance and leadership, and support individuals to become involved as active citizens, volunteers, and community leaders. Additionally, 247 Summer Grant projects were approved totaling $1,087,023, to support camps and day programs offering positive recreation, arts, culture, and learning opportunities for children and youth during the summer months.

“The Community Grant Program enhances the quality of life for Saskatchewan citizens in sport, culture and recreation throughout every corner of our province,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “The reach of this program benefits people of all ages, skill sets and abilities, while focusing on sustainable inclusive communities of all sizes.”

“The range of programs, organizations, and communities supported by the CIF is truly inspiring,” shared Tracey Mann, Executive Director of the Community Initiatives Fund. “The projects supported reflects the dedication and hard work of the volunteers and community-based organizations across Saskatchewan who ensure that individuals have access to services, supports and programming designed to improve their wellbeing.”

The CIF is a Special Purpose Fund created through The Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation Act and governed by a volunteer board appointed through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.

A complete list of the grant recipients and their projects, as well as information about the Community Initiatives Fund can be found at

– 30


Angela Tremka
Community Initiatives Fund
T: 306.780.9394

Jamie Toth
Parks, Culture and Sport
T: 306.787.3506


It’s not fair’: Thunderchild First Nation woman mourning violent death of son, disappearance of family friend – CBC

Law enforcement investigating death of Cook-Buckle, disappearance of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere

Jun 14, 2019

Two provinces, two young people, a violent death and a disappearance that’s being investigated as a homicide are turning into a nightmare for a woman from the Thunderchild First Nation.

At the beginning of April, Nicole Cook lost her son, Tristen Nicholas Morningeagle Cook-Buckle. His body was found burned in a vehicle near Vegreville, Alta. on April 5.

Earlier the same day, a puddle of his blood was found near 92nd Street and 110th Avenue in Edmonton.

Read More:

Missing, murdered Indigenous women inquiry flags coerced sterilization – Regina Leader-Post

June 13, 2019

OTTAWA — A lawyer representing Indigenous women who allege they were coerced into sterilization procedures after childbirth says it is not surprising the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls flagged the issue among its findings.

The commission, which released 231 recommendations last week, was asked by the federal government to probe all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Lawyer Alisa Lombard says “obstetric violence” clearly falls into that category, adding that numerous parties with standing at the inquiry made submissions on the issue, including the vice-chair of Saskatchewan’s Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

Read More:

Connecting to culture, leaning on kinship key to how these Indigenous fathers are breaking traumatic cycles – CBC

‘It’s to learn that, yes, we do need support, we do need help, and it’s OK to be vulnerable’

Jun 13, 2019

It’s 34 C in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley the day Philip Brass leads his son Forrest to one of their favourite spots to hike.

Brass is wearing a custom pair of beaded moccasins. They help him walk with ease through bushes and over the rough prairie terrain. His seven-year-old son wears his hair in two thick, neat braids that flow down to his waist.

Forrest lost his hat that morning, so his head is drowning in one of his dad’s old baseball caps to help protect him from the sun.

Read More:

Saskatchewan’s artifact laws ‘perpetuate colonization’: Indigenous archeologist – CBC

Legislation under scrutiny following ancient artifact discovery near Dodsland, Sask.

Jun 13, 2019

Saskatchewan laws governing ancient artifacts “perpetuate colonization” and need to change, according to an Indigenous archeologist.

“That law needs to be rewritten,” archeologist and University of Alberta professor Kisha Supernant said.

“When you have non-Indigenous people making decisions about what happens with Indigenous history, you’re continuing to perpetuate colonization.”

Read More:

Husky Oil Operations Limited fined $2.7 million for federal offences related to the pipeline release of oil into the North Saskatchewan River

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

June 12, 2019 – Lloydminster, Saskatchewan

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health, safety, and environment of Canadians. The Government enforces laws that protect Canada’s air, water, and natural environment, and we take this responsibility very seriously.

On June 12, 2019, Husky Oil Operations Limited pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Fisheries Act and one count of violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The company has been ordered to pay a fine of $2.5 million for violating the Fisheries Act and a fine of $200,000 for violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The fines will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and will be used to support projects related to the conservation and protection of fish and migratory birds within the North Saskatchewan and/or Saskatchewan River and their associated watersheds.

The charges are related to an incident that occurred between July 20 and 21, 2016, when an estimated 225,000 litres of blended heavy crude oil leaked from a Husky Oil Operations Limited pipeline. Approximately 90,000 litres of the oil entered the North Saskatchewan River near Maidstone, Saskatchewan. The oil was found to be deleterious, or harmful, to fish and migratory birds.

Husky Oil Operations Limited pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • depositing a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish or in a place where the deleterious substance may enter water frequented by fish, in violation of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, and
  • depositing or permitting the deposit of a substance that is harmful to migratory birds, in waters or in an area frequented by migratory birds or in a place from which the substance may enter such waters, in violation of subsection 5.1(1) of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s National Environmental Emergencies Centre responded to the July 2016 spill. Environmental emergency officers were on-site from July 22, 2016, to early October 2016 to provide regulatory oversight and guide efforts to protect the environment. A year after the spill, in 2017, and once again in 2018, the National Environmental Emergencies Centre’s Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team returned to the North Saskatchewan River to assess the water and shorelines, following the spring ice breakup.

As a result of the federal conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

In addition to pleading guilty to offences under federal legislation, Husky Oil Operations Limited has pleaded guilty to one count under the provincial Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010. For more information, contact Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.

Quick facts

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for administering and enforcing the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, which aims to protect and conserve migratory bird populations as well as individual birds and their nests. The Act prohibits the deposit of harmful substances into areas frequented by migratory birds and other human activities that are potentially harmful to migratory birds.
  • Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund follows the polluter-pays principle, and it ensures that court-awarded penalties are used for projects with positive environmental impacts.
  • The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.

Related products

Associated links


Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)


SK Government: New Income Assistance Advisory Group Announced

June 12, 2019

The Government of Saskatchewan has appointed members to the new Income Assistance Advisory Group to help Social Services improve income assistance programs and services.

The advisory group will provide advice and feedback on the development of income assistance policies, programs and services that will best meet the needs of vulnerable Saskatchewan people.

The members of the Income Assistance Advisory Group are:

  • Steve Compton – CEO, YMCA of Regina;
  • Andy Livingston – Past President of the Board of Directors for SaskAbilities;
  • Kelly Delmage – Executive Director, Pipestone Kin-Ability Centre Inc.;
  • Keith Pratt – Employment Development Officer, FHQ Developments Ltd.;
  • Bill Powalinsky – CEO, Prince Albert Community Service Centre;
  • Michelle Busch – Self-advocate, lived experience of visual disability; and
  • Charlene Eger – Self-advocate, lived experience of physical disability.

“Having a group of citizens and stakeholders provide feedback and guidance to us on all income assistance programs will be invaluable,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said.  “I want to thank the members for the guidance and support they will provide in the days, weeks and years to come.”

Topics the group will be asked to advise on could include:

  • how social services programs and services can be made more client friendly;
  • how to build on the good work of the Program Implementation Advisory Team to ensure that people with disabilities continue to receive good quality services and supports; and
  • better alignment of ministry and community services for our clients and beneficiaries.


For more information, contact:

Leya Moore
Social Services
Phone: 306-787-3610


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