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Muskoday woman named first female president of national body representing Aboriginal Firefighters – larongeNOW

Dec 2, 2020

Just over two decades after joining the Muskoday Volunteer Fire Department, Michelle Vandevord can now lay claim to being elected the first female president of the Aboriginal Firefighters’ Association of Canada.

Born and raised in Prince Albert, the 49-year-old recalled the decision to move to Muskoday 25 years ago was based on a desire to help her community. After working in home care and at the community’s school, Vandevord was encouraged to try something out of her normal comfort zone.

“It was because of one person that I am where I am and I owe that to Randy Bair,” she said, explaining the former captain of the Muskoday unit was the person to encouraged her to come out and practice. “I went to my first meeting after that and the rest is, as they say, kind of history.”

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Meet the first 10 Sask. CBC Future 40 winners of 2020 – CBC

2020 CBC Future 40 winners announced Dec. 2 to 6

Dec 02, 2020

Meet the first 10 winners of 2020’s CBC Future 40 in Saskatchewan. Each day from Dec. 2 to 6 we’ll announce another batch.

There are 40 finalists, or winners, in total. Each one is a Saskatchewan person aged 40 or under who is doing something incredible. Our Bright Lights (under 18) category returned this year and we added a new pandemic-influenced Champion through Change (all ages) category.

This first group includes a groundbreaking judge, a social savvy doctor, a community-minded CEO and many others who are doing amazing things to make this province a better place.

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ALAViDA Announces Deal With TIPI Insurance Partners

ALAViDA Announces Deal With TIPI Insurance Partners

TIPI Care Plan will include access to ALAViDA’s digital substance use management platform

December 2, 2020. Vancouver, Canada – ALAViDA, Canada’s first digital substance use management platform announced today a deal with TIPI Insurance Partners to include ALAVIDA’s platform as a covered feature as part of their TIPI Care Plan employee benefits program.

TIPI Insurance Partners is Canada’s largest Indigenous owned full-line insurance brokerage offering group pension, benefits, property and casualty, and speciality insurance products for Indigenous owned and operated businesses, organizations and projects.

“The virtualization of healthcare is a critical opportunity to remedy accessibility challenges in remote and very remote communities” said Nathan Ballantyne, CEO of TIPI Insurance Partners. “In the context of mental health and substance abuse, access to treatment has been limited and has involved removing people from their communities and their existing support structures in a way that exacerbates rather than mitigates existing problems. We are pleased to be a leader in adopting a new approach that will enable people to access evidence-based care from within their own communities” Mr. Ballantyne added.

ALAViDA’s platform delivers personalized programming to support early intervention and substance use management strategies that include coaching and journaling, internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy to strengthen decision making and medication-mediated therapy as appropriate.

“Support for substance use has been slow to transition to a virtual environment, and yet we know that internet-based CBT is highly effective in treating a range of substance use disorders” said Dr. Diane Rothon, Co-Founder and Medical Director of ALAViDA. “Significant barriers to treatment, including social and workplace stigma, waitlists, high costs for in-patient treatment, and geographic variability can severely limit access and cause many people to wait before seeking help, if they seek help at all. ALAViDA enables earlier intervention to support individuals by enabling private and confidential access to treatment in a stigma free virtual environment” Dr. Rothon added.

82% of ALAViDA members report increased control and reduced consumption of alcohol and other substances in as little as six months.

Media Inquiries: Dougal Martin | [email protected]


ALAViDA is Canada’s first virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. TRAiL, our digital platform, connects members with  behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right from your smart phone. With specialized packages for individuals, families and business we support early intervention and help members set their own goals and achieve them – stigma-free, confidential and with 24/7 support. More than 82% of members report greater control and reduced substance use in as little as six months.

Find out more:

Media Contact: Chris Gomes | [email protected]

About TIPI Insurance Partners

Founded in 1999, TIPI Insurance Partners (“TIPI”) is Canada’s largest Indigenous owned full-line insurance brokerage offering group pension, benefits, property and casualty, and speciality insurance products. TIPI’s goal is to deliver cost-efficient risk management solutions for First Nations, Métis and Indigenous owned and operated organizations, businesses and projects, while striving to keep economic benefits within the communities they serve. TIPI is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba with offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

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Cega’kin (Carry The Kettle) First Nation in lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak – CBC

Dec 01, 2020

Chief Brady O’Watch says the lockdown ‘could be a blessing,’ bring families closer together

Cega’kin (Carry The Kettle) First Nation has gone into a lockdown following an outbreak of eight cases of COVID-19.

Chief Brady O’Watch said his emergency management team put the lockdown in place on Sunday after being notified by the Saskatchewan Health Authority about the cases.

“We have a lot of elders in our community, a lot of children, some people with … medical complications, so it was in our best interest to, I guess, call a lockdown again,” O’Watch said.

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Star Diamond Announces Initial Results from Seventh Bulk Sample Trench of Star – Orion South Diamond Project


SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, December 1, 2020 – Star Diamond Corporation (“Star Diamond” or the “Corporation”) today announced that a total of 2,755 diamonds weighing 178.98 carats have been recovered to date from the seventh (19FALCT005) bulk sample trench excavated on the Star Kimberlite by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. (“Rio Tinto Canada”) in 2019.

“We are pleased by the recovery of two larger 16.96 and 6.35 carat D colour Type IIa diamonds from Rio Tinto Canada’s seventh trench,” said Ken MacNeill, President and CEO of Star Diamond. “Star Diamond’s own underground bulk sampling and large diameter drilling programs conducted between 2004 and 2009 previously recovered diamonds as large as 49.5 and 45.9 carats from the Star and Orion South Kimberlites, respectively. We have been disappointed by Rio Tinto Canada’s failure to date to recover larger diamonds, which we believe is a consequence of its unproven and inadequately tested extraction and/or diamond recovery methodologies causing undue diamond breakage. Nevertheless, the diamonds recovered from the seventh trench continue to highlight the excellent potential for the recovery of large high value diamonds from the Star Kimberlite.”

Mr. MacNeill continued, “We are also pleased that the initial results from the first seven reported trenches continue to validate the grades outlined in our Preliminary Economic Analysis that was based upon Star Diamond’s own prior underground bulk sampling and large diameter drilling programs.”

The breakdown of the kimberlite intercepted and diamonds recovered to date from trench 19FALCT005 is detailed in the table below.

Senior Technical Advisor, George Read, states: “The seventh trench (19FALCT005) has produced a total of 15 diamonds ranging from 1.10 carats to 16.96 carats. The six largest diamonds recovered to date from 19FALCT005 are 16.96, 8.05, 6.35, 3.72, 3.53 and 3.29 carats, respectively, and were all recovered from Early Joli Fou (“EJF”) kimberlite. The EJF is the dominant kimberlite unit within the Project in terms of ore volume and diamond grade. The 16.96 and 6.35 carat diamonds have been confirmed as being Type IIa using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and their colour has also been confirmed as D. The recovery of these high colour, Type IIa diamonds in this bulk sample strengthens the expectation for recovery of large, high value diamonds in a future producing diamond mine. It is important to also note that the three large diamonds included in these trench results were all recovered from a soft EJF kimberlite breccia unit, from which kimberlite would have been more easily extracted with minimal mechanical attrition.”

Star Diamond has now publicly reported initial results from seven of the ten bulk sample trenches excavated by Rio Tinto Canada. Until critically important and comprehensive diamond breakage studies are completed, the processing, diamond recovery and reporting of all diamond results on the bulk sample trenches excavated by Rio Tinto Canada will not be complete.

Initial diamond stone and grade results for Trench 19FALCT005:

Kimberlite1 Kimberlite Drilled2 Carats3 Grade4 Stones per tonne Largest
Type Intercept (metres) Tonnes (+1 DTC) (cpht) (+1 DTC) (+1 DTC) Stone (ct)
LJF 112.00-148.70 321.79 2.443 0.759 124 0.39 0.051
EJF 148.70-230.30 882.05 176.536 20.01 2,631 2.98 16.961
Total 118.30 1,203.84 178.979 2,755


  1. Kimberlite Types: LJF: Late Joli Fou Kimberlite; EJF: Early Joli Fou Kimberlite. The LJF was not included in the Star Diamond PEA mineral resource estimate
  2. The excavated tonnes are calculated using theoretical trench volumes and core pilot hole dry densities provided by Rio Tinto Canada. These are equivalent to dry tonnes
  3. Commercial diamonds are defined as diamonds that will not pass through a +1 DTC screen, which has round apertures of 1.09 millimetres
  4. cpht: diamond grade in carats per hundred tonnes

Diamond results reported in this news release are based on diamond recovery processing conducted by SRC’s Geoanalytical Laboratories Diamond Services located in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Primary recovery processing consisted of X-ray transmission (XRT) sorting, , magnetic separation and grease table recovery methods. SRC is an independent mineral processing facility which is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard by the Standards Council of Canada as a testing laboratory for specific tests.

About Star Diamond Corporation

Star Diamond Corporation is a Canadian based corporation engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties. Shares of the Corporation trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “DIAM”. The Corporation’s Fort à la Corne kimberlites (including the Star – Orion South Diamond Project) are located in central Saskatchewan in close proximity to established infrastructure, including paved highways and the electrical power grid, which provide significant advantages for future mine development. During 2018, the Corporation announced the positive results of an independent Preliminary Economic Analysis (the “PEA”) on the Project. The PEA estimates that 66 million carats of diamonds could be recovered in a surface mine over a 38-year Project life, with a Net Present Value (“NPV”) (7%) of $2.0 billion after tax, an Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 19% and an after-tax payback period of 3.4 years after the commencement of diamond production (see news release dated April 16, 2018).

All technical information in this press release has been prepared under the supervision of George Read, Senior Technical Advisor, a registered Professional Geoscientist in the Provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia and Mark Shimell, Project Manager, a registered Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Saskatchewan, who are the Corporation’s “Qualified Persons” under the definition of NI 43-101.

For further information: [email protected] or (306) 664-2202


A Chief’s Angry Charge: Paternalism Is Putting His People’s Lives at Risk – The Tyee

The view from James Smith Cree Nation amidst Saskatchewan’s coronavirus surge.

Chief Wally Burns sensed right away that something was wrong. The voice on his cellphone belonged to the man who operated the community’s grader. He told Burns that he had a “wicked headache” and “terrible cough.” The man planned to do a little more work, then go home.

Burns, Chief of Saskatchewan’s James Smith Cree Nation, knew how bad things were when he received a second call that day from the same man.

The heavy equipment operator was now at home and desperately ill. But he was not calling to talk about his health. Instead, he made an urgent request of Burns. He wanted someone go to the grader he had been operating and disinfect it at once before anyone else used it. The man had a premonition.

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Sask. athletes start podcast to showcase Indigenous talent and stories – CBC

Best friends River Thomas and Raymond Fox co-host Foxing Around

Dec 01, 2020

What began as an idea for two Cree best friends has turned into a podcast that is catching on with their laid back conversation and list of Indigenous guests.

“We firmly believe that everyone has a story,” said River Thomas, 25, originally from the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation in Saskatchewan, and co-host of Foxing Around.

“Everyone comes from all aspects of life with some sort of knowledge they can give or share to the general public.”

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Searchlight Resources Completes UAV Magnetic Survey at Bootleg Lake Gold Project in Saskatchewan

  • 65 line kilometres of UAV Magnetometer survey completed
  • Survey highlights Henning-Maloney and Rio Gold Mine targets
  • Survey highlights multiple structures and additional drill targets

Vancouver, British Columbia, November 30, 2020, – Searchlight Resources Inc. (“Searchlight” or the “Company”) (TSXV:SCLT, US:CNYCF) is pleased to present the results of an airborne UAV magnetic survey on the Company’s Bootleg Lake project located in Saskatchewan, approximately 7 kilometres southwest of the Flin Flon Mining camp.

As previously announced, Searchlight commissioned Axiom Geological Group to conduct a UAV Magnetometer survey targeting two priority areas within the 49.9 sq. km Bootleg Lake claims. The survey covered a 1.53 square kilometre area surrounding Rio and Henning-Maloney past-producing gold mines with a total of 64-line kilometres of data, at 25 metre line spacing (Map 1). This work is in preparation for a 2021 drilling program at Henning-Maloney.

As part of the Magnetic data interpretation, Searchlight utilized a Grid Analysis system that analyses the texture of the potential field magnetic data to detect areas of structural complexity, which assists in the location of potential deposit occurrences. Magnetic field data delineates the geological structures and is best suited for this purpose. Grid Analysis then identifies regions of discontinuity, and analyses structural associations to locate crossings, junctions and change of direction in strike. Finally, by measuring the density of structural contacts and the diversity in the strike structures as a heat map, it facilitates picking the areas that are perceived to be prospective (Map 2).

“The survey produced high quality results with the heat map highlighting both the Rio and Henning- Maloney targets as structurally complex areas, and excellent target zones for gold exploration”, stated Stephen Wallace, CEO. “The survey has also identified targets associated with the Rio fault system that warrant future follow up”, he added.

Map1: UAV Magnetometer Data – Residual Magnetic Intensity (RMI)

The Henning-Maloney and Rio gold targets are located approximately one kilometre apart within the Bootleg Lake claims. These claims host 4 past producing gold mines, three of which – Henning-Maloney, Rio and Wekach – are all connected by the Rio Fault system. Additional gold and base metal targets are also present along this fault system.

Qualified Person

Peter Dueck, P.Geo., is Searchlight’s Qualified Person for this press release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release. Mr. Dueck is Director of Searchlight Resources and Chief Business Officer and Principal Geophysicist at Axiom Exploration Group. Mr. Dueck has been involved in the resource exploration industry in Saskatchewan since 2001, and until 2018, he held the position of Chief Geophysicist for Hudbay Minerals Inc. in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

About Searchlight Resources Inc.

Searchlight Resources Inc. (TSX.V:SCLT; US:CYNCF) is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company focused on Saskatchewan, Canada, which has been ranked as the top location for mining investment in Canada by the Fraser Institute. Exploration focus is on gold and battery minerals throughout the Province, concentrating on projects with road access.

Searchlight holds a 427.6 square kilometre land position within the gold and base metal rich Flin Flon – Snow Lake Greenstone Belt. The Company is currently advancing its Bootleg Lake Gold Project located in Saskatchewan, less than 10 km from Flin Flon, Manitoba, and which hosts four past producing high-grade gold mines.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,
“Stephen Wallace”
Stephen Wallace, President, CEO and Director

For further information, visit the Company’s website at or contact:
Searchlight Resources Inc.
Alf Stewart, VP Corporate Development
(604) 331-9326
[email protected]


COVID-19 Update: Two Deaths, 325 New Cases, 123 in Hospital, 49 Recoveries

November 30, 2020

Two residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in the South Central and South East zones, have died.  Both individuals were in the 80+ age category.  There are 325 new cases of COVID-19 to report in Saskatchewan on November 30, 2020, bringing the provincial total to date to 8,564 cases.

The new cases are located in the Far North West (9), Far North East (14), North West (23), North Central (27), North East (9), Saskatoon (125), Central West (1), Central East (10), Regina (62), South West (22), South Central (8) and South East (13) zones and two (2) new cases have pending residence information.

Four cases with pending residence information were assigned to the Far North East (1), North West (1), North Central (1) and Regina (1) zones.

The seven-day average of daily new cases is 263 (21. 7 new cases per 100,000 population).

Of the 8,564 reported cases, 3,879 are considered active.  A total of 4,638 people have recovered.

One-hundred and twenty-three people are in hospital.  One hundred people are receiving inpatient care; one in the Far North West, eight in the North West, eight in the North Central, three in the North East, 33 in Saskatoon, one in the Central East, 26 in Regina, one in the South West, one in South Central and 18 in the South East zone.  Twenty-three people are in intensive care: three in the North Central, 14 in the Saskatoon, and six in the Regina.

Of the 8,564 cases in the province:

  • 471 cases are travelers;
  • 3,616 are community contacts (including mass gatherings);
  • 1,825 have no known exposures; and
  • 2,652 are under investigation by local public health.

Overall in Saskatchewan to date:

  • 256 cases are healthcare workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to healthcare in all instances.
  • 1,774 cases involve people 19 years of age and under, while the remainder are adults.
  • 3,050 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 2,291 are in the 40-59 age range; 1,127 are in the 60-79 age range; and 317 are in the 80-plus range. Confirmation of age is pending for five cases.
  • 50 per cent of the cases are females and 50 per cent are males.
  • 47 deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported to date.

Of 8,564 confirmed cases:

  • 2,603 cases are from the Saskatoon area
  • 1,742 cases are from the north area (623 north west, 813 north central, 306 north east)
  • 1,529 cases are from the Regina area
  • 1,122 cases are from the south area (429 south west, 407 south central, 286 south east)
  • 913 cases are from the far north area (600 far north west, 80 far north central, 233 far north east)
  • 627 cases are from the central area (272 central west, 355 central east)
  • 28 cases have pending residence information

To date, 345,487 COVID-19 tests have been processed in Saskatchewan.  As of November 28, 2020 when other provincial and national numbers were available, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 219,988 people tested per million population.  The national rate was 303,613 people tested per million population.

Yesterday, 4,251 COVID-19 tests were processed in Saskatchewan.

Keep your number of contacts low

Based on the confirmed cases at present, public health estimates that there are more than 6,600 reported contacts requiring follow-up in the province right now.

  • A “close contact” is anyone that you have spent 15 minutes or more with, within the two metres of physical distancing.  You should be able to count your close contacts on one hand.
  • At this time, your close contacts should be the members of your immediate household who you dine with, hug, see without requiring a mask.
  • Although not close contacts, consider all your weekly contacts whether in the classroom or at your workplace.  While you must abide by the public health guidelines in these spaces to reduce the risk of transmission, could you list your contacts for the past 14 days?

Public Health Measures

For more information on the current public health measures or to see the Public Health Order, visit

Additional Resources

Posters outlining public health measures are now available in French, Mandarin, Tagalog and Urdu at

General COVID-19 Information

General public inquiries may be directed to [email protected]


For more information, contact:

Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

Email [email protected]


Canadian Armed Forces deployed to Saskatchewan in emergency response to COVID-19 –

November 29, 2020

As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge throughout Saskatchewan, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be assisting the province in providing emergency humanitarian aid.

Last week, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces responded to a request for assistance by a First Nation community in the province’s far northeast.

The Canadian Rangers from the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (4 CRPG) will be responsible for assisting the Hatchet Lake Denesuline First Nation.

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