Inuvik resident wins 100k from crossword scratch ticket, says she will help the community
In a press release on Friday afternoon, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation announced one of the big prize winners of the SCRATCH ‘N WIN (Zing) lottery game.
An Inuvik resident thought she had only received a small winning from the Crossword Multiplier Zing Ticket purchased at the Inuvik’s RX Drug Mart.
“I scratched my ticket and thought I won $1,000,” Georgina Firth told the lottery corporation.
“I was happy to win that, so I took the ticket to the store to make sure it was a winner.”
The United Conservative government has brought forward Bill 14 as part of its mandate to improve relations with Alberta’s Indigenous people.
As part of this pledge, Indigenous nations will be given $1 billion in loan guarantees to help kickstart Indigenous involvement in crucial resource projects. Over the next four years, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (IOC) hopes to play a vital role in carrying out that for the province.
The IOC will not explicitly provide capital for start-ups projects but will instead focus on providing the technical and financial expertise needed to start a business and access any existing grants.
The IOC, said Premier Jason Kenney, will allow Indigenous people to “get in the game and benefit from the resources that lie under the lands that were first inhabited by their ancestors.”
Alberta’s Indigenous community deserves a government that will help create opportunities, generate prosperity, and renew the entrepreneurial spirit for many struggling to make ends meet.
The IOC was one of Premier Kenney’s campaign promises made leading up to his election victory over Rachel Notley and the NDP this past spring.
This past summer, Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson met with more than 150 key stakeholders to discuss the benefits of a renewed partnership under the IOC.
In a statement, Minister Wilson said, “This new Crown corporation is a bold and innovative way of building relationships with Indigenous communities to get natural resource projects moving forward and get Alberta’s economy back to work. The returns on these investments can help fund the community programs and services the Indigenous communities want.”
Echoing his comments, Premier Kenney explained, “We want to empower Indigenous communities so they can lift their people out of poverty and become full partners in prosperity. An Alberta that remains strong and free is one where all can take full advantage of its abundance of natural resources that have enriched this province for decades.”
Indigenous leaders weigh in
Herb Lehr, the president of the Metis Settlements General Council, was also on board with the new initiative saying, “The Métis people of Alberta have long been involved in the resources sector, and are pleased to see this type of proactive work from the province.”
Calvin Helin, the president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd and long-time advocate for Indigenous involvement in the resource sector, stated, “It is no secret that there is immense interest from the First Nations of this country to own big resource sector projects. This initiative will go a long way to accomplish that.”
While many leaders were on board with the change, including Stephen Buffalo, the president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council, some, like Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, are skeptical.
While Noskey has yet to comment on anything specifically, he has expressed his concerns with the UCP before their election earlier this year.
Arthur Noskey is taking a step back approach to the IOC agreement, and this is not the first time Noskey has been skeptical of the Kenney g
"Dubious, bizarre lawyering" nets First Nation federal court rebuke, $2000 fine in anti-TMX challenge
Coastal First Nation resistance to TMX suffered an embarrassing setback after the
“Squamish Nation filed submissions adopting those of Tsleil-Waututh Nation…(but) is not as badly out of compliance,” writes Justice David Stratas in his September 25, 2019 ruling, which notes their filings accuse him of bias and therefore ineligible for a panel that ultimately hears the appeal.
“I have not prejudged this review. I am not biased. I confirm that I have been open-minded and persuadable on all issues throughout,” Stratas responds.
“This should be apparent, in part…that, in the end, I have ordered a remedy similar to that proposed by Tsleil-Waututh Nation.”
Just three weeks earlier on September 4, Stratas gave the Tsleil-Waututh leave to appeal cabinet’s second approval of the 1160km bitumen pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver on the following grounds: “was the consultation adequate in law to address the shortcomings in the earlier consultation process.”
That ruling also disqualified eco-activist groups and the City of Vancouver from proceeding in the consolidated TMX opposition, placing paramount importance to legal questions advanced by First Nations; whether the federal government fulfilled its consultation duties to a constitutional standard.
According to Stratas’ latest decision, the First Nations’ application strayed well beyond addressing this core matter at least seven times – including that Stratas be removed from the appeal panel altogether.
Bill Gallagher, veteran regulatory lawyer and longtime insider where resources and energy interests intersect with Indigenous rights, calls the Tseil-Waututh’s legal strategy “bizarre”.
“Who would expect a couple of First Nations to turn on the judge and the court that just gave them advance to the Federal Court of Appeal with a full panel,” Gallagher told The Post Millennial.
“The number one complaint of First Nations in this country, coast to coast, is access to justice. And here, they won access to justice, courtesy of this judge, then turn around and show a major case of legal ingratitude.”
“It’s highly dubious and quite bizarre lawyering in my view,” he added.
The Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations scored their first victory against the Trans Mountain project back on August 30, 2018, when the Federal Court of Appeal quashed original National Energy Board permits.
In its unanimous decision the appeal court concluded that the federal government could not make an informed decision because the “Board’s process and findings were so flawed that the Governor in Council (cabinet) could not reasonably rely on the Board’s report.”
Within 24 hours of this decision, Kinder Morgan shareholders voted to sell Trans Mountain to the Government of Canada and Ottawa re-started consultations with affected First Nations.
Last June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced cabinet’s second approval of the project’s twinning, which precipitated the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations’ second crack at Federal Court.
Trudeau also said his government would be willing to sell the entire project to Indigenous interests, of which there are three separate consortiums vying for an ownership stake.
The Squamish Nation did not respond to TPM’s requests for comment and Ben West, spokesperson for the Tsleil-Waututh told TPM the First Nation would not speak to the matter while it is before the courts.
Raised in a Conservative household, Cyara Bird has overcome tragedy in her life. Especially during her childhood.
Her triumph over mental and physical abuse from her step-father is an issue faced by many Indigenous women and girls on and off-reserve.
Accomplishing her 2013 goal of running for office in under 10-years is a testament to her resiliency and bravery as an Indigenous woman, and as the CPC Candidate for Churchill-Keewatinook.
According to the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, 40 percent of girls self-reported being sexually or physically maltreated before the age of 15. That stands higher than non-Indigenous Canadians at 29 percent. Both figures provide insights into the horrific reality of child abuse in our communities.
Violent victimization amongst the Indigenous population (160 incidents per 1,000 people) more than doubles that of non-Indigenous people (74 incidents per 1,000 people). For Indigenous women, aged 15 and older, that number increased to 219 incidents per 1,000 population.
With self-reported victimization higher amongst Indigenous people for sexual assault (58 compared to 20 incidents per 1,000 population) and physical assault (87 compared to 47 incidents per 1,000 people) than non-Indigenous Canadians, the importance of coming forward, regardless of identity is vital in the push for justice, accountability, and a hopeful resolution to one’s healing.
In a Post Millennial Exclusive with Cyara, she mentioned how her abusive step-father “that [she] would end up being a drug addict selling [her] body to make money.”
Having fulfilled her promise to run for office in 2013, she added: “To be able to be here, and to be able to prove him wrong and to do good things for my people is so surreal.”
In light of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry by the Liberal Government, Cyara made it known of her intent to inspire other Indigenous women to seek office and break glass ceilings.
She poignantly states, “I want to show them that you can do anything, regardless of any hurdles that you may face.”
“Jump right over them and keep on going. Know you can do anything that you want to do that is going to make a positive impact [for our communities].”
When it came to the Inquiry, however, “[she] believes that the inquiry did not give us the answers that we needed.”
On reconciliation: “We have to make sure it doesn’t lose the power behind it.”
Following the release of the final MMIWG Report, 231 individual calls for justice were made following two-years of public hearings and evidence gathering.
The truths of some 2,380 Indigenous Canadians were heard.
Amongst the many thousands missing is Cyara’s relative, who she states, “has been missing for a long time.”
“I appreciate [the efforts that went into MMIWG, but] I feel that we need more answers.”
In part, addressing the economic realities that many Indigenous Canadians face is crucial to tackling the issues presented in reconciliation — many of which are intertwined.
From consulting Indigenous Canadians on resource development projects to developing such in an environmentally-conscious manner, both will go far in bridging the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
“We need to make sure that we keep our natural resource sector alive because it’s so important to push Canada forward.”
“Moving forward, especially when we’re talking about reconciliation, we have to make sure it doesn’t lose the power behind it.”
From tackling mental health to ensuring communities have clean drinking water, Cyara promotes issues that impact demographics across Canada.
“One of the biggest issues [I’m campaigning on] is making sure that every reserve in Canada has clean water. There is no excuse for that to be happening.”
Two weeks after giving birth to her second child, both of which are under the age of four, she went to give her youngest a bath but was met with murky water. While unsuitable for bathing and consumption, this is an issue many on-reserve Indigenous-Canadians faces, even today.
Also, tackling the addiction and “suicide crisis,” was a top priority for her. “I would like to see land-based sobriety camps popping up, on and off-reserves.”
“I feel that if we get our people back on the right path, giving them the [tools] that they need, it’ll help pull them back to us.”
“Mental health does not discriminate. It impacts everybody.”
“I am not just doing this for my children. I’m doing it for children across Canada.”
At a Calgary-based rally, organized by her colleague Michelle Rempel in early-September, Cyara spoke to the struggles that came with this sacrifice, especially early on in her candidacy.
“There were days where I would be the only one door knocking,” she says. “Driving from one poll to the next, I would have to stop periodically to breastfeed my child.”
Teary-eyed, she referred to her past struggles as a driving factor for her campaign. Having made six attempts on her life at 19 years of age, she overcame adversity to become an advocate for Indigenous issues.
“I am not just doing this for my children. I’m doing it for children across Canada.”
She cites her children as her primary motivators in her riding, stating, “I haven’t seen both of my kids in a week because I needed to focus on making sure that this campaign moves forward.”
“My campaign manager has three kids as well and has her husband’s looking after them. So there’s a lot of sacrifices that come with [campaigning], but I know it’s going to pay off.”
Today, she advocates for a better relationship with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, in hopes that her next of kin inherit a Canada that is fairer and more prosperous.
As people attend the Climate Strike in Montreal with Greta Thunberg in presence, a Canadian is raising awareness about First Nations and environmental issues too.
Autumn Peltier, the Anishinabek Nation chief water commissioner, has spent nearly half her life fighting against injustices.
She is 14.
“There are people living in third-world conditions in our first-world country,” she says. “It’s insane. Canada is wealthy. There shouldn’t be places that can’t drink their water.”
According to the Globe and Mail, Autumn travelled to New York this week to speak at the Indigenous march within Friday’s climate strike.
She will deliver a speech at the UN on Saturday, her second at the podium.
“I’m here to tell people about the importance of water, and to educate people on a cultural and spiritual level,” Autumn said. “They need to know that we need to act now.”
“I do get a different perspective than some of the other activists, since most of my work comes from traditional [Indigenous] cultural knowledge,” she added. “But the others give me courage. Some of those kids are really strong, and they have strong messages as well. It makes me feel like we will be able to get something done.”
Autumn is in high school and says her friends and family are very supportive of her. “My friends are very supportive of what I do,” she said. “They think it’s really cool.”