Shawn Bell - Wawatay News

Verbal sparring over Attawapiskat continues

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

The war of words between the leadership of Attawapiskat and the federal government continued as northern Ontario rang in the New Year.
The first volley of 2012 came on January 4, when Mushkegowuk Council accused the federal government of putting Attawapiskat’s essential services at risk. Mushkegowuk noted that the federal government transferred $1.5 million of education monies from the council’s accounts to the accounting firm BDO Dunwoody.
“The First Nation is now concerned that payroll and other essential payments will not be made,” Mushkegowuk stated in a press release.

Wahgoshig case sets precedent for First Nations, says lawyer

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

The lawyer behind Wahgoshig First Nation’s (WFN) successful court action against a gold mining company says the decision in the case will serve as a precedent for other Ontario
First Nations Ontario in conflict with mining companies on traditional land.
Kate Kempton, a lawyer with Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, said the injunction against Solid Gold Resources sets the bar higher in forcing companies to conduct meaningful consultation with First Nations before exploration work starts.

Cat Lake chief pleads for drug abuse help

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

The prescription drug crisis devastating First Nations across northern Ontario boiled over in Cat Lake on Jan. 23, as the community declared a state of emergency and issued a plea for help in addressing the health and safety of band members.
Chief Matthew Keewaykapow issued the call for help to the federal and provincial governments, saying the band could no longer provide essential services or protect its members.

Drug epidemic needs support: medical director

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

The prescription drug abuse epidemic ravaging northern Ontario First Nations has placed an additional burden on health care providers in the North.
Claudette Chase, medical director at the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA), says prescription drug addiction has become an “ever increasing” part of practicing medicine.
“There’s no question it’s an epidemic,” Chase says. “It’s added a new layer of sadness watching people struggle with these addictions.”

Private home ownership building pride in Whitefish River, says chief

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

Chief Franklin Paibomgai of Whitefish River First Nation is happy to talk housing.
Despite the prevalence of housing woes all across northern Ontario First Nations, the days of housing concerns in Whitefish River – just north of Manitoulin Island – are a thing of the past.

Feds promise more money to fight prescription drugs

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

Health Canada has announced funding of $700,000 for northern Ontario to help the fight against prescription drug abuse.
The money was pledged during a meeting in Thunder Bay on Jan. 12, where 11 First Nations that have community-based prescription drug abuse projects joined Health Canada reps to compare strategies.
It is expected that the money will be given out by March 31. Health Canada spokesperson Stephane Shank said the government is currently developing a plan for more funding in the next fiscal year.

Land use agreement marks ‘exciting time’ for First Nation

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:33

The first northern Ontario First Nation to opt out of the Indian Act as it applies to land use decisions says it has taken a huge step towards self-governance.
Under a federal government land use management agreement signed Jan. 24, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) was given full authority over the development of its reserve lands. The agreement means the First Nation will no longer be governed by 34 land-use sections of the Indian Act.
BNA Chief Paul Gladue said the agreements will help the First Nation attract private business partnerships into the community.

Immediate funding increases needed for reserve schools, says national panel

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:32

A national First Nations education panel is calling on the federal government to increase funding for First Nations schools immediately to attempt to deal with serious gaps between education success rates of First Nation and non-Aboriginal students in Canada.
The panel’s report, released Feb. 8 in Ottawa, also calls for the creation of a national First Nation education commission and regional education boards.

Work begins on Cat Lake drug addiction issue

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:32

The coordinator of Cat Lake First Nation’s efforts to deal with prescription drug abuse in the community says meaningful work has begun.
Erin Horvath of New Vision, a not-for-profit community development organization, said the Feb. 10 meeting between stakeholders was a productive start towards community healing.
“We’re strategizing how to work together to support the community,” Horvath said.

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