Friday, February 22, 2013

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the following changes to the Ministry

at a private swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall:

The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, will continue the Government’s work to advance dialogue on Aboriginal issues and take achievable steps that will provide better education and economic outcomes for Aboriginal peoples across Canada.

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, as Associate Minister of National Defence, will support the Minister of National Defence on a variety of matters to fulfil the Government’s commitments to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and to ensure that value-for-money principles remain at the core of national defence administration.

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, has been appointed Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will assume responsibility for La Francophonie.

“The Government remains focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across Canada, including in our Aboriginal communities,” said the Prime Minister. “Mr. Valcourt brings considerable and wide-ranging Cabinet experience to his new role and I am confident Ms. Findlay will contribute to the enhancement of our Armed Forces while delivering value for money to Canadian taxpayers.”


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Monday, March  4th, 7 pm

Nanaimo Conference Centre

The coalition of stakeholders are hosting a public town hall meeting to discuss the proposed development to Nanaimo Boat Basin, to be held March 4th 2013 at the Nanaimo Conference Centre at 7pm

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

For more information Email: savetheharbour@gmail.comor phone: 250 741 7540

Webpage: saveourharbour.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Elections BC is conducting an enumeration and updating the provincial voters list for the May 2013 Provincial General Election. Are you on the voters list?

“Elections BC is implementing a multi-layered approach to enumerating the province in advance of the May 2013 Provincial General Election” says Keith Archer, Chief Electoral Officer. “We are asking eligible voters to register and those already on the list to ensure their voter registration is up-to-date.”

Beginning Monday, February 25, 2013, over 1.9 million notices will be mailed to residential addresses in the province asking eligible residents to register to vote or to update their voter registration information. Residents can do so online (www.elections.bc.ca/ovr) or by calling Elections BC toll-free at 1-800-661-8683. Residents may also identify the names of voters no longer living at their address and request that their name be removed from the address.

Starting on March 6, Elections BC voter registration officials will provide voter registration opportunities throughout the province at shopping malls, community centres, campuses and more. Voter registration officials will be conducting door-to-door visits in selected high mobility neighbourhoods, new subdivisions and residential complexes. View the electoral district specific voter registration opportunities on the Elections BC website at: www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/2013-voters-list-update/#opportunities/

“Look for us in your community,” adds Archer. “Take the opportunity to register to vote or make sure your voter registration information is up-to-date. Be ready for the Provincial General Election.”

Register as a provincial voter online at www.elections.bc.ca/ovror by phone at 1-800-661-8683.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Police departments throughout British Columbia will collect unwanted and unauthorized guns from the public during a firearms amnesty in June 2013.

The program, announced at a meeting of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, will help remove the firearms from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals. It is also expected to generate tips on illegal firearms and promote goodwill between police and local communities.

For the entire month of June, people who want to surrender ammunition or weapons, including imitations and replicas, can contact their local police and provide basic information on the items they want to surrender. Police will visit residences to pick up the firearms, so the public should not bring the guns or ammunition to the police themselves. The amnesty will not apply to weapons or firearms used for a criminal purpose.

Similar programs in 1997, 1998 and 2006 successfully removed thousands of guns from B.C. streets. During the four-week, province-wide gun amnesty in 2006, British Columbians turned over 3,213 guns including 505 handguns, and 725 other unwanted weapons to police departments, as well as 96,500 rounds of ammunition, a rocket launcher and a machine gun.

This year's initiative is endorsed by the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and will be led by RCMP E-Division on behalf of the provincial RCMP, and supported by all the municipal police departments in British Columbia.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dancers of Damelahamid, in partnership with the UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA), present the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival -a weeklong celebration of the diverse stories, songs, and dances of the Indigenous peoples of the northwest coast from March 6 to 10, 2013 at MOA. This year’s celebration brings together a talented group of internationally celebrated artists and performers from throughout

British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, Quebec, and Ontario to share a memorable selection of song and dance traditions through a series of School Workshops, Signature Evening Presentations, and afternoon Festival Stage performances.

“We are honoured to be returning to the beautiful and inspiring Great Hall of the UBC Museum of Anthropology for a sixth year of cultural performance and celebration,” says Margaret Grenier, Executive and Artistic Director ofDancers of Damelahamid. “The festival is truly gifted this year with an expansive group of performers committed to the history and culture of their unique art form. From Inuit throat singers to Metis jiggers to Prairie hoop dancers and beyond, it is a rare opportunity tobe able to see such an array of disciplines in one place.”

The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is a celebrationof the inspiring stories and dramatic dances of the Indigenous peoples of the northwest coast of North America.

Produced and presented annually by Dancers of Damelahamid, the festival transforms the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall into a dazzling showcase of First Nations culture and compelling dance. The festival places particular emphasis on the vibrant traditions practiced by artists from coastal British Columbia, Manitoba, the Yukon, and

Alaska. In some years, the festival has also hosted international dance groups, hailing from as far away as Australia, to share their ancient and living traditions.

The Festival consists of three primary components:

Signature Evening Presentations -Ticketed gala events featuring headline performances from Dancers of Damelahamid and special guest artists.

Festival Stage Performances -Showcase presentations from visiting performers. The Festival Stage Performances take place on weekend afternoons and are included with admission to MOA.

School Group Performances -Weekday sessions introducing students to the rich history and traditions of First Nations dance, performance, and storytelling.

The 2013 Festival line-up hosts a range of returning audiencefavourites, as well as first-time festival performers, including: Chinook Song Catchers, Spakwus Slolem, Dakhká Khwáan, Git Hayetsk Dancers, Inuit Throat Singers Nukariik, Rainbow Creek Dancers, Hoop Dancer Alex Wells, Git-Hoan Dancers, Kwhlii Gibaygum, Kwa Kwa Ka Wakw, and Metis Jigger Yvonne Chartrand with Compaigni V’ni Dansi.

For additional information on the festival, please visit damelahamid.ca.

About Dancers of Damelahamid

Dancers of Damelahamid is a professional Aboriginal dance company from the northwest coast of British Columbia. The Gitxsan, ‘people of theriver of mists,’ are part of the coastal group of cultures that have the distinctive button blanket regalia. Their rich history of masked dance inspires a compelling performance, celebrating the diversity and time depth of the many beautiful Indigenous cultures across Canada. Through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carvedmasks, and elaborate regalia the Dancers of Damelahamid transform time and space, and bridge the ancient with a living tradition.

For more information please see Moa.ubc.ca/eventtickets or Damelahamid.ca

Monday, February 18, 2013


RE: Resignation of Minister of Indian Affairs

On Friday, February 15, 2013, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (Canada), John Duncan resigned. His resignation was timed for after the close of business in many areas of Canada. His resignation was said to be necessitated by his writing of a letter of reference for a constituent who was before the Tax Court of Canada.

Hugh Braker, Chief Councillor of Tseshaht, has welcomed the resignation of John Duncan.

“Regretfully, Mr. Duncan has not been effective in the past year. Tseshaht is not sorry to see him go. His handling of the Aboriginal Education issue, Attawapiskat, Idle No More Issues, Chief Spence hunger strike, changes to the Indian Act without proper consultation, and a host of other issues all showed his lack of leadership and lack of willingness to consult.” Braker said. “The Tseshaht expect the Minister to meet with us and consult on issues and not impose Government considered solutions upon us.”

“We look forward to a new Minister who will consult with Tseshaht, sit at the table as an equal and truly listen to our concerns. There are many issues of vital concern, not just to the Tseshaht but to all the people of the Alberni Valley, that we would like the Minister to hear our views on. Not the least of those issues is protecting the salmon in the Somass River. I am sure that all the people of the Alberni Valley want to see the Somass salmon runs thrive. We want a Minister who listens to our concerns and brings them to Cabinet.” Braker added.

Tseshaht believes the new Minister will have a host of major issues on his/her plate when the new Minister assumes office. A proposed new Aboriginal Education Act, the legacy of residential school, treaty negotiations, specific claims, changes to the Indian Act without consultation, reserve water and housing problems, inadequate reserve infrastructure and aboriginal health are just a few of the major issues facing the new Minister.

Friday, February 15, 2013

(Port Alberni) “ Fisheries not coal “is the theme of a public meeting at Char’s Landing on Argyle Street Thursday February 21, from 7 to 9 pm. Roberta Stevenson, executive director of the BC Shellfish Growers is the keynote speaker.

“The negative effects on food production especially fisheries from coal producing regions has to be a major focus of discussion and the Shellfish Growers have done the research,” says Gary Swann, Alberni Environmental Coalition director. In the Baynes Sound shellfish industry alone 600 jobs are at risk with the Raven Coal project in an industry that is worth $30 million annually.

The Raven coal project is expected to proceed to the final stages of the environmental review in the upcoming weeks.

For more information contact:

Norine Messer

Participant Coordinator

Alberni Environmental Coalition

(250) 735-4111


Port Alberni Mayor and Council

4850 Argyle Street

Port Alberni, BC

V9Y 1V8

Attached below is an open letter to Port Alberni Mayor and Council

                                                                                                                                 January 30, 2013

Dear Port Alberni Mayor and Council,

The Raven Underground Coal Project is expected to enter the final stages of the Environmental Review in the coming weeks. 

Ken Watson, the city representative, on the Working Group of the Environmental Review will receive the 8,000 to 10,000 pages of studies undertaken by scientists hired by Compliance Energy prior to these studies being released to the public.  As representatives they are expected to critique these studies with reference to the application information requirements (AIR) finalized last June and the concerns voiced by the community. How will your representative tackle the review of the 8 – 10,000 pages to adequately assess the documents?   The Alberni Environmental Coalition hired three experts in the fields of air quality, socio-economic impacts and marine environment who have been closely following the process and will be reviewing what the Compliance advisors are submitting.  Public input is extremely important because the final approval does not reside with scientists but with the final decision taken by the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Environment.

Concerns regarding this project continue to grow.  As you know the BC Shellfish Growers Association has, after careful review and deliberation along with meetings with all levels of government, taken a position in opposition to the Raven project.  In the last two months the Town of Comox and the Comox Valley Regional District have passed motions raising serious concerns about the environmental review process and asking that it be halted until those concerns are addressed.  As well a variety of organizations including the BC Lung Association amongst others are concerned about potential health effects of increased coal exports out of the Port of Vancouver.  Our port faces the similar concerns.

Just as it has been widely acknowledged by many including the current provincial government that there is no “social license” for the Enbridge pipeline project, there is no “social license” for the Raven Project.  The list of organizations and individuals challenging this project continues to grow since the survey undertaken in Port Alberni over a year ago.  The United Church Presbytery of Comox-Nanaimo at their meeting October 27, 2012 in Port Alberni took a position of opposition to the Raven project. 

Attached are documents ( City of Comox, CVRD, open letter BC Lung Association and others, Port Alberni Survey report) in support of the above statements.  We would be pleased to provide additional documentation if desired.


Gary Swann

Director/ Treasurer

Alberni Environmental Coalition

PO Box 1087


Port Alberni, BC

(250) 723-7692


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Indigenous women face among the highest rates of violence in Canada.

The 5th Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17.

We will gather at 11 a.m. outside Our Place at 919Pandora Ave. At noon we will march down Pandora to Government and on toThunderbird Park.

People are invited to gather at Thunderbird Park around 1p.m. for an open memorial event with speeches, songs, food, and prayers.

This is a family event and people of all ages are welcome. There will be vans to support Elders or those requiring assistance along the march, as well as bus tickets.

The Memorial March originated 22 years ago on Feb. 14  in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The march calls attention to the disproportionately high numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women from this neighbourhood.

Today, this march has come to represent a time for remembering, grieving, honouring, and seeking answers for Indigenous communities and their allies across Canada. This march is a time to stand in solidarity with the families whose loved ones have gone missing and been murdered from Vancouver Island and beyond.

According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s 2010 report, there are more than 600 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Of these deaths, nearly half of the murder cases remain unsolved.

Rates of violence against Indigenous women are highest in British Columbia with 28 per cent of the cases of missing and murdered women occurring here.

This is a memorial march. People are invited to wear red, or regalia, and to bring drums. The Memorial March organizers stand in solidarity and friendship with the Idle No More movement and call on our brothers, sisters, and supporters across the globe to make the sacredness of the lives of Indigenous women and girls a priority.

Violence against Indigenous women implicates all people who make home in today’s “Canada.” This year, let us walk to honour those who are missing and murdered, and say that today, this violence must stop with us.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Deadline for Expressions of Interest has now been extended to Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Request for Expressions of Interest from BC Aboriginal Organizations

to Host an Aboriginal Youth Intern for Summer 2013

Greetings from the BC Public Service Agency's

Aboriginal Youth Internship Program

The Aboriginal Youth Internship Program is seekingExpressions of Interest fromBC Aboriginal Organizationsthat can provide supportive, educational and meaningful work placements for Aboriginal Youth Interns for a 3 month period (June 3 – August 30, 2013). The Intern’s salary is paid by the provincial government during their work placement in the selected BC Aboriginal Organizations.

Aboriginal Youth Interns have a wide variety of skills and abilities that will benefit Aboriginal Organizations, including:

  • youth engagement practices;
  • project management;
  • research;
  • conference and event coordination;
  • policy analysis and development;
  • strategic planning;
  • communications;
  • website and manual development;
  • community liaison; and,
  • other specific skill sets based on education and experience.

In addition, Aboriginal Youth Interns bring valuable knowledge of provincial government programs and processes based on their 9 month placements in Ministries across government which will be of benefit to Aboriginal organizations.  The placements in Aboriginal Organizations can bespecial organizational roles that involvework on specific projects or programs, job shadowing opportunities,meeting, conference, and event coordination/attendance, other developmental opportunitiesor a combination of these.  Interns are seeking structured placements that offer interesting opportunities to assist, learn, and grow as emerging professionals and leaders.

If your Aboriginal organization is interested in hosting an Aboriginal Youth Intern this summer, please complete theExpression of Interest 2013 template, and submit it by the deadline of February 22, 2013. All organizations that submit Expressions of Interest will be informed of the outcome by mid-April, 2013.  Selected organizations will be matched with a qualified Aboriginal Youth Intern whose interests, goals, experience and qualifications best match theinternshippositions available.


Important Dates for Aboriginal Organization Placements

Deadline for Expressions of Interest:February 22, 2013

Advisory Committee Meeting to Review EOIs:  Mid-March 2013

Aboriginal Organizations Informed of Outcome:Mid-April 2013

Internship Placement Begins: June 3, 2013

Internships Placement Ends:August 30, 2013

Submitting form by Email

Please submit the completed Expression of Interest 2013template by EMAIL to Program Administrator, Aboriginal Youth Internship Programno later than February 27, 2013.

EMAIL:          Attention:  Amanda Horncastle at ayip.administrator@gov.bc.ca

PHONE:         250-387-0460

CELL:           250-217-1700

FAX:               250-387-0749

For more program information, please see our program websitehttp://employment.gov.bc.ca/?p=Aboriginal_Youth_Internship_Programor contact:

  • Stephanie Papik,  Program Lead at 250 387-7288
  • Bradley Dick, Program Coordinator at 250-507-7405

Thank you for your support of this important program for Aboriginal Youth in BC!


Stephanie Papik, BSc. (Hon), Program Lead - Aboriginal Youth Internship Program

The Learning Centre |Talent Management Division | BC Public Service Agency

Fourth Floor, 716 Courtney Street |  Victoria BC | V8W 1C2

Office: 250-387-7288 | Blackberry: 250-217-8235


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