FSIN Executive Communique June 15, 2012Commemorative Day Walk
There will be a commemorative Day Walk from Victoria Park to Kinsmen Park, Saskatoon, June 20, 2012, 10:00 am. It is to remember all of the children that died while in the care of the province. They will arrive at Kinsmen Park approximately 11:30 am and some guest speakers will include: Chief Lynn Acoose; First Nations Women's Commission, Chief Wesley Daniels; Health & Social Development Commission and Vice Chief E. Dutch Lerat. Also involved in the walk will be citizens of Saskatoon, organizations, Elders and students. The Oskayak High school drum group will sing and accompany the walkers. A Pipe Ceremony will take place 8:30 at Victoria Park. The walk begins at 10:00 am.
Bill C-38, Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Bill C-38: Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, is an omnibus Bill that introduces, amends, or repeals nearly 70 federal laws. Bill C-38 will impose a series of new regulations and policies that will deny First Nations their constitutional and legal rights to be consulted and accommodated on major resource development projects. Bill C-38 will gut the environmental assessment process provisions of the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and it will also affect provisions of the Fisheries Act, among other things.
On May 24, 2012 the FSIN Chiefs-in-Assembly passed resolution #1817, Opposition to Bill C-38: Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity Act, demanding government to implement its legal and constitutional responsibilities to consult with First Nations. The resolution also directed the FSIN to develop a legal strategy to impede the Bill's progress until meaningful consultation is undertaken. The FSIN has retained Borden Ladner Gervais LLP law firm who will assist FSIN in challenging Bill C-38.
What to Expect from the Saskatchewan National Event
June 21-24, 2012 Saskatoon, SK
National Events are an important part of the TRC mandate and are intended to share and record the truth of those people affected by the Residential School System. Hosted in the City of Saskatoon, SK from June 21-24, 2012, this event will offer unique experiences from Survivors in Saskatchewan. The courage and resilience of residential school Survivors and their families will be shared with all Canadians.
Throughout the Saskatchewan National Event, traditional ceremonies will mark the official opening, closing and appropriate moments. These ceremonies will be relevant and respectful of traditional protocols. The Opening Ceremony will take place on the morning of Thursday June 21, 2012 and the Closing Ceremony will be on Sunday June 24, 2012 (Exact times TBC).
Residential school survivors are a focal point of the National Event. They will be given the opportunity to Share their Truth and how the experience has affected them and their families. This can happen in a public forum or in private through the Statement Gathering process. A variety of Health Supports will be available. Professional counselling will be accessible through Health Canada registered service providers. Emotional support will be provided through a network of Aboriginal Regional Health Support Workers. Cultural supports will be provided by Elders.
The Saskatchewan National Event is an opportunity to explain residential school history and its legacy to the general public. These activities include sharing circles, stage performances, films, plays, youth programming and a learning place.
Expressions, actions and intentions of reconciliation will occur on behalf of governments, churches, the business sector, communities, individuals and committed groups of citizens. This helps to acknowledge the past and move forward with a mutual understanding of lessons learned.
Commemoration is defined in the TRC mandate as: Honouring, educating, remembering, memorializing and/or paying tribute to residential school former students, their families and their communities and acknowledging their experiences and the broad and systemic impacts of the residential school system. The National Event is a public forum where commemoration initiatives are recognized.
Cultural and Artistic Expression
Artists have a profound contribution to make in expressing both truth and reconciliation. The Saskatchewan National Event provides a space to showcase artistic collaborations of reconciliation, healing and inspiration. It is also a place to celebrate the emerging and evolving cultural expression of our peoples.
During each ceremony, sharing circle and Calls to Gather, witnesses (from across the country) will be called upon to fulfill the traditional role of observing and recalling the transfer of knowledge.
The Saskatchewan Hearings raise awareness and help promote the Saskatchewan National Event. The Commissioners will visit 12 communities throughout the region, providing survivors with the opportunity to reflect on and share their experiences as momentum builds towards and continues following the Saskatchewan National Event.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150 year history of the Residential Schools, and guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.
Import Notice: The Common Experience Payment application deadline has passed. Late applications will be accepted until September 19, 2012 in cases of disability, undue hardship and exceptional circumstances and must include a written reason for the delay of application. For more information, a survivor or an executor may contact me and I will assist or call the CEP line at 1-866-699-1742 (TTY: 1-800-926-9105) or visit the closest Service Canada Centre in their area.
99 DAYS - IAP DEADLINE: September 19, 2012
TRC Regional hearing in La Ronge June 5 – 7, 2012 was well organized and many attended. Many came forward from survivors to church representatives to share with Commissioner Wilson. Lac La Ronge Indian Band and surrounding communities are wonderful hosts/hostesses.
The National Events are an important part of the TRC mandate and are intended to share and record the truth of those people affected by the Residential School System. This event will offer unique experiences from survivors in Saskatchewan. The courage and resilience of residential school survivors and their families will be shared with all Canadians. Activities will be in and around Prairieland Park, Diefenbaker Park and Wanuskewin Heritage Park. There will be traditional Ceremonies, truth telling, public education, reconciliation, commemoration, cultural and artistic expression and witnessing. For the four day agenda, please go to: http://www.trc.ca/
Once you are on the TRC website then go to Saskatchewan National Event, Program, Day 1, Day 2, Day3 and Day 4. It is our hope that you will join us and thousand others for the TRC Saskatchewan Nation Event.
Buffalo Narrows Community hearing that was scheduled for May 17, 18, is rescheduled to Buffalo River July 3, 4, 2012.
First Nations Health Information Working Group meeting, Saskatoon, June 8, 2012
The First Nations Health Information Working Group previously met on May 17 and 18, 2012, this was the first meeting of this group in long time. At this meeting it was recommended that the group should meet on June 8, 2012 to perform strategy and work planning. On June 8, 2012 the group met in Saskatoon to discuss the deployment of Panorama for Saskatchewan First Nations, health information and data jurisdiction.
AFN National First Nations Health Technicians Network Regular Meeting
June 12 - 14, 2012, Ottawa
FSIN senior management staff attended the Technicians meeting in Ottawa June 12 to 14. The meeting involved information about Regional Updates, Federal Budget 2012 and the FNIHB Restructure. Other topics of discussion included: HSS File Updates, Public Health, TB Strategy, PH Pilot Projects, Coalitions Linking Action and Prevention for Science (CLASP), Food Security – Special Rapporteur, eHealth, Mental Wellness, Home and Community Care and the sharing of provincial work plan and priorities. For more information, please contact the FSIN main office.
Memorandum of Understanding for Health
The MOU team, along with the Tripartite Project Management Committee, has been working at developing a plan to prioritize the 26 Project Charters that evolved from the 75 recommendations presented by the expert task groups in 2010 stemming from the Visioning Session held in Saskatoon in November 2009. This led to the drafting and development of the10 year Saskatchewan First Nations Health and Wellness Plan. It is hoped that FSIN will be announcing the Federal and Provincial approval of the 10 year Health and Wellness Plan at the upcoming June Legislative Assembly and will become the blueprint in addressing the health disparities First Nations experience in Saskatchewan.
Work on two project plans identified and approved by the MOU Steering Committee are continuing and ongoing. They are the Cultural Responsiveness Framework, which is to assist First Nations individuals navigate the health system and to give health care employees an understanding of the cultural differences between First Nations and others. There is a definite need to eradicate biased attitudes that exists when it comes to dealing with health issues in the health care system in Saskatchewan. The Project Advisory Team is hoping to have a draft of the framework completed by September of this year. The other is the Environmental Scan of Health Information for First Nations in the province of Saskatchewan. The environmental scan is nearing the final stages and the scan will be made available once there is final approval from the Tripartite MOU Steering Committee.
MOU upcoming meetings:
Project Advisory Team - Cultural Responsiveness Framework – September 2012
Project Management Team – MOU – August 2012
Steering Committee – MOU – September 2012 – Jackfish Lodge
Cultural Responsiveness Framework Update
The Health and Social Development Secretariat of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, through funding from the Ministry of Health, Province of Saskatchewan, has undertaken a project to develop a Saskatchewan First Nations Cultural Responsiveness Framework for health services.
The development of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework is supported by a Project Advisory Team which is comprised of Elders, First Nations Health Directors, professional/technical experts, Regional Health Authorities, representatives of the federal and provincial governments as well as the Health and Social Development Secretariat.
The purpose of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework is to ensure that health services available to and accessed by Saskatchewan First Nations will be respectful and will accommodate our different cultural as well as traditional beliefs and practices.
The work plan that has been approved by the Project Advisory Team identifies the need for a consultation process among various stakeholders. This consultation process will include focus group meetings as well as interviews, surveys and questionnaires for First Nations, health organizations, Regional Health Authorities, health professional organizations and other stakeholders. It is expected that there will be a series of meetings throughout the Province of Saskatchewan where community members, (Elders, youth, men and women) will have an opportunity to discuss this important issue and to provide feedback that will be included in the final Cultural Responsiveness Framework. In addition, it will be important to obtain the support of educational and training institutions so that there can be a process where a critical component in any health curriculum will include strong cultural awareness information.
There are many challenges in the completion of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework primarily due to lack of committed long-term funding. However, the Health and Social Development Secretariat is committed to the completion of this framework so that there will be improvements to the health services that First Nations receive either in acute care institutions or through primary care services.
On-going progress reports will be made available to First Nations communities, Tribal Councils and other stakeholders.
Saskatchewan First Nation Veterans Association (SFNVA) Update
The SFNVA held their Annual Golf Fundraising Tournament at Dakota Dunes Golf Course. Grand Chief Ray Sanderson thanked the golfers for supporting their event despite the soaking wet conditions. In total, 20 teams attended. The SFNVA utilize these monies to assist the 120 members and the 80 (approximate) widows in the province. The Executive continue to provide assistance to their members and are working on different avenues for support.
Bold Eagle 23 Update
The Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre has filled 21 of 24 positions for this year's Bold Eagle. The remaining positions are being processed and the successful applicants will be notified. Bold Eagle takes place in at the Western Area Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta.
Treaty Right to Education Graduation Medals
The FSIN Executive and staff continue to attend graduations this month and hand out the Treaty Right to Education Graduation Medals, which are a very important recognition for our graduates. Some of our Chiefs have compared them to the value of our young people earning their first Eagle Feather by their deeds. These medals have been designated as gifts from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations to the graduates of our on reserve high schools and the designated high schools for our First Nations (approximately 510 recipients).
Office of the Treaty Commissioner
Vice Chief Bird met this week with the new OTC Commissioner George LaFond. The initial meeting was designed to allow the two to get to know each other in their respective roles. There was discussion about Treaty Education kits and resources that have been provided to schools since Treaty Education became mandatory in 2007.
Human Rights Complaint on Education
Following in the steps of the 2007, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society ("Caring Society") human rights complaint against INAC, First Nations in Quebec have launched a similar Human Rights complaint aimed specifically at the funding of education on reserve. It is common knowledge that First Nations education in the Saskatchewan region has the same issue with underfunding. On reserve funding is on average $6500/student while provincial funding is on average $10,500/student. The Saskatchewan Indian Education and Training Commission passed a resolution supporting this Human Rights Complaint and are asking the Chiefs of Saskatchewan to add their political support to the Human Rights Complaint on Education.
Education Information System
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) set aside $27 million over 5 years for development and implementation of the INAC Education Information System (EIS) which is scheduled for implementation in September 2012. INAC’s objective for developing EIS is to create a database capable of combining all education related reports into a single national system that is web based. It is anticipated that this system will increase the Department’s ability to highlight education related data from First Nations and compare this data to provincial and First Nation schools across the country. First Nation’s issues with the EIS since the beginning include, but are not limited to:
• INAC’s implementation of the EIS does not adhere to the First Nations’ Ownership Control Access and Possession (OCAP) guidelines and principles for data management; a First Nations controlled database is the only way to satisfy the principles of OCAP.
• INAC’s continued disregard of our Inherent and Treaty Rights and First Nations Control over First Nations Education throughout the EIS process.
• INAC’s Failure to Honor its Duty to Consult and Accommodate
• Privacy Issues have not been addressed
• No Funding for the First Nation component of INAC System including training and implementation
As the concerns brought forward from first Nations have not been addressed, the Saskatchewan Indian Education and Training Commission passed a resolution demanding that the Minister of INAC delay the implementation until such times First Nations concerns are addressed.
Joint Task Force Community Discussions:
Upcoming Meeting Dates
June 20, 2012: Commemorative Day Walk, Victoria Park, Saskatoon, 10:00 am
June 21 – 24, 2012: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Saskatchewan National Event, Saskatoon, SK
June 25, 2012: Senior Technical Advisory Group (STAG) – Saskatoon Inn
June 27, 2012: FNECC Working Group – Radisson Hotel Saskatoon
July 11, 2012: Saskatchewan Indian Education and Training Commission- Travelodge, Saskatoon