FSIN Executive Communique July 27, 2012Industry Relations Forum
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), Lands and Resources Secretariat hosted an Industry Relations Forum on July 26, 2012 in Saskatoon. The purpose of the Industry Relations Forum was to foster the growing interest among First Nation leadership to form mutually beneficial working relationships with the natural resource sector in Saskatchewan. The Forum also provided an opportunity for all parties to begin to understand each other's obligations with respect to the duty to consult and accommodate. The Forum will serve to open the doors to the greatest resource First Nations have to offer – a large, young and growing workforce.
Bill C-38 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA)
Bill C-38 replaces the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) with new legislation. THE CEAA 2012 ends environmental assessments for minor projects, referred to as "Screenings". Comprehensive studies will now be referred to as "environmental assessments" and review panels remain the most stringent type of environmental assessment. The CEAA 2012 will impose difficult timelines of:
• 12 months for environmental assessments, 18 months for review panels undertaken by the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and 24 months for all other review panels.
• 20 days to provide comments on scoping
• Provisions included in CEAA 2012 to "stop the clock" while certain reports and studies are being undertaken. First Nations will repeatedly need to make such requests to ensure protections
The CEAA 2012 places a great deal of decisions in the hands of the federal Cabinet. This threatens to politicize environmental decisions.
The FSIN Health and Social Development Secretariat will be hosting the Children and Family First conference on August 21-22 at the Prairieland Park. There will be workshops and activities targeted to First Nations of all ages and will focus on strengthening the family and community.
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.
56 DAYS - IAP DEADLINE: September 19, 2012
Blott & Company Law Firm: A lawyer for Blott & Company surprised a B.C. Supreme Court at a hearing mentioning that his client (Blott & Company) is laying everyone off, lawyer Roy Millen told Justice Brenda Brown, and will cease to operate as of June 30, 2012. Independent Assessment Process files, was being wound down by the court anyway. It was punishment for what Brown described in a June 5 court order as a violation of clients' trust and breaching the IAP, in part, through a "loan scheme." The judge kicked him out of the IAP earlier this month and froze the 15 per cent commissions the government of Canada paid on each file. Blott had approximately 3,200 files yet to put through the IAP. Blott's firm has already earned more than $10 million from the IAP, and the associated company Honour Walk, also of Calgary and operated by Thom Denomme, has earned at least $6 million, according to the investigator's report. As well, parties to the hearing are still waiting for her decision on whether to censure the lending companies – Bridge Point Financial of Toronto and Settlement Lenders of Edmonton – for their role in the Blott-loan-lending arrangement that at times charged what court heard were criminal rates of interest.
Loans and other third-party services for profit are prohibited under the IAP. This is to protect survivors and their compensation awards. Another associated company – Funds Now – operated by David Hamm of Calgary may also be censured. It charged Blott clients 20 per cent for finding the loans then later reduced the amount to 10 per cent. All of these firms, investigators noted, operated for about 5 years – the length of time the IAP has been in place. Further, Brown has allowed the Law Society of Alberta access to the files to check the quality of work and other issues. Blott and his associated companies delivered the claimant files and related paperwork to Pitfield before the end of June. Sources say Pitfield wants to meet with claimants and discuss new lawyers with them in person.
If you would like to have FSIN, Health Canada, Adjudication Secretariat Office to come to your communities please contact, Jaye Cameron. All the outreach or information sessions are on an invite basis.
Cowesses First Nation – August 7
Ochapowase First Nation – August 9
Cote First Nation – August 12
Keeseekoose First Nation – August 14
Joint First Nations Deployment of Panorama in Saskatchewan Meeting
On the morning of July 24, 2012 the FNDPS Steering Committee; Information Governance Working Group and Change Management Working Group met in Regina, Saskatchewan to discuss the Current State Federal and Provincial Legislative Framework on individual's privacy in the federal and provincial contexts. This was the first joint meeting of the steering committee and the working groups that report to it. The discussion focused around business or operational context; information collection, disclosure, use, retention and management.
On the afternoon of July 24, 2012 the First Nations Deployment of Panorama in Saskatchewan Steering Committee met in Regina, Saskatchewan. Discussion focused on the areas of First Nation Community pilot sites and initial subscriber criteria and timelines; Communication and Engagement awareness for First Nations regarding Panorama and informing of potential implementation in First Nation Communities. As well the steering committee received Panorama project status updates on the national and provincial levels. The Change Management Working Group and Information Governance Working also provided updates on their activities and progress to-date. The steering committee also discussed the establishment of an Information Technology Working Group, with First Nation representation, to inform the committee but also to provide a broader picture to the activities of the panorama project that affects First Nations with recommendation and advice on an information technology perspective.
Memorandum of Understanding for Health
The Project Management Committee has been working on the 26 project charters stemming from the 75 recommendations brought forward from the Visioning Session in 2009. These Short Form Project Plans are being developed for approval from the Steering Committee and will be forwarded to the Senior Technical Advisory Group (STAG) and vetted through the Health and Social Development Commission and finally presented to the FSIN Legislative Assembly.
The approval of the 10-year Saskatchewan First Nations Health and Wellbeing Plan is presently before Cabinet in Saskatchewan. The Minister of Health will sign off the document once the province has passed the document. The plan identifies shared priorities and commits the parties to working together more effectively to improve the health of Saskatchewan First Nations. A joint tripartite news release will be forthcoming in the near future.
The development of the Cultural Responsiveness Framework (CRF) continues with consultations of various stakeholders. The consultations will focus on the grassroots level. Elders, women, youth and men will have an opportunity to provide feedback and to discuss important issues that are thought to create barriers for First Nation individuals who access the health care services in Saskatchewan. The FSIN want to thank those communities who have welcomed the opportunity to discuss the framework at the various gatherings the Project Advisory Team have attended throughout the province.
FSIN met with Bev Peel from the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) on July 13, 2012. Ms. Peel has been mandated by NITHA Chiefs to sit on the Jordan's Principle Work Group. FSIN is pleased to have Ms. Peel's experience on this working group. FSIN will be working with the Jordan's Principle Working Group to develop information for communities on Jordan's Principle and how to access supports and advocacy processes for children with complex needs who are not receiving services from Saskatchewan and Canada.
FSIN is hosting the First Nations Child Welfare Framework Technical Committee meeting on July 31, 2012, in Saskatoon.
Bold Eagle 23 Update
Bold Eagle 23 is 3 weeks complete. 92 Aboriginal Youth started the program on July 8. Six recruits withdrew but the positions were refilled by the Canadian Forces. Presently, 82 remain in the program. Over the next 2 weeks, the recruits will receive training in weapons handling, rappelling, gas hut, and first aid. On Aug 11, they will participate in a Grand Entry at the 50th Anniversary Siksika First Nation Pow Wow near Gliechen, Alberta. Bold Eagle 23 Graduation is set to take place on Aug 16, 2012 at 1:00pm at the Parade Square in Wainwright, Alberta.
Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association (SFNVA)
The SFNVA will hold an Executive meeting on July 31 in Saskatoon. Agenda items include: Fund Raising Activities, Grave Marker and releasing the quarterly edition of their newsletter the Bugle.
The Gaming Review Period ended on July 11, 2012. Interim Chief Watson sent a letter to Premier Brad Wall regarding the Review period and the Provincial Negotiating Team lack of open mindedness in discussing First Nation perspective and issues brought forward to the negotiating table.
Interim Chief Watson requested a meeting with Premier Wall. Chief Watson and the Executive Director of Gaming have had meetings with provincial ministers to discuss Gaming. Meetings are continuing the week of July 30th and another update will be provided next Thursday.
The Gaming Commission Meeting that was scheduled for August 1, 2012 is being rescheduled for a later date. The Gaming Secretariat will contact Gaming Commission Members and the Gaming Institutions as to the rescheduled date.
FSIN Housing is hosting a 3-day workshop in Saskatoon August 21-23 to promote and provide information on the "Housing as a Business" concept. By viewing housing as an economic development opportunity and not just a social program, First Nations can create strategies to keep more money in their communities. To register, call 956-1044.
The 2012-13 RRAP allocation has been released and Saskatchewan will receive $1.894 million, down from last year's budget of $2.25 million. Cuts are also expected to the Section 95 program, although this information has not yet been released. As with any cuts to housing funding, this will have a negative impact on the quality of life for First Nations families and local economies.
North American Indigenous Games (NAIG):
The North American Indigenous Games is coming to Regina and the Treaty 4 territory in the summer of 2014. Currently the Board of Directors is being assembled. Glen Pratt has been hired as CEO and he started his new position out of Regina on July 16, 2012.. Planning volunteers and senior staff members will be required in the coming months to assist in the organization and delivery of the games, applications will be posted on the Regina 2014 NAIG website. The Regina 2014 website is expected to go live in August 2012.
Assembly of First Nations National Youth Summit:
FSIN together with the Montreal Lake Cree Nation submitted a bid to host the AFN National Youth Summit. FSIN/MLCN was awarded the bid to host. Dates for the National Summit are November 23, 24 and 25 in Saskatoon. The Summit is expected to attract 1400 youth from all across Canada. The organizing committee has begun planning with the host venue being the Prairieland in Saskatoon. Host hotel for the summit will be the Saskatoon Inn.
Lands and Resource Commission
The Commission met on July 25, 2012 in Saskatoon. The Commission Chiefs received an update and discussed with Cynthia Westaway, Borden Ladner Gervais, the legal challenge to Bill C-38: Jobs, Growth, and Long-term Prosperity Act. Other items of discussion included First Nations Land Management Act overview, Canadian Western Agribition presentation, PFRA Community Pastures, Osooyos Decision, Moose Over-population, TLE, NRTA, and NWMO. The next L&R Commission yet to be determined.
First Nation Appeals Tribunal
In June 2012, the Chiefs-in-Assembly adopted the Act Respecting the First Nations Appeals Tribunal. This independent appeals mechanism was established to resolve appeals that could not be resolved within the existing dispute resolution processes of the FSIN and its institutions. Regulations were developed and appended to the Act. Future developments of this institution will be the governance structure and recruitment of Tribunal members.
Implementation of the RCMP/FSIN Protocol
The FSIN/RCMP Protocol signing between FSIN Vice Chief Bobby Cameron and RCMP Assistant Commissioner "F" Division, Russ Mirasty took place during the FSIN Spring Legislative Assembly in Treaty 5 Territory on June 26, 2012. FSIN initiated this development to address the gaps in First Nation policing and to ensure that the community safety interests of First Nation communities are met. Over the summer, an action plan will be developed to implement the Protocol. The overall goal is to establish trusting and reciprocal relationships among the Parties through early resolution of complaints and the prevention of incidents that can potentially escalate into conflict situations.
Governance Task Team
The work of the Governance Task Team has progressed over the summer months. The FSIN Election Act was amended and adopted by the Chiefs-in-Assembly in June 2012. The positions of Chief Electoral Officer, Deputy Electoral Officer and Legal Counsel have been advertised and distributed to the Tribal Councils. The FSIN Executive Act has been amended and will be presented to the Joint Executive Council/Indian Government Commission on August 14th for discussion and vetting for the October Assembly.
Upcoming Meeting Dates
July 31, 2012: First Nations Child Welfare Framework Technical Committee meeting, Saskatoon.
July 27 – 31, 2012: Traditional Healing Gathering – Consultations for the CRF, Key First Nation
August 6 – 10, 2012: NRTA Western Treaty Nations, Prince Albert, SK
August 14, 2012: Joint Executive Council/Indian Government Commission, Saskatoon Inn
August 15, 2012: Eagle Moon Urban FN Elders Gathering – Consultations, Regina, SK.
August 21 – 23, 2012: Treaty Right to Shelter, Saskatoon, SK
August 21 – 22, 2012: FSIN/HSDS Family Conference, Saskatoon Prairieland Park
August 20, 2012: Treaty Right to Health Workshop, Saskatoon, SK.
September 6 – 13, 2012: Treaties 1-11 Gathering, Brandon, MB
September 19 – 20, 2012: Treaty 4 Gathering, Fort Qu'Appelle, SK.