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BKEJWANONG KINOMAAGEWGAMIG GRADE 8 STUDENT INSPIRES FOOD BANK DRIVE

Students at Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig collected 1547 items for the Social Services Food Bank.  Grade 8 student Noodin Miskokomon inspired his fellow students to participate in the food bank drive.

“You just feel good when you know that you are helping somebody,” says Noodin, “I felt really great when this started and how many goods we’ve collected—and what we brought together as a school.”

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Caldwell First Nation shares housing concerns after deadly Oneida fire

The Caldwell First Nation is sharing concerns about what’s being called a crisis in housing on reserves after a fire killed five family members near London, Ont. last week.

Louise Hillier is the chief of the First Nation which is trying to establish its first reserve in Leamington. She’s concerned the government won’t provide the nation with enough funding to build things safely.

“Without the proper resources to construct those homes that are so desperately needed, people are going to be getting something constructed that’s not up to code,” Hillier explained. “So do you build half a house and let it stand there until you can come up with enough funds to complete it, or do you do the best that you can to put a roof over someone’s head that has no roof?” Read More.

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First Nation chief included in warden’s election ceremony for first time

Aamjiwnaang First Nation Chief Joanne Rogers continues to break new ground.

On Wednesday, Rogers – who became the first female chief of Aamjiwnaang First Nation this summer – also became the first local chief to preside over a warden’s election in the 168-year history of Lambton County.

“We searched the records and we couldn’t find any evidence of a self-identified member of a First Nation presiding over a warden’s election,” county solicitor David Cribbs said. Read More

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HERB GRAY PARKWAY TRAIL OPENING

Walpole Island Chief Dan Miskokomon and Council Members attended the Opening of the Herb Gray Parkway Trail in Windsor on November 9, 2016. The new, 17-kilometre multi-use trail is the first trail that has been incorporated into a major provincial highway project in Ontario.

Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation, was accompanied by Drew Dilkens, the Mayor of Windsor, Chief Miskokomon, Reta Sands, Walpole Island Elder, and Lori Newton, Executive Director of Bike Windsor Essex to officially open the trails on the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway. The trail runs from Malden Rd. in the west to Howard Ave. in the east.

The relationship that exists today between Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) on the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway began in 2004 during the early planning stages for a new end-to-end border transportation system in the Windsor-Detroit Gateway. Through consultation, WIFN has influenced policy and infrastructure projects to include opportunities to share First Nation history and culture with neighboring communities.

Walpole Island artist, Teresa Altiman, was commissioned to design an interpretation of the Great Turtle which carries the Grandfather Stone.

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Chippewas of the Thames is headed to Canada’s highest court to fight the Line 9 oil-flow reversal

Bolstered by the support of an international environmental group, a London-area First Nation is calling on all Canadians to join its campaign against energy giant Enbridge’s plan to reverse the flow of oil in the Line 9B pipeline.

The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada this month for an appeal hearing on the change to the pipeline which travels through Chippewas land, a change which members — along with critics and environmentalists — warn could lead to an environmental catastrophe.

The reversal has been greenlighted by the National Energy Board, but, the Chippewas aruge, without the Crown first fulfilling its constitutional duty to consult the First Nation.

While the appeal takes place at the Supreme Court, supporters are organizing a “fill-the-Hill” demonstration in Ottawa that aims to get attention on Parliament Hill down the street. Read More.

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Chippewas of the Thames protest pipeline

The pipeline snakes across the forested plain, east from a place called Aamjiwnaang and on through the land that Myeengun Henry says has never been surrendered.

He said his nation, the Chippewas of the Thames, didn’t consent to the pipeline’s construction in the first place, 40 years ago. And when Enbridge, the pipeline owner, wanted to put through more oil and partially reverse its flow, Henry and his compatriots called for direct “nation to nation” consultation with the Canadian government — such is their constitutional right, he argued.

But the Chippewas of the Thames argue that right was denied despite direct appeals to federal ministers during community hearings on the proposal for Enbridge’s Line 9, which was approved in 2015. Read More.

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GRAND BEND WIND FARM GRAND OPENING

Walpole Island First Nation Chief & Councillors attended the Grand Bend Wind Farm Grand Opening on Thursday, October 6, 2016. After a tour of the Grand Bend Wind Farm, the Chief and Councillors attended the Ceremony & Lunch at the Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend.

Myrna Kicknosway offered the Opening Prayer and Animikeence Plain & Company performed a pow wow drum and dance exhibition. Representatives from Northland Power, Amer Foster Wheeler, and Siemens all spoke at the event (companies involved with the project). Walpole Island Chief Dan Miskokomon and Aamjiwnaang Chief Joanne Rogers also spoke to the attendees.

The Grand Bend Wind Farm is a partnership between Northland Power (who owns 50%) and Giiwedin Noodin First Nation Energy Corporation which is formed by Aamjiwnaang and Walpole Island. Both First Nations own a 25% stake in Grand Bend Wind Farm.

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Young activist is on the front lines of First Nations’ fight against pipelines

Vanessa Gray’s hand shakes as she talks about the prison sentence dangling over her head.

The 23-year-old activist says she’s “a little scared,” but also hopeful she won’t be convicted of mischief endangering life when her case goes to trial next year. Crown prosecutors charged Gray and two others last December after they allegedly sabotaged a pipeline in Sarnia.

If convicted, the three could serve time in a federal penitentiary.

Gray, who hails from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Southern Ontario, was at McGill University last week speaking about her fight against Canada’s energy industry. Read More.

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Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Flag Raised at London City Hall to Commemorate the 220th Anniversary of the London Township Treaty

LONDON, ON (September 7, 2016)–Chief Leslee White-Eye was on-hand this morning to raise the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation’s flag at London City Hall to commemorate the 220th anniversary of the London Township Treaty.

This event is significant.  This morning’s flag raising acknowledges London and Chippewas’ shared history and will educate the public on the Treaty signed on September 7th, 1796.  The London Township Treaty is a land purchase agreement between the Chippewas and the British Crown for a tract of land located north of the Thames River.

“This is a positive step towards building a respectful relationship between the City and Chippewas of the Thames.  One of the key tenants of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 recommendations is raising awareness of the history of Treaties and Indigenous rights.  Initiatives like this serve to foster awareness and educational opportunities around our shared Treaty history for Londoners,” stated Chief Leslee White-Eye. Read More.

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Caldwell First Nation hold first ever powwow celebrating a return to their land

People from all over Canada and from across the border were in Leamington Friday to take part in the Caldwell First Nation’s first ever powwow, celebrating the repatriation of their land.

“This means the world to us, this is the epitome of what we are trying to do, this is our land, this is our home,” said Janne Peters, Caldwell First Nation councillor. “Our ancestors are in this area so having this today and tomorrow, will give our ancestors a little bit of closure.”

It was long-awaited day, vendors and visitors came as far as New York and Alberta to participate in the historic day of celebration. Read More.