Joanne Rogers first woman elected chief of Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Voters at Aamjiwnaang First Nation made history Friday by electing their first female chief.

Joanne Rogers was elected to a two-year term, with 431 of the 593 votes cast for chief of the band council for the First Nation neighbouring Sarnia.

“I’m excited,” she said.

“It’s a new journey for me.”

Rogers, who is a life-long resident of Aamjiwnaang, retired in 2014 after serving 21 years as a Justice of the Peace.

Prior to that, the SCITS graduate had served on council and also held positions with the band, including clerk, stenographer and receptionist.

Over the years, Rogers has attended courses at Lambton College and Queen’s University.

“I’ve always been involved in the community, and sat on numerous committees,” she said.

“I’ve always, always cared about my community.”

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New Indigenous Name for Walpole Island Elementary School, “Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig” Walpole Island Elementary School changes name to “Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig” Walpole Island First Nation, Ontario – The Walpole Island Board of Education (BOE) is pleased to announce the new name of the Walpole Island Elementary School. As of Friday, June 10th, 2016, the school will be known hence forward as ‘Bkejwanong Kinomaagewgamig’, which translates into English as ‘Bkejwanong School’.

The new name will be officially unveiled at the Walpole Island Elementary School Powwow on June 10th, 2016. Last fall, school name submissions in Anishnaabemwin were requested from the Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) community. The list was narrowed down to two choices with input from both the WIFN BOE and the Bkejwanong Gii-gdo Ninwag (Bkejwanong Council). Read More.


New Aamjiwnaang greenhouse goes back to the future

A project to enhance and restore the plants and trees that historically grew in Sarnia-Lambton is underway in a new greenhouse at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

The joint venture between the band’s Environment Department and Return the Landscape will result in the sale of plant native to the Carolinian zone of southwestern Ontario.

Kyle Williams, the operation’s greenhouse technician, said he’s been playing in Aamjiwnaang’s woods and collecting seeds from its wild spaces since he was a boy. Read More.


Feds, Ont. First Nations sign settlement over Camp Ipperwash

A bitter and bloody land dispute between Ottawa and a southwestern Ontario First Nation that culminated in the police killing of an aboriginal protester two decades ago has formally come to an end.

The federal government and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation signed an agreement Thursday to return Camp Ipperwash, a former military base built on land appropriated in 1942, to the First Nation.

The agreement also gives the First Nation $95 million “to invest in a brighter future.” Read More.


Wheels to Lambton program in motion

Judith Morris has seen the issue come up constantly.

The president and CEO of Lambton College, who previously worked at Sault College in Northern Ontario, said they’ve issued surveys to find out the main reasons Aboriginal students were either not attending classes or were dropping out of school.

“In every single survey of the top three issues, transportation was (ranked) one or two,” Morris said.

Which is why a collaboration of local First Nations communities, Lambton College, industry members and workforce development has come up with a program to shuttle students to post-secondary classrooms. Read More.


Caldwell, Leamington Partnership Creating Jobs

Under a new partnership, members of the Caldwell First Nation will get hands-on training from the Municipality of Leamington on how to run a municipality.

Mayor John Paterson says the partnership grew out of a previous agreement to provide training to run Towle Harbour. The First Nation has hired it’s equivalent of a chief administrative officer and eventually plans to hire staff to provide other municipal services to its members.

“We’ll be hooking them up with our finance department, the engineering department — basically, everything to run their own municipality because the Caldwells are a government unto themselves.” Read More


Lambton College and Kettle & Stony Point First Nation partner to open new satellite entrepreneurship office

After securing a $90-million federal deal last fall, the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation are now positioning themselves for economic growth.

Officials with the First Nation band and Lambton College gathered Thursday to open their joint satellite entrepreneurship office inside the Kettle & Stony Point administration building northeast of Sarnia.

“There’s so many jobs and so many opportunities that are going to arrive in those two communities over the coming five to 10 years that it just made sense that we open up a small business incubator at Kettle & Stony Point,” said Jon Milos, the college’s director of entrepreneurship. Read More.


Lambton College partners with Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation to launch a satellite location of The Cube

SARNIA, March 24, 2016 – In an ongoing commitment to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of the local community, Lambton College is pleased to announce a brand new partnership with the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation (KSPFN) to establish a satellite hub of The Cube, the College’s on-campus entrepreneurial incubator.

The Cube at Kettle & Stony Point (KSP) is a collaborative effort between Lambton College and the local First Nation community and will focus on providing entrepreneurial education and start-up support for residents of KSPFN.

The official announcement was made earlier today during the First Nation’s 3rd Annual Career Resource Job Fair, which took place at Hillside School.

The new satellite location was established in a joint effort between the two organizations to promote entrepreneurship within the First Nation economy. Read More.


Ontario first nation heads to Supreme Court over Enbridge’s Line 9

An Ontario first nation is taking its fight against a controversial pipeline that runs through one of Canada’s most populous corridors to the country’s top court.

The legal battle over Line 9 – which runs between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal – pits the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation against Enbridge Inc., the National Energy Board and the Attorney General of Canada.

The aging pipeline drew spirited opposition when Enbridge sought to reverse its flow and increase its capacity in 2012. Read More.


Delaware Nation welcomes visitors to experience First Nations culture

MORAVIANTOWN – Participating in pow wows – which means a gathering of people – is a family tradition that DJ White proudly continues up to 100 times a year.

In fact, the 24-year-old London resident, who was raised on Walpole Island First Nation, has only missed the Competition Pow Wow at Delaware Nation in Moraviantown once in the last 14 years he has been dancing.

“I like that it’s close to my community,” he said, adding pow wows are held across North America – which First Nations people call Turtle Island.

When he was in elementary and high school, White added it was great to be able to get in one more pow wow before the school year began.

Watching White dance – which includes many twists, twirls and jumps – it is apparent he is an experienced dancer. Read More.