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Issue 1 • Volume 19
UN REPORT ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
FSIN Chief Comments on Report Submitted by United Nations Special Rapporteur
On May 12th, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples released the report on the situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The report examines many of the “daunting challenges” that remain when addressing the well-being of Indigenous peoples. The report also refers to the attempts made by the federal and provincial governments as being “insufficient”, adding that Aboriginal peoples’ well-being merits higher priority at all levels of government. On May 13th, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Perry Bellegarde commented on the report. Stated in an FSIN press release: “Chief Bellegarde noted the striking similarities between the analysis presented in the report and the positions that have been advanced by First Nations leaders from across Canada. The report concludes that the system is not working as intended, as evidenced by the fact that the gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people in Canada has not narrowed at all in recent years.’ Chief Bellegarde said, ‘The report identified numerous urgently required changes - sufficient funding for First Nations services, addressing the First Nations housing crisis, addressing the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, and transferring governance responsibilities to First Nations – just to name a few. The report also notes the need for true consultation and accommodation on the proposed new First Nations education act.’ Added Chief Bellegarde, ‘While good intentions are laudable, the reality is that the ‘well-being gap’ between First Nations and nonFirst Nations people in Canada is as wide as it ever was. It is absolutely essential that governments in Canada carefully read this internationally distributed report and agree that half- measures must be replaced by stronger commitment to solve an issue that has dragged on for an unacceptably long time.’” •
George Gordon Retail Centre
FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde
Q&A: Comic Ryan McMahon Page 7
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by Armand LaPlante
There may be hundreds of Aboriginal high school graduates in the province this year, but First Nations are still going to have to struggle to educate an increasing number of kids while being grossly underfunded. The federal government continues to ignore the Treaty right to education and have not fixed the problem of inequitable funding. The feds have finally scrapped the First Nations Education Act after a great deal of controversy over it and it remains to be seen if they will replace it. Apparently, it offered far too little and would have done nothing to rectify the shortfall between reserve schools and provin-
cial schools. The Chiefs rejected the proposed Act and AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo stepped down over it. Perhaps, Atleo felt it was the best that we could get out of this government. The United Nations Special Rapporteur seemed to think the feds’ offer might have some merit, but all that is water under the bridge now since the bill has been rejected and withdrawn. Another issue the Special Rapporteur discusses in his report is that of missing/murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Since his report was released, the RCMP have now brought out new data which shows that it’s a very complicated issue. It’s a “moving picture” as they say, but clearly Aboriginal women go missing and are murdered and subjected to violence at rates far greater than those of non-Aboriginal women. There have been increasing and high-profile calls for a National inquiry on the subject, but then there are a few who feel that another inquiry will only cost a lot of money to tell us what we have already heard. Both the Special Rapporteur report and the RCMP report are worth reading and can be found online. As a business student at the University of Saskatchewan I have noticed there are hardly any fellow First Nations business students. The numbers
are low compared to other colleges such as education. Sometimes, it is assumed that commerce is not innately who we are, not a part of our culture, which I contend. First Nations people engaged in commerce throughout the centuries amongst themselves first and then with the Europeans. The Mandan in North Dakota were the centre of a large trading network where First Nations would go and trade from all around. The Cree and Nakota among others would go down and trade at the “Mandan-Hidatsa Trade Centre”. Corn, tobacco, furs, shells, and many other things were traded. Once the Europeans arrived, horses, guns and other European manufactured goods were traded amongst the First Nations. Historically, even after being confined to reserves, First Nations were active producers and consumers engaging in commerce with surrounding communities. Despite repressive policies, First Nations have found ways to be involved in commerce. Lately, I have noticed an increase in First Nations women entrepreneurs – self-employed business owners. This trend may be propelled by full-time mothers who need flexible hours in their working lives in order to support their family. Either way, I believe that the First Nations community as a whole will
3 benefit from more students enrolling in business diploma, undergrad, and graduate degree programs. The recent SIIT and U of S Edwards School of Business partnership will help. If you haven’t heard about this partnership, see page 10. We will have a stronger stance in a competitive world and a larger slice of the economic pie. One thing that makes me happy when I think about graduates is not only that accomplishment , but it’s knowing that having completed their programs they are now in a better position to do what makes them happy. By doing what makes us happy, by having a sense of productive accomplishment, and by being a positive, contributing part of society, our happiness and morale will increase and our communities will thrive. Congratulations to the graduates out there! See you next month. Ekosi, Armand LaPlante email@example.com
Lieutenant Governor Cuts Ribbon at George Gordon Honourable Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Schofield visited George Gordon First Nation on May 29th to officially open the new George Gordon Retail Centre. Elders William Bitternose and Nancy Bitternose held the ribbon as her Honour cut it, while Chief Shawn Longman, dignitaries including FSIN Vice Chief Dutch Lerat, and visitors looked on. Greg Bratushesky, the manager of the retail centre, thanked everyone for coming out to witness the event and for their ongoing support of the business. This wasn’t the Lieutenant Governor’s first visit to George Gordon. She said she enjoys coming to this reserve and
Chief Longman, as well as Herman Blind, one of the organizers of the event, expressed gratitude and appreciation of the good relationship with Her Honour. George Gordon First Nations’ (GGFN) Retail Center was recently awarded the Workplace Training Excellence Award from the Lieutenant Governor. The Retail Center has been part of the reserve community’s comprehensive plan for the past couple of years. When Councillor Corey Blind was first assigned the portfolio, the reserve was just in the midst of purchasing a building. The next step was to find a company to erect the building. • continued on page 12
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Left to right (front): Chief Shawn Longman, Elder William Bitternose, Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Schofield, Elder Nancy Bitternose. Photo: Barbara Bitternose
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Pimatisiwin, Global Indigenous Knowledge Systems by Priscilla Settee, Ph.D.
Pimatisiwin, Global Indigenous knowledge Systems is a series of Indigenous stories told over a five year period of time. It is the story of amazing individuals working to bring Indigenous knowledge into education and research. It represents Indigenous voices from Southern Africa, the Pacific regions of Vanuatu, Hawaii, the Philippines and stories from Canada. The stories were gathered between 2002 until 2007 from colleagues who are making educational institutes friendlier and more effective places for Indigenous learners. Pimatisiwin begins with my father Henry Settee’s story of disenfranchisement from his home community of Cumberland House and describes our family’s eventual disintegration. The story begins with a description of loss of knowledge but also includes community rebuilding through reclamation of Indigenous knowledge. The story that follows is Hawaiian Indigenous Kanaka Maoli and the University of Hawaii. Hawaii is a chain of volcanic islands with mountainous regions that spill into rich vegetation and beautiful coastal waters, all of which provided a complete way of life for the Indigenous peoples. Today, the impact of the military industrial complex and highrise luxury tourist hotels has left many of the Indigenous peoples as landless paupers on their ancestral lands. Prior to the overthrow of their Queen, Liliuokalani, in 1898 by the United States, Kanaoka Maoli, Hawaii’s Indigenous Hawaiian population, had resource-rich nations with complex knowledge systems. The overthrow of the Queen and the replacement of their government by the United States sent the Kanaoka Maoli into a socio-economic, cultural, and spiritual decline, from which they are
only now beginning to recover. Part of their recovery involves the rediscovery and revitalization of ancient Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, which has become the basis for rebuilding mighty nations. Since the late 1990s, Hawaiian Charter schools were established to address the hegemony of the “all-American” brand of education in Hawaii. In addition to my research at the University of Hawaii, where the charter school is housed, I also use the work of Mika Settee Usiskin who spent 6 months on an international internship at Halau Ku Mana Charter School immersed in the environment. Settee Usiskin interviewed one student of Halau Ku Mana who provided the information on the school and its curriculum and methodology. HALAU KU MANA Halau Ku Mana, one of many Hawaiian Charter schools that were established in 2001, teaches traditional Hawaiian values and incorporates them into the state of Hawaii’s required curriculum. The charter schools movement is one of the fastest growing areas of public school reform. Charter schools are public schools under contract - or charter - between a public agency and groups of parents, teachers, and community leaders. Charter schools create choice for parents and students within the public school system, while providing a system of accountability for student achievement. Charter schools also provide opportunities for parents to play powerful roles in shaping and supporting the education of their children and encourage innovation and creativity within an educational context. As a result, charter schools can spur healthy competition to improve public education. The school embraces the tra-
ditional Hawaiian spiritual, physical, and intellectual values. Its vision is to empower learners to think, feel, and act in the Hawaiian manner of balance, harmony, and fairness in order to meet the challenges in their local, regional, and global communities. The Hawaiian teaching method at Halau Ku Mana is very family-oriented, and the school is like one large and inclusive ohana, “family.” The students refer to the teachers as auntie and uncle, which helps create a nurturing family atmosphere. When the leadership of the Hawaiian Islands was overthrown by the United States, a form of cultural annihilation followed, with the imposition of the American system of education and other social systems. The Hawaiian language, along with many other traditional aspects of the people, was lost. Hawaiian charter schools, such as Halau Ku Mana, are a way for the people to regain many cultural expressions that they once had and to put Indigenous knowledge systems into practice. Charter schools are a community effort and a way to rebuild and strengthen community through the creation of new and prospective leaders, the students, who are the future generation. These schools also challenge the dominant ideology of mainstream schools. Reflective of an interview Settee Usiskin (2002) did with Hawaiian student Namahana Baldwin, Settee Usiskin states that Halau Ku Mana has three guiding values. The first, Ho’okumu, refers to grounding and foundation and is the source Hawaiians draw upon to establish foundations, such as strength, wisdom, and experiences of communities, land, and the ancestor. The second, Ho’okele, refers to direction and connections. It represents keeping a strong foundation
and living with respect and yearning for multiple sources of knowledge. Ho’okele provides Hawaiians with direction and the connections necessary to bridge between cultures and communities. Through such networking, Hawaiians are prepared for the challenges of their life voyages. The third, Ho’omana, refers to sustenance and empowerment. Ho’omana is our learning ‘ohana (family), Mana Maoli, means to strive for self-empowerment by nourishing and balancing all three pino, body,mind, and soul”. At the same time, humanity must seek systemic change through community empowerment and active participation within our regional, national, and global communities. The students are working at conserving traditional Heia fishponds. They are learning how their ancestors kept fresh fish inventories. Fishponds range in size from small individual family ponds, to large community-sized ponds that have the capacity to feed the entire community. The fishponds are constructed by forming a barrier out of stone in the shallow water. A large gate separated the deep end of the ocean from the shallow end, where smaller and younger fish would enter easily by passing through the gate bars. The people then would feed the fish and as the fish grew bigger they couldn’t pass through the gate that they first came in through. Because of the Hawaiians ingenuity, they were able to have fresh fish. Not only the students are learning what their ancestors did to survive, these Indigenous Knowledge activities have been incorporated into the formal schooling process as part of the formal curriculum. Next month I will report on South Africa. •
Poundmaker Election Act Passed by F. P. Favel
On a moonlit night this past March, the Poundmaker Cree Band Custom Election Act was passed with a vote of 147 yes, 78 no votes, and 2 spoiled ballots. This was a process of many years, failed attempts, stalls and finally, after a clearly thought out process designed by former councillor Paul Favel with Roseanne Antoine in consultation with band members, and with Aboriginal Affairs funding, the election act was voted upon and passed. This was a historic moment for Poundmaker as previously Poundmaker’s election act was based on a clearly defined oral code passed down through the generations. This process ensured a fair venue for dialogue, discourse and disagreements but at the end of the day, when a vote was passed, though a transparent show of hands of members present this process enabled the community to move forward in a harmoni-
ous fashion. Poundmaker did not have a modern day election until the early 1970’s when lifetime Chief Thomas Favel, due to old age, took leave of his post. The elections since that time functioned but over the years, due to a breakdown in the oral understanding of the oral election code, elections began to lose a sense of order and this created conflict within the community. The passing of the election act will restore order in upcoming elections as it clearly defines the traditional election practice in a modern setting and time. The main features of the act are the need for any candidate to be free from having been convicted of any indictable offences within the past 5 years, that voting takes place in both urban centres and on the reserve ( a first for Poundmaker), that there is a clear non confidence and impeachment process. This process was begun in 2008 by Roseanne Antoine who consulted extensively with band members
in well attended publicized workshops; a proud moment for Poundmaker Cree this work was done on a volunteer Nation as many band members feel basis with expenses being covered that for any community to move forby her. In 2012, then Councilor Paul ward to take advantage of rising ecoFavel secured funding for the process nomic and career opportunities locally to continue, leading to a vote. All that and provincially, and as a collective to remains for the act to become official is strengthen our language and traditional for the Chief and Council to sign off on values, good governance is crucial. • the act and send it off to Aboriginal Affairs, this signing off is a mere formality as previously the quorum had signed off on approving and supporting this whole process, and the act clearly states that once voted on and approved by the people, the act is now valid and in Jubilation erupts when election act passed. Left to right: effect. Malcolm Andrews, Roseanne Antoine, Milton Tootoosis. This was
Q&A: Aboriginal Comedy Hero Ryan McMahon Hecklers, Podcasts, and the Late Legend Charlie Hill by Armand LaPlante
Ryan McMahon is a star, bringing his no-holdsbarred style of native humor and storytelling to the mainstream. Using an assortment of multimedia, from live stand-up to podcasts and everything in between, Ryan has progressively innovated the comedy experience. His shows feature a mixed bag of routines, such as reading excerpts from his book “50 Shades of Pow Wow” -- his parodic take on Indian country and the adult novel 50 Shades of Grey. Ryan has had many remarkable successes including appearing on the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montréal, and being the first native comic to a one hour comedy special with CBC called “Unreserved”. Ryan recently recorded another one hour special with CBC called “Red Man Laughing” (also the title of his podcast) which was set to air this season. I was very appreciative to sit down with Ryan before his show in Saskatoon at Louis’ and talk to him for nearly an hour; in that time it became apparent to me where a lot of his drive and motivators for change come from. Here is the interview. ITNEWS: First off, where are you from? Ryan McMahon: I grew up in a small town called Fort Frances, Ontario, right beside Koochiching First Nation. Some of my family are from Minnesota, most are from Ontario side. My mom is Anishinabe, and my dad is Métis; I was born and raised in north western Ontario in treaty 3 territory. Your approach to stand up, how does being aboriginal affect that for you? It doesn’t. I wake up and I hear the news on the radio through one lens. I read the paper through that same lens. I experience the world through my own way of being, my Anishinabe worldviews. I’ve been asked to change that, I’ve been asked to not be a “native comic”. When I was at Just For Laughs, I was told it was detrimental to my career because I’m not visibly native -- I don’t fit that stereotypical role. I’m not going to get cast as a native guy at a comedy festival because I pass as white and I’m not going to get cast as a white guy at a festival in a mainstream festival because I’m native. Unlike Don Burnstick or Howie Miller, these guys are visibly native; I’m in a grey area that is good and bad. I’ve been told by agents and management companies at Just For Laughs when I was being asked to go down to LA and NY to not mention it. They said ‘you bring it up in the first minute of your acts how you don’t look visibly native, so why do you
Ryan McMahon talk about it? If you pass as white then why do you bring it up?’ it’s because I am who I am, I’m an Anishinabe and I can only be that. I like to think my comedy can reach everybody. My audience when I tour is very mixed; a lot of people from other cultures come through. I like to make my material accessible to everybody but you’re still going to get my point of view.
One thing people should know about comedians is that we have a plan; we work really fucking hard to make sure we know what we’re going to say. We start at one place and we end up at another place, and we have a way to get from here to there for every show. I work really hard to make sure I know what I’m going for so for hecklers (directly into the recorder): WE DON’T NEED YOUR HELP.. EVER!
Have you ever been heckled before? Is it racial?
Indian Country recently lost the legendary comic Charlie Hill. Tell me about your relationship with the late Charlie Hill.
I have yes. I’m writing a book called The Politics of Indian Comedy, that book is all about how when you come from a cultural community you need to be really careful because you work within a niche, and if you’re pissing off people within that niche, pretty soon your phone doesn’t ring anymore.. Pretty soon people don’t want to bring you to their community for an event because you don’t line up with their beliefs. It gets dicey, it’s ugly out there; it’s not easy to please everybody that’s in an audience. There was a woman that was super drunk in the audience, she came up to me after the show and wanted to take a picture and I was like ‘I will take a picture with you and do what I’m supposed to do here but I want to tell you that what you were doing was not cool’. She interrupted the start of the show.. Ten minutes into the show went onto her phone.. Told me to shut up. I want to be respectful but I have to tell you what the rules are. There’s nothing worse than an audience that isn’t paying attention. It’s my job to make you pay attention; it’s my job to be funny. But she thought she was helping, (in Ryan’s most annoying heckler voice): “I was trying to give you something to work with!”
Charlie Hill was the dad I didn’t have. Charlie and I were supposed to be on tour right now. We had planned a tour called the Indian Medicine Comedy Review that was supposed to start in Seattle and end in Denver. Two years ago when he got sick we were in the road together in Wisconsin and he couldn’t eat anything. Anything he would eat would irritate his stomach; I think that’s when he first got sick. During his last couple of months.. I still have the texts in my phone.. I’ll probably never erase them, but we were texting and there was a point where he stopped texting back – he was too sick. He was one of my best friends, a mentor, somebody that I really respected. With Charlie, the pursuit of the art is something that really inspired me, and people like him, like Floyd ‘Red Crow’ Westerman, Gordon Tootoosis, Buffy Ste. Marie, you look at all those artists from that first generation and how hard they worked to open up that door. I don’t think we can afford to sit back and be in our own little niche and collect our little cheques at conferences and do entertainment after mealtime at the
drug & alcohol awareness conference you know? We owe it to all those people that came before us to do that -- to fight for our community and give our young people something to look forward to. To give them something to look up to […] we need to now stand up and show people who we are. I think that’s what IDLE NO MORE showed us through the politics -- the whole world listened to us. BBC, Al Jazeera, CBS, NBC, everybody was talking about it which to me is positive proof that the world is waiting for us to tell them who we are. That means we as the artists need to keep pushing forward until we find that space and it’s going to take our people supporting us, us continually getting better, working hard, and I know there’s room out there for us. So many people live in a rough way; I see it all the time. My greatest privilege in this job is travelling and I get to see a lot of amazing things, good things, but I see a lot of bad things too. I think these young people often don’t see that there’s a good life out there for them, we need to show them. The more of that space we take up and the more we get people to listen to us, the better off we’re going to be, because the time is now. This is a really unfunny interview. (laughs) Well it’s important to get people thinking though once in a while. We don’t raise our people up enough. We’ve got this thing about “humility”, and it’s not even about jealousy or “crabs in a bucket” , I think that’s a small percentage, I think we just take things for granted sometimes, and that’s not a native thing that’s a human thing. Tell me what you got on the go. I just recorded the new one hour special for CBC, it’s called Red Man
June 2014 Laughing, it’s a National radio special. […] The podcast Red Man Laughing, which is independent of CBC, is still going strong. That’s at www.redmanlaughing.com I’m starting a media network, that’s my next project. It’s going to start as a podcast network, then we’re going to branch out to a full-fledged media entity like Vice, doing documentaries etc. The business plan is being done right now. It’s to create a platform for our content. I think they’re waiting to hear from us. If we start doing these documentaries, if we start supporting our artists by bringing them across the country, if we start selling merchandise, if they say 75% of our population is under the age of 40 and we are more educated than ever, I have to wonder where that disposable income is going. We have to recognize that the system is broken […] It’s like a wild west all over again. Remember that cowboys and Indians shit where people were just planting flags all over the place going ‘this is where I live!’? That’s what we need to do on the internet and we have these young people that have nowhere to hang their hat right now -- writers, documentarians. The time to build [the portal] is now, by just looking at the contacts on my phone, the people I know, there’s so much talent out there and so many of the artists out there working are just struggling to pay rent that we’re not in a position to promote excellence right now. We’re just surviving. So I want to build a platform that supports all of this work and really gets us to the next level. […] A multi-platform focusing on
Indigenous Times music, fashion, that kind of thing, and not being exclusive about it.. like you don’t have to be some famous native that’s been on APTN. Celebrity culture doesn’t belong in our communities; for my podcast Red Man Laughing I’ll have anyone from a Pow Wow singer, to an academic, to an artist, and anywhere in between. All voices need to be represented, I had a guy that just raises dogs, and that’s his whole job and he told me like an hour and 20 minute story about dog sledding in the north -- it’s the most listened to episode of my podcast ever. It gets probably 400 downloads a week just on that story about this guy raising these dog sledding dogs and it’s all about his connection to the land, an incredible story about being lost in the dead of winter on the great Slave Lake in the North West Territories and he thinks he’s going to die and he prays for himself. All the stories that connect us back to the land which has given us our life. That’s what we’re all about as native people so we all have something to give, to add. and that’s why in the media company too the third pillar of that whole media company too is doing something that I’m calling legacy projects which is basically selling projects to communities in formation to go in there and do immersive storytelling, documentaries, language work, getting it all digitized on a website for them. As our elders pass.. back home my grandma was the third last language speaker on my reserve and she passed in 2007, and there is only 2 left and a bunch of people went into kind of panic mode and started relearning the language. There is a big movement for it and so many communities now are in
that exact same danger, that’s why that legacy project is important. [Podcasting] is my thing, I beat my chest real hard about this stuff, but we should all be podcasting, we should all be writing, there should be no shortage of material it should just be fucking everywhere. Our generation is the first generation that’s free, we do suffer from the intergenerational effect of residential school, I have come from a family of addicts, I have my own difficulties in my life and many of us are still in that cycle but we didn’t go to those schools, we can do better, like my kid, I don’t have to pass any of that shit onto them, I’m big enough, I can hold that, I won’t give that to them so I think we’re all in the same spot, I think we’re all struggling to figure things out. So comedy is a medicine right? I don’t know, I don’t buy it, cause in a sense, I think saying that really takes a lot away from us, you know “comedy is medicine”. We laugh to heal, healing is laughter and yeah that’s true but then so often when we say that, that’s where we stop talking, and I think that laughter is so much more especially for us as First Nations. Yes, there used to be a way of storytelling and humour was so important to it. Yeah, and laughter, the idea of the trickster -- Nanabush, Wesakechak, whatever you want to call him showed
7 up in these stories, to teach us something. If you go down to Arizona they have their healer they say is like their jokester -- their tricksters. And you go to any indigenous nation they all have it; so wait a minute, why does everybody have this central character? It’s because we didn’t scold our kids the way they did, we didn’t do it that way; we had a different way of teaching and healing. I think with laughter, you have the whole cliché of ‘you go to a ceremony or a funeral and there’s more laughter at a funeral than anywhere’ because yeah we are healing each other we are making ourselves feel better right? When you go to a real serious sweat or something, that pipe carrier is teasing, everyone’s laughing and so it’s deeper than just laughter is medicine.. It’s who we are […] even old round dance songs from what I’ve been told were all about like laughter, and it’s all in the language but it was all about laughter and yeah there are ceremonial songs too. In general we don’t separate science from our lives, we don’t call it biology or ecology or geology, we don’t call it these things, so yeah I think it’s a lot more complex than laughter is medicine and we’re lucky because that’s innately who we are, it’s in all of us. •
Red Man Laughing Ryan McMahon’s Podcast: www.redmanlaughing.com Twitter: @RMLpodcast
Employers Benefit From First Nations Workforce Project by Armand LaPlante
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A new project is underway that links First Nations people looking for work with employers looking to build their workforce. The project, ‘Hire First Nations’, which is funded by The Employment and Social Development Canada – Service Canada, is a three year pilot project facilitated in partnership between the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) , Enform Canada, the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC), and the File Hills Qu’Appelle Developments. Hire First Nations will create employment opportunities for Aboriginal workers in the oil & gas industry by linking businesses to the Aboriginal workforce in easy and efficient steps. Businesses apply through the Hire First Nations website and list their job opportunities as well as training and ticket requirements. Hire First Nations then matches suitable applicants to the employers’ needs while at the same time providing help in the areas of preemployment training, accommodations and travel, etc. Aside from attaching industry with potential workers, Hire First Nations also addresses the issue of challenges and barriers for Aboriginal people in the workforce. “There are a number of [barriers]: lack of training, transportation, addictions, and accommodation issues -- there are jobs out
there but where are you going to stay?” Jason Koochicum, Manager at FHQ Developments tells us, “There are so many such as child care, or not having some life skills that most of us take for granted: having bank accounts, getting up in the morning, and getting into that routine […]Those are some of the areas we address before we deem people ready to work.” In the pre-employment assessment, Koochicum states that applicants who register have been ranged from being very low skilled to very high skilled, “[applicants] may need preemployment programming: skills, life skills, essential skills. Others might just need some training upgraded -- they have had attachment to the workforce now they just need some training and they’re ready to go. Others are ready to go right now; all they need is that attachment to the industry or job placement.” Jason Koochicum encourages more employers to come forward and build their workforce, “I believe we have the workforce that can cover a lot of the industry’s needs if we all come on board and work together. Our population is very young and there’s an endless supply of labor for the next few years.” For more information or be part of Hire First Nations, visit: www.hirefirstnations.ca
CREATING EMPLOYMENT &
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES 1 ASSESSMENT Fill out the form on hirefirstnation.ca
2 ENGAGEMENT A field officer will contact you to discuss your information from the form.
3 TRAINING Your assessment will determine what training or tickets are needed to fill current jobs.
4 PLACEMENT Once you have all required tickets and training, you will be placed in a job.
Edward’s School of Business Celebrates Aboriginal Graduates Number of Aboriginal business students expected to rise with SIIT and U of S partnership by Armand LaPlante
Saskatoon, SK - An intimate graduation dinner was held on May 30th, coordinated by the Aboriginal Business Students’ Society, to honour five Aboriginal graduates from the Edward’s School of Business Bachelor of Commerce program. Speakers and dignitaries included FSIN Vice Chief Simon Bird, Edwards School of Business Dean Daphne Taras, President of the Métis Nation Saskatchewan Robert Doucette, and SIIT Director of Marketing Robert Daniels.
The celebration comes amidst an important time for the University of Saskatchewan and Edwards School of Business’ Aboriginal relations. Earlier this year, SIIT and the U of S signed an agreement that will benefit Aboriginal students. SIIT course credits are now transferrable to the U of S in a number of programs including education, engineering, arts & science and business. • continued page 19
Robert Daniels, Director of Marketing & Communications, SIIT.
Trip to Maui an Incentive for Oskayak Graduates by Sharon Thomas
For the past 4 years, Oskayak High School in Saskatoon has increased retention in Grade 12 and graduation rates by offering its graduates the chance to travel abroad. The first trip the students took was to New Zealand, which was documented and entitled “Oskayak Down Under,” which airs on APTN. The next year the graduates traveled to New Mexico. With an exceptional experience to Maui last year, the grads decided to travel there once again this year. The faculty which traveled with the group this year included Craig Schellenberg, Randy Morin, Linda Sanderson, Stephanie House and Stan Tu’Inukuafe. After assessment and tallying of costs such as flights, food, passports, criminal record checks, insurance, immunizations, etc. various funding committees are then formed within the school. Hard work indeed, just one week prior to the group’s departure, they hosted their final fundraiser of the year, a large Car Wash/Garage Sale/Barbecue. The other fundraising committees throughout the year also included Craft Fairs, Round Dances with concession stands and 50/50 tickets and multiple Steak Nights. The big fundraiser that involves the whole school, every year, is the Annual Gala at The Broadway Theatre that is majorly sponsored by the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation (DDCDC.) DDCDC buys seats at a corporate rate and donates them back to the school and their families. The evening entails a pro-
duction of drama and music organized by the students themselves. Vice-Principal Darcy Blacklock offered words of praise and support for the students and faculty, “The greatest challenge the students and teachers face every year is getting the funding for a trip like this, it truly can be difficult. They all work very hard. It would be nice to get some corporate sponsors that would fund them, but it’s hard to do.” The fundraising itself pays for virtually everything. As for personal spending money, most students will rely on parents and will also write to their band and council for help. All students planning to travel must be graduating with all credits in place, be able to participate in all fundraising activities, clear a criminal record check for a passport, and for those students that have children, child care must be in place, which the school also helps them attain. In all, 25 students traveled to Maui on May14th. In total, Oskayak produced 55 graduates this year, the highest number for the school thus far. When asked what she hoped the students came away from the trip with, Blacklock said, “We hope they have a bigger picture of the world. Sometimes we have small areas we live in, and we just hope that they see beyond that. There’s a big world out there with many opportunities. Every trip we take, we are trying to connect with various indigenous cultures around the world.” The school hopes to maintain this annual trip for its grads due to the high number of graduates it has produced since the beginning of the program. •
25 Oskayak graduating students travelled to Maui on May 14th. Above is them at the airport, below are activities that took place.
12 • GGFN continued from page 3 With a strong partnership already in place, the band approached ATCO and the company was eager to jump aboard. The band’s initiative to hire its high school students gives the students the opportunity to work at the store based on good marks and good attendance in school. A lot of the students that worked in the Retail Center acquired work experience and have gone on to post-secondary education or have become employed in the mines. “We’ve had great success with our students; I believe that’s why we were awarded the work experience award,” says Corey Blind.
Indigenous Times Along with the Retail Center portfolio, Corey, who is in his second term as band councillor, was also assigned the Education and Post- Secondary Education portfolios. For the Education portfolio, they were attempting to do some renovations to the school. However, due to lack of funding, the reserve was unable to do so. For post-secondary education, one of Corey’s concerns was that he saw no sense in spending money on other First Nations’ students as opposed to spending it on their own students. So GGFN pulled away from Touchwood PostSecondary, incorporated a separate entity and brought on their own post-secondary program that is now delivered to their students. With this
new endeavour, GGFN was able to bring on more students and give an increase to the living allowance for existing students. Scholarships through the Retail Center are also in the planning stages for future graduates who excel in their studies. The community reaction to this endeavour has been positive and the turnout at the official opening attests to the support and community feeling on the reserve. “I am very proud and honored to be a leader in my community and also look forward to working hard and being fair with everyone. Leadership is about results not attributes,” states Corey. •
<< Darcy Dupont, Senior Advisor, Community Development at ATCO Sustainable Communities, shows Elder Nancy Bitternose a commemorative book at the George Gordon Retail Centre ribbon cutting ceremony.
Line Up of Award Winning Artists to Kick Off North American Indigenous Games 2014 The Regina 2014 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Host Society has now confirmed the full performer lineup at the Opening Ceremony a Mosaic Stadium July 20th in Regina. On April 29th Juno Award winning artist George Leach was announced as the headline act. Along with George Leach Regina 2014 NAIG is pleased to announce that award winning aboriginal artists Inez Jasper, Crystal Shawanda, and the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company will all be performing on the main stage at Mosaic Stadium. This eclectic mix of award winning performers will complement this exciting event and appeal to all audiences. It all begins at 2pm, with Headline Act George Leach. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony are available at Ticketmaster Box Offices across Canada or online via the Ticketmaster website. They will be available at the Brandt Centre Box Office during regular business hours. Regina 2014 NAIG will host the athletes and teams from 26 regions in North America’s Indigenous communities as they compete in 15 different sports. It will celebrate and share North American Indigenous cultures through a showcase of language, tradition, art, song, dance and ceremonies. The theme of the Regina 2014 North American Indigenous Games is “Raising the Bar” and we will do this by exhibiting youth excellence in sports and culture. •
Q&A with Erica Lee - “Redmen: It’s Time for Change” by Shawn Cuthand
Racial stereotypes in sports and team logos have gone hand in hand over the last century. It instills old school ideals in the minds of young people who might not fully understand what these logos or names represent. Most recently, the battle for name change has continued to the south in the NFL with the Washington Redskins team name and logo. This past May, 50 U.S. senators publically demanded the Redskins name be changed as it was considered racist. Although that struggle continues, closer to home earlier this year there was reason to celebrate. The Saskatoon Public School Board passed a motion to change the name of the Bedford Road Redmen team. Erica Lee, a Bedford Road graduate recently played a crucial part in having the Bedford Road Redmen name retired. She kindly answered a few of our questions below: ITNEWS: Tell me about your involvement in the name change of Bedford Road Redmen and what caused you to take initiative to have it changed? Erica Lee: I was a student at Bedford Road Collegiate, and for the first few years I didn’t think twice about the Redmen name and logo. As I started to learn more about the history of colonialism and racism in Canada, I began to question the limited portrayals of Indigenous people we see and how those stereotypes have real effects on our lives. What are the images we see of Indigenous people in mainstream society? For women, the images are highly sexualized – we see Disney’s Pocahontas, we see the epidemic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women that we are taught to believe led “high-risk” lifestyles. We see images of Indigenous men as “warriors”: gang members or sports mascots. These images are harmful because they don’t reflect the reality of Indigenous people as individual human beings. First Nations people are academics, writers, actors, artists, scientists, professionals, your next-door neighbor; we’re not archaic, stoic, and John Wayne certainly didn’t kill us all. Often I’d be asked, “Don’t First Nations people have bigger issues to deal with?” The way we are represented has a lot to do with how we are treated, so I’d say that destroying stereotypes is a pretty big issue, related to many other big issues. There is a photo of the Cleveland Indians “Chief Wahoo” logo next to a cartoon Jewish man printed in a Nazi-era German newspaper – they have the same comical smile, big ugly nose -- these types of images have always been used to dehumanize certain groups of people. When we are viewed as part of a group
with inherently “bad” characteristics rather than as individuals, it becomes easy for mainstream society to deny us rights – as if we don’t need education, safe and affordable housing, or healthy food and clean water, reproductive rights - just like every other person on earth. After a couple years of complaining about it to my friends and in writing, I decided to start a Facebook page called “Bedford Road Redmen, It’s Time for Change”, and by the next morning we had requests from the media for interviews.
things like “don’t you know your own culture? Be proud of it. We’re honoring you.” Redmen is not part of my culture. What are these kids learning in schools if all they know of First Nations people in Canada is a stereotypical mascot created by a white person? That’s a serious educational problem. Things like “Vikings” or “Fighting Irish” quite clearly do not have the same political implications as stereotypes of First Nations people.
IT: When you attended Bedford Road, how did the name affect IT: Did you receive any personal you? backlash from this? I understand that there were a handful of you EL: After I published an article in that really took charge of this issue, the school newspaper questioning the name and logo, I received comhow did you all come together? ments from fellow students and even EL: Back in the 1990s, there were a teachers who disagreed with me, but group of folks who tried to get the I had one teacher at Bedford who Redmen name and logo changed, and supported me by giving me articles the decision was left to a school-wide to read about how society normalizes vote. Obviously, the majority of the racism against Indigenous people – it students and teachers were white and was empowering for me to learn. It overwhelmingly voted to keep “Red- gave me insight into how crucial it is men”. When I re-ignited the cam- to have teachers that understand how paign, I spoke to some of the people racism works. It’s the job of teachinvolved in the first push for change ers to advocate for critical thought – they felt silenced by the school and the safety of their students, not to board’s decision to put it down to blindly follow school tradition. Being a vote of students. This is a human silent in a situation where injustice is rights issue, an education issue, not a occurring is also harmful. time for students to vote on whether or not Indigenous people are an ac- IT: Do you have an issue with the Moose Jaw Warriors name and ceptable target of discrimination. At the beginning, I received logo? a lot of personal attacks even though I wasn’t the only person asking for EL: Absolutely. The Moose Jaw Warchange. I received threats of physi- riors 30th anniversary jersey is abcal violence. As a young, visibly surd. The name and the logo need to First Nations woman, it upset a lot go. I can’t think of any situation or of people that I wouldn’t back down. context where depictions of IndigThankfully, I had family, friends, and enous people as tomahawk-wielding teachers supporting me publicly and “savages” are acceptable – those imprivately in many ways; they pushed ages were offensive 100 years ago, and they’re offensive now. me to keep going.
IT: How did you feel when you heard that a Calgary high school would also be changing its Redmen name? EL: I felt so inspired when I learned that as a result of the “Redmen” name change, other schools and organizations around the country are taking another look at their own teams. Saskatoon Public Schools set an important precedent in their decision. Everyone’s main focus is on how it is seen as culturally insensitive or racist, but in today’s day and age it can also be seen as sexist, having a female volleyball or basketball team called the “Redmen.” Was that ever a factor for you? While I was at Bedford, the female teams were called “Lady Redmen” – how lame does that sound? There are so many cool options for team names; no excuses to stick with tired stereotypes and outdated language. It’s a running joke that Bedford sports teams don’t usually win much, so it will do them good to have a boost of school spirit in a creative new name and logo. IT: Now that this is behind you, what’s next for you? EL: After the decision was made, our group kind of sat there like “what do we do now”? It’s a big victory because we’ve been fighting for this change a long time, but ultimately it’s just a tiny chip off a giant block. Everyone who worked on the “Change Redmen” campaign has consistently been involved in other social and environmental justice efforts, like Idle No More. Working to make the world a better place for those most vulnerable is something that will always be necessary. •
IT: What do you have to say to people that think First Nations should be proud of the logo and name? EL: If you look at the American Psychological Association’s report on how stereotypical Native American mascots directly harm the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous students, it should be clear that there is no pride or honor to be found there. The comments that upset me the most were
Bedford Road Annual Spring Pow Wow 2014 Grand Entry. Photo: Armand LaPlante
SheNative a Positive, Ethical Start-Up Company by Sharon Thomas
You may have seen a Youtube video pop up on your facebook lately of a young start-up entrepreneur raising money through crowdfunding to launch her ethical fashion accessories brand in which a portion of the revenues will be used to help disadvantaged girls and women. Devon Fiddler, a member of the Waterhen Lake First Nation, is causing quite the stir when it comes to women’s accessories in the fashion industry. With a vision and a strong goal in mind, she is taking numbers and selling her ideas to help fund her business endeavor. Fiddler aims to manufacture and design a brand of handbags and accessories that will appeal to the modern professional woman. Her designs are for every customer, from high-end modern luxurious to a classic look. True to her roots, her accessories are always inspired by the Indigenous culture. Her first line will be specific to her Northern Cree culture. Fiddler’s high-end handbag collection will not be available until the fall. In the meantime, she will be selling other items through her online shop and through Summer pop-up shops in Saskatoon such as earrings, T-shirts, cuffs, and canvas
tote bags just to name a few. “We’re testing what will work, what won’t work, and how to reach our customers.” Currently, she is raising $10,000.00 to pay for her sample production run, some initial accessory inventory for her online shop, which she is aiming to launch in Mid-June. At this time, she employs two Aboriginal women part time to help launch the business; she is expecting to hire two production workers this summer. She came up with the vision of the first collection herself, with the help of a graphic designer, accessories designer and the Academy of Fashion Design in Saskatoon. In the future, she will be looking to collaborate with Indigenous designers across North America as she builds the brand. Her goal is to have her own facility in Saskatoon; however, she is not leaving out the option of Canadian manufacturers, and local sewing contractors to do some of the work in hopes that the brand will grow quickly. She has recently been awarded funding from the Michaelle Jean Foundation. Along with a bursary, Devon will also receive a
mentorship that will help her to succeed with her venture. She hopes to have a launch party in the Fall. “We are building a company that empowers Indigenous women in Canada. We do this by creating positive opportunities for women to be a part of the brand, whether it’s through jobs, and design opportunities, and most importantly… A portion of our revenues will go to helping disadvantaged Indigenous women.” Devon asks for help to “Make Devon Fiddler, founder of SheNative - submitted photo SheNative Happen” by making a pledge at http://crowd- Social Media funding.praxisschoolofentrepreDevon Fiddler can be neurship.com/project/?product=9. reached at devon@shenative. “Anything will help! Thank com, on Twitter @SheNativeyou so much for the support!” • Goods, on Facebook @SheNative
Aboriginal Music Documentary Chester Knight’s Bannock to Premiere at Broadway Bistro: Bannock, NeckTheatre bones, and more by Armand LaPlante
The Standing family, under the promotional name Independent Dog Face, put on their annual Spring Fever Cabaret this past April in Saskatoon and it was a success attracting party goers and music lovers from in and around the Saskatoon area. Aside from the outstanding lineup of musicians, designers, and models that kept the party going all night, another special guest was in attendance: independent filmmaker Aaron Peters. Peters, an award-winning musician and music enthusiast himself from Winnipeg, was on site filming the entire weekend to feature in his latest works. The documentary, called “Independent Dog Face” will be Peters’ fourth film project and is now in the editing phase set to premiere at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon, Tuesday, June 17th at 7pm. Peters has won National awards as a singer/songwriter. He won an award for his music video “Perfect Crime”, a melancholic retrospect of the Indian residential schools and their lasting effects on our people today. The song and video, which he wrote when he was 24 years old, was funded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “Eventually, the [music] industry tanked,” says Peters regard-
ing the change from brick & mortar music shops to online downloading. It was during this period Peters decided to diversify his skills and get into filmmaking. He currently works independently carrying out a number of tasks from directing, editing, to set production and beyond. The documentary features interviews from the Standing family, as well as many others involved in the music scene from performers to venue owners. The documentary will highlight the local music scene and all that goes into putting on these events to help a music scene – and a community – flourish. “[The Standing family] invests blood, sweat, and tears into promoting Aboriginal performers” says Peters. And with the inception of Youtube and other forms of downloading music, the music industry, according to Peters, has been more difficult than ever to succeed in: “musicians had an uphill battle before, but now it’s like they have to scale a skyscraper with their bare hands.” A fashion show highlighting Aboriginal designers and models will take place preceding the documentary. Admission is $10, June 17th, 7pm at the Broadway Theatre, and if you know Independent Dog Face, you know it’s going to be a good time. •
ITNEWS: How did you get involved with doing this bistro? Chester Knight: I have always wanted to open a restaurant of this nature. I believe what a lot people believe: that First Nation people need a strong economic base. We as a people were very good at business prior to government interference, for example the pass system and the peasant farm policies. Brenda my wife and I both thought it was a good idea. We decided instead using professional skills to find jobs in an organization, we would use our combined expertise for the betterment of our own quality of life and still be able to serve our people. Food is very important for our people. That was the best decision we ever made. At first, we looked for an establishment to purchase. At the same time we were both unsure. We personally had very little business skills other than the music business. We did have the common sense to train -- I enrolled in Praxis School of Entrepreneurship. At this school I learned exponentially. I learned how to organize and manage any enterprise, especially a business. Brenda’s mother was a chef and taught Brenda how to cook amazing dishes properly; she is also very organized. I think she got a computer chip installed in her brain. Her memory is remarkable. She also has an artist’s brain. She is very gifted in the presentation of food. On November 27, 2012, I made sixteen cold calls to begin the catering arm of our enterprise, which means I knocked on sixteen doors unannounced. I asked to see the office manager and presented her with a Banwich. A Banwich is creation of Brenda’s. It is a hybrid between bannock and bread. Bannock would have been too heavy for a sandwich. By the way, the Banwich is very popular for business meetings, it gets ordered a lot. One week later, on December 4 2012, we filled our first order. First Nation organizations have been very supportive as well as other public groups and businesses. December was a very good month and it has not stopped. Brenda’s
Visit Chester Knight’s Bannock Bistro’s 4th Ave. location will re-open in fall. For now, they’ll be on the Pow Wow trail and are available for catering. Contact Brenda at 306-491-2501 or firstname.lastname@example.org
reputation for making premium bannock and first class food is growing. IT: What have you learned so far in running this bistro? CK: The most profound thing for me is how much people like bannock. I thought it was only me. They like fried bannock, fry bread and baked bannock. There so many variety ways you can serve it. If we briefly run out of bannock and offer a regular burger on a bun the customer won’t buy it. IT: What can people expect when they go to eat at the bistro? CK: Affordable fine dining in a home cooked meal. Customers have a choice to order for take-out or to dine in. We offer daily specials from other cultures, soup and fresh bannock and items sold from our pow-wow menu. Whatever sells at a pow-wow you will find it at the Bistro. A popular weekly item on our menu are neck-bones, they are our biggest seller of all our specials. We have also expanded our menu to include sandwiches, fruit and baked goods. People will find many people they know dining at the Bistro. The customers make it a very relaxing and friendly atmosphere. IT: What are your plans with the bistro over the summer into the fall? CK: We run a mobile Bistro in the summer so we will be following the powwow trail and other outdoor events. We will still continue with the catering to meet our clients’ needs over the summer months. In the fall we will be back at 229 - 4th Avenue South on the main floor of the SIIT Building. When we return we will begin to market on a grander scale. •
Brenda and Chester Knight
Success the Only Option for Jordan Stone’s Insightful Rhymes for the Youth Designer Helen Oro Fashion Show You can check out a Helen Oro fashion show prior to the “Indepedent Dog Face” film premiere at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon, 7pm. June 16. This month’s Indigenous Times youth profile comes from a field that has become very popular, diverse, and competitive in the First Nations community: the fashion industry. There are many talented designers that are making a name for First Nations people; one of these people is Helen Oro. Helen is a woman of many talents and is filled with a drive and charisma that people can’t help but be drawn to. Despite not having an “ideal” upbringing and having two children at a young age she has accomplished so much and is nowhere near finished making her mark in the world. She is a positive role model for young women everywhere. Helen was raised from the age of one by her grandparents, a decision made to ensure that Helen had the best shot at a positive life. Helen and her grandparents lived in Saskatoon; she attended Pleasant Hill Elementary until grade eight. In an effort to sway Helen from the fast-paced city life and the pressures that can come with it, they moved to Leoville, Saskatchewan. Unfortunately negativity can be found everywhere you go and Helen stumbled into it. Helen faced adversities and struggles that often plague our communities. After managing to graduate from Spiritwood High School, she moved the Saskatoon the following summer where she was reunited with an old good friend from Pleasant Hill Elementary: Reynaldo Oro. Helen and Reynaldo eventually became married and had two children: Markel and Naveah. Helen’s best friends were her grandparents and after the devastating passing of her Grandfather, Helen wanted to always be there for her Grandmother. Helen took care of not only her children but her grandmother as well as she completed her Continuing Care Assistant program in Prince Albert. This meant long hours on the road and a lot of hard work, but she did it. Helen was beginning to spend so much time away from home and had a hard time with child care so she knew she had to find something she could do from home. She was always interested in fashion, beauty and esthetics, so she decided to take an esthetics course and specialize in nails. Helen was doing nails for friends to make money on the side,
working at a care home, driving long hours to Prince Albert and keeping her family life strong. After finishing her esthetics course, she worked out a deal with the Chief and Council of Chitek Lake, got herself a building, made some renovations, and made her own shop in which she did nails. Helen now owned her own business in her early twenties and had two postsecondary certificates. When Helen was made aware of the Native Max Magazine, she decided to send in a talent application to them for her nails. She had a natural talent for nails and designs and the Magazine decided to start showcasing her work. After about a year of having her work featured in the Magazine they offered her the position of beauty/ fashion director and the Canadian regional director. She accepted and now retains the position. Helen’s designs have also expanded into beadwork; she is starting to become well known for her beaded sunglasses and footwear. Her work has been featured in two fashion shows in Denver, Colorado, and Bozeman, Montana. Helen also began public speaking and aspires to begin a program for kids to teach them nail art. Nails and fashion have been a large part of Helen’s life and she wants to share its aspects with the youth of today. Helen says that her greatest role models are her late grandparents. Her grandfather taught her everything growing up, and her grandmother had the kindest heart of anyone she has ever known. Her grandmother passed away this past year. Helen celebrates the lives of her grandparents through her creativity; they are, along with her husband and children, her greatest motivation and inspiration. Helen is a true role model. Look out for her amazing work in the fashion industry and check out her magazine at: www.nativemax.com
Jordan Stone AKA Indigenaz Our second Indigenous Times youth profile is Jordan Stone. Jordan Stone (Indigenaz) is an independent hiphop up-and-comer from the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. He grew up in Saskatoon and spent a lot time in Lloydminster as well. At the age of 16, Jordan found himself as a troubled kid with a shaky childhood. Like a lot of the youth today, he sought an outlet for his frustrations that could be used in a positive light. Stone says that it was then that he first heard the sounds of Tupac and became interested in hiphop music. With a need for change and a positive focus, he gradually learned to rhyme his words and found a calling that he seemed to identify with that brought about a new chapter in his life. His self-titled single “Hey Indigenaz,” is an excellent example of who he is. He has no problem establishing an emotional connection with his listeners through his roots and humble lyrics that speak volumes as he shares his trials and errors, and never once forgetting where he came from. The message is clear for the youth and his fellow First Nation’s people, that they should maintain their strength and to strive for something bigger and better. In all his lyrics, Jordan stresses unity, making change and accomplishing great things. Although, his first love is hiphop, Jordan says that he enjoys all types of music that carries a message with a good sound. “I want my music to have a good vibe. I want people to hear it and understand that no matter what, things will always get better.” Jordan’s musical heroes are the underground local artists that maintain a fight with a strong and inspiring meaning. His main focus has always been on the youth. With his own struggles and the pain he sees in
youth today, Jordan hopes that kids realize that they can do anything that they set their mind to. “A lot of the youth today don’t realize how far they can go. I want them to see that.” He hopes that through his music, he will open their minds so that they will be able to see beyond the negative that is in front of them, but to understand a bigger broader future. All of Indigenaz’ projects and lyrics available on YouTube and on Sound Cloud are original and produced from his home. His interest in producing and mixing first began in high school when he studied picture editing and audio, which gradually snowballed from there by watching music videos and trying new things. Regardless of the obstacles that may lie ahead, be it funding or his location. Stone plans to record in Edmonton soon where he will be releasing his new album.• Listen You can check out Jordan Stone on Youtube: Indigenaz23 or on SoundCloud: Indigenaz.
Know of a story in your community that should be covered? Or, want to write for Indigenous Times? Email: email@example.com
Red Pheasant 4-peats at FSIN Hockey Tournament Saskatoon, SK - Saskatoon hosted the FSIN Hockey Championships on April 25-27. Games were held at the Gemini Arenas. This year’s tourney featured 78 teams, which was the most ever. Teams are comprised of players all playing for their home First Nation. There were five divisions: Men’s Contact, Men’s Rec, Master, Legend (35+), and Ladies. In the Men’s Contact Division Red Pheasant took home their fourth title in as many years. Finishing second was Canoe Lake, while Onion Lake finished third. In the Men’s Rec Division the Mistawasis Warriors fought off Birch Narrows for the victory. Both teams will now move up to play in the Contact Division to help encourage more team participation and improve the balance of play in all Divisions. The Muskeg Blades finished third. Stanley Mission (PAGC) was the Master Division Champs, the Cote Selects were the tops in the Ladies Division and The Canoe Lake Old Guys finished on top in the Legends Division.
Red Pheasant Rebels, champs four years in a row. - submitted photo
Tournament coordinator Mark Arcand says this year’s tournament was different because “We promoted it as a family event, with no alcohol, no violence, and no drugs allowed in the facility where
games are played. We wanted people to come enjoy good hockey and First Nations people and culture.” The yearly event will be hosted by FSIN next year, as it is alternated between a host First Na-
Whitecap Warriors Continue Their Dominance The Whitecap Warriors have enjoyed major success since joining the ASHL (Adult Safe Hockey League) in Saskatoon, three years ago. The team started out in the B League three years ago. They would win that League Title and moved on to win the National B Title in 2013. They have now won the A League 2 years straight. This is quite the accomplishment considering they go up against former players who played in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, and players from other highly touted leagues. They recently won Regionals and will now go on to compete in the National A Championships, which will be held in Regina in 2015. Cory Alexson has been a part of the Warriors Team since 1996, when he was jus 18. He acknowledges that some of the original and past players like Whitecap Chief Darcy Bear and Councillor Frank Royal have since hung them up, but the current team feels a connection with them and gives credit
Whitecap Warriors Hockey Team - submitted photo
to the past players for supporting this new generation of Warriors. Alexson says he is proud that “100% of our current players today have begun their professional working careers or else are in school working towards it. From doctors, lawyers, journeymen, financial managers, business owners, educators, and other professionals, we take pride in making the way for the next group to follow.” The future looks bright for the Warriors as well and Alexson
says “as our team continues to have the success it does, we find there are a lot of players both First Nation and non who now want to join our team. We are recognized in our league as a group of players who come to play hard each game with respect and like to have fun. We have now earned the respect of the league as the top team, that itself feels good as First Nation players.” •
tion and FSIN. The Tournament will take place in Saskatoon next year, with games to be held at the Gemini Arena once again. •
Remembering Jboi Through the Sport he Loved The 3rd Annual Jonathon Couillonneur Basketball Tournament was a resounding success. Teams came from all over Saskatchewan to participate in this tournament and honour the memory of Jon, playing the sport he loved. On the Men’s side Team TNT took home the title. While on the Women’s side the CanAm All-stars were the champs. In the 3-point competition Terrell Murdaugh was king. While Raven Couillonneur, Jon’s sister, bested the rest of the field. The Dunk Champion was Isaac White. Raven says what sticks out in her mind from the tournament “is how everyone comes out to support, also having most of his friends participate in this tournament the past three years.” •
1) 1880’s Métis leader 2) Piapot superstar from the 60s 3) Chief Fox’s First Nation 4) flashmob roundance 5) “_____ is the new buffalo”
1) Ulkatcho First Nation NHL goalie 2) 8th Fire AFN prospect 3) Famous Cree Chief who held out from signing Treaty 6 the longest 4) Pile o Bones, today
5) pounded meat, fat and berries 6) “As long as the ________, the grass grows and the waters flow.” 7) acronym for Federal department overseeing Aboriginals 8) favorite Métis dance
Sudoku rules: Fill in the blanks so that each 3x3 box and each row and column have numbers 1-9 with no repeating numbers. * ANSWERS TO BOTH PUZZLES AT WWW.INDIGENOUSTIMES.CA
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June 2014 • Business graduates, from page 10
The first of these agreements was signed this past February. SIIT, in partnership with the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, now offers students of the two-year business diploma program the option of transferring to the Edwards School to complete the four-year University of Saskatchewan bachelor of commerce degree. The latter program is primarily targeted at in-
dividuals who are interested in a career in Aboriginal economic and business development, individuals working in Aboriginal communities looking to develop their management skills and those working in non-aboriginal organizations focusing on Aboriginal relations. “[These] are the kinds of solutions and partnerships we need for our Aboriginal students,” says Vice Chief Simon Bird, “we don’t need barriers; we need solutions.” •
FSIN Vice Chief Simon Bird
University of Saskatchewan Graduation Pow Wow May 28 2014
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“Honoring Our Youth” Farrell Agencies Arena - Gallagher Centre Yorkton, SK
Casino Entertainment MCs: Vince Beyl & Jason Goodstriker Friday: Jerry Sereda Arena Directors: Ron McNab & Terrance Littletent Saturday: CCR Tribute Band Singing Judge: Tim Eashappie
Grand Entry: Saturday - 12PM & 7PM | Sunday - 12PM Dance Category
Junior Adult (18-34)
Senior Adult (35-54)
Golden Age (55+)
Competition Drum Singing Contest
Over $20,000 in Prize Payouts
Men’s Team Dance
Women’s Team Dance
Teen Girls Traditional
Teen Boys Traditional
Men’s Chicken Dance - Black Chip
Ladies Fancy - PHCDC Black Chip
Keanu Ewack - Noon Honor Dance - Teen Boys Fancy Special 17 & Under
Craft Booth: $400 weekend
DAYS INN: 1.306.782.3112 HOME INN & SUITES: 1.306.782.7829
Contact: Loressa McLeod - 1.306.786.6777
Onsite Camping Available - Spaces Are Limited
For More Pow-wow Information Contact: Painted Hand Casino | firstname.lastname@example.org
306.786.6777 Painted Hand Casino and the Pow Wow committee are not responsible for any injury to persons, damage to or theft of property and destitution. Absolutely no drugs or alcohol allowed.