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First Nations veterans find camaraderie at gathering PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:05

SFNVA Grand Chief Steven Ross. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.

First Nations veterans from across Saskatchewan gathered at the Dakota Dunes Casino on Wednesday.

The Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association (SFNVA) assembly attracted about 100 people who heard from the Indigenous advisor to the Commander of the Army.

The association’s Grand Chief Steven Ross said they also heard about a fund to ensure no veteran is denied a dignified burial.

He said membership had not heard about this program before, and the information they received on the Last Post Fund as well as the association’s own Grave Marker Project will be valuable. Ross added this is especially important because the group is getting older each year.

Veteran Victor Sanderson agreed, saying “our association is based on the fallen now, because we only have like maybe one or two World War II veterans left, and Korean as well.”

He said the group has something to offer to young First Nations veterans a well “because this is a place where we can actually feel better about ourselves because we are different from being civilians. And when we get out of the Armed Forces we don’t know who we are, but when we come to an association like this where we all welcome each other it is a family, a military family of veterans.”

The event also provided a sense of kinship for veterans like Phillip Ledoux, who went through traumatic wartime experiences before becoming SFNVA Vice-President.

When asked what an event brings to him, he said “the camaraderie. We’re one big family because we all went through the same thing in one form or another, and the companionship. We call each other bro or sister.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:14
Mould still a problem in First Nation communities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dean Bear   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:54

Photo courtesy of the CMHC

The problem of mould in homes has become an increasing concern in residences across the country and was a topic of conversation at the Prince Albert Grand Council Housing Forum that wrapped up yesterday in Prince Albert.

Mould is caused by excess moisture in buildings by leaking pipes, rising dampness in basements or increased humidity from daily activities.

Mould is the common word for any fungus that grows on food or damp materials. Mould can be black, white or almost any colour. It often looks like a stain or smudge and it may smell musty.

James Watson is with the company Got Mold out of Saskatoon. He says it is common in many homes, not just in First Nation communities. He says it is more prevalent in newer homes because during construction, the house is sealed very tight and cannot breathe. Watson says this can be a breeding ground for the mould spores and says typically mould is hidden in behind drywall as it likes cool, damp places to grow.

"Once you start seeing it on the forefront of the drywall, you know that it’s a bigger problem than what meets the eye," he said.

Watson also says that there are many things a resident can do to ensure that mould doesn’t become a problem in their homes. He says if there is a toilet overflow or a leak in plumbing, it should be dried up right away. Also, proper maintenance of an air exchanger, if one is in the house, he says is important.

Mould can impact people with respiratory problems, but can also have other effects as well. Health Canada says there is a relationship between indoor mould, damp conditions and increased eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build up and allergic reactions.

Watson says there have been cases in Canada and the US where doctors have found that up to 25 per cent of the population have a medical predisposition to mould contamination.

He says the biggest things that homeowners and residents can treat are small areas of mould (smaller than three feet) with ordinary vinegar, rather than bleach, which can be caustic and cause other health problems.

He says anytime you disturb mould spores, you are putting it in to the air that you breathe and that can cause other health concerns. He also says if the area is larger than that, call your local housing coordinator or health official to have the problem properly addressed.

More information can be found about mould from Health Canada.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:03
Nadine Machiskinic inquest continues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:38

Delores Stevenson, Nadine Machiskinic's aunt. Photo courtesy of Manfred Joehnck.

Testimony is expected to conclude this afternoon at the inquest into the January 2015 death of 29-year-old Nadine Machiskinic.

Machiskinic fell over 100 feet down the laundry chute of the downtown Regina Delta Hotel.

This afternoon, more toxicology experts will testify about the level of drugs and alcohol in her system and how they may have impacted her.

The final witness will be Dr. Kent Stewart, who was the province’s chief coroner at the time.

Machiskinic’s blood alcohol level was .105, or just above the legal limit for driving at the time of her death. She had also taken sleeping pills, methadone and an anesthetic. Evidence suggests she would have been impaired, but not incapacitated.

On the morning she died, she apparently pulled a fire alarm on the tenth floor of the hotel, shutting down the elevators. She was later found unconscious on the floor of the laundry room in the basement.

It was initially believed she had just wandered in and passed out.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:10
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