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U.S. Tribe Denies Stake In Domed Stadium Idea PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 12:17

U.S. Tribe Denies Stake In Domed Stadium Idea

Friday, March 05, 2010 at 15:15



A spokesman for the Seminole Tribe of Florida says it has "not considered or approved any aspect of a project in the province of Saskatchewan", nor has Seminole-owned Hard Rock International.


The statement from Gary Bitner is drawing into question claims by a group of Saskatchewan First Nations that a $1.2-billion domed stadium and hotel/casino complex proposal for Regina has Seminole backing.


Earlier this week, Beardy's Okemasis First Nation Chief Rick Gamble said the proposed project would see the Seminole tribe funding half of the cost, while providing a $600 million letter of credit for the rest.


But Bitner says any talk of the tribe's involvement in this project is "completely speculative".


Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz says there is no way the province will sell either of its casinos in Regina or Moose Jaw to make the deal work.

Budget Sounds Death Knell For Healing Foundation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 12:17

Budget Sounds Death Knell For Healing Foundation

Friday, March 05, 2010 at 14:57



It doesn't appear the Aboriginal Healing Foundation will get the money it needs to survive.


Supporters of the group, which provides counselling and healing services to survivors of residential schools, have been lobbying the government to renew its funding which expires at the of this month.


Yesterday's budget does provide $199 million in funding for mental health and emotional support services for survivors and their families.


However, that money is also expected to go towards higher than expected funding needs, and there's no mention of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation in the budget.


People who work at centres associated with the foundation are reacting with shock at the news their funding is not being renewed.


Debra Edin runs the Marguerite Riel Centre in Melfort.


It provides counselling to families in the area, many of whom have been affected by the residential school experience.


She says she's not sure what will become of the 19 staff members who work at their facility.


Edin adds the settlement process for survivors seeking compensation from the government runs until 2013, but that doesn't address the on-going intergenerational impact families still suffer from the schools.


Despite the news, another person who works with the foundation says she's hoping the money to run their project may be found elsewhere.


Shirley Bighead runs the Youth Initiatives Program on the Sturgeon Lake First Nation.


It teaches life skills, provides counselling and offers workshops on a number of subjects associated with the pain the schools created.


Bighead says she hasn't heard anything definite about a loss in their funding, so she is hopeful money can be found to save their program.

Budget Draws Praise, Criticism On Native Issues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 12:16

Budget Draws Praise, Criticism On Native Issues

Friday, March 05, 2010 at 14:56



The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative has been saved.


Officials with the program feared it was on the chopping block, but Ottawa has included it in a $285-million commitment in the budget to Aboriginal health programs.


The general manager of the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative says she's happy the program has been renewed.


Dina Bruyere says this should allow projects to continue uninterrupted at 600 locations around the country.


However, she does note the commitment this time is only for two years, not five years like the previous agreement.


The Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy is also covered by the funding.


Budget 2010 promises $53 million more to child and family service agencies on reserves.


The money is spread over two years and the government says it will fall in line with the prevention-based approach it launched in 2007.


Ottawa also says $10 million will be spent over two years to address the disturbingly high number of Aboriginal women who have gone missing or murdered.


The funds are apparently going to be funnelled out through the Department of Justice.


Details are expected in the coming months.


The Native Women's Association of Canada says it is pleased "the Harper Government has made the fundamental human rights of Aboriginal women a priority".


The association says the federal government has "made a firm commitment to take concrete actions to ensure that law enforcement and the justice system meet the needs of Aboriginal women and their families".


One group that appears to have been left out in the budget's written text is the Metis.


The Metis are not mentioned specifically anywhere in the 424-page document.


Meanwhile, The Canadian Federation of Students is blasting the budget for failing to improve post-secondary funding.


The Federation says Jim Flaherty's financial plan doesn't address the gap between the number of Aboriginal students who want to go to school, and those who have enough money to do so.


For his part, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl says the government is still reviewing the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.


Strahl says a review of the program has concluded, but the government is still accepting ideas on how to improve its overall performance.


Many First Nations leaders have said they fear the government will phase out grants to treaty students in favour of repayable loans.


While no additional funds were earmarked for post-secondary students, $30 million in additional funding was found for First Nations high-schoolers.

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