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Sweetgrass and CFWE news - May 13, 2016

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Trudeau in Fort McMurray

May 13, 2016. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making his first visit to Fort McMurray since a wild fire tore through parts of the community and the region forcing the evacuation of 88,000 people beginning May 3. Scott Long, executive director operations with Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said Trudeau’s visit Friday will have “absolutely no operational impact … (as) the Prime Minister’s Office is … de-conflicting anything around the Regional Emergency Operations Centre’s work that has to be happening on the ground.” The federal government has pledged to match individual contributions to the Red Cross for Fort McMurray relief. As well this week Trudeau created a special cabinet committee to co-ordinate the federal government's contributions to the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the region.

EdMetro Chorus teams up with Indigenous voices

May 13, 2016. Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus and artistic director David Garber are presenting “Indigenous Voices” on Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Edmonton. The concert is a result of EdMetro Chorus’s commitment to increase awareness of and support for Treaty 6 First Nations, spurred on by the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Joining EdMetro Chorus for this event will be Elder Gloria Laird and Elder Heather Poitras, plus outstanding Indigenous performers, including Warrior Women (Matricia Brown and her daughter Mackenzie Brown) and Sila Singers, the Inuit throat singing duo of Jenna Broomfield and Malaya Bishop, from Nunatsiavut and Nunavut. EdMetro Chorus will be performing three original songs with Warrior Women, arranged by Brett Ludwig. The event includes a tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society. The concert begins at 3 p.m.

My People examines moving forward on TRC recommendations

May 13, 2016. The St. Albert Evangelical Lutheran Church is hosting an interactive workshop focusing on a number of issues including the relationship between settlers and the “host peoples,” the Christian residential school system, and how to move forward on the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Michelle Nieviadomy, Sharon Pasula and Nora Yellowknee will be among those leading discussion at the Saturday event. The workshop is presented by My People, one of three divisions of Indigenous Pathways. The non-sectarian organization is dedicated to working together with the Indigenous community in the development of the full leadership capacity of Indigenous peoples.

CFAR opens on-line bidding for fundraiser for Indigenous evacuees

May 13, 2016. The Circle for Aboriginal Relations credits Siksika First Nation Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman for prompting a benefit for First Nations and Metis communities impacted by the wild fire in Fort McMurray and area. CFAR business manager Sandra Sutter says Yellow Old Woman wanted to know what CFAR was doing for the evacuees and from that CFAR decided to host a silent auction as a fundraiser at its upcoming gala at the end of the month. Bidding on items has already gotten underway online at CFAR’s website. The gala takes place May 25 in Calgary.

Red Cross scammers in Edmonton

May 12, 2016. Edmonton police have issued a warning about a fraud scheme that is occurring in west Edmonton. People are going door-to-door and claiming to be collecting donations on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross for the Fort McMurray disaster. "It's something we are aware of, it represents fraud, and the quicker we can advise the public about it, we feel we might be able to prevent it from getting out of hand.It may in fact be an issue city wide,” said Sgt. Steve Sharpe. Red Cross says the best way to ensure a donation goes directly to the Fort McMurray cause is to donate online.

Blackstock headlines High Risk Youth Conference

May 13, 2016. Cindy Blackstock, executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which forced the federal government to treat and fund children on reserve fairly, is headlining the High Risk Youth Conference on May 16-17 in Edmonton. “This year the committee felt it was important to honour the voices of the youth and engage them in meaningful and relevant ways, while challenging our thinking and looking at how we can be more effective in our practice,” said Jeralee Konschuh, program manager at YESS (Youth Empowerment and Support Services) and co-chair of the committee that planned the conference. This year’s theme of building connections picks up from the conference in 2014, which focused on emerging practices including harm reduction, trauma and brain development, relationship-based practice, and resiliency and strength-based approaches.