National News

Indigenous traditions are key to preserving biodiversity, says COP15 organizer

Dec. 7 marks the beginning of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference.

COP 15, Conference of the Parties, is being held in Montreal, the unceded territory of Kahnawake Mohawk First Nation. Governments from countries around the world will come together to negotiate and create a new framework of goals and strategies, known as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, to minimize biodiversity loss and preserve nature. These goals will then be carried into the next decade of conservation work throughout the 196 countries involved.

Liberal budget commits billions to Indigenous issues, but falls short for MMIWG, says MP

Although the recently announced federal 2022 budget commits $11 billion over six years towards housing, health, social services and education for Indigenous people, Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns says it still falls short of addressing some injustices facing First Nations.

The NDP caucus has entered into a Supply and Consent Agreement with the minority Liberal government. According to Johns, the agreement aims to bring stability to parliament and get Canadians the help they need “following a sustained period of chaos and disruption in national politics.”

Marine conservation area talks stalled, co-governance a key issue on massive subsea proposal

After months of negotiation, First Nations and DFO remain at loggerheads over co-governance of a proposed marine conservation area off the Island’s west coast.

Talks between Haida, Quatsino, Nuu-chah-nulth negotiators and their DFO counterparts have continued for the past two years over the proposed Tang.ɢwan-ḥačxʷiqak-Tsig̱is Marine Protected Area, or what the federal government refers to as the Offshore Pacific Area of Interest (AOI).

Federal minister gives ear to Tseshaht, Nuu-chah-nulth leaders

As the Tseshaht work to determine the future of a former residential school site, the First Nation’s representatives and other Nuu-chah-nulth leaders received a visit from Canada’s Indigenous Services minister on Wednesday.

Marc Miller was welcomed by Tseshaht hereditary chiefs, followed by meeting with the First Nation’s elected leaders. Foremost in this talk was Tseshaht’s plans for the site of the Alberni Indian Residential School, where two of the institution’s buildings still remain: Maht Mahs gym and what was formerly known as Caldwell Hall.

AFN national chief visits Nuu-chah-nulth

Two weeks into her term as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, RoseAnne Archibald has shown an active interest in Nuu-chah-nulth communities with three days of visits July 22-24.

Archibald was elected to head the national advocacy organization in July 8, becoming the first woman to hold the high-profile role. A member of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation from Ontario, Archibald first heard from Nuu-chah-nulth leaders as she sought the AFN position.

Logistics indicate several weeks before vaccine will come to remote communities

Amid a season of escalating COVID-19 cases across the country, a positive announcement from Ottawa surprised the country Monday morning. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that vaccines for the respiratory disease could be in Canada as early as next week, due to an agreement secured with the American drug company Pfizer.

Drawn-out drama has US voters glued to screens

As a bitter U.S. presidential election drags on, Seattle residents with Nuu-chah-nulth ties have been anxiously glued to their screens, gripped with a mixture of hope and anxiety.

Chad Charlie, Ahousaht filmmaker, comedian and activist, watched polls trickle in on Friday morning, Nov. 6. Like countless millions of others, he expected the election outcome would be called after three days. The wait was nerve wracking but at least an end was in sight, or so it seemed.

“I have confidence in a Biden win, but it’s very anxiety driven right now,” Charlie said.

Support for Mi’kmaq moderate livelihood fishery echoes through the west coast

Tensions on Canada’s east coast have been brewing ever since the Sipekne’katik First Nation opened a moderate livelihood lobster fishery outside of the federally regulated season last month in St. Marys Bay.

This led to violent backlash from Nova Scotia’s non-Indigenous commercial fishermen, who argue the Aboriginal fishers are threatening their way of life and will negatively impact lobster stocks.

Coast-to-coast fishing tensions blamed on federal mishandling

Government’s failure to negotiate in good faith and refusal to respect constitutionally protected Indigenous fishing rights is putting lives at risk, says MP Gord Johns.

The NDP fisheries critic along with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs are urging the federal government to defend Indigenous fishing rights after tensions among non-Indigenous fishermen led to acts of intimidation and threats against a Mi’kmaq lobster fishery.

Aquaculture industry seeks certainty in new legislation

Public consultation has resumed as the federal government edges closer to enacting Canada’s first specific aquaculture legislation.

Bounded by three oceans, Canada remains the only country in the world with an aquaculture sector yet no comprehensive legal framework governing the industry.

“The national association has been asking for an aquaculture act for probably 25 years, so it’s been a long time coming,” said Tim Kennedy, president and chief executive of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance. “We’ve been a lost child in Canada for some time.”

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