Friday, 31 May 2013

Yellowknife NWT: Citizens’ Forum on Water Rights and Water Protection - Tuesday, June 18th

The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians will be hosting a Citizens' Forum on Water Rights and Water Protection on the evening of Tuesday, June 18th from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre meeting room.

From the Facebook event page

The intent of the forum is to:
• Increase public discourse and engagement on water rights and protection issues;
• Provide greater awareness of water initiatives in the NWT;
• Identify public concerns regarding water security; and
• Introduce the public to the newly-formed NWT Chapter – around a key and critical Council of Canadians' national campaign: water.

We have confirmed the following speakers for the forum:
• Francois Paulette, respected Dene elder and environmental activist;
• Lois Little, the NWT Chapter co-chair and long-time community activist and Council of Canadians member;
• Dr. Erin Kelly, Manager, Watershed Programs and Partnerships, Land and Water Division, ENR, GNWT;
• Christine Wenman, Coordinator, Northern Waters Program, Ecology North; and
• Lawrence Nayally, Organizer, NWT Idle No More.

Following the presentations, there will an opportunity for forum participants to document their concerns about water rights and water protection. There will also be a moderated panel discussion based on questions raised by the participants.

The contact for this event is NWT Chapter co-chair Peter Redvers, who can be contacted via

Please visit us at our NWT Chapter website

Please share this event. Thank you.

We hope to see you at the forum!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Fort Simpson #NWT #Artist Nathalie Lavoie Awarded Prestigious Governor General Gold Medal

Fort Simpson NWT Artist Nathalie Lavoie Awarded Prestigious Governor General Gold Medal

VANCOUVER AND FORT SIMPSON, May 22, 2013 / Every year, a number of awards and prizes are offered to graduating Emily Carr University of Art and Design students. This year, Nathalie Lavoie received the Governor General Gold Medal for her academic achievement while enrolled in the Master of Applied Arts. The award was presented to Lavoie during the convocation ceremony at the Chan Centre in Vancouver. Unable to attend due to her remote location, a projected video of the artist walking in two-feet deep snow replaced the traditional graduation walk.

The Governor General's Academic Medal was first awarded in 1873 by the Earl of Dufferin, and has since become one of the most prestigious awards that a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive. The governor general of Canada continues this tradition of encouraging scholarship across the nation and recognizing outstanding students. The gold medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest academic standing at the graduate level.

Along with other Emily Carr University graduating student award winners, Lavoie's work will be exhibited at Winsor Gallery in Vancouver from June 27th to July 14th. For the occasion, she will display a series of photographs documenting winter installations on the Mackenzie River.

About the artist

Nathalie Lavoie is based in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, and is most known for her intricate ice installations set in public space or in abandoned buildings. Although her early work is characterized by material and metaphorical considerations of ice as a medium, more recent projects tackle issues related to creating at a specific site through historical, ethical, economic, scientific, and/or relational investigation. In the past few years, such research has materialized in a variety of forms: ice installations based on careful observation of movement – plant, animal, human - around a partly abandoned building (Overlapping Fields of Informal Authorities, Kronshtadt, Russia), the meaning of a work transformed by its relocation (A Temporary Redirection of the Mackenzie River Westward Into the Pacific Ocean, Fort Simpson and Vancouver), a self-initiated residency on the Mackenzie River shore in winter (Cold Field Lab 2012), and exchanges of home-baked sourdough bread for other ephemeral goods with Yellowknifers (Sourdough Bread Project).

Her work has been shown nationally in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Yellowknife, as well as abroad in Ireland, Russia, and Norway. Recent work is currently on display in the group exhibition Aurora Boreawesomer at Gallery 101 in Ottawa until June 8th.

Contact Information:

Nathalie Lavoie

Email: nataluq AT gmail DOT com


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Canada and the First Nations - Cooperation or Conflict? - Douglas L. Bland - May 2013

Canada and the First Nations - Cooperation or Conflict?
Douglas L. Bland - May 2013 (PDF)
This year, 2013, is the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 (pictured on the cover). The Royal Proclamation is widely regarded as having been one of the cardinal steps in the relationship between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals in British North America – what eventually became Canada.
A quarter of a millennium later it is our judgment that that relationship has often not been carried out in the hopeful and respectful spirit envisaged by the Royal Proclamation. The result has been that the status of many Aboriginal people in Canada remains a stain on the national conscience. But it is also the case that we face a new set of circumstances in Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relations. Indigenous peoples in Canada have, as a result of decades of political, legal,and constitutional activism, acquired unprecedented power and authority. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of natural resources. This emerging authority coincides with the rise of the demand for Canadian natural resources, a demand driven by the increasing integration of the developing world with the global economy, including the massive urbanisation of many developing countries. Their demand for natural resources to fuel their rise is creating unprecedented economic opportunities for countries like Canada that enjoy a significant natural resource endowment.
The Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy project (of which this paper is a part) seeks to attract the attention of policy makers, Aboriginal Canadians, community leaders, opinion leaders, and others to some of the policy challenges that must be overcome if Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, are to realise the full value of the potential of the natural resource economy. This project originated in a meeting called by then CEO of the Assembly of First Nations, Richard Jock, with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Mr. Jock threw out a challenge to MLI to help the Aboriginal community, as well as other Canadians, to think through how to make the natural resource economy work in the interests of all. We welcome and acknowledge the tremendous support that has been forthcoming from the AFN, other Aboriginal organisations and leaders, charitable foundations, natural resource companies, and others in support of this project.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Federal minister says devolution deal with NWT not done

Federal minister says devolution deal with NWT not done
"...While the premier of the Northwest Territories is touting the devolution agreement signed in Yellowknife on Mar. 11 as a "done deal," federal Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) Minister Bernard Valcourt said last week the consensus draft is anything but final.
"No agreement has been reached yet. There is a consensus on the terms of the agreement. The consultation must take place, it is taking place and when this has been accomplished we will know what the conditions will be," Valcourt said during a special committee of the whole meeting that focused on AANDC Thursday evening in Ottawa.
Bevington said he was confused by Valcourt's response, given remarks made by NWT Premier Bob McLeod referring to the devolution agreement as a "take it or leave it," "done deal" amid controversy over the territorial government's supposed "public engagement" sessions, which have since been relabelled informational sessions. "I am sure this is news to everyone who is listening in the Northwest Territories," Bevington said to Valcourt. Valcourt said the consultation was referred to by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the devolution signing in Yellowknife. "The Prime Minister was very clear. He said that the heavy lifting had been done and that there was a consensus reached on the terms for an agreement. I was present and he clearly said that consultations have to take place with the Aboriginal communities. Until that is done, there is no agreement."..."

Nunavut #food #security strategy ready by June

NEWS: Nunavut May 13, 2013 - 10:39 am

Nunavut food security strategy ready by June, Ell says

GN to unveil plan at Nunavut roundtable


A Nunavut Food Security Coalition strategy and action plan should be completed by June, Monica Ell, the minister of family services, said May 9 in the legislative assembly.

The Nunavut Food Security Symposium was held this past January and a draft strategy was completed in March.

The coalition, which brings government, Inuit organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations together to talk about how to improve food security in Nunavut communities, is now working on the final strategy and an action plan.

Actions include increasing support for harvesters, improving public understanding of nutrition, providing budgeting and food preparation skills, ensuring greater access to local food sources, and making sure there's support for community food programs, such as breakfast programs, Ell said.

The Department of Family Services is now responsible for the coalition. Its action plan will receive final approval at the next meeting of the Nunavut Food Security Coalition later this month.

Both the strategy and action plan will be presented to participants at the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction meetings June 10 to June 12.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

#NWT minister of Industry, Tourism & Investment, said #fracking can reap huge benefits, despite the controversy around it.

David Ramsay, N.W.T. minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, said horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can reap huge benefits, despite the controversy around it.

"It's only controversial depending on who you talk to," he said.

"You know, it's not controversial to a state like North Dakota, who has seen their employment rate come out of the gutter and have one of the best employment rates in the United States, and it's all because of hydraulic fracturing and shale oil."

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fwd: Latest Scoops on NWT News

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: 10 May 2013 21:50
Subject: Latest Scoops on NWT News

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EDMONTON - Atco is setting its sights on the potential for northern hydro projects and new transmission lines to energize natural gas production in booming northwestern Alberta and British Columbia. "The Alberta government has taken an interest in looking at hydro as a replacement for coal-fired generation, and we have been continuing our talks with First Nations in the Northwest Territories. And the Taltson project is one they are supporting," said Siegfried Kiefer, chief operating officer for Atco's energy and utilities division. The proposed Taltson dam project just north of the Alberta border is fairly small, able to generate 56 megawatts and situated adjacent to an existing 18 MW power plant built in the 1960s for a now-closed mine. The expansion is a joint venture with local aboriginal groups through Dezé Energy, and already has obtained all necessary permits to proceed. It would provide electricity for diamond mines north of Lesser Slave Lake that now rely on expensive diesel fuel, as well as add capacity for residential customers in the region, including Yellowknife..
Leela Gilday says the north exerts an almost gravitational pull when you're away from it. She should know: she moved south for university when she was 17 and ended up staying for 12 years to establish her musical career, something that's hard to do when based in the north. She returned to Yellowknife in 2008. She calls the north "a powerful place. It occupies your dreams and your daily thoughts. It's so vast, it makes you feel what your place is on the earth in a way you can't in the south. You feel small in the north." Feeling small occasionally, although Gilday doesn't say so, might be a valuable corrective to southerners' tendency toward self-importance. There's nothing small, however, about Gilday's music. A blend of folk, pop and country, it captures with vigour what it means to be a native person from the north (she's a member of the Dene First Nation).
Steve will work with Northern communities and partners to create and implement a strategic granting program that builds capacity and advances solutions to integrated social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges in the North. [...]
Stephen is a laureate of the inaugural Arctic Inspiration Prize. He serves as a member of the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board for the Diavik Diamond Mine and a Director for the Dechinta Institute for Research and Learning. He previously chaired the Akaitcho Screening Board and was a long-standing Director of the Denesoline Corporation and a member of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy Steering Committee.
"I am thrilled that Steve Ellis has joined our team. He brings the right mix of experience, relationships and out-of-the box thinking that will help philanthropy to make the greatest and most positive impact in Canada's territories and Inuit regions," said McMillan.
For media inquiries please contact Alison Henning, Marketing and Communications Manager at
To learn more and connect with Steve about our work in the North, you can reach him at
10 10
Northern_Clips's insight:
The Darnley Bay property hosts North America's strongest isolated gravity anomaly, which has been favourably compared by the Geological Survey of Canada to other prominent gravity anomalies such as those at the prolific mining camps of Noril'sk in Russia and Sudbury basin in Ontario. It is located near Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, on the Arctic coast. The Darnley Bay anomaly is larger and stronger than any of these comparatives by a wide margin, measuring 100 kilometres long north to south and about 80 kilometres wide. The GSC discovered the anomaly in 1969, and its source has never been explained. The company has 100-per-cent control of its exploration and potential development subject to certain back-in and other rights of Inuvialuit Regional, which holds the land on which it occurs. 10
Since I generally refrain from watching television, I've never seen the popular reality show "Ice Pilots." So you could say I was flying blind when a book tied to the series popped up on my radar. ... "The Ice Pilots," by New Yorker-turned-Canadian author Michael Vlessides, is subtitled "Flying with the Mavericks of the Great White North." Would that this were true. In practice, very little time is spent airborne. Instead, most of the book is about Vlessides himself, his experiences in the North, his time spent running around the Buffalo hangar with the television stars, his drinking binges with the same crew, and his repeatedly dashed efforts at getting "Buffalo" Joe to open up for an interview, efforts that show Vlessides to be suffering from something a bit creepier than hero worship crossbred with a disturbing tendency toward self-flagellation. The hero worship actually extends to the whole crew, and is accompanied by relentless hyperbole talking up how unbelievably awesome everyone at Buffalo is. Just a sample quote demonstrates the ludicrous exaltation of it all: "To be a Buffalo pilot is to be resourceful. If there was ever a professional who had to mimic the 1980s television star MacGyver — the secret agent who could craft a neutron bomb out of a Swiss Army knife and some old cheese — it's the Buffalo Airways pilot." Wow. Now extend that out over 269 pages of text that just keeps stumbling over itself like a moose with its forelegs roped together, and you have a pretty good idea of how this book reads.
Her goal? Convince a major international cable network to see what she sees -- the frontier spirit evident in the independent community of houseboaters on Yellowknife Bay.
"I came up last year and shot some footage," said Haydn-Hays.
"I spoke to some of the characters out there about what the strategies are for living off the grid on the lake," she said.
This most recent visit was what she calls phase two, where the current footage gets edited into a mock one-hour show so the network can see what it would look like.
Ideally, the network would then green-light the production and agree to either a full one-hour show or a series of episodes.
Haydn-Hays is hesitant to compare her idea to Ice Pilots NWT or Ice Road Truckers.
"Every show has it's own different vibe," she said.
"This would be mostly about the challenges, the stakes involved and the character of the people behind the work. The frontier spirit is what drew me to the topic. They're living on their own terms, they're knowledgeable and it's like they're a boat captain, mechanic and engineer all in one."
While it's still a long way from coming to a small screen near you, Haydn-Hays said she's confident people will be interested in the topic.
"These are all things American audiences don't know about, they've never seen it. They don't have people living on frozen lakes," she said. 10
Public Attitudes Towards Devolution of Powers to the Government of the Northwest Territories SURVEY REPORT EKOS RESEARCH ASSOCIATES INC. March 2013 Outlined below are key findings and conclusions from this study. The survey results are broadly suggestive of a divided populace in the Northwest Territories with big differences in what Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal respondents think about the deal, their degree of support for the character of economic development that is promised by the devolution deal and the need for further public consultation. Smaller divides appear between newer arrivals to the NWT and more established residents. But these differences in perception are outweighed by the very strong public support for some further process of public consultations – nearly three quarters of survey respondents think further consultation is required. Given the recent vote by MLAs in the Legislative Assembly against a plebiscite, this is perhaps the most significant finding of this survey. Also notable is the publics' perception of the (economic) fairness of the deal – significant numbers of respondents are uncertain whether the NWT is getting a 'fair deal' in the re-division of resource revenues and control over lands and waters.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is completing negotiations with Canada to take over management of lands, waters and resources in the NWT. There are major concerns with the terms of the deal itself, and with the lack of Aboriginal Government participation as full partners in the negotiations.
Alternatives North is participating in public activities to promote debate on the devolution agreement, and to improve the quality of resource management that will be developed after the transfer of responsibilities.