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The Port of Montreal joins the Grand Circle of Commitment for the full participation of Indigenous people in Quebec's economy Français
MONTREAL, June 21, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Port of Montreal has joined the Grand Circle of Commitment for the full participation of Indigenous people in Quebec's economy. By signing this Declaration, the Port of Montreal formally pledges to contribute to this movement aimed at creating wealth for, by and with Indigenous people. This is a tangible step toward greater inclusion of Indigenous people in the Quebec economy.Adopted at the Grand Economic Circle of Indigenous People and Quebec, the Dec...
MONTREAL, June 21, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Port of Montreal has joined the Grand Circle of Commitment for the full participation of Indigenous people in Quebec's economy. By signing this Declaration, the Port of Montreal formally pledges to contribute to this movement aimed at creating wealth for, by and with Indigenous people. This is a tangible step toward greater inclusion of Indigenous people in the Quebec economy.
Adopted at the Grand Economic Circle of Indigenous People and Quebec, the Declaration of the Grand Circle of Commitment is the embodiment of a broad movement in support of the self-determination of Indigenous people and their full participation in the Quebec economy.
In the coming months, the Montreal Port Authority will be exploring various ways to work with its First Nations partners, notably by creating ties with First Nations businesses with a view to development and growth.
"I wish everyone a great National Indigenous Peoples Day! Today we are making a commitment that will reach far beyond this day. Our commitment is in line with the Port of Montreal's core values, namely to act as a positive force in society and as a pillar of Quebec's economic development. To achieve this, we will work with our indigenous partners to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities". - Martin Imbleau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority.
"I am delighted that the Montreal Port Authority is joining the Grand Circle of Commitment for the full participation of Indigenous people in Quebec's economy. It is thanks to this type of commitment that we will be able to collectively create wealth for the indigenous peoples in Quebec." — Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL).
The AFNQL and the Government of Quebec held the Grand Economic Circle of Indigenous People and Quebec event on November 25 and 26, 2021. The event results from discussions held in the context of the work of the Joint AFNQL-Government of Quebec Political Table that was launched on March 19, 2021, and put in place with the aim of establishing a new era of nation-to-nation relations.
Through the Grand Economic Circle, Quebec businesses and organizations were invited to make public commitments for greater inclusion of Indigenous people in the economy, notably by signing the Grand Circle Declaration for the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Quebec's economy.
Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is the second largest port in Canada and a diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods: containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. The only container port in Quebec, it is a destination port served by the largest shipping lines in the world. It is also an intermodal hub with a service offering that is unique in North America, featuring its own rail network directly dockside connected to Canada's two national rail networks. The MPA also operates a Cruise Terminal and a Port Centre.
The MPA factors economic, social and environmental components into its corporate initiatives. This commitment is governed by a sustainable development policy whose guiding principles focus on involvement, cooperation and accountability. Port activity supports 19,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in economic benefits annually.
SOURCE Montreal Port Authority
For further information: Renée Larouche, Director of Communications, Montreal Port Authority, [email protected], 514 531-2410
Break bread, laugh and learn: How to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. First celebrated in 1996, the day — which falls on the summer solstice — is meant to recognize and honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures.Unreserved asked a few friends of the show ?— Indigenous people who are celebrated in their own right ?— ...
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. First celebrated in 1996, the day — which falls on the summer solstice — is meant to recognize and honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures.
Unreserved asked a few friends of the show ?— Indigenous people who are celebrated in their own right ?— what National Indigenous Peoples Day means to them and how to best spend the day.
Joy after a difficult year
Award-winning author Eden Robinson's West Coast culture is "extremely social." But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she's been bubbled up with her family. It's been a long time since many in her community gathered all together.
"I'm looking forward to the first time that we break bread together again," Robinson said.
Robinson, who is Haisla and Heiltsuk, often spends National Indigenous Peoples Day at George Little Park in Terrace, B.C., listening to musical performances and enjoying barbecued delicacies.
"There will be amazing food there. Some of it will be traditional, some of it will be adopted, but it will all be good."
The last couple of years have been difficult, the author said. "Not just with COVID, but I'm thinking particularly about the 215 children found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School."
Findings in May 2021 at the site of the former residential school in British Columbia showed 215 potential burial sites. Since then, similar discoveries have been made at a number of residential school sites across the country.
"When people talk about us or when they talk to us, these are the stories that they bring up. They bring up our deepest grief and trauma. So what I like about Indigenous Day is that people are celebrating our cultures, they're celebrating our communities," Robinson said.
"We ourselves are celebrating the things that bring us joy, and usually that's our heritage," she continued. "I know that last year was exceptionally hard, and no one really felt like celebrating, but we have an infinite capacity for joy."
Healing through laughter
Anishinaabe social media influencer Sherry Mckay, from Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, said she creates her online content ?— which has earned her more than 500,000 followers on online video service TikTok ?— to celebrate being Indigenous.
In her eyes, it serves the same main purpose as National Indigenous Peoples Day ?— celebration.
"When I think of National Indigenous Peoples Day, I think of celebration. I think of laughter. I think of family," Mckay said.
"I think of gatherings and the pieces that have been missing for decades, before the celebration of our language and our culture and our ceremonies, and remembering our relatives and our ancestors who weren't able to celebrate those things."
The TikTok star brings awareness to Indigenous issues with comedy because, she says, laughing together brings healing.
"I don't know if it's the laughter itself or if it's, you know, the laughter that we have with our loved ones. Those big auntie laughs and those big uncle laughs are very healing."
Mckay marked National Indigenous Peoples Day as a dignitary in the grand entry at APTN's live event on Saturday, held at The Forks in Winnipeg. She says it's one of the biggest honours she's ever received and proof to her that her content and comedy are touching a lot of people.
"I know [my work] reaches a lot of youth. And that to me is so incredibly important."
An opportunity to learn
As the cultural guardian for the Innu Nation in Labrador, Jodie Ashini works to preserve and promote her culture.
When asked about National Indigenous Peoples Day, she thinks about her daughter, who's six years old and, with darker skin, is visibly Indigenous.
"I was a pale Native, so I almost didn't fit in on either side. I was either red skin or I was either white skin, so I [spent] a lot of time trying to fit in, trying to figure out who I was growing up," Ashini said.
"But I'm just really afraid for my little girl to have to suffer that heartache of not fitting in just because of who you are."
How colonization affected and still affects the Innu is a story a lot of people do not know, Ashini said. That's why June 21 is a perfect opportunity for non-Indigenous Canadians to learn about Indigenous peoples and their cultures — and take steps toward equality.
"It's so important for us. This is a day to feel acknowledged in a country where you feel so little, where we still have to fight for our rights and freedoms," she said.
"Go talk to somebody that you know that's an Indigenous person, [and] you can learn a whole lot," Ashini added. "Learn an oral story, learn a recipe and learn about their great-great-grandparents."
And hopefully, if this learning continues, she says, one day her daughter will fit in wherever she goes.
"I hope we can have [that] equality, when our cultures and people are recognized, and we don't have to feel different. We don't have to feel the injustices."
Family, volunteers, police continue search for Brandon man last seen Friday morning
The family of Jordan Ross are continuing a ground search for the Brandon man, while Manitoba RCMP say they are focusing their efforts on the Assiniboine River.Ross has not been seen or heard from since Friday morning, when he left his home near the Grand Valley Park campground to do some work there.His vehicle was later found parked close to the nearby Assiniboine River, RCMP said on Saturday.Grand Valley Park, a private campground on leased provincial land, is in southwestern Manitoba, a few minutes northwest of Brandon...
The family of Jordan Ross are continuing a ground search for the Brandon man, while Manitoba RCMP say they are focusing their efforts on the Assiniboine River.
Ross has not been seen or heard from since Friday morning, when he left his home near the Grand Valley Park campground to do some work there.
His vehicle was later found parked close to the nearby Assiniboine River, RCMP said on Saturday.
Grand Valley Park, a private campground on leased provincial land, is in southwestern Manitoba, a few minutes northwest of Brandon.
Despite searches by multiple search and rescue agencies and volunteers since Friday night, he has not been found.
His brother, Jeff Ross, said the fact a body hasn't been found feels like "both a blessing and a curse."
"We still really don't have a definitive answer to where my brother is. We're not certain he's in the river or if he was lost in the wood," Ross said.
Jordan's family is devastated by how long he has been missing, Jeff Ross said, but will continue searching until they find him.
The search and rescue efforts started with volunteers on Friday. On Saturday, RCMP search and rescue and the Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART) joined the search.
Jeff Ross said search and rescue efforts on Saturday and Sunday were exhaustive, including hundreds of volunteers.
RCMP shift focus to water
On Monday, RCMP said their ground search has been suspended, and efforts will now focus on the river.
"A large area had been covered without any leads," RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre told CBC in an email.
"The search has yet to be successful and will continue today as the focus shifts to the water."
Teams of volunteers also continued the search on Monday.
Jeff Ross said the community is supporting the search effort through donations and volunteering. The owner and operator of a helicopter has been helping with aerial search, he said.
"We have hundreds of … [people] out on the river, paddling up and down," he said. "We have drone operators that are flying up and down."
What the family needs most from the public is for anyone who may know anything to come forward, Ross said.
That includes any information on what may have happened to him, or where he might have gone.
"Any clues would help us focus our efforts in the right direction, and we're not going to stop until he's found."
Anyone with information is asked to call Blue Hills RCMP at 204-726-7519.
Jordan Ross, 41, is five feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds. He is bald and has blue eyes. Police believe he left home wearing black ankle boots.
These architects are infusing Indigenous values into galleries, campus buildings across Canada
Two Indigenous-led firms are focused on securing a 'real voice in the design of our built environment'What role does Indigenous architecture play in the process of reconciliation?The recent work of two design firms in Ontario show it is not just about Indigenizing spaces but also designing places where everyone can benefit from Indigenous values and principles by integrating them into spaces across Canada.One of those firms is Two Row Architect.Brian Porter is the principal architect of the company, based in Six...
Two Indigenous-led firms are focused on securing a 'real voice in the design of our built environment'
What role does Indigenous architecture play in the process of reconciliation?
The recent work of two design firms in Ontario show it is not just about Indigenizing spaces but also designing places where everyone can benefit from Indigenous values and principles by integrating them into spaces across Canada.
One of those firms is Two Row Architect.
Brian Porter is the principal architect of the company, based in Six Nations of the Grand River. Established in 1992, this year marks Two Row Architect's thirtieth year.
"We're not necessarily interested in Indigenous representation, we're more interested in incorporating Indigenous values ... We try to have it ingrained in the design," Porter says.
"That means things like the directions of the prevailing wind having a physical impact on the way the building's laid out. The direction it's facing. Its connection to the ground. Its connection to the sky. We think about sustainable mechanical systems and electrical systems and decreasing our carbon footprint."
Porter says architecture that was part of Indigenous tradition is "still the best work that's ever been designed."
He asks how that can inform their work today: "How can we take some of these ideas and incorporate them in a meaningful and honest way?"
The firm is aptly named after the Two Row Wampum belt, which signifies a centuries-old agreement between settlers and Indigenous peoples.
Porter's designs take inspiration from traditional Indigenous spaces, often defying the industrial, masculine, orthogonal conventional principles of architecture.
The firm's original focus was working for Indigenous clients, on-reserve. Porter says he's had the privilege of working with 50 or 60 of the Indigenous communities in Ontario. They've been invited to do even more projects recently.
In April, the Art Gallery of Ontario announced Two Row Architect would lead the design, alongside two other firms, of a 50,000 gross-square-feet expansion.
In September, the firm will also begin construction at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. This coincides with the university's newly offered joint degree program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders – the first of its kind in the world.
Their design offers a contrasting feminine and contemporary aesthetic to the structure. One that embraces the landscape around it with fluid lines and glass and adapts the current space to one that is more culturally appropriate.
"We work in close association with mainstream firms," Porter says. "They're bringing their values and we're trying to bring Indigenous values to the table. There's a realization that we're sharing the same resources, sharing the same path and we're trying to work towards sustainability and stewardship."
Bringing women's voices into the fold
Another firm leading the way when it comes to incorporating Indigenous traditions into building design is Smoke Architecture, an all-female, award-winning group in Hamilton.
Indigenous voices have long been alienated from the way Canada has been built and organized, even within their own communities, says Eladia Smoke, the firm's principal architect.
Her firm intends to reconcile that.
"Our focus has been on providing a place for Indigenous and in particular, Indigenous women, to have a real voice in the design of our built environment. Canada's built environment is for the most part, a colonial institution and Indigenous presence has been really sublimated in the vast majority of the environments we've created for ourselves on this continent," she said.
"We're seeing the effects of coming at the built environment from an extractive point of view. I think it's past time for us to start thinking about how humans can be a part again of that symbiotic relationship of life systems and how the built environment can reflect and embody that."
Eladia Smoke grew up in Obishikokaang Lac Seul First Nation near Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario.
For her, design is a storytelling process between the architect and those who will inhabit the space, whom she considers to be the experts of that space. Through dialogue, a narrative is formed and then is embodied in the architecture.
I think it's past time for us to start thinking about how humans can be a part again of that symbiotic relationship of life systems.
In a conversation over Zoom, Smoke spoke of one such example — a 150,000 gross-square-feet expansion of Centennial College's A-Block building in Scarborough, slated for completion later this year.
She described the design narrative as "seed, growth, culmination, and balance."
"Where the main entry to the building is in the direction of the east, associated with sunrise and new beginnings. We rise with the natural topography of the land through this beautiful corridor that has both Anishinabek and Haudenosaunee Creation stories represented," she said.
The group is working with two female Indigenous artists. The Haudenosaunee Creation story is depicted from west to east and the Anishinaabe from east to west, representing the two different directions each nation carries out its ceremonies.
Each Creation story is represented on vertical panels echoing the flowing creek behind the campus, giving prominence to the forgotten waterway.
Through the main corridor, the juxtaposition of the Creation stories on vertical panels and the creek are visible. Learning spaces create informal student gathering zones inside and are mirrored on the outside, lined with timber, glass and Indigenous gardens.
The heart of the space is built according to the Anishinaabe roundhouse, which opens to an interior courtyard.
This leads to an administrative suite modelled after grandma's kitchen, a space for feasts and gatherings. As you exit the building, basalt columns are sculpted and positioned to emulate a wampum belt.
What is unique about this space is that it was not commissioned by an Indigenous organization, nor is it designed only for Indigenous peoples. But rather, it will be a central space for everyone to gather, Smoke says.
Indigenous spaces tend to be less prescriptive and more flexible than typical work environments, she added. Further, multi-functional spaces traditionally allow for ceremony and other social gatherings. The pandemic has demonstrated a need for multi-use space.
Indigenous building is also lauded for its integration with its surrounding landscape and working with the climate in mind. Smoke Architecture is no different.
Its net-zero designs not only include building exteriors which work with the environment but also use carbon-sequestering materials such as mass timber structures, thermal glass spaces, photovoltaics, and rainwater recapture.
Architecture as a tool for reconciliation
A recent Two Row design provides another example.
Last year, Toronto Metropolitan University (then called Ryerson University), commissioned Two Row Architects to design a monument dedicated to the Dish with One Spoon territory, upon which the campus sits in downtown Toronto.
Porter wanted something impactful and meaningful. A large-scale public artwork was built, known as the Ring installation.
The sculpture evolved through the university's Truth and Reconciliation Strategic Working Group in collaboration with members of the university's Indigenous community and Two Row Architects.
The tiny perforations in the Ring represent the Seven Grandfather Teachings and their animal symbols: Humility, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Truth, Respect and Love. Surrounded by the constellation Pleiades, the pictographs also depict the lunar moon phases.
The Ring is positioned deliberately so that its opening faces east, representing creation and new beginnings; and west, representing knowledge and wisdom. The exterior of the steel sculpture has been left untreated, to weather in the elements over time.
The use of a ring — a piece of jewellery in need of care and maintenance — is no coincidence. It is similar to the silver covenant chain, used to depict the ongoing relationship between the Haudenosaunee and the Europeans.
The silver chain acknowledges the relationship was to be "pure, strong and untarnished" but also signifies a need to polish and tend to these relations over time — something the designs of Porter and Smoke are also doing in their own way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candace Maracle is Wolf Clan from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. An award-winning filmmaker and journalist, she graduated with her master’s degree in journalism from Ryerson University where she received the CanWest Scholarship for Aboriginal Youth in Broadcast Journalism. Her latest documentary, "Yakonnhéhkwen (It Sustains Her)” has screened at numerous film festivals across Turtle Island and was nominated at the Red Nation International Film Festival 2020 in Los Angeles.
Grand Forks Secondary School Class of 2022 celebrate with ceremony and parade
The Grand Forks community came out to support the Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) class of 2022, at a ceremony at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena on Saturday, June 18.This was the first “traditional” graduation ceremony for GFSS grads since 2019. The classes of 2020 and 2021 had drive-by ceremonies and parades due to COVID-19 restrictions.Although the class of 2022 had a regular in-person ceremony, they decided to continue the tradition of the parade, since it got so much community support.The event comme...
The Grand Forks community came out to support the Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) class of 2022, at a ceremony at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena on Saturday, June 18.
This was the first “traditional” graduation ceremony for GFSS grads since 2019. The classes of 2020 and 2021 had drive-by ceremonies and parades due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Although the class of 2022 had a regular in-person ceremony, they decided to continue the tradition of the parade, since it got so much community support.
The event commenced with a procession of graduates. Grads entered the stage, where they were met by principal Brian Foy for a high-five. GFSS teachers were lined up along the stage to greet the grads.
Alexis Laktin and Linden Webster-Krist sang O Canada to begin the ceremony.
Indigenous educator Joan Holmes addressed the grad class, and Principal Foy then gave his message to the grads He, wishing them well in all their future endeavors.
“You are all capable of achieving great individual things,” said School District 51 (SD51) superintendent Anna Lautard in her address to the graduates.
Bronwen Bird gave a speech the the class of 2022 on behalf of the board of trustees of the board of education for SD51. She kept the audience laughing with her humorous words of advice.
“A wise person once said: ‘Today is the perfect day to start living your dreams.’ That wise person was me. You’re welcome.”
Erin Madsen, a humanities teacher at GFSS, presented the graduates with their diplomas. Madsen shared with the audience each graduates’ favourite memories at GFSS.
After the presentation of graduates there was an Indigenous drumming performance to honour them.
Tamara Paul was the parent speaker for the group. She shared the story of her struggles with cancer with the group. She, and said that by telling her story, she hoped the graduates would learn an important lesson.
“So here’s the moral to my story: Never give up. Be strong. Do not let others tell you that whatever you want to do cannot be done. Do not focus on the negatives in your life. Find the positives, they are there.”
Laura Matheson and Kristen Merry, Humanities teachers at GFSS, were the staff speakers for the graduates. They gave a touching speech recounting their most memorable moments with the class.
“Overall, this grad class consists of some very empathetic, open-minded, and accepting individuals.” Ms. Merry said.
Valedictorian Reece Edgington gave a memorable speech to his peers.
“So when you leave, I don’t want you to be sad that it’s coming to an end. I want us to be happy and proud that we made it to the end.”
Vice principal Jonathan Dowswell gave a farewell speech to the grads before the procession.
Proud families and friends waved and cheered as the graduates walked around the arena.
After the ceremony, graduates gathered outside to prepare for the parade and greet supportive family and friends.
The parade began at the arena and made its way through town. The Grand Forks community was happy to come out and cheer on the graduates.
Congratulations to the class of 2022!