ARTICLES BY Akiva Levitas

Male role models break new ground in early childcare program

Faith-Lynn Ottereyes-Trapper with Delmer Hughboy It’s rare that men will teach young children at daycare centres and schools across the province. Many reasons are behind this, particularly that women are more likely to go into the field of education. There is also society’s entrenched view of women as a nurturer that is ... read more ››

Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame inducts William MacLeod

Over the past 40 years, Eeyou Istchee has experienced remarkable economic growth. The opportunities that abound in the region are reflected by the career of William MacLeod. From being the first Cree Wildlife Conservation Officer to being president of Cree Construction and Development Company (CCDC) for 11 years, MacLeod has ... read more ››

Val d’Or business conference focuses on northern economic development

Regional leaders and business owners came out in force at the annual Business Exchange Day organized by the Secretariat to the Cree Nation Abitibi-Témiscamingue Economic Alliance (SAENCAT) on November 28 at the Forestel Hotel in Val d’Or. Bringing together over 150 companies and organizations, this year’s edition of the Exchange ... read more ››

The lost tribes: Bringing the Jewish and Aboriginal communities closer together

First Nations and Jewish communities each have an interesting history. At the start of European contact many Jews believed that the First Nations were descendants from the lost tribes of Israel. As the relationship progressed through the centuries, however, many Jews began identifying with the plight of Native Americans due ... read more ››

Honouring Cree women in leadership

Celebrating the achievements of Cree women in leadership, the Quebec Native Women’s Association (QNW) ended off its 40th anniversary symposium with a celebration dinner honouring eight Cree women who have worked hard for their communities. The November 8-9 event at the Sheraton Laval brought together Aboriginal women from various backgrounds and ... read more ››

iFather of the bride: Floyd Visitor attends his daughter’s wedding via iPhone

A wedding is a day to celebrate the growth of a family. For a father to ceremonially give his daughter away is a key moment in the relationship between parent and child. As the Visitor family was preparing for Krystianne Visitor’s marriage on October 4 to Adrian Billy Sam, they received ... read more ››

Eeyou Istchee’s most powerful business entities merged into the Cree Development Corporation

Over the coming months there will be massive change to Eeyou Istchee’s economic structure. Twelve years after the signing of the Paix des Braves, the Grand Council of the Crees has announced that the implementation of a major component of the agreement will go ahead in 2014: the establishment of ... read more ››

Debate over the Charter of Quebec Values heats up

Everywhere you go, you are bound to encounter people going head-to-head or seeing eye-to-eye on the PQ government’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values. The debate between those for and against it is causing a firestorm the likes of which Quebecers have not been seen since the 1995 referendum debate. The PQ ... read more ››

McGill University holds annual powwow

The sun was out in full force on September 20 beating down on McGill University. It was a perfect day for McGill’s 12th Annual Powwow on the lower campus fields giving students and passersby a chance to experience First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures. Young and old alike participated in the ... read more ››

Historic land agreement finally ushers Oujé-Bougoumou into the JBNQA

Community members arrive at Ouje-Bougoumou point. Photo by Theresa Macleod. Oujé-Bougamou’s voyage on the long road to recognition has finally reached its endpoint. Almost two years after the signing of Amendment 22, which confirmed Oujé-Bougoumou’s place in the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA), and over 20 years since the Oujé-Bougoumou/Canada ... read more ››

AGA gala honours five Cree students

Five young Cree students were recognized for their hard work recently when they were named the inaugural recipients of Academic Excellence awards for the secondary sector. The Cree Nation Achievement Awards Foundation (CNAAF) honoured the five bright academic stars at an honorary banquet August 7 in Wemindji for their work during ... read more ››

The First Peoples’ Festival keeps growing in its 23rd year

This year’s Montreal First Peoples’ Festival got off to a roaring start July 30 before a packed auditorium at the Grande Bibliothèque for the world premiere of Paroles Amérikoises by Pierre Bastien. For the third consecutive year, the week-long festival hosted live concerts and cultural events at downtown Montreal’s Place ... read more ››

Mistissini hosts its first traditional powwow

The first Mistissini powwow was a huge hit with locals and hordes of visitors who attended the two-day event July 19-20. For an inaugural powwow, the Mistissini Niimuuhiikaan came off smoothly despite difficult weather conditions, with close to 100 dancers and eight drum groups giving it all they had during the ... read more ››

Urban archaeology unearths relics from the past

On a hot summer day there is nothing better than going to the park with family and friends to enjoy the atmosphere. In Montreal, the newly restored Beaver Lake on Mount Royal has been drawing thousands of visitors, but standing out among the throngs of sunbathers and picnickers are picketed-off ... read more ››

Reclaiming Orphaned Mines

Lush vegetation covers the scars of the abandoned Opémiska mine near Chapais The word “byproduct” often comes up when talking about the environment. We all know what it means: something that comes as a result of an action or process that has occurred. In the mining world, the byproducts of raw ... read more ››

PAQ announces new location

A new home for Montreal’s disenfranchised Métis, First Nations and Inuit was announced June 19 at the Montreal Native Friendship Centre (MNFC). A traditional drum ceremony and a prayer by a member of the community started the evening for the announcement of the new building at the Projét Autochtone du ... read more ››

Lubicon Lake Nation claims its rights

 In Northern Alberta, the fight for First Nations rights to ancestral lands is moving towards another showdown between the Lubicon Lake First Nation and the federal and provincial governments. The Cree band is calling on the courts to block all further resource development on disputed territory until they gain the ... read more ››

Iserhoff visits Australia

At the invitation of the Australian government, Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff addressed the inaugural conference of the World Indigenous Network in Darwin, Australia, on May 27. The conference brought together Indigenous groups from around the world with over 1,300 delegates representing 50 countries. With a wealth of successful achievements by ... read more ››

Aboriginal Affairs minister defends Ottawa’s funding cuts

The Conservative government is defending its further planned cuts to the Aboriginal Affairs budget. On June 9, many Aboriginal advocacy groups were shocked to learn that their funding has been cut within the latest rounds of austerity measures pushed forward by the Harper government. Responding to the criticism, Aboriginal Affairs Minister ... read more ››

A constant presence

The First Nations film and cultural festival unveils its schedule For the past 23 years, Land InSights has been bringing First Peoples Festival / Présence Autochtone to Montreal with a line-up of Aboriginal films and performances that rivals the city’s other summer festivals. This year’s event is no exception with dozens ... read more ››

Aboriginal couture: Inukt melds First Nations culture into its fashion

Over the years, Canadian artists and designers have been inspired by the rich imagery and symbolism of First Nations culture. But walking down the streets of downtown Montreal, which offers a good representation of the Canadian fashion scene, the style seems to be a mishmash of American and European styles ... read more ››

An innovative North

Business conference in Amos is full of creative ideas In today’s fast-paced business environment, remaining stagnant is a surefire way to be left behind. Thanks to the increasing use of the Internet and its available multi-platform tools, creativity and innovation have become the most highly sought skills in the business marketplace. On ... read more ››

Senate audit is called

Marjory LeBreton, the Conservative government’s Senate leader, called for an audit of Senate expenses June 3, two weeks after the Mike Duffy expense scandal broke. After asking for unanimous consent, LeBreton encountered resistance from Liberal and Independent senators. The audit will examine claimed expenses by members of the Senate. The expenses ... read more ››

KI youth invite Canadians for a visit

Ottawa filmmaker Andrée Cazabon has partnered with the Oji-Cree youth of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nations to bring 25 young Canadians to the remote fly-in community in northern Ontario. The youth extended their invitation April 26 to the Canadian public to experience their community and learn about their way ... read more ››

Picard addresses UN on Indigenous education issues

“Education is the instrument through which cultures perpetuate themselves,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), in an address to the 12th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) on May 21. The focus of this year’s forum ... read more ››

Native numbers jump

The 2011 census documents a sharp increase in Canada’s Aboriginal population New Statistics Canada data published May 8 reveals substantial population growth among the country’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis, making Aboriginals the fastest-growing and youngest ethnic category in Canada. Three figures in StatsCan’s National Household Survey (NHS) stand out: almost half ... read more ››