Our Featured Celebration
When Nicholas Appert won Napoleon’s 12,000 franc prize in 1809 for inventing the art of canning, he probably didn’t anticipate (a) that February would be declared “Canned Food Month”, and (b) that human ingenuity would adopt his new process for the production of some truly horrific products like – oh, let’s say Canned Duck Fat, Canned Cheeseburgers, Canned Bird’s Nest Drink (made, we assure you, from real birds’ nests), Tinned Scorpions, and the ever popular Creamed Armadillo - delicious with water crackers and a light Sauterne.
The flood of calls from international media and various UN agencies inquiring about the results of the Consilium Annual General Meeting have now subsided, and we can turn our attention to updating our beloved readership before you read about it in the New York Times or on WikiLeaks. For simplicity's sake, we present the results in graphic form.
The Land Claims Agreements Coalition is a unique national organization, formed in 2003 and representing all the major settled, comprehensive Inuit and First Nation claims in Canada. Coordinator Patti Black is organizing a week-long series of leadership and advocacy meetings the week of February 7-11 in Ottawa. Leaders from most of the Coalition’s 23 member organizations will be in town to establish Coalition priorities and plans, and to raise the profile of implementation issues on the Hill. The week includes the annual Leadership Reception, to be held the evening of Tuesday February 8, at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Email Jennifer Bradshaw at Bradshaw@consilium.ca for an invitation to the event.
The Northern Lights Trade Show, an annual celebration of northern business and economies (and a welcome midwinter break!) is jointly hosted by the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce (BRCC) and the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce. Next year’s show will be held in Ottawa February 1-4, 2012. Mark your calendars; more details will be announced shortly.
Forestry is an industry of great interest to many Aboriginal communities; the challenge for young people, as always, is how to break into and advance in the industry. Jennifer David, Christian Cloutier and Kory Goulais will be working with the Forest Products Sector Council (FPSC) on an Advancing Aboriginal Inclusion project which will produce a background document to assist them as they develop a strategy. The report will include provincial and territorial profiles of Aboriginal people who work in forestry-related occupations and industries, as well as challenges and promising practices in Aboriginal human resources in the forestry sector which will be developed through interviews with Aboriginal organizations, forestry industry and union representatives. Stonecircle has also been asked to prepare a consolidated report of five regional sessions that the FPSC held across Canada discussing the issue of Aboriginal inclusion and HR issues.
In other Sector Council news, Jennifer David will develop a series of fact sheets for the Alliance of Sector Councils on innovative approaches taken by sector councils to address the key human resources issues in the various sectors across the country.
The Assembly of First Nations has contracted Stonecircle to organize the upcoming AFN Tobacco Forum to be held February 22-24 in Saskatoon. Patti Black and Kory Goulais, with assistance from Shelley Thomas Prokop, will provide logistical support, registration, facilitation and note taking for the Forum.
One of the authorities Nunavut gained through its government and Land Claims Agreement was the right to regulate research and access to/use of its lands and waters for research purposes Following up on a previous project documenting and assessing that regulatory framework, Aarluk (notably Alex Ker, with the able assistance of Rosemary Ipeelie) will be preparing a retrospective on research licensing activities in the territory between 2005 and 2010, for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Federal Program Office of the International Polar Year.
The Government of Nunavut’s Nunavut Parks and Special Places Division have asked Aarluk’s Chris Grosset to assist their staff with a pre-feasibility study for the Belcher Islands and the community of Sanikiluaq. The purpose of the project is to collect background data on the cultural landscape resources of the islands, and working with a local Park Advisory Committee, identify concepts for a future territorial park or special place. This work will take place over the next ten months, including a trip to Sanikiluaq in early February to collect data and consult with members of the community.
It’s high time Johnny the Lemming had his own home. Terry Rudden and Patti Black are developing a fund-raising and communications plan in support of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation’s proposed Nunavut Media Arts Centre. Proposals will be written, committees will be struck and news will be made. Stay tuned as this project is expected to gain some significant momentum over the next few months.
Sometimes the best ideas in health policy come from the front line - the communities. Jennifer David, Wanda Brascoupe-Peters and Fern Assinewe facilitated three of seven regional sessions on Aboriginal maternal and child health to learn first-hand about promising practices at the community level. Thirty participants in each session (Ottawa, Halifax and Calgary so far) took part in small group discussions. Kory Goulais has been collating and writing session notes and Patti Black makes sure everything runs smoothly. Four more sessions to go: then Stonecircle will provide a roll up report to the Health Council of Canada on the findings.
The Saga of the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Special Study Road Warriors continues. Just as Anika Altiman was able to reschedule her northern Ontario community visit (originally postponed due to weather), Isabelle Picard found herself weathered out of her research community in northern Quebec, while storms in northern Saskatchewan grounded Shelley Thomas Prokop. Ah, the joys of travelling in northern Canada in January. Fortunately the project has been extended into the spring; the team back at Stonecircle HQ (Wanda Brascoupe-Peters and Kory Goulais) can focus on shipping warm undies, chocolate and charcoal briquettes to the Chosen Frozen, our brave researchers in the field. Wanda is profiling four AHSOR sites in both Alberta and BC, and Kory will conduct research and interviews on four sites in the Atlantic region.
For over 50 years, the Inuit of Cape Dorset have been producing world-renowned prints; they're the highlight of any northern art collection, and an incredibly rich cultural and history legacy. Consilium’s Scott Black has been having a wonderful time working with the Canadian Museum of Civilization on curriculum tools and resources to introduce students to Cape Dorset Inuit prints, designing children's activities that include colouring a print, matching printmaking techniques with a set of prints, creating videos of local artists, puzzles, and an Inuktitut language matching activity. One lesson plan allows students to make their own prints using linoleum tiles, which happens to be exactly how the original Cape Dorset artists started their work. (Pictured: "Faces", serpentine, by Napatsie Ashoona, Cape Dorset. Photo by Ansgar Walk. Published under Creative Commons Attribution License.)
Wahnapitae First Nation is one of many communities strengthening their accountability, management and governance system, and Stonecircle is working with them to develop a Financial Management and Administration Code. Alex Ker is leading this project with the research assistance of Kory Goulais. A framework for the Code has been prepared, and was presented to the First Nation at a meeting in Sudbury on January 14.
Speaking of Alex Ker, she recently spent a (darn cold) week in Deline, NWT attending meetings on the Deline self-government initiative and negotiations. Concurrent sessions focused on the translation of words and concepts found in the Final Self-Government Agreement to Slavey, as well as planning for the centralization of the accounting systems of four governments and organizations in Deline. Deline has identified education as a priority area for the exercise of jurisdiction once the self-government agreement is in effect. Alex is working with Deline to develop its proposal for education and is exploring with the GNWT how this can be implemented under a co-jurisdictional model.
Language IS culture, but Aboriginal languages have been disappearing at an alarming rate across Canada for decades. Some communities, however, are fighting back. Jennifer David just returned from facilitating a series of focus groups in the communities that make up Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council, as part of Stonecircle’s project to develop a language strategy. Focus groups in Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River, Sagamok Anishinabek and Atikameksheng were well attended, with excellent input and suggestions. Jennifer and Linda Conway from Mamaweswen were also able to participate in a community meeting in Serpent River First Nation, and interview renowned language speakers/teachers Martina Osawamick, Angus Toulouse and Shirley Willians. And Jennifer took a side trip to Manitoulin island to visit with the Wikwemikong Board of Education as Wiki produces more Ojibway language speakers than anywhere else in Ontario. (Pictured, left to right: Jennifer David; Linda Conway Assinewe, Language Coordinator, Manaweswen; Shirley Williams, Anishnaabe language teacher and author; Martina Osawamik, Kenjigewin-Teg; and Angus Toulouse, language speaker and teacher.)
Aarluk Consulting is providing support to the Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services in strategic planning for development of new program and administrative structures for the department’s Community-Based Health Programs. The first phase of the planning process included consultations with Nunavut communities and with Health and Social Services and Health Canada personnel on current and future program and funding arrangements. In the second phase, Victor Tootoo and Fred Weihs facilitated a Strategic Planning Session held in November 2010 in Iqaluit, and the final phase, to be completed February 2011, involves preparation of the new program and administrative framework. This framework will provide the basis for negotiation of a new five-year flexible funding agreement between the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada covering Community-Based Health Programs. The Aarluk team includes General Manager Victor Tootoo, Fred Weihs, Alex Ker, Greg Smith, Galin Kora and Geoff Rigby.
Chris Grosset and Marla Limousin have completed the Kugluk (Bloody Falls) Territorial Park Cultural landscape resource Inventory. The project, for the Nunavut Parks and Special Places Division (GN), documented the significant resources of the Park and provided recommendations that will help the Division with updates to their Park Master and Management Plans.
Jennifer David and Kory Goulais just wrapped up editing all 11 manuals for the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR). Mining Essentials: A Training Program for Aboriginal Peoples will be delivered across the country for Aboriginal people interested in learning more about the mining industry.
Greg Smith and Alex Ker have completed their final report on the evaluation of the Nunavut Community Wellness Project (NCWP). The project has provided support to six pilot communities (Arviat, Clyde River, Coral Harbour, Igloolik, Kugaaruk and Kugluktuk) to develop community wellness plans and to enhance local capacity for health and wellness planning. Lessons learned from the project will be used to improve health and wellness planning in Nunavut.
Mishtuk is a forestry company which for more than 25 years has been providing employment and business opportunities for the people of Waswanipi, Quebec. Stonecircle (Ron Ryan and Kory Goulais) assisted the Waswanipi Mishtuk Corporation in the design and facilitation of a strategic planning session. . Over 20 objectives for the next year were developed including the reopening of the sawmill operations.
If you're going to get weathered in, make sure it's in a friendly community like Baker Lake. Ron Ryan was caught in the recent round of Nunavut bad weather after delivering the Public Sector Finance Course on behalf of Municipal Training Organization (MTO) and Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) . The course went very well - more people finished than started! And Ron got to visit old friends and enjoy the great hospitality and comforts of the Nunamiut Lodge. (Pictured below, left: Moses Aupaluktuq, MLA for Baker Lake, talking to the MTO participants; right: participants Rosie, Sharon and Faith.)
Stonecircle Consulting has completed an Initial Implementation Plan for the Mohawk Council Akwesasne on management of compensation funds from their Kahweno:ke Land Claim Settlement. MCA expects to complete negotiations on the claim in the near future, and the Implementation Plan is to be distributed along with the Settlement Agreement to the membership as part of the ratification process. The Stonecircle team included General Manager Jennifer David, Alex Ker and Fred Weihs.
Only two things are consistent here at the CCG: our devotion to our clients, and February being a completely birthday free month. Despite having quintupled the number of employees working for Consilium, Aarluk and Stonecircle since inception, still not one of them has a birthday in February. Once again, we encourage ALL would-be consultants born in February to get your résumés in. We’ll avoid a discriminatory birth date lawsuit, and you’ll get the WHOLE birthday section to yourself, once a year. How about it?
Greg Smith has been awarded the designation of Credentialed Evaluator (C.E.) by the Canadian Evaluation Society, through its Professional Designations Program. The CE designation recognizes that the recipient has provided evidence of education and experience required to be a competent evaluator. Greg leads the Evaluation Practice Area for the Consilium Consulting Group, Stonecircle and Aarluk. He has been managing evaluation projects for fifteen years for a range of clients including several federal government departments, the Government of Nunavut, and Aboriginal organizations. Most recently he managed the Evaluation of the Nunavut Community Wellness Project for NTI, and is currently working on the Special Study of the Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve Culture and Language Component for FNIHB, as well as other ongoing projects involving an evaluation component.
What do the following pictures have in common?
They’re all RARE - especially the shot of our CEO not at work. Chuck Gilhuly finally made it to Cuba in December and returned slightly less pale, slightly more rested and slightly more likely to vacation slightly more regularly.
Last month we rolled out our new website to critical and popular acclaim (“Probably the most exciting makeover since Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour” – Variety). And next month… well, we can’t say too much just yet. You know how we are about surprises. But here’s a hint. We’ve been publishing this newsletter since 1939 - originally in actual print, as shown (right), then as the monthly web-based version you’ve come to know and love. But times change. Things change. People change. Hairstyles change. Interest rates fluctuate. You get our drift.
Stand by for something cool.
CHECK BACK EVERY MONTH FOR MORE CONSILIUM, STONECIRCLE AND AARLUK NEWS, TOOLS, AND GOSSIP.
If you would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please send us an email at email@example.com.