Elected Municipal Leaders in Ontario can benefit by promptly reaching out to First Nations on Urgent Matters and Mutual Interests including Climate Change

(Toronto – October 23rd, 2018) Isadore Day, CEO of Bimaadzwin, congratulates newly elected and re-elected municipal leaders across Ontario. To those that served and were not successful or decided to step back and let a new generation lead, they too are respected and acknowledged for their sacrifice and contribution.

“Serving local interests and addressing the needs of the people at the community level is rewarding overall and will always have its challenges – that goes without saying. Finding ways to work collectively with other jurisdictions and finding mutual goals is something that should never wait until a region is in the midst of a crisis or emergency,” says Chief Day, who spent 15 years as an elected First Nation official in his community of Serpent River First Nation, and is former Regional Chief of Ontario.

“This year when the PCs defeated the Liberals in Ontario to form the next provincial government, political priorities became altered and a new focus would see a diminished Ontario Reconciliation agenda, cap and trade, and many social programs that were making a ‘quality of living’ difference for Ontarians and First Nations. An inevitable response: find a way to address issues at the local and regional level with strong and strategic partnerships.

“The reality is that we rely on local leaders in First Nations and in municipalities across Ontario to address the standard critical issues facing regional populations and communities. These critical issues include economy, procurement, employment, regional services and infrastructure investments. But the big question in everyone’s mind is, will we survive as a human species 20 years from now?” questions Chief Day.

Failure of local governments, First Nation and municipal leaders to come together, results in ineffective regional clusters of communities unable to realize their collective strengths and opportunities. Far too many times, local governments fail to build necessary bridges beyond community borders, resulting in missed opportunities like making necessary impacts on the global level like trade policy, national energy policy, and the scariest issue of our time – altering the impacts and uncertainty of climate change.

“Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time and adds considerable stress to our societies and to the environment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.” United Nations on Climate Change – http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/

Chief Day also says that building bridges between municipal and First Nation governments will take education, awareness, understanding the different histories and governance structures, setting priorities, and creating a partnership tables, and making investments of time and effort. Ultimately, joint effort and action plans are far better than having no plan at all.

“On a pragmatic level, communities protecting the environment together, making Reconciliation a collective value, and pooling resources for making communities stronger together – that is where we are going to see the greatest impacts on the bigger issues,” he concludes. “First Nations, as rights holders, are neither provincial structures of the province, nor are they federal subjects, rather First Nation Chiefs and Councils who are jurisdictional partners that can strengthen regional planning and achieved success. The first step is for First Nations and municipal leaders to convene in one mind and in one heart – there is no alternative to collective leadership solutions.”

Bimaadzwin is an Indigenous Organization that offers capital venture, advisory, facilitation and policy analytic services with a focus on bringing mainstream, Firss Nt Nation communities, and governments together toward successfully reconstituting Indigenous nationhood.[/vc_column_text]

Day One Roll Out of Legal Cannabis A Positive Sign of Potential Economic ‘Reconciliation’ for First Nation Producers and Retailers

MEDIA RELEASE

October 18, 2018

Day One Roll Out of Legal Cannabis A Positive Sign of Potential Economic ‘Reconciliation’ for First Nation Producers and Retailers

(Serpent River First Nation, October 18, 2018) After just one day of legalized cannabis rolling out across the country, Canada’s new green economy has sparked a huge appetite in the hundreds of thousands of consumers who lined up at store fronts and clicked away online. In fact, the overwhelming demand has already resulted in shortages of certain products.

“The media has reported that some stores ran out of cannabis by early afternoon while online retailers had over a million visitors yesterday,” said Isadore Day, Founder and Chief Executive Offices of Bimaadzwin Inc. “Of course, it was the first day of legalization and we’ll never again see people lining up at midnight in order to buy a few grams of marijuana. However, this is a strong indication that in the months and years to come, the cannabis industry needs a reliable supply of product.

“As the former co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations’ National Task Force on Cannabis, I remain very much involved in all aspects of the potential for Indigenous participation in this new industry. There are dozens of First Nation communities who have developed business opportunities in production facilities. At last month’s Ontario First Nation Economic Advancement Conference, held in Toronto, a survey revealed that over 60 per cent of economic development officers indicated their communities have already been approached to participate as partners or investors in the cannabis industry.”

To some extent, First Nations in Ontario have gained much experience in the industry in recent years. Tyendinaga First Nation has about 40-50 dispensaries, as well as a production facility that complies with all federal standards. The Mohawks of Akwesasne recently became the first 100 per cent First Nation owned cannabis production facility to be granted a medical marijuana licence from Health Canada.

“Next month, the very first Indigenous focused cannabis conference will be held at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, hosted by the Tsuut’ina First Nation (www.nihc.ca). A second conference will be held in Ottawa in February, 2019,” said Chief Day. “These are opportunities for governments and industry to work with First Nations not just on economic development, but education, health and safety as well.

“When the prohibition of alcohol ended in the 1930s, beer, wine, and liquor grew into annual multi-billion dollar industries. Until the 1960s, First Nations were not even allowed to purchase alcohol,” noted Chief Day. “The end of cannabis prohibition represents an opportunity for economic ‘reconciliation’ with Canada’s First Peoples. It’s time that this new green economy benefit the Peoples who have shared these lands in the expectation that we would all share in the wealth for generations to come.”

Our Mother the Earth is in Peril: Leadership is Required Now From All Government Levels including First Nations

Our Mother the Earth is in Peril: Leadership is Required Now From All Government  Levels including First Nations

By Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini

October 12, 2018

That purple haze that you see in the air is not from next week’s long-anticipated legalization of cannabis. Don’t let the “where, when and how” Canadians can get legally high be a smokescreen for the two very real issues of the week that have so far dazed and confused any real response by our leaders on how we are going to save our planet.

First off, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released this past week a real wake-up call of a report which warns we have at best just 12 years to get our global act together in order to minimize the increase in world temperatures. A two-degree rise in temperature will be catastrophic for everyone and all living beings in the world – from droughts and forest fires to rising oceans that will flood major cities.

Carbon pollution needs to be cut by at least 45 per cent by 2030 – and that’s only 12 years away. Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna have been tweeting this week on how Canada will live up to its obligations to the 2016 Paris Climate Change Accord. Environmentalists have been retweeting, “hey, didn’t you guys just buy a pipeline?” One barrel of crude oil produces 317 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Maybe “the world needs more Canada” but the world does not need more Canadian produced carbon pollution. We need to de-carbonize the atmosphere – not add more certainty to humanity’s demise!

Also, on Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government does not have a duty to consult First Nations when it introduces legislation that may affect constitutionally protected Indigenous and Treaty Rights. As the former co-chair of the AFN Chiefs Committee on Climate and the Environment, this is why I resigned from the last two years regulatory review as the AFN’s lead.

At the time, we were supposed to be “co-drafting” legislation with the federal government. Then we were told that due to Cabinet secrecy, we would not be able to see the final version of legislation before it was introduced. This is not consistent to a Nation-to-Nation relationship – and one of the reasons why the recognition of rights Framework is being fiercely repelled by the majority of Indigenous Peoples and First Nation communities across the country.

How do any First Nation leaders within Crown government paid organizations respond without threat of funding cuts? What is the key message we need to hear from these organizations?
Climate change literally is a burning global issue. It requires a real collaborative effort between all levels of government, western scientists, our traditional knowledge keepers, and all our citizens to see the real change required to save this planet.

Indigenous communities are at the frontlines and feel the greatest impacts of climate change. Weather conditions prompted our First Nation leaders to raise concerns this past winter about the impact to winter roads and access. These roads are the life lines for food, fuel, and other necessities in dozens of northern communities.

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have been the stewards of the lands. Despite the many attempts to colonize our ancestors, we are still here and every day we continue to practice this stewardship. It’s time for real work on the Nation to Nation relationship.

Our leaders need to pull their heads out of the sand right now. Now, more than ever, Canada needs First Nations at the table. The world needs Indigenous peoples at the table. For the sake of our children, we must stop polluting the air we breathe, and the water we drink. We must end the insane proportions of fossil fuel extensions into the global economic framework and de-entrench toward a reliance on clean, renewables and technologies that reverse carbonizing the earth’s atmosphere – for that we need real courage and real leaders.

Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, is the founder and CEO of Bimaadzwin.

Bimaadzwin: The First 100 Days

Bimaadzwin: The First 100 Days

By Isadore Day

It has now been 100 days since I launched Bimaadzwin – an organization with a mission to Advance Our Nations. In such a short time, Bimaadzwin has been warmly received from a wide range of people across all sectors of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.

I founded Bimaadzwin to bridge the current gap in understanding that exists between our communities and with that of government and industry.

True reconciliation means working towards building a country that elevates our Peoples as equals with all Canadians. There is much work to be done to improve outcomes in all areas – economic, health, governance, and justice.

In just a few short months, the Bimaadzwin team has been engaged in a variety of projects in health, economic development, and investment. There has been a focus on First Nation involvement in community planning, infrastructure, renewable energy, and cannabis.

We held a successful hard launch of Bimaadzwin with a reception at the First Nation Economic Advancement Conference in Toronto last month.

With less than 90 days left in 2018, there will be much more to report by the end of the year.  We ask that you visit our website and take the time to read about the symbols and principles that guide our work at www.bimaadzwin.ca