INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY #IDW2019 — #BalanceforBetter

The late Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, Water Walker and Angela Trudeau at Anishinabe Ceremonies in Serpent River First Nation, 2017.

”Anishinaabe Kwewag (Indigenous Women), and all women, have the powerful ability to carry life which is born of sacred ancestral birth waters called forth by Nokomis Giizis (Grandmother Moon) after nine months. This process has taken place since time immemorial and reflects the sacred harmony of carrying/caring for the force we call “Life”.

It is therefore a woman’s responsibility to honour and care for Nibi (Water), the source of all life, for the next seven generations.” 

Grandmother Josephine Mandamin

BIMAADZWIN, AN INDIGENOUS-LED CONSULTING NEW-CO, CELEBRATES THE DIVERSITY OF THE WOMEN WHO MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF TEAM LEADERS IN THEIR FIRM!

International Day of Women is a wonderful moment to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments of women in Canada generally, and those of Indigenous women specifically. When equal attention and power are given to diverse voices in public life, professional capacities and our personal relationships, everyone benefits and society is stronger.

These are the faces of the women of BIMAADZWIN– all strong, confident and accomplished women in their own right who support their communities, their families and who choose to work in the business landscape to cultivate successful business relationship that forge stronger Indigenous communities through “Affirmative Action”– an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups, women and to create Gender equality. 

It’s thanks to business leaders like Annette Vernschuren, a Canadian Entrepreneur, and former CEO of Home Depot Canada who demonstrated  to women around the world that they could breakthrough the glass ceiling to lead in a male dominated boardroom and to  women like Jody Wilson-Raybould,  an Indigenous leader and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, who were able to speak their truth and strive for excellence despite naysayers.  It’s women like these who help to give voice and encouragement for women to follow in leadership roles. The diverse and knowledgeable team of Women at BIMAADZWIN are reminiscent of these strong women blazing a trail for gender equity for all peoples.

“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about a legacy, but I have always loved teaching, watching people achieve and become happier because of it.” Annette Verschuren.

What is unique about working in this new Indigenous-Led Consulting firm is that more than 60% of the team are women and the work is performed virtually– allowing the team to have more work life balance. These women come from a wide range of professions including Law, Environmental Studies, International Development and Business Administration and have earned a masters in their respective fields of study. They come from different ethnic backgrounds and work collaboratively to support the growth and prosperity of Indigenous communities across Canada.

BIMAADZWIN , is a young company that is growing daily. It encourages and supports the empowerment of women— professionals wanting to make a difference in their communities and in society. This is done through transformational leadership that creates an interconnected and integrated team environment—the bonus is that this cutting-edge company offers a shared virtual work space that encourages Indigenous development and innovation. This of course wouldn’t be possible without the Core Values shared at BIMAADZWIN, they are; Highest Order of Inherent Right, Cultural Reciprocity, Environmental Consciousness, Shared Mentorship, Family, Professional Agility/Innovativeness and Accountability and Transparency – that has created an environment of work-life balance for all team members.

Today we celebrate diversity, gender equality and salute all Women for the hard work and tenacity to move the goal post even further– a collective and individual responsibility of every person in this country is to celebrate women in their accomplishments and also to support women in the continued efforts towards equality.

For more information about BIMAADZWIN, our services and associates, please contact, Isadore Day, CEO and President by email at Iday@bimaadzwin.ca or by mail at P.O. Box 192 – 511 Highway 17E Serpent River First Nation Cutler, ON POP 1 B0

Messages from the women of BIMAADZWIN

Charu Murti, Organization Development Coordinator

I am where I am today because of being a woman.

From the experience of giving life. To the many layers of relational accountability.

From being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend. To the studying, working and volunteering for decades.

Heart and mind were ready ten years ago to learn and work on what needs to be done as a newcomer on this land.

Heart and mind were ready to see how we needed to protect the children of this land.

Here’s celebrating today the center of the circle of life – the Indigenous woman.

May we learn from her on how to protect and uphold all that is sacred. Whether it is land or water. Whether it is human or non-human living beings.

May we protect and uphold the Indigenous woman, today and always!

Sarah Yankoo, Director of Planning and Technical Sevices

“When we begin to understand the colonial legacy and its collateral damage to the minds and bodies of Indigenous women, we can begin to forgive, accept, and heal ourselves from the countless hurtful, damaging ways in which this trauma manifests itself. When we embrace our long-standing inner memory of the richness of our teachings, in those moments we reclaim and honor our ancestors’ truth, courage, and resilience.” – Nahanni Fontaine (Anishinaabe), in #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy

I was raised in the wake of my mother’s reconnection to the Algonquin Nation. Separated from her family in the 60s Scoop, my mother met her three sisters, her Aunties, her community and her culture as I grew alongside her. As the Truth portion of Reconciliation manifests, many are learning about the traumatic histories we have endured for the first time. So much of this illumination will be led and supported by Indigenous women, two-spirit and non-binary people.

While this day celebrates and recognizes women, as a two-spirit woman, I feel it is dually important to recognize two-spirit and non-binary identities:

“I am a Two Spirit, the third strand in a thick braid, and my identity is weaved in between the male and the female, the community and academia, the traditional and the modern, the spirit and the flesh. Being Queer and Indigenous we stand at the crossroads of culture and the intersection of identity” – Damien Paul Montano, Kimiwan Zine: sikwan 2014

As a spirit woven between many dualities, I honor the balance and vision of all the feminine energies I have had the privilege of encountering in this life.

Nikki Bakes, Director of Operations

I often admire the trail blazed by talented and dedicated Indigenous women in this country. Examples of Indigenous women excelling in their occupations and communities abound, regardless of whether they are poets, lawyers, artists, doctors, teachers, or politicians.  One example of an accomplished Indigenous woman who has strengthened Canadian society by using her voice is Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Dr. Blackstock is a professor of Social Work at McGill University, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS), and a member of Gitxsan First Nation. 

Dr. Blackstock is a prominent advocate for Indigenous children. She has worked for more than 30 years aiming for First Nations children and families to be treated equal to other Canadian kids and moms. Dr. Blackstock has laboured to have the government implement Jordan’s Principle, a child-first health-care funding process and to ensure First Nations children on-reserve receive equal treatment and funding as those off-reserve. “I am always just stunned that I have to be an activist to get equity for little kids,” she said. 

For me, Dr. Cindy Blackstock is an inspiration and an example of what International Women’s Day celebrates. She is one of many determined Indigenous women leaders whose tireless work ethic, steadfast integrity, and courageous conviction in speaking truth to power is an example to others for how to live by one’s values in pursuit of justice and equality.

We each have an opportunity to make Canada a better place for all women and girls by implementing Jordan’s Principle and ensuring funding in health care and child welfare is equitable for Indigenous kids. When Indigenous women and children are treated equally, Canadian society is stronger.

Allison Deer, Senior Projects Advisor

Today we celebrate the International Day of Women #IDW, which has me reflecting on what’s changed from the days of suffragette in Canada (1917) and the feminist movement (1960’s) and, more specifically, the impact on the corporate world.  While the feminist movement inched women along the road to equality, greater representation, and better pay equity, women in subsequent years continued to strive for parity with their male counterparts; hence the pursuit of gender equality is still alive and well, but I think we are getting better at this determination which is evident on today’s—day of celebration!  

Women today have successful role models,  are better educated, and have access to wealth and better health care.  All of which contribute to the ever-growing number of women, whose faces, stories, and experiences now share the spot light in Forbes, the Economist, Time Magazine and other renowned business periodicals.  

There is hope for future generations of female leaders.  With more female role models, greater access to education and a particular style of female leadership, being more transformational in nature, perhaps the time is ripe for women to lead nations and the business world, especially, during these challenging times. There is no doubt that role-models and mentorship greatly influence and encourage more women to advance and take their rightful place in the corporate world.  Still, corporations require a blend of both female and male leaders and more importantly, a blend of leadership styles that can greater contribute to gender parity.   We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.   Let’s continue to strive for better equality and continue this narrative. #BalanceforBetter

At BIMAADZWIN, the team is surrounded by talented, confident and professionals of women who lead by example, this is not surprising since its CEO and founder, encourages balanced leadership, team interdependence and interconnectivity, devolving future goals, and embraces innovation to attain our organizational goals;  #balanceforbetter is the goal. We are moving in the right direction!

Angela Trudeau, Cultural Coordinator and Administrative Suport

Recognition and empowerment of women today makes stronger families, communities and nations. International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women globally, while also raising awareness for the continued need of collective action for a gender balanced world. Although, inequity of women continues to be a global issue, more and more women and girls are rising to prominence, taking their place on the world stage of influence.  

At Bimaadzwin, the diverse influence of its women is revered and vital. It embraces an Indigenous value of balance. Inclusiveness, gender balance and shared leadership are values at the foundation of Bimaadzwin’s success. I unequivocally believe, if the world would embrace women equally, the world would be in a much better place than it is today. It’s all about creating a better world for our girls so that they don’t struggle with inequity issues the way our grandmothers, mothers and we have. And when they are women, it is my dream the equality gap will have been closed for them to thrive as world leaders.

Photos of the women of BIMAADZWIN

IWD2019 Reading List

Stolen Sisters: The story of two missing girls, their families and how Canada has failed Indigenous women
The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet
Birdie
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
Strong Women Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival
Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature
Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada
Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women
Mean Spirit
Split Tooth
Half-Breed
April Raintree
I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
Secret Path
#Indianlovepoems
Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity
The Break
A Recognition Of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood


Bimaadzwin's favorite books »

Sovereignty, Indigenous partnerships, licencing were main themes of 2nd National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference (NICHC) held this week in Ottawa

(Ottawa, February 22, 2019) For the first time ever, two federal ministers spoke at a cannabis conference – Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Border Securities Minister Bill Blair, who is in charge of Canada’s Cannabis Act. Both Ministers made encouraging statements yesterday on the need to further include Indigenous peoples in the hemp and cannabis industry.

“We are supporting Indigenous communities who want to have a role in the cannabis landscape,” said Minister Petipas Taylor, who pointed out that Canada’s legalization and regulation of cannabis presents an historic opportunity to do things better. “Our government respects Indigenous peoples needs, desires and perspectives.”

Minister Blair pointed out that Indigenous Services Canada has recently modernized its economic development policies in order to address participation in the cannabis industry. “Our government recognizes the important link between economic development and improved outcomes in health and social development. The Cannabis Act provides an open and fair licencing process.”

When asked by a delegate if the government would respect the Algonquin sovereign right to produce and sell cannabis in the territory that includes Ottawa, Minister Blair replied: “We acknowledge and respect the jurisdiction of First Nations. There is an important nation to nation discussion on how both of our jurisdictions are recognized, especially in the health and safety of our peoples.”

Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, CEO of Bimaadzwin, who chaired the conference, said there is a multi-billion-dollar potential for partnerships among the 300 delegates, exhibitors and fledgling Indigenous companies/retailers who were present. “That mainstream cannabis train is going to keep on going. Let’s jump on our own track, under our own steam. At the same time, we need to build trust with governments and the Canadian public. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all our Nations to partner and participate in this growing industry.”

Kahnawake Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton stressed that his community is developing its own cannabis law in order to ensure public health and safety and access to a population of three million in the Montreal area. “We are already a major contributor to the economy. We employ a lot of people. We need to educate the provincial and federal governments on what we do. We’re going to take advantage of our location. If cannabis is one product that’s going to be in demand, then let’s do it.”

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Onekanew Christian Sinclair brought his remote Manitoba community out of debt by investing and partnering in cannabis production and retail companies in Canada and California. “Because of the current cannabis shortage for years to come, this is a golden opportunity for all First Nations to get into the game.”

Bimaadzwin continues to work towards clarifying and setting out challenging policy discussions. These challenges are being identified by working with Indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs, communities, and leaders within First Nation, federal, and provincial jurisdictions in regard to participation in the hemp and cannabis economy.

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Hendry, Director of Marketing and Communications, bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca or 613-863-1764

All photos by Fred Cattroll

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.

Cannabis and climate change were two of the hot topics featured at this week’s First Nations Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC)

Erin Mathews, Isadore Day, and Tito Domoto attend the FNEAC conference in Toronto on September 20, 2018.

 

MEDIA RELEASE
Cannabis and climate change were two of the hot topics featured at this week’s First Nations Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC)

 

(Toronto, September 21, 2018) Cannabis and climate change were just two of the urgent topics explored at this week’s sold-out First Nations Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC). There are almost limitless long-term economic opportunities for First Nations in both the emerging cannabis industry and combating the effects of climate change.

Isadore Day, founder and CEO of Bimaadzwin, moderated both the cannabis and climate change panels. An electronic survey conducted following the cannabis panel showed the majority of First Nation economic development officers in attendance stated their communities are currently involved or are open to partnering with established cannabis companies.

“The growing interest of First Nation participation in the cannabis industry is partly driven by the fact that our own Peoples are now involved in establishing their own companies,” said Day. “First Nations are also actively involved in the cannabis investment side of the industry. Mainstream cannabis companies and investors now realize there is much potential for First Nation control of a significant portion of the market once cannabis becomes legal next month.”

The Canadian Securities Exchange, which attended the FNEAC, reported that it has outperformed the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) since late last year as a result of increased investment in cannabis companies that focus not only on recreational use but medical, health and wellness aspects. Companies such as Long North Capital are focused on exclusively raising investment funds for First Nation communities.

“In terms of climate change, we’ve seen a huge number of wildfires from northern BC to northern Ontario. In fact, as of this week, there are still 180 out of control forest fires across the country,” said Day. “Our Peoples must be front and centre, not only in combating fires, but ensuring that Canada and the world acts now to end global warming before it’s too late. The number one solution is reducing greenhouse gas by ending our reliance on the oil industry.

The climate change panel featured Dr. David Pearson of Laurentian University, who co-chaired the Ontario Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaption. He is currently working with First Nation communities in the far north who are assessing the impacts of climate change. Dr. Adriaan Davidse presented on long-term solutions such as renewable energy integration systems that are analogous to the underground network of roots that sustain the plants and trees in a forest.

“We need to de-construct and restructure how the world produces energy,” said Day. “Canada cannot do this alone. First Nations cannot play their small – albeit significant role without a large and substantial investment in technologies that will begin to reverse climate change. We must have a First Nation driven summit to examine all the solutions – current and future – in the coming months. Time is running out to preserve the planet for our children and future generations. Economic development alone will not resolve our issues – we must have quality of living prosperity.”

For more information, Contact:

Bryan Hendry, Bimaadzwin Director of Marketing and Communications, 613-863-1764

bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca

 

 

 

Bimaadzwin Officially Launches

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MEDIA RELEASE
September 12, 2018

Bimaadzwin officially launches on anniversary week of the signing of Robinson-Huron Treaty: 168 Years Later, First Nations must continue to advance their rights for Nationhood and equality within Canada

(Serpent River First Nation, September 12, 2018) Bimaadzwin, which means “life” or “good life” in Anishinaabe, is officially being launched today as an organization dedicated to improving lives and advancing Nationhood and sovereignty for Indigenous peoples in Ontario and across the country. Former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is the founder, CEO and hereditary Chief, descended from Wiindawtegowinini, who signed the Robinson-Huron Treaty on behalf of his peoples 168 years ago this week.

“First Nations entered into Treaties with the European newcomers to share the lands and resources as equals,” said Chief Day. “We fully expected to share the bounty and wealth that our Peoples have enjoyed for thousands of years. As a leader for over 15 years, I have dedicated my life in the pursuit of social justice for our Peoples. We all have a moral obligation to ensure our children are not victims of the poverty, inequities, and injustices that have become far too common in today’s Canada.

“I founded Bimaadzwin as an entity that will bridge the current gap in understanding that exists between our Peoples and mainstream society, which includes governments and industry,” said Chief Day. “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.”

“The main logo of Bimaadzwin features my two daughters, Niigan and Wasaaya, looking at a thousand-year-old pictograph of eight warriors in a canoe that was carved on a cliff on the north shore of Lake Superior. Honouring our own history, languages, and culture is essential to building a prosperous future for our children.”

Visit www.bimaadzwin.ca for descriptions of the logos, as well as the Seven Principles that will guide the work to be done.

Bimaadzwin will host a reception at the First Nation Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC) next Tuesday, September 18th at the Toronto Chelsea.
For more information, Contact:

Bryan Hendry, Bimaadzwin Director of Marketing and Communications, 613-863-1764
bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca

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Infrastructure, Cannabis and Environment Highlighted at First Nation Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC) in Toronto September 18-20, 2018

Ontario First Nation Economic Developers Association

Infrastructure, Cannabis and Environment Will Be Highlighted at First Nation Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC) in Toronto September 18-20, 2018

 

(Toronto, August 15, 2018) The 2018 First Nation Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC) is just over a month away. The three-day event will feature panels, workshops, keynote speakers, and a trade show. The goal of FNEAC is to share success stories and build relationships that will lead to improved infrastructure, wealth creation, and better overall socio-economic conditions for the 133 First Nation communities in Ontario. First Nation leaders, economic development officers, government, business, and industry officials will be in attendance.

 

FNEAC is organized by OFNEDA – the Ontario First Nation Economic Developers Association, in partnership with CANDO, the national economic development officers’ organization, along with support from the CCAB – Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business – and CESO – Canadian Executive Service Organization.  Indigenous Services Canada is the major sponsor. Other sponsors include CN, TD, BDC, OFNTSC, LIUNA, and Gowlings.

 

CANDO will host several pre-FNEAC workshops on Monday, September 17th. Urban Systems, a BC-based community planning organization, will kick-off FNEAC with a two-hour “Economic Land Use Planning” workshop on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 18th. Earlier this year, Rainy River First Nation, located in northwestern Ontario, received a Canadian Institute of Planners Award of Excellence for its community plan that was developed in partnership with Urban Systems.

 

OFNEDA will host their Annual General Meeting at 5:00pm on Tuesday September 18,2018

 

Beginning on the morning of Wednesday, September 18th, there will be keynote speakers, panels, and workshops on topics that include cannabis, major infrastructure, capacity building, agriculture and

aquaculture, trade, and the environment. A draft agenda is available at www.ofneda.com.

 

For the first time at a conference, the Indigenous Infrastructure Investment Trust (3IT) framework for attracting global capital will be presented. The 3IT framework was selected by the judges in the national CanInfra Challenge as a top 10 finalist and invited to present at the Transformational Infrastructure Summit in May 2018 attended by the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, industry and Financial CEOs and indigenous thought leaders.

 

FNEAC 2018 will be held at the Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street West, in downtown Toronto. To book a room, visit: https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=59052&Chain=10316&start=availresults&arrive=9/18/2018&depart=9/20/2018&adult=1&child=0&group=ONT091818  Or call toll free 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732) or 416-595-1975 and use the room block code First Nations Economic Advancement Conference 2018”.

 

For more information, contact Bryan Hendry at 613-863-1764 or bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca,

 

To register for the conference, contact:

Patty Ann Owl, Executive Director

Ontario First Nations Economic Development Association

Blue Heron Industrial Park , 485B Gran Street, Rankin Reserve 15D, ON, P6A 5K9

 

Ph: (705) 946-0746

Fax: (705) 946-0416

patriciaowl@ofneda.com