Bimaadzwin Reaction to Provincial Budget 2019: Ontario and First Nations agree that Federal Transfer Payments are key to creating wealth and the conditions to be open for business

(Serpent River First Nation, April 11, 2019) “Today’s provincial budget – the first by the Doug Ford Conservative government – makes a point that the current system of federal transfers is ‘broken and not working.’ As a former First Nation leader, I sympathize with Finance Minister Vic Fedeli’s concerns. Nationally, First Nations are promised billions of dollars annually in programs and services, but it never seems to reach the communities.”

To quote today’s budget: ‘It is critical that the federal government treat Ontario’s businesses, individuals, and families fairly and support them through adequate transfer agreements, not more red tape and administrative burdens.’

“For First Nations in Ontario – and across Canada – this sounds very familiar – ‘red tape and administrative burdens’.  Just like the provinces and territories, First Nations need to break free of red tape and bureaucracy in Ottawa,” said Day. “At the same time, First Nations should no longer have to sit and wait for federal and provincial budgets to treat our peoples like line items in a budget.

“Just like the Province of Ontario, First Nations need to assert our jurisdictions through long term reliable, sustainable federal fiscal transfers that will go directly to our own authorities, regions, and communities. For example, the British Columbia First Nations Health Authority will receive $4.7 billion in direct federal transfer payments over the next decade, with the Province of BC adding $84 million.  This is First Nation health care delivered by First Nations.

“In 2017, the federal government announced that Indigenous Services Canada will download its funding and services, which includes health, to First Nation authorities and communities, within five years,” noted Day. “We now have a little over 3 years at the least to build capacity in our regions and communities in order to prepare to take control of our own services for our own peoples. This is how we will assert Nationhood.

“In closing, I am disappointed there was no mention of First Nations in today’s budget speech, other than the search for “willing Indigenous partners” to help develop the Ring of Fire minerals in the Far North. I predict that Ontario will have to search long and hard before our Peoples are ready to be open for resource development business. Our priority will always remain protecting the lands and waters for our children — and for all peoples across the country, and around the world.”

Universal Healthcare Coverage for All means Indigenous Wellbeing must be established as a High Priority

World Health Day 2019 is observed worldwide on 7th of April. It is also a day that should remind Canadians that the health care system in Canada continues to be a racialized system that is evidenced in the poor health outcomes of First Nations as opposed to the country’s non-indigenous population.

“The health conditions generally in First Nation communities do not represent equitable health with the rest of Canadians. In fact, there has been a lack of follow-through on Reconciliation as a catalyst to health partnerships,” said Isadore Day, CEO of Bimaadzwin and former Chair of the Chiefs Committee on Health at the Assembly of First Nations.  “This lack of commitment is glaring and is proving to show through in the federal government’s poor funding of critical issues like responding to suicides in First Nations. 

“This is why we at Bimaadzwin are advocates for the World Health Organization’s efforts to raise global awareness on health equity issues such as the importance of health and wellness, and equal access to health care professionals and facilities.” 

“Canada’s 2019 Budget is not indicative of a solutions-based approach toward issues of mental health and addictions – which is unsettling, to say the least,” said Day. “The multi-generational impacts of colonialism, residential schools and a grossly underfunded indigenous healthcare system has certainly exasperated the health conditions of the Indigenous community, only leaving one obvious solution – adequate funding. This flies in the face of what World Health Day represents this year.”

Theme of World Health Day 2019

Just like 2018, the theme of World Health Day 2019 is Universal health coverage, according to the World Health Organisation. WHO sees its key aim to ensure that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community. WHO chose “Universal Health Coverage” as the theme for World Health Day 2019. Steps are being taken to achieve Universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere and the slogan is “Health for All”.

Bimaadzwin and our team aim to work with First Nation communities to advance their Nationhood objectives in all sectors, including health governance and community planning. Contact us for information and how to get started on making First Nation Health Transformation a reality.

For more information you can reach Bryan Hendry at: bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca or 613-863-1764

Bimaadzwin Federal Budget Reaction: Nationhood Needs to be Addressed in order to build First Nation Economies and Happy, Healthy Communities

(North Caribou Lake First Nation, March 20, 2019) “The highlight of yesterday’s federal budget is that it will be easier for millennials to buy new homes. However, far too many of the First Nation generation who grew up under the two-decade 2 per cent funding cap will continue to suffer in third world housing conditions,” said Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, CEO of Bimaadzwin. “If the federal government were truly serious about reconciliation, the focus on funding should have been on nation building, housing, and economic development. An extra $4.4 billion over four years on program spending, which includes $100 million for economic development, is not much of an investment.

“First of all, I want to commend the federal government for its continued commitment to eliminate Boil Water Advisories (BWAs) within the next two years. But clean drinking water is just one determinant of health. Like all Canadians take for granted, First Nations need clean drinking water flowing out of taps in homes that are safe to live in,” said Day. “As it stands in 2019, just as it did in 1999, First Nation housing remains in crisis. We need at least $8 billion nationally, which includes $2 billion in Ontario and $3 billion in Manitoba.

“On the same day as the federal budget, there was a headline about a four-month old First Nation baby who died after being taken from its mother in Manitoba. This baby is another victim of an Indian Act system that perpetuates poverty and helplessness. This baby’s mother grew up under a two per cent funding cap that has resulted in at least $25 to $30 billion in lost federal funding. This is the reason why we have children taken from their parents. This is the reason why we have children suffering from lung and skin diseases as a result of living in moldy, cold, overcrowded homes.

“On a positive note, I am currently working in North Caribou Lake First Nation, which just received a national Community Housing Recognition Award for the work being done by Housing Manager Gary Benson and his construction team of community members. This is an example of how leadership and commitment can make a positive difference when there is a focus on addressing the human right to housing.”

In August 2017, Indian And Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) was split into two departments – Indigenous Services and Crown-Indigenous Relations. At the same time, the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) was absorbed into Indigenous Services. It was also announced that Indigenous Services would be dissolved within 5 years, by 2022, in order to be placed in direct control of First Nation governments.

“We have yet to see how First Nations will take control of our own destinies. In order to truly build our Nations, we need to be our own bureaucrats in order to address our own priorities,” said Day. “In order to assume control of our services and economies, we need to begin now to build capacity in our regional and local systems of government. This means we need the same level of control as provincial and territorial governments.

“True Nationhood will only occur when we have federal budgets in 2022 and beyond that directly transfer so many billions of dollars per year to our own economies and services,” concluded Day. “For the sake of our children, we must act now to build our Nations and control our destinies.”

For more information, please contact Bryan Hendry, Director of Marketing and Communications, at 613-863-1764 or bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca

 

 

 

 

Indigenous Cannabis Consortium to be launched at National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference

“Now is the Time for First Nations and Indigenous Peoples to Secure Their Position in the Global Cannabis Market”

 

Serpent River, Ontario, Jan. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — “The second National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference (NICHC) to be held in Ottawa, February 19-21, represents a significant opportunity for First Nations and Indigenous peoples to secure a significant competitive position in the national and global cannabis and hemp markets,” said Isadore Day, CEO of Bimaadzwin, and publisher of Growth and Prosperity Magazine at https://bimaadzwin.ca/magazine/

“The first NICHC brought together  a national consortium and working group that is focused on supporting those Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities who want to participate in the cannabis market,” said Mr. Day. “There are a number of questions and concerns on policy, process, and participation that we need answered at next month’s conference.”

Key Open Questions Include:

Indigenous communities must be able to fully participate in Canada’s cannabis industry and the global market – from seed to sale – in a manner that respects our sovereignty, community by-laws and global commercial reality. When will the government provide clarity on critical issues?

Indigenous communities want to have the ability to sell cannabis products to their own members, the Canadian public, and also export internationally. How do we as First Nation companies establish ourselves to compete across all markets? If cannabis products are tested and meet current Health Canada standards, will there be any other federal/provincial barriers to full commercial participation?

How can Indigenous communities access federal health and education funding to understand and communicate cannabis health risks and benefits, especially to inform and protect our youth and to support our harm reduction challenges? We have specific concerns about edibles and derivative products as they aren’t well understood or tested but are soon expected to come to the market.  

“We know that Wiisag,  a First Nation cannabis company, and one of the invited participants,  deals with these types of questions every day. We have heard that they have been working out these questions with every community and entrepreneur they have been forming alliances and partnerships with,” added Mr. Day.

“We are extremely excited to have Wiisag participate in the second National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference.  They seem to stir up much excitement among the participants with their vision of a national and international Indigenous brand,” said conference organizer Howard Silver.

“Wiisag is looking forward to another great experience and thanks the tremendous efforts of Bimaadzwin and the conference organizers for extending Wiisag the opportunity to participate and engage with all of the conferecnce participants.  We wish everyone safe travels,“ said Jake Linklater, Executive Chairman of Wiisag.

The conference opens with a reception at the Ottawa Shaw Centre on the evening of February 19th, sponsored by Bimaadzwin, Wiisag, and the Capital Hill Group. Parliamentarians have been invited to attend. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is one of many conference speakers. For details on the 2nd National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference, please visit: www.nichc.ca

Attachment

Bryan Hendry
Bimaadzwin
6138631764
bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca

Indigenous Peoples stake more claim in the Cannabis and Hemp Industry


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –Treaty No.7 (Calgary, AB.) November 22, 2018 – The first ever National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference at Tsuut’ina Nation attracted approximately 500 participants and resulted in a common goal of working together to stake claim in the growing need of Cannabis and Hemp.
The common themes that emerged from the three-day conference and trade show was, Indigenous Peoples must work together with both government and industry in order to secure a considerable share in Canada’s newest multi-billion dollar industry.
“The issue of jurisdiction is the overwhelming priority coming out of this conference. Asserting our jurisdiction in the cannabis and hemp industry must be respected by mainstream industry and at all levels of government,” said Chief Isadore Day, who chaired the conference. “Economic sovereignty, health and safety, and community risk and impacts are the main themes we heard. Most importantly, we heard there is a growing interest in establishing a national network of Indigenous producers and retailers in order to compete with the larger multi-billion dollar cannabis companies.”

Representatives from Health Canada and Indigenous Affairs were also in attendance and presented at the conference. The federal government seems willing to support First Nations participation in the industry, while at the same time respecting jurisdiction.

“Elders have long talked about cannabis being the medicine that will help. We must maintain our symbiotic relationship that this medicinal plant offers and all other Indigenous medicines. There has to be balance as we move forward. If the only driver is economic development then it becomes the drug of addiction and the people will be foreign to the help that this medicine provides. We must move forward with our fundamental beliefs in mind so our Peoples and others will benefit from the healing aspects of this medicinal plant,” said Chief Lee Crowchild, of the Tsuut’ina Nation.

“The legalization of cannabis has created an enormous opportunity for Indigenous Peoples. The challenge we face now is that time is running out. Our Peoples need reassurance that we can still be major contributors to this new economy so everyone can benefit. We are eager to continue our focus and momentum that has been created by our communities, cannabis experts and business developers,” concluded Chief Day.

In order to follow-up on the pressing issues and themes that emerged during this past week, the second National Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Conference will be held in Ottawa, Ontario on February 19-21, 2019. www.nichc.ca

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Media Inquiries, please contact: Nicole Robertson – nicole.robertson@telus.net (403) 616-4999 Bryan Hendry -bhendry@bimaadzwin.ca (613) 863-1764

WIISAG Announces Safe, Effective, and Affordable Cannabis Health Program for First Nation and Inuit Patients

 

(November 26, 2018, Toronto, ON) Wiisag Corporation, a First Nation cannabis company headquartered at Neyaashiinigmiing, ON, is pleased to announce that it will offer personal health services designed and delivered by Indigenous Nurses. These services are for those First Nation and Inuit patients who either have an existing authorization to use medicinal cannabis or want to determine if cannabis is potentially beneficial to their personal health.

“We are welcoming patients into the Wiisag family. We strongly believe that it is necessary for health professionals to not just authorize access to cannabis but, to guide patients throughout their journey until we all know more about the impacts of cannabis,” said Juanita Rickard, Registered Nurse and Director of Wiisag’s Health Services Bureau. “Cannabis products are very complicated and impact every person differently, depending on a whole range of factors, such as pre-existing medicines and current health. Our Health Services team is made up of Indigenous Nurses who will monitor each patient’s personal health journey with cannabis, and study how cannabis is impacting their health and well-being and recommend appropriate adjustments in products.”

Wiisag is in discussions with the Federal government and Licensed Producers to make the cannabis products our Wiisag Nurses deem appropriate for our patients affordable. Wiisag has recommended that the Government pay for cannabis only for patients who also fully participate in the Health Services Program until more analysis is available concerning the benefits of cannabis as part of a holistic health program.

“Wiisag is committed to improving the health of our First Nation/Inuit brothers and sisters across the country.  Wiisag’s vision of health excellence is evidenced in our investment in carefully selected health service professionals and in our partnerships with academic institutions and industry players,” said Isadore Day, Government and Community Relations. “Sadly, we know that First Nations and Inuit people in Canada are on average in poorer health and have shorter life expectancies than other Canadians.  We also know that First Nations and Inuit people in Canada suffer disproportionately from such disorders as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, nausea and opioid addiction to name a few. The proper use of cannabis, supervised by indigenous nurses may be a real improvement for our people’s health

Wiisag has supply and cooperation agreements with select Licensed Producers. Wiisag health services professionals have identified select cannabis products from these LPs that they believe will potentially be beneficial to Wiisag patients. These LPs have sublicense Wiisag’s brand and will supply Wiisag’s authorized patients.

“We want to provide comfort and certainty to our patients first and then the system. Our nurses are working with a select few Licensed Producers to choose appropriate strains and thc/cbd combinations which will be offered as Wiisag brand cannabis products. We are well on the road to safe and effective use of cannabis with our nurse’s program and now we are focused on ensuring that cannabis products are affordable for our First Nations and Inuk patients. We are working on a number of strategies to achieve this critical objective,” said Jake Linklater, Founder and Executive Chairman.

Wiisag is a First Nations integrated cannabis business active in all elements of the cannabis business; Cultivation (indoor and outdoor), product development, processing and packaging. In addition to these activities Wiisag is investing in a unique Cannabis Health Services program based on consultations with First Nations leaders and communities. Wiisag intends to compete globally as the authentic First Nation cannabis company and invites all First Nations leaders to reach out for further information.

To further advance this endeavour, Joel Strickland, Founder and Chief Executive Officer said, “We intend to create a competitive, authentic, indigenous global brand to compete in the cannabis industry by making it attractive for First Nations communities and indigenous entrepreneurs to join Wiisag’s national network. We have listened carefully to Chiefs, Councilors, Elders, leaders and communities’ concerns about (and hopes for) cannabis. We then went to the indigenous health care community to understand how they could be effective in terms of facilitating a safe, and effective experience with cannabis for suitable patients.”

Interested patients, whether you already have an existing authorization to use medicinal cannabis or not are invited to pre-register with Wiisag at info@wiisag.ca as the program will go live on February 14, 2019.

For more information, including a backgrounder, contact:

Bryan Hendry, Director of Marketing and Communications, bhendry@wiisag.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Writer/Policy Analyst (Full Time Employment – 6 Month Contract)

 

Technical Writer/Policy Analyst (Full Time Employment – 6 Month Contract)

Who we are:

Bimaadzwin is a newly formed company founded by former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day.  Our clients include health care professionals, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, capital ventures and First Nations, to name a few.  In our short time in existence we have grown rapidly and need someone who is a competent writer with a solid background in Indigenous issues.  If you can work under tight timelines in an independent manner providing top quality work, you will quickly become an invaluable member to our team.

About you:

To be successfully considered for this role, you will have:

  • Post-secondary education with a relevant college or university degree;
  • A solid understanding of First Nations and Indigenous Issues in Ontario;
  • 4 years of demonstrated experience as a policy analyst or a technical writer;
  • An understanding of at least one or more of the following areas: health, education, social policy, communications, infrastructure, economic analysis, and government relations;
  • The ability to take complex information and summarize it into easy to read reports;
  • Can demonstrate an ability to deal with sensitive and confidential information;
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills, with abilities to simplify and communicate complex technical data to various audiences quickly and effectively.

Additional Considerations:

This position will be a full-time job at $24.00 per hour.

Candidates in the Ottawa Region are preferred but we remain open to other regions within Ontario, provided a candidate can demonstrate the ability to fit within our team with minimal support.

Before you apply, please learn more about Bimaadzwin by visiting www.bimaadzwin.ca.  If you think you are a fit with our organization, please send a cover letter, resume, and your references to employment@bimaadzwin.ca.

This job listing will close on Tuesday November 20, 2018; but applications will be reviewed as received.

As an Indigenous organization, we proudly act as an equal opportunity employer.

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