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.


Media Inquiries, please contact: Nicole Robertson – (403) 616-4999 Bryan Hendry (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 as the program will go live on February 14, 2019.

For more information, including a backgrounder, contact:

Bryan Hendry, Director of Marketing and Communications,










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  If you think you are a fit with our organization, please send a cover letter, resume, and your references to

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