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.

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

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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