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


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 ( 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

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.


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




Bimaadzwin Officially Launches

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1215″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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 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


Bimaadzwin at Marijuana Business Conference and Expo International in Toronto

Chief Day with Bruce Linton, Founder of Canopy Growth Corporation

Bimaadzwin at Marijuana Business Conference and Expo International in Toronto


I spent the last several days at the largest cannabis conference to be held in Canada. There were 2,000 delegates and 125 exhibitors from 30 countries at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo International at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

In terms of both speakers and exhibitors, the most glaring absence was First Nation or Indigenous content.


With just 60 days to go before cannabis sales become legal in Canada on October 17th, now is the time for government and industry to fully and completely engage First Nations who are already involved in the production and sales of cannabis and cannabis related products. This has the potential to become a major revenue stream and employer for First Nation communities.


It comes as no surprise that the majority of Canadians polled have indicated they are more interested in consuming cannabis products rather than smoking marijuana cigarettes. When all the illegal dispensaries are shut down, that will leave only First Nation dispensaries to serve those members of the public who would rather consume edibles than smoke cannabis related products.


Next month, cannabis will be a major theme at the First Nation Economic Advancement Conference (FNEAC), hosted by the Ontario First Nation Economic Developers Association (OFNEDA) – September 18-20 at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. First Nation cannabis producers will be there to tell their side of the story. More importantly, this will be an opportunity for them to demonstrate that their products are safe, and that First Nations can play a major role in the growth of this fledgling legalized industry.

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


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:  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,


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






First Nations groups in Canada have new resource for lobbying efforts

First Nations groups in Canada have new resource for lobbying efforts

PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, 08/14/2018 3:38 PM EDT

Bimaadzwin, an Indigenous organization that provides consulting services on multisectoral issues, could be the first of its kind in the country, according to founder and CEO Isadore Day.

“We, as First Nations people, are always looking to see how we can have a better life based on the spirit and intent of our treaties and Bimaadzwin would be there to ensure our communities and leaders are ready to sit down with government or the private sector,” he said. “My work is basically to make sure our communities are better represented in the private sector as well as making sure, if our communities are going to lobby an issue, I do whatever I can to make them lobby-ready.”

He sees his organization as being focused on improving First Nation sovereignty, health, social and economic conditions.

Bimaadzwi is Day’s first venture after his term as Ontario’s regional chief ended in June, after losing the election to RoseAnne Archibald. Day was faced with a decision of what to do next after leaving the regional chief’s office, and he decided to continue furthering the interests of First Nations people with the creation of Bimaadzwin.

“I had a decision to make. I knew I wasn’t somebody who would sit behind a desk with my education and experience,” he said. “I knew I needed to give back. I can do things that would help our communities in another type of leadership role.”

Isadore Day, former Ontario Regional Chief, has founded Bimaadzwin, an Indigenous organization that will provide consulting services on multisectoral issues. The company’s soft launch was Aug. 12, with the official launch coming up Sept. 12. (Photo courtesy of Isadore Day).

Although Day does not see Bimaadzwin as a lobbyist organization, and he is not a registered lobbyist, he says his organization could assist First Nations people in their lobbying efforts.

“You limit yourself when you become a lobbyist. We don’t have anything against lobbying; we have to ensure our communities can lobby, but we definitely don’t want to be seen as confining our interests to lobbying initiatives,” he said. “I want to make sure our communities can lobby on their own steam. I think lobby groups are essential.”

Bimaadzwin had a soft launch on Aug. 12, coinciding with the last day of the annual pow wow in Serpent River, the First Nations community where Day was born. The Bimaadzwin website is still under construction and will be complete when the official launch of the organization happens Sept. 12.

That date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Robinson-Huron Treaty, which was signed between Ojibwa chiefs and the Crown in 1850. The treaty allowed for the exploration of northern Ontario, with the signatories from First Nations communities expecting to receive increasing levels of revenue from the sale of natural resources from that land. The treaty was the subject of a lawsuit that began last September, with affected First Nations communities saying individuals are receiving annual payments of $4 from the treaty, which hasn’t changed since 1874.

According to Day, Bimaadzwin will provide strategic assessments for their clients and help with facilitation activities, but the actual meetings with government officials concerning issues will be up to them.

“We’ll provide information, but it will be up to the leadership or senior management to make those calls,” he said.

Day is already hard at work at Bimaadzwin. He’s currently educating the management of a German pharmaceutical company hoping to expand to Canada on the health issues affecting First Nations communities, such as thehigh rate of diabetes in First Nations children in northern Ontario.

He is also working with the First Nations Health Managers Association, which Day said is interested in working more closely with the local Indigenous leadership. Day has experience in both First Nations politics and health since he is also the former national chair of the Assembly of First Nations chiefs committee on health.

Bimaadswin’s staff currently consists of six core members, and another eight associates, according to Day. The company is incorporated as an Indigenous social enterprise.

The name of the organization, Bimaadzwin, was chosen because it means life in the Anishinabe language, Day said.

“Our work is to create a better quality of life,” said Day.

The company symbol depicts two young girls who represent Day’s daughters, Niigaan and Waasayaa standing at Old Woman’s Bay on the Great Lakes. The two girls are looking at a thousand-year-old pictograph of eight ancestors in a canoe.

“This represents our generations of the past and those yet to come,” said Day in a press release. “Most importantly, our children are the future and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are able to grow up in happy, healthy communities.”

In addition to his former role as a regional chief, Day also worked in construction, commercial fishing, and social services before being elected chief of Serpent River First Nation in 2005. Since then he has served as Lake Huron Regional Chief and has been involved with the Union of Ontario Indians, the Chiefs of Ontario and the North Shore Tribal Council.