More Than Me Charity Gala To Help Girls In Liberia

first_imgMTV host Layla Kayleigh will host the More Than Me Charity Gala in LA on Saturday, September 15.More Than Me was launched in 2009 by Oprah’s Angel Network alumni Katie Meyler, and helps young girls get off the streets and into schools in one of the most dangerous slums in the world in Liberia, West Africa. To date, it’s served over 200 girls and now has the official support of the Liberian government.Referred to as “The most passionate person we’ve ever met!” by Bono’s ONE Foundation, a “Social Media Role-Model” at a United Nations conference on technology, Katie was recently honored with “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the NJ Commission (where she was born into a crack house – see below) and also just received recognition from the Boy Scouts of America luncheon as this year’s Extraordinary Women.Katie’s earliest memory is waking up next in her family’s one bedroom apartment next to her uncle who had died that night from a drug overdose. Her early life was filled with adversity and solitude, but Katie was driven to create a better future for herself and become a voice for children who are silenced by poverty, hunger and slavery. It was an unexpected trip to Liberia with the United Nations that solidified her next step – founding an organization with a simple call – creating a life that is about “More Than Me”.Find out more here.last_img read more

Steve Van Zandt To Be Honored By Little Kids Rock

first_imgBefore Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finish the second U.S. leg of its world tour, many of its members will attend Little Kids Rock’s 10th anniversary Right to Rock Celebration, sponsored by the House of Marley and 1Love.org.On October 16th in New York city Steven Van Zandt will be presented with the “Big Man of The Year Award,” given annually to honor the legacy of the late, great Clarence Clemons. Van Zandt joins past honorees Lady Gaga and The Big Man himself. The event is being co-chaired by actress Maureen Van Zandt and E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg.The gala will resemble an all-star rock and roll festival with Van Zandt performing alongside many of his musical friends, including Elvis Costello, Dion DiMucci, Tom Morello, Darlene Love, Southside Johnny, Kris Allen, Rubén Blades, Gary U.S. Bonds, Michael Des Barres, Michael Johns, Jesse Malin, Jake Clemons, NYC Hit Squad and more surprise guests expected to attend. Little Kids Rock students will join these rock legends on stage to perform along side and celebrate the joy of music.The event, sponsored by The House of Marley and 1Love.org, will be held on Tuesday, October 16 at the Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom and will run from 6:30pm until the music stops. Table sponsorships are available for purchase and limited balcony-level tickets for the show (no bar or dinner) will be made available next week. For more information visit www.littlekidsrock.org/rtr12/sponsorship.htm.A key part of the evening will be the live and silent auctions (opening online in the weeks leading up to the event and concluding live at the October 16th event) featuring hard-to-find treasures like a keyboard signed by Lady Gaga, a guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (with Jake Clemons making the piece a “first of a kind”), a tour of NFL Films and the set of Inside the NFL with Phil Simms, a custom guitar featuring Bob Marley hand painted by famed tattoo artist Mister Cartoon, an exclusive dinner with Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, a 5-night stay at one of the Hard Rock All-Inclusive Collection Resorts and much more. The funds raised by this once-in-a-lifetime musical extravaganza and unique auction will help Little Kids Rock bring the gift of music education to disadvantaged youth across the United States. The funds from this event and auction will enable Little Kids Rock to bring free lessons and instruments to over 100,000 disadvantaged public school students in 12 states.“Putting instruments in [children’s] hands is empowering,” Van Zandt said after personally delivering guitars to Little Kids Rock students in the Bronx last year. “We’re the only country in the world that thinks that art is a luxury. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity of life.”“It is a privilege to honor Steven Van Zandt,” said David Wish, Little Kids Rock’s Founder and Executive Director. “To do so with the company of the E Street Band friends and family is just thrilling.” Wish added, “Steven Van Zandt is a great artist, philanthropist and humanitarian who has provided tremendous support for Little Kids Rock students and for many people around the world. No wonder so many other artists are coming out and paying tribute to him.”Together, The House of Marley and 1Love.org are this year’s presenting sponsors of the Right to Rock Celebration and an ongoing partner with Little Kids Rock. The House of Marley is a collection of premium quality, earth-friendly lifestyle and personal audio gear, created in partnership with the Marley family, and donates a portion of all sales to 1Love.org, the Marley family nonprofit organization that focuses on youth, planet and peace. During the event, 1Love.org will announce a surprise fundraising project with Little Kids Rock that honors the spirit and artistry of the legendary Bob Marley.Tickets are available here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Grammy Nominees Album To Benefit MusiCares

first_imgCapitol Records and The Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Recordings will release the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album on Jan. 22, 2013 and provide lucky music and GRAMMY fans two chances to attend the 55th or the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards.The album features 22 critically acclaimed smash hits from a myriad of chart-topping artists from various genres. Artists include The Black Keys, Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Hunter Hayes, Taylor Swift, Gotye, Katy Perry, Florence + The Machine, Bruce Springsteen, Pink, Jack White, Maroon 5, Muse, Carly Rae Jepsen, Coldplay, Adele and more.The 19th edition of the best-selling collection includes many of the most widely recognized GRAMMY categories representing nominees for Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album. The album is made possible by a special arrangement with all of the major music distribution companies and rotates labels from year to year. A portion of the proceeds from the album benefit the MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation — two charitable organizations established by The Recording Academy.In conjunction with the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album, Capitol Records and The Recording Academy will offer two opportunities to attend the annual GRAMMY Awards. First, when pre-ordering the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album at www.grammy.com/2013grammyalbum by Jan. 21, music fans can enter to win a trip to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10, 2013. Additionally, providing another chance to win tickets to Music’s Biggest Night, each 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album purchased in stores will include a special game piece featuring a unique entry code for the GRAMMYTicket Game. To participate, the code must be entered at www.grammy.com/2013grammyalbum for the opportunity to win a trip for two to the 56th Annual GRAMMYAwards in 2014. The second-place winner will receive other official GRAMMY Awards merchandise.The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 10 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

A Family Affair at Annual Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Benefit

first_imgTwenty-three years after screen icon Elizabeth Taylor started her Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF), an intimate group of 250 family members and friends packed into the Wilding Cran Gallery in Hollywood to continue her foundation’s work.Celebrity host Colin Farrell and musical guest Katharine McPhee mesmerized the crowd while the Taylor family – a true living and breathing testament to Taylor’s presence – were there in force to engage and envelop the audience.Grandson Rhys Tivey sang and played trumpet to a captivated audience. Granddaughter Naomi Wilding spoke and assisted Andrea Fiuczynski, chairwoman of Sotheby’s West Coast, with auctions of priced works by notable artists and photographers like Bruce Weber, Carole Bayer Sager, and Catherine Opie. Ex-daughter-in-law Aileen Getty – who has lived with HIV/AIDS for almost 30 years – took to the stage with executive director of ETAF Joel Goldman. She encouraged everyone to give generously and announced that she would match every donation.February 27th would have been Dame Taylor’s 82nd birthday and the event was truly a celebration of her vision, generosity, and commitment to raising awareness of those who are most disenfranchised within the HIV/AIDS community worldwide.Joel Goldman called Taylor his “guiding star.” He played a video of Taylor’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award acceptance speech in 1993 that perfectly captured the spirit of her legacy:“I am asking for your help. I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being to prove that we are a human race. To prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame, that our sensitivity of those in need is stronger than our greed, that our ability to reason overcomes our fear. And at the end of each of our lives, we can look back and be proud, that we have treated others with the kindness, dignity and respect that every human being deserves.”Copyright ©2014Look to the Starslast_img read more

Final Lineup For Soccer Aid Announced

first_imgHollywood stars, Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, Vicious), Matthew Morrison (Glee), Kasabian’s Sergio Pizzorno, McFly’s Danny Jones, Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward, legendary jockey Sir AP McCoy, Good Morning Britain’s Sean Fletcher and ex rugby star Thom Evans complete the stellar celebrity line-up for Soccer Aid 2016.Joining them are Italian legend and FIFA player of the year 2006 Fabio Cannovaro, World Cup winning Brazilian goalkeeper Dida, England and Sunderland striker Jermaine Defoe, ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy and former Newcastle and I’m a Celebrity star Kieron Dyer to complete the incredible line-up of footballing legends taking part in the big game.This very special tenth-anniversary match will see two star-studded squads go head to head on Sunday 5th June live on ITV from Manchester United’s legendary Old Trafford Stadium, all in aid of UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.Damian and Danny will join Jose Mourinho’s England squad which also includes, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, pop star Olly Murs, TV and Heart FM presenter Mark Wright, pop star and presenter Marvin Humes, comedian Paddy McGuinness, Jonathan Wilkes, Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard, comedians Jack Whitehall and John Bishop with TV and Heart FM presenter Jamie Theakston in goal.Matthew, Iwan, Sir AP, Shayne, Thom, Sean and Sergio will play for the Rest of the World team alongside movie star and Unicef UK Ambassador Michael Sheen, Michelin-starred Chef Gordon Ramsay, pop star and presenter Nicky Byrne, comedian Patrick Kielty, and Kiss FM and ITV’s Bang on the Money presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams.Jose Mourinho and Sam Allardyce will manage England and will be joined by Assistant Manager Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams with Bradley Walsh returning as coach. Rest Of The World will be led by Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri with One Direction’s Niall Horan as his Assistant Manager.Defoe, Murphy and Dyer will join the England legends including Liverpool icons Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler. David Seaman will play alongside his ex-Arsenal team-mate Sol Campbell.Cannovaro and Dida will join Brazilian world cup winning legends Ronaldinho and Cafu alongside Manchester United favourites Jaap Stam and Dimitar Berbatov, Dutch midfield dynamo Edgar Davids and former Barcelona and Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto’o.In the commentary box will be broadcasting icons Clive Tyldesley and Chris Kamara with former World Cup referee Howard Webb officiating in the middle. Viewers will also be treated to a performance from the incredible Katherine Jenkins.The tenth anniversary match promises to be bigger, better and bolder than ever before, as the world’s biggest stars from sport, music, television and film play in an action-packed game to raise money and vital support for Unicef’s work for children in danger.The money raised through profits from ticket sales will add to the incredible £17 million that has already been raised for Unicef to help provide children with life-saving food, vaccines, and clean water, as well as protecting them from violence, exploitation and abuse. 100% of all public donations will go towards supporting the vital work of Unicef.Donations to Soccer Aid will be doubled by the UK government.The biennial live event will be hosted by Soccer Aid veteran Dermot O’Leary with TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher once again pitch side to report on all the action as it happens.This will be the sixth Soccer Aid event, with previous matches held at Wembley in 2008 and at Old Trafford in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014.Tickets now on sale for Soccer Aid 2016, call 0845 456 2016 or visit manutd.com/socceraid.Booking fee applies. Calls charged at 0.75p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.last_img read more

Jussie Smollett To Perform At Point Honors New York

first_imgThe Point Foundation has announced that singer and actor and star of FOX’s “Empire,” Jussie Smollett, will be the featured performer at the April 9, 2018 Point Honors Gala at The Plaza in New York City.The evening will honor journalist Ronan Farrow, with the Point Courage Award, presented to him by fellow journalist, Thomas Roberts. Comedian Tig Notaro, is also slated to be honored. The event benefits Point Foundation scholarships for LGBTQ students.Jussie Smollett is best known for his groundbreaking role as Jamal Lyon in the mega-hit television series “Empire,” but is now emerging beyond what many call one of the most powerful characters on television. From co-starring as Sergeant Ricks in Ridley Scott’s No. 1 box office hit, “Alien: Covenant,” to the release of his new album “Sum of My Music,” Smollett is breaking new ground. His work has been recognized with multiple NAACP Image Awards and the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award.Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. Some of Point’s 98 current scholarship recipients and 270 alumni will be present at the event to share their inspiring stories about how they have overcome challenges to get their higher education degrees.Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Point Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.For more information and tickets, please visit: www.pointfoundation.org/HonorsNY18last_img read more

Montreal to get a new largely digital fashion week

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook A new fashion week is in the works for Montreal, and it will largely take place online.Digital Fashion Week Montreal is set to launch in March 2017, with organizers “re-writing the fashion week business model.”Runway shows will be streamed live to a global audience, but there will also be real-world networking events and other educational initiatives to support Canadian designers. The showcase was founded by Melanie Trevett, a fashion and retail entrepreneur who recently moved to Montreal from the United Kingdom.Her new festival comes three years after Montreal Fashion Week merged with the city’s Fashion + Design Festival in 2013.It also follows the loss of Toronto Fashion Week, which announced earlier this month that it was folding.“Canadian designers will be empowered with a fashion week that truly belongs to them, one that will take their careers into the future and from which the industry can grow internationally,” according to a release issued Wednesday.The event has lined up sponsors including Maybelline New York, Redken 5th Avenue New York, and essie.The Canadian Press Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Miriam Baker to present her Fall 2017 collection at Toronto Womens Fashion

first_imgAbout Miriam Baker:As a designer with a full chest herself, Miriam understands the challenge women face when it comes to finding sophisticated and well-fitting apparel. She creates clothing that exudes confidence and embodies understated elegance. As a believer in timeless design, the quality craftsmanship of Miriam Baker pieces mean they will last season after season, becoming staples in a woman’s wardrobe.Born and raised in Toronto, Ont., Miriam studied fashion design at George Brown College and Ryerson University’s School of Fashion. In 2014, Miriam won the prestigious Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label and was featured as a designer to watch in Flare magazine. She was profiled in Women’s Wear Daily for being the first designer to win the coveted title for a collection geared towards women with larger busts.About Toronto Women’s Fashion Week TW:Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TW) truly celebrates Canadian fashion and is proud to be the home to Canada’s most iconic designers and the Next Generation of Emerging Talent. Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Notable Canadian womenswear designer and winner of the prestigious Suzanne Rogers Award for Most Promising New Label, Miriam Baker today announced she will launch her Fall 2017 collection on the runway at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week on Saturday, March 11 at 5 p.m. “The newest collection highlights my dedication to creating timeless pieces for full-chested women, while still touching on current trends” said Miriam Baker. “I was inspired by an art nouveaux fashion plate I purchased in Paris by Gereda Wegener – a Danish artist and the wife of Einar Wegenar who would go on to transition into “the Danish Girl” Lili Elbe – the collection consists of dreamy layers, unconventional fishnet details, figure-flattering dresses and duster coats for the modern woman. The woman in Wegener’s print is effortlessly seductive, comfortable in her skin and the clothes that adorn her – that is exactly how I want the women who wear my pieces to feel.”Unabashedly feminine in design, each piece is tailored to flatter and echo the delicate curves of the female form. The collection combines the muted blush tones from Wegener’s print with contrasting black and forest green to project a soft but bold look. Watercolour brush stroke prints and subtle hand-painted florals add dimension to each piece. In tune with the subtle erotica of 1914 Paris, the collection weaves a story of revealing and concealing one’s body – a coy act to keep just enough hidden to pique the curiosity of what lies beneath. Fabrics such as silk charmeuse, netting, and Italian jersey evoke an era of fashionable and timeless femme fatales.Looks from the Miriam Baker Fall 2017 collectionImages courtesy of Miriam BakerRunway images will be available following the show.Hashtag: #MiriamBakerTwitter: @Miriam_Baker_Instagram: @Miriam_Baker_Facebook: MiriamBakerDesigns Advertisementlast_img read more

SiriusXM Live From Just For Laughs

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28, 1:00-4:00pmSoprano C Room, Hyatt Regency MontrealWard & Al LiveWard and Al are comedians Ward Anderson and Allison Dore. Their show, brilliantly named “Ward and Al”, is a combination of news and topical analysis, entertainment talk, pop culture, and more. Thank god, their show is at 1 pm and not 8 am as they might actually have comedians that are awake and have shared (and that goes for both sexes!) Wednesday, July 26, 6:00-8:00pmSoprano C Room, Hyatt Regency MontrealThe BonfireBring your folding chair, a couple of logs and some marshmallows! Hosted by comedians Big Jay Oakerson and Dan Soder, The Bonfire invites you to come and hang out by the radio bonfire as the blunt and candid duo talk about… what else but comedy, sharing their funniest stories from the road and giving fans a chance to call in and get their opinions on the topics of the day. Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28, 8:00-11:00amSoprano C Room, Hyatt Regency MontrealJim Norton & Sam RobertsComedian Jim Norton and host Sam Roberts discuss current news topics, social trends, life, talking with listeners and celebrities guests culled from the Just For Laughs Festival talent pool. And that’s a lot of big fish… Saturday, July 29,TBCSoprano C Room, Hyatt Regency MontrealUnmasked with Ron BenningtonUnmasked is an hour-long in-depth interview, focused on the creative process and the lives and work of comedians, hosted by Ron Bennington. Be part of the audience as Ron sits down with the biggest talents in the business to talk about their craft — and their creativity.All SiriusXM LIVE at Just For Laughs programming is included with your ComedyPRO Industry, Industry Plus or Express Pass. Pass on sale now through July 24th. After that you’re out of luck. Visit Eventbrite to purchase.Sirius XM will also be our sponsoring partner for this year’s Just For Laughs Awards Show and our eye on the Awards Show red carpet. Stay tuned for an upcoming communiqué announcing this year’s honourees! Twitter Login/Register With:center_img Are you a serious comedy fan? Then you’ll enjoy the special programming that SiriusXM and Just For Laughs ComedyPRO have lined-up for you, including top shows from SiriusXM and SiriusXM Canada. It’s all LIVE and it’s all right here at Just For Laughs ComedyPRO.From the heat of The Bonfire to the coolness of Ron Bennington’s Unmasked, here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from SiriusXM LIVE at Just For Laughs ComedyPRO. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Friday, July 28, 11:00pm-12:30amMainline TheatreComedy 101It’s Tell a Joke or Be a Joke as a crop of inexperienced comedy rookies take to the stage for the first time in front of a large audience, while a panel of brutal comedy headliners sit in judgment. See Montreal’s own go up against a panel of comedy’s toughest critics. Crass. Confrontational. And an absolute blast! SiriusXM’s Ron and Gail Bennington host. Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28, 4:00-6:00pmSoprano C Room, Hyatt Regency MontrealTodd Shapiro ShowThe Todd Shapiro Show is a daily live talk show featuring one of Canada’s most hilarious, original and beloved radio personalities. A lively gab fest featuring some of the best Canadian and international comics (Gore Met lids not included…)last_img read more

Ontario inquest bears echo of residential school tragedy First Nation leader

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – An Ontario inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations high school students is raising difficult questions and themes sure to be echoed by a forthcoming inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, Aboriginal leaders say. The inquiry, which resumes Monday in Thunder Bay, is exploring how the deaths were investigated and the level of communication between officials and families, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said in an interview. Nishnawbe Aski is one of the parties with standing at the inquest. “I think there are a couple of themes that have emerged from this inquest that we see a strong parallel with the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,” Fiddler said. “One is the racism that these students experienced here in Thunder Bay and the lack of proper attention by the authorities into these deaths. There were delays in launching a full-scale search for these students once they were reported missing.” The inquest, which is being conducted in phases in front of a jury, is exploring what happened to 15-year-old Jethro Anderson, 18-year-old Curran Strang, 21-year-old Paul Panacheese, 19-year-old Robyn Harper, 17-year-old Kyle Morrisseau, 15-year-old Jordan Wabasse and 15-year-old Reggie Bushie. The deaths, which occurred between 2000 and 2011, all took place while the students were living in Thunder Bay, away from their First Nations communities, in order to be able to attend high school. Many northern Ontario communities lack high schools, which forces young people to live in boarding houses that are closer to available facilities, Fiddler said. “For the most part, you don’t have a choice but to go to high school _ whether it is in Sioux Lookout or Timmins or Thunder Bay,” he said. It’s an experience with which Fiddler has first-hand knowledge. “For me, it was the realization I was one of those kids,” he said, recalling the memory of leaving his First Nations community to attend school in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. “It hits pretty close to home. You can’t help but feel that you have to do something about what was happening _ and what is happening.” Although the jury’s conclusions are not binding, the hope is that it can make recommendations in order to prevent deaths in similar circumstances. The inquest is expected to highlight systemic problems with First Nations child welfare and access to education _ areas also flagged in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recent findings in its exhaustive study of Canada’s now-defunct residential school system. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett called the Thunder Bay deaths a “terrible tragedy.” “Obviously the child welfare system is not working and I have already promised that we will look at it and overhaul it to make sure that we can have families stay together whenever possible,” said Bennett. “This is truly sobering, this inquest … we want to be able to put in place concrete actions at all levels of government to prevent this tragedy in the future.” Canada may no longer have residential schools, but the attitudes and stigmas that helped bring them about are still a factor, said NDP Indigenous affairs critic Charlie Angus, whose northern Ontario riding includes a number of First Nations communities. “I’ve spoken with young people who have left home at 14 and lived in boarding houses,” Angus said.“ They talk about the residential schools; they say, ‘This is what my grandparents when through.”’ Young Indigenous people are often forced to leave their tight-knit home communities behind, ending up in big cities that can be dark and dangerous alternate worlds, Angus said. “Why is that situation happening? It is because the federal government doesn’t supply high schools in many of these communities.” Bennett said the new Liberal government is looking at solutions. “I’m heartened by the fact that so many people are thinking about these things and obviously it really touches Charlie Angus’s riding,” she said. “The kinds of supports and services that are there for those communities (are) clearly not adequate.”last_img read more

Are mining companies now lining up to do business in the Ring

first_imgnews@aptn.ca APTN National NewsMining exploration company KWG Resources has enlisted the help of two young women to help promote the Ring of Fire.It’s the area in northern Ontario rich in minerals worth billions of dollars. the company hopes toBut despite the opportunities that are there, no mines are currently operating.KWG Resources is hoping to change that with a series of videos.You be the judge.last_img

Staggering number of suicides leads to MOU between Innu and Newfoundland

first_img(Left to right: Innu Nation Deputy Grand Chief Simeon Tshakapesh, Innu Nation Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, Mushuau Chief John Nui, and Sheshatshiu Chief Eugene Hart.)Todd Lamirande APTN National NewsNewfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and four Innu leaders signed an agreement to hold an inquiry into the “treatment, experiences and outcomes” of Innu youth in care by the end of September.Ball characterized it as an “aggressive timeline.”“When you look at the numbers, they’re staggering,” he said. “Disproportionate numbers of suicide rates, disproportionate number of children in care. We know, and I know, feeling this for a while now, that we really need to get together in an inclusive way to get to what the root problems are. And then from that, we can establish how we get to putting the proper preventative measures in place in Innu communities.”The memorandum of understanding states that by July 31, 2017, the terms of reference for the inquiry will be agreed upon. However, Ball could not say if it would be a full public inquiry conducted in front of a judge.“This is about preventing youth and children from going into care and making sure we have the wraparound services in Innu communities that are ultimately appropriate,” he said.Innu Nation Deputy Grand Chief Simeon Tshakapesh was happy with the outcome.“I am very proud being Innu today,” he posted on Facebook. “Innu from Labrador has prevailed today through all our pain that’s why we are successful today. I have fought along with other former leaders and present leaders so many years for our people. Now I can see the real hard work paid off.”It was the suicide of Tshakapesh’s son, Thunderheart, this past May that brought the issue to the forefront. Tshakapesh and Innu Nation Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee confronted Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett at a July 1st barbeque in her Toronto constituency. (Simeon Tshakapesh, with his son Thunderheart.)An emotional Tshakapesh yelled at Bennet that he wanted his son back.“Stop stealing our children. Yes, stop it,” he shouted. “Something gotta end. We can’t keep burying our own.”Thunderheart, 16, took his own life after being sent out from his community in Labrador, Natuashish, for solvent abuse.“My son had a life and a dream. And that dream is killed by the system,” Tshakapesh told Bennett.She said his death was unacceptable and promised to change it.“How can we protect our future when they are so far away from us?” Qupee asked Bennett. “There’s broken connections that are being done by this government. And it’s hurting us. We’re the leaders. Yet, we’re the ones that go home to all the pain and suffering in our communities.”After nearly half an hour of discussion, Minister Bennett handed Tshakapesh a small pouch of tobacco. In exchange, Tshakapesh gave Bennett the protest sign he was holding, with the condition that he will hold the Indigenous Affairs Minister to her word.“I may be gone, but this still going to exist,” he said while holding up the tobacco. “And this is gonna be turned back to you and what you said here.”The MOU does ask the federal government to participate in the Inquiry.“But even without federal participation, we made an agreement that we are going to pursue,” said Premier Ball.In pictures posted on Facebook by his father, Thunderheart enjoyed hunting and playing the guitar. His first demo was posted on YouTube on March 24, 2017. tlamirande@aptn.calast_img read more

Health care in Val dOr focus of Quebec Inquiry

first_imgTom Fennario APTN NewsThe Quebec inquiry looking into relations between some provincial departments and Indigenous people in the province heard from a non-Indigenous social work Friday.What emerged was a gloves-off condemnation of health services in the city of Val d’Or where the inquiry is taking place.tfennario@aptn.calast_img

Children are going to die Manitoba Child Advocate calls for change

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN National NewsA new report released Tuesday outlines the life and tragic death of Tina Fontaine, and subsequently the many systems that failed the young First Nations girl.The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth released her 115-page report, “A Place Where it Feels Like Home: The Story of Tina Fontaine,” during a special ceremony in the teen’s home community of Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120 km north of Winnipeg.Daphne Penrose, the province’s children’s advocate, said the report focuses on Fontaine but could represent many of the children her office deals with.“Not enough has changed since Tina died in 2014…this report mirrors the story of many, many other kids,” she said.On Aug. 17, 2014, Fontaine’s 72-pound body, wrapped in a duvet and weighted down with rocks, was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River. This came days after she was reported missing.Fontaine, who grew up in Sagkeeng, was in the city to spend time with her birth mother when she became a victim of exploitation.“People come to understand the indicators of exploitation,” said Penrose. “When on the streets, nothing comes free.”Penrose made five recommendations in her report, including the need for better access to mental health and addiction services and a new protocol to address missing youth and sexually exploited youth.Fontaine was in the care of child and family services (CFS) at the time of her death.During her murder trial the jury heard CFS consistently didn’t know where she was, or if she was in danger.In February 2018, the jury found Raymond Cormier not-guilty in Fontaine’s death.In the 10 months prior to the teen’s death, seven missing persons’ reports were filed with police, including one the day after she was last seen.This is too common for kids in care, Penrose explained.“We need to be able to pull that apart and understand when a child is missing with risk those kids need responses…so that work can be prioritized and joint child welfare and police systems can work together to find kids and bring them back to safety,” she said.Lack of services was also a major theme throughout the report.Fontaine began to struggle with mental health issues and self-harm after the death of her father, Eugene, in 2011.The report said support from victim services was not offered, nor was any counselling.She was being raised in what was, by all accounts, a loving home by her great-aunt Thelma Favel.When Favel reached out to CFS for help addressing Fontaine’s behaviour she was referred to several different agencies.It was a common theme throughout Fontaine’s life.The teen never received any counseling and eventually became an exploited runaway bounced through the system.Penrose urged the government to take immediate action.“What’s at stake is the lives of children,” said Penrose. “Children are going to die if we don’t make changes.”Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson was on hand for the release and called the report a start.“Do what you have to do. Protect those children,” he said. “Jurisdiction should have no issue. It shouldn’t be provincial, federal. We’re talking about kids here.”“If we can get to that where the communities are being listened to, I’m sure the numbers would go down.”Fontaine’s death was a catalyst for change.It renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, saw the re-emergence of the Bear Clan Patrol and saw the formation of Drag the Red, a Winnipeg group who patrols the Red River in the summer.Penrose applauded these grassroots organizations and called for the rest of Canada ensure the protection of youth in care.“It is not this report that changes it…we all have a responsibility,” she said.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) released a statement calling for an independent inquiry into Fontaine’s death.“The recommendations, and the public tracking and monitoring of the compliance of them by the MACY, are a start to finally deal with the death of Tina Fontaine,” AMC acting Grand Chief Betsy Kennedy wrote.“However, it does not respond to all the questions and concerns. Manitoba not only must have the political will to only implement these recommendations, but also implement what Manitoba First Nations have identified in ‘Families First’, as well as fully respond to the report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG.”Favel, Fontaine’s great-aunt and primary caregiver, did not attend Tuesday’s event. The family has asked for privacy during this time.On Monday Favel told APTN News by phone that she wants Tina to rest now and hopes the release of this report will help with that.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobbs22last_img read more

La Loche school shooter facing life in prison to appeal for youth

first_imgThe Canadian PressA lawyer for a young man who shot and killed four people and injured seven others in northern Saskatchewan to argue in court today that the offender should serve his sentence as a youth.The shooter was weeks shy of turning 18 when he killed two brothers at their home and then a teacher and a teacher’s aide at the La Loche high school in 2016.He was sentenced as an adult last year to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted murder.Defence lawyer Aaron Fox plans to ask the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to sentence the shooter as a youth or order a new hearing.The shooter, now 21, is to appear in court by video.A publication ban ordered because of the appeal prevents identifying him.‘Lost soul’In January, Fox filed documents with the Appeal Court that said his client is a “lost soul who slipped through the cracks” as he suffers from different mental disorders and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.Fox argued the sentencing judge focused on the gravity of the crime while failing to consider evidence that spoke to cognitive problems affecting the offender’s maturity, empathy, ability to understand consequences and, above all, his level of blame.“All of which were aggravated by a multitude of surrounding circumstances, not the least of which was the failure of the education system in La Loche, to supply him with the help that he needed,” said the documents.They added that the shooter had an IQ of 68 and, at the time of the shooting, was repeating Grade 10 for a third time.The Crown previously argued in court that the shooter should be sentenced as an adult given the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s circumstances.In her sentencing decision, the judge found the shooting involved sophisticated planning. Court heard the shooter researched different kinds of guns and the damage they could do to people. The night before the shootings he did an online search asking, “What does it feel like to kill someone?”Fox said the shooting was a result of his client’s depression, anxiety and hopelessness.“His ‘sophisticated plan’ was to shoot people at the school and then die,” said the documents.last_img read more