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Vol. 4, Issue 1 - January 2015
FemNorthNet newsletter header image
Caroline Andrew, new member of the Order of Canada.
Did you miss our holiday mail-out in December?  
It featured links to documentaries, animated videos, and creative writing about northern issues and living.  It's now available online - check it out!

Caroline Andrew Awarded Order of Canada

Caroline Andrew, a FemNorthNet member working on our Community Engagement and Governance theme, was recently appointed a Member of the Order of Canada by the Governor General. She has been at the University of Ottawa for over 30 years. Her appointment is "for her academic research on cultural diversity, and on urban and feminist studies, and for her civic involvement with non-profit and community-based organizations". 

 

In response to the award, Dr. Andrew said "I was totally surprised. My community-based research has been very much based on local Ottawa and Gatineau communities. I love cities, municipal governments, and community partnerships but had never thought of this as being relevant at the federal level. So that explains my surprise and feeling very honoured." We sincerely congratulate Caroline Andrew and are thrilled to have her at FemNorthNet!

Upcoming Releases
A pregnant woman stands cradling her belly with her hands.

Sexual & Reproductive Justice in the North


Long flights to access healthcare professionals, air evacuations to give birth, heightened risk of experiencing sexual violence or trafficking-these are just a few of the challenges diverse northern women may face in Canada. While it can be difficult to exercise rights to sexual and reproductive health and choice, northern women are organizing to address these issues using both traditional and western knowledge. 

Learn more about the challenges and innovations in our newest fact sheet: Sexual and Reproductive Justice in the North.
Cloud made up of social media symbols.

Online Tools for Community Action

 

Inspired by the organizing tactics of women in Happy Valley-Goose Bay concerned with the Muskrat Falls development, Social Media for Community Action: Collaborate, Communicate & Coordinate with Free Online Tools is a guide to using online platforms to connect and plan for advocacy actions around particular issues. 

 

This comprehensive guide will be available online on Monday, January 26.

Blue and yellow sign pointing the way towards an accessible entrance.

Living with Disability in the North

 

What is it like to live with a disability in Canada's North? Are there barriers to community participation and employment? Are support programs available? 

 

These are some of the questions explored by FemNorthNet's report: Celebrating Abilities Conference Survey. The Celebrating Abilities Conference, held in Thompson, MB focused "on the intrinsic value and economic impact of the disability community in northern and rural Manitoba." Our survey investigated conference participants' perceptions of how available services and resources were impacting their participation in a changing northern economy. You can check out the results on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 when we'll be posting the entire report online!

Community Updates

THOMPSON unveiled its "new identity" at a City Council meeting earlier this month. Spurred by the work of the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group, which created action plans to help the city thrive into the future, Thompson has been in a process of rebranding to reflect the city's cultural diversity, natural heritage, and efforts to diversify their economy. The new city logo (pictured at left) is explained as follows: "The Thompson trees express our relationship with our natural surroundings, while the circle acknowledges the history and contributions of the Aboriginal people from this Region.  The updated watermark has a modern look which signifies that we are moving forward and embracing change and diversity." Read the full press release

 

The ongoing Indonesian ban on exporting nickel is good news for Vale and the Thompson economy. The export ban is limiting international supplies of nickel, which is expected to drive up prices on the global market in 2015 and potentially drive up production in Thompson. Read more about it on StockHouse

Chiefs of the Innu Matimekush-Lac John band speak to supporters at a protest last Fall.

LABRADOR WEST - Politicians are saying the "Big Land" is in trouble. Due to plummeting iron ore prices Cliffs Natural Resources has shut down operations at Wabush Mine, prompting speculation that other area mines will not remain open much longer. The local economy is in free fall, as employment opportunities and housing demand largely centred around iron ore production. Although another company, MFC Industrial, has expressed interest in buying Wabush Mine, no purchase agreement has been struck. The provincial government claims their hands are tied in the matter-they can't force Cliffs Natural Resources to sell or force MFC to meet the conditions necessary to purchase and reopen Wabush Mine. Read more about the shutdown in the Globe & Mail and The Telegram

 

Better news comes out of northern Quebec, where two Innu communities were awarded a $900 million settlement from Rio Tinto Iron Ore Company. The settlement comes after IOC violated indigenous rights for more than 60 years, extracting minerals and building a railway across their traditional territory in northern Quebec and Labrador. These developments have harmed the environment, displaced communities, and prevented Innu from practicing traditional ways of living on the land. Read the full story in the Globe & Mail

Locked out city workers stand outside of makeshift headquarters.

HAPPY VALLEY - GOOSE BAY - In December, Memorial University's Arts News column highlighted the Building Links project which brings together diverse women from Labrador and Nova Scotia to explore the impacts of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. Dr. Vicki Hallett, a member of Building Links, said her involvement with the project has been eye-opening: "What we didn't hear happening was how the social environment would be affected by this development.  There's talk about water levels rising, and animals being affected. All very important aspects.  But we were saying you are leaving out the people who live in this environment and how the development will affect people who live in this town." Read more of the interview with Dr. Hallett online

 

More recently, Happy Valley - Goose Bay CUPE city workers have been locked out of work. Essential city functions, such as snow clearance and fire-fighting, will continue to be provided by the workers as part of their current contract. The lockout comes after CUPE workers voted 96% in favour of a strike due to a breakdown in negotiations with the city over wages and pension plans. CUPE National Representative Ed White says one of the major issues is the introduction of a two-tier pension system, which would leave new hires with an inferior benefits package upon retirement. Updates on this developing story can be found on CUPE's national website

Events & Conferences

Nunavut at 15: Taking Stock of Nunavut's Political, Social, Economic, and Policy Developments Since 1999 (February 4 - 5, 2015 in Ottawa) 

This conference will provide an opportunity to take stock of the successes and struggles Nunavut has faced in the last 15 years as well as where the territory is headed in the coming decade. Conference participants will explore the tough question: Is Nunavut better off now than it was 15 years ago? Keynote speakers include elected Nunavut leaders, top officials, advisors and lawyers as well as leading academics and researchers. Learn more

 

Canadian Roots National Youth Forum (March 5 - 7, 2015 in Winnipeg)

Canadian Roots Exchange is hosting a national youth to youth interactive forum where participants will explore how to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada.  Youth between the ages of 15 and 29 years are invited to participate and sponsored spots are available for a select number of applicants. Learn more

 

Students on Ice Arctic Expedition (July 27 - August 10, 2015) 

The 15th annual Students on Ice Arctic Expedition will be a profound hands-on experience for youth to expand their knowledge in the changing circumpolar world, foster a new understanding and respect for the planet, and gain the inspiration and motivation needed to help lead us to a healthy and sustainable future. Know a high school or post-secondary student that should apply? Learn more 

 

Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies 2015 Student Conference (November 5 - 8, 2015 at the University of Calgary) 

The next generation of northern leaders and scholars are invited to attend ACUNS 2015, an interdisciplinary conference for early career scholars working on all topics related to the circumpolar north. Learn more