Tag: Karissa

Minister reannounces Indigenous youth funding says its key to reconciliation

Indigenous youth activists hope federal funding will make their voices heard in Ottawa.At a news conference in Saskatoon on Tuesday, Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations Carolyn Bennett said Indigenous youth are “key” to achieving reconciliation in Canada. She re-announced $15.2 million in funding over the next three years for Canadian Roots Exchange, a Saskatoon-based charity promoting dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.Bennett said the money will fund a “national network to share information and best practices,” which she said will “make it much easier and more straightforward” to consult young Indigenous people on federal policy.Bennett’s office has faced criticism for its consultations on the Recognition and Implementation of Rights framework, which some Indigenous leaders charged did not adequately consult youth or Elders.Max FineDay, the executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange and a member of Sweetgrass First Nation, said Indigenous youth are often the most optimistic about addressing systemic inequalities but struggle to make their voices heard on Parliament Hill.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“We know the political system is not user-friendly for Indigenous people,” he said. “Young people can see and articulate the problems they see in their communities, but it doesn’t always get to Ottawa.”Related Reconciliation conference aims to build bridges through youth leadership Youth are key in moving reconciliation forward, says Max FineDay Prior to the announcement, Indigenous youth asked Bennett about a range of issues affecting their communities, which FineDay said include a high youth suicide rate, the environment and disparity in educational opportunities.“Saskatoon and other places in the country are still facing this — the silliness of stereotypes and segregation, ‘east  side versus west side’ — it doesn’t have to be like this,” FineDay said.Bennett said conversations like those are vital to address “racism that still plagues our country.”The $15.2 million, which was previously pledged in the most recent federal budget, is the latest in a trend of repeated announcements of federal funding as the federal election approaches on Oct. 21. The campaign period is expected to begin soon.Pre-election rules forbid advertising in the immediate prelude to the writ dropping, but do not ban repeating announcements.FineDay stressed his organization is non-partisan.“We’re going to be talking with the politicians to make sure that youth policy agenda items are on the forefront after the election, no matter who wins,” he said.zvescera@postmedia.com read more

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UN General Assembly renews call for end to US embargo against Cuba

The resolution urged all States to repeal or invalidate any laws and measures – such as the US “Helms-Burton Act” – which affect the sovereignty of other States, the legitimate interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom of trade and navigation. One hundred and seventy-three countries voted in favour of the measure, which was opposed only by the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands. Four countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Nicaragua and Uzbekistan – abstained from the balloting.Explaining his country’s position, US Ambassador Sichan Siv called Washington’s embargo against Cuba “strictly a matter of bilateral policy” which the General Assembly should not address. He said the US did not prevent other nations from trading with Cuba, and argued that the embargo is not the cause of Cuba’s economic problems.”The failure of the Cuban Government to respect the rights of its people concerns more than just Cuba,” Mr. Siv said. “The focus of the international community, as manifested in the United Nations, should be on the continuing human rights crisis in Cuba rather than on the bilateral United States efforts to encourage a peaceful transition to democracy.”The President of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, said a wide range of civil society and influential business entities in the US were calling for a lifting of the blockade and the normalization of economic ties with Cuba. Thanks to their efforts, it had been possible to take a few steps, he added, noting that for the first time in four decades, a number of US exporters were able to sell their products to Cuba and carry out the necessary operations despite the severe obstacles and discriminatory practices they had to confront. Mr. Alarcon de Quesada also pointed out that a constructive spirit had also been echoed in US legislative bodies, but these efforts were forced to contend with the opposition of a powerful minority. The anti-Cuban minority, protected by its privileged relations with the current US administration, acted ever more openly against the true interests of the United States, he said, hailing the General Assembly for its action to provide justice for the Cuban people, who had suffered greatly as a consequence of a policy unjust, illegal and contrary to both reason and morality. A comparable text was adopted last year with 167 in favour and the same three countries in opposition. read more

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