New downtown mural captures faces of those living, working in area
September 22, 2016. Painting began Wednesday on a new mural adjacent to Rogers Place community rink in downtown Edmonton. It will be painted on the five-sided ventilation structure located over the Metro Line. Created by former Edmontonians Layla Folkmann and Lacey Jane, Pillars of the Community captures the portraits, taken by photographer Sandy Phimeister, of people living and working in the area,. The project will be completed with the assistance of a team of paid youth artists from Boyle Street Community Services. “This is a social statement of inclusion, respect and collaboration -- an opportunity to honour our people. Also (it) is a chance for our youth to engage in positive activities, work, and learn directly from the artists,” said Sebastian Barrera, youth outreach worker with Boyle Street Community Services. The artists are anticipated to be on-site for approximately a month.
United Steelworkers Union supports Edmonton’s Food Bank
September 22, 2016. The United Steelworkers Union will be presenting Edmonton’s Food Bank on Friday with a substantial monetary gift from the United Steelworkers Humanity Fund as well as food donations. Jeff Kallichuk, United Steelworkers staff representative for Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories, acknowledged the food bank for its response to the Fort McMurray fire. “We need to ensure that local charities are able to continue their work after they help during situations like the fires. Our donation of food and funds are to help with the year-round work they are doing. Their doors don’t close after a disaster, they need to keep going and we are here to help,” said Kallichuk. Edmonton’s Food Bank provided services to Fort McMurray evacuees and the other organizations and communities serving evacuees beginning May 4, 2016. In the weeks that followed, the food bank supplied food, both directly and indirectly, to thousands of evacuees. Many evacuees were not able to return to Fort McMurray and remained in Edmonton.
Government to give Indigenous leaders a role in land-use policies
September 22, 2016. Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips is asking communities to join consultations in what she refers to as an “indigenous table” that will study ways to incorporate traditional knowledge and land use into government planning and environmental management. It will also address the cumulative effects of development on First Nations and Métis people, Phillips wrote in letters sent to community leaders on Monday. The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, established by a panel under the Conservative government, will be reviewed in 2017. The panel’s report concluded that the Lower Athabasca policy could infringe on Aboriginal rights. Phillips said she is moving forward with measures in response to the panel’s report including exploring how First Nations can co-manage provincial wildland parks, directing the province’s chief scientist to work with Aboriginal communities to assist with monitoring the environmental impact of the oil sands, and adding cultural and social values to a new biodiversity program.
Sweat lodge goes up at Amiskwaciy Academy
September 22, 2016. Work began Wednesday on a sweat lodge at Amiskwaciy Academy in Edmonton. The sweat lodge, designed by Elder Francis Whiskeyjack, is made almost entirely of wood. The circular building will be a shelter for the beaverlodge-type design inside that will be tied together with rope. Whiskeyjack worked with Stantec engineering on the design. Stantec sent 20 volunteers to help the students with construction. Construction company Ledcor is another partner with the school. It is expected the sweat lodge will take one month to complete, so should be ready for ceremonies by the end of October. Amiskwaciy Academy is operated by the Edmonton Public School Board.