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Jukasa News Update – Wednesday February 20, 2019


The federal government has announced a $20-million initiative aimed at reducing diesel reliance in remote Indigenous communities but experts say challenges remain.
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the initiative is to make sure Indigenous groups have the capacity to develop their own solutions to reduce their dependency on diesel.
This initiative builds on over $700 million already committed to help isolated indigenous communities still using diesel fuel for electricity and heating.

A group of Indigenous senators says Jody Wilson-Raybould’s quitting cabinet doesn’t mean the end of reconciliation efforts between the Canadian government and Indigenous Peoples.
They also say that her departure is a sign of how much work there is still to do.
Wilson-Raybould quit the cabinet last week amid reports that the Prime Minister’s Office tried to get her to head off a criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin on corruption charges when she was justice minister.

A Maine town has removed a 90-year-old cemetery plaque that referred to Native Americans as “savage enemies.”
Town officials say the marker was inconsistent with today’s values, and it was removed from the cemetery Feb. 7.
The sign will be archived for educational purposes and advocacy workers in the area say they hope its removal will inspire others to take similar action.

A Montana member of Congress has apologized for telling Native American legislators that abortion is self-inflicted genocide and a plague on Indian culture.
Republican Rep. Greg DeVries made his initial comments on the US House of Representatives floor in support of an anti-abortion bill.
His remarks prompted 11 senators and representative of the Montana American Indian Caucus to send a letter to House Speaker Greg Hertz urging Hertz to publicly admonish DeVries — saying the comments were bigoted, offensive and harmful, and that actual genocide has been experienced by Native Americans.
On Friday, DeVries asked for forgiveness. He said he recognizes the members of the Indian caucus value their culture and that he becomes passionate over the issue of abortion because he also values culture.

Coastal GasLink says it has suspended pipeline work south of Houston, B.C after the discovery of Indigenous artifacts on the site.
The company says it has cordoned off the area, and is awaiting an archeological assessment on the findings.
The statement says supporters recovered two stone tools on Wednesday and archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one dates back up to 3500 years.
Additional stone tools were observed and recorded but the scale and scope of the work requires assistance from professional archeologists.

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