UN Indigenous peoples rapporteur expresses deep concern over Attawapiskat housing crisis

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–The UN official tasked with monitoring the situation of Indigenous peoples around the world has contacted the Canadian government to express “deep concern” over the housing crisis in Attawapiskat, a northern Ontario First Nations community on the shore of James Bay.James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, said he would be monitoring the situation in Attawapiskat “closely” while keeping an “open dialogue” with the Conservative government.“I will be monitoring closely the situation of the Attawapiskat First Nation and other Aboriginal communities in Canada,” said Anaya, in the statement. “Keeping an open dialogue with the government and all stakeholders.”Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office blasted Anaya’s letter, saying it had “inaccuracies” and lacked “credibility.” A spokeswoman for Duncan said the minister would be responding.“We will correct the inaccuracies in this letter, beginning with the fact that the special rapporteur could not name Canada’s minister of foreign affairs,” said Michelle Yao, a spokeswoman for Duncan. “Anyone who reads the letter will see it lacks credibility.”Yao said the Conservative government was “focused on the needs of the residents of Attawapiskat, not publicity stunts.”The Conservative government is also “focused on addressing deep-rooted issues that have plagued Canada’s First Nations communities for generations,” she said.Attawapiskat, a Cree community of about 1,800 people, has been suffering from inadequate housing for years. A recent YouTube video filmed by NDP MP Charlie Angus depicting families living in tents and in shacks with no running water or insulation propelled the community to the top of the national debate for several weeks.Canadians from coast to coast witnessed the dire living conditions in the community which have been described as inhumane and life-threatening.The Conservative government responded by blaming the housing crisis on financial mismanagement by the band, which had been in co-management for several years.Duncan took control of band finances away from the chief and council and handed it over to an outside consultant, called a third-party manager, at a cost of about $180,000.Attawapiskat has since taken the issue to Federal Court seeking a judicial review of the minister’s decision.The federal government has also committed to sending 22 modular homes to the community, but the announcement came after the Canadian Red Cross intervened in Attawapiskat to provide immediate aid.Anaya said in a statement that he contacted the Conservative government on Monday asking what programs it had in place to deal with the gap in social and living conditions between First Nations communities and non-Aboriginal communities.“The social and economic situation of…Attawapiskat seems to represent the condition of many First Nation communities living on reserves throughout Canada, which is allegedly akin to Third World conditions,” said Anaya, in the statement. “Yet, this situation is not representative of non-Aboriginal communities in Canada.”Anaya said he wanted the government to respond to information the special rapporteur has received indicating that First Nations communities are “systematically underfunded” and that “unequal funding” is “allegedly rooted” in the formulas and policies used by Aboriginal Affairs.Anaya said he wanted to government to clarify information that showed this systematic underfunding made things worse in already stressed communities.“It does not appear that the government is responding adequately to requests for assistance,” said Anaya.First Nations chiefs passed a resolution during a meeting earlier this month in Ottawa calling on the Assembly of First Nations to ask the UN to appoint a special agent to monitor Canada’s response to housing and infrastructure woes in First Nations communities.The AFN could not be immediately reached for comment.last_img read more

March Madness Obama Picks Michigan State to Win it

President Barack Obama, a noted sports fan, especially of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, chose Michigan State to defeat Louisville in the championship game of this year’s version of March Madness that starts Thursday.As he has done for six straight years now, Obama convenes with ESPN’s Andy Katz and goes over his bracket, game-by-game. It’s known as “Barack-etology.”“Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach,” Obama said of the Spartans’ leader. “I’ve got Michigan State going all the way. …  He knows how to motivate folks and he knows how to coach. My pick: Michigan State. Bring it home for me. It’s been a while since I’ve won my pool.”Besides the fourth-seeded Spartans and Cardinals, President Obama also selected No. 1 overall seed Florida and top seed Arizona to reach the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, outside of Dallas.“I know these are not imaginative picks, but I think they’re the right ones,” Obama said.Among other picks of note, Obama likes two 12-seeds to pull off upsets in their NCAA tournament openers: Harvard over Cincinnati and North Dakota State over Oklahoma. The president also likes North Carolina to upset 3-seed Iowa State to reach the Sweet 16.Obama has picked three different teams in the “Barack-etology” era to win the men’s title — Indiana (over Louisville in 2013),  Kansas (over Ohio State in 2011 and Kentucky in 2010) and North Carolina (over Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2009). His correctly picked national champion was the Tar Heels in ’09.Last year, Obama’s men’s bracket ranked No. 2,080,996 out of 8.15 million entries in ESPN.com’s free Men’s Tournament Challenge, placing him in the 74.4th percentile.The president correctly picked Louisville to play in the 2013 championship game, predicting a loss to Indiana for the title. In fact, the Hoosiers fell short of the Final Four and the Cardinals defeated Michigan 82-76 in what Obama said was “one of the best championship games that any of us have seen in a very, very long time.”Florida in the South Region and Arizona in the West are the only top seeds represented in the president’s Final Four. The other top seeds in the tournament are undefeated Wichita State in the Midwest and Virginia in the East.The Cardinals and Spartans finished their seasons by winning their conference tournaments and are popular picks to make it to the Final Four.The president is an avid fan of the college game and his hometown Chicago Bulls, and his brother-in-law is the head coach at Oregon State. read more

8 Wilmington Pop Warner Cheerleaders Named New England AllAmerican Scholars

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — New England Pop Warner recently announced that eight Wilmington Pop Warner cheerleaders were selected as New England All-American Scholars.First Team Scholar Honors:Zoey Helbert (5th Grade)Second Team Scholar Honors:Isabella Cooper (5th Grade)Skyler Estabrook (6th Grade)Sabrina Gray (6th Grade)Maya Lanzi (5th Grade)Honorable MentionMeghan Mullarky (6th Grade)Erin Murray (5th Grade)Haylie Perault (6th Grade)The Pop Warner All-American Program requires a minimum 96% grade point average to apply.A First Team All-American is one of the top 35 football players or top 35 cheerleaders for his/her grade in New England Pop Warner that have the highest score of 100% or above based on the combined score of Grade Point Average (GPA) and Addendum. A Second Team New England Pop Warner All-American consists of the next group of participants that score 100% or above in the combined score of GPA and Addendum. The participants that achieve the All American Scholar criteria and fall between a total combined GPA and Addendum score of 96% and 99% are awarded Honorable Mention.These eight Wilmington student athletes are all invited to attend the 23rd Annual New  England Pop Warner Scholars Weekend on April 6 at Gillette Stadium/Patriot Place in Foxboro, where they will attend a reception and tribute ceremony, plus receive a tour of the stadium.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related9 From Wilmington Pop Warner Named New England All-American ScholarsIn “Sports”7 From Wilmington Pop Warner Named New England All-American ScholarsIn “Sports”Wilmington Pop Warner’s Foresyth, Penney, Roberts, Smolinsky, Williams & Zaccagini Named ‘All-American Scholars’In “Sports”last_img read more

The IMAX on Your Desk

first_img 3 min read Best desktop makeoverSamsung BX2450 50 Series 24-inch monitor ($359)Korean tech behemoth Samsung shows off its heft with the BX2450. At a scant 19mm thick (think iPhone), the display sports full HD, 1080 vertical scan lines, an LED backlit monitor and a 170-degree horizontal viewing angle–all of which means your work looks great, at a great price. Don’t expect the unit to stand up to full-motion video and high-resolution graphics, but if you’re looking to upgrade your geezer of a monitor, start here.Best for MacHeadsApple LED Cinema Display 24-inch ($800)The 24-inch Cinema Display may be getting long in the tooth (it’s been around since 2008), but it’s still the pick of the Apple litter. For $800, you get a lovely-to-look-at 1920 x 1200 pixels of resolution, USB connectivity and nice add-ons like a digital camera. Expect this monitor to handle anything from rote work to visual design chores. For Mac users, this is still the display of the minute.Best Hands-On Display3M Multi-touch M2256PW 22-inch ($1,528)If you want to break down the barrier between you and your PC, get in touch with this 3M unit. It supports 20 simultaneous touch interfaces, so it’s like a smartphone your entire staff can get its hands on at once. The price is over the top, but if you’re looking for a display to function as a kiosk or collaborative tool, 3M has it. There is no cooler display on the market. –J.B.Leave the Laptop BehindHow to lighten your travel load by picking the best PC-on-a-stickIntrepid business owners typically pack light, but most still haven’t ditched the laptop bag. Now a new set of USB tools makes it possible to ditch the computer on road trips. All it takes is a specially equipped USB device and access to any computer with a USB port. Plug your device into the port and you’re working on what looks like your own personalized desktop. Unplug it, and all traces of your data vanish. Here are some of the best options: MojoPac. This free software-based solution lets you clone your desktop applications and files onto a virtualized machine that’ll work with any USB device–pen drive, external hard drive or iPod. Drawbacks are that MojoPac only works with Windows XP computers and lacks encryption capabilities.Ceedo Personal. This affordable software product creates a reasonable facsimile of a user’s desktop on any USB drive. The money you’ll pay ($39) vs. the free MojoPac solution gives you Windows 7 functionality, support for 64-bit computing and seamless integration with secure TrueCrypt devices.CheckPoint Abra. This securely encrypted device ($140 for 4GB; $210 for 8GB) gives users access to their cloned desktops and lets IT administrators enforce application and file transfer controls and centrally manage the devices. It’s one of the most secure and fully featured options out there. –E.C. September 20, 2010 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. This story appears in the October 2010 issue of . Subscribe » Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more