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Federal Court of Appeal upholds landmark ruling on rights of Metis

OTTAWA - The Federal Court of Appeal has largely upheld a landmark ruling that could extend Ottawa's responsibilities to hundreds of thousands of aboriginal people who are not affiliated with specific reserves and have essentially no access to First Nations programs, services and rights. Off-reserve aboriginals say the appeals court decision is yet another victory in what has been a long legal saga with the federal government.

Alberta First Nation closes golf course, cultural grounds over safety concerns

EDMONTON - An Alberta First Nation says it is closing its golf course and cultural grounds because a mortar shell was found on the property. Part of the Enoch Cree First Nation west of Edmonton was used between 1942 and 1944 by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to teach Allied crews navigation and bombing techniques. The First Nation says the government said practice or smoke bombs were used, but a consultant discovered that a 105-millimetre shell was found, and it's believed other munitions may have been used.

Tories table aboriginal education bill amid criticism from some First Nations

OTTAWA - The federal government has tabled its First Nations education bill despite complaints from some aboriginal organizations that it skimps on funding and fails to give natives direct control of their education systems. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt defended Bill C-33, dubbed the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, saying it meets the five conditions outlined by the Assembly of First Nations and chiefs during a meeting in December.

Humane Society International says it doesn't oppose Inuit subsistence sealing

MONTREAL - A spokeswoman for the Canadian arm of the Humane Society International is clarifying the group's position on the Inuit seal hunt, as a protest against TV star Ellen DeGeneres in the North gains support. Rebecca Aldworth says recent reports on the protests are mixing up subsistence sealing in Canada's North with the commercial hunt. She says animal protection groups oppose commercial sealing in Atlantic Canada by non-aboriginal people.

Inuit land claims group organizing giant sealfie to protest Ellen's Oscar selfie

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A group that oversees Inuit land claims is organizing a giant photo op to counter the celebrity selfie taken by Ellen Degeneres at the Oscars last month. Degeneres donated $1.5 million of the money raised by the star-studded picture to the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that fights seal hunting. In response, Inuit across Nunavut have been using social media to post "sealfies'' — pictures of themselves wearing sealskin clothes, standing beside freshly killed seals or looking forward to enjoying a tasty seal meal.

Online classroom brings southern experts to Arctic students

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The students are in the Arctic, but now the teachers can be anywhere. Nunavut is launching a program today that uses technology developed by Cisco Systems to bring experts from across North America into classrooms in Iqaluit. Students that have never seen a frog can now link to a university biology lab to see one being dissected. The interactive, high-definition online video also connects southern students to their northern peers to give them their first close look at Inuit traditions such as kayak-building.

Native trappers defend Canada forests from logging

Beyond a clear-cut in Quebec's far north -- marked by a sign that reads "the road of destruction ends here" -- aboriginal Canadians are fighting for an ancient forest and their traditional hunting rights. Canada's boreal forest is the largest intact forest in the world, comprising one-third of the forest circling the North Pole above the 50th parallel. In this remote part of Quebec province, just south of the frozen Broadback River, the coniferous forest is home to hundreds of wildlife species including the endangered woodland caribou.

Inuit take on Ellen's Oscar selfie after money goes to anti-sealing group

IQALUIT, Nunavut - It's selfie versus sealfie. Canadian Inuit are taking on a famous photo by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars after the celebrity gave some of the money raised from the star-studded picture to a group that fights seal hunting. "Once in a while, a new pretty blond celebrity comes along and drowns our voice out," Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, an Inuk from Iqaluit who's organizing the protest, said Thursday. "I was surprised to see this time it's Ellen."

Offices shut down as dozens search for well-known Iqaluit homeless man

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Dozens of volunteers in Iqaluit left their homes and offices Wednesday to search the icy streets of the Nunavut capital for a well-known, much-loved homeless man. Police say Benjamin Palluq, 44, hasn't been seen since Friday. "Many, many, many people know him," said Iqaluit RCMP Cpl. Yvonne Niego . "In a way he's like a pillar of the community. He is everywhere you go. He is at every public place around the community." Niego said Palluq is epileptic, has a mental disability and may be off his medications.

Offices shut down as dozens search for well-known Iqaluit homeless man

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Dozens of volunteers in Iqaluit left their homes and offices Wednesday to search the icy streets of the Nunavut capital for a well-known, much-loved homeless man. Police say Benjamin Palluq, 44, hasn't been seen since Friday. "Many, many, many people know him," said Iqaluit RCMP Cpl. Yvonne Niego . "In a way he's like a pillar of the community. He is everywhere you go. He is at every public place around the community." Niego said Palluq is epileptic, has a mental disability and may be off his medications.
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