April 2022 - Biigtigong Current

April 29, 2022 Community Newsletter. Departments /community members interested in being in the next issues, please contact Cassandra Cress

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CULTURAL SECT ION PRDC Cultural Coordinator (Page 5)


INTRODUCAT ION TO VIRTUAL CARE Home & Community Care Coordinator (Page 4)

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The Biigtigong Current has a new logo and banner designed by Biigtigong's own woodland artist, Danielle Robinson. Danielle has enjoyed creating graphics for other community projects, including creating a series of coloring pages for seven of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg's creation stories and has designed a logo to go along with the Aadsookaanan Reconstruction initiative. Danielle is also excited to be designing this year's community Powwow Poster.

Councils Corner

PORTFOLIO UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y C o u n c i l o r , S h a r o n O s t b e r g

Here are some of the activities I have been participating in. Over the last few months things are have been getting very busy within my portfolio assignment.

AETS Continue as president of this board, attend monthly meetings with the other nine First Nations. I sat on a few hiring committees Assist various individuals in funding requests from employment start-up to wage subsidy and funding for Student employment within the community. We have put in a proposal for a small training facility for each first nation, this and the portable connectivity hub will assist in on line training or when the community wants to do training for smaller groups and not tie up the hall. This year is also the 25th Anniversary, we are working on some type of celebration in Thunder Bay with invitation to past staff, Chiefs. I will keep you posted on what this celebration brings out. We also are supporting a number of our members working on internships with organizations. BLP (East West Tie Bamkushwada) As the treasurer of this Board and Proxy for the Chief. Although the project is operational as of March 31,2022 this Board will have a need to continue as per my recent council update regarding financing. Presently this project will net the community 120.K/per year with no financing costs taken. We will continue to work on purchasing up to 20% ownership. Over the past three months this file has kept me in meetings 2 to 3 times per week with the financing people. This project has not had any costs to the community with it’s subordinate company Supercom it has net revenue to our community of over $2.6 million to date, with potential for more from Supercom 2.0 should we decide to continue. GMS As Secretary of this board, we have monthly meetings I along with Debi represent Biigtigong interest on this board, the other partners are White Lake Resources and Morris Group. The majority of staff at GMS are form our community with full time work. This project has been very successful for the First Nation and thus far has not had any costs to the FN it is a very good revenue generator and has net revenue to the First Nation of $132.0K with another $135.k to be paid in at the end of this month. MKWA Construction As I had said in my last report this company has finally turned around we have managed to secure sole source contracts with the MTO, and MNRF as set asides. MTO snow removal of 627 and 614 with a snow plow purchased through this contract. Pic River Bridge Rehab we have a J.V. with LHNorth and will start this project this summer training for some of our staff has already started. Just completed a brushing contract for those two Hwy’s. We have a JV with QMEnvironmental on a the local Dump rehabilitation this is also to start this summer, if our proposal does not get stuck in the Q due a provincial election, this project will net the 1.3 million to our community if we can supply the soil from our own lands. We also have contracts for all bridges and culverts in the Dead horse road, which will net some work for the company. We now have 72B Peninsula Garage so we now have a place to work on our equipment and storage for such this has been a big cost savings.

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Energy - Umbata ; Twin Falls/ Kagiano This has been a very busy file, as you are aware there are number of government changes coming down the pipes, it seems you almost get a handle on one change and then the Minister releases a new directive and your back at square one. I have been very busy on this file, due to the Market Renewal program which has me sitting on a weekly IESO webinar or Teams meeting with OWA. We are attempting to make some changes to the Twin Falls project and working with our legal team to see if we can get some better rates, a recent change came in that they will re-look at all stations less than 10 mgw for a 10 year contract. We are hoping that we can go for longer term, so that we have better planning. Biiwabikoke This is the mining arm Vincent takes lead on this file and I am the sounding board and advisory capacity for some of the activities that happen when working with these mining groups. We are still working on design of the commercial laundry facilities and putting in funding proposals, once we have actual letters of support from Barrick and PGM we will develop a business case to market banks for financing.


Giiwa I sit on the weekly working group for this file, as the liaison between the board and the Council, as you are aware this is a partnership with PRDC, Dbenjgan, Biigtigong and FWFN all have 25% ownership presently we are still in the design phase, and looking at all avenues besides what we have already committed to bring our equity portion up to qualify for the CMHC CoOp mortgage. We did receive a 600K grant from TD Trust over the next 3 yrs which we were able to apply as our equity. 106 Cumberland This is the satellite office that we are setting up in Thunder Bay, I along with Russell and Nicole Richmond are working on getting furniture. I have contacted KentSigns for Signage which they will be installing on the outside along with the other tenant advertising.Wi-Fi has been installed, Nicole will be renting an office from Biigtigong for her law practice, she is also planning on bringing in a couple of Law students to which we can have access to.I have asked that we use one for this summer to get all of the HR Policies, Work Descriptions and other requirements finalized for Dbenjgan, I will be providing outline of what we need them, and welcome any suggestions from Management. “However we need Furniture first”

Finance/HR Committee When required by Debi and Elaine

Council Governance Policy Working with JoAnne, Donald and Nicole to review existing guidelines and establish roles and responsibilities for Council, Chief, and Deputy Chief, We will be going back to council with recommendations in June, and the community after that.

- Sharon Ostberg

REMINDER Councilors, departments, program coordinators, and community members who have projects, upcoming events, stories and/or photos they would like to share in the next community newsletter can contact Cassandra Cress by emailing cassandra.cress@picriver.com. Submissions must be sent in two weeks prior to the issue release date, to ensure enough time for editing, formatting, and final review. All pieces will be sent back to review before going out to the public. Quarterly Issues Released: January, April, July & October 30th


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INTRODUCT ION TO VIRTUAL CARE S u bm i t t e d b y Me l o d i e To u c h e t t e , Home & C ommu n i t y Ca r e C o o r d i n a t o r

What is virtual care? Virtual care is providing care through technology. Virtual visits are not new to the world, in fact – its been around for a few years. With the everchanging world, virtual visits are the safest way to visit. Some may be hesitant to try the virtual care because they want to continue the face to face home visits but by going virtual, it will enhance the care that you are already receiving. How does this work? Biigtigong Mno-zhi-yaawgamig will provide you with a tablet to use for visits and would consists of you signing out the tablet. The tablet would only give you access to the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN). Apps, internet use, googling, etc.. will not be accessible through the tablet provided. It would work the same as a “in person” home visit except that we would “call” your tablet and we would be able to see each other through the screen; just like Facetime but with OTN being a secure network. Virtual visits may not be for everyone and we understand this. Those who require/ need “face to face” visits, will continue as is. Those who receive tablets will be provided virtual visits but that is not to say that we will not go into the home because we understand that not all visits can be done virtually, such as wound care. Some examples of visits that can be done virtually is Case Management, some assessments, health teachings, and Blood pressure checks (if you have your own blood pressure cuff). In order to use the tablet for virtual home visits, you would need to have an email account. If you do not have an email account and are interested in having virtual visits, please let Vanessa or myself know and we can have Jason Burton assist with setting one up for you. If you are interested in virtual home visits or would like to “give it a try”, please contact Vanessa or myself. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 229-1836 ext. 605 or Vanessa Nabigon at ext.610

- Melodie Touchette, RN

MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT GUIDE AND BENEFI T LISTS S u bm i t t e d b y L i s a L awr e n c e , A s s i s t e d L i v i n g / N IHB / c EMR / C omm . C o o r d . The following Medical Supplies and Equipment lists contain the items and services provided as eligible benefits by the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, along with information on coverage policies, benefit codes, requirements for prior approval, and applicable recommended replacement guidelines. 4.2 Custom-made foot orthotics A custom-made pair of orthotics, prior approval is not required. Recommended replacement guideline is 1 pair every two years. Custom-made shoes. Prior approval is required by Non-Insured Health Benefits. (A doctor will prescribe and state reason for the shoes). Recommended replacement guideline is 1 pair every year. Overshoes winter. Prior approval is required. Prescription not required, however NIHB must have funded a custom-made shoe for which the overshoe is meant. Prior approval is required for: repair for custom-made shoes; repair for modifications for stock footwear; delivery of footwear.

Detailed information may be found on the website: www.sac-isc.gc.ca


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RATTLE - ZHIZI IGWAAN S u bm i t t e d b y To d d G e n n o , Cu l t u r a l C o o r d i n a t o r Boozhoo, my name is Todd Genno and I am the Cultural Coordinator at PRDC. This month I wanted to share about a constellation of stars called “Zhiziigwaan” which translates to “Rattle”. The key part in that word is “Ziigwaan” which means “Spring time”. In the spring time the ice begins to melt from the

bottom up. The ice at the bottom start to crystalize and when the current pushes those water crystals around it creates a sacred sound. That sacred sound resonates through out the land and it is telling the land that it is time to wake up after a long rest throughout the winter. It initiates the land to start new growth. The rattle imitates this sacred sound to wake up and invoke spirit in our ceremonies. Spring time is about new growth and waking up our own spirit. This is why we go fasting in the spring time. Jan 1st is the calendar “New Years,” but as people who are connected to the land our “New Years” starts in the spring with the trees start to bud. So with that I want to wish everyone a Happy New Years and with the weather warming up I hope you get out on the beautiful land. Miigwetch

IH3 TOURNAMENT S u bm i t t e d b y Ap r i l Th o r n t o n , NE Me n t a l We l l n e s s & C r i s i s T e am

On March 31st to April 3rd, The NE Mental Wellness & Crisis Team in conjunction with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Staff hosted an Indigenous Hockey Tournament in Nipigon. With over 70 youth in attendance the tournament had players from the ages of 10 to 14 playing 3 on 3 hockey games. In addition, the tournament held a skills competition that had Junior A players from the Kam Jr. A Fighting Walleye Team and a hockey skills development sessions held by Fox Hockey School. The tournament was featured in two live interviews with CBC and an article about how this tournament has created safe spaces for player to grow and develop alongside their peers. After the event, a survey was completed by families that attended and we received raving reviews of the event about the overall experience for youth.

Anonymous evaluation from a parent: It was amazing to see how much was offered for the kids. Not only the 8 hours of game time, but to have a skills competition and hockey school, free meal each day, snacks and drinks in the dressing room, access to the game room, VR sessions, photos, hoodie, personalized jersey, and an amazing goodie bag. Also, my son really enjoys playing in the all First Nations tourneys, don't get me wrong - he loves his league team, but an all First Nations team just has a different vibe - the only way he can describe the difference is he felt like he could really just be himself and not worry about any comments.


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Child & Family Learning Center


S u bm i t t e d b y E s t h e r a n d De b b i e

Afternoon parents!

We have been Busy preparing bundles and thinking of the future upcoming events it is nice to see the children back in the building at the program it is nice to see the parents in the mornings when they drop them off we like to welcome the new babies into the community it was a fun experience to help with the ice fishing with the children it was fun riding on the Skidoos and the buggies we enjoyed the preparing lunch for everyone who participated it was nice to see other community members involved different schools we look forward to the upcoming fish camp this month


S u bm i t t e d b y S t e p h a n i e Mi c h a n o -Dr o v e r

Good day Community Members!

Esther and Debbie

Looks like spring is trying hard to make its way! We have been keeping busy with our families and children in the program! Following the guidelines as required. With guidelines starting to lift we are hoping to be able to provide more programs to our families. We continue to provide our families support by offering bundles and events online. Watch for our Posters on our upcoming activities/events: - Spring Feast - Gift-card Zoom Bingo - Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Activities - Aboriginal Day Celebrations – Fish Derby I will be working on completing our Year End Reporting Requirements in the next couple weeks. We currently have a waiting list for our program; there are approximately 5-7 children on our list to come to the program. Please contact the program for more information.

Miigwech, Stephanie


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S u bm i t t e d b y No rma a n d L e a n n e

Boozhoo from the toddler classroom!

We’re so happy to be back in the classroom with our friends. The toddlers have been busy strengthening their fine and gross motor skills. We’ve been practicing using scissors and glue, painting, playing with sand and crafting for Easter! Our favourite activity is playing with blocks where we are learning to share, wait our turn and maintain our attention for increasing periods. Within the next couple months, we will continue our morning smudge and circle time, we will also focus on learning our body parts, baby animals and some home items in both Anishnaabemowin and English. We’re all anxious for the snow to melt so we can get to play back into our playground!

Happy spring from Norma and Leanne!


S u bm i t t e d b y T i f f a n e y a n d K i a r a

Hello from the infant room!

We have been busy little beavers around here. We continue to explore with our senses daily. From painting with a variety of different mediums, tools and textures to digging in the dirt and planting a small pea garden! We have been watching our plants grow and watering them, patiently waiting for them to get big enough to pick peas for a fresh and healthy treat! We have a few exciting things planned for the near future but you will have to wait to hear about our next adventures in the infant room!

Tiffaney and Kiara


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RECIPE FROM THEN COOK'S KI TCHEN Ch i l d a n d F am i l y L e a r n i n g C e n t e r

PRINCIPALS UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Rh o n d a L y o n s


Boozhoo everyone! It’s been four months since the last newsletter, and we are busy with school programming. With the lifting of many Covid restrictions, we are continuing to follow safety protocols with wearing masks in the classrooms. While outside, students aren’t required to wear them. I am happy to see many of our students playing their favourite activities outside and reconnecting with friends. I would also like to thank everyone for their ongoing patience and flexibility as we navigate through the staff shortages due to Covid-related absences. We continue to participate in student assemblies at the Turtle Lodge and we look forward to community members attending and helping to celebrate the students’ successes. Students enjoy singing and offering their prayers. I am proud of our students as they continue to learn more of our Indigenous ways.Lifting up our language is very important in our work at the school. I am so amazed at the level of support our staff do to speak our language. My vision is to help our students connect to our language by being out on the land. School theme days continue to happen to honour the residential school survivors and for those who couldn’t wear their attire proudly to school. As a school community, we are looking forward to future learning opportunities. In May, we will be learning how to tan deer hide with the support of a respected Elder from Treaty 3. Please feel free to stop by the school and participate. It is a labour-intensive activity and I’m sure the students would appreciate the extra help. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about programming. Miigwech, Rhonda Lyons Principal


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KINDERGARTEN UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Mr s . S

Our class started the new year online in January, and a lot has happened in a short period of time since returning to school from online learning on February 28th. We celebrated the 100th day of school, where we participated in many activities revolving around 100. We even had some special visitors return to see us again this year. Grandpa Skworch, Nanny Bell, and Grandma Bee shared many tales. Our class got to go ice fishing at Hattie Cove, and Bryan even caught the first fish in our class! We also got to go swimming again in Marathon with Miss Bee during Phys. Ed. More recently, we celebrated Easter and had fun finding 100 mini chocolate eggs hidden in our classroom. The highlight so far has been participating in the activities during fish camp at the Mouth of the Pic River. We were amazed to see all the big fish and had so much fun making boats, playing games and, of course, playing with the sand toys. We continue to learn about the letters and sounds of the alphabet, bigger numbers, writing during weekend sharing, and listening to all the books that Mrs. S loves to read. We look forward to the adventures that spring has in store for us.

-Mrs. S, Candace, and the JK/SK class


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GRADE 1/2 UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Mr s . W Hello from the Grade ½ class!

We have had a good start to 2022! Even though we began the first couple of months of the New Year learning online, our class participated on a regular basis and demonstrated amazing patience and hard work. In Writing, we worked on a story writing unit where we learned about the beginning, middle, and end. We also brainstormed ideas to write our own stories. In Reading, many of the students within our class have improved and have gone up many levels! I am so proud of them! In Math, we learned about 2D and 3D shapes, everyone showed a great understanding of the unit. Since we have been in the classroom again, we have all begun to understand our regular routines and have worked hard to be on our best behaviour! We also had the privilege of celebrating our 100th day of school with a fun party and displaying the beautiful and creative projects each of them created. After March break, we had to complete reading, writing, and math assessments. I do not think these were some of their fondest memories; however, they all tried their best. I think one of their best memories was going to the Fish Derby. They all had so much fun! Lucas, Miss B, and the rest of the helpers taught each of the students to bait their hooks and they all had the opportunity to catch a fish, they were so happy. We are now working on a Fractions unit in math and the kids seem to enjoy it! They have loved their time at Fish Camp and have had many great learning opportunities on the land. We have had a great start to Spring and I am positive the rest of the year will include many more great memories with one another.

Warm Wishes from Ms. Bell, Dani, and the students in the Grade 1 and 2 class!


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GRADE 3 /4 CLASS UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Mi s s G r e e n

We’ve had a wonderful start to Spring in Grade 3 & 4! We had a wonderful time participating in the fishing derby at Haiti Cove. Miss B, Lucas, and the rest of our wonderful helpers showed us how to set up our hooks. We stayed warm and comfortable near the fire and we even had some holes drilled inside of our fishing huts. We spent a beautiful afternoon down at the mouth exploring and checking out how much ice was still along the shoreline. We laid down tobacco and brought back a talking stick that’s been chewed on both sides by a hungry beaver! In literacy, we’ve been enjoying reading the classroom collections titled “Under the Sun” that focus on teachings such as community, respect, humility, and love. In Mathematics, we are learning about location, movement, and basic coding!

Warm wishes from Miss Green, Morris, Jared, and the students in the Grade 3 & 4 class!


S u bm i t t e d b y Mi s s Ma r i e

Greetings from the Grade 5/6 Classroom!

We are enjoying the warmer temperature. We had a wonderful time participating in the fishing derby at Hati Cove. They were all excited to catch some fish. Along with the Grade ⅞'s, they worked hard on their cardboard sleds. It was nice to see how creative they were with their designs. We worked on a persuasive writing unit. Their goal was to write a paragraph to change the reader's perspective and evaluate a text for purpose, arguments, evidence, and credibility. In Math, we have finished the Fractions and Area & Perimeter unit. They were able to explore what happens to measurements of a two-dimensional shape, such as its perimeter and area, when the shape was changed somehow.

Miigwetch. Miss Marie & Grade 5/6 Class


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GRADE 7/8 UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Ms . B

SPECIAL EDUCAT ION UPDATE S u bm i t t e d b y Mr s . W Hello Parents, Guardians, and Community Members! Our Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for some students will be in the mail soon! Please keep an eye out and remember to send one copy back with your signature. If you would like a meeting, please call, or email me at the school. Our JK Registration and Grade 8 Transition Meetings are also coming up, so I’ve been busy prepping for these as well. Throughout the next couple of months, I will be focussed on testing specific students to help the teachers and parents meet the student’s specific learning styles, and this will help our students learn to the best of their ability. And as always, I will continue to work with our Speech- Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist to master some of the skills and goals they have created for our students. Just a reminder that Parent-Teacher communication has moved away from Facebook and towards the Remind app, so please make sure you have joined my “class” to get updates regarding IEPs and future testing. Thank you for being a part of our students’ education! Miigwetch!

The grade 7 and 8’s have been very busy the past two months. In literacy, they have been examining and learning about local stories and aadsookaanan, leading up to them writing their own Nishinaabe legends. In STEM, students have been learning about the significance of water, and designed their own water purification and filtration systems. The grade 7 and 8’s are very excited about their upcoming Disney trip in June! They have begun watching ride videos, and have been compiling a list of all the best places to potentially eat! They would like to thank community members for all of the continued support in their fundraising efforts.

Mrs. W. Special Education Resource Teacher

CEMETERY RECONSTRUCT ION S u bm i t t e d b y Ca s s a n d r a C r e s s , C o n s u l t a t i o n & Go v e r n a n c e O f f i c e r As the weather gets warmer, I will be looking into organizing a few cemetery clean up days and starting discussions on a long-term plan to better take care of our community cemetery. I have started reaching out to Elders and discussing the project with PRDC's Cultural Coordinator, to ensure we are starting this project off on the right foot. Additionally, we want to involve our community elders as much as possible and we ask for their guidance and knowledge as we go through this process. All of community concerns are important and we hope families will be actively involved in the upcoming events. The next steps for Sustainable Development will be to organize a feast and an initial clean up day. Please contact me if you’re interested in getting involved. (Email: cassandra.cress@picriver.com or Phone: 807 229 8900 EXT 222)

Miigwech Cassandra Cress

Sustainable Development


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TRADI T IONAL HARVEST ING S u bm i t t e d b y S h a r o n De s mo u l i n , F o o d S o v e r e i g n t y P r o g r am C o o r d i n a t o r


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SUMMER YOUTH LEADERSHIP GATHERING IN PLANNING S u bm i t t e d b y Ca s s a n d r a C r e s s , C o n s u l t a t i o n & Go v e r n a n c e O f f i c e r Boozhoo! I am excited to share that with the guidance of Youth Council, the community will be holding a Youth Leadership Gathering this July. We will be inviting youth, age 14 -25, from the surrounding First Nation communities; Michipicoton, Rocky Bay First Nation, Sand Point, Lake Nipigon, Gully Bay, Long Lake 58, Long Lake 77, Pays Plat, Lake Helen First Nation, and Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg. We will be planning three days full of special presentations, hand-on activities, and land-based learning for our youth. We have also planned some sessions for our Elders to join us and share their knowledge. To bring back our old traditions, we will be holding this gathering the days leading up to our community Powwow, July 5, 6 & 7. Please keep an eye out for upcoming advertisements with more information and a full schedule. All departments in the community, local businesses, and organizations are welcome to help out and even sponsor an activity and/or a meal. Please contact myself if you are interested or have any questions. cassandra.cress@picriver.com

Walk to End Violence (Moose Hide Campaign) Thursday, May 12

Rock the River (Concert in the Ball Field) Friday, June 17

Youth Leadership Gathering July 5, 6 & 7

Biigtigong Powwow July 8, 9 & 10



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Quarter ly Issues: January 30th

Apr i l 30th July 30th October 30th

To submi t a piece for our next newslet ter , or i f you have any quest ions please contact Cassandra Cress. Wr i te-ups and photos must be submi t ted 2 weeks before issue release date (15th of the month) .

Cassandra Cress Consul tat ion & Governance Of f icer cassandra.cress@picr iver .com (807) 229-8900 Ext 222

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