The North West Indigenous Council: A New Organization to Represent off-Reserve Aboriginal People in BC

The announcement of the North West Indigenous Council (NWIC) is welcome news for off-reserve Aboriginal communities in BC, including the 40,000 urban Aboriginal people living in Vancouver. 

 While there are several provincial Aboriginal groups including the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Assembly of First Nations BC regional chief these organizations are dealing primarily with on-reserve issues.

 Photo by: Wawmeesh G. Hamilton/Metro

According to NWIC president Ernie Crey (also the president of ALIVE):  “what is really missing and is sorely needed is political advocacy for off reserve people”

 The new society will serve as the political voice of BC’s off-reserve Aboriginal population at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government

Directors will represent the five (5) Regions in the province based on the current First Nations Health Regions 

The constitution and bylaws and other documents were mailed to B.C. Registry Services on Tuesday

Read Wawmeesh G. Hamilton’s coverage of NWIC in the Metro News:  HERE


The Mainlander: 17,000 housing units set to lose their funding in the City of Vancouver

“Only through persistent organizing, and through the building of an anti-displacement movement that includes women, migrants, non-capitalist producers, and unwaged workers, can we challenge models of social housing that presupposes an underlying economy of colonial land ownership, predicated on expropriation and displacement. And only through that movement can we begin the fight for a model of social housing based on social justice, resident control, and the needs of everyone.”


Read the article

Michèle Audette in Vancouver

Michèle Audette, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, was recently in Vancouver addressing the Unifor Canadian Council. ALIVE President, Ernie Crey, and Executive Director, Scott Clark, had the opportunity to meet with Audette to discuss key issues affecting Aboriginal women and urban Aboriginal residents in Vancouver as well as the work of ALIVE and our partners.

Audette has announced that she will be stepping down from the NWAC by the end of the year, as she will be seeking nomination in the Quebec riding of Manicouagan with the Liberal Party. Audette has been outspoken about the need for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Her presentation at the Unifor conference can be found here 

Michèle Audette and Scott Clark

Michèle Audette and Ernie Crey

Federal Court of Appeal Ruling Grants Metis the same rights as “Status Indians”

A Recent Ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a Federal Court decision that found the Metis have the same rights as Status Indians under the Canadian Constitution. Those who are “non-Status Indian” were not included in the ruling. HANDS UP go to Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), and especially former leader Harry Daniels (RIP), for their work on this case.

read more from APTN

Report: Young people are leaving aboriginal communities in large numbers, and most have no plans to return

A CBC News article  from April 16, 2014 reports on the challenges associated with the current brain drain affecting Aboriginal communities, as young people migrate to urban centres for education and work opportunities, and other experiences outside of their home communities

Nearly half of urban aboriginal people aged 18 to 24 say they have no plans to return home. Another 33 per cent are undecided”


Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign

“The Authentic Indigenous Arts Resurgence Campaign (The “ARC”) is an Aboriginal Tourism B.C. (“AtBC”) initiative aimed at promoting and supporting authentic Indigenous artworks in the retail and wholesale marketplace.”

This exciting initiative helps to raise awareness about the economic and cultural value that indigenous arts and crafts hold for indigenous communities and educates consumers about the positive impact of purchasing authentic indigenous arts. When you buy items with the authentic indigenous logo, you know the artist is being fairly compensated.


For more information check out the website:


If you are an artist, you can fill out the online Artist Registration on the Authentic Indigenous Arts website

Children and Youth Rep, Mary-Ellen Turpel Lafond, Speaking at UBC

Representative of Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel LaFond, is speaking tonight (September 12th) at UBC on the topic of Aboriginal child welfare practices. She praises the innovative work we do through our place-based strategy. We’re looking forward to listening in.
More info on her talk at UBC here
Check out the recent interview we did with her around innovative child welfare practices through Our Place.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond from Dima Alansari on Vimeo.

OneCard is available now!

What is the OneCard?

OneCard is a single card that will provide all Vancouverites with universal access to pools, rinks and fitness centres across the Park Board network and access to the city’s community centres. OneCard replaces the current patchwork of over 20 cards, which includes the Flexipass and the Leisure Access Card.

OneCard can be loaded with any of the Park Board’s Flexipass options and 10-visit passes, and also includes a built-in 50 percent subsidy, for those who qualify, as part of the Park Board’s Leisure Access program for those with financial barriers.

OneCard is free and available to the entire community regardless of income, where you live or which facilities you choose to visit.

Find out more about the new OneCard and the Leisure Access Program for low income residents.

OneCards are available now at all Park Board operated swimming pools, ice rinks and fitness centres, and the Britannia Community Services Centre, Strathcona Community Centre, and Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre.

Vancouver City Council Proclaims its Support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


The City of Vancouver has made public its support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, voting to make June 21st 2013 to June 20th 2014  the Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver. The motion came from Councillor Andrea Reimer in preparation for the fall Truth and Reconciliation event and as a result of dialogue with the city’s Urban Aboriginal Peo

ples Advisory Co

mmittee, whose membership includes two ALIVE board members. Reimer stated that “reconciling past injustice, and strengthening shared understanding and awareness of history, is vital to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in building a successful future for Vancouver.”

 Reconciliation Canada and the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee are committed to increasing opportunities for dialogue and understanding between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals regarding the experience and rights of indigenous people in Canada. “It’s important that all Vancouver residents build our understanding of the histories, contributions, and persistent challenges faced by Aboriginal people in Canada, and that City Hall continues to strengthen relationships and dialogue with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh Nations,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver will provide an opportunity for people of all cultures to en


gage in dialogue and work together for a shared future that fully supports the rights and aspirations of aboriginal people living in and around Vancouver.”

“For some people, the residential school experience is unknown,” Reimer told the Georgia Straight “They might have heard the term, but they’re not aware of what it meant…It was a very deeply traumatic and shameful experience in Canada that needs to be dealt with, needs to be acknowledged, needs to be understood, and that we need to move on from collectively.” “Ultimately it’s a trauma…that has reverberations throughout our community, and if we can’t reconcile that and move forward, that’s holding us back, as a society and as a city.”

Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory committee:

Mayor of Vancouver website: