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Tuesday July 21 2015 3 POLITICS ABORIGINAL RELATIONS Photos wanted for 2016 Fort Smith Pet Desk Calendar Filling up fast Get your pictures in soon Ifyouwouldliketohavephotosofyour petstakenarrangementscanbemade. Please call Chris at 872-5547. Becauseofthehighvolumeofrequests we are on a first come first in basis. Special consideration will be made for pets not in previous calendars. Please submit photos of living pets only. Thereisnofeetohavephotosinthecalendar. If you have any questions or need more information please call Chris at 872-5547 or email Deadline is August 31 This ad sponsored by the Northern Journal NWT leading country on reconciliation Premier By MEAGAN WOHLBERG The Northwest Territories is leading the way for other jurisdictions in Canada to adopt best practices on child and family services and follow-up actions in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions TRC nal recommendations according to NWT Pre- mier Bob McLeod. McLeod spent last week in Newfoundland and Labrador meeting with Canadas premiers and leaders of the National Aboriginal Orga- nization which he chairs to nd opportuni- ties for cooperation among all of Canadas provinces and territories on a suite of issues. Among those is the concerning issue of high rates of Aboriginal children in state care ac- cording to McLeod who tabled a report last week along with the government of Manitoba outlining best practices for health and social services ministers across the country to adopt in reforming their child welfare policies. The report gives options and best prac- tices to nd ways to reduce the high number of Aboriginal children in care McLeod said. So it has best practices that provinces and territories can choose to model adopt or im- plement as they deem appropriate based on the strengths and weaknesses of their child welfare systems and in consideration of their local and regional needs. We see this docu- ment as only the rst step of many. In the NWT he said those additional steps include the Building Stronger Families plan which involves the overhaul of the current child and family services system to make it more child-centred and collaborative with families. While important steps are being taken McLeod said the territory can also learn from someoftheprovincesthathavesuccessfullyre- ducedthenumberofAboriginalchildrenincare. In our territory we have more Aboriginal children in care than when there was resi- dential schools so we see this as very impor- tant McLeod said. Apart from the discussion on child services McLeod said all premiers agreed to show leadership and take action on reconciliation efforts stemming from the nal report of the TRC through curriculum development mu- tual respect for treaties and a commitment to look at government decisions through a lens of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Those action items are already well under- way in the NWT McLeod said. We have the enviable position of having started or in fact implemented a lot of the recommendations that have been put for- ward things like curriculum changes and so on and so we think that were ahead of the game. We of course will be responding to all 94 of the recommendations McLeod said. The premiers are also continuing their work on missing and murdered indigenous women hosting a second national round- table in 2016 following the rst one in Yel- lowknife this year despite federal inaction on the issue. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was invited to last weeks meetings but declined saying he meets with the premiers on a regular bi- lateral basis. The prime minister obviously was invited to attend. He chose not to attend McLeod said. We had the option especially with miss- ing and murdered Aboriginal women to do nothing and say this is the responsibility of the federal government but all of the prov- inces and territories felt that this work was very important and its scandalous whats happening with the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Apart from the focus on Aboriginal issues the premiers also reached consensus on a na- tional energy strategy to promote cooperation among the provinces and territories when it comes to market development and signed a protocol on apprentice mobility that will see trained tradespeople more easily able to work throughout Canada. PhotocourtesyofCounciloftheFederation NWT Premier Bob McLeod centre convenes with Yukon Premier Darrel Pasloski left and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley during meetings in Newfoundland last week. Salt River First Nation teams up with ATCO to build new gas station By DALI CARMICHAEL The Salt River First Nation has partnered up with ATCOs Sustainable Communities arm to build a new Petro-Canada gas station and convenience store in Fort Smith. The two groups came together to nalize a design-build contract for the new 3100 square-foot facility on June 10. The gas bar will be located on Trout Street just off of Hwy. 5 at the site of the existing Salt River gas bar. This is a great economic opportunity for all members of Salt River First Nation and the community of Fort Smith said Chief Frieda Martselos. On behalf of Salt River First Na- tion council and members I am pleased our partnership with ATCO Sustainable Com- munities and Petro-Canada is positive and healthy and look forward to working together on future projects. Construction on the new building which will be composed of prefabricated modules has already begun at ATCOs facilities. Its a very modern Petro-Canada its their best model so to speak said Boris Rassin president of ATCO Sustainable Communi- ties. It will be up to Petro-Canada stan- dards which are probably some of the most advanced in this industry. Ontopofafullystockedconveniencestorethe FirstNationpromisestoprovidethreegradesof gasolinedieselandpay-at-the-pumpservices. In addition to the gas station the building will also house several ofces to be rented out to commercial tenants. The cost of the project has not been revealed. This isnt the first time Salt River and ATCO Sustainable Communities have teamed up on a project. In 2012 the two organizations worked together to design and build the Wood Buffalo Inn a hotel in Fort Smith. We are pleased to work with the Salt River First Nation and Petro-Canada to deliver a state of the art gas station that will meet the needs of the community Rassin said. This gas station will bring to the area a familiar brand teamed with the quality for which ATCO is known. The new facility is expected to be up and running by Nov. 1 2015. Its a very modern Petro- Canada its their best model so to speak. It will be up to Petro-Can- ada standards which are probably some of the most advanced in this industry. Boris Rassin ATCO Sustainable Communities ImageATCOSustainableCommunities INDUSTRY ABORIGINAL BUSINESS A new gas bar and convenience store owned by Salt River First Nation is set to open on Nov. 1.