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NEWS BRIEFS: New approach to Indigeous funding, chemo could return in April


Federal budget's new approach to funding Indigenous groups

The proposed 2018-19 federal budget released yesterday afternoon takes a new, "distinctions-based" approach to divvying up government funds.

According to the Liberal budget document, the distinctions-based method aims to ensure that "the unique rights, priorities and circumstances of First Nations, Inuit and the Metis Nation are acknowledged, affirmed and implemented."

To that end, states the federal government, some of the money for housing, skills training, health care and education has been allocated separately to First Nations, Inuit and Metis groups.

For example, the budget proposes putting $235.7 million toward First Nations employment programs in 2018-19, $67 million for Metis jobs training, $32.6 million for Inuit training and $45.2 million for "urban/non-affiliated" Indigenous job programs.

It is unclear right now how exactly distinctions-based funding will address housing in Northwest Territories communities that are predominantly Indigenous, but are not reserves.

– Sidney Cohen

New time frame suggests chemo could be back by April

The uncertainty for the renewal of chemotherapy services at Stanton Territorial Hospital was made a little more clear after Health Minister Glen Abernethy announced recently at the legislative assembly that the program could be renewed in eight weeks.

Currently, four nurses and two doctors have been sent to the Cross Cancer Institute and Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Alberta for training on new procedures which are being put in place by the hospital.

The decision made in November to suspend the service came after a joint review by the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority and Cancer Control Alberta deemed the service not up to standard.

– Michael Hugall

Folk on The Rocks to announce 2018 lineup

The 38th annual Folk On The Rocks FOTR music festival will announce its lineup for the 2018 season Friday.

FOTR executive director Carly Bradley said 13 local and regional acts will be included on the bill She also confirmed there will be some classic Canadian indie rock music.

Look to for the announcement as it happens, with a full story in the following Yellowknifer.

Michael Hugall