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UPDATE: Family of missing man with brain injury pleading with public for information PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Friday, 02 December 2016 14:57

Ryan Coulineur.  Photo courtesy Saskatoon Police Service

UPDATE: Saskatoon police say Ryan Coulineur has been found safe.

The family of a Canoe Lake First Nation man who went missing in Saskatoon this past week is pleading with the public for information.

Ryan Coulineur, 29, was last seen in the city a week ago when his parents dropped him off for a therapy session for a recent brain injury.

His family says the injury has left him in a vulnerable state and are desperately trying to locate him.

“Right now we are pleading for the public's help in getting any kind of information,” says Ryan's cousin Arliss Coulineur. “Somebody out there has an idea where our family member, cousin, son, father is... someone has that information and we just need that person to come forward.”

The family and police do not believe Ryan disappeared under suspicious circumstances but are concerned because of his injury. His family says this is out of character for him.

“We just have an uneasy feeling,” says Arliss Coulineur.

The Coulineur family with FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear speaking with the media on Friday afternoon.  Photo by Joel Willick.

Ryan's family says since his injury he has difficulty speaking in full sentences and doesn't have very good motion in his left hand.

The 29 year-old is described as 5'8" and 170 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, black shoes and a heavy grey jacket.

His family says he has the names of his three children tattooed on his neck. They also say he has a black square tattoo on his right hand.

After his parents dropped him off for therapy last Friday, police say his Dakota Dunes club card was used that night. The last known trace of Ryan was when his debit card was used in the city's Lawson Heights neighbourhood on Tuesday. Police are currently investigating this and have not yet confirmed if it was Ryan Coulineur using his debit card at that time.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is throwing their support behind the search for Ryan as well. They say they will provide a financial contribution for any search efforts.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ryan Coulineur is asked to call the Saskatoon Police Service at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 December 2016 09:04
 
AFN Chief welcomes Prime Minister to Special Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 02 December 2016 13:28

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde in Fort Qu'Appelle in September. Photo by Manfred Joehnck.

EDITOR'S NOTE: AFN previously said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna would be present, but made a correction on Friday afternoon saying there were last-minute changes and they will not be present.

Next week the Assembly of First Nations Special Assembly will see the return of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he will bring several of his top cabin ministers along with him.

Trudeau was the first-ever Prime Minister to attend the meeting.

The assembly begins Monday in Gatineau, Quebec. Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour MaryAnn Mihychuk, and Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc are all expected to address the four-day conference.

It will be an opportunity to review progress over the past year and to provide direction for what still needs to be done, said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who is clearly appreciative of the opportunity.

Bellegarde says progress has been made on a number of fronts, including the inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women, but he says there is still lots of work to be done on education, treaty rights, preserving First Nations languages and getting rid of the Indian Act.

He says having the ear of the Prime Minister makes a huge difference and is a rare opportunity for the chiefs.

“When was the last time a sitting Prime Minister addressed the Chiefs of Canada? Basically never,” he said.

The environment will also come up for discussion at the conference; specifically, the approval of a couple of new pipelines including the replacement of a line through Saskatchewan. Bellegarde says he will make sure the duty to consult is part of the process.

“The message to governments, both federal and provincial, and to industry is that if you want any project to go ahead you better involve Indigenous people from start to finish on any plan or project going forward,” he said.

Bellegarde also has a message to First Nations chiefs, saying it is time to talk about and end the rampant sexual abuse of children on First Nations. He says the damage being done has to stop.

“I think it is still a fall-out from the residential schools,” he said.  “It is hurt people hurting people. It’s wounded people wounding people, and if we don’t start talking about it as leaders,  it’s not going to end.”

The assembly begins with strategy sessions on Monday and ends with discussions on child welfare and resolutions on Thursday.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2016 14:43
 
Feast and round dance aims to raise awareness of HIV/Aids PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Friday, 02 December 2016 11:50

A feast and round dance in Saskatoon tonight is hoping to bring more awareness to the higher rates of HIV and Aids in the Aboriginal community.

The event is a collaboration between the Saskatoon Indian Metis Friendship Centre and Out Saskatoon and coincides with National Aboriginal Aids Awareness Week.

Organizers of tonight's event say a similar feast was held last year as a memorial to those who have died from the virus.

Mo Mike, Out Saskatoon's Two Spirit consultant, says this year's event carries significance because of the recent reports on HIV and Aids in the Aboriginal population.

“HIV is still real, the numbers have been going down, but the numbers are still disproportionate in the Native population compared to the population as a whole,” says Mike.

Recent reports have shown that Saskatchewan has nearly double the national average of HIV and Aids.

For Mike and the rest of the organizers they just want people to be aware of the issue and that anybody is welcome to join in.

“It's just a way for us to raise awareness of Aids and to honour those who have passed away because of the virus,” says Mike.

With this week being Aboriginal Aids Awareness Week, the Canadian Aboriginal Aids Network has had several events across the country as well.

Tonight's feast and round dance gets underway at 5:30 at the Friendship Centre and is expected to run all night.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2016 11:54
 
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