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Former FSIN Chief Wins Big at Northern Lights Casino PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 15:13

A former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council and his wife are Saskatchewan’s newest millionaires.

Alphonse Bird and Jacqueline Ironstand-Bird from Montreal Lake First Nation won nearly $2 million dollars from the Smoke Signal’s jackpot at the Northern Lights Casino on Sunday.

Smoke Signals is a SIGA-wide jackpot that links 44 different machines across all six of their casinos and pays out before it hits $2 million.

“It just happened,” said Alphonse Bird.  “It just showed up and I had my nephew beside us and we were taking turns to win because we knew it was getting close.  It was exciting.”

Bird says the jackpot win was a family win.

“We have a very strong family,” said Bird.  “We hope we don’t forget anybody and life will be a little easier from now on.”

Bird says the first thing he plans to buy with his winnings is a new pair of shoes.  He says him and his wife will be taking some time off, but will be returning to work.

The former FSIN chief had also spent some time as the general manager of the Northern Lights Casino and was a member of the SIGA board.  SIGA officials did confirm that Bird is no longer affiliated with SIGA and the win had gone through an audit process for approval.

The Bird’s win is the largest jackpot ever won at a SIGA casino.

 
Leslie Black Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 11:12

The Prince Albert man charged in relation to the brutal assault of a homeless woman last summer has entered a guilty plea to attempted murder.

47 year-old Marlene Bird was beaten and set on fire in the June 1 incident.

Both of Bird’s legs were amputated as a result of the assault.

Leslie Black, the accused, appeared in a Prince Albert courtroom Tuesday morning.

Black held his hands in his lap and looked down while his lawyer entered the guilty plea to the attempted murder of Bird.

The charge of aggravated sexual assault against Black has been dropped and the rest of the charges against him will be carried forward through the court process.

The Crown is now seeking a psychiatric assessment of Black.

He is due back in court on June 26.

 
First Nations Education Gets Billions According to Valcourt PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mervin Brass   
Monday, 27 April 2015 15:12

During last week’s federal budget the government announced it would spend $250 million celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.

Critics lashed out saying the government will spend more on the birthday party than on First Nations.

The Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Bernard Valcourt, spoke exclusively with MBC Radio saying the critics got it wrong with their mathematics.

“We have added in this budget close to half a billion, over $500 million for Aboriginal programming,” says Valcourt. “Which adds up to the $1.7 billion that the estimates clearly show will be invested in this fiscal year for education on reserve.”

Valcourt adds the government will use a different approach to reforming First Nations education.

“So we are going to work with the regions, with the provinces, with the Tribal Councils,” says Valcourt.

“With those First Nations that are willing to take the necessary step to ensure that there is an effective and efficient, good education system.”

Last year, the Ottawa shelved the First Nations Education Act following intense opposition from Chiefs across the country.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 15:14
 
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