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Saskatoon Centre For Minerals Innovation Receives New Funding PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:49

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has received $500,000 in funding for a new Centre for Minerals Innovation.

The funding is part of a partnership between the school and the International Minerals Innovation Institute.

“I think it is a great and timely product,” Director for the Centre for Minerals Innovation Cristal Glass-Painchaud says. “It is great to see government and education investing in an industry that is very important to the economic prosperity of the people in the province.”

The new centre will help co-ordinate the ongoing training needs in the mineral industry. It will also collaborate with industry partners and educational institutions to provide accessible and quality training.

“The mining sector is a significant employer to our province and one of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s key stakeholders,” Sask Polytech President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia says. “The new Centre for Minerals Innovation will help ensure the sector has access to leading educational services, when and where needed.”

The new centre will be located on the Saskatoon campus.

Indigenous Presence Grows At Canadian Western Agribition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:46

Agribition begins next week in Regina but there are not a lot of Indigenous agriculture organizations taking part in the lead up shows and sales.

Elmer Eashappie is hoping to change that through an Indigenous Agriculture Summit that is being held in conjunction with Agribition this year.

It’s a chance to learn from for band chiefs and councils and an opportunity for First Nations bands as far away as Florida to take a more prominent role in Agribition.

This is the second year the Indigenous Agriculture Summit has taken place.

Delegates are coming from all over North America including members of the Seminole tribe in Florida which has a successful Angus beef operation.

Summit Chair Elmer Eashappie says he contacted the Seminole band last year and they were so impressed with what they saw that they are back this year with an even bigger presence.

He says when he initially contacted the Seminole band they didn’t know something like Agribition even existed.

“So since then I have spoken to a gentleman there and they were always really big into angus beef and when I asked questions like, ‘Have you ever heard of Agribition,’ he said no and that kind of made me think like, really, how come?”

There has been a First Nations pavilion at Agribition for the last four years but Eashappie says it is more of a cultural and entertainment venue.

He says it is time First Nations to become bigger players in the agricultural industry.

Eashappie says the potential is there but what are needed are knowledge, motivation and opportunity.

“We have over one million acres of First Nations land in Canada and because of the past we are always renting our lands out for leasing but yet we don’t see the opportunities of creating and developing economic opportunity to sustain or own selves,” he says.

Presenters at the Indigenous Ag Summit will share their success stories and provide direction and contacts for bands that want to explore their business options in agriculture.

Hollywood actor Adam Beach is the luncheon speaker next Tuesday.

He is from a reserve in northern Manitoba and has had roles in movies such Wind Talkers and Flags of our Fathers.

Survey Says Sask Aboriginal People Less Positive About Nuclear Power Than Other Demographic Groups PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fraser Needham   
Saturday, 22 November 2014 02:44

A new survey says Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan are more likely to have a negative impression of nuclear power than other demographic groups.

The survey was conducted by the Nuclear Policy Research Initiative at the University of Saskatchewan.

As part of the survey, researchers interviewed roughly 1,300 people across the province in September and October 2013.

Of those interviewed, roughly 51 per cent had an overall positive impression of nuclear power while 23 per cent had a negative impression.

Maureen Bourassa, a member of the research team, also says questions about the future of nuclear power in Saskatchewan elicited strong emotional responses both for and against.

“The mix of emotional reactions was a bit surprising, that both positive and negative reactions in terms of emotionality were felt towards the possibility of nuclear power in the future,” she says.

The survey also finds people living in northern Saskatchewan have lower trust in nuclear regulators than other parts of the province.

The survey shows just under 30 per cent of people in northern Saskatchewan have high trust in nuclear regulators.

The average for the province is almost 74 per cent.

On the flipside, people in northern Saskatchewan have higher levels of trust in environmental groups on nuclear issues than other areas of the province.

Researchers found almost 52 per cent of people living in northern Saskatchewan have high trust in environmental groups on nuclear issues.

The next highest area was the southwestern corner of the province at about 47 per cent.

Loleen Berdahl, another member of the research team, says the data shows people tend to place more value in trust of certain actors in the nuclear debate rather than pure knowledge.

“Often people say, ‘Oh well, we just need more knowledge,’ and this sort of suggests a bit more nuance that perhaps it’s not more knowledge that’s needed but more effort made to build trusting relationships between different people speaking on either sides of the debate.”

The survey was part of the Nuclear Facts Forum in Saskatoon Thursday night put on by the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

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