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Federal government investing in Indigenous health researchers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 09:31

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott meets with officials in La Ronge. Photo courtesy of Abel Charles.

The federal government will invest $8 million to establish a cross-country mentorship network for First Nations, Metis and Inuit health researchers.

Health Minister Jane Philpott made the announcement today. She says it is one way to address the shortage of Indigenous health professionals in Canada. The goal is to provide healthcare that is more culturally sensitive.

Eight teams will be set up across the country, including one in Saskatchewan.

The teams will provide specially tailored mentoring activities to Indigenous students from the undergraduate level to postdoctoral degrees.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 June 2017 09:36
‘This is nothing unusual,’ Lac La Ronge business owner says after Meechewin Place armed robbery PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 17:22

Images release by the RCMP after the June 27 early morning robbery at Meechewin Place.

Security footage from a gunpoint robbery at a gas and convenience store on Lac La Ronge has the community looking for suspects.

The RCMP say there were five males involved in the 3:30 a.m. robbery on Wednesday at Meechewin Place, with one of them toting what appeared to be a long-barrelled firearm. Security footage of the suspects is now being circulated on social media and by the Mounties.

Owner Henry McKenzie said he awoke to a phone call at 4 a.m. from the manager on duty, telling him what had transpired at the 24-hour store. Fireworks, cash, and “a lot of tobacco” were stolen in the six-minute robbery, McKenzie said but “the good thing about the whole thing is that nobody got hurt so I’m glad my employees are safe.”

While the suspects had covered their faces with were wearing hoodies and masks or bandanas, McKenzie said one person’s cover slipped of his face and that has presented a chance for identification.

He is confident the RCMP will do its best to investigate because “it’s quite a serious thing. They’re very concerned, especially the community at large,” he said.

“Basically when there’s an armed robbery, you know that anything could happen. There’s a lot of young gangs up north and there’s such a big use of drugs, you know these gangs they probably just looking for something they can use for cash. And they know kind of where to get it. This is nothing unusual, we’ve had other armed robberies” since going to 24 hour service three years ago.

McKenzie said it's difficult to deal with the costs of incidents like these when he’s trying to employ local people and provide a service to the community. He estimates there have been 68 break-ins and robberies at Meechewin Place in his 18 years as owner.

He said if people hear anything, they can pass information on to the police or to management.

La Ronge RCMP can be reached at 306-425-6730 or 310-RCMP, while call Crime Stoppers can be reached anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

RCMP suspect descriptions:

Suspect 1 - male, wearing a dark blue hoody, blue jeans, sunglasses

Suspect 2 – male, wearing a dark blue hoody with lettering, balaclava, blue jeans

Suspect 3 – male, wearing a red hoody with a black stripe across the hood, blue jeans, glasses, bandana

Suspect 4 – male, wearing a grey sweatshirt with a black hood, blue jeans

Suspect 5 – male, wearing a red hoody with grey patches, balaclava, grey leggings

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 17:40
Saskatchewan takes part in first national HIV testing day PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 10:45

Jim Reiter being tested for HIV. Photo courtesy of Manfred Joehnck.

For the first time, Saskatchewan is participating in National Aids Testing Day.

A number of events are scheduled around the province. The intention of the day is remind everyone to "know your status" and to say, "yes to the test."

The All Nations Hope Network in Regina will be conducting tests today on a number of community leaders, including Health Minister Jim Reiter. Other dignitaries that will be on hand include Police Chief Evan Bray, civic politicians and leaders of the Cowessess First Nation.

Saskatchewan has the highest HIV infection rate in Canada, which is more than twice the national average. Eighty-one per cent of all new cases are in the Aboriginal community.

The highest rate of infection is the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, where the rate is more than four times the provincial average.

In the Prairie North Health Region, which includes Battlefords, a project was launched today to increase HIV testing by 50 per cent by November of this year. The local medical health officer and a group of doctors are spearheading a campaign to have all patients routinely offered the test at all points of care,  including doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.

HIV drug users are in the highest risk group. The second most common form of transmission in Saskatchewan is heterosexual sex.

Preliminary numbers from last year indicate there were 170 new HIV cases, up about six per cent from 2015.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 14:47
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