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Aboriginal Awareness Week 2014

Celebrating the Contributions of Aboriginal people to the Federal Public Service.

Program: May 20 to May 23

TUESDAY, May 20 - Treasury Board Secretariat and Parks Canada Agency

Opening Day: Launch of the Aboriginal Awareness Week Celebrations

Venue L’Esplande Laurier, 300 Laurier Avenue, West Lobby, Ottawa

  • 11:45 - Master of Ceremony - Serge Jetté
    Welcome and introduction of Métis Elder Jo Macquarrie and speakers and performers of the day
  • 11:50 - Opening prayer by Métis Elder Jo Macquarrie
  • 12:00 - Honour song by O-Town Boyz and First Nation Dancers Natasha Batt Troupe
  • 12:15 - Opening ceremony remarks: Parks Canada and TBS Senior Officials, Alan Latourelle, Daniel Watson, Gavin Liddy
  • 12:25 - Keynote Speaker: Aboriginal Women and Leadership – Cindy Gaudet
  • 12:45 - Inuit Children Performance
    - Inuit Throat Singers: Cynthia Pitsiulak and Charlotte Qamaniq-Mason
  • 1:00 - Closing prayer

    Arts and Crafts sales at various locations.
    * All Aboriginal attendees are welcome to wear their regalia throughout the week.

WEDNESDAY, May 21 - Health Canada
Respecting Mother Earth Today for Tomorrow

Venue - Events at Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa

  • 12:00 - Opening prayer by Métis Elder Lois McCallum
  • 12:10 - Opening honour song by Stormcloud Singers
  • 12:15 - RCMP Senior Officials Speech, Tyler Bates
  • 12:20 - Performance: Jamie Koebel and Fiddleground
  • 12:55 - Closing honour song by Stormcloud Singers

    Arts and Crafts sales at various locations.
    * All Aboriginal attendees are welcome to wear their regalia throughout the week.

THURSDAY, May 22 - Health Canada
Respecting Mother Earth Today for Tomorrow

Venue - Events at Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa

  • 12:00 - Opening Prayer By Inuit Elder Reepa Evic-Carleton
  • 12:10 - Opening honour song by Stormcloud Singers
  • 12:15 - HC Senior Officials Speech, Sonny Perron and Valerie Gideon
  • 12:20 - Inuit Children Performance (tentative)
  • 12:30 - Charlotte Carleton and Caveman Techno
  • 12:55 - Closing honour song by Stormcloud Singers

    Arts and Crafts sales at various locations.
    * All Aboriginal attendees are welcome to wear their regalia throughout the week.

FRIDAY, May 23 - Aboriginal Affairs Northern Development Canada and Parks Canada Agency
Closing Ceremony

Venue - 10 Wellington Ave, Gatineau, Main Floor Lobby

  • 11:45 - MC: Nadine Crookes Welcome and introduction of First Nation Elder Simon Brascoupé and speakers and performers of the day
  • 11:50 - Opening prayer by Elder Simon Brascoupé
  • 12:00 - Honour song by O-Town Boyz and First Nation Dancers Natasha Batt Troupe
  • 12:10 - Closing ceremony remarks: Parks Canada and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Senior Officials, Rob Prosper and Senior AANDC Official
  • 12:15 - Featured Performer: Joanne Shenandoah
  • 12:55 - Jaime and the Jiglets
  • 1:00 - Closing prayer Simon Brascoupé
  • 1:00 to 3:00 - Canada School of Public Service. Armchair discussion. Details to be provided on CSPS website.

    Arts and Crafts sales at various locations.
    * All Aboriginal attendees are welcome to wear their regalia throughout the week.


Jo MacQuarrie (Elder)

Jo MacQuarrie is a Registered Nurse with post graduate studies in psychiatric nursing and community development. She is a founding member of the Canadian Mental Health Association in the Northwest Territories and in Nunavut. She is a former Chief Coroner of the Northwest Territories. Jo is also a member of the following groups; COMPAC, (Community and City Police Committee) in Ottawa, Committee Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth chaired by Senator Romeo Dallaire, the Admissions Committee of the University of Ontario, Gignul Aboriginal Housing Board of Directors and Co chair of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy Committee in Ottawa, and a member of the Ottawa Police Services Chaplain Spiritual Team. Recently, Jo was honoured to be recognized as a Métis Elder by the Métis Nation of Ontario. Currently Jo is the Knowledge Translation Consultant at the Métis Nation of Ontario in Ottawa.

Cindy Gaudet

Cindy Gaudet, a Métis woman from Saskatchewan. She is passionate about bringing balance into women’s lives through ceremony, knowledge, and teachings. Her gifts as a leader, facilitator, and educator have been cultivated through cross-cultural learning: earth-based wisdom, yoga, academic studies and her living experiences. She studies with Wise Women learning about women’s ways of leading and being in the world.

One of her projects involved bringing the message of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers to Canada across Canada. In 2013, she worked with a group of women in Montreal to share women’s teachings and full moon ceremonies. She has written a children’s book and created a CD on the teachings of women’s rites of passage. She has taught yoga in Ottawa in community, individually and yoga studies. She sits on the Aboriginal Healing Foundation Board. She has completed her Masters in Canadian Studies at Carleton in 2009, and is currently working on her PhD researching the connection between cultural healing methods and the land. Cindy is a gifted leader, facilitator and teacher. She brings enthusiasm, relationship, and insight to everything she does.

Cindy will share how and what she has learned from her Grandmothers and the circles of women about leading in women's ways. She will share stories and ancient teachings to inspire a renewed thinking about balanced leadership in the modern world.

Gavin Liddy (Treasury Board)

Gavin Liddy was appointed as the Assistant Secretary of the International Affairs, Security and Justice Sector at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, effective March 4, 2013.

Prior, Mr. Liddy was Assistant Secretary of the Economic Sector and the Assistant Secretary of the Government Operations Sector. Mr. Liddy joined TBS from Parks Canada, where he held the position of Associate Chief Administrative Officer. In that role, Gavin was responsible for Agency Finances, Real Property, and Information Management. Prior to that, Gavin was the Superintendent of the Rideau Canal, where he played a key role in Canada’s successful bid to have the Canal designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He has previously worked for the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and spent 20 years in the Canadian Forces.

Mr. Liddy is a graduate of the Royal Military College and holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

Daniel Watson (Treasury Board)

Daniel is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, (History and French Literature) and started his career as a supervisor at a Canada Employment Centre for Students in East Vancouver. He subsequently moved to the Policy and Research group of Saskatchewan's Department of Education, Training and Employment, then to British Columbia's Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, where he was involved in all aspects of treaty negotiations.

Daniel returned to the federal government in 1999 as Director of Aboriginal and Territorial Relations at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in Yellowknife. Two years later, he became Director General of the Aboriginal Justice Directorate at Justice Canada in Ottawa. He was then appointed Assistant Deputy Minister at Western Economic Diversification Canada in Saskatchewan in 2003, and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Policy and Strategic Direction at INAC in 2006. Daniel returned to Western Diversification as Associate Deputy Minister in March 2009, and on July 16 of that same year, was appointed Deputy Minister. Mr. Watson was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer on September 4, 2012.

Daniel enjoys sharing his enthusiasm about the Public Service of Canada, particularly about the role that human resources play in making our organization the exceptional institution that Canadians expect it to be. He never misses an opportunity to promote the public service and its great people, and to share his belief that it is truly a privilege to serve Canadians from within its ranks.

Alan Latourelle (Parks Canada)

Since joining the federal government in 1983, Mr. Latourelle has occupied positions of increasing responsibility in the field of corporate services, strategic planning, portfolio affairs, policy and operational program delivery.

In 1997, Mr. Latourelle was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage. He then joined Parks Canada as Director General, Western and Northern Canada, where he led an operational service delivery unit of more than 2000 employees that serviced 12 million visitors annually. He ensured that federal government objectives were achieved by developing sound public policies and service delivery approaches within a multi-stakeholder environment. In this environment, Mr. Latourelle led national policy initiatives that are considered landmark decisions for the protection of national parks. They resulted in a legislated framework being established to limit commercial growth in the six national park communities. He also led the development of alliances with First Nations. In addition, he guided complex federal/provincial negotiations in support of the establishment of new national parks and national marine conservation areas.

In 1999, Mr. Latourelle became Chief Administrative Officer for the Parks Canada Agency. He gave direction on developing policy initiatives that resulted in limits to growth being established for outlying commercial operations and some of Canada’s most important ski resorts. He also led federal/provincial negotiations that resulted in an agreement with elected representatives of the Town of Jasper for the community to assume responsibility for municipal services.

Mr. Latourelle’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Commerce from the Université du Québec and a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University. He is also a Certified General Accountant.

Rob Prosper (Parks Canada)

Mr. Prosper began his career in 1980 as a Park Warden at St. Lawrence Islands National Park in an Aboriginal trainee program sponsored by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. He subsequently has held a variety of increasingly responsible field positions – Senior Park Warden, Chief Park Warden and Park Superintendent – in other locations including Georgian Bay Islands, Gros Morne and Nahanni national parks.

After 22 years in the field, Mr. Prosper moved to National Office as Chief of Ecosystem Protection, where he managed the National Fire, Law Enforcement and Public Safety programs and the Resource Conservation Training Unit. Mr. Prosper then became Director of the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat and had been recently appointed Vice president of Natural Resource Conservation Branch at Parks Canada. He is also the Parks Canada Champion for Aboriginal Employees.

Mr. Prosper holds a Bachelor of Science and an Honours Degree in Biology from Carleton University and is among the growing number of Parks Canada employees whose work has been recognized through a prestigious Public Service Award of Excellence.


Joanne Shenandoah

Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is an internationally known Iroquois singer/songwriter and performer with over 40 music awards and 17 recordings. She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, with praise for her work to promote universal peace.

  • “Joanne Shenandoah is one of the finest tributes to Native American Music and Culture” - Neil Young
  • "She weaves you into a trance with her beautiful Iroquois chants and wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket on a cool winter's night" - Robbie Robertson

O Town Boys

The O-Town Boyz, have performed together for a few years and started out as the O-Town Boys Drummers and Singers. They originally started out as volunteer drummers for various programs within the Aboriginal Service provider agencies in Ottawa. They quickly received the eyes and ears of many organizations and their drum and song now resonates in and around the Ottawa Carleton area.

Cynthia Pitsiulak and Charlotte Qamaniq-Mason

Timeless and beautiful traditional Inuit throat singing of Cynthia Pitsiulak and Charlotte Qamaniq-Mason seamlessly weaves in and out of the musical heritage of the Inuit people of Canada. Cynthia and Charlotte were acquaintances and knew of each other as most people from small towns do (Cynthia moved to Iqaluit from Kimmirut and Charlotte grew up in Iqaluit via Iglooik) but it's when they were both new to Ottawa when they became close friends. They share the same interests and began to learn and practice throat singing together which brought them closer as friends and as throat singing partners. The girls demonstrate “throat singing” which is a unique set of very high and low sounds that can simulate animals of the north or natural sounds.

Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre

Serving the largest urban Inuit population in Canada, the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre provides education programming with additional cultural content. Children who attend the Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre not only follow the same curriculum as any other child in Ontario, but they also get the added benefit of learning their own culture and language. The children will demonstrate “throat singing” which is a unique set of very high and low sounds that can simulate animals of the north or natural sounds.

Natasha Batt and First Nation Dance Presentation

This is an Aboriginal cultural presentation showcasing traditional dancing, drumming and singing.

  • Men's Chicken Dancer – The moves of the Chicken Dance highlight movements of the Prairie Chicken mating dance.
  • Jingle Dress Dancer – Straight Dance: A very powerful healing dance that originates from the Anishinabe Nation.
  • Fancy Shawl Dancer – Fast paced competitive style dance that mimics the butterfly.

Jaime and the Jiglets - Métis Dance Group

Jaime and her three children have been dancing together as a group since 2008. Although she is from Lac La Biche, Alberta her children are Ottawa born and coincidentally, born to dance! Jaime has performed and competed locally, nationally and internationally for about 7 years and was a member of the professional dance group, Jig on the Fly. In the summer of 2010, the children competed at Batoche, Saskatchewan for the first time! Her twin daughters, Hunter & Riley were born in 2002 and Jacob in 2003. The goal of her group is to teach people about Metis culture in a fun, informative and interactive way. They aim to pass on the knowledge and joy of the dance to all generations in an exciting performance.


TUESDAY, May 20 - Natural Resources Canada and Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada

Learning Event: Building Understanding – From Aboriginal Culture to Engagement

To celebrate Aboriginal Awareness Week 2014, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has partnered with Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to host a learning event on Building Understanding – From Aboriginal Culture to Engagement.

The objective of the event is to increase employees' awareness, knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and issues. Specifically, this session will help participants to:

  • Gain an understanding of the diversity of Aboriginal cultures and values, and historical context;
  • Increase knowledge about the whole-government approach to Aboriginal consultation;
  • Get a perspective of NRCan and Sectors' role in consulting with and/or engaging Aboriginal participation in the natural resource sector.

Time: 9:00 – 4:00

Location: Camsell Hall, 588 Booth Street, Ottawa

Webcasting will be available using this link: http://s0-ott-webcast/

Language: Bilingual. Simultaneous translation will be available.

Coffee and beverages will be served as well as a traditional Bannock.

In order to participate, please register by Friday, May 16th with Jennifer Dean-Pyper at 613-947-1497 or via email at

FRIDAY, May 23 – Health Canada

Respecting Mother Earth Today for Tomorrow

Venue - Events at Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa

  • 5:00 am – Sunrise ceremony with First Nations Elder Thomas Louttit at Remic Rapids
  • 11:45 – Opening ceremony with Elder Thomas Louttit
    – Opening and closing honour songs: Stormcloud Singers Community Drum
  • 12:05 – Aurora Jade Finkle contemporary First Nations music
  • 12:25 – Weaselhead contemporary First Nations music

For more information call 613-948-7609 or e-mail