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Canada's indigenous people at turning point as Idle No More protests continue

The details have not been finalized, but Canada's Prime Minister, the Governor General and indigenous representatives are meeting on Friday, January 11.

This in reaction to an unprecedented series of protests and hunger strikes loosely organized under the banner of the 'Idle No More' movement. Primarily focussed on the First Nation Indian indigenous people, it has also had echoes among the Inuit and Métis of Canada, as well as the Canadian mainstream.

It started with a tweet on Twitter and the hashtag #IdleNoMore. Then it expanded into a national day of action, and is now a pan-Canadian movement. As well a hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence in Ottawa, has pushed Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Queen's representative the Governor General to agree to meetings on January 11, something that initially did not seem to be probable.

The success of the 'Idle No More' movement has also raised questions about how representative the government-funded Assembly of First Nations (AFN) of chiefs is of the entire First Nations indigenous community.

RCI's Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to Dr Taiaiake Alfred about the turning point facing indigenous people and Canada.  Dr Alfred is a professor of indigenous governance at Canada's University of Victoria.

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Girl Guides of Canada, new leader, new uniform, new directions

The Girls Guides of Canada has a new leader, and is also showing off a brand new uniform for girls aged five to 18.

Sharron Callahan of Newfoundlane and Labrador is the new and recently installed Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada
She has been involved with Canadian Guiding from her own childhood first as a brownie, then later in life in a variety of leadership roles.

To talk about the new uniforms and modern additions to the focus of guiding, RCI's Marc Montgomery spoke to Chief Commissioner Callahan earlier this week

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Canadian teens stressed out

Students in Toronto report feeling stress and anxiety that drives them to tears and to lose sleep. A wide-ranging survey of 103,000 students by the Toronto District School Board found they are uncertain and worried about their future. These results will be used by the board to plan future strategy for its already-existing mental health services.

In answering questionnaires, almost 60 per cent of students in Grades 7 and 8 said they worried about their future all the time or sometimes. By high school the percentage grew to 73 per cent.

Teens reported feeling tired, having trouble concentrating or making decisions. Almost half didn’t believe they could get over their difficulties and one in three wanted to cry all the time.

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1988 Calgary Olympics ‘greatest Winter Games of all time’, CBC host argues

Scott Russell remembers the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics as the “time when Canadians fell in love with all winter sports”.

The CBC Sports Weekend senior host argues that “the cast of characters” assembled at those games made them the greatest ever.

“We were exposed to great international stars from many sports, not just from hockey. Canadians embraced the Winter Olympic Games and fell in love with them because of Calgary in 1988,” he says.

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Canada reverses position on asbestos

Canada has will stop defending asbestos internationally. The federal government announced it will no longer block international efforts to add the cancer-causing mineral to a United Nations list of hazardous substances. In addition, the provincial government in the province of Quebec will cancel a multi-million dollar loan it promised to revive an asbestos mine there. RCI’s Lynn Desjardins spoke with jubilant activists.

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