Calian and Saulteaux Tribal Nation Partner to Deliver Emergency Management and Preparedness Services to Manitoba First Nations

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Dec. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calian Group Ltd. (TSX: CGY) has partnered with Saulteaux Tribal Nation L.P., a First Nations-owned and operated company in Manitoba, to deliver emergency management services and best practices to other First Nations in the province.

Calian and Saulteaux are formalizing the unique partnership at a signing ceremony today. The unique agreement is designed to help Manitoba’s First Nations increase resilience and emergency management independence, and to build community capacity and economic opportunity.

The partnership represents the changing nature of Indigenous business relationships in Canada and a collective goal to support the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, which urged the corporate sector to adopt a reconciliation framework and commit to meaningful consultation and respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Communities in remote or isolated areas can be disproportionately affected by emergencies or disasters. They can face logistical difficulties in their access to emergency services, for instance. After a flood or storm, infrastructure like roads, electricity and telecommunications networks can take longer to bring back online than communities in less isolated areas. In recent years, First Nations in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba have faced evacuations and states of emergency due to wildfires, storms and floods, highlighting a clear need to increase local resilience and preparedness.

“It is an honour for Calian to be part of such an important partnership, which evolved from our groundbreaking work with the six nations of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council. I look forward to working with Saulteaux to increase community resilience and capacity in the province,” said Donald Whitty, VP Learning, Calian. “These vital services and capacities are needed for communities facing a rising number of disasters.”

“We recognize that, in this day and age, partnerships work very effectively for the private and public sectors to provide necessary capacity. We are excited about the possibility of helping First Nation communities in Manitoba and Canada build resilience and preparedness for any emergency. We recently faced an emergency disaster where we saw the results of our partnership with Calian. With their expertise combined with the capacity of our Interlake Reserves Tribal Council staff, Calian was instrumental in delivering results in response to the snowstorm and power outage that occurred on Thanksgiving weekend. This is all about getting our communities to where they need to be: protected and emergency-ready,” stated Cornell McLean, Saulteaux Chairman and Chief from Lake Manitoba First Nation.

Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer, Saulteaux, added: “We have worked with Calian for the past two years, which has helped us immensely in building the necessary capacity to help weather any future emergency events. With this knowledge and ability, we want to help all communities be ready in an emergency. Most First Nation communities don’t have the infrastructure that all big cities enjoy, which places them at a disadvantage. Having a strong emergency management plan is essential.”

“I would like to congratulate both our Emergency Management team and the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council for leading this meaningful work, for building a strong relationship over several years, and for securing this important agreement for First Nations and Manitoba,” stated Kevin Ford, President and CEO, Calian. “Thank you to all of the Chiefs, Elders and community members who helped make this possible. I am hopeful this is only the beginning as we work towards a long-lasting, results-oriented partnership.”

About Saulteaux Tribal Nation L.P.

Saulteaux Tribal Nation L.P. is a First Nations-owned and operated company whose purpose is to bring emergency management best practices to Manitoba First Nations in partnership with Calian Emergency Management. Saulteaux is a subsidiary of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. (IRTC), a partnership of six Manitoba Interlake communities working together to advance the collective well-being of members from the following communities: Dauphin River First Nation; Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation; Lake Manitoba First Nation; Little Saskatchewan First Nation; Peguis First Nation; and Pinaymootang First Nation.

About Calian Emergency Management

Calian Emergency Management helps people, organizations, governments and communities prepare for events where the consequences of failure are unacceptable. Having undertaken some of the largest and most complex emergency management and security exercise programs in Canada, we combine subject matter expertise with the rigor, resources, and consulting capabilities of a large corporate organization, as well as proprietary tools to deliver a high-quality learning environment. Our team of accredited experts offers a holistic suite of complex, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional emergency management solutions tailored to the needs of any organization. We help clients in their journey to enhance resilience and improve their capabilities and capacity to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies.

About Calian

Calian employs over 3,300 people in its delivery of diverse products and solutions for private sector, government and defence customers in North American and global markets. The Company’s diverse capabilities are delivered through four segments: Advanced Technologies, Health, Learning and Information Technology. The Advanced Technologies segment provides innovative products, technologies and manufacturing services and solutions for the space, communications, defence, nuclear, government and agriculture sectors. The Health segment manages a network of more than 1,800 health care professionals delivering primary care and occupational health services to public and private sector clients across Canada. Learning is a trusted provider of emergency management, consulting and specialized training services and solutions for the Canadian Armed Forces and clients in the defence, health, energy and other sectors. The Information Technology segment supports public- and private-sector customer requirements for subject matter expertise in the delivery of complex IT and cyber security solutions. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Company’s offices and projects span Canada and international markets.

For investor information, please visit our website at or contact us at

Kevin Ford Patrick Houston Media inquiries:
President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Financial Officer Simon Doyle
613-599-8600 613-599-8600 613-599-8600 x 2205


Certain information included in this press release is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Such statements are generally accompanied by words such as “intend”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or similar statements. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things: the impact of price competition; scarce number of qualified professionals; the impact of rapid technological and market change; loss of business or credit risk with major customers; technical risks on fixed price projects; general industry and market conditions and growth rates; international growth and global economic conditions, and including currency exchange rate fluctuations; and the impact of consolidations in the business services industry. For additional information with respect to certain of these and other factors, please see the Company’s most recent annual report and other reports filed by Calian with the Ontario Securities Commission. Calian disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. No assurance can be given that actual results, performance or achievement expressed in, or implied by, forward-looking statements within this disclosure will occur, or if they do, that any benefits may be derived from them.

Immediate Release: “Governments Failed Us” During State of Emergency in Manitoba

November 1, 2019

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council First Nations: “Governments Failed Us” During State of Emergency in Manitoba

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) and its member communities haven’t ended the declared State of Emergency yet, as the communities are still getting conflicting messages from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) on response and recovery costs.

“We have yet to hear back formally on the costs of response that are eligible for reimbursement, as each community is out of pocket a significant amount. When the ISC Regional Office met with us, they shared what was eligible and what wasn’t eligible, but it wasn’t really clear. A lack of clear-cut guidelines and miscommunication from ISC’s Regional Directors are examples of a regional regime that seems to set us up for failure and continues to push pre-decided solutions, rather than having true consultation with us.” Chairman Cornell McLean said.

The IRTC is of the opinion that the current federal and provincial governments failed us.

Chairman Cornell McLean says, “The current policy framework and lack of planning by both federal and provincial governments shows us that there is inferior planning by ISC when compared to municipalities, and the process engaged when they declare an emergency.  Even though no one is ever fully prepared for an emergency crisis, the IRTC really stepped up during this event.  I’d like to thank all the staff and leadership that worked together tirelessly during this difficult time to ensure our people got the supports that were required.  I also understand that communities and organizations like the IRTC are out of pocket millions of dollars.”

IRTC CEO Karl Zadnik maintains, “We’ve decided to go straight to Ottawa to deal with this, because, regionally, the department of ISC has been very hard to deal with and unorganized i administering their policies and communicating them to us clearly.  When a community is being repatriated back, it is supposed to be built back better, not worse.  I understand why our Chiefs are frustrated with the lack of planning and the restrictive framework around policies administered by Indigenous Services Canada.”

IRTC’s member communities are expecting to lift the State of Emergency soon. However, one community, the Dauphin River First Nation was just repatriated on October 30, 2019, so damages are still yet to be determined as well as the feasibility to live there, given the current state of homes and inland flooding.

For immediate questions or concerns please contact CEO, Karl Zadnik, via email:

For Immediate Release: October 15, 2019

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and its staff are working very hard in this emergency management situation. Our heart felt prayers to all those affected. We have been working 12-16 hour shifts to ensure our community members are housed in proper lodging requirements. We ask everyone to be patient during these times.

In some situations, we have had hotels that only were available for 2-3 nights and we are looking at alternative hotel arrangements for those needing them to carry them through. Red Cross is now taking in the new lodging requirements, with priorities focused on, people with medical conditions, the elderly, and parents with children. However, IRTC is trying to find more hotel rooms for those needing them that were originally housed with our arrangements.

Cornell McLean goes on to add, “our communities have been told that October 20,2019 hydro should be back on. I have to comment that IRTC and Red Cross have been working well together to address our emergency needs. While there is no perfect solution, we have been working on the clock non-stop to ensure our people and their needs are taken care of. We continue to look at solutions in this situation so that proper care is administered”.

Red Cross and IRTC continue to collaborate and work together for solutions in these trying times.

For any further questions or concerns please contact Karl Zadnik, Director of Health

Via email:

For Immediate Release: Communities in State of Emergency

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and its member communities: Dauphin River First Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and Pinaymootang First Nation are declaring a state of emergency from the recent and current snow storm underway.

Chairman Cornell McLean shares that “our communities are vulnerable in natural disasters such as these, we cannot wait 72 hours to declare a state of emergency. Especially elders and parents with children. Our tribal council and member communities has led these emergency management developments for years and we have determined this is the time to declare.

”IRTC has been in contact with each community assessing the current damage and needs, the most common themes of being power outages, broken power lines and hydro poles, as well as elders, parents with little children such in the cold with no heat and electricity. Roads are also blocked and covered with snow. We have been organized and working well with each communities leadership to assess needs and respond. “Karl Zadnik, Executive Director.

Chief McLean goes on to add both governments have to focus on our emergency needs and work with us to address these concerns. We are open and committed to working with all levels.

For any questions or immediate concerns please contact Karl Zadnik, email:

Thank You To Our Sponsors – 3rd Annual Golf Tournament

On behalf of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC), we would like to thank you for your generous support and sponsorship for our 3rd Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament held on June 6, 2019.

The golf tournament was a success. The weather was perfect, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Your sponsorship has truly made this year’s tournament fun for all.

We were able to distribute a total of $12,000 to our Member First Nation Communities to be distributed to their top students.

It is in our sincere hope that you will join us again in 2020 where we create an even bigger and better event.

If you have any questions regarding sponsorship, monetary or merchandise donation or registration, please contact Donna Hall at (204) 956-7413.


AFN Supports Supports the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Demand for Consultations for the Outlet Channel Project in Manitoba

TTAWAJune 12, 2019 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde fully supports Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) in its demand that the Government of Manitoba halt all work on the Outlet Channel Project around Lake St. Martin. The IRTC states that there was an agreement with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister to consult with First Nations that is not being honoured.

“I fully support the position of Interlake Reserves Tribal Council that the Government of Manitobato consult with the First Nations affected by the Outlet Channel Project,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “The construction of the Outlet directly affects their lands and livelihoods and that means First Nations have a right to be consulted. We must ensure these rights are respected, upheld and honoured by the Crown, and that includes the right to free, prior and informed consent as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

In 2017, Premier Pallister promised that consultations with Indigenous communities on the Outlet Channels Project would be the most comprehensive in the history of Manitoba, and committed to the affected communities that they would share in the economic opportunities arising from construction of the project. The IRTC has discovered a 23-kilometre route in the Interlake was cleared in preparation for a channel from Lake St. Martin to Lake Winnipeg, but were not informed by the government of Manitoba and are not aware if the necessary approvals were obtained.

“Despite a written agreement, the Government of Manitoba has stopped all funding for consultations with the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and our member communities” says IRTC Chairman and Chief Cornell McLean of Lake Manitoba First Nation. “Since January 2018, the province’s actions don’t look like the actions of a government that has a genuine commitment to consult with Indigenous communities.”

Karl Zadnik, IRTC Chief Executive Officer, stated: “The government of Manitoba illegally cleared the right-of-way for the channel, even before the environmental assessment has been filed, and they refuse to start the necessary traditional land use studies.”

“We have been pushing for more than a year for resources to start the studies necessary to assess the impacts of the Channels Project on our Treaty and Aboriginal rights,” said Chief Cornell McLean. “These studies must be included in Environmental Impact Statement. Without these studies, the Project cannot move forward. We do not understand why the Province is refusing to undertake these studies. We are tired of attending meetings where nothing is moving forward and we are fed platitudes by the Province, with actions on the ground that don’t match. Frankly, the province is setting itself up for failure on this Channel Project.”

The IRTC says there has been no funding for Traditional Land Use (TLU) studies or consultations with First Nations for about two years. The TLU studies are required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to proceed with the work on the Outlet Channel Project. The IRTC states that Right of Way clearing and other work has taken place prior to impact assessment without any consultation with First Nations.

Canada supports Interlake Reserves Tribal Council efforts to combat climate change risks

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

February 13, 2019 — Winnipeg, MANITOBA — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Climate change is one of the greatest collective challenges Canada faces as a nation. The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nation communities to tackle climate change, grow the economy, and ensure a more sustainable and prosperous future for Canada.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced an investment of $814,000 to the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council to help reduce risks from climate-related hazards such as flooding and wildfires.

With this investment, the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is undertaking a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment to support the development of an emergency management framework to mitigate extreme flooding events within its six First Nation communities. These communities are: Dauphin River First Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and Pinaymootang First Nation.

The First Nation Adapt program provides funding to First Nation communities located below the 60th parallel to assess and respond to climate change impacts on community infrastructure and emergency management.

“The impacts of climate change are not in the distant future, they have arrived. The Government of Canada is proud to partner with Interlake Reserves Tribal Council in taking important steps to plan for and adapt to the new realities in our environment.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and its 6 member communities have been at the fore front when dealing with emergency management and the natural disasters caused by climate change. In 2011 our communities were flooded out by a man made emergency outlet channel to save the City of Winnipeg and we were the ones impacted. With this initiative not only will we be able plan and prepare but combined with our Emergency Operations this will help us become even more resilient. We also want to partner with nearby towns and municipalities to help everyone in the region

Chief Cornell McLean
Chairman of Interlake Reserves Tribal Council

Quick facts

  • The First Nation Adapt Program is part of a Budget 2016 commitment to provide $129.5 million over five years to seven federal departments and agencies to implement programming focused on building the science base to inform decision-making, on protecting the health and well-being of Canadians, on building resilience in the North and Indigenous communities, and on enhancing competitiveness in key economic sectors.
  • The First Nation Adapt program is currently supporting nine community projects in Manitoba First Nations in 2018-2019 with investments of approximately $1.5 million.

IRTC Takes Stand Against Province of Manitoba

OTTAWADec. 4, 2018 /CNW/ – Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) and its member First Nations are disappointed and feel betrayed by Premier Pallister’s recent comments on First Nation consultations on the Outlet Channel Project.

Chief Cornell McLean of Lake Manitoba First Nation, and Chairman for the IRTC states, “If the Premier is serious about getting the Channels Project built quickly, he needs to spend less time making inflammatory statements to the media and more time recommitting his government to partnering with First Nations on the planning and construction of the Project. We haven’t had a meaningful discussion with Province for over a year about this Project.”

In 2017, the Premier promised consultations with Indigenous communities on the Outlet Channels Project would be the most comprehensive in the history of Manitoba and committed that affected communities would share in the economic opportunities arising from the construction of the Project.

Chief McLean explained, “We are starting to see that these may have been empty promises. We were left out of the most recent Project design and build contract awarded by the Province of Manitoba. Time and time again our communities have borne the brunt of flooding. The Outlet Channels Project is no different: our communities’ – the original Ojibwe/Saulteaux Nation – fishing, hunting and continued land and water use will be adversely impacted by the Project.”

Chief McLean continued: “It is frustrating to watch the provincial and federal governments play politics with the Outlet Channels Project, instead of focusing their energy on working with our member communities: Lake Manitoba First Nation, Pinaymootang First Nation, Dauphin River First Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and Little Saskatchewan First Nation. Issues with the devastation caused by the 2011 and 2014 floods still remain unresolved. We all need to make sure that First Nations rights and interests are not ignored in the development of the Channels Project.”

Karl Zadnik, CEO of IRTC says “To avoid the mistakes of the past, it is vital that the Environmental Assessment for the Project include an impact assessment on our Treaty and Aboriginal rights, including fishing, water quality, and an overall cultural impact assessment. Until this is done, the Project can’t be approved by the federal or provincial governments. Yet, the Province and CEAA have so far refused to dedicate sufficient resources to do these studies.”

Chief McLean goes on to say: “We have tried to work with the Province, but our requests have largely fallen on deaf ears. In the meantime, our leadership will continue to work to make sure that the Channels Project does not proceed until the impacts on our rights and on the fishery our people depend on are understood, mitigated and accommodated.”

SOURCE: Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC)

Media Contact :
Karl Zadnik, BComm(Hons), PM Cert.,
Chief Executive Officer,
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council,
Cell: (204) 795-4747,

Fire Prevention Week: Fire Safety Tips

Home Fire Escape Planning

  • Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practised before a fire strikes.
  • A home escape plan should include the following:
    • Two exits from every room in the home – usually a door and a window
    • Properly installed and working smoke alarms
    • A meeting place outside in front of the home where everyone will meet after they exit
    • A call to 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone

Smoke Alarms

  • Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
  • Working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire.
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.


  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.


  • Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.
  • Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires.
  • All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 metre) away from heating equipment.
  • Have a 3-foot (1 metre) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters
  • Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Have a qualified professional install heating equipment.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional.

IRTC Sponsors Men’s WarriorZ Basketball team for 2018 Masters Indigenous Games

August 7, 2018 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council sponsored the Men’s WarriorZ Basketball team to enter the 2018 Masters Indigenous Games (MIG) held in Toronto, ON; on July 12-15. This team ended up winning the Gold Medal and is now the 2018 MIG Champions of North America.

“This was an opportunity to put the best of Manitoba’s Indigenous Basketball community together to represent Manitoba on a National and International stage in the Basketball sport.” Says Chairman Chief Cornell McLean.  “ He also shared “We had representatives from nine (9) different First Nation communities in Manitoba and the nice thing about this team is the WarriorZ basketball team wants to give back to all of IRTC member communities, in the form of basketball camps to produce the best Indigenous athletes in basketball.”

Karl Zadnik, CEO and Pinaymootang First Nation member for IRTC as well as team member for the WarriorZ basketball team shares “this is close to my heart, Basketball was a form of sport that kept me out of trouble in my teenage years and it feels good to help future leaders produce more leaders in sport and athletics. Coming from Point Douglas and Elmwood neighborhoods, this is a sport that can help develop future Manitoba basketball athletes so we support this.  Stay tuned for WarriorZ basketball camps held here in Manitoba!”

For questions or future enquiries please contact Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer at