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Alberta

BBC documentary to feature Greta Thunberg’s interview with Mikisew Cree First Nation

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from Mikisew Crew First Nation

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg interviews Mikisew Cree First Nation as part of a BBC documentary set to air in the coming weeks.

October 20, 2018 – Fort McMurray-AB – ​Greta Thunberg spent Saturday with the Mikisew Cree First Nation filming along the shores of Gregoire Lake, near Fort McMurray, AB. Her interviews focused on environmental concerns regarding oil sands development and climate change.

Chief Archie Waquan presented a gift to the 16 year old activist and said, “We are honoured to join forces with a dynamic young person leading the way in protecting our planet from the climate crisis. We can all learn from today’s youth and their dedication to preserving our environment for future generations.”

Councillor Calvin Waquan, Melody Lepine, Greta Thunberg, Chief Archie Waquan

Mikisew is the largest First Nation in the area and is a champion for environmental protection in the region. Mikisew was integral in the creation of a 161-880-hectare conservation park. Kitaskino-Nuwenene Wildland Park is preserved for traditional activities for use by Indigenous Peoples and also protects biodiversity and species at risk. Three Nations Energy is a company in cooperation with government, industry, Metis and AFCN. The project is about to commence phase 2, in the country’s largest off-grid solar project. It will generate the same amount of fuel produced by 800,000 litres of diesel and is expected to be operational by 2020. The Mikisew Cree also monitors harm to the heart of Mikisew homelands with a community based monitoring program. The group of guardians observe water quantity and quality, changes to ice and snow, and fish and wildlife health.

Melody Lepine, Director of Government and Industry Relations added, “Working with Miss Thunberg and the BBC is a major opportunity for the Mikisew Cree First Nation to share with the world how climate change is exacerbating environmental impacts in our region.”

 

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Alberta

Alberta’s Walker into Hearts semifinal with 9-8 win over Manitoba’s Jones

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CALGARY — Alberta’s Laura Walker advanced to the semifinal of the Canadian women’s curling championship with a 9-8 win over Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones in Sunday’s tiebreaker game.

Walker faces defending champion Kerri Einarson in an afternoon semifinal with the winner taking on Ontario’s Rachel Homan for the championship at night.

Jones missed an attempted double takeout in the 10th end, which left Walker an open draw to score three for the win in the tiebreaker.

Manitoba and Alberta were tied for third at 9-3 after the championship round, which required a tiebreaker game to solve.

Jones, a six-time champion at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, was chasing a record seventh title.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Let ‘er buck: Study suggests horses learn from rodeo experience, grow calmer

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CALGARY — Rodeo fans love the thrill of a bronc exploding into the ring, cowboy temporarily aboard. How the horse feels about it hasn’t been so clear.

Newly published research out of the University of Calgary looks at three years of roughstock events from that city’s Stampede in an attempt to peer inside the mind of an animal about to let ‘er buck.

“I try to understand the animal’s perspective,” said Ed Pajor, a professor of veterinary medicine. “We asked the question whether or not horses find participating in the rodeo to be an adversive experience or not.”

Pajor and his co-authors — Christy Goldhawk from the University of Calgary and well-known animal behaviourist Temple Grandin — studied 116 horses in bareback, novice bareback, saddle bronc and novice saddle bronc events. They looked at animals about to be loaded into a trailer and taken to the ring. They also observed how the horses behaved while in the chute waiting to be unleashed.

Horses have all kinds of ways of showing they’re unhappy, Pajor said. They might move back and forth, chew their lips, swish their tail, defecate, roll their eyes, paw the ground, toss their head, or rear up in protest.

The researchers found that the more people were around them, the more likely the horses were to show unease. That’s probably because they spend most of their time in fields and pastures and aren’t used to the bustle, Pajor said.

The other factor that affected behaviour was experience. If it wasn’t their first rodeo, the horses were much less likely to act up.

“We didn’t see a lot of attempts to escape. We didn’t see a lot of fear-related behaviours at all,” Pajor said. “The animals were pretty calm.

“The animals that had little experience were much more reactive than the animals that had lots of experience.”

There could be different reasons for that, he suggested.

“We don’t know if that’s because they’re used to the situation or whether that’s because of learned helplessness — they realize there’s nothing they can do and just give up.”

Pajor suspects the former.

“When the cowboys came near the horses, they would certainly react and you wouldn’t really see that if it was learned helplessness.”

The researchers also noted that the horses’ bucking performance, as revealed in the score from the rodeo judges, didn’t seem to be reduced by repeated appearances as it might be if the animals had become apathetic.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the horses are having a good time, said Pajor, who’s also on the Stampede’s animal welfare advisory board. There are a couple of ways of interpreting active behaviour in the chute, he said.

“An animal might be getting excited to perform. Or an animal might be having a fear response.”

“Understanding if animals like to do something is a tricky thing to do.”

Pajor knows there are different camps when it comes to rodeos and animals.

“People have very strong opinions on the use of animals for all kinds of reasons. I think no matter what we’re going to use animals for, we really need to make sure that we treat them humanely.

“My job is to do the research to understand the animals’ perspective.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.

— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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