By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-U.S. officials were keeping an eye on Kanesatake, the Mohawk community at the centre of the Oka crisis, during the winter of 2004 following a failed, federal government-sponsored raid using dozens of First Nations police officers from other parts of Quebec, a U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks shows.On Jan. 12, 2004, the 67 police officers descended on the community armed with submachine guns, automatic rifles, shotguns, a sniper rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition bought with about $62,000 of federal taxpayer money.The raid ended in disaster after the police officers found themselves inside the local police headquarters trapped and surrounded by local community members.A January 14, 2004, cable sent from the U.S. consulate in Montreal, notes that the raid had the potential of major violence.Quoting from a conversation between Georges Beauchemin, the secretary-general of Quebec’s Public Security Ministry and U.S. Quebec City consul General Keogh-Fisher, it notes events were a trigger-pull away from turning bloody.“The situation in Kanesatake had been very dangerous, ‘with both sides armed and ready to shoot,’” the cable said. “However (Beauchemin) said that outside intervention by Quebec provincial police would have been seen as an invasion and ‘pushed good guys on the side of bad guys.’”The raid was planned by former Kanesatake Chief James Gabriel who had received $900,000 two months earlier from the federal Liberal government to fight “organized crime” in the community.Gabriel’s house was burned the ground that January day and he was forced to flee along with his family.Gabriel “was lucky to have escaped with his life,” the cable said, Beauchemin said the situation was a trigger-pull away from turning bloody, the cable said.Beauchemin then told Keogh-Fisher that the answer the situation in the community was a “more structured, efficient police organization which could produce evidence that will stand up in court in order that criminals in Kanesatake could be prosecuted,” according to the cable.Quebec’s public security minister at the time, Jacques Chagnon, managed to broker a deal allowing the trapped police officers to leave the community with an escort of Kahnawake Peacekeepers from the sister Mohawk community, which also sits near Montreal.The cable also wondered whether Quebec Premier Jean Charest was motivated to broker a quick end to the conflict because he was about to depart for Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum.“Cynics have suggested that Premier Charest was anxious to avert a major crisis before his trip to Davos…next week. He may have been reminded that the 1990 Oka stand-off received considerable negative publicity in Europe, where there is strong public sympathy and fascination for the culture and plight of North American native populations,” stated the cable.The cable, however, warned that a quick peace only pushed back the date of an inevitable show-down in Kanesatake.“While the Charest government’s intervention may have precluded a violent clash this week, the possibility remains that confrontations have only been deferred,” the cable stated.The botched raid caused considerable controversy as both the RCMP and the Quebec government distanced themselves from incident. The Quebec government said there was no need for it and the RCMP said the level of organized crime in Kanesatake was no different than anywhere else in the province.After it took power in Ottawa, the Conservative government launched an audit into the former Liberal government’s spending around the Kanesatake police force and the raid.The report, done by auditing firm Navigant Consulting, concluded that the federal Liberal government did not consult with the RCMP before the raid and were also told Quebec’s provincial police would not participate. The report found that the federal Public Safety department was warned the planned raid would trigger a violent reaction.The report also found that Indian Affairs channeled money to Gabriel for policing, even when there was no funding agreement, without consulting Treasury Board.The 2004 botched raid was a culmination of events that began after the tanks and soldiers left Kanesatake in 1990.Years after the Oka crisis, the federal government continued to explore ways to ensure a similar event never happened again.In 1994, it drew up then cancelled military plans to invade Kanesatake and its sister communities of Kahnawake and Akwesasne.In May 1999, Kingston OPP detained a man named Richard Walsh who had sensitive intelligence files in his possessions. Walsh had a rap sheet and had just finished a secret contract with the Kanesatake band as an undercover agent to dig up information on community members.He even posed as a Kanesatake police officer and obtained the military file of former Kanesatake police chief Tracy Cross from CFB Petawawa.Indian Affairs approved at least $25,000 in spending toward Walsh’s activities, according to a 2002 band council resolution calling for an inquiry into the Walsh email@example.comThe cableDownload (PDF, Unknown)
(Clayton Tootoosis. Facebook photo)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA 22-year-old Cree man says he is planning to burn the Canadian flag on Canada Day to symbolize a “cleansing” of Indigenous lands.Clayton Tootoosis, from the Onion Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, said he plans to torch the Maple Leaf on the community’s sports grounds which is the site of the planned July 1 celebrations.“The burning of the flag symbolizes the cleansing of our land, the removal of the Canadian image to stop the confusion that the Canadian government has imposed on us,” he said.Tootoosis, who has contemplated running for chief of his community, said the protest is not aimed at individuals Canadians.“It’s not the people of Canada, it is just what Canada is trying to do,” said Tootoosis. “They are trying to make us forget our culture and our heritage.”Tootoosis said the government’s recent decision to rename the Indian Affairs department as Aboriginal Affairs shows Ottawa hasn’t stopped trying to erase the identities of First Nations people.“The word Aboriginal they are trying to impose on us is meant to put us all together in one box,” said Tootoosis. “We are all different; we have our own distinct culture.”He believes assimilation is even being pushed at the school-level on reserves.“Today’s First Nations schools are modern day Indian residential schools. They use the same assimilation, colonization policies as in the beginning of the Indian residential schools,” he said. “The policy is to kill the Indian in the child. We don’t decide what’s taught in our schools. That is why our children grow up confused, believing they are Canadian when in fact we are a nation within a nation, sovereign and self-governing.”Tootoosis said there is little open support in the community for his plans to set fire to the flag, but he believes fear keeps people from backing his act.“I asked some people and they said they wouldn’t, that they would be afraid of what the consequences would be,” he said.Tootoosis, however, is part of a small, but growing movement among some Indigenous youth in the province who have begun to challenge the established political leadership in their communities.Tootoosis said First Nations communities are in a “state of crisis” and the existing political leadership is failing the people.Tootoosis is connected to a group youth in the Poundmaker Cree Nation who recently challenged their band leadership and posted the results on YouTube. Tootoosis’ cousin Colby Tootoosis filmed the event that saw band leaders walk out on weeping youth.“In other communities, the youth are starting to be more vocal for change,” he said. “Here, people are afraid of it. I encounter a lot of resistance because of what I talk about and the ideas I have that scares them and they are not really willing to look at it.”firstname.lastname@example.org
Willow FiddlerAPTN News They say it takes a community to raise a child- but what happens when children have to leave their communities for an education?Tanisha Chikane left her home and family in North Caribou Lake First Nation, to attend Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay 500 km to the south.She was only 14 years old at the time.“That was hard,” she said. “I didn’t have anybody to look out for me for a while and I had to learn to look out for myself.”Now, Tanisha is being celebrated for her accomplishments.The valedictorian just graduated with 23 of her classmates.The reality for many First Nations in northern Ontario means students have to leave their communities to attend high school.Aaron Guthrie has been a teacher at DFC for nine years.“They’re the ones who’ve made the sacrifice, who’ve said I want to graduate high school and I’m going to put my life on hold,” Guthrie said.He said that also means saying goodbye to parents, siblings and sometimes their own children to move away.High school can be a challenging time for any student and that’s no exception at DFC. Students often travel hundreds of kilometers by plane and road to get to Thunder Bay.Visits home are limited to holidays.Valedictorian Tanisha Chikane and her daughter Baelee. Tanisha plans to pursue welding in college. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTNTanisha became a mother at 15. She had to leave her daughter Baelee at home with family so she could finish high school.“My mother wouldn’t let me drop out so, she wouldn’t sign the papers,” Tanisha said with a chuckle.She said she focused on her assignments and gave it her all for one reason.“My daughter. I figured since I’m out here I should do my best,” Tanisha said.Guthrie said the students need a supportive community to succeed. At DFC, that means having staff who are committed and dedicated to student life outside of the classrooms.“I tell people all the time I’m not just a teacher. I feel like I’m a part-time teacher, part-time social counselor, part-time friend, part-time parent, part-time coach like we play a lot of roles in our student’s lives,” Guthrie said.Miguel Quequish, also from North Caribou Lake First Nation, faced his own challenges throughout high school.Five years ago, his sister Cheyanne died by suicide.“It was kinda hard the first two years,” Miguel said about her death.“She was like a mom to me. She would always make sure I was well-fed, made sure I made it to school on time.”Miguel Quequish from North Caribou Lake First Nation lost a brother and sister to suicide. They told him to never give up on his education and he plans to go to college in the fall. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTNThen last October, his brother Trevor also died by suicide.Miguel said he wanted to give up.“It was hard to go back to school. I didn’t feel like going, I didn’t feel like coming out to DFC,” Miguel said through tears.“But the staff and other fellow students helped me pull through and I would like to them for that.”The needs of the students at DFC are diverse and unique but it’s also what brings them together as a community.“We know the kids don’t have their parents with them here, we know that they might need an extra hand, we understand that the majority of our students are coming with some type of traumatic life experience in their back pocket,” Guthrie said.Destiny Fiddler, a young mother from Sandy Lake First Nation, left her daughter at home with her family so she could get her high school diploma. Destiny is going to pursue nursing so she can work in northern communities. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTNDestiny Fiddler became a young mother two years ago.She came to DFC to graduate last year while her daughter Creelyn stayed home with her family in Sandy Lake First Nation, 600 km northwest of Thunder Bay.She stayed connected to her daughter through FaceTime calls and short visits home.“I kept telling myself and people kept telling me that I was doing it for my daughter and her future,” Destiny said.The future is something Alaina Sakchekapo is excited about. When we first met her two years ago, she had already lived in seven different boarding homes.“Because I didn’t have a stable boarding home, DFC was my stable place,” Alaina said at the graduation ceremony.Alaina kept busy with sports, academics and extracurricular activities. She most recently traveled to Parliament Hill in Ottawa where the students met with political leaders to discuss their needs.“It was very humbling and it really broadened my horizons of what I can do,” she said about her involvement at DFC.Alaina Sakchekapo from North Caribou Lake First Nation lived in 13 different boarding homes while attending high school in Thunder Bay. She is getting her own place with her sister and going to college in the fall. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTNAlaina said she is planning to stay in Thunder Bay to work for the summer and wants to pursue university to become a teacher – she’s already found her own apartment with her sister.“I’m adulting,” she said with excitement.Miguel said he hopes his brother and sister are proud of him.“They would always threaten me, better finish or else I’m going to break your Xbox or my sister would be like don’t come home until you get that diploma,” he said laughing.Miguel said he doesn’t intend to quit now either, he plans to attend college in the fall.Tanisha said she is also planning to go to college to pursue welding – a skill she picked up thanks the trades program at DFC.While some students have their eyes set on college and university, Guthrie said that’s not always a priority for students.“They’ve been away from home since they were 14 years old and they yearn to go back to live on the land,” he said about the importance of returning home.“To reconnect with their parents and their siblings and their grandparents and you can’t blame them for that.”Valedictorian Tanisha Chikane from North Caribou Lake First Nation. Photo: Willow Fiddler/APTNIn her valedictorian speech, Tanisha said it helped to be in a supportive environment with her peers.“Being around everyone and being a First Nations person gives me such motivation to do the best I can, at all I do,” she said.Both Destiny and Alaina said while they are sad to leave the school they are grateful for the experience.“They make you feel like you’re family right away,” Destiny said, who plans to pursue nursing so she can work in northern communities.Alaina said she is leaving with many great memories but one thing stands out for her.“The people that have helped take care of me while I was out here,” she said.But at the end of the day, it’s the students who deserve the diplomas they’ve worked hard for.“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it,” Tanisha email@example.com@willowblasizzo
Martha TroianAPTN NewsA Crown corporation at the centre of sexual abuse allegations against Indigenous women in northern Manitoba did not begin to formally record incidents of abuse, harassment or discrimination by its project workers until a little over five years ago, APTN News has learned.Serious allegations were raised last summer against Manitoba Hydro by an arms-length agency of the Manitoba government but the corporation did not systematically monitor negative worker interactions until as late as 2012, according to documents accessed through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).Recently, nine cases of sexual assault at Hydro’s Keeyask generating station were investigated by RCMP, leading to four men being charged with sexual assault.All of this comes after a 165-page report was released by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, reporting that Hydro workers allegedly sexually assaulted nearby Fox Lake community members in the 1960s.(MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee at a rally in Winnipeg. Photo: Martha Troian/APTN) “It is shocking that [Hydro] only started taking records in 2012. And the history of these projects go back 50 years. Why did it take so long to begin recording incidents?” said Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Garrison Settee.“It is shocking to know that they only started recording that.”MKO is the political organization that represents northern Manitoba First Nations. Four of those communities partnered with Keeyask Hydropower, a hydroelectric generating station on the lower Nelson River.“I seen women raped” — Report alleges hydro development led to abuse in ManitobaPeople march on Manitoba legislature demanding changes to how Manitoba Hydro does businessMKO is calling on the province to hold a public inquiry into the historical and current allegations of sexual violence, racism and discrimination at past and present hydroelectric projects in the north.Sexual abuse and discrimination not “formally or systematically recorded”Prior to 2012, Hydro did not formally or systematically record allegations of abuse, harassment, or discrimination by project workers.“Hydro employees might have received, been aware of, or even acted upon an incident or allegation. It is clear that there was no standard operating procedure, instruction, or program related to these incidents. Any records created would have been in transitory and likely destroyed once a project was complete,” according to the FIPPA documents.In addition, record management practices and legal requirements have changed dramatically since the 1980s.Sandra D. Phillips from Manitoba Hydro Legal Services prepared the response.(Manitoba Hydro building in Winnipeg. Photo: Jesse Andrushko/APTN)APTN initially asked for a list of all senior management and board of directors from 1950 to 1980 who may have been involved in any or all complaints to do with any of the allegations.It was told publication of any individuals employed as managers with connection to any historical allegations of abuse could inappropriately and unfairly damage their reputations and expose them to public condemnation, ridicule and harm. It could also threaten or harm their mental health, well-being and physical safety.“Hydro does not have a readily available record identifying all of the individuals employed as department or division managers, or the equivalent predecessor roles or titles [for the time period],” Phillips wrote.Power Failure: The impacts of hydro dams in Northern Manitoba$21,000 retrieval fees for documentsManitoba Hydro also informed APTN it has more than 2,400 boxes of paper records pertaining to the construction of generating stations in northern Manitoba, which are kept in an off-site storage facility. Since none of those documents have any specific reference to complaints of abuse, discrimination, or harassment in their index, a manual search would be required.Phillips estimated the cost of going through those documents would be $21,000, adding conducting such a search would unreasonably interfere with its operations.“It’s sad. Not everyone can come up with $21,000 to pursue that information,” said Settee.“For anyone to access this information, it should be free.”Manitoba Hydro president designated head under FIPPAAPTN filed several FIPPA requests related to this matter. One of them asked who was behind the decision-making process to not fully comply with its request.(Kelvin Shepherd, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro)In its response, Phillips wrote that under FIPPA, the ”head” of a public body is responsible for the administration of the act, including the processing of requests and decisions to grant or refuse access.In the case of Hydro, its president is the designated head under FIPPA.“Every access decision of Manitoba Hydro is reviewed and approved by the president prior to release,” Phillips wrote.Dean Beeby, a journalist and expert in freedom-of-information laws, is not surprised by the lawyer’s response, given a minister or president may be responsible for the operations of the access to information act.Still, he questions its practicality.“Those decisions are never run by the minister. The minister just turns over the entire file to the authorized delegated person to make those decisions,” said Beeby.“And that’s not how it works in practice. Nobody heading up a major organization would have enough time and concentration to deal with that kind of freedom of information issue.”(Nathan Neckoway says there are many cases of abuse of men and women. Photo courtesy Nathan Neckoway)Nathan Neckoway, a councillor with Tataskweyak First Nation, which is one of the partners with Keeyask Hydropower, said it is not over when it comes to addressing all of these allegations and First Nations members concerns.“There are so many cases that occur, [and] not only with the women but with the guys. This discrimination, harassment and abuse happens at all levels, and to all members,” said Neckoway.“Our voices are finally being heard and we’re in a position of trying to push it even more.”firstname.lastname@example.org@ozhibiiige
Allen Denton Posted: October 4, 2018 Allen Denton, ‘An Evening With Buck Sexton’ featuring John Cox, and Diane Harkey Updated: 9:45 AM Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Decision 2018, Diane Harkey, John Cox FacebookTwitter October 4, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsKUSI’s Allen Denton was live at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe for An Evening With Buck Sexton..Allen spoke to GOP Gubernatorial candidate John Cox, 49th Congressional District candidate Diane Harkey, and Buck Sexton himself.The “Ride the Wave” themed event will feature guest speaker Buck Sexton, nationally recognized political commentator, former CIA intelligence officer, national security and counterterrorism expert, author, frequent guest on Fox News and guest host for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. He is the host of The Buck Sexton Show, a syndicated, weekday radio show heard on over 100 U.S. stations and co-hosts “Rising”, the flagship television show on the recently launched TheHill.com TV channel.
pic.twitter.com/SzQCuftaSu— Rep. Duncan Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) February 8, 2019RELATED STORY: Judge: Navy SEAL who killed ISIS prisoner remains in custodyFamily of jailed Navy SEAL speaks out about the accusations February 8, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News Posted: February 8, 2019 FacebookTwitter Mike McKinnon III Mike McKinnon III, Updated: 10:53 AM Met with Sean Gallagher today in my DC office, brother of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, regarding my letter to @POTUS @realDonaldTrump on Eddie’s case and his upcoming appearance tomorrow morning on @foxandfriends. Don’t miss it. @DonaldJTrumpJr @PeteHegseth pic.twitter.com/e576o0C3ph— Rep. Duncan Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) February 7, 2019 Brother of accused Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher: “The system is broken” Thursday, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter met with Sean Gallagher, the brother of accused Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.Congressman Hunter and Congressman Gaetz recently wrote a letter to President Trump to “express our dismay and strong concern for the pending legal matter regarding Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Eddie Gallagher, USN a devoted husband, loving father and American war hero, who has served our nation faithfully for over 19 years.”Congressman Hunter and Gaetz noted there was a chance the trial could be postponed and Chief Gallagher could remain in the pretrial confinement conditions and environment at the Miramar Brig for over 14 months.Friday morning, Sean Gallagher went on Fox and Friends to explain the situation his brother is in and why he needs the President of the United States to free Eddie. The segment was tweeted out by Congressman Hunter, you can watch it below.
Kolkata: In a tragic incident, an 8-year-old girl from Bhatpara in North 24-Parganas died while enacting a scene that she had recently watched in a television serial.A pall of gloom descended over the family members of the victim and the neighbours as the news of the little girl reached the neighbourhood. Her parents are still to recover the shock they had gone through. The victim, Puja Majumdar (8) was a class II student, who had picked up the habit of watching serials as she used to see her family members involved in a similar activity. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsBut her parents could never expect that this habit of watching television would be this fatal for the child.It is suspected that she was trying to enact a scene of strangulation when a piece of cloth got stuck around her throat resulting in choking. Police are yet to confirm the exact reason that led to her death. They said the victim girl, a resident of Natunpally area of Bhatpara under Barrackpore sub-division, was alone inside a room when the incident took place. Some of the family members found that he was hanging against a window on Monday evening. She was immediately rushed to Bhatpara state general hospital where the doctors pronounced her brought dead. After being informed, police reached the house and started a detailed probe into the incident. The body was later sent for post-mortem. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the preliminary investigation, police have come to know that the child was rebuked by her mother on Sunday.On Monday morning, she went to the house of one of her neighbours to watch television.Since her return, she was inside a room and did not talk to the family members. People thought she might have been playing with her toys as she often does.Her mother was away from home on Monday evening while her elder sister was studying in another room when the incident occurred.Police are yet to investigate if the child committed suicide after being rebuked by her mother or it was the result of the enactment of a TV serial scene.Police are also probing whether it is an accident that happened while playing with a piece of cloth. The family members of the victim told the police that she used to watch various crime related serials and often enacted them.
The letter added: “As part of the maintenance requirements, it is necessary to undertaker vegetation clearances which includes includes strimming and grass cutting to the verges and central reservation on the A50. “The works are essential to ensure forward visibility for the travelling public. “To maximise the use of these lane closures and to minimise further disruption, we will combine other work activities within the same lane closures.” Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or get the Android version from Google Play. Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram. Driver named following fatal collision Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailMotorists are being advised to expect delays due to planned lane closures on the A50 in North Staffordshire. Balfour Beatty will be carrying out ‘vegetation clearance’ on the dual carriageway between the A521 Meir Interchange and the A521 Tean/Blythe Marsh roundabout for four nights. As a result there will be lane closures on both the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the A50 (Blythe Bridge Bypass) between 8pm and 5am each night – with the A521 Eastbound entry slip road also completely closed while work is carried out. Work is set to begin on the evening of Tuesday April 23. In a letter Balfour Beatty, who maintain the A50 between Meir Interchange in Stoke-on-Trent and Sawley Interchange in Leicestershire on behalf of Highways England, said they were unable to carry out the work during ‘peak times during the day time’. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Punter found hiding in bushes Police search for missing woman
Share Posted by Monday, August 22, 2016 Those familiar with Canadians’ travel habits to the Hawaiian Islands know that the 2016 peak travel season is upon us, and with a dollar that has made travel to Hawaii more of a challenge this year, there may be no better time than the present for agents to brush up on their Hawaii selling skills.Here to help is the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s (HVCB) Official Hawaii Destination Specialist Program. This tiered program will help you sell Hawaii like you never have before while at the same time providing the opportunity to gain exclusive Hawaii benefits. And if you sign up and complete Level 1 of the Official Hawaii Destination Specialist Program through Travelweek’s Learning Centre (travelweeklearningcentre.ca) before the end of 2016 you will also be eligible to win a five-night stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.The Official Hawaii Destination Specialist Program is a self-guided course that delivers in-depth knowledge and insights into the Hawaiian Islands as well as effective sales tips to transform agents into booking pros. Best of all, the program is free, online and mobile-friendly so agents can take it anytime, anywhere and at their own pace.During the course travel professionals will learn uncommon details about the destination’s six distinctive islands, how to match different travellers’ profiles with their perfect Hawaiian vacations and practical tips for cross selling and upselling Hawaii to maximize revenue. This expertise is an important element in building credibility with clients – which results in increased bookings, greater commission and more repeat business.Once Level 1 of the program is complete, agents will then earn Hawaii Destination Specialist designation and gain exclusive benefits, including consumer referrals, specialist only-webinars, one-year subscription to HAWAII MAGAZINE, access to ePostcard Marketing Tool, use of the Hawaii Destination Specialist logo, personalized emails for Hawaiian Islands-Bound Clients.Canadian agents who go through Travelweek’s Learning Centre to become a Destination Specialist will also be entered into a draw for a five-night stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani (agents must complete the program by Dec. 31, 2016).American graduates of the Hawaii Destination Specialist Program had this to say about their experience:“I discovered several new ways to sell Hawaii,” said Patti Lehman, luxury travel advisor, The Travel Agent, Inc. “Each island’s program was informative, user-friendly and easy-to-follow. I found I was able to retain the information more easily.”“The course gives you a fresh insight on what Hawaii is all about. I have been able to convince clients who are already set to go somewhere else…to consider Hawaii instead,” said Rebecca Gaerlan, MCC, owner, A Plus Travel.Beyond the Destination Specialist designation, agents can also become a specialist for a specific island – or all six of them – to achieve Destination Expert status. There’s even a Master Specialist designation upon completion of on-island training. The further agents advance their education, the greater the benefits, including priority ranking on gohawaii.com’s consumer referral tool.On top of the Official Hawaii Destination Specialist Program, agents will also find a host of other tools at their fingertips on HVCB’s website designed specifically for travel professionals, including Island resource pages, What’s New Section: Island Updates, Hawaiian cultural toolkit, Hawaiian language audio dictionary, media centre with library of videos and images, activities and attractions directory, festival and events directory, Explore Hawaii Interactive Travel Guide, downloadable marketing templates, posters and maps, Expressly For Agents e-newsletter and wholesaler listings.Visit agents.gohawaii.com. To access the Official Destination Specialist Program visit travelweeklearningcentre.ca. Tags: Hawaii No better time to become a Hawaii Destination Specialist Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>