Alberta Regional AFN Chief Marlene Poitras has been assigned the numbered treaty file. She is also the first female regional chief for the wildrose province, elected by the 47 chiefs of Alberta, and sits on the special chiefs committee on Lands Territories and Resources, and works with National Chief Perry Bellegarde on International affairs.
“The AFN finalized and MOU with the federal government to identify priorites, and to also identify bills that are in the Senate and the House of Commons before the June recess,” Poitras told CKLB.
She also raised issues with the Comprehensive Land Claims Policy, and Specific Land Claims policy during her meetings with Prime Minsiter Trudeau, Crown Indigenous Minister Carolyn Bennett and newly appointed Indigenous Services Minsiter Seamus O’Regan.
Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya who is also the AFN Regional Chief for the NWT also participated in those meetings this week in Ottawa.
“The way I look at this whole meeting with the Prime Minsiter is the commitment from his government signing onto the MOU with the AFN, and to work on First Nations priorities outlined not by just the AFN, but regional assemblies and from Chiefs and Councils across the country and the NWT before the writ is dropped next Fall,” said Yakeleya.
Minister O’Regan told the AFN and APTN news that legislation for Indigenous Children’s health and welfare will be introduced in the House of Commons when parliament resumes on January 28, 2019. O’Regan also said clean water for reserves and the Indigenous Languages Act are top priorities for him ahead of the October 2019 federal election.
Yakeleya says he stands in unity and supports the Akaitcho Treaty 8 leadership in their struggle to get a land-claim completed, and he also stands in unity and supports the Dehcho First Nations which includes Metis Councils in their goal to reach a land-claim as well.
— Josh Campbell (@Splash_Campbell) January 15, 2019
Yakeleya is also working to unite the Dene not only in the NWT, Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, but also the distant relative Navajo peoples in the US as one Dene Nation.
Neither Poitras or Yakeleya would say if they had confidence in O’Regan. Neither offered comment on Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould being shuffled by Prime Minsiter Trudeau from Justice to Veteran Affairs.
But, in Wilson-Raybould’s home province of British Columbia, Union of BC Indian Chief’s President Stewart Phillip told media,
“I can tell you with great certainty this disappointing and disturbing decision on the part of the prime minister has reverberated across this country.”
Phillip told anchor Dennis Ward. “Our members in our communities, all of our members, held Jody Wilson-Raybould in high regard.