Southern Chiefs’ Organization preparing documents for Liberal Ministers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 25, 2016 (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – The upcoming Liberal Biennial Convention May 26-28, 2016 at the Winnipeg RBC Convention Center will be a catalyst clarifying the “Nation to Nation” promise to First Nations made by Prime Minister Trudeau. Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) has prepared documents to be presented to the Ministers and Members of Parliament that identifies our thoughts on Education, CFS, Gaming, International Investment, Urban Reserves, Treaties and on pipelines.

SCO Grand Chief Terrance Nelson states “It is a call to action that not everyone will agree to, however, it is necessary to clarify the action plan, not just talk about action, Canada had $2.8 trillion worth of exports in the last six years, 75% of which went to United States, it is time to talk payment, not just funding at the discretion of governments”

Liberal Ministers and Party Members from across Canada gather with the stated purpose of the convention being, “An ultimate gathering of Liberals from across Canada to prepare the party for the next election and decide who will take charge of Party organization at the National Board level. With regards to policy, this is where Liberal members will have an opportunity to discuss Party members’ resolutions that could become future policy.” SCO is aware that up to twenty percent of the resolutions will be on Indigenous Peoples issues.

Grand Chief Nelson states:

“Federal government policies must stop creating an economic and cultural wasteland for First Nations. Address the long standing concerns and stop using policy band aids. Real solutions start when immigrant governments respect the rights of the first peoples, the First Nations to not just be involved in government solutions but respects the right of the First Nations to take action as sovereign original people whose authority is inherent not delegated by others.”

“…graduation level in Manitoba was pegged at 30 per cent…”

70% of First Nation students in Manitoba are not graduating

71% of inmates in Manitoba are indigenous

$300 per day to incarcerate an inmate

Indigenous student’s tuition in local control (on reserve) schools is about $4,100 per year or $20.50 per day (200 school days per year)

Unemployment in 32 SCO reservations is between 60 to 95%, average welfare rate per single (on reserve) person is $240 per month, or less than three thousand dollars per year, approximately five times below poverty line

10,300 children in CFS in Manitoba, 87% of those children in care are indigenous

 Definition of Genocide in the

1948 United Nations Genocide Act

Article 2

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • (a) Killing members of the group;
  • (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

“Why isn’t Canada facing a charge of Genocide if conditions of life for First Nations has been known for decades and if Canada has been deliberate in inflicting those conditions. If 70% of indigenous students in Manitoba are not graduating and tuition rates for indigenous student’s education is only 20 dollars per day, that is not just a Human Rights violation, it is a deliberate Act of Genocide.

As former Chief of Roseau River, I could not wait for a national AFN solution to the underfunding of our students. For years, I tried to get Frontier School Division into Roseau River, INAC Manitoba Regional Office refused to allow it. We worked with Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Center and the Conservatives. Lorne Keeper, head of MFNERC was able to get an agreement with Ottawa to up tuition rates at Roseau River from $4,100 to $18,000 per year. All First Nations students need to have schools and education funding comparable to this.

Do not apologize for the Residential School system, if you don’t mean it, do not cry for the Murdered and Missing women if you are going to continue to deny our youth jobs. Our youth do not stand a chance if 70% of them won’t graduate from High School. I as Grand Chief of Southern Chiefs’ Organization want to thank all the people who are standing up for the education rights of our young people. Real solutions start with the youth having equality in education. Canada had $2.8 trillion worth of exports in the last six years. Education funding is not a gift to indigenous people.” – Grand Chief Nelson


For further information

SCO Grand Chief Terrance Nelson

204-233-7730 /

Documents located at: