SCO KICKS OFF 2021 WITH NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION CAMPAIGN FOR TREATY PARTNERS

Time for all governments to walk the reconciliation talk – SCO Grand Chief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 09, 2021

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is starting the New Year with a call to action for the provincial and federal governments. Today, SCO is proud to unveil its New Year’s Resolution Campaign.

“The time is now for less talk and more action when it comes to our priorities with all of our Treaty partners,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “We have been waiting far too long for meaningful reconciliation, and we hope this campaign will draw attention to urgent areas that still need to be addressed by the provincial and federal governments.”

The campaign highlights a number of key issues for First Nation people and our relationships with colonial governments. At the provincial level, SCO is calling for respect of Treaty rights when it comes to harvesting, land rights and gaming. SCO also wants to see a meaningful commitment from Manitoba and to end systemic racism in health care, child welfare, and justice.

At the federal level, SCO is calling for Ottawa commit to ending the severe infrastructure deficit for First Nations, especially when it comes to adequate housing and clean drinking water. SCO also wants to see First Nation people, both on and off-reserve, continue to be prioritized when it comes to access to COVID-19 vaccines.

“I am hopeful that this campaign can draw attention to longstanding issues, and that we can all commit to advancing reconciliation in a meaningful way in 2021. This is a real opportunity for the current governments to walk the talk when it comes to truly mending fences with this land’s First Peoples,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “I would advise that we not miss this chance as lives literally hang in the balance.”

As part of its New Year’s Resolution Campaign, SCO is also calling on the federal government to release and implement a national action plan to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, along with ending systemic racism in national entities such as the RCMP.

“These resolutions have been a long time coming and they will take a great deal of courage and effort to finally make them a reality,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I strongly encourage all of our Treaty partners to affirm their commitment to this process and to leave a lasting legacy of positive change.”

SCO’s New Year’s Resolution Campaign can be seen on media ads on buses, social media, and in newspapers throughout Manitoba. A full list of resolutions is listed below and can also be found on the SCO website at https://scoinc.mb.ca/2021-new-year-for-reconciliation/.

Below is a full list of the Resolutions:

Provincial

Engage in meaningful reconciliation with First Nation people by:

  1. Ending systemic racism in Manitoba’s health care system, prioritizing all First Nation people for COVID-19 vaccination, and working with First Nations as an equal partner in health care delivery.
  2. Respecting treaty rights and self-determination, including legal requirements for consultation with First Nations, including in the areas of:
    • Harvesting and hunting
    • Land rights
    • Gaming.
  3. Ending the claw back of Children’s Special Allowance payments coming from the federal government for children in care.
  4. Committing to stop undermining First Nations’ fundamental rights, including the right to peacefully protest in order to protect our lands, our water, and our people.
  5. Investing in First Nation people and businesses, helping to end centuries of economic apartheid while contributing to economic growth among the youngest growing demographic in the province.

 

Federal:

Engage in meaningful reconciliation with First Nation people by:

  1. Ending the severe infrastructure deficit for First Nations, especially access to clean water and adequate housing.
  2. Prioritizing all First Nation people, on and off reserve, in the national allocation of vaccine doses.
  3. Releasing and implementing a National Action Plan to end systemic violence against Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people, in line with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl’s Calls for Justice.
  4. Ending systemic racism in the RCMP through implementation of strategic planning in consultation with Indigenous leaders or with the creation of an oversight body with Indigenous representation.
  5. Honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, including funding for Indigenous languages equivalent to funding for colonial “official” languages.

 

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The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 80,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

For Media Inquiries:
Caitlin Reid, Manager of Communications, Southern Chiefs’ Organization
(204) 557-2399 | Email: Media@scoinc.mb.ca