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Fireside Chats with Grand Chief Jerry Daniels

The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) launched a weekly radio program in January 2024. “Fireside Chats with Grand Chief Jerry Daniels” airs every Friday evening from 5:30 to 6:00 pm Central Time on NCI FM. It is also available to listen to on this webpage.

The radio program looks at the history, present, and future of SCO. The program is hosted by Grand Chief Daniels. Listeners in the Winnipeg area can tune into NCI at 105.5 FM.

SCO is celebrating 25 years of advocacy in 2024. This radio program helps listeners learn more about the programs, projects, and services we are working on at SCO today.

SCO is broadcasting on NCI, also known as Native Communications Inc. NCI operates in Manitoba as a public broadcaster. It is an Indigenous service organization offering radio programming throughout Manitoba, designed for and by Indigenous people. NCI is also a non-partisan organization.

Fireside Chats with Grand Chief Jerry Daniels

Fireside Chats with Grand Chief Jerry Daniels will air on Friday before the ever-popular Friends on Friday radio program. This is one way we will continue to share information with citizens from SCO member Nations. I encourage everyone to tune in on Friday at 5:30 to learn more about SCO.

Grand Chief Jerry Daniels


#1: Getting to know SCO, aired on January 19, 2024

SCO Grand Chief introduced his new show, provided an introduction to SCO and an overview of what this new radio show will entail. Guests were Chief Cornell McLean of the Lake Manitoba First Nation and Youth Chief Tréchelle Bunn of the Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation.

Click here to listen to episode #1 of Fireside Chats.

#2: Healing and stories of strength and resilience, aired on January 26, 2024

We take a look back at what we learned/witnessed at our recent Survivors’ Healing Gathering, talked about our mental wellness and health programs, ideas on steps we can take to heal, talk about why it’s important, etc. Guests were former Grand Chief Margaret Swan and Carol McCorrister, SCO Director of Mental Health and Wellness.

Click here to listen to episode #2 of Fireside Chats.

#3: Economic reconciliation and community development, aired on February 2, 2024

Grand Chief sits down with Jim Ludlow, President and Chief Executive Officer of the True North Real Estate Development Corporation for a discussion on economic reconciliation and community development. During the second half of the program, we hear from Chief Sheldon Kent and the variety of economic development initiatives underway in the Black River First Nation, in Treaty Five, and with the Southeast Resource Development Council.

Click here to listen to episode #3 of Fireside Chats.

#4: Community development, career paths, and leadership, aired on February 9, 2024

Grand Chief Daniels welcomes our new SCO Community Ambassador Kevin Chief, a member of Minegoziibe Anishinabe. Hear more about where Kevin grew up and his work developing and supporting community. Grand Chief also sits down with architectural interns Darian McKinney (Swan Lake First Nation) and Reanna Merasty (Barren Lands First Nation) to talk more about why they both pursued a career in architecture. These two First Nations youth are a part of the team working on the Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn Project. As February is “I Love to Read Month“, the Grand Chief also asks his guests to share their book recommendations with listeners!

Click here to listen to episode #4 of Fireside Chats.

#5: The sacred teaching of love, aired on February 16, 2024

One of the seven sacred teachings is LOVE. Chief Gordon Bluesky from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation joins host Grand Chief Daniels to reflect on his childhood, his love for his Nation, and how to lead with love. Learn more about how Chief Bluesky survived the Sixties Scoop and went on to become the Chief of his Nation. Grand Chief also sits down with Dr. Sandra DeLaronde, a member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation with roots at the Métis settlement of Duck Bay. Focusing on the teaching of love, Grand Chief discusses what drives Sandra in her decades of advocacy for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse (MMIWG2S+) people.

Click here to listen to episode #5 of Fireside Chats.

#6: Indigenous Justice Awareness Day, aired on February 23, 2024

Chief Lawrence Letander speaks to justice from his perspective of leader of Dauphin River First Nation and as someone with more than a decade of experience working with the RCMP. Chief Letander shares about his childhood, how being an RCMP officer inspired him to take on the role of Chief of his Nation, and he shares wisdom that came from his grandfather as he reflects on his role as leader. He takes us through his story of survival about a call he responded to as part of his work with the RCMP. The two discuss the topic of First Nations people and policing. Grand Chief also welcomes SCO team members Angie Hutchinson (Program Lead for the Pathways to Healing Program) and Dylan Peyachew (Youth Program Lead). Learn about the work that SCO members and staff are doing to address issues related to justice.

Click here to listen to episode #6 of Fireside Chats.

#7: Health in the Pinaymootang First Nation, aired on March 1, 2024

Grand Chief Daniels interviews Chief Kurvis Anderson of the Pinaymootang First Nation along with Gwen Traverse, Health Director for Pinaymootang, for a discussion on health in the First Nation.

Click here to listen to episode #7 of Fireside Chats.

#8: SCO Health Programs, aired on March 8, 2024

Grand Chief Daniels is joined by SCO team members Michelle Monkman, Karlene Debance, and Grant Humphrey for a discussion on health. Michelle talks in-depth about harm reduction and Karlene and Grant discuss their thoughts and ideas on the reality of healthcare in our communities and future plans, including the Lab Training Program in Lake Manitoba First Nation and why it’s important, new investments needed in healthcare for First Nations, and much more.
Click here to listen to episode #8 of Fireside Chats.

#9: Water, land, and the connection to health, aired on March 22, 2024

Grand Chief is joined by Chief Cameron Catcheway of the Skownan First Nation along with a Knowledge Keeper from Lake Manitoba First Nation, Mary Maytwayashing. In recognition of World Water Day, our guests both discuss issues connected to water, land, and health.

Click here to listen to episode #9 of Fireside Chats.

#10: Leadership and emergency management, aired on March 29, 2024

Grand Chief Daniels is joined by Chief Tony Travers of the Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation and Chief Raymond Brown of the Canupawakpa Dakota Nation. Our guests will talk about leadership and will also reflect on the topic of emergency management.

Click here to listen to episode #10 of Fireside Chats.

#11: SCO Youth Chiefs on health and wellness, aired on April 5, 2024

SCO Youth Chiefs, Tréchelle Bunn and Joshua Gandier, discuss their involvement in university sports, recreation, health, and wellness in our First Nations. Youth Chief Bunn, from the Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation, reflects on her love of hockey, the opportunities that have come up due to her dedication to sports, and shares what it was like to drop the puck at a recent Winnipeg Jets hockey game! Youth Chief Gandier (Peguis First Nation) focuses on the topic of sports and wellness. Hear about how Josh got into basketball, why coaching is important to him, and how playing ball provided him with access to positive male role models. He also discusses a special award he recently received. Josh and Tréchelle are both busy law students and they reflect on how playing sports helped them developed skills to help them succeed as university students.

Click here to listen to episode #11 of Fireside Chats.

#12: Sports and youth empowerment, aired on April 12, 2024

Grand Chief Daniels welcomes to Craig Beaulieu, from the Ebb and Flow First Nation and Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, to reflect on the importance of empowering First Nations youth. He also shares about a hockey tournament he is organizing called the Manito Ahbee Cup. In the second half of the show, Daman Morrisette, Lenard Monkman, and Terrence Ross talk about Warriorz Basketball and their Battle for Turtle Island Tournament. SCO is sponsoring both tournaments, as part of the Manito Ahbee Festival, to uplift youth and promote health and wellbeing in our Nations.

Click here to listen to episode #12 of Fireside Chats.

#13: Gifts from the Creator, aired on April 19, 2024

On episode #13, Grand Chief Daniels hosts Amanda McLeod and Justin Woodcock. Amanda is a curator and conservator from the Sagkeeng Anicinabe Nation. Justin is a proud First Nation Veteran from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation with eight years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He is now the First Nations Veterans Program Coordinator at SCO and will share about First Nations Veterans. Learn more about “Manidoo Miiniigooizowin, A Gift From the Creator” exhibition, which SCO launched as part of our 25th anniversary celebration. .

Click here to listen to episode #13 of Fireside Chats

#14: Healing and status cards for First Nations, aired on April 26, 2024

On episode #14, Grand Chief Daniels talks with Eva Wilson-Fontaine (Peguis First Nation) to learn about the work she does to support healing for First Nations as well as the International Sixties Scoop Gathering that took place in April in Treaty One Territory. You will also hear from Deanna Peyachew (Skownan First Nation) as she shares more about SCO’s Status Card Program.

Click here to listen to episode #14

#15: Leaders making an impact, aired on Friday, May 3, 2024

On episode #15, meet Chief EJ Fontaine of Sagkeeng Anicinabe First Nation and Joni Wilson of Peguis First Nation. Chief Fontaine has been the leader for his Nation for just over one year, but he’s been a successful entrepreneur for much longer. Chief Fontaine shares about some of the Sagkeeng projects he’s excited about, his thoughts on economic development, his role models, and more! In the second half of the show, hear from Joni Wilson, who shares more about SCO’s popular Jordan’s Principle Program.

Click here to listen to episode #15

#16: The national emergency of MMIWG2S, aired on Friday, May 10, 2024

On episode #16, the topics of discussion are leadership, advocacy, and the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S+). Guest host Melanie Ferris (Long Plain First Nation), SCO’s Director of Communications, is joined by Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, Leah Gazan and long-time grassroots activist from Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, Alaya McIvor.

Click here to listen to episode #16