SCO Grand Chief Joins New Foundation to Help Families of Missing and Murdered Loved Ones

November 10, 2023

“It’s a proud day for me as a First Nations leader to be a part of this new initiative to help our citizens.” – Grand Chief Daniels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2023

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is proud to announce that Grand Chief Jerry Daniels has joined the Board of Directors for the newly-formed John James Tanner Legacy Foundation. The foundation’s primary mission is to provide educational, financial, social, and psychological assistance to children and families of our missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, men, boys, and two spirit relatives.

“I am delighted to be able to represent all of our southern Nations with this important new foundation,” said Grand Chief Daniels. “I am especially proud of the mandate that has been set out, and to be able to have a direct and positive impact for our peoples who are dealing with the trauma of loss.”

The John James Tanner Legacy Foundation is the brainchild of Chief David Ledoux from the Gambler First Nation, which is also supporting the foundation’s launch with a $1 million contribution.

“This is an important new response to the growing need for assistance among the families affected by the disappearance or murder of our relatives across Canada,” stated Chief Ledoux. “I am pleased to be joined by Grand Chief Daniels, and other leaders, as we take the initiative in providing the necessary support, particularly for the children affected by the numerous tragedies involving our peoples.”

Grand Chief Daniels will serve as Treasurer for the new foundation. He will be joined by Grand Chief Cathy Merrick from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Assembly of First Nations Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse, Ray Anne Gray, and Kellie LeDoux. The newly-assembled Board of Directors will oversee the foundation’s establishment and operations.

The John James Tanner Legacy Foundation is currently in the process of being established as a charitable foundation with the hope of achieving full operational status by December 1, 2023. The foundation also aims to secure charitable status with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency by July 2024. A website launch is also planned for January 2024, featuring a central intake portal and resources to assist families impacted by MMIWG2S+ cases.

“All of our citizens have the right to be safe and free from violence,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “However, until that day comes, and factoring in decades of colonial government and law enforcement inaction, we as First Nation leaders must do all that we can to support the loved ones and families of those who still fall prey to our stolen relations.”

SCO was a founding partner of the MMIWG Manitoba Coalition, and as a signatory to the Manitoba Coalition, SCO was a Party with Standing with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). SCO is also a founding partner of Giganawenimaanaanig, the Manitoba MMIWG2S+ Implementation Committee, which is focused on implementing the 231 Calls for Justice. You can find out more on SCO’s website.

Meanwhile, the Gambler First Nation welcomes inquiries from individuals and organizations who are interested in investing in the work and shared vision of the new foundation. Visit for updates.


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 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.

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