Reconciliation Must Now Be at the Forefront of New Federal Government – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2021
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) congratulates Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party on forming the next federal government.
“Now that this campaign is behind us, I look forward to continuing the work that we have started with the Prime Minister,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Even though they find themselves in a minority situation when it comes to governing, I can say with confidence, the MAJORITY of Canadians want to see concrete action when it comes to finally implementing the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry. Now I hope this is the last time we go to the polls for a while and that we can get back to the work that matters.”
While the government has a new mandate, many of the issues that First Nation leadership have been calling attention to, sadly remain the same. SCO will continue to advocate strongly for distinctions-based investments in our Nations and in urban areas, including improvements to critical infrastructure, such as new and affordable housing to begin to address the housing crisis, as well as enhancing economic growth for First Nations.
“Our federal treaty partners need to recognize, that these kinds of projects can only happen in full and respectful partnership with First Nations,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “If they understand our rightful and sovereign place when it comes to decision making, then we can look forward to a real progress.”
In the Liberal minority government, the New Democratic Party can again hold the balance of power in parliament.
“Mr. Singh was very vocal in this campaign about his commitment to First Nations, even in his speech last night,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “I plan to hold him to those promises, especially when it comes to passing legislation that will lead to positive outcomes for the citizens I represent.”
SCO will also continue to advocate for health transformation to close the 11-year gap in life expectancy, increased and equitable funding for education and training, and for protection of First Nation languages including respectful recognition with official language status, among other key issues.
“I have stated on numerous occasions that investing in this country’s First Peoples is good for everyone,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “By ending centuries of health, economic and judicial apartheid, this new government can do what no other has done before it. Acknowledge the truth of our colonial history and reconcile with the people whose lives and lands were literally stolen from them. Isn’t that a legacy worth working for?”
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:
Al Foster, Senior Correspondent, Southern Chiefs’ Organization
Mobile: (204) 806-6837 | Email: Media@scoinc.mb.ca