“Today truly marks the beginning of rebuilding our relationship and trust with our provincial Treaty partner.” – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is responding with optimism to the first throne speech from the newly-elected provincial government. In particular, SCO is pleased to see a commitment to rebuilding relations between the province and First Nations governments.
“To hear Lieutenant Governor Anita Neville welcomed into the legislative assembly to the sounds of the drum, it is abundantly clear that we are truly moving in a historic direction when it comes to First Nations re-establishing our rightful place in the socio-economic landscape of what is now Manitoba,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I look forward to working closely with our newly-elected provincial Treaty partner, especially when it comes to the commitments they have made to work together as equal partners with First Nation governments.”
SCO is heartened to learn about initiatives that will reset the relationship with First Nations by working together on priorities in health care, education, economic reconciliation, and revitalizing downtown Winnipeg. As an organization, SCO is also pleased to learn that the Kinew government will be introducing legislation that would make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday in Manitoba.
The new government has already made a pledge to the families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran. SCO is pleased to know that the tragic deaths of their loved ones will never be used as political pawns ever again.
“In past throne speeches, First Nations were often an afterthought or a footnote,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “For the first time ever, it feels like our Nations are truly at the table when it comes to affecting lasting and meaningful changes for our citizens.”
Other highlights from the throne speech include working to help our relatives experiencing homelessness, initiatives to reduce wait times for surgeries, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and other backlogs in the healthcare system, along with making life more affordable by providing immediate relief to families by freezing hydro rate increases for one year and cutting the gas tax. Many of these initiatives will have a positive impact on the lives of southern First Nation citizens.
SCO is focused on leading the way forward when it comes to transforming and improving health for southern First Nations. Our organization looks forward to supporting the government in its move to improve health care, services, and outcomes as we embark health transformation with our Treaty partners.
“I feel optimistic when I look at the overall messaging of the throne speech to open the first session of the 43rd Manitoba legislature,’” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “Premier Kinew and his Cabinet have committed to leave no Manitoban behind. I eagerly await to see what we can accomplish together, as Treaty people.”
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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