Monday, July 22, 2024

Two Aboriginal Units of Solitude in the Assembly of First Nations

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

National President Perry Bellegaard, who is originally from Saskatchewan, has announced that he will not seek a third term. About 630 team leaders will have to elect on July 7 the official Indigenous representative on the federal scene.

In an interview with candidate Cathy Martin, an elected member of the Listuguj government council in Gaspésie, she admitted that one person from the east of the country is in too little race. According to her, this can be explained by the much smaller number of indigenous people in this part of the territory.

The fact remains that Ms. Martin, who does not want to focus her candidacy or program on a particular region or nation, hopes that her proposals will travel across the country. My Campaign Platform Dedicated to 634 First Nations of Canada, indicates


Cathy Martin is a board member of the Listuguj gang. She was elected to a fourth term in November 2020.

Photo: Submitted by / Cathy Martin

Differences of interests between First Nations, there can even be within a province, candidate identifies. No need to look beyond the Ottawa River for this. We can find two communities separated by a few kilometers that do not share the same language, the same culture and the same history.

Mrs. Martin prefers to play gathering In order to better unite the peoples of East and West. And then, if we compare to the West, the aborigines of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are not numerous enough to make the weight anyway., she adds.

Need a better representation

Although he shares the outlines of the program proposed by candidate Cathy Martin, the leader of the Naskapi community in Kawawachikamach, Noah Swappie, notes that it is important to consider the needs of Quebec’s First Nations that do not exist. It is not taken seriously by Western societies, he said.

In the wilds, First Nations often have more resources than we do, as it says at the end of the line. I hope the next national president will bridge the economic divisions that separate us.

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As such, he criticizes outgoing President Perry Bellegarde for playing the regional card by favoring Western societies, especially during his second term. Focus more on the demands of nations in his corner ركن, He said.

It’s a good thing that we change leaders soon, because we really need better equal representation.

Quote from:Noah Swabi, Naskapi community leader in Kawawachikamach

According to Noah Swaby, the people of Quebec and the people of the Atlantic have specific truths that all members of the world must acknowledgeAPN. He gives an example of the high prices of basic foodstuffs that lead to the impoverishment of his society. Our problems with the cost of living find little resonance among the heads of western provinces, sorry.

The same story is with Paul Emile Ottawa, head of the Atticamico Council in Manawan who denounced the winds of contempt from the prairie. According to him, it is always difficult for his community to be heard at the annual meetings of the chiefsAPN. Having attended many of these meetings, I can tell you that every time we address questions or concerns that arise from Quebec, they are often not considered a priority.


The president of the Aticamico Council in Manauan, Paul Emile Ottawa, believes that the indigenous people of Quebec are not being sufficiently listened to by the Western communities of the Assembly of First Nations.

Photo: Radio Canada/Ivano Demers

Language can also act as a brake on indigenous claims in QuebecAPNReveals the leader of Manawan. English is still the majority in the Ottawa-based organization’s meetings and conventions.

If we are to believe Paul-Émile Ottawa, even if interpretation services are available, they are little or no use by English-speaking leaders in the West when an indigenous representative comes to speak French. I find it unfortunate, is protesting. They don’t even bother putting on headphones to hear what we’re saying.

Needs to change! The First Nations of Quebec deserve to be recognized for their true worth.

Quote from:Paul Emile Ottawa, President of the Atticamico Council of Manawan

The strength of the numbers is generally in favor of Quebec, the Manauan leader points out. Well, there was Matthew Kun Come, Cree born in Mysticene, Quebec and the national leader ofAPN From 2000 to 2003, but since his tenure ended in a fishtail, desert, he says. In any case, it is very rare for a candidate to be elected from our region or from the Maritimes.

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Remember that the National President of the Assembly of First Nations is elected by the heads of about 630 divisions across the country according to the principle of One nation one vote. Although a 60% majority vote is required for a candidate to win the bid, larger bands have the same weight in elections as smaller teams.

While in Quebec and the Maritimes, there are just over 80 bands represented inAPN, The number of the five western provinces several hundred. Only an alliance between the leaders of British Columbia and Alberta can decide the outcome of the election.


To win the election for the National President of the Assembly of First Nations, a candidate must receive 60% of the vote.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Daryl Dick

A number of indigenous representatives have already criticized this electoral system, which they consider unfair. Like the Manauan leader, many believe that elections do not reflect the votes of all nations in Canada, to the detriment of the East. Voting reform, which has been on the table several times, continues to divide societies. The majority of votes are taken over by the people of the WestFired, Resigned, Paul Emile Ottawa.

Conrad Seuy, the former Grand President of the Huron Wandat Nation of Quebec, was the first Quebec citizen to seek leadership of the organization in 1994. He maintains that regional agreements can occur in the West to ensure the election of a local candidate.

It is mathematics that can create differences between western and eastern provinces, but we must not forget that the electionsAPN It is mainly played on preserving and respecting the rights guaranteed by treaties, the former great president thought.

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He also says that the nation of Huronwanda is more inclined to support candidates who know and care about the issue of treaties. Often these candidates are from the prairie, notice.


In 2018, Perry Bellegaard was re-elected National President of the Assembly of First Nations. He won 328 out of 522 votes in the second round of voting.

Photo: Canadian Press/Ben Nelms

The issue of treaties, so present for Western Canadian communities, was made clear during the 2014 race between Ghislaine Picard, president of the First Nations Association of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), and Berry Bellegarde, the senior president of the Saskatchewan Federation. Indian nations.

Konrad Sewe recalls that West has mostly lined up behind Belgardi, ensuring him an easy win. Almost every community in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta naturally supported Berry Bellegarde because they knew that by voting for him he would defend them on the question of treaty rights.

For the head of the Anishnabe Nation in Lac Simon, Adrienne Jérôme,APN However a lot of efforts have been made in recent years to listen to the demands and needs of the communities, particularly those in Quebec. She notes that Gislan Piccard is a member of the organization’s board of directors.

It’s true that before, West pulled off its rim cap and Quebec received the little bits, but we don’t see much of that today., Emphasizes.

During meetings, the chef admits, however, that it is sometimes necessary scream louder than others, but the feeling of unity between the nations of East and West is less and less true, you think. On the other hand, I think it is time to elect the first female national president of the Arab Republic of EgyptAPN, concluded.

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