AMC Executive Council of Chiefs
The Executive Council of Chiefs (ECC) receives its mandate from the AMC Constitution and via Chiefs-in-Assembly certified resolutions. The ECC is a source of authority between Assemblies and typically includes at minimum; the Grand Chief, five Chiefs selected by northern First Nations, and five Chiefs selected by southern First Nations.
The Executive Council of Chiefs:
- Deliberates and provides a record of decisions on a range of issues as mandated by the various resolutions passed at our Chiefs Assemblies;
- Acts as the body to vote on resolutions that get carried over from the various Assemblies that, due to time constraints, are not passed at those meetings; and
- Maintains linkages to AMC-mandated organizations by issuing a call-for-names process to fill vacant Board of Director positions.
As of 2022, the membership of the ECC is as follows:
- Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
AMC WOMEN’S COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE
- Chief Betsy Kennedy, War Lake First Nation
- Chief Cornell McLean, Lake Manitoba First Nation, Interlake Reserve Tribal Council
- Chief Jason Daniels, Swan Lake First Nation, Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council
- Chief Norman Bone, Keeseekoowenin First Nation, West Region Tribal Council
- Chief Sheldon Kent, Black River First Nation, South East Resource Development Corporation
INDEPENDENT SOUTHERN REPRESENTATIVES
- Chief David Crate, Fisher River Cree Nation
- Chief Derrick Henderson, Sagkeeng First Nation
- Chief Murray Clearsky, Waywayseecappo First Nation
- Grand Chief Scott Harper, Island Lake Tribal Council
- Chief Evan Yassie, Sayisi Dene First Nation, Keewatin Tribal Council
- Chief Nelson Genaille, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Swampy Cree Tribal Council
INDEPENDENT NORTHERN REPRESENTATIVES
- Chief Larson Anderson, Norway House Cree Nation
- Chief Shirley Ducharme, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation
- Chief David Monias, Pimicikamak Cree Nation
AMC Council of Elders, Grandmothers, Knowledge Keepers
AMC Council of Elders, Grandmothers, Knowledge Keepers:
- Florence Paynter, Sandy Bay First Nation Treaty 1
- Harry Bone, Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation, Treaty 2
- Sherry Copenace, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Treaty 3
- James Cote, Waywayseecappo First Nation, Treaty 4
- William Lathlin, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Treaty 5
- Jonathan Flett, St. Theresa Point First Nation, Treaty 5 Adhesion
- Katherine Whitecloud, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
The Elders Declaration
The Elders’ Declaration was convened at the Turtle Lodge on March 27, 2013. This Declaration covers Elder duties according to the Cree, Anishinabe, Denesuline, Dakota, and Oji-Cree people. It is a Declaration of unity and a call to First Nations to uphold our Natural Laws, appealing to leadership and Elders within the province of Manitoba.
“We respect Motherhood as the foundation of Nationhood. We are guided by the sacred laws and ceremonies given to us by the Great Spirit; committed to practice, preserve, and uphold the spiritual relationship with the land and dedicated to the future for our children… for Seven Generations and beyond – as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the water flows.”Excerpt from The Elders Declaration
In a Spirit of Unity:
Our Elder Duty is to empower the voice of the Land, the Spirit of our Ancestors, and the People that
will preserve the Spirit of the Water, the Land including the Fire and Wind, and all Living Beings; and
Our Elder Duty is to empower the Leaders of their spiritual responsibility to the People and the Land.
We declare that:
The Indigenous Peoples of Our Land are the stewards of Our Land, which we do not own but owe our existence to; We all belong to the Land and it provides spiritual nutrition for a Good Life.
It is Our Intention to live a way of life that will be visible by clean water, abundant land, thriving
animals and sovereign People inspired to follow the laws that the Great Spirit has given us.
AMC Women’s Council
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Women’s Council continues to work to advance the well-being of women, children, families and communities. This includes numerous issues such as: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people; human trafficking; stopping the sexual exploitation of children, girls and women; child welfare; domestic violence; and gender equity.
It is essential that women re-occupy a sacred place in our families, communities and nations and has a strong leadership role within the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs through the AMC Women’s Council.
We look forward to Manitoba First Nations leaders’ continued support on First Nations women’s contributions in resolving issues affecting all First Nations people to ensure healthy and strong individuals, families and nations. This support includes working with the AMC’s Grandmothers Council.
The AMC Women’s Council has ten members, they are:
- Chief Betsy Kennedy (Chair), War Lake First Nation
- Chief Vera Mitchell, Poplar River First Nation
- Chief Taralee Beardy, Tataskweyak Cree Nation
- Chief Shirley Ducharme, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation
- Chief Heidi Cook, Misipawistik Cree Nation
- Chief Lola Thunderchild, Canupawakpa Dakota Nation
- Chief Kyra Wilson, Long Plain First Nation
- Chief Angela Levasseur, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
- Councillor Sophie Lockhart, Fox Lake Cree Nation
- Councillor Cindy McKay, Pine Creek First Nation
Chief Betsy Kennedy (Chair)
War Lake First Nation
Chief Vera Mitchell
Poplar River First Nation
Chief Taralee Beardy
Tataskweyak Cree Nation
Chief Shirley Ducharme
O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation
Chief Heidi Cook
Misipawistik Cree Nation
Chief Lola Thunderchild
Canupawakpa Dakota Nation
Chief Kyra Wilson
Long Plain First Nation
Chief Angela Levasseur
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
Councillor Sophie Lockhart
Fox Lake Cree Nation
Councillor Cindy McKay
Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation)
AMC Grandmothers Council
In 2017, at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Special Chiefs Assembly on Child and Family Services, the AMC Women’s Council and the Chiefs Task Force on Child and Family Matters recommended amending the AMC Constitution to include a Grandmothers Council.
The Grandmothers Council reclaims the significant role grandmothers have played within our First Nations to share teachings with Manitoba First Nations leadership and communities and to take back responsibility for teaching our children, youth, young mothers, young fathers and parents.
Ammended Article 21 of the AMC Constitution to create a Grandmothers Council:
- The Grandmothers Council shall consist of Grandmothers representative of the First Nations in Manitoba.
- The size and membership of the Grandmothers Council will be determined by the Executive Council of Chiefs, and based on the advice of the Grandmothers.
- The Grandmothers Council will select a representative who will assist in Assemblies. Executive meetings and Special Assemblies.
- The Grandmothers Council will be called upon to provide advice and functional guidance to the Chiefs-in-Assembly.
- The Grandmothers Council may make recommendations to the Executive Council and to the Assembly of Chiefs-in-Assembly.
The gift of creation, gifted to Women by our Creator, a shared blessing and a responsibility, a responsibility to care for, love and teach our children and grandchildren. Teachings provided by our Creator and our Mother Earth that can only be taught by our Mother.
“We all have a sacred responsibility to take care of and make an alliance with Mother Earth. We are a peaceful people. We are not asking for anything for ourselves. The human being was the last part of creation to be created. It is our spiritual responsibility to take care of that life.”Excerpt from The Great Binding Law
View Igichi Tibakonigaywin, Kihche Othasowewin, Tako Wakan: The Great Binding Law here.