AMC wants immediate meeting with new Indigenous Services minister

January 14, 2019

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, MB _ Grand Chief Arlen Dumas hopes the latest cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not impede the progress the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs has made on a number of key files in the Manitoba region.

“While I felt we had an established relationship with Minister Jane Philpott, it is my hope that Minister Seamus O’Regan will honour that relationship by pushing forward on our various initiatives, particularly regarding child and family Manitoba-specific federal legislation,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.

“It was a surprise to learn that Minister Philpott was shifted to a different portfolio but I wish her the best of luck as the new president of the Treasury Board and minister of digital government.”

In August 2017, it was announced that Trudeau planned to split the Department of Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development into two different departments: Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. This was done without consultation of Indigenous peoples.

“Minister O’Regan has said that he will listen to Indigenous people intently, but we need him to take action. I will be asking for a meeting with the new minister as soon as possible to discuss what First Nations in Manitoba want and what we have been working towards, especially when it comes to the inherent jurisdiction of our families and children and education,” said Grand Chief Dumas.

“While federal ministers come and go, the issues affecting First Nations citizens don’t change. We are still here doing the work on issues that have not been addressed for decades and the AMC will continue to keep pushing for better results on day-to-day issues, such as the number of First Nations children in care, the lack of adequate resources for First Nation education, and overcrowded housing; hopefully with the full support of new Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan.”

The AMC would also like to acknowledge Jody Wilson-Raybould for her work and tenure as Canada’s first Minister of Justice who is Indigenous. We wish her much success in her new role at Veterans Affairs.