AMC welcomes new federal cabinet and Marc Miller as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Patty Hajdu as Minister of Indigenous Services

October 27, 2021

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) today welcomes the swearing in of new and returning federal cabinet ministers. At a ceremony today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Her Excellency, Governor General Mary May Simon, announced and swore in the new federal cabinet tasked with leading and advancing the government’s agenda over the next few years or until the next federal election is called.  

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said, “On behalf of the AMC member First Nations, I extend congratulations and a warm welcome to all new and returning federal cabinet ministers. I also thank all those who are not returning, including Jim Carr, for their past service as ministers. The AMC looks forward to working with new ministers and to re-engaging and continuing the work with returning ministers.”  

“All federal portfolios are important to the priorities of First Nations in Manitoba,” continued Grand Chief Dumas. “However, Crown-Indigenous Relations remains key to advancing reconciliation and upholding the special relationship that First Nations have historically had- and continue to have – with the Crown in right of Canada. This is why I am pleased to see Marc Miller named as the new Minister for Crown – Indigenous Relations. Along with Indigenous Services and Justice, it is one of the most challenging portfolios in light of the reconciliation priority of Canadians, the discovery of the graves of former residential school students, and as the country comes to terms with its past treatment of First Nations peoples.” 

“Based on past success and a positive relationship with the First Nations in Manitoba, I anticipate that Minister Miller will bring a new approach to this important portfolio, which will result in real progress on a Nation-to-Nation relationship, meaningful reconciliation, and respect and recognition for Treaty and inherent rights with the First Nations in Manitoba.”  

Grand Chief Dumas added, “I am also pleased to welcome Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu as an important cabinet member and a central government leader responsible for several pressing economic and social development programs and priorities for First Nations. The AMC looks forward to working with Minister Hajdu to change a corporate culture within this particular department, which has had severe detrimental impacts on First Nations for several decades. Moreover, First Nations look forward to ongoing discussions and planning aimed at the department’s eventual demise, and transferring all current programming under ISC over to First Nations as outlined in previous mandate letters.” 

“I also acknowledge and welcome the expanded mandate of St. Vital M.P., Dan Vandal,” said Dumas. “Minister Vandal will continue to serve as Northern Affairs Minister, as Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and as the first-ever Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada. The AMC is looking forward to continuing the work with Minister Vandal on his expanded mandate for Prairies Economic Development Canada.”   

“The Prime Minister heeded the advice of many First Nations across the country for a change in the leadership for the reconciliation file and the lead departments. On behalf of the AMC, I wish former minister Carolyn Bennett well in her new portfolio as Addictions and Mental Health Minister.” 

“There is much to do in the days and months ahead, and the AMC is keen to begin this work immediately with the 44th parliament. The first task for this government will be to decide by the end of the week if it will appeal the decision by the federal court to uphold two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders to compensate First Nations children. As a sign of good faith and a positive start to parliament for First Nations, I urge the Justice Minister and Attorney General not to appeal this decision,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.   

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