Harold is a member of the Squamish Nation located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. After many years of experience in international business, he worked with the Squamish Nation as a negotiator in the areas of economic development, land management and finance and served 8 years on the Squamish Council. He has also acted as an advisor and an arbitrator for First Nations in Western Canada.
He represented Squamish Nation interests in the development of the First Nations Land Management Act, First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA), First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), and First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act. These optional legislative pieces allow First Nations on a sectorial basis the ability to move out from under the Indian Act.
Harold serves as the Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board, one of three fiscal institutions created under the FMA to support First Nations economic development, by supporting First Nations efforts to access the capital markets and by providing capacity development support to First Nations in the areas of financial administration law development and certification of their financial performance and financial management systems.
He has completed terms on the Boards of CMHC, Partnerships BC and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. He has either chaired or served on the Audit Committees of these various boards.
Harold is a recipient of numerous awards in recognition of excellence in leadership. In particular, the C.G.A. Association of Canada celebrating their 100th year in 2008 recognized Harold as one of 100 CGA’s who, in their view, over the 100 years have made a difference. In August 2012 Harold was also awarded a fellowship by the C.G.A. Association of Canada. Harold is also a member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association and has been awarded the designation of Certified Aboriginal Financing Manager (CAFM).
Paul L.A.H. Chartrand, I.P.C., (Indigenous Peoples Counsel of Canada’s Indigenous Bar Association), B.A.(Hons)(Wpg), LL.B.(Hons) QUT Australia, LL.M. (Sask), Teach.Cert.(MB) Canadian Who’s Who, 1992-2009, The Native North American Almanac 1994, 2001 ed.
Barrister & Solicitor, Professor of Law (retired), resides in his home community of St Laurent, one of the original Metis villages involved in the administration of the Metis Settlement Scheme in the Manitoba Act 1870 for the extinguishment of the Indian title in the province. He is one of twelve children in one of the founding families of the fishing and trapping community along Lake Manitoba.
Professor Chartrand has held university appointments in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The author of numerous publications, he specializes in international, comparative and domestic law and policy of states respecting indigenous peoples, and was a representative and advisor in the deliberations leading to the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He was a senior advisor in the national First Ministers Conferences on Aboriginal Constitutional Reform in the 1980s and was appointed as one of the four Aboriginal commissioners on Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-96). He served as a founding member of Canada’s Aboriginal Healing Foundation and as one of two commissioners on Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission (1999-2001).
Paul was a ‘dual national’ in baseball and ice hockey in Australia, and is a member of Saskatoon’s Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the national champion Saskatoon Patrick Liners and is also a member of Manitoba’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
As the President of the Institute On Governance, Maryantonett Flumian is responsible for the development of the Institute’s vision and strategic direction, project and partnership development, and the fostering of programs to promote public discussion of governance issues.
She is a seasoned senior executive at the Deputy Minister level in the Canadian federal Public Service with more than 20 years of large-scale operational experience in the economic, social and federal/provincial domains. She is internationally recognized for her work as a transformational leader across many complex areas of public policy and administration such as labour markets, firearms, fisheries, and environmental issues. She was the first Deputy Minister of Service Canada. Her current research focuses on leadership, collaboration, governance, and the transformational potential of technology primarily in the area of citizen-centered services. Maryantonett spent the last three years at the University of Ottawa initiating programming for the development of senior public service leaders.
Maryantonett received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s Degree in history and completed comprehensive exams towards a PhD in the same subject at the University of Ottawa. She sits on the advisory board of the Harvard Policy Group, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the advisory group of nGenera’s Government 2.0: Wikinomics, Government and Democracy research program.
Ginger Gosnell-Myers – of Nisga’a and Kwakwak’awakw heritage is passionate about advancing Aboriginal rights and knowledge, while breaking down barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Ginger is the City of Vancouver’s first Aboriginal Relations Manager where she is central to advancing Vancouver as the world’s first official City of Reconciliation, and is working across all City departments to bridge Aboriginal policies, programs and relations. Key to this work is implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action, and strengthening the relationship between local First Nations, the urban Aboriginal community, and Reconciliation Canada.
Throughout 2008-2011 Ginger worked on the Environics Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study as both Project Manager and Public Engagement Director. The UAPS is Canada’s largest research study on Aboriginal people living in urban environments, and has become the leading research on urban Aboriginal people’s values, aspirations, experiences, and identity. In 2010 the UAPS received the Public Policy Impact Award by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, and the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award for not for profit organizations.
She has facilitated and spoken at several provincial, national and international events, including the International Indigenous Women & Wellness Conference, the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, and the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples. Her commitment to advancing Aboriginal issues led her to work as the Western Assistant to the late and former Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Development Andy Scott, advising the Minister on issues pertaining to BC and Alberta.
Ginger is featured in the inspirational book: Notes from Canada’s Young Activists: A Generation Stands up for Change (2007). In 2012 as part of the CBC documentary series “8th Fire”, Ginger was highlighted and profiled for her views on Aboriginal issues and relations in Canada. Ginger is an Action Canada 2004 Fellow, former Co-Chair to the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council, former President of Urban Native Youth Association, and sits as a Board of Director for the Inspirit Foundation.
Marion Lefebvre is Senior Associate with the Institute. Her focus is on building partnerships with aboriginal, academic and government organizations that expand the IOG’s reach in delivering purpose designed advice, solutions and learning opportunities for aboriginal, public and private sector clients.
Marion has over thirty years of experience in aboriginal and public governance policy and issue management both in the public and private sectors. She has undertaken negotiations for the federal government and corporate clients on numerous resource, environmental, management and economic development agreements with aboriginal groups throughout Canada. As well, she has assisted numerous federal departments in developing and implementing aboriginal consultation policies, conducted policy development in the areas of claims negotiation and policy, capital management and governance.
Marion has also worked closely with numerous Aboriginal organizations on a myriad of economic development ,treaty, resource management and governance measures. In a broader context, she has also had extensive experience in providing senior level strategic planning, policy making and program implementation and evaluation advice to federal departments, provinces, territorial and First Nation governments.
Keith M. Harper
Ambassador Keith M. Harper was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Representative of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 4, 2014.
Previously, Mr. Harper was a partner at the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, where he was chair of the Native American Practice Group. He currently serves as a Member on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Previously, Mr. Harper served as Senior Staff Attorney for the Native American Rights Fund from 1995 to 2006. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a Supreme Court Justice on the Supreme Court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and from 2001 to 2007, he served as an Appellate Justice on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court. From 1998 to 2001, he was an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and from 1999 to 2001, he was a Professorial Lecturer at the American University Washington College of Law. Mr. Harper was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce on the Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. He began his career as a Litigation Associate with Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell is one of the most respected First Nations leaders in Canada. Born in Akwesasne and raised by a traditional family, Kanentakeron had the benefit of a strong cultural and spiritual upbringing. Fluent in the Mohawk language, Kanentakeron has successfully applied traditional diplomatic skills in solving today’s challenges to First Nations on local, regional and national levels in all areas of development and renewal.
For three decades, Kanentakeron has served his people in a political capacity as Chief and Grand Chief in one of most volatile, yet progressive First Nations communities in Canada. His vision to help restore the independence of the Mohawk people of Akwesasne is based on applying the best of both Haudenoshaunee Philosophy and modern democratic government systems.
During the late sixties and early seventies, Kanentakeron was involved in the conquest to retrieve the Islands that were owned by the Mohawks of Akwesasne. However, was leased out by the department of Indian Affairs, under a 9999 year lease. During this period Kanentakeron organized an international bridge blockade that challenged Canada to restore the border crossing rights of First Nations under the Jay Treaty. In 1970, Kanentakeron was elected to council as District chief for a two year term. Kanentakeron did not get involved in politics for another ten years.
During this period there were ongoing skirmishes, between the elected system supporters and the traditional followers of the longhouse. Years later, Kanentakeron would be asked to return to the elective system government and initiate changes that would bring the power of decision making back to the community.
In 1982, Kanentakeron was re-elected as a District Chief to the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne representing Cornwall Island. In 1984 he became the Grand Chief of MCA, then with a membership population of 10,000. He held the position until 2002 when he retired from 20 years in politics. In the summer of 2003, the community brought him out of retirement to again serve as District Chief of Cornwall Island for one more term, after to which he resumed his position as Grand Chief until 2006, where the population had increased to 14,000. In 2009 Kanentakeron returned back to his position as Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and held this position until 2015. When he decided to take a break from politics, to continue working on his book on Nation Building.
Prior to politics, Kanentakeron has also worked as an Ironworker (Local 440), film maker (National Film Board) and Director of Cultural Education at the North American Indian Traveling College.
Sophie Pierre is Ktunaxa, born in Cranbrook, B.C. She served her community of ‘Aqam (the St. Mary’s Indian Band) of the Ktunaxa Nation for 30 years, 26 as elected Chief, and was the administrator of the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council for 25 years. She also served as the tribal chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, chairperson of the First Nations Finance Authority, president of St. Eugene Mission Holdings Ltd. and is presently the co-chair of the International Advisory Committee to the Indigenous Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy for the University of Arizona. Sophie Pierre was appointed Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission from April 2009 to 2015 by agreement of the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the First Nations Summit. She has also served on numerous boards and committees; local, regional, provincial, national and international.
In 2009, Ms. Pierre had a featured article in Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation publication, “Response, Responsibility & Renewal”. The article, “Nee Eustace; The Little Girl Who would be Chief” leads through her life at residential school culminating in transforming the former school into a 4 star premium resort hotel and golf course.
Sophie was recognized with the Order of Canada in 2016. She also received the Order of British Columbia in 2002 and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the business category in 2003. During her tenure as chief commissioner, Sophie Pierre was awarded two honorary Doctorates of Law—in 2010 from the University of Canada West and in 2012 from the University of British Columbia.
Her dedication to the cause of the Ktunaxa people and other First Nations in British Columbia and Canada is demonstrated through her life-long commitment to the recognition of the rightful place of First Nations in Canadian Society.
Sophie now spends her time as an elder advisor to her community and to the Ktunaxa Nation.
Scott Serson retired from the position of President of the Public Service Commission in November 2003. Mr. Serson began his career as a guidance counselor in the not-for-profit sector followed by a rich and varied career of over thirty years in the public service. After serving in a range of senior executive positions, including Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, General Director at the Department Finance, Associate Deputy Minister at Health Canada, and Deputy Minister at Human Resources Development Canada, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1995.
A recipient of the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award, he was appointed President of the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) in July 1999 and led the Commission through a period of human resource modernization. During this time he was also one of the Champions for Values and Ethics in the Public Service.
Mr. Serson holds a BA in Sociology from Carleton University and is a member of the Audit Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Advisory Committee of the Carleton Centre on Values and Ethics. He was also a member of the Auditor General’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Issues. Mr. Serson was the former chair of the IOG’s Board of Directors.
The Honourable Murray Sinclair
Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.
He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.
Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.
He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He was very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 8 Canadian universities. Senator Sinclair was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016.
Miles G. Richardson
Miles G. Richardson is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria in 1979. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Haida Nation.
Richardson was a member of the British Columbia Claims Task Force. From 1991 to 1993, he was a member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, which is an executive body representing First Nations in BC. In October 1995, Richardson was nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission. He was elected to a second term in April 1997. In November 1998, he was chosen as Chief Commissioner by agreement of Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit for a three-year term and was reappointed in November 2001.
In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Currently, Richardson owns and operates his own business providing strategic advice on relationship building and business development between First Nations and the private sector; First Nations governance development; and sustainability policy and business development. Richardson is also the Director for the Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development at the University of Victoria.
Marilyn Slett is a member of the Heilsuk Nation and is serving her ninth year as elected chief councillor. Marilyn has served two consecutive terms as an elected tribal councillor and is a former executive director of the Heilsuk Tribal Council. She has completed the certificate in the administration of indigenous governments and diploma in public sector management with the University of Victoria. Her regional representation includes current President of the Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative and is the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Women’s Representative on the National Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council.
Ovide Mercredi is a Cree born in the northern community of Grand Rapids in 1946. He served his community as Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation from 2005 to 2011. He was a councillor for three years after his term as chief.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Law degree he practiced criminal law and later specialized in constitutional law as an advisor to Manitoba Chiefs. Mercredi has worked tirelessly for the rights of First Nations people throughout Canada. He is known as a First Nations leader that speaks eloquently with great passion and clarity.
In 1989, he was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba. He became a key strategist for the Assembly during the time of the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions. He also had a strong leadership role in helping to resolve the Oka Crisis in 1990.
Ovide Mercredi was elected as National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1991. During his first term he led the negotiations for the First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord. He was re-elected in 1994 and served as National Chief until 1997. He addressed the United Nations in Geneva and New York. He led a human rights delegation of Canadians to the troubled area of the Mexican state of Chiapas.
In addition to serving as a lawyer and politician he co-authored “In the Rapids: Navigating the Future of First Nations” with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in 1993. He has contributed articles to other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys painting and writing poetry.
Ovide is an advocate of non-violent methods for change and travelled to India when he was nominated for the Gandhi Peace Prize. He has received honorary degrees from Bishops University, St Mary’s University, The University of Lethbridge and Athabaska University. He received the Order of Manitoba in 2005. In 2010 the Peace and Justice Studies Association awarded him their Social Courage award. In 2013 he was selected as the Distinguished Alumni of the University of Manitoba. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Manitoba. He was the National Spokesperson for Treaties 1 to 11 from 2006 to 2014, having been chosen in a traditional and customary manner. As National Chief he worked closely with Elders from all regions of Canada. As a Treaty Spokesperson, he continued his practice of seeking the advice and support of traditional Elders. Ovide served on the board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. He continues to serve in the Winnipeg Boldness Project and Canadians for a New Partnership.
Ovide Mercredi is a strong believer in a positive future for all First Nations communities and recognizes the inherent strength and talents of First Nations people. He has always maintained that his people possess the answers to their needs and aspirations. To him healing can be accomplished by the simple application of traditional values such as respect and kindness.
During his professional career, Stephen Kakfwi has been and continues to be instrumental in advancing the Aboriginal land and self-government rights of the Northwest Territories Dene, Métis and Inuit. He has had a distinguished career in public government promoting Northwest Territory political, constitutional and economic development in the North, within Canada and internationally.
Kakfwi served as the President of the Dene Nation from 1983 to 1987, during which he established the Northwest Territories Dene Cultural Institute as well as Indigenous Survival International.
Mr. Kakfwi was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 1987 and served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from 2000 through 2003.
Stephen currently focuses on achieving a balanced approach to conservation and resource development in the North, focusing on community development in Aboriginal settlements.He is a senior advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative a group founded in 2013 that is helping strengthen Indigenous nationhood and the fulfillment of Indigenous cultural responsibilities to the land. And in 2014, he conceived of and founded Canadians for a New Partnership, a group supporting and encouraging relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and currently serves as its President and CEO.
2014, he conceived of and founded Canadians for a New Partnership, a group supporting and encouraging relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and currently serves as its President and CEO.
Michael Hudson filled many leadership roles over his 32 year career with the Department of Justice. His main focus has been Crown/Indigenous relations, and coincided with the dynamic evolution of Canadian law related to Indigenous peoples driven by section 35 in the Constitution.
He was intimately involved with every major development in the federal government’s relations with Indigenous peoples – the 1980s constitutional conferences, the negotiation of early self-government arrangements, the events at Oka in 1990, litigation about section 35, the federal response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the federal policy on the inherent right to self-government, efforts to modernize the Indian Act, modern treaty negotiations and implementation, implementing the Crown’s Duty to Consult, the federal response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
His expertise is drawn upon by other States and international organisations, including the negotiation, adoption and now implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2015, the Government of Canada sent him to work for the Government of Australia. While there, he was special advisor to the Australian Prime Minister’s department on amending their Constitution to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Islander people as the First Peoples of Australia.
Since his return to Canada in early 2016, he has led the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Constitutional Relations with Indigenous Nations. Their primary task has been articulating the legal underpinnings of nation-to-nation relations within Canada’s current legal and constitutional order. A related task has been identifying opportunities to translate the concept into practical, but meaningful, changes in interactions with indigenous peoples, their rights and interests.
Kil tlaats’ gaa, Peter Lantin was first elected President of the Haida Nation in 2012 and was re-elected in December 2015 for a second 3-year term. The Council of the Haida Nation is the political body of the Haida nation. As the primary spokesperson on behalf of the Haida Nation, kil tlaats’gaa is responsible for fulfilling the Council of the Haida Nation’s mandate, which is to “strive for full independence, sovereignty and self-sufficiency of the Haida Nation”.
With over 20 years’ experience in governance and administration, kil tlaats’gaa has served as chairman of the Gwaii Trust Society, an $80-million community trust fund, and Chief Operating Officer of Tricorp (Tribal Resources Investment Corporation) for 7 years. He will be sharing the historical and continued successes of the Haida Nation as they strive for full control of Haida Gwaii, including the land, sea and air.
kil tlaats’gaa is 42 years old and calls Old Massett, Haida Gwaii home with his two daughters, Taylor and Brooklyn.
Grand Chief Doug Kelly
An elected Tribal Chief since 2004 and President of the Stó:lō Tribal Council, Grand Chief Doug Kelly is the Chair of the First Nations Health Council (FNHC). The FNHC is responsible for overseeing the new First Nations health governance structure and the implementation of the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan.
Grand Chief Doug Kelly has served as Soowahlie Chief for eight years, and as Tribal Chief and officer for the Stó:lō Tribal Council for 12 years. He served on the First Nations Summit Political Executive for four years and as the founding Chair of the BC First Nations Fisheries Council for two years. Grand Chief Doug Kelly was also a founding member of the BC Treaty Commission for one year. He has served as Chair of the First Nations Health Council since June 2010.
Grand Chief Doug Kelly has 13 years of experience in senior management positions, including senior leadership roles with the First Nations Chiefs’ Health Committee, Stó:lō Nation, and Stó:lō Tribal Council. The Grand Chief has also led the development of Health, Child Welfare, and other programs including fisheries and economic development.
Grand Chief Doug Kelly is married, with a blended family of six adult children and seven grandchildren. He resides on the Soowahlie Indian Reserve located near Cultus Lake, BC.
The Honourable Justice Harry Slade
Justice Slade was initially appointed to the Specific Claims Tribunal on November 27, 2009. He was appointed Chairperson on December 11, 2009, and re-appointed to the Tribunal, as Chairperson, for a five-year term commencing November 27, 2010. He has since been re-appointed Chairperson for two consecutive five-year terms, the most recent of which commenced on December 11, 2015.
The Chairperson’s role includes hearing Specific Claims brought before the Tribunal and assigning other members to hear claims.
Justice Slade was admitted to the Bar of British Columbia in 1974. His primary area of practice as a lawyer was Aboriginal Law. He has extensive experience in Specific Claims negotiation, including the British Columbia cut-off claims. He was active in the advancement of Aboriginal rights issues. His work included intergovernmental relations among First Nations, Canada and Provinces, including Treaty processes, self-government initiatives, and commercial development of reserve lands. As a lawyer, Justice Slade also worked with First Nations on ventures in forestry, fishing, and energy resource development. He practiced law at Ratcliff & Company, a North Vancouver, British Columbia, law firm with an extensive aboriginal and environmental law practice.
Justice Slade was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998 and became a Justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court in March 2001.
Wayne M. Christian is of Secwepemc ancestry. He is a proud father of seven children and twenty-five Grandchildren. Kukpi7 (Chief) Christian was re-elected for his 6th consecutive 2 -year terms as Chief of Splatsin January 5th 2016. Kukpi7 Christian has worked for over 30 years in establishing healing and health systems for the Indigenous Nations of BC. Christian is currently the Tribal Chief of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council representing 9 of the 17 communities of the Secwepemc Nation with responsibilities’ in Child Welfare and Aboriginal Title and Rights.
One of Christian’s greatest strengths is commitment that is firmly rooted in the values, principles and traditions of the Indigenous Nations. His leadership philosophy is based on inclusiveness, historical perspective, a strong belief in our Sovereign land title and rights that are governed by our laws, our values, culture, traditions and our connection with all of creation, he believes strongly that the solutions to the issues in the communities are rooted in the minds, hearts and spirits of the People who will deal with the Government’s legislative genocide.
He is known as a tireless and passionate advocate for recognition of Aboriginal Title and Rights at the political and grassroots levels for the Indigenous Nations and communities, he believes that the children are our future and the future is right now. Whatever it takes the time is now.
“Our old people say, “How are we to live? If the government takes our food from us they must give us other food in its place.” Conditions of living have been thrust on us which we did not expect, and which we consider in great measure unnecessary and injurious. We have no grudge against the white race as a whole nor against the settlers, but we want to have an equal chance with them of making a living. We welcome them to this country. It is not in most cases their fault. They have taken up and improved and paid for their lands in good faith. It is their government which is to blame by heaping up injustice on us. But it is also their duty to see their government does right by us, and gives us a square deal. We condemn the whole policy of the B.C. government towards the Indian tribes of this country as utterly unjust, shameful and blundering in every way. We denounce same as being the main cause of the unsatisfactory condition of Indian affairs in this country and of animosity and friction with the whites. So long as what we consider justice is withheld from us, so long will dissatisfaction and unrest exist among us, and we will continue to struggle to better ourselves” MEMORIAL TO SIR WILFRID LAURIER, PREMIER OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA
From the Chiefs of the Shuswap, Okanagan and Couteau Tribes of British Columbia
Presented at Kamloops, B.C. August 25, 1910
Marc LeClair has over 30 years of experience working with local, provincial and national Aboriginal organizations as well as the federal and provincial governments. Mr. LeClair has worked extensively with the private sector in the development of Aboriginal engagement strategies focussing on procurement, employment and community relations. Mr. LeClair participated in the Aboriginal Constitutional Conferences in the 1980’s, the Charlottetown Accord process and in the Kelowna Accord processes.