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Washington D.C. Native Nations Rise Meetings

Assembly of First Nations General Assembly

Regina, Saskatchewan, July 25-27, 2017

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde giving the opening address.


The Piikani Nation was honored to present to the AFN Annual General Assembly on the grizzly issue and its far-reaching consequences alongside Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, Chief Judy Wilson of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, and National Indigenous youth representative and

Water Protector, Autumn Peltier.

Piikani Nation Statement Delivered to the Assembly of First Nations, July 27, 2017:

“With the signing of this treaty a sacred circle is completed. National Chief Bellegarde was the first to sign The Grizzly: A Treaty of Cooperation, Cultural Revitalization and Restoration in September 2016 with several AFN Regional Chiefs, and now, at the Assembly of First Nations 38th Annual General Assembly, the treaty will be available for leaders to sign for possibly the last time.

Since last September, over 130 Tribal Nations have signed this treaty, and it has been recognized by the UN. Written in accord with UNDRIP, the treaty seeks to protect the sacred grizzly bear, and by doing so, defend tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, religious and spiritual freedoms, and sacred sites. The treaty emphasizes the necessity for free, prior and informed consent before any federal action is taken that impacts First Nations. These foundational rights of Tribal Nations are now under great threat, after the Trump Administration recently removed protections from the sacred grizzly bear in our treaty lands, and in turn removed protections from those sacred lands without consultation, setting a dangerous precedent for all Indigenous Nations.

Now, the very headwaters of the Missouri River are imperiled. All of the Great Sioux Nation that stood at Standing Rock to remind the world that “Water is Life” now stand with us on the grizzly. Three of the Continent’s critical river systems, the Missouri, Columbia and Colorado originate in Greater Yellowstone, and sustain life to over 55-million people downstream. The grizzly’s ESA status protected those rivers. But due to Trump, no more. Our sacred relative is now in the gunsights of trophy hunters, and those lands in the profit projections of multinational corporations.

I say once more: This is truly a struggle for the very soul of the earth – of all we have ever been or will ever become. Let us stand united to meet this defining challenge.”

Chief Grier was proud to invite Autumn Peltier from the Wikwemikong First Nation of Manitoulin Island to sign the Grizzly Treaty on behalf of Native youth.

In December 2016, Autumn made headlines when she appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the AFN’s annual winter meeting. Last year, Autumn represented Indigenous youth in Canada at the Children's Climate Conference in Sweden.

You can read more about Autumn here:

Autumn’s address to the Ontario Chiefs Caucus at the 38th AFN GA can be viewed here, courtesy of our friends and allies at the Treaty Alliance:

AFN 38th Annual GA Event Treaty Signatories:



Chief Ghislain Picard, Regional Chief – Quebec/Labrador

Chief Roger Augustine, Regional Chief – New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island

Chief Isadore Day, Regional Chief – Ontario

Chief Kevin Hart, Regional Chief – Manitoba

Chief Maureen Chapman, Regional Chief – British Columbia



Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation

M'Chigeeng First Nation

Mississauga First Nation

Mattagami First Nation

Kawacatoose First Nation

Saddle Lake Cree Nation

Ochapowace Nation

Shuswap Band First Nation

Beaver Lake Cree Nation

Slate Falls First Nation

Temagami First Nation

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Cayoose Creek (Sekw'el'was) First Nation

Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation

Splatsin Secwepemc First Nation

North Caribou (Weagamow Lake) First Nation

Mathias Colomb Cree Nation

Gwawaenuk First Nation

Gitanyow First Nation

James Smith/Peter Chapman Cree Nation

Heiltsuk Nation

Pictou Landing First Nation

Lac Simon First Nation

Wapekeka First Nation

O'Chiese First Nation

Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation

Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation

Northwest Angle 33 First Nation

Liidlii Kue (Dene) First Nation

Chief Michelle Edwards of the Cayoose Creek Band of the St'at'imc Nation was among the chiefs to sign the treaty at the AFN GA. We are honored to stand in solidarity with our St'at'imc sisters and brothers. (

“This is truly a struggle for the very soul of the earth – of all we have ever been or will ever become. Let us stand united to meet this defining challenge.”

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