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:
AFN REGIONAL CHIEFS
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
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
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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