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Gord Downie honoured as "The Man Who Walks Among the Stars." PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel Willick   
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:06

Gord Downie. Photo courtesy of afn.ca

It was an emotionally charged moment this afternoon as the Assembly of First Nations took a moment to honour Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie for his work in the Indigenous community.

The AFN honoured the dying singer at their Special Assembly in Gatineau, Quebec in recognition of his solo project, "Secret Path,'' which shines a light on Canada's residential schools.

During a naming ceremony, Downie was honoured with a new name as "The Man Who Walks Among the Stars."

AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde says they can't thank him enough for helping be a voice for Indigenous issues.

"We know the struggle that he is going through, and in spite of that struggle, he took the time to acknowledge this hurt and this wrong and he challenged the government to make it right,” says Bellegarde.

Downie addressed the chiefs in assembly with an emotional thank you.

"Soon, in a few days, a couple weeks, there is 150 years that Canada wants to celebrate and I will personally celebrate the birth of our country. It will take 150 years to heal the wound of the residential schools, to become a country and truly call ourselves Canada. It means we must become one and move down a path of reconciliation from now on -- together and forever. This is the first day of forever. The greatest day of my life. The greatest day of all of our lives."

Chief Bellegarde, Downie and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shed tears during the ceremony. Later during his address, Trudeau commented that Downie was the perfect example of reconciliation in action.

Downie was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and played his last concert in August.

During this concert, he pleaded with the millions of people watching to work toward reconciliation between Canada and First Nations people.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:38
 
AFN chiefs tackle contentious issues during Special Chiefs Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:25

AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde treaded carefully when he talked about the controversial issue of pipelines during a Special Chiefs Assembly being held in Gatineau, Quebec this week.

He applauded the victory of the Sioux Nation in North Dakota, which has stalled a four billion dollar oil pipeline, but he also encouraged individual chiefs to do what is in the best interests of their people and not to oppose for the sake of opposing.

There will be protests, many of them led by First Nations, on two oil pipelines that were given the green light by the Trudeau government this week. The most controversial is a line that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, where the protests have already started.

The other is a $7.5 billion dollar pipeline that will run right across southern Saskatchewan, replacing an existing line.

Chief Bellegarde says the AFN takes a neutral position.

"We support rights," he said. "And the most important right we will support is that right to self-determination -- and I have always said that means the right to say yes, and the right to say no."

Bellegarde also called for a complete overhaul of the child welfare system, encouraging First Nations to lead the way. He told chiefs, "If you don’t like the federal and provincial governments taking care of Indigenous children, assume control and develop your own system."

Bellegarde also says First Nations peoples are finally making some progress after more than 150 years of oppression.

"And we are still here, and we are getting stronger, and we are getting louder, and we are getting healthier and it is providing more hope."

The Special Chiefs Assembly concludes on Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be addressing delegates this afternoon, while Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will be the first speaker tomorrow morning.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:31
 
Flying Dust election results PDF Print E-mail
Written by mbcnews   
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:12

Courtesy flyingdust.net

Citizens on Flying Dust First Nation have voted in a band council.

The reserve held its election on Monday and elected four people to council. Ten people were vying for the four positions.

Tyson Bear, Richard Derocher and Marie Gladue were all re-elected to band council, while Connie Derocher was elected as a new representative. Chief Jeremy Norman had already been elected chief by acclamation.

The new chief and council will serve a term of four years.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 10:13
 
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