The member of parliament for northern Saskatchewan is going to have some different duties in future parliaments.

Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Vidal will now be serving as the Conservative Party’s shadow minister of Indigenous Services, previously Vidal’s shadow cabinet duties were for Crown Indigenous Relations. He told MBC Radio News the Indigenous Services portfolio is not completely new to him as it had been assigned to him from 2019 until 2021.

“There is some familiarity for me in the role, so I am actually excited to be back doing that, its some new but old challenges again,” he said.

Vidal said he is happy to have been chosen to be in the Conservative Party’s Shadow Cabinet by the party’s new leader Pierre Poilievre. He added the Ministry of Indigenous Services plays a much different role then Crown Indigenous Relations, which is primarily focused on legislative issue like Treaty relations and land claims settlements.

“Indigenous Services is exactly that, services, its all the more day to day things from health and education and housing,” he said.

Looking at the Ministry of Indigenous Services Vidal believes there are many areas where the current government needs to be held to account. Specifically he said there has been more money invested into both the Ministry of Indigenous Services and Crown Indigenous Relations which has not translated into better results, which is something Vidal wants to see change.

“There’s been a pretty significant increase in the spending in these departments but it didn’t result in commensurate improvements in the ability of the organizations to achieve the goals they set for themselves,” he said.

Overall Vidal said he and his party colleague Jamie Schmale, who is now the Shadow Minister for Crown Indigenous Relations, are both committed to helping First Nations become self reliant and also move away from the Indian Act. He added the recent decision by the membership of Whitecap Dakota First Nation to transition to self government is something that he welcomes.

“Very progressive First Nation and that’s going to be a great example for others to follow, so that’s an exciting announcement this week from my perspective,” he said.