As Heather Bear seeks re-election for fourth Vice-Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, she said First Nations and its People are at a critical period.

Bear, who has been with the FSIN for nine years explained that political and social issues are priorities for First Nations governments. She pointed to the Saskatchewan First Act, which seeks to give the province exclusive jurisdiction over resource mineral development. FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron last month stated he would be launching a constitutional challenge to the Saskatchewan First Act, stating that First Nations have not ceded rights to minerals. He also called for a fair resource revenue sharing agreement.

“We know that the Saskatchewan Government has put forward the Saskatchewan First Act. We know that was done without consultation and without inclusion to First Nations,” she explained. As part of the constitutional challenge, the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (NRTA) will also be argued. “The counter-punch is looking at the NRTA. Tackling that, not only in the courts, there’s also a political strategy and communications strategy,” Bear said.

Bear is being challenged by Curtis Standing and Craig McCallum, in the October 5, vote.

Social issues such as poverty, drugs, addictions the erosion of hunting and trapping rights and mental health treatment are concerns for Bear, who said she seeks better conditions for people.

Bear has been outspoken on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls issues and advocating for increased housing options in Regina, during the tent encampment during the winter of 2021.

An election for the second Vice-Chief is also taking place.