The voices of pro-development First Nations elected chiefs have been marginalized – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on March 19, 202021 Views

The entire country has received a lesson in Indigenous governance this past month, especially regarding the difference between elected political and hereditary chiefs. In the Kainai Blood Tribe, I am both the elected chief and the hereditary chief. My clan has represented the political and economic leaders of the Kainai for more than eight generations, going back to the father of our great warrior Chief Stumicksoosuk. However, our nation decided to move to an electoral system in 1964, so that anyone could run for Council.

And so given how important democratic ideals are in Canada, I have been surprised to see how the voice of elected chiefs have been dismissed or even challenged over the course of the last month, as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ protests against the Coastal GasLink pipeline sparked blockades around the country. Elected chiefs and councils have been described as creatures of the Indian Act, accountable only to the federal government, with responsibility for reserve lands rather than for people. The voices of the 20 councils that had already approved that pipeline were largely marginalized.

Read More:

Send To Friend Email Print Story

Comments are closed.

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More