Shawn Atleo appointed to lead new round of talks with B.C. First Nations

Former AFN 'grand chief' Shawn Atleo with his political master, PM Stephen Harper, looking on.

Former AFN ‘grand chief’ Shawn Atleo with his political master, PM Stephen Harper, looking on.

Former head of the Assembly of First Nations heads new Shqwi qwai for Indigenous Dialogue

CBC News, Oct 30, 2014

Former Assembly of First Nations national chief Shawn Atleo has been named to head B.C.’s first Shqwi qwal for Indigenous Dialogue.

The announcement was made by B.C. Premier Christy Clark on Thursday at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, where the new office will be based.

Shqwi qwal means speaker in the Hulquminum language, and as its head Atleo will be expected to facilitate dialogue between B.C.’s First Nations, government and industry.

“The Shqwi qwal will develop and support dialogue sessions on education and other topics that will help foster understanding and partnerships between indigenous peoples and the broader public, private, and corporate sectors,” said a statement released by the premier’s office.

“Recognition and understanding are fundamental to moving forward in the spirit of mutual respect, reconciliation and sharing,” said Atleo in the statement.

“Through dialogue, we can together create new paths respective of our history that connect systems and support process innovation for social and economic benefits for First Nations, for British Columbia, and for Canada.”

First Nations’ influence rising

The appointment comes at a time when First Nations have considerable power to derail several high-profile energy projects in B.C., including the Northern Gateway pipeline.

It also follows the first-ever cabinet meeting with B.C.’s First Nations leaders that was held in September, and a recent Supreme Court ruling upholding First Nations land titles.

“We want to be true partners with aboriginal people and that will only be possible by listening to each other,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad.

“This new position builds on our recent meeting with First Nations leaders as we support new approaches to reconciliation and improvements for aboriginal people and First Nations communities.”

The Shqwi qwal office will be housed within the university’s new Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, which is led by former chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation Doug White.

Atleo was elected twice as head of the Assembly of First Nations in 2009 and 2012. Before that he served two terms as the regional chief of the B.C. AFN.

He also holds a master’s of education in adult learning and global change from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and is the first indigenous person to hold the position of university chancellor in British Columbia.

Posted on October 30, 2014, in Indian Act Indians and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. So an appointed politician appoints another politician, yet the land is still UNCEDED and we still have no governments of our own, and how is this suppose to be an improvement?.

  2. ^^ Who said it was meant to be an improvement?

  3. Hereditary Cheif Kahkakew Yawassanay

    What a surprise…this sellout was always looking for patronage whether it was an indigenous or immigrant organization as long as they paid him….inept as the elected AFN grand chief, which is such an egotistical title for an indian act created position and now he will do his part to sell out and convince First nations the immigrant Canaidan levels of governments double talk, soon to be broken promises and lies…he was only elected for the AFN leadership because BC First nations, UBCIC and the FN Summit whined for years about the prairies tribes having control. Under his leadership the AFN went backwards ten years….so do not expect much more from this sellout as he follows other elected AFN chiefs who merrily saunter into patronage positions as Mercredi and Fontaine did…if he is as incompetent and ignorant about issues as he was about the numbered treaties and inherent rights then one can expect many more poor results from any business involving him on behalf of his new masters… but then again this could be fate playing itself out for BC First Nations who showed such bias in supporting him in the AFN elections…..guess being the governments token lil skin is not an issue for Atleo..he will play the part to meet his needs and stroke his ego

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: