Blog Archives

Chiefs organization hosting AFN election kept $1.9 million in training dollars destined for member First Nations, according to auditors

MKO grand chief David Harper.  Graphic by APTN.

MKO grand chief David Harper. Graphic by APTN.

Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, Dec 9, 2014
Auditors appointed by the department of Aboriginal Affairs have found that Manitoba Keewatinow Okimakanak (MKO) kept at least $1.9 million worth of federal training dollars that was supposed to flow to member First Nations, APTN National News has learned.

MKO represents 30 First Nation communities in northern Manitoba and is hosting the Assembly of First Nations election for national chief in Winnipeg. Some of MKO’s member First Nations are among the poorest in the country. Read the rest of this entry

Rinelle Harper Calls For National Inquiry At AFN Meeting

Rinelle Harper speaking at the AFN annual convention in Winnipeg, Dec 2014.

Rinelle Harper speaking at the AFN annual convention in Winnipeg, Dec 2014.

Huffington Post, Dec 9, 2014

WINNIPEG – A Manitoba teenager who was viciously assaulted and left for dead by the side of a river has added her voice to the call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

“I am Rinelle Harper and I am from the Garden Hill First Nation,” the 16-year-old said tentatively as she stood in front of the Assembly of First Nations on Tuesday. “I am here to talk about an end to violence against young (aboriginal) women.”

The assembly was honouring her with a drumming ceremony at the start of a three-day meeting in Winnipeg. Read the rest of this entry

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. Read the rest of this entry

Timing of election, role of Confederacy of Nations to dominate AFN General Assembly

New Chief rawBy Chris Plecash, Hill Times, July 14, 2014

First Nations leaders will determine the election date for AFN national chief at the organization’s general assembly in Halifax this week, but several other pressing matters will be on the agenda, including the role of the recently-revived Confederacy of Nations.

Chiefs from the country’s 634 First Nations will meet in Halifax on July 15 and 16, where they will determine the timing of the next election of the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations following Shawn Atleo’s resignation from the position on May 2.

Some chiefs will be advocating to hold an election as soon as possible, while others support holding the election in December to coincide with the organization’s special assembly. Another bloc is expected to argue in favour of waiting until next summer when the Chiefs-in-Assembly were originally scheduled to elect the next national chief in Winnipeg. Read the rest of this entry

Wab Kinew contemplating run for AFN national chief

Wab Kinew 2

Wab Kinew considers running for AFN national chief’s position.

By Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, May 19, 2014
Wab Kinew is considering a run for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, APTN National News has learned.

Kinew, an award-winning journalist and educator whose name recognition has grown since he hosted CBC’s 8th Fire series in 2012, was expected to come to a decision as early as Tuesday, according to source who would be involved in heading up a campaign team. Read the rest of this entry

Rift among First Nations leaders over threat for ‘economic shutdown’ coast-to-coast

INM protesters temporarily block the Blue Water Bridge border crossing to the United States in Sarnia, Ont, Jan 5, 2013.

Idle No More protest temporarily blocks the Blue Water Bridge border crossing to the United States in Sarnia, Ontario, Jan 5, 2013.

Peter O’Neil, National Post/ Postmedia News, May 16, 2014

B.C. First Nations leaders distanced themselves Thursday from a formal threat by a group of aboriginal leaders to grind Canada’s economy to a halt.

A resolution from leaders claiming to represent the Confederacy of Nations, a regional entity that is part of the Assembly of First Nations, passed a resolution in Ottawa on Wednesday threatening the Harper government over education legislation. Read the rest of this entry

First Nations education bill ‘on hold’ after AFN chief Atleo quits

"Grand Chief" Shawn Atleo of the AFN with PM Harper during Crown-First Nations Summit, Jan. 2012.

“Grand Chief” Shawn Atleo of the AFN with PM Harper during Crown-First Nations Summit, Jan. 2012.

Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail, May 5, 2014

The federal Conservative government is shelving its contentious proposal for revamping on-reserve education following last week’s resignation of Shawn Atleo as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

“With the support of the Assembly of First Nations, our government introduced historic legislation, the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act in April,” a spokeswoman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said on Monday.

“However,” she said, “given the recent resignation of the national chief, following today’s second reading vote, any further consideration of this legislation will be put on hold until the AFN clarifies its position.” Read the rest of this entry

Angry protesters force Phil Fontaine off university stage

Fontaine's speech disrupted at University of Winnipeg event, Jan 22, 2014.

Fontaine’s speech disrupted at University of Winnipeg event, Jan 22, 2014.

Phil Fontaine’s speaking engagement at University of Winnipeg rescheduled

CBC News, Jan 22, 2014

Angry protesters took over a planned talk by First Nations leader Phil Fontaine in Winnipeg on Wednesday, resulting in the rescheduling of the event.

Fontaine was scheduled to speak at the University of Winnipeg in the early afternoon on First Nations issues in the past, present and future. Read the rest of this entry

Assembly of First Nations, RCMP co-operated on 2007 ‘Day of Action’

By Tim Groves and Martin Lukacs, The Star (Toronto), Fri Feb 15 2013AFN logo

The Assembly of First Nations worked closely with the Mounties and provincial police to exchange information about protests and develop common stances before a national aboriginal day of action in the summer of 2007, according to RCMP documents.

The revelations are likely to provoke anger among Idle No More protesters and provide ammunition to aboriginal critics who have argued the AFN’s relationship with the federal government has become too cosy, with few gains to show for it. Read the rest of this entry

Chief Spence ends fast as AFN national chief Atleo returns

Chief Spence and the media circus.

Chief Spence (in red toque) and the media circus in Ottawa.

By Laura Payton, CBC News, Jan 24, 2013

First Nations leaders vowed Thursday to keep up the pressure on the federal government, as Shawn Atleo returned to work following medical leave and Theresa Spence left hospital following her six-week hunger strike. Read the rest of this entry