(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC) – The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) welcomes the federal ministers in their new positions within the Liberal Cabinet. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced changes to government roles today with noted shuffles in the Indigenous Cabinet positions. Regional Chief Terry Teegee is looking forward to working with the ministers in their new roles on many critical issues and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
“The work we are doing with the federal government must continue to transform our social institutions, including healthcare, policing and justice, children and families, education and more. Canadians have become increasingly conscious of the urgency and need for this change with the recovery of children’s gravesites at former residential schools and the continuing revelations of physical and emotional abuse, torture, and genocide,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “Colonial and assimilationist policies and attitudes that are deeply embedded in Canada’s social and economic infrastructure must be rooted out and removed and reconciliation must be fully realized.
The Regional Chief continues, “I welcome the appointment of Marc Miller in his new role as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, a move from his Cabinet position as Minister of Indigenous Services; and I look forward to working with Patty Hajdu who will assume the role of Minister of indigenous Services, moving from the health portfolio. I’m also encouraged by the new appointment of MP Joyce Murray, who has represented the riding of Vancouver Quadra since 2008, and has been appointed Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.”
Also noted, David Lametti (Quebec) continues in his role as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Harjit Sajjan, who served as the Minister of National Defence, will now assume the role of Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. Jonathan Wilkinson of North Vancouver will be the new Minister of Natural Resources for Canada.