Six central Alberta First Nations communities are included in a recently signed historic agreement with the Alberta government.
The Alberta Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Protocol Agreement outlines a formal process for ministers, chiefs and councils to meet several times throughout the year.
Meetings will focus on six priorities: land and resources, health care, education, justice, economic development, and culture and tourism.
“The protocol agreement gives Alberta and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations a way to have meaningful discussions, share information and explore issues of mutual concern,” says the province in a news release.
The agreement also commits to an annual meeting between the chiefs of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and Premier Jason Kenney.
“A protocol agreement is more than a document,” said Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Grand Chief Billy Morin. “It is a promise between governments about communication and collaboration with a focus on shared prosperity, now and for years to come.”
The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations includes 16 First Nations, including Sunchild and O’Chiese First Nations, northwest of Rocky Mountain House and the four First Nations at Maskwacis: Louis Bull Tribe and Montana, Samson and Ermineskin First Nations.
“The recovery we are driving for this province, after unprecedented economic and social challenges, will not be complete without Indigenous involvement,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
“It’s a great moral imperative – ensuring Alberta’s opportunities and prosperity are shared with First Nations – the first peoples, the first entrepreneurs and the first stewards of this rich land on which we stand. And the protocol agreement we’re signing today is key to making that happen.”
Rick Wilson, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations, also praised the agreement.
“I’m proud to walk a path of reconciliation with Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations,” said Wilson. “We will work together in a spirit of respect and partnership to move forward our shared social and economic priorities.
“I couldn’t be more proud to sign the first agreement between Alberta’s government and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations since 2008.”