If you follow Sakatay Global on social media, you may have noticed Shannon has been spending lots of time on the East coast. Shannon has taken on some work with Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Nova Scotia/Newfound Morley Googoo as Senior Projects Advisor on some interesting upcoming projects. One such project is in partnership with the Halifax Waterfront Corporation on developing a Mi’kmaq Waterfront Interpretative Plan that reflects Mi’kmaq heritage and culture.
In early September, Shannon attended the AFN National Forum: Affirming First Nations Rights, Title and Jurisdictionin Ottawa. The forum was intended for First Nations leadership from across the country to come together to discuss the federal government’s approach to rights recognition. Throughout the two days, we heard from Chiefs that the federal government moves fast with their own ideas and that, in fact, solutions must be First Nations led and co-created. Chiefs have called a halt to the process in favour of slowing down and giving appropriate time to work collaboratively on a rights recognition framework with concrete input and feedback from communities. This is the foundation for creating a new nation to nation narrative.
Shannon also travelled with Chief Googoo to meet with Mi’kmaq Chiefs, Elders and community members from Qualipu First Nation in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. As AFN Regional Chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Chief Googoo is responsible for representing and providing support to First Nations communities. The purpose of the visit was to listen to leadership share some of the challenges and issues facing their communities and to build relationships. Qualipu First Nation was just recently accepted into the AFN during the Annual General Assembly in July.
And lastly, Shannon attended the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat’s (APC) All Chiefs Forum in Halifax where all Atlantic Chiefs came together to engage in dialogue about their issues and priorities. National Chief Perry Bellegarde attended and was able to provide some national perspectives. While at the forum, the group observed Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange shirts to honour residential school students. Orange Shirt Day happens each year on September 30th to acknowledge the history of the Indian Residential School System and to continue the conversation about the legacy of residential schools and how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can move forward in reconciliation.