Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Premier Smith and Grand Chief Cody Thomas Hold Historic Meeting, Discuss Indigenous Partnerships

By Fatih Sahin Feb27,2024

In a historic meeting between Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Grand Chief Cody Thomas of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, significant strides were made towards fostering a more collaborative relationship between the provincial government and Indigenous communities. The meeting, which took place in Enoch following discussions between Premier Smith, provincial cabinet ministers, and representatives from Treaty Six Nations, marked a significant milestone in Indigenous-provincial relations.

At the heart of the discussions was a mutual commitment to building meaningful partnerships. Premier Smith acknowledged the significance of the meeting, highlighting the unprecedented gathering of Treaty Six Chiefs and government ministers as a testament to the priority placed on Indigenous partnerships. She emphasized the importance of investing in mutually beneficial relationships with all Treaty Six Nations, signaling a commitment to move forward in a respectful and reciprocal manner.

The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations reiterated its expectation for the government to invest in a mutually beneficial relationship, expressing appreciation for the commitment shown by the Alberta government. Both parties reaffirmed their dedication to the relationship agreement signed in July 2022, which serves as a framework for collaboration and cooperation.

Central to the discussions were issues affecting Indigenous communities, including addiction and mental health crises. The Confederacy urged the government to work alongside them in developing culturally safe healthcare solutions led by Indigenous communities. Additionally, discussions touched upon Indigenous procurement and revenue sharing, with hopes for increased participation and partnership with Treaty Six Nations.

Premier Smith expressed her gratitude to Grand Chief Cody Thomas for hosting the meeting and emphasized her commitment, along with her cabinet colleagues, to working towards equity and prosperity for all Albertans, including First Nations peoples. She acknowledged the importance of open dialogue and collaboration in addressing shared priorities, such as healthcare, economic advancement, housing, and infrastructure development.

The press conference following the meeting provided further insights into the discussions held and the commitments made by both parties. Premier Smith reiterated her government’s willingness to engage in ongoing dialogue and collaboration with Treaty Six Nations, emphasizing the importance of building trust and understanding.

Grand Chief Cody Thomas echoed Premier Smith’s sentiments, highlighting the historical significance of the meeting and expressing optimism about the future of Indigenous-provincial relations. He emphasized the importance of meaningful dialogue and collaboration in finding solutions to pressing issues facing Indigenous communities.

As both parties continue their dialogue and collaboration, there is hope for a future marked by greater equity, prosperity, and well-being for Indigenous peoples and all residents of Alberta.

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