Saskatchewan First Nations Welcome NCFNG
PRAIRIE REGION - The National Centre for First Nations Governance (NCFNG) officially opened our Prairie Region office with inviting members of the First Nations communities, governments, businesses and education institutions to an open house. With over seven distinct First Nations and the largest number of treaty organizations in Canada within its region, the team of Basil Quewezance and Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty provide many of the services mandated by the NCFNG to the local level, which is based out of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation urban reserve in Saskatoon, the first modern urban reserve developed in Canada.
“The most effective and efficient way to effect change is to be on the ground and in the communities,” Said NCFNG President Satsan (Herb George), who was the key speaker for the open house.
About 30 people, with representation ranging from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Peace Hills Trust, to faculty and students from the University of Saskatchewan, were in attendance. “I’m happy the room was full. They were engaged and asking good questions, and stuck around to discuss afterwards. We are about creating motivation for change,” Adds Satsan.
“We’ve had calls of verbal interest coming in from bands who have only heard of the open house but could not attend today.” Said Basil Quewezance,NCFNG Prairie Region Manager. “Prosperity is rising. Resources are coming from the Prairies and First Nations are beginning to be aware that they need to be consulted and organized. It’s important to understand the duty to consult (by the Crown and industry). There’s gold, mining, gas and diamonds all on traditional territories. Investors find [the NCFNG] useful because we’ve done our homework. We assist and guide in negotiation, and find the best preparation possible, legally, spiritually, everything, leads to the best outcomes.”
Ed Allen, Chief Operating Officer of the NCFNG and one of the speakers, summed up his message by saying “Good governance equals good business.”