The province of Alberta and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations have agreed to a formal process that will guide provincial ministers and chiefs and council in their meetings throughout the year.
The protocol agreement also commits to an annual meeting between the Chiefs of the Confederacy and Premier Jason Kenney.
According to Kenney, the province’s recover will not be complete without indigenous involvement.
“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,” said Kenney.
According to the protocol agreement, ministers, chiefs and councils will meet several times throughout the year. The meetings will be focused on land and resources, health care, education, justice, economic development, and culture and tourism.
Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations Grand Chief Billy Morin said the agreement is more than a document “it is a promise between governments about communication and collaboration with a focus on shared prosperity, now and for years to come.”
Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson called the agreement part of the path of reconciliation between the province and the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.
“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.”
Treaty six territory covers much of central Alberta and central Saskatchewan region. The Confederacy includes a number of First Nations in the Lakeland including Cold Lake First Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation #128, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, and Heart Lake First Nation. Saddle Lake Cree Nation is no longer a member of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.