The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and band councils are unrepresentative and illegitimate.
We recognize that the falsehood of the Indian Act, the illegitimacy of band councils and the
corruption of the AFN are root causes of the decline of our nations and suffering in our communities.
On the occasion of the AFN’s annual general assembly, as the “National Chief” will be elected by band council chiefs, we will gather to speak out against the Indian Act system and the collaboration of AFN and band council chiefs with the government of Canada’s goal of destroying our nations and the land.
We call on all Indigenous people to join us in recognizing the true nature of the Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs, and to take action by withdrawing their consent and support for the band council system and working together to rebuild our nations using the sacred wisdom of our ancestors in order to restore democratic, effective and honest forms of government for the people.
Wednesday, July 12th, Noon
Vancouver Convention Centre, BC Caucus Room No. 1
999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
“The AFN’s path of least resistance is corrupted by greed. Sacrificing the struggle for our land and rights for an agenda of economic development is an unacceptable concession to white power. It is a surrender of our nationhood.” – Taiaiake Alfred
“In order for Indigenous people to feel that their leadership is responsible for their collective voice, a new movement must founded based on the unity of purpose and freedom of our people.” – David Dennis
Contacts: Ha’wilth’ap (David Dennis) Taiaiake (Gerald Alfred)
JULY 11, 2006
To All Indigenous People
Sisters and Brothers:
The Assembly of First Nations and other “national aboriginal organizations” are not the true voice of the original people of this land. The National Chief of the AFN and the other band council chiefs who participate in the Indian Affairs system are not our leaders. They exist and function under the authority of the Government of Canada. They do not speak for our people.
The band councils have divided our communities, corrupted our culture, and spread white-minded thinking among the people. They have weakened our nations and have served as tools for the Settlers to steal our lands and impose their rules on us. The loss of land and the denial of nationhood is the root cause of the suffering among our people. They are threatening our existence as nations.
Band councils and the national aboriginal organizations are funded by and answer to the Settlers. The role of band councils is to administer moneys and to manage programs and services that are funded by the colonial government. Band councils and national aboriginal organizations are parts of the Indian Affairs system. They are Canadian institutions accountable to Canadians, and they do not answer to us. They are not our governments.
Brothers and Sisters:
We reject the authority of the AFN and other national aboriginal organizations and the band council chiefs, and we deny the legitimacy of the Indian Act. The time has come to rebel against the colonial system and its leaders, its structures and its power. We call on you in the spirit of the ancestors to join with us in a rebellion of indigenous truth so that our people and the land may survive. From sacred land in all four directions of Turtle Island.
Angela Grier, Piikani Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy
Dianne Buchan/Anuatin, Oji-Cree
Brock Pitawanakwat, Anishnaabe
Chiinuuks (Ruth Ogilvie), Tla-oqui-aht & Checlesaht Nuu-chah-nulth
Darlene Rose Okemaysim, Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation
Glen Coulthard, Yellowknives Dene
Jackie Price, Inuk, Nunavut
Jusquan (Amanda Bedard), Haida
Kawenniyohstha (Nicole Martin), Kanien’kehaka
Kowennakon (Bonnie Whitlow), Kanien’kehaka
Menetia (Elisha Elliot), Wjolelp, Wsanec
Michelle Daigle, Ininew
Hupaltheatuk (Sandra Howard), Mowachaht
Ha’wilth’ap (David Dennis), Nuu-chah-nulth
Na’cha’uaht (Cliff Atleo, Jr.), Ahousaht & Kitselas
N’xwuxqpt (Robert Sterling), N’siskt
Sahonwese Elijah, Kanien’kehaka
Sakej (James Ward), Mi’kmaq
Sarah Dickie, Dene & Stó:lo
Sunka Wakan Num Obnajin (Chris Standing), Dakota
Taiaiake (Gerald Alfred), Kanien’kehaka
Tala Baawaating (Estrella Whetung), Mississauga Nishnaabekwe & Lucbanin
Tizot (Georgina Olsen), Wsanec
Wendy Hart-Ross, Ininew, Kinosao Sipi & Pimicikamak
Xumthoult (Nick Claxton), Tsawout, Wsanec
Yadultin (Marilyn Jensen), Dakaa Tlingit & Tagish Kwaan
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