An organization which represents non status and Indigenous peoples living in urban areas, hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) in Prince Albert this weekend.
The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPS) was at the Indian Métis Friendship Centre on Saturday.
A big part of the agenda at the meeting is the federal government’s plan to launch consultations when it comes to who is recognized as being a member of a First Nation and having status.
The president of CIPS, John Hanikenne said those at the meeting would be talking about a number of issues.
“Today, we’re dealing with the Descheneaux case, which is the sex based discrimination in the Indian Act, and the changes to the Indian Act, tomorrow we’ll be having the strategic plan for communities and the AGA,” he said.
A large part of the AGM was set for discussion about the implications of Bill S-3, which requires the federal government to consult about a number of issues involving who is recognized as having status. Lots of discussion focused on what this would mean for communities and what resources would be needed, with delegates bringing up a number of questions and raising a number of concerns.
One of the major issues which Hanikenne sees is that the current legislation does not reflect the interests of Indigenous peoples.
“We’re controlled by organizations that, that represent us, that never come to our communities,” he said.
The meeting drew people from Prince Albert and the surrounding area, but as well saw people come from quite a distance to take part.
“We’ve got people today from all over, from Qu’appelle, right to the far north,” he said.
Hanikenne said that one of the main goals of the meeting was to make a plan which the organization could use going forward. He added they are not looking to recreate structures which are already out there, but looking at different avenues.
“We’re looking at ways to have new things, new innovative ideas that change the community we’re living in,” he said.
On Twitter: @mjhskcdn
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