First Nations group applauds Trudeau move

Secwepemc Leadership welcomes Trudeau’s announced cabinet shuffle in Indigenous Affairs department

Secwepemc Leadership welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announced cabinet shuffle in the Indigenous Affairs department in a move to improve the relationship with Indigenous people.

Putting an end to the Indian Act and paternalism was Trudeau’s theme as he announced splitting the Indigenous Affairs department into two new departments with two new ministers: Indigenous Services and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

“We recognize that a renewed relationship can’t be built using colonial structures,” said Trudeau.

The Secwepemc Nation, which is currently governed by 17 Indian Act Bands and two tribal councils – the Northern Shuswap and Shuswap Nation – is committed to re-asserting its jurisdiction and sovereignty within Secwepemc territory land.

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian of the Splatsin First Nation acknowledged that Secwepemc Kukukpi7 are committed to ensuring that they do their share of the work to implement the changes needed on their end of the spectrum.

“The Canadian government isn’t the only government that holds responsibilities for these shifts in changes,” said Christian. “The Secwepemc governments need to be prepared to act so we can move the work along to bring changes to fruition which cannot happen in a vacuum.

“It is imperative that the Secwepemc Nation continues with its work towards implementing self­ government nation. If the Canadian government wants to decolonize its structure then the Nation will walk parallel with the Canadian government.”

Christian said Secwepemc is “fully prepared and equipped to assert ourselves and have been ready to move forward alongside the Government of Canada for decades.”

Communities in Secwepemculecw {Secwepemc traditional territory) will continue taking steps towards the revitalization of Secwepemc-led governments and Secwepemc-led institutions,” said Christian.