“Last week the Province of Ontario exercised authority outside of its jurisdiction by issuing eight cannabis retail licenses to First Nations communities. The Cannabis Act has downgraded the autonomy of First Nations to maintain jurisdiction and create laws in our own territories by forcing us to work with the Provinces instead of the Crown. First Nations must have fair access to the economic potential to benefit our communities that the lawful cannabis industry presents yet we are unnecessarily held back because an error in the legislation is not being addressed because of an impending election. Our communities cannot wait for the government to play politics with our sovereignty or our potential to create jobs and economic opportunities for our people. Our communities have been actively reaching out to Canadian Government officials urging them to address this issue because we cannot afford to wait and be left behind once again.”
Scott McLeod, Gimaa (Chief)
Nipissing First Nation, Ontario
Chief Scott McLeod Biography:
Scott McLeod was elected Chief of Nipissing First Nation in July 2015 and took office in August 2015. With a professional background in Freshwater Fisheries Management, Chief McLeod has over 25 years of experience working in both technical and management capacities for a variety of agencies, including Nipissing First Nation, the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resources Centre, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, where he was also appointed as a Deputy Conservation Officer.
Chief McLeod has been heavily involved in Nipissing First Nation politics, as well as regional, provincial and federal politics related to First Nation issues over the span of his career. He has successfully served one term as Chief of his community and was re-elected in 2018 for his second term. Chief McLeod was also elected as a Regional Chair Chief of the Huron Region of the Anishinabek Nation which is the largest political advocacy organization in Ontario representing 40 of 133 First Nations. Chief McLeod is the spokesperson for the 20 First Nations making up the Huron Region and sits on the Executive Leadership Council of the Anishinabek Nation.
Chief McLeod is committed to the ongoing political advocacy of the protection and restoration of inherent rights of Indigenous people.