Posts By: AFN


OTTAWA, ON – As His Holiness Pope Francis prepares his Wednesday audience from St. Peter’s Square to recap his week-long ‘pilgrimage of penance’ across Canada, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief RoseAnne Archibald and AFN Northwest Territories Regional Chief Gerald Antoine express their disappointment in the shortcomings of last week’s tour but reaffirm their deep and abiding love and care for Survivors.

AFN Regional Chief Antoine, as the AFN delegation lead participated in many events on the apostolic journey of Pope Francis including Monday’s official apology at Maskwacis, Wednesday’s meeting at the Citadelle, and Friday’s private audience in Québec.

AFN National Chief Archibald, too, attended the apology at Maskwacis and kept her word to greet the Pope upon his arrival on our traditional lands. As she did, she personally called on him to formally revoke the Doctrine of Discovery.

Renouncing and formally revoking the “Inter Caetera” 1493 Doctrine of Discovery is an essential step for advancing reconciliation and the healing path forward. So too are immediate calls to return diocese land back to First Nations and returning sacred items currently being held both in storage and on public display at the Vatican.

At sites in Maskwacis, Québec, and Iqaluit, Pope Francis delivered penitential speeches to First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples but stopped short of denouncing the Catholic Church’s role in creating systems that spiritually, culturally, emotionally, and physically abused and killed First Nations, Inuit and Métis children. He also failed to address the aforementioned calls to action.

“We have been calling for the papal apology for decades and have been clear about what it needed to address,” said AFN National Chief Archibald. “The fact that the Vatican has not addressed these properly in the Pope’s speech is a real indication that they’re not listening. They’re not hearing First Nations’ concerns. That, to me, has been reflective of this whole tour.”

“From a trauma-based perspective, the omission to correct the original misunderstanding and prejudicial labelling of the Original Peoples of North America, our Family on Turtle Island, is very hurtful to those harmed by genocidal practices,” said AFN Regional Chief Antoine. “One could say that in omitting to address this issue, the apology loses value.”

The AFN had no control over the planning process of the papal visit and has expressed disappointment over the unilateral decision-making on site choices and other logistics.

“It feels incomplete,” said AFN National Chief Archibald. “It feels as though there were legal considerations that prevented the Pope from offering a more fulsome apology. The Vatican must answer for why the papal visit fell short on so many fronts.”

“Despite our relentless efforts to his ground crew regarding our expertise in following fresh tracks, they lost track of us during their processes,” said AFN Regional Chief Antoine. “Thank Creator that it is only in the middle of summer. There is a change of season today. Tomorrow we will reconvene as a Family, knowing there is still work to do. All of us working together as a Family can help each other make it happen. That’s what it’s really all about in the end for all of us.”

The AFN’s focus is to ensure the needs of First Nations, particularly Survivors, are met. “I had the Families and Survivors across Turtle Island in my mind and heart every day of this tour and continue to do so,” said AFN National Chief Archibald.

Please be reminded that if you or someone you know is being affected by the Pope’s visit to Canada, the IRS Crisis line is a national, 24-hour toll-free support service operated by trained Indigenous crisis counsellors. To talk to someone, please call 1-866-925-4419.

For more information on the AFN delegation please visit:

Celebrating Cultural Revival And The Tradition Of Passing On Generational Knowledge Through A New Royal Canadian Mint Coin Honouring The Red River Métis

Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the Heart of the National Homeland of the Red River Métis, August 2, 2022 – The Red River Métis tradition of sharing and preserving knowledge by passing it on from one generation to the next through art and storytelling is celebrated on a new fine silver coin showcasing the tradition of Red River Métis beadwork. This latest coin in the Mint’s “Generations” series, tells the story of the Red River Métis through the intricate beadwork patterns of Manitoba Métis artist Jennine Krauchi. This inspiring collectable was unveiled at the Mint’s Winnipeg facility today and is now available for purchase.

“The Mint was privileged to work in close collaboration with the Manitoba Métis to develop a coin that pays respect to their cherished cultural traditions, which are essential to preserving their ancestral knowledge and history,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “As a proud expression of Métis culture and identity, this coin sheds new light on the story of the Red River Métis and we are honoured to help foster a better understanding of the Métis Nation as this beautiful silver keepsake is passed on from generation to generation.”

“Today is a proud day for the Manitoba Métis Federation as the National Government of the Red River Métis,” said David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Métis Federation. “Our unique prairie floral beadwork is a critical part of our history, identity, and culture. At times in the past, the distinct designs were so well known that we were called the flower beadwork people, in recognition of this art form. Today, prairie floral beadwork is experiencing a revival amongst our Citizens, led by people like Master Beadwork Artist Jennine Krauchi, who has worked diligently for years to pass her extensive knowledge on to others in our Nation.”

“As we continue on the path of reconciliation, it is so important to showcase the cultures and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in a way that accurately reflects their traditional knowledge and experiences,” said The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. “After working closely with the Manitoba Métis Federation, this new coin beautifully captures the story of the Red River Métis Nation, and will remind Canadians from coast to coast to coast that Métis heritage is a fundamental part of our shared story.”

Designed by Métis artist Jennine Krauchi, the reverse of the 2022 $20 Fine Silver Coin – Generations: The Red River Métis reverse features an engraving of an original floral beadwork pattern. The design includes elements of the Michif language.

La Rivyeer Rooz, meaning the Red River, is inscribed at the base of the design, above which roots represent the Red River Métis homeland and ancestry. From the infinity symbol symbolizing the Métis Nation’s eternal and unbreakable spirit flow two bands representing the Red River. They contain the words Taapweeyimisho and Taapweeyimik lii Michif, for “Believe in yourself” and “Believe in (the) Métis”.

The fire in the centre of the design speaks to a period of repression and loss, but the prairie rose—a classic Red River Métis motif—represents the survival and cultural resurgence of the Nation. Long stems are characteristically adorned with two or three bead accents known as “mouse tracks”, while leaves and flower buds fill the pattern with a sense of love and joy. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

“I have always tried to tell our stories through my beadwork, whether it’s a personal story or a broader theme. For this coin, I tried to tell a little of the history of the Red River Métis, our struggles and hardships and what we have overcome as a people,” said artist Jennine Krauchi. “I never thought that my journey of Métis beadwork would result in having my design chosen to be featured on a coin. I am so very proud, humbled and honoured. I created this image in celebration of all my Métis ancestors and all of the beaders who came before me, right back to those who picked up the first bead and produced this beautiful art form.”

Limited to a world-wide mintage of 5,000, this 99.99% pure silver coin retails for $99.95 CAD and can be ordered as of today by directly contacting the Royal Canadian Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or at It will also be available at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa and Winnipeg, at participating Canada Post outlets, and through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors.

Images of the coin are available here.

About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. The Mint is one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit Follow the Mint on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Aspiring Artist Awards

YVR Art Foundation is currently accepting applications for the Aspiring Artist Awards! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and up to 10 awards will be distributed in 2022.

Aspiring Artist Awards are for BC and Yukon Indigenous youth between the ages of 15 and 20 who reside in BC or the Yukon. Aspiring Artist Awards are $500 each and are awarded on an annual basis to youth to support their self-directed work in the visual arts through the purchase of supplies, attending workshops and much more.

Applying is easy! Visit the link below to apply online or download an application form!

Mi’kma’ki Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous Short Doc Collection Premieres Friday, August 19, 2022 on CBC Gem

Wanderer Entertainment Inc. is happy to announce a new short documentary collection Mi’kma’ki will premiere on CBC Gem on August 19, 2022. This three part series, narrated by Mi’kmaw poet and artist shalan joudry, is a collection of short films themed around the Indigenous Experience in communities across Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The three episodes of Mi’kma’ki include:

Gwitna’q (22min)

For the community of Miawpukek First Nation, located on the South Coast of the island of Newfoundland, reviving the tradition of Birch Bark Canoe building becomes a way to connect to the past and ensure cultural survival. 

niKet – (food)  (22min) 

Indigenous Research Partners Max Liboiron and Liz Pijogge work together to study the threat to food security and food sovereignty in regards to traditional Inuit food sources in Nain, Labrador.

Npisun (22min) 

For Indigenous people the word “medicine” can have many connotations, manifestations and meanings. For three people of Indigenous descent on the West Coast of Newfoundland, the practice of medicine comes in various forms. 

Being asked to create these pieces inside of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where I was born and where a large part of my family still live, was an incredible honour and a privilege. There was such immediate tremendous support for the project all around and in every community we went to for filming, it was almost overwhelming. It was a true testament to the hospitable nature of Newfoundlanders.” said Wendell G. Collier, Producer/Director of Mi’kma’kiWanderer Entertainment Inc.

Wanderer Entertainment Inc. is led by Wendell G. Collier, an award nominated Producer and Director with over 15 years experience in broadcast television and digital media landscape. In television, Wendell has been a Key Creative and/or Series Director on primetime documentary shows for Discovery Canada, History Channel, CBC, CBC Gem, Food Network, and HGTV among others. Of settler and Indigneous descent and a member of Miawpukek First Nation, Wendell G. Collier is passionate about storytelling and highlighting issues affecting Indigenous people across Canada. 

Tŝilhqot’in Joint Partnership Aids in Flood Repairs

Williams Lake, B.C.: Two flood resistant bridges have been built through a joint partnership between Formula Contractors and Dandzen Development LP named Tŝilhqot’in Eten & Nadiltil (TEN). The TEN company was formed in 2017 between Formula Contractors and Dandzen Development LP which is the economic development branch for the Tŝilhqot’in National Government.

Both structures were design-build projects, constructed to withstand the increased flooding we have seen in the region. The TEN and Formula teams are proud we have been able to help keep our communities connected and look forward to building for the future under this partnership.

Under the direction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TEN was contracted to construct the Cave Road and Knife Creek Road bridges to replace culverts which were washed out due to a high-water event in 2020. Both single lane, clear span bridges were completed within 3 months. Crews overcame numerous challenges on these projects due to other provincial flood relief in 2021.


Nitsilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, O.B.C, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqotin National Government

“This is an opportunity to work together with local government to find a solution to problems that we have and will have into the future. Fires and flooding is a big part of the modern narrative now. We have to adjust and we are honoured to work with MOTI and TEN to find solutions.”

Paul Tiefensee, Principal at Tŝilhqot’in Eten & Nadiltil

“The Tsilhqot’in are committed to ensuring these lifelines, others refer to as infrastructure, are preserved, functioning, and continually improved for the safety of all. The most recent MoTI Knife and Cave design and build projects that TEN completed are evidence that not only do the Tŝilhqot’in have resources to complete these scopes, but they are also competitive having won these projects in the public forum as a lump sum BC Bid tender.”

National Film Board of Canada showcases five shorts at the International First Peoples Festival, including the world premiere of Alanis Obomsawin’s new film

The National Film Board of Canada will take part in the International First Peoples Festival with five short films by talented directors that showcase the diversity of Indigenous cultures in Canada. The festival runs from August 9 to 18 in Montreal. 

Quick Facts

  • Bill Reid Remembers,by the celebrated Alanis Obomsawin, will have its Quebec premiere in its original English version.
  • Courtney Montour’s Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again will be screened in Kahnawake, the home community of both the director and the film’s protagonist.
  • Three of the films will be featured in the closing night gala.
  • In addition, on August 11 the NFB’s Alanis Obomsawin Theatre will be hosting two master classes organized by the festival.

Bill Reid Remembersby Alanis Obomsawin – QUEBEC PREMIERE (original English version)

NFB, 24 min

Press kit:

  • Screenings:
    • Cinéma du Musée, Montreal, Thursday, August 11, at 6 p.m., with the director in attendance.
    • Kahnawake Legion Hall, Monday, August 15, at 1:15 p.m., during the festival’s “Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema” conference, with the director in attendance.
  • Despite spending his early life away from his nation’s culture, renowned Haida artist Bill Reid, who passed away decades ago, always kept Haida Gwaii close to his heart. While working for CBC Radio, he started learning how to make jewelry, then later sculpture, using Haida techniques and images, a move that would forever change his life and the Canadian artistic landscape. The film is a beautiful tribute from Alanis Obomsawin to her friend’s remarkable life and rich legacy.
  • The film had its world premiere at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto and has also screened at the DOXA festival in Vancouver.
  • A member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers, Ms. Obomsawin has directed 55 films to date in a career spanning 55 years—chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations people and exploring issues of importance to all.

Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again by Courtney Montour

NFB, 34 min

Press kit:

  • Screening: Kahnawake Legion Hall, Monday, August 15, at 6 p.m., with the director in attendance.
  • The film shares the powerful story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in Canada’s Indian Act, and became a key figure in Canada’s women’s rights movement.
  • Winner of three awards: Best Documentary Short at imagineNATIVE, Best Documentary Short at the American Indian Film Festival, and Best Director at the Weengushk International Film Festival.
  • The film uses never-before-seen archival footage and audio recordings, as Mohawk filmmaker Courtney Montour engages in a deeply personal conversation with the late Kahnawà:ke woman.

Closing night gala

  • Screening: Grande bibliothèque, Montreal, Thursday, August 18, at 7 p.m.

Upstairs with David Amram by Alanis Obomsawin – WORLD PREMIERE, with the director in attendance.

NFB, 16 min

Press kit:

Before her storied career as one of Canada’s foremost documentary filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin was an acclaimed singer and musician at the forefront of the Indigenous rights movement in North America. During this time, she befriended fellow musician and activist David Amram, a legendary talent and multi-instrumentalist. In this remarkable conversation recorded in 2008 at Montreal’s celebrated Upstairs jazz bar, Alanis and David reflect on a time when music was a powerful tool for social change.

Arctic Song by Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok), Neil Christopher and Louise Flaherty

Taqqut Productions/NFB, 6 min

Press kit:

  • This short film expresses Inuit creation stories from the Iglulik region of Nunavut through song and animation, based on the original artwork of Inuit artist, storyteller and co-director Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok).
  • The film has been selected by several Canadian festivals across the country, from north to south and east to west.

Florent Vollant: I Dream in Innu (Florent Vollant:Je rêve en innu) by Nicolas Renaud

NFB, 5 min

  • The soul of the Innu language is the land, water and forests of the fast-disappearing caribou. Through his music, Florent Vollant continues to make this language heard around the world.
  • The film is part of the series of shorts honouring the 2021 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) laureates. All the GGPAA films are available free at
  • Nicolas Renaud is a filmmaker, editor and video installation artist who’s been creating experimental works and documentaries for the past 20 years, including the Hot Docs award winner Brave New River (2013). He is also a professor in the First Peoples Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal. Nicolas is a member of the Huron-Wendat First Nation of Wendake.

Master Classes

On Thursday, August 11, the NFB is proud to host the festival’s two master classes at the Alanis Obomsawin Theatre, located at 1501 rue De Bleury in Montreal.

  • In the morning, Sonia Bonspille-Boileau (Pour toi Flora) will be talking about writing, producing and directing a drama series on a historical subject (in French).
  • In the afternoon, Courtney Montour (Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again)will be discussingIndigenous identity and films.

Reflecting on the Pope’s visit, Pauktuutit is centered on supporting former students, day students, and families

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada’s President Sharpe and board members understand that the intergenerational trauma caused by the Roman Catholic church has impacted Inuit women, families, and communities.

To support former students and address Intergenerational impacts on families, aftercare is critical. Providing mental health support is essential, and our organization wants to focus on it in these difficult times.

In the path towards reconciliation on the healing journey impacted by the residential schools’ experiences, along with Pauktuutit’s mandate and mission to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women and gender-diverse people, Pauktuutit has partnered with Qaggiavuut to support local healing camp workshops in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Counselling and support services will be offered alongside cultural activities.“Having the Pope come to Canada to take part in this penitential pilgrimage, to see us on our homelands, is part of our walk towards reconciliation.

I look forward to the Pope’s commitment to the investigation of the past and assisting survivors.This visit is the start, for the residential school survivors, day school students, our children, and our grandchildren. For this to be real, the leader needs to take responsibility, in this case, the Pope,” stated Gerri Sharpe, President of Pauktuutit.

Where and when: President Sharpe and staff will be in Iqaluit to support Inuit women, gender-diverse people, and their families before, during, and after the Pope’s visit. In partnership with Qaggiavuut, Pauktuutit wants to focus on survivors, and surviving families, by offering cultural workshops and counselling from Thursday, July 28 until Saturday, July 30, from 1 to 5 pm.

A camp outside the Qaggiavuut office will share drumming, throat singing, sealskin cleaning, qulliq making, storytelling, country food, and more. Find our tent at House 411 (Qaggiavuut) in Iqaluit.

Support is available:National Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program, Northern Region — 1-800-464-8106Hope for Wellness Helpline (English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut): 1-855-242-3310Kamatsiaqut helpline / Embrace Life Council hotline: 1-800-265-3333Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Government of Canada transfers land on the west side of Batoche National Historic Site to Métis – Nation Saskatchewan

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (CNW Group/Métis Nation – Saskatchewan)

News Release

For Immediate Release

Government of Canada transfers land on the west side of Batoche National Historic Site to Métis – Nation Saskatchewan

The transfer of 690 hectares of land is a tangible example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing reconciliation

July 22, 2022

Batoche, Saskatchewan

No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands and waters.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Glen McCallum, President of Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, announced that Parks Canada is transferring approximately 690 hectares of land situated on the west side of the Batoche National Historic Site to the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.

The lands being transferred to the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan are the western lands of Batoche National Historic Site. These lands hold deep cultural, spiritual, and historic significance for the citizens of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan. Parks Canada has long worked with Métis peoples at Batoche National Historic Site and this transfer of land and commitment to collaborative management marks a significant step in the ongoing relationship.

In December 2020, Parks Canada and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan agreed to explore and discuss a full range of options related to the future management of Batoche National Historic Site under the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation. The two parties signed the Framework Agreement on July 20, 2018, through the Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination process.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the deep and enduring connections that the Métis people have with Batoche National Historic Site. In recognition of this connection the transfer of the West Side lands to the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan contributes to reconciliation and ensures the continued natural and cultural protection of ancestral homelands.

Ponca Tribe of OK Makes History Declaring Rights of Rivers

Ponca Nation, Turtle Island: On July 6th, 2022, the Ponca nation made history for the protection of water. The Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Business Committee unanimously adopted a new statute recognizing the “immutable Rights of Rivers” for two rivers and other water bodies that flow through their territory, Ní’skà, (the Arkansas River) and Ni’ží’dè, (the Salt Fork River). In 2016 they were also the first tribe in the US to recognize the Rights of Nature to help stop fossil fuel projects on Ponca territory.

The Rights of Nature is the fastest growing environmental movement in history with 24 countries and 9 tribes passing laws in the US and Canada. Globally Indigenous peoples have led the Rights of Nature movement because our cosmology recognizes that human laws must realign with the laws of the natural world. Western law says the Earth is property. Indigenous wisdom understands humans are a part of nature, not owners of it and we have an obligation to protect it.

Ni’zide and Ni’ska rivers not only run through Ponca territory, they flow from the north and west, then downstream throughout Oklahoma. “Water is sacred and our survival depends on our ability to place human activities within the boundaries of the Earth’s ability to absorb what we do,” says Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca elder who serves as the Tribe’s Environmental Ambassador and who presented the Rights of Rivers as well as the Rights of Nature laws to the Ponca Business Committee for their approval. “This is just another step in protecting the sacred waters which are the life sources of all things on Mother Earth, not just for our tribe. We have so much to learn from our waters, everything upstream impacts everything downstream, we are all connected.”

The environmental impacts of fossil fuels played a big part in the Ponca tribes’ decision to adopt laws recognizing ecosystem rights. The tribe lives in a fossil fuel epicenter of fracking, pipelines, petrochemical plants, and refineries. No Ponca family is untouched by industry-related illnesses and deaths.

Ponca Chairman Oliver Littlecook says, “Politicians and Big Oil call it ‘economic progress’. The Ponca call it ‘environmental genocide’. We can do better for our communities without sacrificing the water.” Tens of thousands of man-made earthquakes caused by fracking and toxic waste injection wells create cracks in the pipelines, leaching into ground and well water. For decades the tribe has had to purchase drinkable water from Ponca City and today the new well water system is in extreme danger of pollution as well as possibly drying up as the groundwater is being siphoned off by surrounding industries.

“All of this destruction to human and natural communities has been legalized, but thanks in great part to leadership like the Ponca nation, this is changing,” says Shannon Biggs, co-founder of Movement Rights, an organization that has supported the tribe’s work. “Our legal system talks in terms of ‘rights’” says Biggs, “But from an Indigenous perspective this is really about recognizing our human responsibilities to protect the health of ecosystems and waterways that ensure all communities can survive and thrive.”

There are 39 sovereign Indigenous Nation/Tribes in Oklahoma, many of which are located along these rivers and tributaries, as well as tribes in adjacent states. Some have expressed interest in joining in an intertribal effort to protect the rivers. Along with passing this Rights of Rivers law, the Ponca Nation will be hosting the first of four statewide gatherings along the rivers on September 21 and 22, 2022. The “Convening of the 4 Winds” will bring together 200-400 local and regional tribal communities, national Indigenous Rights and climate justice allies. The purpose of these gatherings is to promote discussion about Indigenous-led water protection, tribally-led scientific studies and ceremony and the role of Rights of Nature in supporting healthy river systems for all.

Casey adds, “We must always remember that we humans are not protecting Nature, we ARE Nature protecting itself.”


As part of our commitment to supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, First Peoples Law offers an annual scholarship to an Indigenous law student with a demonstrated commitment to serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.

Everyone at First Peoples Law is extremely excited for the opportunity to support the scholarship recipients in their studies. We are confident they will make important contributions to defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

Applications for this year’s $10,000 scholarship are now open! The deadline is July 31, 2022. 

Click here to apply.

Download poster.

Meet last year’s winners.