The role of the National Chief and the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly. This includes facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public.
This is the Mandate of AFN. Housing, Jobs, Health, Education and Water have always been at the forefront of the wishes of all Chiefs and communities.
It is time to assert ourselves from coast to coast. It is time to see our Leaders get the support they need to answer the calls and needs of their respective Nations.
We have been in a perpetual state of dependence, reduced status and the social and psychological ills those create.
We have to see ourselves in a different light. Not as points of separation but points of celebration. We are people of the land. We are the voice of the past and the vision of the future. We are Treaty, We are moving our Nations forward with the wishes of our ancestors.
Times have changed. The gift of the pandemic has taught us this. More and more Non-First Nations see that the time has come for a fundamentally different dynamic between Canada and First Nations. Social momentum is on our side. We harness that momentum and simply take our place as equal partners with the Crown.
That means a fundamental top to bottom reconsideration of every relationship between Canadian society and First Nations. A seat at every table. A voice in every decision. Asserting that the Indian Act was legislation written for us, not with us. Asserting the “Spirit of Treaty” means that 2021 is when Canada needs to start a massive reset with First Nations.
That will require an AFN leader who has shown the ability to both bring people to the table, and to keep them there. A leader who has a vision to harness the collective political will and power of all First Nations into a collective movement that will change Canada forever. A leader who understands best practices in governance and practices excellence and integrity in everything he does.
The time is right for Chief Lee Crowchild to lead the AFN. Not for personal gain but to fulfill a vision. A vision of a united, powerful, and principled stand of people whose time for assertion has come.