In his first 30 days in office as B.C. Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) Regional Chief Terry Teegee has hit the ground running, immediately engaging with First Nations and a wide variety of provincial and national leaders on his platform and vision for the BCAFN and for B.C. First Nations.
Teegee holds the national portfolios on economic development and justice. In his first month, Teegee has worked to advance his vision for economic development by meeting with Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology. As part of his platform, Teegee is committed to advocating for on substantive revenue options for First Nations, and for the recognition and implementation of the economic component of aboriginal title and rights. To this end, Regional Chief Terry Teegee has also participated in AFN Executive discussions on the renegotiation of NAFTA and the Canada-USA softwood lumber agreement.
With respect to the justice portfolio, Teegee issued a statement regarding the interim report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and participated at the second BCAFN Women’s Dialogue Session which brought together female leaders to dialogue around priorities and strategic approaches with respect to advocating and advancing the well-being of Indigenous women and girls. Teegee will be meeting with the federal, provincial and territorial heads of corrections at the Heads of Corrections Engagement Dialogue to discuss Indigenous Strategic Plans and Programs in correctional institutions across Canada.
In his first month Teegee has met with the First Nations Leadership Council and various First Nations Organizations to discuss issues ranging from children and families’ jurisdiction, gaming revenue sharing, environmental assessment issues and the Tripartite Education Framework Agreement renewal discussions. He has also made efforts to engage with B.C. First Nations impacted by wildfires and will continue to urge governments for meaningful support, improved coordination and recovery efforts.
“It is an exciting time to be part of reconciliation with Canada and B.C.,” said Teegee. “Our upcoming meetings in Ottawa I will work to secure BC First Nations interests and strategies at the national level. First Nations in BC must be critical players in reforming provincial and federal laws and policies to be compliant with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Regional Chief Terry Teegee added, “We have a lot of work ahead of us and I look forward to working with our chiefs, leaders, partners and Canadians to secure meaningful changes to improve our lives.”