(Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario) – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) congratulates New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Wab Kinew on his historic election as the first Anishinaabe Premier of Manitoba.
“Premier Kinew’s election is a significant moment, not only for him but for First Nations throughout Canada in our journey towards greater representation. It represents hope for our communities and sends a strong message to our youth about the bright future that awaits them,” said Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard. “With Premier Kinew leading Manitoba, I’m hopeful about the opportunities and pathways for a brighter, more inclusive future and strengthened partnerships built on mutual respect, collaboration, and understanding between Manitoba and First Nations.”
Key commitments from the incoming government include the enhancement of health care services, tackling housing and homelessness challenges, and support for the search at the Prairie Green landfill.
On Wednesday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree announced $740,000 to review the potential search at the Prairie Green landfill, which is believed to contain the remains of two First Nations women, Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris. The funds will be directed to the Long Plain First Nation, to support the technical, logistical, and personnel challenges of the search operation.
“I expect Premier Kinew to bring in new era of governance and collaboration in Manitoba, one that strengthens the relationship with First Nations,” said Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse. “The safety and security of First Nations women and girls, and addressing systemic discrimination in the justice system, must be remain at the forefront of our efforts. This isn’t just about a search and recovery; it’s about justice, healing, and closure for the families of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris and affirming the rights of First Nations women to safety and security and ensuring that crimes against them are met with thorough investigation. With the federal commitment and Premier Kinew’s support, we look ahead to a future where safety and justice for First Nations women and girls are recognized.”
Regional Chief Woodhouse added, “The pressing need for culturally sensitive medical care, especially in mental wellness, cannot be overstated. Disparities in health outcomes between First Nations and other Manitoban communities have been widening. This needs to change. I am optimistic about collaborating with Premier Kinew and his Cabinet to support the vision of First Nations leadership in Manitoba. Together, we’ll address health disparities, housing challenges, systemic discrimination, and ensure respect for the Treaty relationship.”
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.
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Senior Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations