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Speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce – March 1, 2012
As I said in my language I thank the indigenous peoples of this territory Tsuu Tina – Treaty seven territory (Chief Sandford Bigplume). This is central to who we are as indigenous peoples I also express my thanks to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for inviting me here, and to Mr. Steve Williams (President and COO of Suncor Energy) for the kind introduction.
I am honoured to be here to be part of your important series -“Aboriginal Business Connections”.
Making connections and better understanding one another is key to good business.
And it is absolutely key to unleashing the tremendous economic potential of First Nations.
Today I want to share with you our vision of how we can and must work together to further economic opportunity based on the solid foundation of a renewed relationship.You see our collective ancestors – all of us both Indigenous and non-Indigenous actually got this right – right here in this territory and right across the country centuries ago.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 build on decades of Treaty making in the East, codified the Crown’s obligations and established Treaty making as an essential requirement for obtaining access to our lands, to our resources.
When the federal government wanted to build the railway – Treaty was needed first. Treaty Seven signed in 1877 continues to this day to be the basis of the relationship in this territory– a relationship that must be re-invigorated and renewed as the source of both our collective history AND OUR FUTURE.
Just over one month ago First Nation leaders from across this country met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston under the premise of renewing the relationship between First Nations and the Crown. This was an important first step.Our work to achieve change requires us to work together to find solutions. Achieving full engagement and forging understanding is our standard of how we do can and must do business together.
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