First Nations across the country including the Cariboo-Chilcotin are reacting to Wednesday’s election for the Assembly of First Nations that saw Perry Bellegarde reclaiming his seat as national chief.
Bellegarde was elected for a second term after claiming 328 of the 522 seats that gave him just over the 60 percent need.
Tsilhqot’in National Government Tribal Chair and Tl’etinqox community Chief Joe Alphonse says while there was controversy, he believes it was political posturing more than anything.
“I don’t think Carolyn Bennett or the INAC Minister endorsing any candidate that would be considered a plus so I don’t really think that was the case whatever,” he said.
“I think Perry will have his challenges for sure. At this level, there’s always big divide and there are so many issues that pertain to First Nations people-murdered and missing women to homelessness of First Nations people right across the country, recognition of our rights.”
Alphonse says while they supported Bellegarde when he first got elected, they were supporting Miles Richardson from Haida Nation who although put up a good fight didn’t have what it took to defeat Bellegarde.
“It’s not going to be devastating for us,” Alphonse said.
“We’re going to continue to keep moving our issues forward the way Chilcotin people want to see it happen and we’ll keep pushing for that.”