Kevin Hart says he’s the ‘best candidate’ for AFN national chief

APTN News continues candidate profiles as AFN election approaches

Over the last six years, Kevin Hart has held some of the most important portfolios at the Assembly of First Nations.

During his two terms as the AFN regional chief for Manitoba, Hart oversaw the files on housing, water, infrastructure, child welfare, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and more.

While he believes there have been great strides on those files and unprecedented investments, those are also the issues Hart says he will continue to push for if elected as national chief.

Hart says his “highest priority will be protecting Aboriginal treaty and inherent rights, inclusion, and advancement while assuring a secure future for our women and children.”

As the former co-chair of the AFN’s COVID-19 task force, Hart is also concerned about the economic recovery that is needed post-pandemic.

Hart says within the first 100 days of his leadership, he would be calling on the pope to apologize for the Catholic church’s role in the residential school system.

Hart asks why Canadians are not “screaming out for the United Nations to intervene because a genocide has indeed occurred here in Canada. These residential school sites should be treated as crime scenes.

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“Everyone is looking for some leadership and for someone to have that experience to say, if they’re sworn in as national chief on July 7, that they’re willing to take that helm, that they have the experience to take that helm,” Hart says.

“Do the rest of the candidates have that experience in being able to write laws when it comes to the jurisdiction of our children? Have they been able to work with our chiefs from coast to coast to coast under the various portfolios that I’ve had? The answer is no.”

The race for the national chief of the AFN is nearing the finish line.

Seven candidates are running to replace Perry Bellegarde after he announced he would not be seeking a third term.

The vote for the next national chief will take place virtually on July 7.

Roughly, 630 chiefs and proxies will elect the next national chief.

APTN News will be interviewing the seven candidates in the run-up to the July election which will be held virtually.

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