The new Assembly of First Nations’ Reginal Chief Joanna Bernard did not mince words when talking about Premier Blaine Higgs and his views of the lawsuit filed by Wolastoqey Nation.
“He’s a ding doing… he just does not know what he’s doing,” Bernard tells APTN News. “He’s actually making it worse for the people of the province.”
Last week, Higgs told reporters that the Wolastoqey title claim will put homeowners’ property at risk.
But Bernard hopes the claim will help the Mi’kmaw nations of New Brunswick who are researching their title claim area.
“What sets precedence for Wolastoqey claim will also fall over onto the Mi’kmaq eventually,” she says. “So I think it’s whether they are doing it together or not is for the benefit for the whole here in the province.”
Bernard, from Madawaska First Nation and one of the communities involved in the title claim, was elected regional chief of the AFN on Dec. 2.
She won by 80 per cent of the vote and succeeds Roger Augustine who held the job since 2008.
Bernard says she plans on consulting with chiefs on the issues she needs to take to Ottawa.
“Well there are some priorities that I believe that we should be focusing on and this is only my opinion of course I will wait for my chiefs, but fisheries, truth and reconciliation, land claims, are very severe issues that we really need to focus on to move forward,” the regional chief tells APTN.
Bernard was chief of Madawaska First Nation for ten years and was arrested in 2008 for fishing without a license to challenge treaty rights in court. The charges were later dropped.