Treaty Six chiefs say Alberta premier’s words confirm pulling out of negotiations with province was right move

‘The Premier contradicts all the efforts toward an understanding and confirms that the Treaty Six chiefs made the right decision to dissolve the Protocol Agreement.’


Leaders in the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations in Alberta say they made the right move pulling out of talks over a framework agreement with the province of Alberta after Premier Jason Kenney made the news talking about cancel culture and historical Canadian figures.

Kenney said, among other things, that he was against stripping Hector-Louis Langevin or former prime minister John A McDonald off buildings in the province because society judges them harshly now.

“If we want to canceling every figure in our history, who took positions at the time that we that now judge harshly and rightly, in historical retrospect, but if that’s the new standard, I think almost the entire founding leadership of our country gets canceled,” Kenney said.

McDonald was prime minister when the residential school system was established. He was also the leader that guided the federal government on policy related to settling the prairies.

Both policies had a negative impact on tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples across the country – which the impacts are still felt today.

Rewind to May 12, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 pulled out of an agreement that would have made it easier to negotiate new agreements over a lack of consultation.

“The Premier contradicts all the efforts toward an understanding and confirms that the Treaty Six chiefs made the right decision to dissolve the Protocol Agreement,” said Grand Chief Vernon Watchmaker.

This isn’t the first time that chiefs have been upset with how the Kenney administration has been working.

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey criticized Kenney’s comments and told APTN that his government is failing to bring Sovereign nations to the negotiating table.

“You have to consider Treaty and Treaty rights in how you legislate and create laws and still they are not coming to the table,” Noskey said. “For some reason, I don’t know why, but for some reason, premier

Kenney basically does stuff without… on a whim of what he is thinking?”

APTN News reached out to Kenney’s office but according to staff he wasn’t available for an interview. Instead we received a statement from the office of Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson

“We will still work with all First Nations regardless whether there is a protocol or not. Alberta’s government entered into this agreement in good faith, with the idea of working together in a spirit of respect and partnership to move forward our shared social and economic priorities,” the statement said in part.

Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.