Annual General Assembly 2018 - Agents of Change
Our theme for this year’s AGA was “Agents of Change,” and based on the great presentations from our councilors, staff, and negotiators we really lived up to the theme.
Takla has had a very difficult year, with deaths in the community affecting everyone. But we came through these tragedies with strength. We have new teams, like the Takla Forest Advisory and Steering Committee that are bringing more and more members into the decision-making process. And our negotiations with the province are slowly but surely bringing our nation towards total self-determination in our territory.
There are a few things I wanted to highlight at the AGA, and in this newsletter for those who couldn’t make it to the meeting.
First, it’s important that we all start thinking what the future will look like, and how we will become a strong and unified nation. Being one nation, one voice is not about disrespecting, it’s about strengthening. If we’re not a nation and we’re not powerful will we be able to stand up to other claims on our territory? If we’re a nation only then can we do those things. When we are old we will have a chance to look back and know we are a powerful nation. This means getting our youth involved in leadership and in administration. I won’t be here forever, and my hope is to leave a great thing behind, something that our young people can come into.
Second, in everything we do we need to keep our traditions and our land at heart. I hear this from our members all the time, and it’s the first instruction that I give to our negotiating team every time we meet. There are problems on our land -- there aren’t enough salmon, there aren’t enough moose -- but we are starting to regain the strength we always had to stand up for our lands and our culture.
Third, we need to think about healing. These agreements we are negotiating with the province and with industry are going to give us back our rights to decide what happens here. Money is going to start flowing into our nation. But if we aren’t careful, that money will only poison us. We need to use that money to help us heal our lands and ourselves. Only then will we be well enough to make smart decisions based on our traditions and our ancestors.
The AGA was an opportunity for everyone to come together to share our vision for the future.
I am always humbled by the strength of our people. And I know that we are only becoming stronger. I invite you to look over these pages, think about our future, and join me in contributing to the strength of our nation.
Chief John French
Check out our Takla Nation 2018 AGA Newsletter HERE
Or how about some video clips from the Annual Assembly:
Check out the video HERE
Check out the video HERE
Check out the video link HERE
Check out our graphic recordings of our discussions HERE
Powerful Statements from Takla Council & Membership:
"We’re trying to involve more and more people as a community to understand where we’re trying to go. Lots of team involved, eventually - we’re moving to self-gov’t, in the interests of what the future will look like, how we will become a strong nation. We have little disagreements, may agree to disagree, but interest of the future we have to become whole. If anything is continuously dividing us we have to figure out how to get beyond that, have to involve younger people. We’re not here forever, our seats will have to be changed over at some point. We hope to leave a great thing behind, something that young people can come into."
- Chief John French
"Don't be shy of who are. Be proud of who you are! We are First Nations."
- Wally Charlie
"We all have a role in this community. It's not his job or her job, it's all of us together as a community"
- Councillor William Korolyk
"Maybe we have to come together more often and talk. It's a wonderful feeling to be together with one another, with respect and love"
- Elder Frank Williams
"Our employees in O&M and Housing are building connections to make things easier and make sure the work gets done. This is supported by the rest of Chief and Council, because it’s about stability. If we get policies and procedures, and systems in place, nothing should change when the Council changes, or the portfolios change."
Councillor Wilma Abraham
"It is important that every family and traditional territory talk about their lands and bring it up to the Committee, so we can bring it to the table and bring it to governance, so we can be in the same boat and not have disagreement with anyone."
Monique Williams, Takla Forest Advisory Steering Committee
"We all have a connection with our lands and resources: it can be controversial because it is so important to all of us."
Councillor Chris French
"Agents of Change is your theme. Right now, we are in the biggest changes that have ever happened, and we as a Tribal Council are at the leading edge. Everyone in Canada is looking at us. This is a totally different thing – we are rewriting history. I want to recognize Council, your Chief – they’ve got the toughest job of anyone. John Allen is an anchor at that table, he holds it all together. He’s got some of the best people in the province working for you. It’s like bringing in Wayne Gretzky of the business world. It’s mind boggling."
CSTC Deputy Chief Reg Mueller
"We are a resilient nation. Takla is always one of the first communities to say Yes! we’ll do this! We’re the first ones in for pilot projects, which means we’re first for much of the funding, which serves our community. We do our work by looking at who we are, being honest, and now by gathering and tracking data so we can plan for the future. As a Council we are striving to do things properly, planning for the future. As families, we have a low ratio of children and families involved with the Ministry."
Deputy Chief Sandra Teegee