The Alberta government is providing $100,000 for dialogue and collaboration on critical issues facing Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
Representatives of 623 First Nations, Metis and Inuit groups have been invited to participate in the National Gathering of Elders, which will be held in Edmonton from Sept. 11-14, states a news release from the provincial government.
Three to four thousand delegates are expected to attend and will discuss and exchange knowledge on issues like reconciliation, treaties, climate change and education.
“Alberta is proud to support this important gathering,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Richard Feehan says.
“There are real and pressing issues facing Indigenous Peoples in Alberta and throughout Canada and increased communication and cooperation – between governments and between communities – is essential when addressing these challenges head on.”
Indigenous peoples appreciate the support.
“We are pleased the Alberta government is supporting the National Gathering of Elders,” Grand Chief Rupert Meneen says.
“This gathering will bring together Elders from across our country to connect and take their place as advisors, teachers and leaders.
The sharing of traditions, knowledge and culture is what will bring our voices to the forefront where we can make a real and lasting impact on the issues facing Indigenous peoples throughout Canada.”
Elders have a vital role in Indigenous communities as respected knowledge keepers who teach and provide guidance to Indigenous individuals.
In addition to bringing awareness to important issues, this gathering will address building relationships with corporations, institutions and Canadians, allowing a greater understanding of Indigenous culture, knowledge, and traditions and mutually beneficial partnerships.
Core funding from the province will be used to organize and host the event, facility and equipment rental, travel and accommodation, promotions and communications.