BC Chiefs-in-Assembly Express Unanimous Support for BC Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould and for the Development of a Transition Plan

VANCOUVER, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver this week. Following discussion on the morning of September 9, 2014, the BCAFN Board of Directors is pleased to confirm unanimous support by resolution of the Chiefs-in-Assembly for a transition plan for Jody Wilson-Raybould, Regional Chief of the BCAFN, leading up to the election of the next BC Regional Chief in 2015.   

The vote of confidence in Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould follows the July 31, 2014, acclamation of Jody Wilson-Raybould to be the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the new federal riding of Vancouver Granville in the upcoming 2015 federal election.

The Chiefs expressed full confidence that Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould could continue to undertake her responsibilities as Regional Chief, while at the same time being a Liberal candidate. The Chiefs further recognized the important and ongoing work of the BCAFN under the leadership of Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould.  

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs stated, "I believe that this country is in desperate need of a new national vision. A one hundred and eighty degree shift towards a more inclusive vision is required. If Jody were to be elected, I have no doubt that she could contribute to that collective new vision."

Together with the Regional Chief, the BCAFN Board of Directors has commenced developing a transition plan for Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould leading up to the 2015 federal election. In the resolution adopted by the Chiefs, this plan must ensure, among other things, there will be frequent meetings of the BCAFN Board of Directors over the next several months to discuss and address issues that may arise during the transition period.

Grand Chief Ed John, Executive Member for the First Nations Summit, stated, "I was able to attend the nomination meeting for Jody and it was my honour to be there. I have great respect for those of our people who choose to take on the difficult challenge of working for change within all levels of government in Canada whatever the political stripe. We need to combat systemic racism and colonial attitudes from within existing institutions as well. I support the flexible transition plan supported by resolution to protect the integrity of the BCAFN as an organization and our Nations as members of the organization."

Chief Maureen Chapman, member of the BCAFN Board of Directors, stated, "The Regional Chief was elected by our BC Chiefs and the resolution passed at this AGM reaffirms the confidence our Chiefs have in her leadership. This is our business. I am pleased with the support the BCAFN Board of Directors received for our transition plan. Our Nations are engaged in an incredible period of Nation building and we want to continue to support each other in the difficult work before all of us in building better futures for our people."

The transition plan will identify the appropriate time for Regional Chief Wilson-Raybould to step back as political lead of the BCAFN, at which time an Acting Regional Chief will be appointed. In regards to the final stage in the transition plan, upon the recommendation of the Regional Chief, the BC Chiefs-in-Assembly resolved to move forward the date of the next election for Regional Chief to now be held in June or July of 2015 during the BCAFN 12th Annual General Meeting to take place, in Vancouver, BC. Previously, the election was scheduled to be held in November 2015.

SOURCE: BC Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Courtney Daws, Director of Operations, BCAFN, 604-922-7733, Courtney.Daws@bcafn.ca

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