(September 09, 2016 – Mississauga Territory – Toronto, ON)

Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson spoke on a panel regarding Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) consultations and Canada’s plan to partner with Indigenous leaders and organizations to ensure First Nations Inherent Rights, Title, and Treaty Rights are upheld in the international trade relationships Canada engages in.

“First Nations are open for business—we’ve been trading for millennia, and we understand the value of trade in creating robust economic opportunities for our people. However, our ‘openness’ is predicated on the recognition by our potential trading partners on our inherent rights. Trade must not only be ‘free,’ it must be fair, and it must be mutually beneficial.

I acknowledge and support National Chief’s recommendation that Canada should establish a First Nations Trade Commission Service and a Trade Investment Fund for First Nations. I see this body as an important initiative that Canada should take seriously. Especially as Trudeau’s mandate letters explicitly state that no relationship is more important than that with Indigenous peoples.”

-Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson