THUNDER BAY – The Valhalla Hotel and Conference Centre was once again full of leaders from the 49 different communities that make up Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation's Chiefs Winter Assembly entered its second day on Wednesday. The first day’s discussion mainly focused on common issues, including talks about treaty cases and the Treaty Table Memorandum of Understanding. Day 2 was focused on policing, community wellness, and social services.
Deputy Grand Chief Victor Linklater said despite being halfway through the assembly, there's still a number issues that need to be discussed.
"Of course, we have some ongoing issues that we'll discuss either later today or tomorrow,” he said. “With mental health, addictions, you know, the [uptick] in overdoses, it's been hard on our communities and our families."
Linklater said having a platform for chiefs to share and discuss regional challenges is beneficial for all NAN communities, calling it a best practice to advance their communities.
"We have made mistakes. We have signed some bad agreements, but we never want that to happen to any other nation,” he said.
“So, the fact that we can share that, and encourage each other - I think is so important. And these chiefs assemblies provide that opportunity - for some collective resolutions. It gets buy-in and support from all regions of NAN."
The assembly is scheduled to end Thursday evening following discussions around health care and advocacy.