Thunder Bay·Audio

NAN looks to new Liberal government for action

The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says he's feeling optimistic with the election of federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau as the next Prime Minister.

'There's a huge sense of relief', says NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler

Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aki Nation is hopeful the electon of Justin Trudeau will start an historic relationship with the federal goverment. (Alvin Fiddler)
Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation Alvin Fiddler says he looks forward to working with a federal "Liberal" government 6:54
The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 First Nations communities across northwestern Ontario, says he feels a sense of optimism with the election of the federal Liberals under leader Justin Trudeau.

The Prime Minister-designate held a number of meetings with NAN leadership during the campaign and committed to working with the group, said Alvin Fiddler.  

"He took the time to listen, not just to the leadership but the community members and to get a good understanding of the issues," said Fiddler.

The priority, and the hope is that Trudeau's approach signals a more respectful relationship between First Nations and the federal government, said Fiddler.

"The federal government', he said, " has to recognize the rights we have with our treaty." 

This election also illustrated the desire for change that First Nations people are feeling, said Fiddler.

"The turnout at the polls was phenomenal," he said.

"There was the the sense we couldn`t afford another four years with Harper," he added.  

Fiddler said NAN has a number of priorities, including holding Trudeau to his commitment to hold an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

"We look forward to working with the government not just to meet the needs of their communities, but families that have been affected by the tragedy," said Fiddler.