Key ministers on Indigenous issues moved in cabinet shuffle
- EFN Staff | January 15, 2019
To kick off the week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced changes to the Ministry and welcomed new members to Cabinet. Jane Philpott, who served as the Minister of Indigenous Services, was replaced by Seamus O’Regan, who served as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. Philpott became President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government.
“Jane Philpott leaves large shoes to fill. I know that. To First Nations, Inuit, and Métis: I am committed to working in partnership with you to advance your priorities, and to continue the momentum underway. For your communities, and for your families,” according to a Twitter post from O’Regan.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde responded to the federal cabinet shuffle that took place on January 14, stating continued commitment and progress on First Nations priorities is critical to moving forward and closing the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada.
“I look forward to meeting with the new Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan and the new Attorney General David Lametti as soon as possible,” he said. “We lift up the work of former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould as the first Indigenous Justice Minister and her efforts to bring a First Nations perspective to Canada’s legal system. I look forward to our continued work together in her new role as Minister of Veterans Affairs…I’m honoured to have worked with the new Treasury Board President Jane Philpott and acknowledge all her efforts as Minister of Indigenous Services. Her openness and commitment to working together is a positive example for all governments.”
Topics of discussion included the significant strides to close gaps in education and First Nations child and family services, and additional support offered under Jordan’s Principle, the work to co-develop new legislation to improve Indigenous child and family services, and to preserve, protect, and revitalize Indigenous languages as well as emphasizing progress made on lifting long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve.
“Canada cannot move forward if Indigenous peoples continue to be held back. Together with Indigenous partners, the Government of Canada is working hard to move the dial on reconciliation, and [the] meeting with the AFN was an important step,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “By having open conversations and taking concrete action, we can make real and lasting change for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.”