I've received three personal phone calls from Cam Broten, Cathy Sproule, and David Forbes.
Last week I received three letters in the mail from Premier Brad Wall; MLA D. Wayne Elhard, Provincial Secretary; and Hon. Dan D'Autremont, Speaker of the House. I do plan to write each back to thank them for their responses and to begin a conversation about Saskatchewan's roll in treaty responsibility.
I am especially interested in Premier Wall's comments on following up on recommendations from the Joint Task Force on Aboriginal Education and Employment, the Duty to Consult, and that "Our government will work hard to ensure that all Saskatchewan people are given full opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, the growth that is taking place in Saskatchewan today, and into the future."
I will type each response below.
On Premier of Saskatchewan letterhead is the following letter:
January 10, 2013
Dear Ms. Koops:
Thank you for your email of December 21, 2012.
Notwithstanding current issues between First Nations and the federal government, our government will continue to work effectively with the FSIN and First Nations in Saskatchewan to improve educational outcomes for First Nations students, such as on the Joint Task Force on Aboriginal Education and Employment, which released an interim report earlier this month. We will build on the report and its recommendations, in partnership with tribal councils, individual First Nations and First Nation businesses, to increase aboriginal engagement in the economy.
We will also continue to honour our government's obligations under the Duty to Consult as we continue to build our relationships with First Nations across Saskatchewan. Our government will work hard to ensure that all Saskatchewan people are given full opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, the growth that is taking place in Saskatchewan today, and into the future.
If you have not already done so, you may wish to share your views with your Member of Parliament. I have also forwarded your email to the Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs, for his information.
Thank you for writing.
On Speaker of the Legislative Assembly letterhead is written the following:
January 8, 2013
Dear Ms. Koops,
Thank you for your letter regarding Chief Theresa Spence and her actions to draw attention to the concerns of First Nations communities and peoples.
I have referred your letter to the Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs for the Saskatchewan government for his further response.
Hon. Dan D'Autremont
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan
On Provincial Secretary letterhead is written the following letter:
17 January 2013
Dear Ms. Koops
Thank you for your letter, dated 21 December 2012, addressed to both the Premier and to me personally. I appreciate the effort you made to contact our government during the Christmas holidays to express your concerns on matters affecting the First Nations.
As you will be aware, there have been several developments in regard to Chief Spence and her efforts to bring awareness to First Nations issues since your initial contact with my office via telephone. We trust that the recent meeting with the Prime Minister and selected Chiefs will be a positive step towards resolution of outstanding issues affecting First Nations communities.
I understand that the Premier has forwarded your letter to our Minister responsible for First Nations and Metis Relations for his information and attention.
D. Wayne Elhard, MLA
Note: Here is a link to the Government of Saskatchewan Joint Task Force mentioned in the Premier's Letter.