Roger Augustine Elected Assembly of First Nations' Regional Chief of N...
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Subject: Roger Augustine Elected Assembly of First Nations' Regional Chief
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ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
Transmitted by CNW Group on : December 5, 2008 13:55
Roger Augustine Elected Assembly of First Nations' Regional Chief of New
Brunswick/Prince Edward Island
OTTAWA, Dec. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - National Chief Phil Fontaine is pleased to
announce that Roger Augustine, of Eel Ground First Nation (Miramichi), has
election by the Assembly of New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island Chiefs to
become Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (representing
Regional Chief Augustine was most recently Chief of Staff to the
Chief Fontaine, where he was instrumental in a number of key initiatives -
most important being the co-drafting of the new federal Specific Claims
Tribunal Act - a much needed overhaul of the claims process.
Prior to his across-Canada experience with the National Chief, Regional
Chief Augustine rose to prominence in his role as Chief and Peace-Maker
New Brunswick's 'War in the Woods', the fishery dispute at Burnt Church, and
the implementation of the Supreme Court of Canada's Marshall decisions -
rulings upheld local First Nations' traditional rights to a food fishery. It
was during this period that Roger convened the Center For Indigenous
Environmental Resources (CIER) -- bringing-in speakers of the stature of
Robert Kennedy Jr. (Riverkeepers); Mathew Coon Come (Grand Council of the
Crees of James Bay); and Daniel Ashini (Innu Nation) - thereby providing a
diplomatic forum for easing tensions through hearing about other
He remains Chair of the CIER.
Regional Chief Augustine co-chaired the Miramichi Bay Community
Panel (with Mr. Justice Richard) called 'Building Bridges - Communities at a
Crossroad': The Panel was impressed by the degree of untapped goodwill
existing in the non-native fishery communities towards the First Nations
people of Burnt Church.
For 10 years, he was a Commissioner on the Specific Claims Commission -
the key tribunal mandated to facilitate the resolution of First Nation land
issues and disputes.
"As Regional Chief, my goal is to chart a "First Nations Safe Water
Strategy" focusing on the protection of provincial watersheds and coastal
areas - in an effort to reconcile First Nation uses with other users," said
Regional Chief Augustine. "This will be a joint NB/PEI initiative that the
considers central to enhancing the environmental integrity of the region.
"I am also prioritizing the AFN's Corporate Challenge Program, and
to reach out to the resources sector in promoting First Nations commercial
partnerships, jobs and training. This is entirely within the spirit of the
Kelowna Accord - which was signed by the Premiers of the major resource
Regional Chief Augustine was instrumental in forging the first such
precedent in New Brunswick - Eagle Forest Products -- whereby the First
Nations consortium held a 10% interest in a state-of-the-art OSB facility -
employing First Nation members and paying dividends.
Regional Chief Augustine will be based at Eel Ground First Nation (where
he was formerly Chief) and will be soliciting funding for both the a) First
Nations Safe Water Strategy and b) the pursuit of new Corporate Challenge
partnerships - showing the rest of Canada the true New Brunswick and PEI
advantage: when First Nations, Governments, and Industry work in the spirit
collaboration and mutual respect.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
/For further information: Roger Augustine, AFN Regional Chief NB/PEI,
Assembly of First Nations, (506) 627-4603, Cell: (506) 625-7878, bb: