Miles Richardson has had it with Ottawa treating Canada’s indigenous people like second-class citizens.
The dynamic, respected and results-driven politician from the Haida nation is determined – determined to make sure the federal government stops treating indigenous people with the objective of making them like white people.
And he sees the Indian Act as nothing but an instrument to achieve that result.
“The Indian Act is nothing but an ongoing effort to squeeze the ‘indian’ out of the Indian”, he says.
Instead he wants the federal government to treat each of the 60 Indigenous Nations – 30 are in B.C. – as sovereign ones.
And the concept is not a novel one – instead the courts in Canada already are recognizing that as a principle.
And now is the time for Canada’s politicians to make it happen.
And wants that message to be loud and clear to Ottawa and all other politicians.
That is one of the reasons he is running for the position of national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
And he has no hesitation in saying he thinks he will get the top post – seeing there only three other people vying for the post.
The election takes place later this month on July 25.
Richardson has had a long and distinguished career in the art of politics.
When he was a mere 27 years he became the youngest Haida ever to become president of the Council of the Haida Nation.
And he earned his political stripes by getting a deal on a Nation to Nation basis with Ottawa that recognized and protected the Gwaii Hanas area of his people’s homeland: Haida Gwaii.
From then on he worked for different organizations always with the vision of advancing the sovereign rights of Indigenous people.
In 1998 he became chief commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission.
In 2007 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
He is a founding director of the David Suzuki Foundation and a founding member of the Bill Reid Foundation, which works to preserve the art and legacies of one of the finest Haida artists ever.
Richardson is active on social media. Here is here:
Facebook: Miles Richardson for National Chief