Former Snuneymuxw First Nation chief Doug White III is setting his sights on regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations.
An election is set for June 25 and White, a lawyer, has added his name to the ballot, along with Nelson Leon, Robert Chamberlin and Shane Gottfriedson.
Land title and claims are part of White’s platform.
White said there are real challenges with dealing with proper treaty implementation and the rule of law in terms of implementation of 50 years of Supreme Court of Canada decisions about aboriginal rights and title and treaty rights.
“That’s the key work of our peoples. What used to be called the Indian land question in B.C., over the past 200 years, is about the fundamental need for indigenous peoples to re-establish their relationship with their territories and that’s our first work, the main imperative and goal and objective of our people for over a century,” said White.
He said First Nations continue to struggle with poverty and social ills, such as over-representation in the child welfare system and in the penal system – some of the things that paint a bleak picture for the quality of life for his people.
“It continues to be everyone’s priority to seek to address those social ills and to work towards parity of the rest of the Canadian population and to work towards dignity for our peoples,” White said.
He said his experiences would be beneficial, if elected.
“It’s very important to have the experience of having been a leader of a specific First Nation to know what the struggles are of each nation and what they’re grappling with,” said White. “So I’ll be bringing all that experience forward.”