“Leadership shouldn't be concerned about not always agreeing. It’s okay to disagree. I think that we have to learn that it is okay to disagree…that it is okay that we are not on the same page all the time. That is where creative process occurs and I think it is how we reach as close to consensus as we can. I think we see that at the AFN right now.”
“When you look at Shawn Atleo I believe that he was successful. He managed to get 1.5 billion out of the federal government for education. That is an incredible accomplishment. Not even provincial premiers have been able to do that. When you look at it objectively the inter-play (within the AFN) the Chiefs…is do you negotiate education first? Or do you push for resource development?
“In traditional government, the Chief and Council was not elected to make decisions for the people but on behalf of the people. That’s a heck of a big difference. The people have to be in agreement. I hear it in my council all the time: ‘We have to mandate!’ That’s one of the biggest faults with the democratic system. Anybody who is going to run can make all the promises in the world, and yet once they get their power, do whatever the heck they wish. You’ll find some Chiefs who pay themselves an outrageous salary meanwhile their people are suffering from lack of housing, poor education, so on and so forth. The people hold the power and not a group called Chief and Council.”
“…Me speaking about how Sagkeeng defeated the Sagkeeng Hydro Accord & our corrupt C&C. Now is the time to figure out what is next for our community to work on for our future generations...such as renewable energy projects!”
“Treaties were made long ago, back in the times when the colonialists first made contact, and that (Treaty 1-11) acted as agreements to keep the peace and share the resources. It was never understood that we, as Aboriginals, were expected to give up such a large amount of what the Creator gave us. In essence, we feel cheated and deeply disrespected. That respect is what Aboriginals are really fighting to regain.”
“I think that the disorganization in appearance at the AFN is a time of beautiful shift and change and something that has been needed as we break through our own colonial prison. And our own leadership is recognizing that, and they are changing even their own understanding of Indian Act leadership.”-Leah Gazan.