The AFN is at a crossroads: we need to refocus to become a serious, powerful vehicle for change again. Now is our moment.
Without a united voice and focused mandate we won’t get the results our nations deserve. We risk missing crucial opportunities to move our agenda forward.
Just like around your council table, there will be many differences of opinion. But First Nations leaders have so much more that unites us and some clear priorities:
- Exercising our jurisdiction across all policy areas
- Pushing governments to respect our treaty & inherent rights
- Affirming our roles as stewards of the lands and waters
- Educating our children in their traditions, languages, and customs
- Taking care of First Nations who are living with addictions & mental health challenges
- and making sure the doors to Ottawa are open to you, Chiefs, as the rights holders of your nations
The next National Chief needs to find constructive ways to work through our differences, drawing from our traditions and culture, and focus where there is unification. The AFN needs to be your resource and champion in Ottawa. As National Chief, your agenda is my agenda. Your wins, our wins. I will push your collective vision forward so it can become fully realized.
At the same time, the next National Chief will also understand the importance of balancing the need to push big pieces forward while staying connected to the communities the AFN is meant to serve. I’m the kind of person who picks up the phone, likes to meet face to face, and will show up when invited. As your National Chief I will take your priorities and messages forward so that you can get what you need to advance the distinct needs of your own nation.
Because the success of the AFN is only as strong as the nations it represents. Our futures are interconnected, and it would be an honour to serve.
David’s Approach to Leadership
David Gordon Pratt is a proud citizen of the Muscowpetung First Nation in Treaty 4 Territory. He is serving his second term as the First Vice Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) where he was elected to lead the 74 First Nations in the Saskatchewan region with an exceptional mandate of over 72 per cent of the vote.
David is a visionary leader with a proven track record of making a difference and advancing the Inherent and Treaty rights of First Nations. At FSIN David has:
- Established the First Nations Health Ombudsperson, a first of its kind office in Canada, as a response to discrimination that First Nations people face in the health care system and to help protect First Nations from racism.
- Co-Chaired the AFN Health Committee, where he has been wholeheartedly committed to supporting the recognition of the Inherent right to self-govern over healthcare and the implementation of the Treaty right to health, and to better understanding health priorities and concerns from First Nations in every region across the country.
- Fiercely advocated for Bill C-92: An Act Respecting First Nations Children and Families, working closely with past and present leaders, the AFN Advisory Council and Cindy Blackstock to ensure that no children were left out of the final settlement agreement in 2023.
- Fought against provincial intrusion that targeted First Nations hunters, trappers, and fishers, and pushed back against the Saskatchewan First Act.
- Devotedly worked with Chiefs and Councils in the community, hearing about challenges and solutions directly from local leadership.
- Developed relationships working with people across North America to advance First Nations rights.
To download David’s bio, click here.
Strengthen Collective Sovereignty
Recognizing the importance of collective sovereignty, my campaign is dedicated to challenging historical injustices, advocating for legal recognition of First Nations rights, and fostering genuine partnerships that honour self-determination and self-governance. My platform centers around seven pillars:
- Resource Sovereignty: Asserting the sovereignty of First Nations over traditional lands and resources, demanding recognition of Inherent and Treaty rights.
- Economic Empowerment: Advocating for sustainable, community-based economic opportunities that align with cultural values and environmental stewardship.
- Revenue Sharing: Pushing for fair revenue-sharing agreements with the federal government and industry, ensuring prosperity directly benefits First Nations communities.
- Self-Administered Policing: Holding the government accountable for its commitment to make First Nations policing an essential service based on our own laws and traditions.
- Addressing Over-Incarceration: Making the Indigenous Justice Strategy a priority for the National Chiefs Office and seeking direction from the Chiefs to address over-incarceration.
- Systemic Racism: Asserting the mandates provided by the Chiefs in Assembly to ensure First Nations have equitable access to justice and are actively identifying and eliminating systemic racism.
- Addressing the Housing Crisis: Lobbying for increased funding for housing on-reserve to improve living conditions for the overall well-being of our people.
- Community-Controlled Housing: Asserting the right to self-determination in housing programs and infrastructure development, while challenging federal constraints.
- Energy-Efficient Housing: Promoting energy-efficient and sustainable housing solutions that support the environment and reduce the cost of living.
- Physical Health: Advocating for equitable access to healthcare services, challenging discrimination and the disparities in funding and services for First Nations.
- Healing Intergenerational Trauma: Providing resources and support for the long and complex healing of intergenerational trauma and calling for federal recognition of this legacy.
- Environmental Stewardship: Emphasizing First Nations’ role as environmental stewards and advocating for sustainable environmental policies and recognition of the key role that Traditional knowledge plays in addressing the climate crisis.
- Climate Disasters: Collaborating with the federal government to improve disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation strategies to protect our nations.
- Assertion of Rights: Supporting leadership as they seek to assert jurisdictional rights over their traditional lands and territories to address the risk to the health and safety of First Nations.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQ+
- Report Implementation: Developing an implementation plan with the federal government to track the progress of all MMIWG2S+ Calls for Justice, and the TRC Calls to Action.
- Accountability and Advocacy: Hold the government, police, and industry accountable while continuing to raise awareness and advocate for justice for victims and their families.
- Preventative Measures: Demanding support for preventative measures and support services that protect Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ peoples from all forms of violence.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Consultation and Consent: Demanding the federal government respect the principles of free, prior, and informed consent in all matters affecting First Nations’ rights and interests.
- Indigenous Laws and Jurisdictions: Challenging the federal government to recognize and respect Indigenous laws and jurisdictions in governance, lands, and resources.
To download David’s Platform, click here.
Putting Chiefs back in the driver seat
The only way we get results that advance our Inherent and Treaty rights is to make Chiefs Assemblies matter like they did in the past, while keeping the AFN relevant for the present and future. My top priority is just that – working with Chiefs to get clear mandates and pushing those mandates forward on your behalf.
The Chiefs-in-Assembly need to be at the centre of setting those priorities, and those mandates will be my exclusive focus.
I will also reset the AFN’s relationship with the federal government. There are some big moments coming soon:
- First Nations policing legislation
- First Nations health legislation
- First Nations water rights legislation
- Securing investments in Budget 2024
- Standing up against the provinces court challenge of the Child Welfare legislation
- Securing recognition over natural resources
- And more
The Chiefs-in-Assembly will determine if the federal government has respected our rights, heard our concerns, and presented legislation that has a mandate to move forward. I will work with you to ensure that these pieces of legislation are supported by our Chiefs.
As an educator, a community member, and an elected Chief in Saskatchewan, I’m the right person to get this done. I have strong relationships and experience to draw on and a track record of advancing challenging issues by focussing on practical solutions.
Together, we will work on these issues and others for our people across our lands and present a common, united message to the government, industry, and all Canadians.
To download David’s 90 Day Transition Plan, click here.
“David Pratt is the leader poised to bring unity to AFN. His track record demonstrates a commitment to advancing mandates while ensuring that the concerns of every First Nation are heard and represented. With experience at the grassroots level, he pledges to include everyone on this journey. David Pratt embodies the leadership needed to steer AFN back on track with our collective mandates.”
Chief Evan Taypotat
Kahkewistahaw First Nation
“Dave Pratt has the leadership skills and experience to fulfill the mandates of the Chiefs of Canada. His cultural and spiritual background will guide our Nations into prosperity.”
Chief George Cote
Cote First Nation
David Pratt will “… ensure the AFN is a relevant voice for chiefs in Canada.”
Chief Erica Beaudin
Cowessess First Nation
David is a “…visible, accessible leader and a passionate advocate for fundamental human rights including Inherent and TREATY rights.”
Former Chief, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
“David Pratt brings to the First Nation Political Arena, a wealth of practical experience in governance, and practical experience in working with all levels of First Nations, Federal and Provincial governments. He also brings a true respect for First Nations Traditions, a demonstrated respect for culture, a humble and true respect for our traditional practices and the sacredness of our ceremonies, and a great respect for the ideals and aspirations of First Nations past and present.”
Director, Yorkton Tribal Council