Onigaming First Nation Honours Premier Wab Kinew
Onigaming First Nation, October 28th, 2023 — People gathered at the community of Onigaming First Nation at the invitation of Chief Jeff Copenace to honour Wab Kinew as the newly elected Premier of Manitoba; amidst the backdrop of the first winter snow.
Wab Kinew election signs led everyone to the Roundhouse where family, friends, leadership joined the elders to await Premier Kinew’s arrival. Ogichidaa Kavanaugh joined Chief Jeff Copenace and his Council along with Grand Chief Cathy Merrick of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Sol Mamakwa, MP for the riding of Kiiwetinoong to celebrate Kinew’s achievement as a Anishinaabe Premier, a first in Canada.
The Roundhouse erupted in thunderous applause when he entered with his wife, Lisa Monkman and young son. Once the initial greetings of handshakes and hugs were complete; the drums and elders provided the opening songs and protocols. Chief Copenace brought greetings on behalf of Chief and Council before offering an opportunity to the assembled dignitaries to speak. Ogichidaa Kavanaugh shared that he first met Wab as a young child coming to the office with his father then Grand Chief, Tobasonakwut Kinew and his mother Kathi Avery Kinew; and reflected how he too had benefited from the support and mentorship of Tobasonakwut, and Wab’s uncles, Fred and John throughout his own career.
When it was his turn to speak; Premier Kinew provided his appreciation to the community; to Chief and Council, to the dignitaries and especially the children and youth. He shared the importance of education and going to school; being involved in sports, the arts and attending pow wows. He also spoke about the important teachings and experiences he had with his father out on Lake of the Woods and Crow Lake. He reflected on the importance of October 3rd and shared that while it is the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty#3; it was also the day that both he and Ogichidaa Kavanagh will now share as a date for being given a mandate to serve the people and most importantly he added, it has a personal family date being his mother’s birthday.
Following the speeches; a number of gifts were provided to Premier Kinew before the impromptu photo session with dignitaries as well as family and concluded with a community feast. Grand Council Treaty#3 is proud of Premier Wab Kinew, his strong and uplifting messages for our Nation’s youth. We look forward to strengthening our relationship and discussions with Manitoba in support of our communities who share territory within that Province and on behalf of all Anishinaabe who reside there. We appreciation the hard work of the community and thank Chief Jeff Copenace and his Council for sharing the invitation to honour Premier Wab Kinew.
For more information, please contact: Daniel Morriseau, Political Advisor – (807) 464-2647 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org