Monday, April 27, 2015

Meet Native America: Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 


Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), visiting the Rolling River First Nation south and east of Erickson, Manitoba. Image Courtesy of the AMC and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), visiting the Rolling River First Nation south and east of Erickson, Manitoba. Image Courtesy of the AMC and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"What responsibilities do you have as grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs? 
At the AMC, I represent more than 60 chiefs, who in turn represent more than 100,000 First Nations citizens in their respective communities.

I am responsible to uphold the constitution of the organization, which requires me to protect the birthright of our children and our families in treaty and inherent rights. I also implementmandates given to me by the chiefs in assembly, as well by the executive, which is responsible for bringing collective action and exercising bargaining power for the benefit of Manitoba’s First Nations communities.

Where is your own community located?
I'm a member of the Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation), on the west shores of Lake Winnipegosis in current-day west-central Manitoba.

Where were your people originally from?
The Minegoziibe Anishinabe are an amalgamation of many Anishinabe (Ojibway) people from the Manitoba interlakes and the tributaries flowing from the Duck Mountain and Riding Mountain water drainage systems. Our families originally come from the Treaty 2 and Treaty 4 territories. "

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