FSIN moves towards independance with potential new name
FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde is looking into changing the organization's name, as well as gaining distance from the government.
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 6:09PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013 6:10PM CST
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations held their annual winter assembly Wednesday, and a major change was on the agenda.
A new name may be in the FSIN’s future. The proposed new title for the organization is the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. While the acronym would stay the same, FSIN chief Perry Bellegarde said the change would make a big difference.
“That in itself is a strong statement – to say that we are still sovereign,” he said.
FSIN’s executive council has passed a resolution to look into the potential change. The move comes as the organization is trying to become more independent from the government.
“We’re not dependent on the government for funding because how can you fight government when they pay you, when they give you money? It’s crazy,” Bellegarde said.
“We need to switch that right around. In order to empower your organizations and your leadership there has to be independent source revenue internally,” he continued
The FSIN chief also said he hopes to make the organization’s bureaucracy more independent from political influence. For example, he wants to replace the chief of staff position with an executive operating officer chosen by an independent selection committee.
“We committed to that and we’re following up on it,” Bellegarde said of the move to take the politics out of the FSIN.
For Bellegarde, including the word sovereign in the new name goes hand in hand with a more independent FSIN.