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.