WINNIPEG, MB – Today, I attended the Annual General Assembly of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres in Winnipeg, MB. I was the proxy on behalf of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. Today, the election for the President of the FNCCEC took place. I supported and Seconded the nomination of Chief Keith Matthew of British Columbia. I felt that he could understand the diversity and challenges that we were experiencing in Ontario. As a First Nations leader, he would be well placed to bring our issues forward both to the government and to our own First Nations leadership forums, such as the AFN.
Also nominated by incumbent President Gilbert Whiteduck. Gilbert has led this organization for a number of years and did not want to seek re-election. However, during the regional caucuses, Gilbert was approach by Alberta and Saskatchewan to carry on. He was presented with tobacco and reluctantly accepted the nomination. When Keith was nominated, Whiteduck steped up to the microphone and explained he would indeed step down now that a candidate was vying for the office. It was a touching moment with Chief Matthew embraced Gilbert in a fitting tribute to his leadership.
Gilbert Whiteduck has been, and will continue to be the strongest advocated for cultural edcuation centres in Canada and we wish him all the best.
Congratulations Chief Matthew. You are going to do well, and it was a pleasure to bring you our support from Ontario.

Cynthia Bell, Cultural Programmer from the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization.