U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's Diplomatic Mission to Ottawa: Strengthening Indigenous Communities on Both Sides of the Border

September 7, 2023

Figure 1: U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and MMF Ambassador Clément Chartier

Figure 2: Group photo

On September 5, 2023, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, a trailblazing member of the Laguna Pueblo Nation in New Mexico and the first Indigenous U.S. cabinet member, embarked on a diplomatic journey to Ottawa, the esteemed capital of Canada. Her mission: to foster meaningful discussions with Canadian leadership, centered around the shared commitment of both nations to uplift Indigenous communities.

The heart of these discussions lay in empowering First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across the vast expanse of North America. Secretary Haaland, a passionate advocate for addressing the grave issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, had made it her paramount objective within the Department of the Interior. Additionally, she had diligently highlighted the distressing legacy of residential schools, drawing attention to the need for reconciliation and healing.

As twilight fell over Ottawa, an exclusive reception hosted by David Cohen, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, brought together influential voices in the realm of Indigenous affairs. Among the distinguished guests was MMF Ambassador Clément Chartier, who seized the opportunity to share insights on strengthening the Red River Métis community.

Ambassador Chartier's approach emphasized a collaborative effort between nations, envisioning initiatives that spanned borders. He proposed the establishment of cross-border partnerships to bolster the Red River Métis, promoting cultural preservation, economic development, and educational opportunities. Additionally, he advocated for increased recognition and representation of Métis people within decision-making processes, ensuring their voices resonated on both sides of the border.

This gathering symbolized a momentous step toward forging stronger ties between the United States and Canada in support of Indigenous communities. Secretary Haaland's commitment to this cause, along with the collaboration and insights shared during the reception, set a promising course for a brighter future for Indigenous peoples across North America.

Additional Photos:

Figure 3: David Cohen, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and MMF Ambassador Clément Chartier

Figure 4: Joanna Bernard, Interim National Chief of AFN and MMF Ambassador

Figure 5: Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Gary Anandasangaree and MMF Ambassador


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