Miles Richardson – A Leader with a clear vision for the future
A Nation-to-Nation relationship between Canadian governments and First Nations is the clear vision Miles Richardson intends to set when he is elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Miles is grounded in his Haida traditional teachings of respect for land, water and living things as well as his belief in tribal cultural identity through language, history, and spirituality. Miles is also an advocate for Indigenous economic prosperity. Miles sees prosperity coming as Nations and their citizens embrace education and entrepreneurship, to exercise our inherent economic sovereign rights over our lands, waters and resources.
Miles asserts that Indigenous peoples are the original people of their lands, who invented and continue to practice economic development that is environmentally sustainable. Miles sees a positive future in the clear establishment of Nation-to-Nation relationships between our First Nations and Canadian governments, preserving, protecting and enhancing Indigenous Economic Sovereignty through sustainable development practices and asserting these economic and political rights through a vigorous application of the United Deceleration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Miles sees that First Nations need to be respected as equals with the Canadian governments. As AFN National Chief Miles will help his constituent First Nations to exercise their inherent Indigenous economic and political rights. As AFN National Chief, Miles will forcefully advocate, through any and all means necessary, for enforcement of the Nation-to-Nation principle, through UNDRIP, Indigenous laws, regulations and Indigenous legal systems, as well as using the Canadian constitution and laws to their full force and effect.
Miles is known for being both a consummate diplomat and, when needed, a tough street scrapper. He has a long and well-respected reputation for going toe-to-toe in dialogue and negotiations with provincial and federal governments for the Haida Nation and through his work as Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission. Miles gets results for First Nations in developing his vision for a Nation-to Nation relationship.
Sustainable Indigenous economic development through the assertion of economic sovereignty in a Nation-to-Nation relationship between First Nations and Canadian governments means having Canadian governments respect and meet their treaty obligations. For non-treaty nations it means entering a treaty negotiation that does not extinguish, but rather preserves, protects and enhances Indigenous rights to clean water, decent housing, sustainable economic development, safety and security for all.
Miles is a founding executive member of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (www.iitio.org) and was instrumental in developing IITIO’s submissions to the government of Canada, the only submission, out of 2500 others, that advocated for an Indigenous Trade Chapter in international nation-state trade agreements. Miles has travelled internationally and presented extensively on sustainable Indigenous economic development at various forums including the National Center of American Indian Economic Development and International bodies.
As Chair of IITIO is my distinct privilege and honour to endorse Miles Richardson for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Wayne D. Garnons-Williams, BA, LLB, MPA, LLM (2019)
International Intertribal Trade and Investment Organization
Senior Lawyer & Principal Director
Garwill Law Professional Corporation
Council of the Great Lakes Region
International Indigenous Trade Law
College of Law
University of Oklahoma
NAFTA Chapter 18 Dispute Settlement Roster