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Williams Lake city councillor Moses attends AFN annual assembly

Michael Moses was in Halifax to meet and learn from Indigenous leaders from across Canada
Michael Moses, city councillor, left, poses for a photo with Terry Teegee, B.C. Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake city councillor Michael Moses attended an Assembly of First Nations (AFN) annual general assembly in Halifax in July. The AFN meets biannually to discuss national policy and direction for the Aboriginal advocacy organization.

Moses spent a week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, attending three days of AFN events during the trip.

His attendance was something he did on his own, not as part of his role on city council, but because he wanted to observe and learn from other Indigenous leaders as well as to network with Indigenous leaders in the region and across the country.

Moses said he wanted to hear from Indigenous leaders what they thought the most important issues were for their communities as well as understand what leaders feel is needed to address those issues.

Even before he entered politics himself, Moses said he would read the AFN newsletters and attended some online meetings but had never been in person, which was a completely different experience.

“These professionals are really who I look to for guidance,” said Moses, who said it might have been overwhelming if he hadn’t managed to attend some other big political events like the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) before he went to the AFN.

But this one was also different, because he said at the FCM, it was not possible to directly engage with federal leaders, while at the AFN, leaders were more accessible.

“Every single day it felt like I was in the best learning environment,” he said, noting he was amongst some of the country’s greatest thought leaders, and personal heroes of his who were all open to networking. This was what he had truly been dreaming of in attending the conference, but said he wasn’t sure if it was realistic.

At the AFN, he was able to have conversations with Jody Wilson-Raybould, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Terry Teegee, B.C. Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations.

Moses said he really enjoyed his time in Halifax and was grateful to be able to attend the AFN, as well as some of the North American Indigenous Games, which happened to also be taking place in Halifax while he was there.

He said he doesn’t necessarily see himself going into First Nations leadership, but he does plan to continue in politics.

“I don’t see myself stopping on this path.”

However, he also said one thing he came to realize was how in our region we have what he considers some of the greatest First Nations leaders in the country and even in the history of First Nations people.

“There’s so much here for me to learn,” he said, noting he will now focus on learning and engaging with local leaders.

READ MORE: Williams Lake city councillor is sharing positivity for National Indigenous History Month

READ MORE:NCLGA has two Williams Lake city councillors on the board after 2023 AGM

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

I moved back to my hometown of Williams Lake after living away and joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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