CALGARY – The Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister toured flood ravaged First Nations communities in Alberta Friday. The Minister also was on hand at the opening of the Calgary Stampede.
Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, toured the Morley community of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The Minister had the chance to meet with band leadership and First Nation members affected by the recent Alberta floods. He was joined by the AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo and AFN Alberta Regional Chief Cameron Alexis.
“I am grateful for having had the opportunity to visit Stoney Valley this week, and Siksika First Nations last week. Seeing the damage and talking to community members has given me a better understanding of what needs to be done to help these families get through these difficult times,” said Minister Valcourt. “Our Government will continue working with the province of Alberta and First Nations to ensure the smoothest transition possible towards recovery.”
The day began with a meeting with Chiefs and representatives from the Stoney Tribe, specifically the communities of Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley.
Together they discussed the recent floods and resulting damage to the communities. They talked about the resilience of the Stoney Tribe and about their desire to ensure a smooth and effective transition towards long-term recovery.
Minister Valcourt reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to support recovery efforts for First Nations affected by flooding as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“I am extremely moved and proud to be in Calgary today at the Stampede to not only participate in the opening of Indian Village, but also to witness the incredible togetherness that has taken hold of this community and others affected by the recent flooding,” said Minister Valcourt. “People have come together under extraordinary circumstances to make this year’s Stampede a reality. As we open this year’s Indian Village and provide visitors from across Canada and around the world this opportunity to learn more about the First Nations of Treaty 7, let us also not forget that many today in First Nation communities in Alberta are only now starting to recover from last month’s devastating flood. “
“For more than 100 years, the Indian Village has given Albertans and visitors from around the world an opportunity to learn more about the rich histories and cultures of the Treaty 7 First Nations,” said Minister Campbell. “I am proud to be a part of today’s celebration, and it speaks to the unwavering spirit of all those who call southern Alberta home.”