Derek Fox – Seeking Leadership Role with Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Derek Fox
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Keewaywin Conference August 2015

THUNDER BAY – Derek Fox is seeking a leadership role with the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. Fox will seek the role of Deputy Grand Chief with NAN in the upcoming NAN Keewaywin Conference that will be held in Aroland First Nation on August 12th.

Fox is from Bearskin Lake First Nation. He is a proud father of two sons.

“I am a practicing lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada, specializing in civil litigation,” stated Fox. “I advocate for people, and always do so professionally, diligently and if directed to, aggressively”.

In his video interview with NetNewsLedger, Derek Fox shares his deep concern on the importance of education.

Derek Fox Nishnawbe-Aski Nation
Derek Fox is seeking a leadership role with Nishnawbe-Aski Nation as he declares for Deputy Grand Chief

Fox sees the importance of higher education, including post secondary degrees, but also to build critical connections with the land.

“We must support the education of our people through hunting, fishing, trapping, and other cultural practices because this will promote balance and self-identity for them”, states Fox.

“The connection to my land was taught to me by my parents and grandparents. I am grateful for my mother, in that she took care of me as a child, while caring for my siblings also. Her chores involved hauling water from the lakes, cooking, cleaning and hunting and fishing so that we could eat.

“My father introduced me to the land by taking me to our homelands to hunt, fish and trap on the Achigo Siipi and sending me to my Kokum and Mishoom every summer in Michikan. My father and I still go to our traditional hunting grounds every year to spend time with the spirits of our loved ones and the land,” continues Fox.

Fox states his platform is a work in progress as he continues listening to the people in the Nishnawbe-Aski communities.

Here is a brief outline of his platform thus far:

Education and Economic Development

My vision is to see Nishnawbe Aski-Nation develop an Education model, in which all those who wish to attain higher learning have access to it. I want to see the teaching of residential schools and treaties in our school curriculums, both on and off-reserve. I want to see language immersion schools for our people both on and off-reserve. Finally, I want to ensure that our people have access to the best Education options available.

I want to see our Nishnawbe Aski-Nation produce more doctors, lawyers, teachers, NHL hockey players and other professionals, whom speak their languages and speak it to their children. I want to know that all of those professionals can hunt, fish and trap or collect medicines from our lands also.

I want to see an Economic Development model, in which we develop the lands and share the resources as business owners, while ensuring we sustain, maintain and protect it, so that our children and their descendants may use it for hunting, fishing, trapping and prayer, much like we do to connect with our lands and the spirits of our Ancestors.

My vision involves:


  • We must support our students whom seek a higher Education, through high school, College, University or the trades. More specifically, our high school students leaving home need a strong support system within the cities they attend school. We must also continue the support of Online and Distance Finally, we must continue to advocate for and enhance our children’s learning on reserve to ensure they are receiving an Education comparable or higher to other Canadian children.
  • We must support the Education of our people through hunting, fishing, trapping and other cultural practices because this will promote balance and self-identity for them.
  • We must educate the Canadian public about Residential Schools and the Treaties, so they understand the effects it had on our people. It must be understood that the Treaties were not a surrender, but a partnership to share our resources and work together.

Economic Independence

  • We must support major on-going projects and encourage potential ones, which lead to Economic Independence so that our people can manage and oversee the development of our lands and resources, while ensuring sustainability for our traditional practices and future.
  • We must support the development of business partnerships with developers and business people and work towards creating infrastructure, all weather road access and other major on-going developments.
  • While working towards Economic Independence we must continue to advocate for our people and lands regarding poverty, high food prices, hydro rate increases, and nuclear waste, mining and unsustainable forestry on our Treaty lands.


  • Ojibwe, Cree or Oji-Cree must be the primary languages of Nishnawbe Aski­ Nation and we must work towards language program development and sustenance.
  • We must advocate for Ojibwe, Cree and Oji-Cree immersion in on reserve schools and off reserve for our children, teens and young adults. We must teach the languages in our school curriculums and advocate for language services to those who wish to learn them.
  • We must advocate for the recognition of our languages as official languages of Canada and ensure that they are legally protected through Therefore, we must create a Languages Portfolio and move that agenda forward progressively.

Health of our Nation 

  • We must continue to advocate for Missing Murdered and Indian Women, Girls, Men and Boys. We must also continue to advocate for our children in the child welfare system, one that needs to be founded on the best interests of our Finally, we must address the violence, deaths and suicides within our communities. We must also advocate and bring awareness to Canadians about these issues.
  • We must continue to raise awareness regarding Canadian residential schools and the historical treatment of our people which continues to impact our people in an intergenerational way. Education and awareness will build bridges over the barriers, which cause institutional and general racism towards Anishinaabe.
  • We must advocate for healthy living through sports and recreation, healthy eating, hunting and fishing, which will combat the epidemic of drug addiction, diabetes and cancer within our communities. We must build on and continue to support health, social and sports programs in our communities.

The Next Generation

  • We must ensure that the lands and resources are protected for the use of our children and descendants. The power of the land is one of a spiritual connection that cannot be harmed. The land must survive if we are to survive as a Nation.
  • We must ensure that we are economically self-suff icient so that we may provide jobs, training and Education to our children and ensure they know how to develop our lands in a safe and sustainable manner.
  • We must ensure that we advocate for our children today, but teach them for tomorrow, so that they will carry on the protection and use of our lands and Ultimately, we must ensure they have a right to life, socially, economically, spiritually and physically, an Inherent and God given right, that we have a duty to protect and enhance.

NetNewsLedger extends the invitation for candidates seeking leadership roles within Nishnawbe-Aski Nation to share with our readers and viewers. Contact us at

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