Alvin Fiddler Declares for NAN Grand Chief

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Alvin Fiddler has been elected Grand Chief of Nishnawb-Aski Nation
Alvin Fiddler Grand Chief of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has declared for NAN Grand Chief

Muskrat Dam First Nation – Surrounded by family, friends and supporters in his home community of Muskrat Dam First Nation, leader and advocate, Alvin Fiddler, announced his bid for Grand Chief in the 2015 Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Election today.

Fiddler, who has over 20 years of leadership experience, serving as NAN Deputy Grand Chief for several terms, explains that he is ready to take his role to a larger platform. “It has been a privilege to serve NAN over the years and I would like to follow the wishes of the people. I am honoured to accept the nomination of Grand Chief.”

Alvin Fiddler is seeking the NAN Grand Chief responsibility
Alvin Fiddler is seeking the NAN Grand Chief responsibility

Raised in Muskrat Dam First Nation and attending High School in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Fiddler has lived many of the issues NAN communities face. His campaign for Grand Chief centers on renewing a sense of collaboration between leadership within NAN territory. “One of my goals is to connect NAN back to the communities while assisting our Chiefs to achieve their visions and goals. To get to that point we need to genuinely recognize the direction and experience that our Chiefs bring to the table, and determine how NAN as an organization can best support them to bring this to a reality;” says Fiddler. “As a Nation we need to take an approach together that focuses on the land and our children, and the bond between how we can look after both.”

Fiddler emphasizes that he will continue to work to ensure that treaties are the basis of the relationship between First Nations and the Crown. “This will put our communities on a path to achieve a better outcome for our children and our grand children. Making treaty relationships work for all of us is a key challenge for the future.”

As Deputy Grand Chief, Fiddler has made significant and lasting change throughout his portfolio areas which included Health Policy & Planning, Community Healing & Wellness, Women & Youth Development, and Justice. He is best known for his major contributions to pivotal First Nation inquests, including Ipperwash, Goudge (pediatric forensics), and Goodwin & Wesley (Kashechewan fire), and had a leading role in the advocacy that led to the Iacobucci Review. Most recently, Fiddler led the charge to convene the inquest into the tragedies of the seven NAN youth who died while attending high school in Thunder Bay.

Fiddler has also been recognized nationally for his work with the Auditor General of Canada, which led to reports on the current state of health service delivery in First Nation communities, as well as the deplorable conditions for First Nation police services in Canada. Further, Fiddler gained notoriety for being a leader in the call for a National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

Throughout his political career, Fiddler has always prioritized his relationships with communities and keeping a close connection with the people and leadership of NAN. Fiddler can often be found visiting communities to attend ceremonies and events, and listening to the people to better understand their needs and incorporate their voices into his work. “I am constantly in awe by the passion, spirit, and commitment to a better life exhibited by the citizens of NAN. I am also often reminded by our Elders that we need to be ‘courageously innovative’ in the work that we do, and I try to live this teaching every day. We need to be brave and take risks, and together we will make steps toward a healthier, safer, and more prosperous Nation.”