Hundreds of scholars and young minds are in Regina for the 87th Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The annual event aims to build partnerships, encourage the development of ideas and other ways to drive forth progress in Canada.
One of the ideas discussed regarded First Nations peoples in Canada.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde was the keynote speaker at the Key To Reconciliation session yesterday at the University of Regina.
He spoke to several issues on First Nations people, including the importance of involving them in the decision making process.
“You’re going to have greater diversity, greater thought around the table, more robust dialogue,” said Bellegarde. “You’re going to have different points of view, different worldviews, different perspectives. If you can bring First Nations/Indigenous people to those decision making tables, you’re going to get better decisions, better results.”
According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Bellegarde said Canada ranks sixth in terms of quality of life, in contrast to Indigenous peoples’ 63rd place ranking.
In order to close that gap, he said it’s essential all levels of government continue to strongly invest in the present and future of First Nations peoples.
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“I don’t call them expenditures, they’re investments in education, investments in housing, investments in training, investments to access to bottled water, those are investments in human capital,” he said. “I will continue to urge provincial governments and the federal government to make those investments.”
Next years Congress will be hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.