SCO Hosts Gathering for Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations Featuring International Speakers

Press Release

March 19, 2024

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is pleased to announce the “Achieving Reconciliation: First Nations Health Gathering” set to take place in Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 19 and 20, 2024. The gathering will feature speakers from Australia, Canada, and the United States.

“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization continue to focus on transforming the healthcare system,” shared Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “At this week’s gathering, we will be looking at why decolonization is central when it comes to achieving health reconciliation while we focus on the importance of structural and transformative change.”

Keynote speakers include Dr. Evan Adams of the Tla’amin First Nation; Dr. Phil Fontaine of the Sagkeeng Anicinabe First Nation; Tara Myran, PhD student with ties to Swan Lake and Long Plain First Nations along with Dr. Jan Stewart; Kevin Chief, member of Minegoziibe Anishinabe; and Craig Abotossaway of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

There will be a pipe ceremony, drum groups, prayer, and Chiefs, Grand Chiefs, and government representatives in attendance. There will also be an evening meet and greet reception, including a cultural performance on March 19 and a special appearance by the Anishinaabe Girls Choir – Zoongi Ogichidaa Anishinaabe Nagamoog.

Panel discussions are taking place on a variety of topics, such as: colonialism and First Nations health; legal liability for colonial consequences; decolonizing institutionalized determinants of health, cultural reclamation, and health; transforming First Nations health through a rights-based approach; transforming Indigenous health care through policy and partnerships; dealing with First Nations health crises through decolonization; intergenerational trauma and problematic substance use; suicide prevention, mental health, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and decolonization, and a special panel featuring presentations from SCO First Nation Health Directors.

“SCO is looking forward to welcoming First Nations Chiefs and Council members, Elders, health directors, health care professionals, and others. This event is free to attend for members of SCO Nations who are fulfilling these roles,” said Karlene Debance, Chief Executive Officer for the Health Transformation initiative. “This gathering will help us to share and gather knowledge to help us improve health services and systems for the benefit of SCO member Nations.”

For more information on “SCO’s Achieving Reconciliation: First Nations Health Gathering,” please visit our website.


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 87,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

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