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Tribal Councils

Apart from the larger-scale organizations that work on behalf of First Nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, there is also a number of smaller groups, known as tribal councils, that unite many Treaty 6 bands. Most, though not all, of the bands in the Treaty 6 area are affiliated with a tribal council.

The tribal council, led by elected leaders, typically works to represent the political beliefs and decisions of the member bands, as well as to advocate for the bands and enhance the development of band communities. Some tribal councils, such as the Meadow Lake Tribal Council in Saskatchewan, ensure that the different cultures of the member bands are fairly represented by electing a member of each cultural group; for example if a tribal council represents a Cree band and a Dene band, there must then be at least one Cree and at least one Dene member on council.

Band and tribal councils are often advised by their community Elders, who also meet as a panel or council. Working with the Elders ensures that all decisions made by the band or tribal councils are made with spiritual and traditional knowledge in mind. The Elders’ role might involve anything from advising the council during board meetings or conferences, to leading traditional ceremonies. They offer their wisdom for the betterment of the communities they have helped foster and create.

There are eight major tribal councils that represent the bands of Treaty 6 – five in Saskatchewan and three in Alberta. The tribal councils that represent Treaty 6 bands in Saskatchewan include Battlefords Tribal Council, Agency Chiefs Tribal Council, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Saskatchewan District Chiefs, and Prince Albert District Chiefs. In Alberta, most of the Treaty 6 bands are members of one of these three tribal councils: Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc., Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council, and Yellowhead Tribal Council.

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