The government and the Blackfoot Confederacy renewed a relationship agreement on Sept. 22. The original agreement, signed in 2019, includes an annual meeting with the Premier, the Minister of Indigenous Relations and the chiefs of Kainai Nation, Piikani Nation and Siksika Nation. This yearly meeting makes space for leaders to discuss progress made and to decide on joint strategies for the future.

Specific priority areas in the agreement include the economy, environment and culture. The protocol agreement also calls for cooperation, respect and that “each Party takes responsibility for success in achieving a productive working relationship.” Two more topics of discussion, Child and Family Services and Justice, now have their own protocol tables. Each table is jointly led by one chief and one provincial minister.

“For the past three years, our government has focused on building a true partnership with Indigenous Peoples through shared prosperity. This renewed agreement demonstrates how we will continue to build on that success as equal partners, focused on what I call ‘Reconcili-action.’ ”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Today’s meeting shows our ongoing commitment to working as partners on topics that are important to us all and a reminder that while we have accomplished much, there is still work to be done. This is yet another important step on the path toward reconciliation.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

Sept. 22 also marks the 145th anniversary of the original signing of Treaty 7, which marks the enduring respect, friendship and cooperation between governments.

Indigenous Relations provides $200,000 annually to help the Blackfoot Confederacy coordinate, establish table and work plans, and report on progress. Alberta’s government has provided grants in 2022 worth $545,000 to the Blackfoot Confederacy to support work plans for economic development and employment, child and family services, environment and lands, and Truth and Reconciliation.

The agreement will remain in place for as long as both parties wish to keep it active.

Quick facts

  • The Blackfoot Confederacy includes three First Nations in southern Alberta: Kainai Nation (also known as the Blood Tribe), Piikani Nation and Siksika Nation.

  • Together, these three First Nations have about 24,000 members.

  • The Alberta-Blackfoot Confederacy Agreement sets out a formal process for the Premier, ministers, chiefs and councils to meet regularly on pre-agreed topics. Two new tables will be added to the agreement:

    • Environment and lands

    • Education

    • Economic development and employment

    • Political and legal

    • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Truth and Reconciliation

    • Health

    • Child and family services

    • Justice