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First Nations Leadership Mission to Washington D.C. on the Establishment of North American Critical Mineral Value Chains

Press Release

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2023  – The Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resource Centre of Excellence (the Centre) is completing its third day of a 3-day economic mission consisting of First Nations Chiefs and business leaders to meet with key leadership within the US Government, non-governmental organizations, and lending institutions in Washington DC.  The meetings are to impress upon the US government the necessity of First Nations ownership and equity in the emerging green economy, which includes the development of North American critical mineral value chains and deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Saskatchewan.

The Mission will address the Biden administration’s invocation of the Defense Production Act Title III Program which has the potential to designate Saskatchewan critical mineral projects for US Department of Defense funding.

“By engaging the United States government, First Nations in Saskatchewan are asserting our right to self-governance through the establishment of direct relations with Canada’s most important economic partner.  All major projects advanced as part of North America’s transition to a green economy will occur on First Nations’ lands and mechanisms must be in place to ensure they are advanced in partnership with our Nations.” –  FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear, Board Chair of the Centre

“The Mission will provide our leadership and business community with the opportunity to influence how the United States allocates funding to Canadian critical minerals projects in a way that encourages partnerships with First Nations and advances opportunities for equity and ownership within the emerging North American green energy economy.” – Sheldon Wuttunee, President/CEO of the Centre.

The Mission has confirmed meetings with the White House, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, the Pentagon, Department of the Interior, State Department, Senate Committees on Energy and Resources, Indian Affairs and Appropriations, the EXIM Bank of the United States, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).

Founded in September 2009 by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Lands and Resources Commission, the Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resource Centre of Excellence (the Centre) is a unique Canadian institution in that is wholly owned by the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan with a mandate to support their participation in the innovative, sustainable, and environmentally responsible management/development of natural resources within Treaty lands and traditional territories.

The Centre is directly accountable to grassroots First Nations in Saskatchewan through its 12-member Board of Directors comprised of elected leadership representing each of the 10 provincial Tribal Councils, Independent Nations in the province and the FSIN.

For further information: Media Contact: Steven Rowe, 403-837-7716,


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