Update: Windspeaker.com reached out to the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples for an interview with Robert Bertrand on these concerns. We were told "National Chief Bertrand has declined to comment."
The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPS) reports that it has “lost all trust and confidence in the leadership of National Chief Robert Bertrand of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), and cites his struggle to prove he is Indigenous as part of the reason Bertrand must resign.
In a press statement sent Jan. 3, CIPS asserts that Bertrand was elected with a mandate to raise the profile of the Congress, and to “make it a truly representative organization”, but “at a time when the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiritt Kanatami are making significant progress to implement a nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationship with the federal government, CAP has not been able to establish equitable policy space to advance its agenda,” reads the statement.
CAP has been excluded from intergovernmental and federal tables “and is now struggling to prove that the National Chief and Chief Executive Officer are in fact Indigenous people.”
CIPS says CAP is a “sick organization with inert management, lack of transparency and openness, and low productivity.
“It’s blindingly obvious to many Indigenous people that National Chief Bertrand squandered the opportunity to follow-up on the Daniels decision that was made on April 14, 2016. CAP is now perceived as a low-trust and ineffective political organization with a National Chief and Chief Executive Officer who have a weak claim to being Indigenous.”
John Hanikenne, CIPS president, said “The lingering questions concerning their Indigenous identities is a major part of the problem as to why CAP has failed to stop its terminal decline.” Hanikenne said the resignations of the national chief and the CEO would be a starting point for restoring CAPS’ “commitment, celerity and confidence.”
John Hanikenne, CIPS president