Treaty4News reports that the name Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations will replace Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. The organization’s name change was decided by vote on May 25 at the FSIN Legislative Assembly held in North Battleford, with 22 nations voting for the change, four opposed and a number of the 74-member nations abstaining.
The idea to rebrand the organization had been floating around since 2013, reads the report. The word “Indian” as a label to describe the Indigenous peoples of North America was one that was opposed by many.
“We all have our own language to describe ourselves. When we start to accept the labels that our oppressors place upon us and our grandchildren, then we’re lost,” said Sakimay Chief Lynn Acoose.
The name Saskatchewan was removed because it implies a provincial government connection.
Treaty4News reports that Wahpeton Chief Leo Omani spoke in favor, however, of keeping that term because of its Cree origin “kisiskâciwan” or “Kisiskatchewani Sipi”, which describes the swift-flowing Saskatchewan River.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said the organization will work with the nations that abstained and opposed the name change, to seek input, strengthen their support and establish unity.