September 15, 2017
It’s 7:30 on a Wednesday morning when Tikinagan staff, community members and First Nation delegates start arriving at the John C. Yesno Education Centre in Eabametoong First Nation. It’s a cool morning on August 23, and those arriving early grab their hot coffee and start helping themselves to the catered breakfast while mingling and sharing laughter. It doesn’t take long for the elementary school to feel like a conference centre, with people gathering in classrooms assigned the temporary titles of dining areas. Those who finish breakfast sign in at the registration table in the gymnasium, which now feels like a large meeting room except for the two basketball nets and side bleachers pushed in. This is the 2017 Tikinagan Annual Chiefs Assembly.