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Sterling Brass - 4th Vice-Chief, F.S.I.N.

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1984      ELECTION SPECIAL p12
Sterling Brass Sterling Brass is the incumbent for 4th Vice-Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). He plans to seek return to his office in the upcoming election at the Fall Sitting of the Legislative Assembly. His extensive work history in the Indian circle began in 1961-62. He took a ten month course at the Moose Jaw Technical School. Upon completion of that course, he accepted a job with Indian Affairs as sub foreman in Cote, Keeseekoose, and Key Reserves on their building projects.

In 1968, he took a job in Meadow Lake District as a Relocations Officer for Indian Affairs. He then moved on to Shellbrook Agency to work as Assistant Indian Agent for a period of six months.

In 1969, he was back as a Relocations Officer with Indian Affairs in Prince Albert where he stayed for four years.

In 1972, he was appointed Superintendent of Island Lake Agency in Manitoba. Because of his great concern for the well-being of Indian people and the conflicting interest shown by Department staff he left his job as Superintendent.

He was hired by the FSI to coordinate the Treaties and Research Programs.

He served as Chief of his Band for eight years. During his leadership, a Communiplex and Band Office was constructed. He was also successful in obtaining proper sanitation and utilities for the houses with full basements and furnaces as well. A temporary nurses station was built on the reserves to facilitate better health services. He was instrumental in implementing a complete education program with Guidance Counsellors and Teacher Aides. This program is still in effect to this day. Mr. Brass still serves on the Band Council and has recently been successful in obtaining an Education Liaison Worker at Norquay, which is being funded by the province. A rodeo grounds and race track and a recreation complex was built to be utilized by the young people of the reserve.

In 1973, he ran in a by-election for the position of 3rd Vice-Chief. He was defeated by Noel Starblanket the following year. For a period of six years, he was the District Representative for Yorkton.

In the last two years he has been the 4th Vice-Chief of the FSIN. He has had the Executive Portfolio for Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, and Gathering. As well he is in charge of the Languages Program. He is a member of the Constitution Commission and sits on the Sask. Indian Cultural College Board.

As an elected leader of the FSIN, Sterling Brass feels that the Constitution process is a high priority. Mr. Brass stated, "We should have separate schedules from aboriginal groups and separate time allotments. The format as it is weakens our position and favours the governments position.

Another significant priority is the implementation of Indian Government. He says, "We must negotiate on the Constitution so our laws will be recognized by other nations. We must define these laws and powers ourselves."

On a note of encouragement Sterling Brass stated, "An organization is only as strong as its leadership. It is the duty of the people to choose the best leader from our people who will best serve our interests."