Ive always been an activist Cree woman takes over the helm of

first_imgTamara PimentelAPTN NewsCheryle Changnon-Greyeyes says she’s been an activist for a long time.Now the woman from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan who now lives in Calgary, will have every opportunity to put what she knows to work.Changnon-Greyeyes was elected as the leader of the Green Party of Alberta.She is the first female Indigenous political leader of a provincial party.“I’ve been an activist for a long time. Always wanting to save the world since I was a little girl,” she says.“When I did my research, it occurred to me that the six principles of the Green Party, the international green party, the only international political party, align with the seven sacred teachings of the Cree. How come nobody’s ever picked this up before? This is as close as we get to an Indigenous Party. These are values of balance and moderation of putting people over profits.”A factor that encouraged her to run was Premier Rachel Notley’s decision to back the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.“I felt betrayed, I felt very much stabbed in the back and totally against the NDP platform that I knew and was familiar with. So I was angry and upset and felt hopeless, like, what am I going to do?”So she ran, won and is ready to put her Indigenous teachings to action.“I really want to push the fact that we are caring about people, we care about the environment, we care about out mother earth, we are looking seven generations to the future. What’s out planet going to look like in seven generations with this headlong rush to have oil pipelines across the country?”Chagnon-Greyeyes is an environmental activist who works at the University of Calgary.Her first big test will be the provincial elections in the spring.tpimentel@aptn.ca@aptn_tamaralast_img