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N.B. Indigenous chief champions harmony: Record immigration numbers welcomed with open arms – Saltwire

Allan Polchies Jr. of Sitansisk (St. Mary’s) First Nation says newcomers are the key to growth

A staunch defender of Indigenous rights and culture in Canada says he’s not worried that a record number of immigrants are making their way into the country.

Instead, Chief Allan Polchies Jr. of the New Brunswick-based Sitansisk (St. Mary’s) First Nation is embracing newcomers and applauding them for a willingness to learn about Indigenous customs and for their overall commitment to make a better society.

“It certainly doesn’t appear to be a problem,” Polchies told New Canadian Media. “Indigenous Canadians, typically, stand behind immigrants.”

According to Statistics Canada, an estimated population of 2.2 million non-permanent residents now outnumbers the 1.8 million Indigenous people enumerated during the 2021 Census.

Polchies, who became the first LGBTQ2AI+ chief in Atlantic Canada in 2018, said the Indigenous community is more than happy to tell newcomers what they are all about, regardless of how many there are.

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