The Past, Present and Future of Dogs in First Nations: Full Circle Plenary on the Role of Dogs in First Nation Communities


Dyan Breaker, Justice Senior Manager, Siksika Nation
Josh Littlechild, Tribal Law Officer, Ermineskin Cree Nation


First Nation and Inuit communities across Canada face challenges and work to address concerns with companion animal populations in their communities, often reaching out to partner with animal welfare organizations to assist. It is an issue that is gathering much-needed recognition and support. However, unless you are working closely with a First Nation, it is rare to hear directly from a community on what the issues are and what solutions are possible. In fact, often the issues and concerns can be misunderstood or mischaracterized by media and people unfamiliar with the context each community experiences and, therefore, long-lasting solutions may not evolve. In this plenary, two First Nation community leaders from Alberta will present on their community’s experience with free-roaming dog populations, community responses and what makes an effective partnership for them.


Siksika Nation has implemented the first community-based, comprehensive, culturally responsive, and humane Dog Care and Control Program in Alberta. Dyan Breaker is the community champion of this program. She will describe her experiences, successes and obstacles during the development and the implementation of the program.

With a degree from the University of Alberta in Native Studies and a certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnerships, Josh Littlechild is excited to share information about the history of dogs in First Nations (First Nation cosmology of dogs and relations) and the legal framework that governs companion animals in First Nation communities.