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Francois is a grandfather, buffalo hunter, Hereditary Leader, teacher, dancer, and family man, is a Dënesųłiné elder of the Smith’s Landing Treaty 8 First Nation and Chair of the Dene Nation Elders Council. The Paulettes live 200 miles downstream from the tar sands mining in Alberta. Francois serves his people through ceremony and civic leadership, upholding the Dene Ch’anie traditions passed down from the ancestors through a strong spiritual connection to the land and way of praying that existed before European contact. As a negotiator and activist, he strives to ensure recognition of Indigenous rights, and defends and protects our water and the Rights of Mother Nature.