• March 26, 2008 10:41 AM
  • - General

Kashechewan extends deadline as NAPS heads back to negotiating table


    THUNDER BAY, ON, March 26 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief
Stan Beardy together with NAN Deputy Grand Chief RoseAnne Archibald supports
the decision of Kashechewan First Nation Chief Jonathan Solomon to extend the
30-day deadline he delivered to the governments of Ontario and Canada in
February regarding the need to address the growing policing crisis in his
remote First Nation community.
    "We want to see long term solutions that will finally resolve the
outstanding issues," said Kashechewan Chief Jonathan Solomon after receiving
indication from NAPS negotiators that both Ontario and Canada are interested
in resolving policing issues across NAN territory. "The original deadline has
been extended to April 17, 2008. This gives both levels of government an
opportunity to prove their sincerity."
    Kashechewan First Nation is a remote James Bay community with about 1,500
residents. The community is currently policed by Nishnawbe Aski Police Service
(NAPS) which experiences ongoing and cumulative infrastructure challenges as
displayed in the short documentary film Nishnawbe Aski Police Service: A
Sacred Calling (2008).
    NAPS, which is funded 48% by the Government of Ontario and 52% by the
Government of Canada, serves 39 of NAN's 49 communities. Despite negotiations
to address infrastructure needs with provincial and federal representatives
since 1994, only one NAPS detachment meets national building code standards.
    The police service was forced to close two detachments in February after
reporting they failed to meet basic needs such as proper lighting, washroom
facilities, monitoring capabilities, and cell construction. In addition, the
NAPS detachment in Wunnumin Lake First Nation was closed March 20th for the
same reasons, particularly the lack of washroom facilities and use of slop
pails - also featured in the film documentary.
    "The pressure is on our treaty partners (Ontario and Canada) to work with
NAPS negotiators to develop long term and viable solutions to bring our police
service up to basic standards," said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "We are
negotiating in good faith and expect both levels of government to do the
same."
    Further negotiations have been scheduled for April 16, 2008 in Ottawa.

    Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization
representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario
portions of Treaty 5 - an area covering two-thirds of the province of Ontario.
Kashechewan is one of NAN's communities and is part of Mushkegowuk Tribal
Council.




For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications -
Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952 or (807) 628-3953 mobile; Visit
www.nan.on.ca to view short film documentary NAPS: A Sacred Calling