UOI OFFICES, Nipissing First Nation, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - Coordination
of effort was high on the list of priorities today as the Assembly of
First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo met with Anishinabek
Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee and Ontario Regional Chief
Angus Toulouse. The meeting was an opportunity to profile Anishinabek
Nation priorities in health, governance, education and economic
development and confirm linkages to broader regional and national
National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo was very supportive of the
Anishinabek Nation process to reaffirm its nationhood. "I am very
pleased with the National Chief's appreciation of our Anishinaabe
Chi-Naaknigewin. Our intention is that our constitution will provide a
solid basis to reset the Nation-to-Nation relationship - the
relationship our ancestors intended," said Anishinabek Grand Council
Chief Patrick Madahbee.
Both Atleo and Madahbee are long-time proponents of resetting the
relationship between First Nations and the Crown. "The Indian Act has
to go. Look what it has done to divide our nations and pit us against
each other over piecemeal funding," Madahbee stated. "But first and
foremost, our constitution is for us: to unify and inspire us,
especially our youth," Madahbee continued. "We must continue to move
forward to establish our governments, implement our treaties, and
exercise our inherent rights and jurisdictions."
"Our job at the national level is to stand shoulder to shoulder with
First Nation governments advancing their rights and responsibilities
based on the Treaties and First Nation jurisdiction," said AFN National
Chief Shawn Atleo. "This means opening the doors for direct discussion
between governments and Chiefs and intense advocacy efforts with all
sectors of Canadian society. It is critical that we work together to
support one another and increase the rate and pace of change for all
First Nations peoples right across the country."
Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse echoed the National Chief's
sentiments, "here in Ontario, we have many diverse issues. We need to
understand each others' roles and respectfully work together to advance
each and every one of those issues. Whether it's the land and community
development issues of the south or the particular challenges of the
north and remote areas, we need coordinated action to make real
National Chief Atleo added, "With so many competing priorities and
issues, it's critical that we have a plan of coordinated action and
attention on all issues from our land and treaty rights, to housing, to
youth suicide and violence against women and girls. All of these issues
are critical and matters of life and death in many of our communities."
All three First Nation leaders acknowledged the importance of today's
meeting. "I think we need to send a strong message to our citizens that
we are trying to find ways of working together- to strengthen our ties
in advancing priorities on behalf of all our citizens, " concluded
Grand Chief Madahbee.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians
Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290)
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