FORT WILLIAM FN, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - "Canada forces First Nations to
accept lower standards of living," says Peter Collins, Northern
Superior Regional Chief for the Anishinabek Nation.
Collins, also Chief of Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay, hopes
this is an issue that will be dealt with at the Jan. 24 Crown-First
Nations Gathering in Ottawa.
"First Nations are forced to deal with lower standards for their
citizens in housing and health care because of funding arrangements
imposed on our populations for decades. We are concerned that cuts to
funding in these areas are likely and will lead to crisis situations in
many of our communities. Housing and health care services are
paramount to the basic survival of our people and should be a shared
priority for all concerned as we try to move forward, strengthening our
citizens, communities and nation.
Regional Chief Collins, whose community recently concluded a
160-year-old land claim, also hopes the summit of First Nations Chiefs
and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make a commitment to streamline
the existing land claims policy and procedures.
"First Nations, through land claims, are attempting to correct some of
the wrongs that have been inflicted upon our citizens by Canada and
Ontario not holding to the true agreements of our treaties and inherent
rights," says Chief Collins. "Yet, even with the processes and strides
that we are making in bringing forth and settling claims, the processes
are long and costly, directed by Canada and decided upon by the very
government who broke the pacts. It is our position that First Nations
should have stronger positions and control mechanisms in these
processes in order to fairly and reasonably solve these issues as
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:
Union of Ontario Indians
Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290)
Cell: (705) 494-0735
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