Northern Manitoba First Nations Expect "Real Progress" on Clean Running Water, Health and Housing

OTTAWA, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) Grand Chief David Harper said First Nations in northern Manitoba have high expectations for making "real progress" during the meeting this week in Ottawa between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nations leaders. MKO released its Clean Running Water, Health and Housing Strategy that was prepared by MKO for the Crown-First Nation Gathering. The strategy sets out a framework for addressing the urgent needs of northern and remote First Nations in Canada.

"The Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak will be presenting our stategy on Clean Running Water, Health and Housing to Prime Minister Stephen Harper", stated MKO Grand Chief David Harper. "MKO is presenting a comprehensive strategy that addresses how solutions including education, training and employment, resource revenue sharing and First Nation representation in Parliament will result in real progress toward clean running water and adequate health and housing," added the MKO Grand Chief.

Bunibonibee Cree Nation Chief Irvin Sinclair said, "almost every northern First Nation in Canada is in a state of crisis regarding the need for clean running water and adequate health and housing. Part of the solution is building permanent roads to make sure that First Nations in northern Manitoba have same access to clean running water, health and housing enjoyed by all other Canadians."

Northlands Denesuline First Nation Chief Joe Antsanen stated that, "the Treaties have shared the wealth of our traditional lands with Canada and provinces. Resource revenue sharing and benefit sharing is the key for First Nations to make the investments in the infrastructure, health services and housing that our communities so urgently require".

"There has to be First Nation representation in the Senate and House of Commons in order to ensure real progress in improving the lives of First Nations peoples in Canada. First Nation representation in the Senate and House of Commons has to be guaranteed in the Constitution of Canada.", stated Norway House First Nation Chief Ron Evans.

"Our people expect the Prime Minister's commitment to make real progress toward delivering clean running water and adequate health services and housing for our First Nations and toward ensuring that the voice of First Nations is heard in Parliament", concluded Grand Chief Harper.

~Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that
has represented 30 First Nation communities in Manitoba's North since 1981~

SOURCE Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO)

For further information:

Media Contact: Brennan Manoakeesick
Phone: (204) 795-0449
brennanm@mkonorth.com

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Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO)

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