Ontario Government And Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Chiefs Create New Political Forum



    Northern Table Will Help Build Prosperity For Northern First Nations

    QUEEN'S PARK, April 18 /CNW/ - The Ontario government has taken a
significant step forward in building relationships with Aboriginal communities
in the North. David Ramsay, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and
Grand Chief Stan Beardy of Nishnawbe Aski Nation signed a Letter of Political
Agreement between Ontario and Nishnawbe Aski First Nations this morning at
Queen's Park.
    "The Northern Table will create a new working relationship based on a
joint commitment to positive and meaningful change among Nishnawbe-Aski First
Nations, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN), and Ontario," Ramsay said. The Northern
Table provides a political forum for dialogue between the Ontario government
and Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 First Nations.
    To move forward, NAN First Nations and Ontario have agreed to work on
three priorities: the development of a Memorandum of Agreement between the
Ministry of Natural Resources and NAN to implement the Provincial Parks and
Conservation Reserves Act in NAN territory; development of a notification
protocol for Ministry of Natural Resources licences and permits for resource
development activities; and to discuss land use planning, including approaches
for balancing traditional and non-traditional activities for NAN First Nations
both in the far north and southern parts of NAN.
    The Northern Table will build on the provincial government's commitment
through current initiatives, programs and services to ensure that First
Nations in the North are able to successfully participate in the northern
economy.
    "NAN leadership has high expectations that the Northern Table will assist
in developing a meaningful relationship with the Government of Ontario that is
respectful of our understanding of treaties 9 and 5 signed 100 years ago,"
said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "Active participation by First Nation people
in the economy and respect for Aboriginal and Treaty rights, will provide the
basis for a better future for the people of Nishnawbe Aski."
    The McGuinty government is committed to the prosperity and well being of
the North. The Northern Table will help enhance First Nation participation in
the benefits of resource development and advance the long-term sustainability
of the northern economy.
    The establishment of the Northern Table fulfills a commitment of
Ontario's New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs. Launched in 2005, the New
Approach to Aboriginal Affairs outlines the basis of the government's
Aboriginal policy - a relationship sustained by mutual respect that will lead
to improved opportunities and a better future for Aboriginal children and
youth.

    
    Disponible en français

                     www.aboriginalaffairs.osaa.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister Ramsay's Office,
(416) 327-0654; Merike Nurming, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4079; Jenna
Young, Director of Communications, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952

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Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

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