Treaty Lands and Treaty Partners needed in Ontario's Green Economy

SERPENT RIVER FIRST NATION, ON, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - In recent months, Chiefs in the Robinson Huron Treaty territory within Ontario have been talking straight about treaty implementation in direct discussions with Ontario regarding its Green Energy and Economy Act.

Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, Anishnabek Nation Lake Huron Regional Grand Chief said, "We commend and are encouraged by the McGuinty government's efforts to work towards the reconciliation of outstanding treaty issues in Ontario. Now we need to turn the corner on some vital matters regarding the development of proposed new electrical transmission and distribution projects within our territory."

"Our Chiefs passed a resolution in May 2008, directing us to forge a new approach in enforcing the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 in our efforts to eradicate poverty," said Chief Day. "Treaties throughout history have primarily been about sharing resources and economies, but something went seriously wrong with treaties in Canada. First Nation leaders are taking a very close look at how Ontario is responding to the economic crisis occurring across the world. We are keenly aware of the serious economic and fiscal challenges before the Ontario government, but we maintain that any decisions that impact our Treaty territory and our people must be made based upon the original Spirit and Intent of the treaty partnership," he added.

Day says he and his colleagues have a strong message for the Ontario's government, "We will get behind you and help push our new green economy forward but we will not get left behind in Ontario's economic recovery." He added, "As treaty partners, we are going to plant our elbows firmly on the table in our negotiations with the province about the accommodation of our constitutional rights. We are the key player in deciding how investments should be made within our territories and how they will be accessed and developed."

Chief Day said that the Lake Huron First Nations are taking active steps to develop partnerships and business opportunities. The Lake Huron Anishnabek Transmission Company Inc. is in preliminary discussions with licensed transmitters regarding three major transmission line corridors which extend from Coldwater to the Eastern Shores of Lake Superior and into Manitoulin Island. Building these new transmission lines is necessary to make Ontario's proposed new generation projects successful.

"Over the last several months, our Lake Huron Anishinabek Transmission Company has been in some very important discussions with reputable licensed transmitters. I believe the Premier should be committed to domestic efforts and cautious about liquidating investment capital abroad," said Chief Day. "The energy rate-based penny can only be split so many times and must first work here at home. Our First Nations can use those investments here to help solve some very serious problems in our communities and in the best interest of Ontario's economy," concluded Chief Day.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information: For further information: Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, Serpent River First Nation, Lake Huron Region Grand Chief, iday.srfn@ontera.net, (705) 844-2418

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Anishinabek Nation

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