UOI OFFICES, Nipissing First Nation, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - What has to
be changed in the relationship between Canada and First Nations has
already been established, says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief
Patrick Madahbee. What needs to happen at a Jan. 24 Crown-First Nations
Gathering in Ottawa is for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government
to take action.
"There has been much, much work done," said Madahbee. "Things like the
Kelowna Accord, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Nielsen
Task Force Report, the Penner Report and many, many other studies that
point to the fact that we do need change. Now, we have the answers.
The solutions are there, already built into a lot of these processes.
What we need is the political will to move on some of these
The Grand Council Chief was hopeful that the Jan. 24 meeting between
First Nations leaders from across Canada and the federal government
will be the start of that process.
"The rebuilding of a Crown-First Nations relationship is a necessary
first step. I think we have a real opportunity here to show the world
how Canada will engage with the First Nations in this country, by doing
something very pro-actively to advance these issues that we've been
talking about for years and years and years. Not since the Treaty days,
and even more recently in the Constitutional talks of the early
eighties, have we had an opportunity to meet with the Crown to discuss
matters dealing with First Nations issues.
The Grand Council Chief said First Nations want the Ottawa gathering to
be more than just a photo-op.
"We want this meeting to say that things are being done -- we want to
see some really significant processes emerge, where we have ongoing
working meetings, perhaps culminating in a First Minister's conference
agreeing on some substantial ideas to affect our communities.
"So with that I say to the Canadian public, I say to the Anishinabek
people, and I say to the government of Canada and the Governor General
who represents the Crown: 'Let's get our sleeves rolled up, let's do
some really good work, let's get to the heart of our issues, and let's
make some real tangible change.'"
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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