Anishinabek/Ontario Agreements Pledge Cooperation

    Commit To Work Together On Implementation Of Great Lakes Agreement

    TORONTO, March 27 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation leaders and Ontario's
Ministry of Natural Resources today signed three memoranda of understanding
that will help strengthen cooperation and collaboration on issues related to
natural resource management.
    A Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Great
Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement was
signed by Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay, and Grand Council Chief
John Beaucage on behalf of 42 Anishinabek Nation communities.
    "Our First Nations are dedicated to the principles of co-management,"
said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. "We acknowledge Ontario's jurisdiction in
managing the Great Lakes on behalf of their citizens, while we will be
asserting traditional management principles on behalf of our citizens."
    "I am pleased to join Grand Council Chief Beaucage in signing the
memorandum on Great Lakes Basin waters, which will help build our relationship
with the Anishinabek Nation," said Ramsay. "By working together cooperatively,
we can move forward, seeking mutually agreeable solutions on our common
priority of protecting and conserving the waters of the Great Lakes Basin."
    The memorandum of understanding related to the Great Lakes commits Ontario
and the Anishinabek Nation to:
    -   Hold an annual meeting between the Anishinabek Grand Council Chief
        and the Minister of Natural Resources
    -   Establish a joint Great Lakes Charter Annex Agreement Implementation
        Committee, and
    -   Help build Anishinabek Nation advisory and technical capacity through
        the Union of Ontario Indians retaining a technical advisor, as well
        as other measures.

    Ontario is committing $300,000 over three years to this effort.
    Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation also signed a memorandum of
understanding committing to a "collaborative approach" that would revitalize
the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council process that was
established seven years ago. Continuing the work of the council will help
foster a positive working relationship and ensure greater coordination on
issues related to natural resource management.
    In addition, an agreement was signed establishing a protocol on the
transfer of Eagle remains to Anishinabek First Nations. The Eagle is of
particular social, cultural and religious importance to Aboriginal people.

    The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) as
its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First
Nations across Ontario. 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.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister's Office,
Ministry of Natural Resources, (416) 327-0654; Bob Goulais, Anishinabek
Nation,, (705) 497-9127, (705) 498-5250 (Cell)

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Anishinabek Nation

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Union of Ontario Indians

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