First Nations appoint new Women's Water Commissioner

    GARDEN RIVER, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief
John Beaucage has announced the appointment of a political representative to
the Anishinabek Women's Water Commission.
    "I'm pleased that Chief Isadora Bebamash has accepted this appointment as
Commissioner. She is committed to fulfilling her role as a woman and as a
leader, to speak for and protect the water," said Grand Council Chief
    Isadora Bebamash is a first term Chief for M'Chigeeng First Nation on
Manitoulin Island. Previously she has sat as a Band Councillor and on the
First Nation's Economic Development Commission.
    "I am excited to be a part of the Women's Water Commission. It will be a
tremendous honour to work with the other Commissioners," said Chief Bebamash.
    "Our Women have many teachings that can be shared with the people," she
    "The appointment of a political representative to the Anishinabek Women's
Water Commission is meant to strengthen our leadership role in the area of
water policy in Ontario, and enhance the leadership role of the Women's Water
Commission itself," said the Grand Council Chief.
    Grand Council Chief Beaucage, Chief Bebamash and the Anishinabek Women's
Water Commission will be attending an Anishinabek Nation water policy forum
February 26 in Garden River First Nation discussing policy options to protect
and preserve the quality and quantity of water, and the Great Lakes basin
    "We are not simply stakeholders," said Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
"Along with Ontario we are stewards of the Great Lakes, and we will work to
entrench that role within the Great Lakes Charter Annex implementation process
in Ontario."
    The foundation of First Nations water policy is the traditional role of
the Women in caring for the water. The Anishinabek Women's Water Commission
will provide direct advice to the Grand Council Chief and the Anishinabek
Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly.
    Grand Council Chief Beaucage is working to set up a meeting involving the
Anishinabek Women's Water Commission and The Hon. Donna Cansfield, Ontario
Minister of Natural Resources.

    The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians 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.

    NOTE: Grand Council Chief John Beaucage will be available to the media in
the Sault Ste. Marie area February 26-27.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Goulais, Executive Assistant to the Grand
Council Chief, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (Ext. 2249) or cell: (705) 498-5250,

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Anishinabek Nation

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Union of Ontario Indians

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