SERPENT RIVER FN, ON, July 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Chief Isadore Day, who carries the traditional name Wiindawtegowinini, says that "the public hearing about the low water levels on Lake Huron held by the International Joint Commission (IJC) was a sham and that the IJC was disinterested, impatient and very defensive when listening to the First Nation presentation."
On Sunday July 15, 2012 the International Joint Commission's (IJC) held a hearing for the public of Manitoulin to share with the six Canadian and American commissioners their thoughts regarding low water levels in Lake Huron.
The purpose of the hearings is to have people comment on the findings of the International Upper Great lakes Study Board, which was released at the end of March 2012.
"If the United States and Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, the IJC needs to convey a process in place that is collaborative and collective to all First Nations and Tribes who reside in the Great Lakes Basin," says Chief Day. "Our Elders, Citizens and Youth hold so much historical and traditional knowledge that needs to shared and heard to allow sound decision-making with western science when it comes to the Great Lakes."
Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee added: "The Anishinabek Nation has never relinquished our rights to the waters, especially the Great Lakes. Our First Nation treaties warrants the IJC to recognize a need for open discussions on First Nation rights and jurisdiction.
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.
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