NAN leadership agree to move forward with bilateral partnershp with Ontario

    TIMMINS, ON, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan
Beardy today announced a one year commitment of NAN's 49 First Nation
communities to work with the Government of Ontario to jointly develop a
results-based process to address and resolve current challenges in the areas
of consultation and accommodation, resource development, mining, parks, and
licensing and permits within NAN territory - an area covering two-thirds of
the province of Ontario.
    "The Chiefs of Nishnawbe Aski are looking forward to getting to the meat
of the issues on a priority basis and are prepared to take the Government of
Ontario to task with the verbal commitments made," said NAN Grand Chief Stan
Beardy, adding the importance of developing a results-based process to achieve
goals in the next year. "We've completed exploratory discussions, we've got
the commitment from both sides - now we're looking for substance. We're
looking for results to improve the quality of life for our people and
    Beardy's announcement comes after a three day Assembly of NAN leadership
to determine next steps to ensure meaningful discussions with the Government
of Ontario, including a verbal commitment by new Minister of Aboriginal
Affairs Michael Bryant to put the new government-to-government relationship
between NAN and Ontario on the "front burner".
    Today's decision builds on two previous agreements (March 2006, April
2007) by NAN Chiefs and the Government of Ontario designed to address the
unique social and economic challenges of NAN First Nation communities.
    NAN Chiefs have set priorities on creating resource revenue sharing
legislation, First Nation led land use planning, revising the Ontario Mining
Act to include Supreme Court decisions based on consultation and
accommodation, building a First Nation approach to parks, and overhauling the
approach to licensing and permits in NAN territory.

    Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political organization representing 49 First
Nation communities in the territory of James Bay Treaty 9 and Ontario portion
of Treaty 5.
    The bilateral process currently called the "Northern Table" is
coordinated by a NAN Chiefs Steering Committee.

For further information:

For further information: Jenna Young, Director of Communications,
Nishnawbe Aski Nation, (807) 625-4952, (807) 628-3953 (mobile)

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