NAN leadership sign political agreement for bilateral with Ontario

    THUNDER BAY, ON, April 18 /CNW/ - Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief
Stan Beardy together with members of the Northern Table NAN Chiefs steering
committee signed a letter of political agreement with Minister of Natural
Resources and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs David Ramsay to
continue exploratory discussions with the Government of Ontario this morning
at Queen's Park.
    "NAN leadership has high expectations that the Northern Table will assist
in developing a meaningful relationship with the Government of Ontario
reflective of our understanding of treaties 9 and 5 signed 100 years ago,"
said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "Our intent is through changes in policy and
legislation to allow active participation by First Nation people in the
economy, revenue-sharing, and proper implementation of Aboriginal and Treaty
rights as outlined in the Canadian Constitution and recent Supreme Court
rulings, this forum will provide a good basis for a better future for the
people of Nishnawbe Aski."
    The letter commits NAN Chiefs and the Government of Ontario to a 90 day
interim period to finalize exploratory discussions related to revenue-sharing,
Ontario Parks Act, Ontario Mining Act, impact benefits agreements, and land
use planning.
    The Northern Table was originally announced March 2006 with the intent to
provide a forum to address the unique challenges specific to NAN First Nation
communities, while addressing the gap in socioeconomic status between the
residents of NAN territory (an area covering two-thirds of Ontario) and
non-Aboriginal Ontarians.
    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 - an area covering two-thirds of the province.

For further information:

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

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