New Indian Affairs Minister needs to maintain momentum

UOI OFFICES, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation leaders are hopeful that a switch in the federal Indian Affairs portfolio won't delay progress in the bilateral process between First Nations and Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is replacing Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl with long-time Conservative backbencher John Duncan. Strahl is replacing John Baird as the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

"Hopefully, the fact that Minister Duncan has been parliamentary secretary to Chuck Strahl means he is more or less up to speed on our issues," says Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. "We would like to congratulate Minister Strahl on his new posting. We enjoyed working with him and we need to keep our issues moving forward."

Current priorities for the Anishinabek Nation include the comprehensive self-government, the Anishinabek Nation Citizenship Law, Matrimonial Real Property, Child Welfare, Treaty issues and at the individual First Nation level, Additions to Reserve issues.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 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.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information: For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290), Cell: (705) 494-0735, E-mail:, - add Anishinabek Nation as a "friend"

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