KENORA, ON (June 18, 2015) – Chiefs in Ontario agreed to a historic political accord with Ontario yesterday during the 41st Annual All Ontario Chiefs Conference in Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation (Rat Portage) Treaty #3 Territory.
“With this Accord, First Nations and Ontario have committed to strengthening a new relationship,” said Regional Chief Isadore Day. “I look forward to working with Ontario in developing a comprehensive strategy and framework that will fully utilize this Accord to advance our jurisdiction and Treaty rights on our terms.”
The Chiefs in Assembly adopted the Political Accord to strengthen the voices of First Nations through government to government processes that recognizes the diversity in First Nation communities.
The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer also attended the conference yesterday to address the Chiefs in Assembly and on behalf of Ontario accepted the Accord as a political commitment to work together.
“We are in the midst of a changing social and political environment,” stated Grand Chief Gord Peters for the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians. “Where First Nations are not alone in the fight to protect our lands, resources and water but are joined by other Canadians to voice our common interests. This Accord captures this social shift and is a tremendous step forward in building a new political relationship between First Nations and the Government of Ontario.”
This Accord is also coming at a time when the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations call on the Canadian governments to work jointly with First Nations governments to determine ways to rebuild their relationship that is rooted in the Treaty Relationship.
Regional Chief Isadore Day is looking forward to exercising this new political relationship with the Premier of Ontario to explore how the TRC recommendations will be addressed.
A formal ceremony between the Political Confederacy and the Premier of Ontario will be held to witness the signing of the Political Accord.