Anishinabek Blueprint Takes Aim at Poverty

by NationTalk on April 25, 20081001 Views

PARRY SOUND, ON, April 25 – The Anishinabek Nation today unveiled an economic plan designed to support Grand Council Chief John Beaucage’s pre-election pledge to eradicate poverty among the 42 member communities within the next twenty years. Cabinet members of Ontario and Canadian governments were represented at the launch of “Our Economic Blueprint”, a 100-page outline of the Anishinabek Nation Economic Strategy.

“Today is a historic occasion,” said Beaucage. “This marks the first step in our twenty-year strategic plan to establish self-sufficient regional and local economies.” The Grand Council Chief said the blueprint would also pave the way for self-government.

“The Anishinabek understand that building an economy is critical to the self-government process. Today’s launch of our own economic development strategy is an important step on a path that will lead to prosperous communities and a stronger nation.” Financial support for the development of the Economic Blueprint was provided by Industry Canada’s FedNor, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Both Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant and Minister of Health and Minister of FedNor, Tony Clement, were both at the launch congratulating Grand Council Chief John Beaucage and the Anishinabek Nation.

“I commend the Anishinabek Nation for developing a strategy to provide a clear vision and long-term supports for economic development in their communities,” said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant.

“This investment is excellent example of how our government as delivering on its commitment to support self-reliant First Nations businesses and communities in Northern Ontario and across country,” said Minister Clement.

“Our Economic Blueprint” was the product of two Think Tanks staged across Canada that obtained the input of such recognized authorities on First Nation economic development as Chief Clarence Louie, Osoyoos Indian Band; Bernd Christmas, Membertou First Nation; David Tuccaro, Mikisew Cree Band; Jason Calla, Squamish First Nation; Rodney Nelson, Conference Board of Canada; Bob Dickson, Lac Seul First Nation; Professor John Borrows, Cape Croker First Nation; R. Martin Bayer, M’Chigeeng First Nation; Ruth Williams, All Nations Trust Company; and William Dunning, Economist.

The 10-month process was facilitated by Dawn Madahbee (Aundeck Omni Kaning FN) of Waubetek Business Development Corporation on Birch Island, Ray Martin of Indian Hill Golf Club in Forest, ON (Chippewas of Nawash First Nation) and Greg Plain, Executive Director of the Anishinabek Nation Management Group Inc.

Anishinabek Nation leaders will discuss next steps in their economic strategy during their June Annual General Assembly in Whitefish River First Nation.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is the political advocate for 42 member First Nations in Ontario, and is the oldest political organization in Ontario, tracing its origins to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290), Email:

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