Chiefs of Ontario Meet on Assertation of Jurisdiction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
TORONTO— Native leadership from across the province are meeting in Toronto for the All Ontario Special Chiefs Assembly starting Tuesday November 18, 2008. For three days, leaders and members of First Nations communities across Ontario are meeting to discuss the review of the Ontario Mining Act, progress on implementing the Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations, First Nations education in Ontario, nation building and other issues.“With pressure mounting around the Ontario government to move fast on the economy, we can predict that government will look towards the resources and opportunities available on our traditional territories. Where some see our trees and land as a valuable commodity, we see First Nations youth from across Ontario as an asset to the future of a prosperous Ontario,” says Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. “At our Special Chiefs Assembly this week, there are two general themes we will address: resource revenue sharing and development through the Ontario Mining Act and education through new strategies we are hoping to implement for our First Nations youth.”
The agenda also includes moving forward with the Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations. Accomplishments include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ontario Government to confirm priorities and specific work plans to make progress on key recommendations. Other agenda highlights include advancing First Nation health outcomes through strategic planning and coordination, confirming the First Nation position on water and ensuring that First Nation infrastructure needs are addressed.
An additional highlight of the Assembly will be the honouring of advocate Sam George at Justice Honoured: a gala and benefit concert to be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 during the Special Chiefs Assembly. Sam George will be honoured for his work in seeking justice for his brother Dudley George and the community of Kettle and Stony Point over Ipperwash Park. The event will include a silent auction, appreciation dinner and benefit concert hosted by CBC TV journalist Carla Robinson. Artists scheduled include Keith Secola, Lucie Idlout, Angela DeMontigny, Brock Stonefish, Red Works Studio, Sarah Decarlo and more surprise guests!!!
“Sam George set the greatest example for us in the struggle to see justice,” says Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. “Sam George’s commitment and dedication to his brother Dudley and to his community will be recognized by First Nations leadership from across Ontario at this special honouring of Sam.” Recently, Sam George has been diagnosed with cancer. In an effort to support Sam George and his family, funds raised from this event will contribute to offsetting the George’s financial burden and recent medical costs.
The Chiefs of Ontario represents 133 First Nation communities located within the Province of Ontario. The Chiefs of Ontario is the coordinating office providing a unified voice and political leadership on regional, provincial and national priorities affecting First Nation people. Political organizations comprising the Chiefs of Ontario include Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, the Anishinabek Nation/Union of Ontario Indians, Grand Council Treaty No. 3, Association of Iroquois & Allied Indians and Independent First Nations.
For more information, please contact:
Harmony Rice, Communications
Chiefs of Ontario 1-877-517-6527 416-576-9718
harmony @ coo.org (no spaces)