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NAN Annual Report 2007-2008
Grand Chief Stan Beardy
Booshoo and Wacheya to the people, Chiefs and Councils, Elders, women and youth of Nishnawbe Aski. On behalf of the Executive Council and staff of Nishnawbe Aski Nation I present the 2007-2008 NAN Annual Report. The following is a brief summary of overall activities within the portfolio of the Grand Chief (see other sections of this Annual Report for the full reports).This year has been a challenging year for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Northern Ontario is an international development hot spot with mineral resources and untapped energy sources. Both government and industry are pressing NAN to open the development gates. NAN is accelerating bilateral discussions with the Government of Ontario to ensure that this development takes place within the framework of our Aboriginal and treaty rights. The relationship with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), under the bilateral agreement, is being revised and revamped. The agreement has been expanded to include all federal departments responsible. The need for strong relationships based on our rights is highlighted by the deteriorating state of infrastructure in member First Nations. The consequences of the historic underfunding of NAN First Nations are being enhanced by the current economic policies, particularly those of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Our Federal Treaty Partner
The NAN/Canada Bilateral Protocol had lost direction and energy. In the past year, the process has been re-invigorated. The Government of Canada has indicated its interest in developing a new relationship through the commitments of both Minister Jim Prentice, Industry Canada and Minister Chuck Strahl, Indian and Northern Affairs, as well as the work of Deputy Minister Michael Wernick, Regional Director General Deborah Richardson and Assistant Deputy Minister John McKennery with NAN. The proposed Protocol has seven elements: a gap analysis, particularly focused on Canadaʼs Fiduciary responsibility for the First Nations of NAN; identification of immediate needs; rectification of the historic funding gap; a NAN-specific table in parallel to the NAN/Ontario discussions; a joint task force to prioritize immediate essential needs of the First Nations; identification of infrastructure and training needs, with particular reference to the participation of youth and women; and identification of legislative and fiscal needs of the First Nations so that they may participate in the development of their lands and resources.
NAN is in the process of establishing a Chiefsʼ Steering Committee to guide the Bilateral Protocol. The Government of Canada (through INAC) has agreed to fund a Round Table between the NAN Chiefsʼ Steering Committee and appropriate federal departments and agencies to identify key issues and protocols for engagement. In the upcoming year we hope to better establish our relations with the Government of Canada in this manner.
Download NAN ANNUAL REPORT 2007-2008.
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