TORONTO – Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, Grand Chiefs, Chiefs, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer, Cabinet Ministers, industry and corporate partners, family and friends honoured seven outstanding leaders last night in a sold-out Gala event hosted by the Chiefs of Ontario in Toronto.
“It is in our tradition in our culture to honour people who have done great things for our communities. These leaders broke barriers, opened doors and led the charge for First Nation citizens in Ontario,” stated Grand Chief Beardy.
The former Ontario Regional Chiefs honoured were: the late Peter Tobasonakwut Kelly, Patrick Madahbee, Wally McKay, Gordon Peters, Tom Bressette, Charles Fox and Angus Toulouse.
Each honouree was given a gift and award commemorating their dedication and each recipient spoke eloquently about their time as leader and working for betterment of First Nation communities.
Premier Wynne committed about continuing an ongoing dialogue with the First Nations in Ontario and the importance of educating the next generation of Canadians on an accurate history and contributions of First Nation people in Canada.
Emcee Don Kelly kept the full house entertained as he joked and moved the agenda along throughout the night.
Keynote speaker John Ralston Saul, one of Canada’s foremost intellectuals, talked about how Canada needs to recast its relationship with Indigenous peoples and how the government needs to move quickly on Treaty rights and land claims and to completely throw out its approach of stalling and appealing.