THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) is pleased to be hosting the first NAN First Nations Economic Summit. This three-day event, taking place February 22 – 24, 2011 features a wide variety of guest speakers, panel discussions and presentations all focusing on three basic principles: Where are we? What challenges do we face? And where are we going? The goal is to gather perspectives from NAN Chiefs and Councilors, Community Economic Development Officers, First Nation business owners, industry representatives, government agencies, and other interested parties and begin to formulate a regional economic strategic plan outlining the short and long-term goals for the NAN territory.
Two key presentations will feature a combination of Provincial and Federal Ministers with the themes; “Economic Planning in the North” & “Capacity Building in the NAN Territory”. Also in attendance to make keynote addresses will be provincially appointed Ring of Fire Coordinator Christine Kaszycki and Former Assembly of First Nations National Chief and President of Ishkogan Inc., Phil Fontaine.
The Economic Summit will cover a broad range of topics including: the NAN regional economy, negotiating fair and equitable economic/resource development business deals, the environmental assessment process, resource benefit sharing, business development & opportunities, and impacts of the global economy in the NAN territory.
With various major development projects have that been implemented over the years, such as the DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine, Ontario Power Generation Lower Mattagami project, and the potential in the area known as the Ring of Fire, we need to work in unity to fully realize any economic potential and how we can best benefit from the extraction of resources available in our homelands.
- map out clearly what NAN First Nations expect from future resource developments within their territories;
- identify and develop independent sources of revenue;
- act in the collective interest of all NAN First Nations at all times;
- build upon existing institutions and establish new entities as required;
- ensure good governance in these institutions;
- identify all jobs required with the developers and push for a maximum First Nation training and employment;
- invest in the construction of new housing, infrastructure and community facilities; and
- create and invest in economic development opportunities for NAN First Nation businesses.
We appreciate your support in this new and exciting endeavour and I look forward to seeing you there.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
Deputy Grand Chief