THUNDER BAY – “Lets start hammering out these issues,” states Donny Morris, Chief of the KI First Nation. The Chief is inviting Minister Bartolucci to meet with the Chief, Council and his technical staff in June.
The Chief says it is time to “sit down and discuss the future”.
The Ontario Government moved to buy out God’s Lake Resources claims on KI’s traditional territory a few weeks ago.
The KI Chief and Councillors thank both Minister Bartolucci and former Minister Michael Gravelle for that decision.
Kathleen O. Wynne, speaking in the Ontario Legislature said, on Thursday, “I will have the honour of welcoming to Ontario the members of the aboriginal affairs working group. This group includes Premiers and Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs from each of the provinces and territories. I just want to acknowledge that it was our current Minister of Economic Development and Innovation who initiated the creation of this group, and this is the fourth year in which it will be meeting.
“It also includes the participation and support of the leaders of the five national aboriginal organizations: the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and the Native Women’s Association of Canada”.
The Minister added, “In the 2012 speech from the throne, our government committed to ‘continue to work hard to close the socio-economic gap between aboriginal people and non-aboriginal Ontarians’. The work of the aboriginal affairs working group represents a concrete step toward closing this gap. For the past three years, the working group has provided national leadership as it works collaboratively on issues that are critical to improving conditions for First Nation, Inuit and Métis people.
“The group’s priorities include increasing graduation rates for aboriginal students, supporting economic development in aboriginal communities, and taking action to end violence against aboriginal women and girls. This is not something that we can accomplish by going off in separate directions across the country. Success requires all of us working together”.