Mushkegowuk Council and Ontario Formalize Renewed Treaty Relationship

AFN Aboriginal News Splash

THUNDER BAY – The Mushkegowuk Council and the Government of Ontario formalized a renewed Treaty relationship ·by signing a Treaty Relationship Roundtable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today in Toronto.

In 1905 – 1906, Treaty Commissioners for the Ontario and Canadian governments traveled to northern Ontario on behalf of the Crown to the homelands of the Mushkegowuk and Ojibwa First Nations to make a Treaty. Based on what the Commissioners said and promised, and after asking some questions, the Mushkegowuk and Ojibwa leaders of the day agreed to sign the Treaty document. This Treaty is presently known as the James Bay Treaty: Treaty No. 9.

“The Mushkegowuk Chiefs worked hard at securing this MOU and we commend Ontario for taking this step forward; and more importantly, in all respect- to the spirit and intent of the treaty, we look forward to seeing the sacred Oral Treaty promises materialize soon” says Fort Albany First Nation Chief Andrew Solomon.

The MOU confirms the commitment between Mushkegowuk Council and  the Government of Ontario to continue discussions on matters of mutual concern. The agreement will help to create conditions to support improved social conditions and greater economic opportunities, leading to stronger, more sustainable, and self-sufficient communities. It should also enhance institutional capacity, including the rebuilding of an effective and accountable system of government for Mushkegowuk communities, based on the best principles of good governance and on the traditions of the Mushkegowuk.

Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon says “the meetings under this agreement are for the purpose of information sharing and issue resolution and are not negotiating sessions; and any substantive decisions will need to have their own agreement in the future.”

Under the strong leadership of the late Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit, the Mushkegowuk Chiefs pressed Ontario to sign an agreement to formalize this Treaty Roundtable since 2011; “this is a very special day and this Government to Government agreement is dedicated to the late Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit” says Grand Chief Jonathan  Solomon.

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