Ontario Chiefs Pass Declaration Calling for Action for Youth

A message from a less than happy downtown Fort William visitor in Thunder Bay
A message from a less than happy downtown Fort William visitor in Thunder Bay

A Declaration by First Nations Political Leadership on Ending Racism and Violence To Save First Nation Lives

LAC SEUL – At the All Ontario Chiefs Assembly in Lac Seul the delegates passed a declaration calling for protection of the rights of children in Ontario.

Here is the text of the declaration as read to the Ontario Chiefs by Chief Elaine Johnston from Serpent River First Nation:

The Ontario Young Peoples Council (OFNYPC) of the Chiefs of Ontario has shared with the Chiefs in Assembly that they must feel safe and welcome in their communities in order to fulfill their potential to have a stronger, and healthier future for their peers and for the next seven generations to come;

In March 2016, the Youth Voices Survey commissioned by the OFNYPC found that the prevalence of racism throughout Ontario continues to be unaddressed and that this has caused harm to their mental and physical well-being, confirming the link between racism and violence;

The 2016 Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of the Seven First Nations Youth – which investigated the deaths of seven First Nations youth attending high school in Thunder Bay – recommended, among many calls, to Canada to provide adequate funding supports for youth which include mental health, social workers, and other transition supports to meet their unique needs;

As First Nations leaders we must respond to the needs of our youth and citizens, and support the calls for action on the part of all levels of government in order to prevent further harm against our First Nation Citizens.

Article 2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples confirms that, “Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.”

In recognition of cases of violence, death, and missing First Nations citizens constitutes a human rights crisis. For far too long, the hostility and racial profiling of our First Nations citizens has prevented our people from living healthy and fulfilling lives free of violence.

We, the Chiefs in Assembly, hereby stand united to condemn all acts of racism, violence and ineffective policing that is occurring throughout the Province of Ontario against our First Nation Citizens.

We call upon the people of Ontario and Canada to ask yourselves, what actions would you demand if your son or daughter were hurt, missing, or found deceased?

We call upon everyone to stand up and take action to end racism and violence, to save lives, and to choose to make a difference.

Previous articleThunder Bay Fire Rescue Receives Award
Next articleSouth May Street Fire Knocked Down by Police and Fire Rescue
NetNewsledger.com or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but we are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: newsroom@netnewsledger.com. Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862