(Toronto, ON) – “On behalf of the 133 Chiefs in Ontario, who represent the largest First Nation population in Canada living on Treaty lands that cover almost the entirety of the province, I wish to congratulate PC Premier Elect Doug Ford. We look forward to working with this new government on a number of critical files, from child welfare to sharing the lands and resources as equals.
“First Nations also look forward to continuing shared responsibilities such as protecting the waters within the Province, to producing clean, reliable energy for all Ontarians, from the Great lakes to the Far North,” said Regional Chief Day. “Our Peoples want the same basic privileges that attracted people to support the PC Party. We want to be able to enjoy a standard of living that allows our families to raise their children in happy, healthy communities. We want more control over our future.
“However, as this new PC government takes shape in the coming weeks, I want to remind them that Ontario was founded based upon Treaties and agreements to share the lands and resources as equals. I would also urge the new government to read and continue to act upon the 2007 Ipperwash Report. Our Peoples consider this is as a landmark report, which must still be fully implemented.
For example, First Nations must be fully consulted on any proposed development in the Far North and the Ring of Fire. First Nation consent is required here. Our Peoples, who are protectors of the land, must be re-assured there will be no significant environmental damage, and that they are equal partners in long-term prosperity. Free, prior and informed consent means our Peoples will make the final decision before any bulldozers enter pristine lands.
Pays Tribute to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
At this time, I want to sincerely thank Premier Wynne and her Liberal government for their good work with First Nations over the years. We will always remember Premier Wynne’s heartfelt Apology to Residential School Survivors in the legislature, and her pledge to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Much was accomplished, which included the sale of Hydro One shares that have become our Sovereign Wealth Fund. We knew her Ministers well, her team were friends to First Nations.
I also want to congratulate New Democrat Party Leader Andrea Horwath in her new role as Leader of the Opposition. She has also been a true friend of First Nations over the years and we look forward to working with her and her new MPPs, in particular Sol Mamakwa, the MPP for the new riding of Kiiwetinoong. He will become one of our stalwart allies, and we will “better call Sol” to advance our issues and priorities.
In closing, First Nations – the true Sovereign Nations — want to be re-assured that the so-called Ford Nation respects our rights and jurisdictions, and works with us to build our mutual economies. Together, the only way to advance our Nations is to share in the wealth as our ancestors intended it to be.”
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day