THUNDER BAY, ON, Feb. 7 /CNW/ – Anishinabek leaders predict that a comprehensive new gaming agreement with Ontario will boost their efforts to develop economic opportunities and support youth initiatives in their 42 First Nations.
The Anishinabek caucus unanimously supported today’s agreement between the Chiefs of Ontario and the province that will give 134 First Nations a share of all gaming and lottery revenues of the Ontario Gaming and Lotteries Commission. Chiefs approved by a 112-1 margin the deal, worth an estimated $3 billion over 25 years.

“This is an historic revenue-sharing agreement,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. “It provides Anishinabek communities the certainty we need to move forward on our long-term economic development strategy, and support a better future for youth in our First Nations. This represents the beginning of a new partnership with the Province. Our Chiefs hope to negotiate a similar agreement in the area of natural resource revenue-sharing.”

The agreement will require community-level ratification by all 134 First Nations in Ontario, and will resolve the court action launched by Chiefs after the Mike Harris government unilaterally imposed a 20 per cent “win tax” on Casino Rama proceeds shortly after taking office. Today’s proposed settlement by the government of Dalton McGuinty will also involve a one-time cash payment of $201 million, payable on signing.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

For further information:
Bob Goulais
Executive Assistant to the Grand Council Chief
Phone: (705) 497-9127 (Ext. 2249)
or Cell: (705) 498-5250,