TORONTO, ON (June 22, 2007) – Grand Council Chief John Beaucage says that a stand-alone Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs is a positive step forward and to build a stronger relationships and speed up the resolution of outstanding issues.
“We want to see it as a positive long-term solution to the problems between First Nations and provincial relationships,” said Beaucage.
Beaucage said that he was pleased with Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement yesterday that will see a new ministry work with the federal government on a new process that would expedite land claims here in Ontario and launch a New Relationship Fund, which will help aboriginal communities strengthen their skills and resources to work more seamlessly with governments.
The new Ministry will also work towards resolving the future use of Ipperwash Park by the end of the year – together with First Nations, local residents and the federal government – in a way that is fair, transparent and inclusive.
In a June 13th statement from Grand Council Chief after the release of the Ipperwash Inquiry Report, he noted that by accepting the report’s key recommendation to establish a Treaty Commission of Ontario, the province would recognize that they have an important role to play in land-claim resolution. They need to be at the table with Canada and the Anishinabek to talk about sharing the use of lands and resources.
“While we realize that Minister Ramsay becomes Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, in addition to his duties as Natural Resources Minister, in the short term, this is acceptable until the next election.”
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.