Commit To Work Together On Implementation Of Great Lakes Agreement

TORONTO, March 27 /CNW/ – Anishinabek Nation leaders and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources today signed three memoranda of understanding that will help strengthen cooperation and collaboration on issues related to natural resource management.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement was signed by Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay, and Grand Council Chief John Beaucage on behalf of 42 Anishinabek Nation communities.
“Our First Nations are dedicated to the principles of co-management,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “We acknowledge Ontario’s jurisdiction in managing the Great Lakes on behalf of their citizens, while we will be asserting traditional management principles on behalf of our citizens.”
“I am pleased to join Grand Council Chief Beaucage in signing the memorandum on Great Lakes Basin waters, which will help build our relationship with the Anishinabek Nation,” said Ramsay. “By working together cooperatively, we can move forward, seeking mutually agreeable solutions on our common priority of protecting and conserving the waters of the Great Lakes Basin.”
The memorandum of understanding related to the Great Lakes commits Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation to:

  • Hold an annual meeting between the Anishinabek Grand Council Chief and the Minister of Natural Resources

  • Establish a joint Great Lakes Charter Annex Agreement Implementation Committee, and 

  • Help build Anishinabek Nation advisory and technical capacity through the Union of Ontario Indians retaining a technical advisor, as well as other measures.Ontario is committing $300,000 over three years to this effort.

Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation also signed a memorandum of understanding committing to a “collaborative approach” that would revitalize the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council process that was established seven years ago. Continuing the work of the council will help foster a positive working relationship and ensure greater coordination on issues related to natural resource management.
In addition, an agreement was signed establishing a protocol on the transfer of Eagle remains to Anishinabek First Nations. The Eagle is of particular social, cultural and religious importance to Aboriginal people.
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) 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.

The MNR and UOI personnel responsible for the agreements.

Back Row: Rob Messervey (MNR Water Management), Dave Colvin (MNR Aboriginal Affairs Unit), Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare, Jason Laronde (AORMC Coordinator), Allan Dokis (UOI Dir. of Intergovernmental Affairs), Charlie Lauer (MNR Field Services).  Front Row: Kevin Wilson (MNR Natural Resources Management), The Hon. David Ramsay, Grand Council Chief John Beaucage and Chief Isidore Day (Serpent River).