PARRY SOUND (September 24, 2008) – A federal political riding that could be greatly influenced by First Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) voters will provide an opportunity for seven area Chiefs to discuss their issues with the four candidates in the Oct. 14 general election.

As part of the First Peoples Vote initiative (, the Anishinabek Nation is coordinating an Oct. 6 First Peoples’ Election Forum for Parry-Sound-Muskoka, the riding won by federal Health Minister Tony Clement by 28 votes in the 2006 federal election. An estimated 900 First Peoples are eligible to vote in the Oct. 14 election.

Moderator Bob Goulais, Anishinabek Nation political chief of staff, says the forum will not be a debate or include partisan wrangling. Rather, it will be a positive forum and exchange of ideas consistent with the spirit of Anishinabe tradition and mutual respect.

WHAT: First Peoples’ Election Forum

WHO: Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, Anishinabek Nation; Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse, Chiefs of Ontario; Deputy Grand Chief Glen Hare, Union of Ontario Indians; Chief Wilfred King, Wasauksing First Nation; Chief Denise Restoule, Dokis First Nation; Chief Wayne McQuabbie, Henvey Inlet First Nation; Chief Wilmer Noganosh, Magnetawan First Nation; Chief Barron King, Moose Deer Point First Nation; Chief Blaine Commandant, Wahta Mohawks; Chief Patricia Pawis, Shawanaga First Nation; Grand Chief Randy Phillips, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians; Gary Lipinski, President, Métis Nation of Ontario; Vera Pawis-Tabobondung, National Association of Indian Friendship Centres; Elizabeth Sandy, Parry Sound Friendship Centre.

CANDIDATES: Tony Clement, Cons.; Jamie McGarvey, Lib.; Joanne Boulding, NDP; Glen Hodgson, Green Party. WHERE: Parry Sound Quality Inn & Conference Centre (Jolly Roger Inn)Highway 400, just south of Parry Sound – Sequin Room WHEN: Monday, Oct. 6, 2008, 3-5 pm.

First Peoples Vote and is a non-partisan initiative that encourages First Peoples’ (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) participation in general elections, provides information to voters on issues that are important to First Peoples’ governments, provides information from the mainstream political parties, provides resources to communities and provides an online discussion forum to exchange opinions and ideas.

The initiative was established by the Anishinabek Nation-Union of Ontario Indians under the leadership of Grand Council Chief John Beaucage.

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For more information contact: Bob Goulais Executive Assistant to the Grand Council Chief (705) 498-5250 E-mail:

Marci Becking Communications Officer (705) 497-9127 E-mail: