Ontario government and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs launch Northern Table

Archived Release

Ontario government and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs launch Northern Table

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Initiative First Step In Promoting Prosperity For First Nations In The North THUNDER BAY, ON, March 21 - The Ontario government and Treaties 9 and 5 Chiefs have established a Northern Table in order to bring greater economic opportunity to Aboriginal communities in the North, David Ramsay, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Stan Beardy, Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation announced today. "The Northern Table is a first step toward a political-level forum that will develop a co-operative approach to discussing the unique challenges in achieving prosperity and well-being in the North," said Ramsay. "Establishing the Northern Table fulfills one of Ontario's key commitments under the New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs." The Northern Table will build on the provincial government's current initiatives, programs and services in its commitment to ensure that First Nations in the North are able to participate in the benefits of resource development. Discussions on the membership, functioning and mandate of the Northern Table will be the subject of ongoing discussions among the partners. "The McGuinty government recognizes that past approaches have not always resolved issues nor resulted in timely progress," said Ramsay. "I expect the new Northern Table to be something different and results-oriented. It will be a true partnership that, over time, will include other First Nations in the North." "I'm very pleased the First Nation communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation will be entering into meaningful and strategic dialogue with Ontario with the intent to include Canada in the future," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy. "Our goal at the Northern Table is to ensure active participation of First Nations in establishing a viable economic base for Ontario's far north in partnership with Ontario, industry, and the private sector." The McGuinty government is promoting prosperity and well-being across Northern Ontario. The Northern Table will help enhance First Nation participation in the benefits of resource development and boost the long-term sustainability of the northern economy. Disponible en français www.aboriginalaffairs.osaa.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------ NORTHERN TABLE Contact Info David Ramsay, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Stan Beardy, Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 Chiefs from Treaties 9 and 5, launched the new political-level Northern Table in Thunder Bay on March 21, 2006. Over time, other First Nations communities will be included. The Ontario government and NAN are seeking to develop a constructive and co-operative approach to the unique challenges experienced by northern First Nations in achieving prosperity. More than half of the First Nations in Ontario are located in the northern part of the province. Many are remote with fly-in access only. These communities face socio-economic conditions that present unique challenges to achieving prosperity and well-being. First Nations peoples in the North have young, fast-growing populations. More than 45 per cent of First Nations residents in the north are under the age of 25. In the most northerly areas, more than 50 per cent are under the age of 16. This younger generation is ready to engage in economic opportunities and is looking to share in the benefits of resource development to build their future. Northern First Nations leaders asked Ontario to develop a political-level forum dedicated to addressing unique northern challenges and opportunities as part of Ontario's New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs. The resulting Northern Table is a joint First Nations-Ontario process that is expected to create measurable results. The new Northern Table is part of Ontario's overall plan to involve First Nations in developing northern prosperity. The McGuinty government's New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs encourages joint initiatives in which Aboriginal peoples have greater involvement in matters that affect their communities. The Northern Table is one of a number of initiatives created under the New Approach to promote greater involvement of Aboriginal leaders and communities in decisions that affect their lives. Disponible en français www.aboriginalaffairs.osaa.gov.on.ca For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister Ramsay's Office, (416) 327-0654; Merike Nurming, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4079 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Anne-Marie Flanagan, Minister Ramsay's Office, (416) 327-0654; Merike Nurming, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4079