Ontario and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Work Together to Build a Strong Future
Ontario and NAN Sign New Treaty Relationship Agreement
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler today marked the signing of a new agreement to strengthen the relationship between the province and Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
Premier Wynne and Grand Chief Fiddler were at Queen's Park today to sign the Treaty Relationship Agreement, along with a number of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Chiefs in attendance. This agreement reflects a revitalized relationship between the province and NAN as treaty partners. It lays the foundation for more meaningful discussions on priority issues that affect First Nation people and communities, such as economic development, resource development, environmental protection, socio-economic conditions, health and education.
Hundreds of years after the first treaties were signed, they continue to be part of the relationships we are building and enhancing -- and today is evidence of their enduring importance. This signing of the Treaty Relationship Agreement is another step toward a more modern and mutually beneficial partnership between Ontario and NAN, and marks a new chapter in the government's commitment to reconciliation and collaboration to make sure First Nation communities in Ontario are able to thrive.
- Nishnawbe Aski Nation represents 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario’s portion of Treaty No. 5 — an area covering two-thirds of the province of Ontario.
- Ontario’s Treaty Strategy commits to promoting public awareness on treaties, facilitates constructive engagement on treaties, revitalizes treaty relationships and promotes improved socio-economic outcomes for Indigenous peoples.
- Budget 2018 commits $40 million in new operating funding over three years to support the expansion of new and existing child care programs on-reserve, as well as $290 million over six years in new child care capital infrastructure, to create 4,500 new child care spaces, doubling current child care capacity on-reserve.
- Ontario is investing $222 million over three years to increase equitable access to health care and taking steps to give First Nations decision-making power over health care, including by providing training for up to 1,000 health care workers living and working in First Nation communities, and for Indigenous health care organizations providing palliative care. Ontario is also supporting 34 Indigenous-led mental health and wellness programs across Ontario.
“It’s important that we continue to work together to create a future where our children and grandchildren can grow up in happy, safe and prosperous communities across Ontario. A vital step towards this future is ensuring the treaty relationship between Ontario and First Nations is modern and mutually beneficial. I recognize the deeply important role that treaty-making has had in shaping what is now Ontario. It is a living and ongoing process. And today is evidence that together, we can focus on engaging in respectful dialogue about the key issues that matter to Nishnawbe Aski Nation and all First Nations, and build on our commitment to reconciliation, mutual respect and accountability.”
“We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with the Government of Ontario with an agreement that recognizes Ontario as a treaty partner to NAN First Nations. Working with the Province to understand the spirit and intent of the Treaty, and the recognition of our communities as equal partners, will ensure that they can prosper.”
“This significant Treaty Relationship Agreement provides us with an opportunity to work in partnership with Nishnawbe Aski Nation on our common goals to ensure treaty relationships are mutually beneficial and responsive to modern-day realities. The Agreement will create open dialogue to discuss the unique challenges of First Nation communities and aim to improve the quality of life for people living in Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory.”