First Nations, Ontario Sign Political Accord
Signing of Agreement Represents Another Positive Step in Reconciliation Efforts
Queen Park - The Chiefs of Ontario and the Government of Ontario signed a historic Political Accord that will guide the relationship between First Nations and the province." The signing of this Political Accord lays the groundwork for a renewed relationship between the First Nations and the Province of Ontario. It is an indication that the Province is willing to work with First Nations for the betterment of all of our citizens. We welcome their commitment and look forward to working together on the implementation phase of the articles included in the Accord," added Chief Ava Hill, Six Nations of the Grand River.
"This political path forward for First Nations in Ontario is the most important collective milestone in modern times. With this Accord, First Nations and Ontario have committed to strengthening a new relationship. I look forward to working with Ontario in developing a comprehensive strategy and framework that will fully utilize this Accord to advance our jurisdiction and Treaty rights on our terms," said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini. " We are in the midst of a changing social and political environment. Where First Nations are not alone in the fight to protect our lands, resources and water but are joined by other Canadians to voice our common interests. This Accord captures this social shift and is a tremendous step forward in building a new political relationship between First Nations and the Government of Ontario," said Grand Chief Gord Peters, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.
" The Political Accord signals a willingness of both parties to work together and resolve high level Ontario First Nation issues in a meaningful way," commented Anishinabek Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee, Union of Ontario Indians.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne signed the Accord for the Province, while Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day signed on behalf of the Political Confederacy and Chiefs-in-Assembly. The Accord creates a formal bilateral relationship framed by the recognition of the treaty relationship.
• Affirms that First Nations have an inherent right to self-government and that the relationship between Ontario and the First Nations must be based upon respect for this right.
• Commits the parties to work together on issues of mutual interest, including resource benefits sharing, the treaty relationship and jurisdictional matters.
• Sets a path for further reconciliation between First Nations and the people of Ontario.
The Accord also commits the Premier and First Nations' leadership to meet twice yearly in order to further advance their efforts on shared priorities.