The Anishinabek Nation and Ontario have signed their fifth memorandum of understanding to ensure coordination on natural resource management issues.
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Northern Superior Regional Chief Peter Collins, South East Regional Chief James Marsden and Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, David Orazietti, signed a three‐year memorandum of understanding to extend the work of the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council.
“This forum is crucial to convey our First Nations priorities and the current relevant issues of our regions directly to the MNR,” says Grand Council Chief Madahbee.
Examples of issues in the Northern Superior Region that have been on the A/ORMC agenda include the enforcement of incidental cabin policy by MNR conservation officers where First Nations have the right to have incidental cabins, the lack of maintenance on forestry logging road (Old Carmack Road – Highway 625) and the introduction of caribou to the region.
“We will continue working directly with the Ministry to help deal with issues of the lands and our treaty rights,” says Northern Superior Regional Grand Chief Peter Collins.
In the Southeast Region, Grand Chief James R. Marsden says the council enables the parties to work on pilot projects that are “outside the box” for the betterment of all Anishinabek First Nation citizens.
Through the A/ORMC process, the Anishinabek Nation will work in partnership with Ontario to ensure that natural resources management issues within the Anishinabek Nation will be discussed and resolved.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which Canada is signatory, says:
Indigenous peoples have the rights to the land, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. 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.