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Ontario chiefs gathering in the Sault

Annual All-Ontario Chiefs Conference provides forum to address policy, legislative issues
20180901-BFN Pow Wow-DT-21
Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers at the annual Batchewana First Nation Pow Wow, Saturday Sept. 1, 2018. (Darren Taylor/SooToday)

Chiefs and delegates from across Ontario are gathering in Sault Ste. Marie this week to discuss important policy and legislative issues facing Indigenous communities.

Batchewana First Nation and the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians are hosting the 45th annual All-Ontario Chiefs Conference (AOCC), June 11-13 in Sault Ste. Marie, which is expected to attract 300 delegates.

The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nations communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario.

Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers welcomed people to his home territory.

“We are humbled to be chosen as the host community and are honoured to be part of a forum that facilitates decision-making, action and advocacy for each of the 133 First Nations in Ontario,” he said in a June 11 news release.

“The discussions that will take place over the next week during the conference are of the utmost importance to our people and our future generations.”

In addition to discussions around policy and legislative issues, the conference includes a number social activities, including a golf tournament at neighbouring Garden River First Nation, a boat tour of Lake Superior, and a fish fry at Obadjiwan Reserve, located 70 kilometres north of the Sault.