Grand Chief Gordon Peters continues to express his optimism that the Government of Ontario will take the necessary steps towards greater collaboration with Indigenous leaders. On September 25th, 2014 the Government of Ontario publically released a series of mandate letters addressed to each Minister, an important step to increase Cabinet’s transparency and accountability.
Mandate letters are issued to each Cabinet Minister before the legislature is resumed, which outlines their expected outcomes while serving their tenure. “I am particularly interested to learn how the Province will increase the participation of Indigenous people in the government’s decision-making processes and secondly, how do they intend to build constructive and co-operative relationships with us,” stated Grand Chief Peters. First Nations expect collaborative engagement on moving issues such as education, infrastructure, strengthening Indigenous trade and commerce activities, and exercising jurisdiction over lands and resources. However, Grand Chief Peters states “demonstrating action and achieving real change is what measures the success of a government, not mandate letters.”
Notably absent from the mandate letters were focused efforts to continue the implementation of the Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations. Grand Chief Peters expressed concern about the lack of progress being made to put real action to the recommendations tabled years ago following a commission of inquiry that looked into the shooting death of Dudley George on the night of Sept. 6, 1995.
Over the course of the next four years the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians will intervene to hold the Government of Ontario accountable to their commitments, which are followed by immediate action and mutually agreed to solutions.
AIAI is mandated as a Provincial Territorial Organization (PTO) to defend and enhance the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of our seven member First Nations. Our member nations include: Batchewana First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Delaware Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and the Wahta Mohawks. Learn more at www.aiai.on.ca, on Twitter@AIAI_comms and on Facebook.
For more information, please contact Suzanne Morrison at email@example.com or 519.281.6238.