The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians expressed its disappointment with the lack of discussion on First Nation issues during last week’s Ontario election leaders’ debate.
While candidates were given the opportunity to speak to a number of issues in the “Question and Answer” style debate, no question related to First Nations issues was posed to the candidates. The candidates themselves also failed to bring up any items related to First Nations. As a result, our issues of lands and resources, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the Ipperwash Inquiry and policing were all but lost in the discussion.
“The Government of Ontario has an important role to play with numerous First Nation issues,” noted Grand Chief Gordon Peters, “It is unfortunate that this reality was lost on the media, the candidates and now the Ontario public.”
Although First Nation issues are mentioned in the platforms of two of the three parties, open discussion is needed to truly move our issues forward. The Association will continue to promote this dialogue through the media, political leaders and public education.
First Nations continue to be the land owners and hold treaties with the Crown. As such, Ontario is required to approach us for our free, prior and informed consent to access these lands and resources.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.281.6238.