Past Ontario Regional Chiefs Honoured at Gala in Toronto

Grand Chief Gord Peters of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) was recognized at the Honouring our Leaders Gala, hosted by the Chiefs of Ontario on Wednesday evening. The gala was held to honour and celebrate the achievements of Regional Chiefs who have served in the past 40 years.

“On behalf of AIAI and our member nations, I would like to recognize Grand Chief Peters for his many years of leadership in Ontario,” said AIAI Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish. “It has been a pleasure and an honour to work with him.

The Gala marked the opening of a three-day gathering between the Provincial Government and Chiefs from across Ontario. This gathering is intended to reset Ontario’s relationship with First Nations and will include roundtable discussions on key issues as well as a meeting with the Premiere.

“Grand Chief Peters’ is a dedicated and committed leader. He has been instrumental leading up to and going into these meetings.” added Deputy Grand Chief Stonefish.

Grand Chief Peters was the longest serving Grand Chief at the Chiefs of Ontario and held his position there for 12 consecutive years between 1985 and 1997.

Of his many accomplishments, Grand Chief Peters led the implementation of the first Elder’s Council, implemented a longitudinal study leading to critical funding for First Nations through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, and was the first signatory to the Statement of Political Relationship between First Nations and the Provincial Government in 1991. This powerful and historic agreement recognized that First Nations have an inherent right to self-government.

After receiving his award, Grand Chief Peters commented that one of the highlights of his work as Ontario Regional Chief was guiding the negotiations during the Canadian constitutional conferences. “Between the 1980’s and 1991, we worked with the Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Premieres from across Canada to negotiate on behalf of First Nations in Ontario. The most memorable moment was the culmination of negotiations in 1991 when we took a delegation of 116 Ontario Chiefs to Vancouver to have our voices heard in these key constitutional conversations.”

Grand Chief Peters is Lenape from the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, in Southwestern Ontario, and is a member of the turtle clan. He has worked with First Nations both political and non-politically for the past 35 years.

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, on Twitter@AIAI_comms and on Facebook.

For more information, please contact Suzanne Morrison at or 519.281.6238.