Matawa Chiefs Council Encouraging Members To Vote

MatawaChiefsMatawa Chiefs Council to Release Candidate Responses To The Chiefs’ Priorities

It is estimated that First Nation eligible voters have the potential to decide the outcome of the election in over fifty ridings across Canada. This federal election is different from past elections. This election, Aboriginal people across Canada are uniting to affect the outcomes in their ridings.

The Matawa Chiefs Council is promoting the vote and encouraging the members of our nine First Nations to get involved. Matawa First Nations are situated in four federal ridings, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, Kenora, Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Timmins-James Bay. There is also a sizable Matawa First Nation membership in the Thunder Bay-Rainy River riding.

Letters were sent to all of the candidates in the above ridings asking them to provide responses to a number of questions related to the Matawa Chiefs’ priorities. Follow-up phone calls were also made to ensure the candidates had received the letter. Candidate responses have been received.

The Matawa Chiefs will hold a media conference to release the candidates’ responses on the Chiefs Council priorities. We wish to inform our community members and the public where the candidates stand on our issues. The media is invited to Matawa First Nations Management, 233 Court St. South, Thunder Bay, ON, Kiichi Siipi Room, Wednesday October 14, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. The Chiefs will be providing packages containing the candidate’s responses.

The Matawa Chiefs Council is united in its commitment to ensure our First Nations Peoples achieve a better life. The traditional territories of the nine member First Nations of Matawa are rich in minerals and precious metals, including the potential resources in the Ring of Fire. Our communities, however, are exceedingly poor.

Our First Nations are currently in a process with Ontario to address the needs in our communities, as well as the potential for mineral development. Without proper consultation, accommodation, and commitments to address our community issues, so that we may also prosper from development, there will be no development. Canada needs to be working collaboratively with First Nations and Ontario.

First Nations can no longer be dismissed, swept aside or forgotten, let alone exploited. We also can no longer be dismissed when it comes to our potential to impact the election outcomes in our ridings.

MATAWA CHIEFS COUNCIL PRIORITIES

COMMUNITY WELLNESS SOCIAL/ECONOMIC PRIORITIES:

  • Housing – currently substandard, inadequate, over crowded
  • Health :
    • High rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses along with poor access to health services.
    • Lack of access to clean drinking water with most communities on boil water advisories many for over a decade!
    • Socio-economic issues affecting health: epidemic youth suicide rates: drug abuse; violence and abuse issues related to the residential school legacy and dis-possession from land and culture, Impacts of racism
  • Education:
    • low education rates,
    • underfunded per student compared with rest of Canada,
    • lack of funding for post-secondary education.

2. ENVIRONMENT– community-based enhanced environmental assessments and monitoring,

3. INFRASTRUCTURE

  • All season road access – would reduce exorbitant cost of living for community members and increase opportunities for employment and economic development.
  • Electricity generation and transmission infrastructure – currently 5 remote First Nations still on diesel.
  • Communications Technology- Matawa communities still without high-speed internet access.

4. RESOURCE REVENUE SHARING (potential billions of dollars to be generated for government revenues from resource development on our First Nations Territories. Government has traditionally been unwilling to share and is not at the table to discuss RRS.

5. FIRST NATIONS JURISDICTION ON THEIR LANDS AND OVER THEIR AFFAIRS

  • Inherent Rights,
  • Treaty Rights,
  • Self-Government,

6. MURDERED AND MISSING ABORIGINAL WOMEN

7. TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS

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