Towards a New Relationship, is the product of ongoing discussions with Ontario First Nation leadership regarding priority issues that affect their citizens and communities at large. It includes a list of fundamental priorities affecting the economic and social well-being of First Nations in Ontario, including addressing the environment and climate change and implementing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry’s Calls for Justice and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. In addition, Towards a New Relationship reflects many of the long-standing issues that have never been fully addressed by any government, including Treaty implementation, return of lands and resources, and a nation-to-nation relationship that respects inherent and Treaty-protected rights.
Eight key priority issues were identified by Ontario First Nation leadership as being critically important during 2021 Federal Election and beyond:
1. A New Relationship
2. Environment and Climate Change
3. Internal Capacity and Governance
4. Housing and Infrastructure
5. First Nations Economies
6. Pandemic Response, Health, and Well-Being
7. Uplifting First Nations Women and 2SLGBTQQIA People
8. Residential School Investigations
This discussion paper was created as a tool for First Nation citizens and leadership in Ontario to generate conversations on the ground about critical issues affecting their communities. It is intended to be shared across networks and facilitate informed decision-making in the upcoming federal election. In this era of reclaiming Indigenous sovereignty, it is imperative that First Nations jurisdiction, self-determination, and inherent rights are upheld and that the nation-to-nation relationship is respected by any newly elected Member of Parliament, Prime Minister, or Government of Canada.
For additional information, please contact Chris Hoyos, Director of Policy and Communication at Chris.Hoyos@coo.org.