(Toronto – April 22, 2020) Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald acknowledges the first Great Lakes Day, proclaimed by Anishinabek Nations Grand Council Chief, Glen Hare, in June 2019 after the passing of Josephine Mandamin, along with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
“Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Great Lakes Day, a day to bring awareness and action to protect Mother Earth against issues such as climate change. As we focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, we still must remember there is another on-going emergency, and that is the world’s environmental crisis. I encourage all to take part, while practicing physical distancing, to honour Mother Earth and the waters that surround us.
First Nations peoples’ have a special relationship with the earth and all living things. For many of us, it is our sacred duty to preserve and protect Mother Earth. First Nations also have a vital role in leading movements to restore and protect the land through our traditions, Sacred Knowledge and natural laws.
Something we can learn from this current pandemic is the urgent need for all people to collaborate together to find solutions, share knowledge, and take action. We need to work with our partners in all levels of government, to apply all forms and knowledge and practices to enrich our collective understanding of the environment and to create a sustainable future.
While our immediate priority is to prevent the spread of COVID-19, on this Earth Day, let’s remember that when we start to emerge from this, we must work towards securing a collective, long-term plan that provides for a more sustainable and inclusive future that works for all nations and the planet.
On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, I encourage all to do their part for the environment going forward and to reflect on how we all have a part of making a difference and ensuring this virus, and continued degradation of our environment and climate change are no longer a reality for our nations.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow the Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
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