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Strong support in Ontario for the National Day of Action

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    ... From: CNW Portfolio System To: Portfolio E-Mail Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 1:20 PM Subject: Strong support in Ontario for the National Day of Action CNW
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2008
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: CNW Portfolio System
      To: Portfolio E-Mail
      Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 1:20 PM
      Subject: Strong support in Ontario for the National Day of Action



      CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail





      CHIEFS OF ONTARIO


      Transmitted by CNW Group on : May 30, 2008 16:19
      Strong support in Ontario for the National Day of Action

      TORONTO, May 30 /CNW/ - On May 29, 2008 First Nations in Ontario were out
      in large numbers and were joined by many Ontarians in a strong show of support
      for First Nations issues on the second National Day of Action.
      Throughout the day, First Nations organized and participated in
      approximately 20 peaceful events across the Province. Many of these events
      were aimed at promoting First Nations realities and First Nations rights.
      "This year, First Nation communities across Ontario focused on building
      bridges with Ontarians, and awareness raising activities," stated Ontario
      Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. The Regional Chief spent the day at community
      events at the Whitefish River First Nation and Serpent River First Nation.
      Regional Chief Toulouse explained that although First Nations are unique
      in terms of culture and language, he emphasized that "First Nation parents and
      leaders are not that different from other Canadians in the sense that we want
      a good life for our children, we want them to have access to quality
      education, we want safe homes and clean drinking water. We want many of the
      same things all Ontarians and Canadians want for their children," stated the
      Regional Chief.
      The Regional Chief explained that he believes Ontarians and Canadians are
      fair-minded people that care about addressing injustice. "It is unacceptable
      that far too many of our communities continue to struggle with severe poverty
      conditions in a country as wealthy as Canada. I think for many Ontarians this
      is hard to believe but it is the reality. Yet the Federal government decided
      to pour millions into more tax cuts in the last federal budget and allocated
      next to nothing for First Nations communities that do not have clean drinking
      water or safe schools for our children," said Regional Chief Toulouse.
      The Regional Chief also indicated that First Nations signed Treaties with
      the Crown government on a nation-to-nation basis, many of which are over
      100 years old. "Much of the frustration within our communities is a result of
      broken treaty commitments that Government has ignored for too long. The fact
      is that the Crown made specific commitments in the Treaties that they have
      broken time and again and continue to ignore," stated Regional Chief Toulouse.
      The Regional Chief further stated that the Federal government needs to get
      serious and show a genuine commitment to working with First Nations on these
      issues. "The First Nations are not going to quietly go away. We know our
      rights and we are determined to see justice done," said the Regional Chief.
      Although the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug leaders were released from jail
      on May 28, the Regional Chief pointed out that Ontario has much work to in
      building an improved relationship with First Nations. "The government of
      Ontario has taken positive steps forward but without full and meaningful
      collaboration with First Nations with respect to the many challenges we face,
      sustained progress will be difficult to achieve," said the Regional Chief.
      Regional Chief Toulouse indicated that the Chiefs of Ontario organization
      will plan another event at some point over the summer months to continue the
      efforts to build bridges and raise awareness amongst First Nations and with
      Ontarians generally.




      -30-

      /For further information: Pam Hunter, (416) 597-1266 or Policy Advisor,
      (613) 203-3233/

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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