NAN press release on Bill 97 - hearings on Revenue and Resource sharing

Grand Chief Delivers Message of Hope and Reconciliation to First Nations Resource Revenue Sharing Bill Hearings

(click here to see the entire press release as a Word document)

(Sioux Lookout, ONTARIO) On the opening day of the Provincial Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs hearings on Bill 97, the First Nations Resource Revenue Sharing Act 2004, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy delivered a message of hope and reconciliation. “Resource revenue sharing is the first step in our journey to reconcile the injustices of the past and build hope for the futures of our communities,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Beardy.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nations in Northern Ontario, also calls on the province to pass complementary legislation to require impact and benefits agreements with all resource companies active in the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation treaty area.

The private members Bill, sponsored by NDP M.P. Gilles Bisson,  proposes a "procedure be established by which resource companies that intend to extract natural resources from First Nations traditional lands in Northern Ontario, negotiate a comprehensive revenue-sharing agreement with the First Nations and the Government of Ontario.

"“While people in Ontario and the markets of the world benefit from the lands and resources of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, our communities continue to languish in poverty. Our goal is a fair and equitable Ontario where First Nation peoples and our culture are respected and valued and where our communities share in the province’s wealth,” said Grand Chief Beardy.

The Committee hearings are being held in four Nishnawbe-Aski Nation communities, Sioux Lookout (September 20), Mishkeegogamang (September 21), Attawapiskat (September 22) and Moose Factory( September 23).

"Today's submission is intended to send a clear message to the provincial government that First Nations need revenue sharing now. The future of our youth is at stake. There is no time to waste," said Grand Chief Beardy.

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation written submission to the Legislative hearings outlines a solutions agenda of hope and reconciliation based on revenue sharing with the province, compulsory impact and benefit agreements with the resource industries, land use planning, meaningful consultation and community capacity building.

*** For more information please contact:

Stan Beardy
Grand Chief
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
(807) 623-8228

Jenna Young
Communications Officer
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
(807) 625-4952
(807) 628-3953 (cellular)