From the Oski-Machiitawin (New Beginning) Website at
Welcome to the Oski-Machiitawin (New Beginning) Website.¬†This website is one of the many tools we are developing to help communities stay informed about Oski-Machiitawin (formerly the Northern Table).¬
Ontario indicated in 2005 that it wanted to develop a better relationship with First Nations. The NAN Chiefs have mandated the NAN Executive and the Oski-Machiitawin Chiefs Steering Committee to work with Ontario to develop a better relationship and to work out the issues impacting our First Nations in regards to their traditional lands.
Oski-Machiitawin is a bilateral dialogue forum where Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), representing the interests of NAN First Nations, and Ontario are working out processes and protocols regarding our traditional territories and homelands.¬†One of NAN‚Äôs objectives in these discussions is to influence legislation that will enable the development of policies and regulations to ensure NAN First Nations benefit from any development in their territories.
By working with Ontario at Oski-Machiitawin our objective is to gain control over what happens on our traditional territories and homelands. At this government-to-governments forum we are trying to reach arrangements with the province whereby Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, and First Nation jurisdiction and authority, are recognized and respected. At the political level of the dialogue, we are putting forth the position that all NAN First Nations have the constitutional right to be consulted and accommodated.¬†We also maintain the position that First Nation consent is required before any activities take place on traditional territories and homelands.
All NAN First Nations are autonomous. Therefore, understandings achieved by the Oski-Machiitawin discussions will be brought back to our communities for their review and input.¬†Each NAN First Nation will decide for itself if it wishes to be apart of any arrangements that may be reached at Oski-Machiitawin.
This is a very significant time for our people and our communities.¬†We are rich in natural resources and developers are already flooding into our territories.¬†Our people must be in control of what happens on our lands.¬†We must benefit from any development or activities on our homelands, and at the same time protect our lands and our interests for future generations.
It is important to keep First Nations informed about Oski-Machiitawin. I invite you to browse through the information presented on this website, and I hope you will come back and visit the site often.
Stan Beardy, Grand Chief Nishnawbe Aski Nation.