Nishnawbe Aski-Nation

Aroland Chiefs Call on the Ontario Gov't to Address Grassy Narrows Concerns



February 12, 2003

Chiefs Call on the Ontario Government to Address Grassy Narrows Concerns

(AROLAND, ON) In response to a call to action, Aroland, Hornepayne, Moose Cree, Constance Lake, Cat Lake, and Mishkeegogamang First Nations in northern Ontario have joined together in their support of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, who have been blocking a forest access road north of Kenora since December 3, 2002.

Aroland First Nation have erected a road blockade of their own for an indefinite period

of time to show their support and to raise awareness of the common issues shared by all First Nations impacted by forestry activities, Mishkeegogamang First Nation also plans to hand out information on their road, and others have sent in support letters, and others such as Hornepayne First Nation are considering erecting a blockade of their own at some later date.

Chiefs involved in this issue point out the direct relation between First Nation blockades and the Ontario government’s unwillingness to sit at the table to address fundamental issues such as Aboriginal and Treaty rights. A clear example of this was a December 2002 motion in parliament put forth by the NDP that pertained to revenue sharing with First Nations, that was quashed by the Conservative government.

They wish to also bring attention to fact that they feel the manner in which the Grassy Narrows issue is being dealt with is flawed. At present, district MNR officials have made statements of failed discussions with Grassy Narrows, but they neglect to add that the reasons behind this is because First Nations’ concerns can only be resolved at the Ministerial level. At this point, Chief Sonny Gagnon of the Aroland First Nation is, "calling for an unequivocal response from the Minister of Natural Resources and the Premier on how they plan to address Grassy Narrows First Nation, and to deal with the subsequent blockade Aroland First Nation has erected."

First Nation leaders are beginning to believe that it is "very cowardly of the Ontario government to allow the loggers and private business owners to be on the front line and be lead to believe that First Nations are against them." First Nations feel that it is time for the public to know that by not doing anything, their government is only perpetuating the problem. The issues of Aboriginal and Treaty rights, as entrenched in Canada’s Constitution, will not go away if ignored. Once and for all, some one in government has to find the courage to do the right thing and deal with Aboriginal people with respect and understanding.

Activities taking place on February 12, 2003 include a fundraising dinner and social in Grassy Narrows at the school auditorium at 6:00, tickets available at the door and all are welcome to attend.


Media Enquiries: Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nation (807) 329-5970

First Edition of the NAN Education Electronic Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the NAN Education Electronic Newsletter.

I hope that this provides you with some helpful information. Please feel free to comment. Are the stories too short? ... too long... any ideas that you might want to offer would be greatly appreciated...

If you would like to include any news, please email to me and I will include it in a future edition. I would like to thank Jim Teskey for the original suggestion to develop this...

Brian Walmark
NAN Education Advisor

Planning for broadband in all Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities

Matawa First Nations Management staff organized a planning meeting with different stakeholders to determine a strategy to access the resources required to bring broadband connectivity and applications to their member First Nations.

Dcp00714.jpgRepresentatives from Nishnawbe Aski Nation (Gordon Kakegamic), Matawa (Paul Capon, John Cole), FedNor (Carl Seibel) and Keewaytinook Okimakanak (Brian Beaton) met by video conference discussing Industry Canada's Broadband for Rural and Northern Development (BRAND) program and how everyone can work together to ensure EVERY First Nation across Treaty 9 territory is included in this initiative.

Telecom technicians from Nishnawbe Aski Nation meet

Representatives from the different tribal councils from across NAN met on Thursday, Sept 5 to discuss strategies for working together to assist NAN First Nations to get connected to broadband infrastructure. Participants included representatives from the NAN office (Gordon Kakegamic - meeting coordinator, Ed Hoshizaki), Matawa (John Cole), Wabun (Darlene Lafontaine), Mushkegowuk (Bill Louttit), Mocreebec (Allan Jolly), Windigo (Ernie Buswa), IFNA (Tim Bergman) and Keewaytinook Okimakanak (Dan Pellerin, Brian Beaton). Updates on connectivity developments across the region were discussed along with some of the opportunities (Industry Canada's new Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program and needs (partnerships and sustainability) for the NAN territory to become the most connected region in Canada. See the pictures from the meeting.

NAN Day Of Prayer - September 18, 2002

This is to remind every NAN territory member that September 18th is approaching quickly for the observance of NAN Day of Prayer as designated by the Chiefs of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. The purpose of this solemn event is to pray for all our people who have been affected by suicide and to embrace life as given by our Creator. The Day of Prayer will commence with a Wawatay radio address by Grand Chief Stan Beardy at approximately 9:00am central standard time. Followed by messages and prayers by Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic, youth and area ministers/pastors. All churches within their respective communities have been encouraged to plan joint evening prayer services/events for that day. For more information please call your local band office or church, or Nishnawbe Aski Nation at 1-800-465-9952

FedNor Announcements Funding for NAN Telecom Projects

Formal announcements and press releases about a number of FedNor funded telecommunication projects have been posted on their web site. K-Net staff worked each of these projects to ensure the organizations and First Nations are able to participate and contribute to the ongoing development and support of the Kuh-ke-nah Network. The three announcements include: Eabametoong and Webequie First Nations to develop local broadband connectivity solutions - announced August 1, 2002 Wawatay Native Communications Society developing broadband connectivity - announced May 30, 2002 Shibogama First Nations Council supports Kasabonika, Kingfisher Lake, Wapekeka and Wunnumin Lake First Nations to get connected - announced January 22, 2002 All these announcements can be seen on the FedNor website under their press releases at

Gathering of Drums National March and Rally

Grand Council Treaty #3 and Nishnawbe Aski Nation invite you to join them at the Minister of Indian Affairs' home riding for a peaceful march and rally to protest the First Nations Governance Act, Bill C-61.
We are calling on the Minister to honour Treaty and Aboriginal Rights and establish a NATION-TO-NATION relationship with First Nations based on Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.
Together let us send a message to Minister Nault that the constituents of Kenora/Rainy River riding do not support Bill C 61 and that the FNGA violates Treaty and Aboriginal Rights.
Everyone is welcome. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across Canada are encouraged to join us in this peaceful demonstration.
For up to date detailed rally information and full media package visit the websites or call:
Grand Council Treaty #3 807-548-4214 or toll free 1-800-665-3384
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation 1-800-465-9952
Chiefs of Ontario

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Day of Prayer

On March 22, 2002, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Chiefs passed a resolution in Timmins, Ontario, declaring September 1, 2002 as a Day of Prayer for spiritual support and healing from the ravages of suicide in the territory. The Nishnawbe Aski Nation Executive and the chiefs are calling on all church and spiritual leaders for their prayers and support to address this issue in our communities. Under the leadership and coordination of Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic, a working group has been established consisting of NAN christian leadership, to organize this very important event. Please mark your calendar for September 18, 2002 (alternative date) as Day of Prayer. Periodic public announcements will be made through Wawatay Radio and your local radio station, literature and posters will be developed and forwarded to your band office or local church detailing the recommended activities for that day. All ideas and comments are welcome, please contact NAN at 1-800-465-9952. You may be referred to a local representative in your community.

Canadian Rangers From Northern Ontario Are A Hit At Fort Knox

Eight Canadian Rangers have become the first Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario to leave Canada for training. They completed a week of advanced training at the U.S. Army's training facility at Fort Knox, Kentucky, which has some of the world's most sophisticated battle simulators and about 5,500 troops. The eight were Master Corporals Matthew Gull of Peawanuck, Joseph Lazarus of Kashechewan, Craig Moore of Constance Lake, and Rangers Redfern Wesley of Kashechewan, Derek Moses of Moose Factory, Barry McKay of Kitchenuhmaykoosib, and Richard Mekanak and George Tait of Sachigo Lake. At the request of the U.S. general commanding Fort Knox, the Rangers set up a tipi at the main entrance to Fort Knox and they became headline stars when the media learned about their presence. They received a full-page report in The National Post, appeared on CTV's main newscast, were reported on by CNN, and featured in special reports by CBC-Radio in both Ontario and Quebec. The Canadian Rangers astounded both Canadian and U.S. troops with their competence, including their shooting, rappelling and their expertise during a day-long combat exercise at Fort Knox's artificial town, where soldiers learn to fight in the world's most advanced urban warfare training facility. the Rangers played the role of local partisans assisting the Canadian troops. On March 13, 2002 the National Post carried an article about this Canadian force. Read this story

2001 Keewaywin Awards Call for Nominations for NAN conference

Each year at the Annual Keewaywin Conference of the NAN Chiefs, individuals from the communities are recognized for their work, their achievements and dedication to the people of Nishnawbe Aski Nation by the Chiefs and people of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. We are now seeking nominations for Keewaywin 2001 in four categories: Leadership, Elder, Woman and Youth. All NAN Tribal Councils, Chiefs and Councils, the communities, organizations and agencies are encouraged to submit names of individuals whom they feel deserve recognition. Each nomination should be submitted with a short biography and a description of the nominee's achievements. The awards will be presented at the feast to be held during the Keewaywin 2001 Conference at North Caribou Lake First Nation. The Keewaywin Awards Nomination Form is available for download on the NAN Web site, or call NAN at 1-800-465-9952 to have a nomination form faxed to you. Kitchi-Meegwetch!