Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Text Size

More assertive

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION, Ont. -- First Nations need to become more assertive in looking at ways to generate sustainable and independent economies, says the Nishnawbe Aski Nation grand chief.

 

That will be a primary focus of the 33rd Keewaywin Conference, which is being held on the Mount McKay Lookout, Harvey Yesno said in an interview shortly after the grand entry to kick off the gathering.

“We’re looking at the whole of the region and I think we need to partner with both senior levels of government to really address the infrastructure that will stimulate and foster investment,” Yesno said Tuesday.

“We’re looking not just at job creation but wealth creation and getting involved with some of these business enterprises.”

Creating favourable economic conditions will play a significant role in solving challenges such as housing shortages and high unemployment rates, he added.

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy echoed those views and said communities, many of which have an abundance of potential assets, need to become their own economic drivers.

Treaty agreements put the responsibility on First Nations to financially prosper, he said.

“What we need to begin to understand is that handouts will never address our needs,” Beardy said.

“When you look at a treaty relationship we agreed we would be part of wealth creation. The thinking for First Nations people has to begin to change where all our activities in and around our First Nations and homelands has to be around how to generate wealth.”

The conference is one of the largest annual gatherings for Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and has delegates and representatives from all 49 member communities. MacDowell Lake First Nation is the designated host though the meeting is on the more central Fort William First Nation.

Those in attendance will hear annual reports, debate key issues such as health and education as well as hearing individual concerns from the various communities.

The theme of this year’s gathering is the rebirth of a nation, and how leaders can inspire the younger generations.

Yesno said one resolution is addressing the structure of the organization.

Currently, Nishnawbe Aski Nation is technically considered a corporation. A motion will be introduced to unincorporated and begin the process of nation building, including exploring a draft constitution.

Yesno added that one idea that should be explored in the future is having Nishnawbe Aski Nation take control over health services.

He said many people are dying younger, particularly as a result of the lack of services and challenges many remote areas face. That’s where a combination of traditional medicine as well as best practices, particularly in the field of mental health could solve problems.

Beardy said taking matters into their own hands will make it easier to create effective, long-lasting solutions to complex problems.

“There are drastic cutbacks in terms of essential services. A lot of First Nations have difficulty today accessing clean drinking water, accessing education for their children, accessing quality health care and these are basic human rights the main, dominant society takes for granted,” Beardy said.

The conference will run through Thursday.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

JOBS

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON

Responsibilities

Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014

EVENTS

September 2014
S M T W T F S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday

 

Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins