July 14, 2015
Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Wynne:
I am writing in advance of the Council of Federation Summit with respect to the pre-meeting between Premiers and National Aboriginal Organizations.
First Nations in Ontario have profound issues that I look forward to working with you to address through our unique relationship and Political Accord. First Nations in Ontario have a stable political structure that has led us to achieve great progress in partnership with Ontario.
On July 14, you will have met with National Aboriginal Organizations to hear their perspectives on Indigenous issues across Canada. The leaders at that table have varied constituencies, different accountability processes, and perspectives that span the entirety of Canada. I ask that you keep an open mind to their views and follow up in structured manner with the Political Confederacy to align Government of Ontario activities to the needs of First Nations in Ontario.
Looking to the future, I strongly support a Council of the Federation indigenous engagement process that embraces the differences between regions and recognizes the uniqueness of First Nations issues. I would like to express my sincere desire for a future First Nations meeting at the Council of Federation Summit in which all First Nations send their regional leaders, who are elected to work directly with Premiers to champion their regional issues. I ask that you support me in this vision to create a better, efficient, and more accountable process that aligns to First Nations political structures.
I understand that you and other First Ministers will push ahead tomorrow on a number of key items that affect First Nations in Ontario each and every day. As you know, there are many issues that did not make the agenda. From climate change to equity in social services, mental health to youth leadership, there are many conversations we must continue having. I am committed to continuing these conversations with you and Cabinet and I encourage senior officials from Ontario to work with Chiefs of Ontario to ensure these priorities are not lost in the coming weeks.
I would like to thank you for your strong leadership to date at the Council of Federation. I recognize your hard work and sincere desire to advance the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. I trust you will continue bringing the same passion to address all indigenous issues. I look forward to continuing to work together in partnership to advance First Nations priorities and achieve the equity, benefit and promise laid out in our Treaties.
CHIEFS OF ONTARIO
Ontario Regional Chief