Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh meets with municipal leaders to address current issues facing region
September 19, 2019
Kenora, ON — Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Treaty #3 met with municipal leaders from across Treaty #3 territory today in Naotkamegwanning First Nation to renew relationships and collaboratively address challenges with the mounting substance abuse and homelessness issues within the region.
“This is the inaugural meeting so it’s historic and my hope is that additional municipalities within the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3 undertake similar agreements with First Nations,” said Ogichidaa Kavanaugh. “The well-being of our communities and our citizens rely on our ability to work collaboratively and holistically. We share this land we call home and we share in the responsibility of providing for our citizens safety and well-being.”
The meeting between Ogichidaa Kavanaugh and the mayors and representatives from communities in Treaty #3 is historic and is based on the principles of the Common Land, Common Ground Friendship Accord, which provides a framework for First Nations and municipal leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern.
“For the sake of our families and future generations we need collaborative action – action that results in people working together and taking responsibility to seek long lasting strategic solutions,” said Dryden Mayor Greg Wilson.
Similar agreements exist with the Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord and the Declaration of Intent and Friendship between Fort Frances and Agency One First Nation. The agreements are the first steps in renewing relationships between the First Nations and municipalities and outline the importance of collaborative development.
Treaty #3 leadership identified substance addiction as a health crisis within their First Nations and has worked to develop strategies to address the issue. Grand Council Treaty #3 has created a Drug Task Force and Drug Strategy in an effort to address drug addiction in the First Nation communities. Meeting with municipal leaders is the next step in supporting the communities.
First Nations have a disproportionately higher rate of drug addiction therefore it is vital that First Nations have the ability to determine, develop, access, implement, and evaluate their own solutions to address the needs of their people.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Janine Seymour, B.A., J.D., LL.M, Political Advisor to Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh 807.464.1261 (cell)