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Nishnawbe Aski Nation seeks stronger partnerships

By Randy Thoms Jan 31, 2024 | 4:26 PM

Deputy Chief Victor Linklater, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, January 31, 2024.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation would like to partner with the provincial government on several key issues.

Climate change is one.

Deputy Grand Chief Victor Linklater says they would like a strong policy response to the climate threat impacting First Nation communities.

“These communities faced increased flooding, closure of ice roads and devastating wildfires such as those we’ve seen last summer,” says Linklater.

“NAN believes that greater progress can be achieved on this front as current Ontario government policies such as the Green Bonds program provide valuable tools to address the impacts of climate change in NAN territory through clean energy, storm resistance, infrastructure and conservation projects.”

NAN is also looking for greater support on education.

A Memorandum of Understanding with the province was signed in 2013 that committed to working to improve education for First Nation students.
Linklater says there has been progress, but more work is needed.

“NAN is looking to see continued and enhanced support for major programs such as the Indigenous Graduation Crochet Program and the Alternative Secretary School program that support culturally relative learning initiatives that prepare students for success.”

Linklater says NAN also wants to continue discussions with the province regarding the proposed nuclear waste storage.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is studying the potential of a storage facility in the Wabigoon Lake-Ignace area.

“Regardless of what route they choose or what site, if it’s in Ignace, our people are very concerned because it will affect a way of life for our people. The fact that that it seems so rushed and the process is so limited, it’s going to be hard for us to make an informed decision,” says Linklater.

He adds NAN is concerned about the transportation of nuclear waste through their traditional territories but is interested in continuing the dialogue with the government about the issue.