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Great Lakes Article:

Indian Nations unite on Great Lakes
CNW Group
Published April 13, 2005



NIAGARA FALLS, ON, April 13 /CNW/ - It has been over 240 years since Great Lakes tribes descended upon the great Niagara Falls to discuss issues of profound consequence. This week, representatives from over 140 indigenous tribes from both sides of the border participated in the most significant and historic international gathering since the signing of the 1764 Treaty of Niagara.

First Nations in Canada and Tribes in the United States came together to discuss issues surrounding the Great Lakes Charter, Annex 2001. The Annex, signed between the two provinces, and eight states is an addendum to the Great Lakes Charter which governs the Great Lakes eco-system and resources that are shared within these jurisdictions.

In November 2004, the Indigenous Nations of the Great Lakes united to
unanimously reject the Great Lakes Charter Annex, the commodification,
diversion and export of water, and the lack of inclusion in the
intergovernmental process.

Today, the United Indian Nations of the Great Lakes, consisting of
indigenous leadership from Quebec, Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota reaffirmed the principles outlined in the Great Lakes Water Accord of November 2004, and committed to defining a process to furthering indigenous management of the Great Lakes through the immediate development of a taskforce of representatives of the Tribes and First Nations.

"Tribes on both sides of the border are united in developing our own
parallel process and ensuring our participation in decision-making involving the management of the Great Lakes," said Frank Ettawageshik, tribal chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and co-chair for the United Indian Nations of the Great Lakes meeting.

"The consensus that we have reached here will guide our efforts in
responding to these issues," said Nelson Toulouse, Deputy Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, and co-chair for the meeting. "More importantly, we remain committed to making this our own process, done in our way."

The Tribes and First Nations pledged to take back this information to
their respective councils for review and to follow through with the 2004
Accord.

For further information: contact: Bob Goulais, Chief of Staff, Union of
Ontario Indians, Cell: (705) 498-5250, Office: (705) 497-9127, E-mail:
goubob@anishinabek.ca; Frank Ettawageshik, Tribal Chairperson, Little
Traverse Band of Odawa Indians, (231) 838-9735

 

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