Kiiwetinoong MPP calls on Premier to respect Treaty rights and include First Nations in the province’s economic recovery, makes powerful statement in Ontario Legislature
Tim Brody - Editor
Sol Mamakwa, Official Opposition Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic and Kiiwetinoong MPP, called on Premier Doug Ford to honour Treaty and Aboriginal rights and include First Nations in economic recovery activities during question period on Sept. 16 at Queen’s Park.
“First Nations have been clear: it is disrespectful to bury legislation that affects our rights and our Treaty lands in omnibus bills like Bill 197.”
“It is very disappointing that while First Nations have prioritized keeping communities safe during this pandemic, the Ford government felt it was an appropriate time to pass an omnibus bill violating constitutionally protected Indigenous and Treaty rights.
“Why does this government conduct itself in a manner that disrespects and dishonours the Treaty relationship?”
Mamakwa said Ford failed to consult First Nations communities in Kiiwetinoong affected by his changes to legislation. He is calling on Ford to, “act honourably to ensure that all First Nations can participate in Ontario’s economic recovery activities.”
“Most of the communities in my riding are still in lockdown. They could not participate fully in any consultation exercises – if there was any – while this pandemic is happening,” said Mamakwa.
“As a Treaty partner, this government must learn to respect the Treaty relationship before it is damaged beyond repair. Economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19 should not exclude First Nations and should not come at the expense of our Treaty rights and the land.”
Mamakwa made a powerful statement when the Ontario Legislature resumed on Sept. 14, not standing for the national anthem or Good Save the Queen.
“I know Canadians & Ontarians share my commitment to fairness and justice for Indigenous Peoples. I sat down to honour my ancestors who signed the treaties with the crown. I will stand up when treaties are honoured by both levels of government,” Mamakwa shared on his Twitter account, Sol Mamakwa MPP.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler Tweeted in response to Mamakwa’s act, “Powerful statement by my friend @solmamakwa who remained seated for O Canada & God Save the Queen in the Legislature this morning. No one should be forced to participate in symbolic acts that they view as oppressive. I support his choice & it should be respected.”