TREATY 3 TERRITORY- Official Opposition NDP Deputy Leader Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), released the following statement on the ongoing work of the Land Defence Alliance:
"Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit with the Land Defenders Alliance at their latest gathering in Winnipeg. Leadership and spokespeople from First Nations across the north were in attendance to continue discussions on their mutual priority issues.
It was also a day to welcome the addition of the Ojibways of Onigaming and Chief Jeffrey Copenace to the Alliance.
Throughout the day, I heard the importance of protecting the land and the waters and the shared priority of upholding our ways of life. Who we are, as Anishinaabe people, comes from the land.
We are in a crisis across the north right now, both inside and outside First Nations, and these leaders have expressed frustration that they are not being heard by all levels of government on the current crises of youth suicides, drug epidemics and lack of access to the mental health resources needed.
For Ontario, it’s business as usual when nations are in a state of crisis.
Governments must act with genuine concern for the well-being of our peoples at all times, not just when they need access to the lands and waters. Leadership across the north has been sounding the alarm on the buildup of these crises for many years, and the time for meaningful action is now.”