(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated today that he fully supports the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration – the Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration – issued today by Grassy Narrows First Nation. The National Chief was in Grassy Narrows First Nation on October 9 and met with Elders, leaders and citizens on a number of issues, including the Declaration.
“I am proud today to stand in support of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek as they issue this Declaration reasserting their jurisdiction and their inherent rights and Treaty rights,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “All governments must recognize, respect and honour our rights and responsibilities to our traditional territories. This includes the right to decide what happens in our territories. Grassy Narrows First Nation is pushing forward on their right to determine their own future, and forging a path towards meaningful reconciliation even in the most difficult of circumstances. I support their Declaration and their goals of reconciliation, restoration and reparations.”
The Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration (Grassy Narrows First Nation Land Declaration) sets out a number of principles. It bans all industrial logging in Grassy Narrows First Nation territory, and asserts that the First Nation will make its own land use decisions. The Declaration calls on the governments of Ontario and Canada to respect the decisions of Grassy Narrows First Nation and to support the leaders and citizens in rebuilding their health, their way of life, and their livelihood, which have all been severely impacted by mercury and industrial logging.
Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation, is a Treaty 3 First Nation located 80 kilometres north of Kenora, Ontario. The Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Aaki Declaration is online at:
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information, please contact:
Jenna Young Castro
613-241-6789, ext. 201
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 282