Tuesday 30 July 1991

Grand Council Treaty 3



Chair: Silipo, Tony (Dovercourt NDP)

Vice-Chair: Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South NDP)

Curling, Alvin (Scarborough North L)

Eves, Ernie L. (Parry Sound PC)

Gigantes, Evelyn (Ottawa Centre NDP)

Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC)

Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls NDP)

Malkowski, Gary (York East NDP)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex NDP)

Offer, Steven (Mississauga North L)

O'Neill, Yvonne (Ottawa-Rideau L)

Winninger, David (London South NDP)


Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie NDP) for Mr Malkowski

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Offer

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre NDP) for Ms Harrington

Clerk: Brown, Harold


Drummond, Alison, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

Kaye, Philip, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1410 in room 151.


The Vice-Chair: Welcome back, everybody, to this second day and this second part of our hearings at the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. For those people tuning in, the work of the committee at this point is to hear submissions on the part of various people answering specific questions on the points that were raised in the first part of our hearings.

We would like to call as our first witnesses Grand Council Treaty 3: Steve Fobister, grand chief; Brian Perrault, tribal chief; Kelvin Chicago, tribal chief.

Mr Fobister: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, members of the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. My name is Grand Chief Steve Fobister. I am the grand chief of Grand Council Treaty 3. On my left is Tribal Chief Brian Perrault, who represents the Fort Frances area tribal council. On my right is Kelvin Chicago, who is also a chief of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nations, representing the Dryden area tribal chiefs.

I welcome this opportunity to make a presentation on behalf of Grand Council Treaty 3, but I do so with a heavy heart because of the shooting of the OPP officer and the wounding of two other OPP officers in my home community of Grassy Narrows First Nation this past Thursday.

In thinking about this presentation and in mourning the death of Sergeant Cooper, I also had a great deal of pain for the suffering of the community of Grassy Narrows first nations, because it has been a great loss to them. A great friend has been lost in this tragic situation.

There are two levels of responsibility we must look at, namely, the personal responsibility of individuals and the responsibility of society. In that way, the shooting death of Sergeant Cooper is not unrelated to the work of this committee. The connection, of course, is that all of us must work together in a very concerned way to strengthen aboriginal communities so that aboriginal people can be healthier and less inclined to act in self-destruction and violence.

There are many levels at which change must take place. One of the most important of these, of course, is the constitutional level. For too long my people and the people of Treaty 3 have been denied their inherent right to self-government. That denial has led to the devastation of our traditional way of life, which has been accompanied by social and economic disintegration. There are many levels at which healing must take place. These levels range all the way from the personal level to the constitutional. Today we are dealing with the constitutional level.

The position of Treaty 3 is that Canada must acknowledge and entrench in its Constitution a list of powers that it recognizes as being the inherent right to self-government and the powers of the first nations. I do not mean that henceforward first nations will get their self-government powers from Canada's Constitution. Quite to the contrary, what I am saying is that Canada must recognize that first nations have the inherent right and that the only remaining step is for Canada to recognize that inherent right.

We are the founding people on this continent, and it goes without saying that must be recognized in Canada's Constitution. In addition the Ontario government, now having recognized that in the state of political relationship first nations have the inherent right to self-government, must now take the next step and push for a new clause in the Constitution that will list the powers of inherent right to self-government.

In the present Constitution, section 91 lists the federal powers and sections 92 and 93 list the provincial powers. What I am advocating is a new section in this Constitution, for example a section 94, which lists the first nations' powers. This step must be taken before there are many further transfers of powers from the federal government to the provinces. By that I mean that the next run of constitutional discussions should not be the Quebec round but the aboriginal round. Quebec powers are already set out in the Constitution of Canada, along with the powers of all the other provinces. The rights of the first nations are not yet spelled out in Canada's Constitution.

Now Canada and the provinces want to renovate the Constitution, but without the full participation of the first nations. I find this entirely unacceptable. This is comparable to a big mansion in which Canada and the provinces are rearranging the rooms while the first nations remain sitting outside on the porch waiting to be admitted to that mansion. This is unacceptable to us. Neither is it acceptable that the first nations wait until the Quebec constitutional situation has been resolved.

First nations have been here before Europeans, and our rights must be acknowledged before further attention is given to renovating the Canadian Constitution in the interests of the provinces.

I also want to say a word about multiculturalism. First nations are not one of Canada's multicultural groups. First nations are a distinct founding people. We are not an ethnic minority. We are first nations that have a special relationship with Canada and that relationship must be acknowledged and implemented.

The constitutional responsibility for Indian peoples must be acknowledged as being with Indians, not with either the federal or the provincial governments. Accordingly, the question is not whether some of the federal powers should be transferred to the provinces, but recognition by both Ottawa and the provinces of the inherent right of first nations to be self-governing and what that means in the way of both Ottawa and Ontario giving up these powers that do not belong to them in connection with first nations people.

Finally, a few words with respect to the constitutional process: It is the position of Treaty 3 that Ontario must not take any positions forward to the constitutional table without the consent of the first nations. For all aspects of the Constitution that impact directly or indirectly on the first nations, any transfer of powers will affect our inherent right of self-government. The Ontario government has made a commitment to consultation with key sectors of society before making policy or enacting legislation that impacts these sectors of society. For the first nations, this means that Ontario should not go forward to the national constitutional table with any proposals that do not have the consent of the first nations.

I want to conclude by saying that it is the understanding of Treaty 3 that the matters I have spoken about are self-government matters and that they are the natural implementation of the historic recognition of our inherent right to self-government by Ontario.

I do not think I have anything much further to add to that. I listened to the regional chief, Gordon Peters, who spoke yesterday. He represented our positions in a similar manner as he addressed this committee yesterday. I will leave it at that, and if my colleagues want to make any further additions to my comments, they are welcome to do so. If not, then we welcome any questions.


Mr Harnick: I was interested in your comment that you feel the first nations are not being given full participation with respect to the Constitution and deliberations involved in constitutional talks. Yesterday, Chief Peters seemed of the opinion that the parallel process was a process that the first nations would accept and that it was a process I believe he felt was as close to full participation as we have ever been able to find in looking for a method to provide full participation. I wonder if you could elaborate on that in light of your feeling that there was not full participation, and tell us what we should be doing, at least in Ontario.

Mr Fobister: I guess, first of all, that we do have some different situations where treaties are involved in other areas. There are different types of treaties in Ontario, in particular in our case, Treaty 3, where the province of Ontario was not a signatory. We believe we could participate in either way. In most cases what has happened is that we are quite flexible in that manner of going about and participating, whether it is in the way Chief Gordon Peters said yesterday. I could not make out clearly what he said yesterday, because I do not know whether this program came in the English version, but I was watching the French version yesterday. So in light of your question, I could not catch when Gordon Peters was specifically talking to that issue.

Mr Harnick: Do you think, though, that Ontario should be embarking on a parallel process of its own in order to be in a position to give the government the input it needs or should have when the next round of constitutional talks begins?

Mr Fobister: I believe that would be something we are going to be considering. Chief Peters yesterday mentioned the fact that we have a leadership forum in Thunder Bay next week and that is one of the issues that will be discussed by all of the aboriginal leadership in Ontario. The other one was the parallel process that he talked about taking place across Canada. The initial meeting was in Morley, Alberta, with Mr Clark. I think that was the parallel process he was talking about. A similar process might be of great benefit to Ontario.

Mr Harnick: If you at your meeting discuss that, can you perhaps let us know the nature of those discussions and what direction you think we should be moving in? If there are any discussions in that regard, it may be helpful for us to know what direction you are moving in.

Mr Fobister: We are thankful for the opportunity to be allowed to give representation for Treaty 3 at this committee at this time, but we would also ask that after we have further discussions with other nations in Ontario, we would be allowed to return and, as you say, answer further questions.

The Vice-Chair: Just for the benefit of committee members, I think what I will do is go with one question and a short supplementary and go around and just do it in that way.

Mr Harnick: If I could just finish, certainly I would hope the Chairman would be able to accommodate you if that in fact is the way things unfold in terms of coming back here after you have had those deliberations.

The Vice-Chair: It would be something we would raise in the subcommittee. I do not think it would be a problem. We probably can work it out.

Mr Winninger: Chief Fobister, you mentioned you would like to see some powers spelled out in section 94 of the Constitution. We have also heard delegations indicating that they would like to see the powers already implicit in section 35 of the Constitution expanded upon and clarified. I just wondered whether these powers are spelled out in section 94 or section 35? What would you like to see on your wish list of power enumerated under one of those sections? How do you break down the notion of self-government?

Mr Fobister: We are looking at the sections. I mentioned sections 92, 94 and all that. We already have section 35, which recognizes the inherent aboriginal rights question. That power has to be maintained. I think the other sections play a role of their own. I think Chief Gordon Peters made that point yesterday, saying that we envision that these are different, they play different roles.


Mr Winninger: It has been suggested that self-government can be a combination of history and also geography, that what is good for Grand Treaty 3, for example, might not be appropriate elsewhere in the province. What sort of powers are you contemplating that are not presently entrenched in the Constitution for Grand Treaty 3?

Mr Fobister: I will allow my colleagues also to answer. I think the part that is most important in terms of our powers is to have that jurisdiction we have always been requesting in areas of our wellbeing, jurisdiction over our lands. It is not to say that we are disfranchising ourselves from Canada or Canadians, but I think it is going to implement much closer ties with the rest of Canada or the rest of Ontario. So the jurisdiction question is a very important process in this regard.

Mr Perrault: The jurisdiction question in fact is a little bit different in Treaty 3 territory than it would be, I assume, for other parts of Ontario. As the grand chief has said earlier, Treaty 3 was an agreement that was negotiated before Ontario was a government that had control of the land base that it now claims to have jurisdiction over. Treaty 3 territory consists of 55,000 square miles which extend into the province of Manitoba, and when we talk about a jurisdiction, we talk about a jurisdiction of our Ojibway territory. So that is a little different than maybe other parts of Ontario when they speak of jurisdiction or co-jurisdiction with Ontario for different resources or different activities within our territory. But we keep in mind that the agreement was a sharing agreement and what we want recognized is for that sharing to take place where it has not taken place, in the resources and the land that we now live in and Ontarians also live in.

Ms Gigantes: It is helpful for me to have you describe the territory involved and the history behind it. When one has not been raised with a history which includes native people, and that is true I think of most kids who go to school in Ontario and in Quebec, where I grew up, then an understanding of the background, what you are talking about, comes very slowly and things that we might have learned more easily as children become more difficult as we get older.

One of the things that struck me during the discussions yesterday and today is your expression of concern about the devolution of federal powers and how change in the power structures among and between the federal government and the provinces is something that has immediate consequences for the future of your peoples. I am wondering -- in a sense I guess I am repeating David's question -- whether there are certain areas which are more sensitive than others.

One that comes to my mind is the question of environmental jurisdiction. I have been struck, for example, with -- which is not exactly the kind of matter that you would be dealing with -- but the consequences for what happens to natives and non-natives if we see a devolution of environmental powers, for example, from the federal government and projects such as James Bay 2 become matters which the federal government has less interest in. Are there areas that you can name, such as the environment? Are there specific kinds of questions that you think about when you think about the change in distribution of powers among and between provinces and the federal government? Is there a priority of issues when you think of the potential changes that we may be looking at in the current round of discussions?

Mr Fobister: Although there has been great participation in terms of first nations in our area, we have had our share of environmental issues that we had to deal with in Treaty 3 coming from other provinces. Right now we are looking at various initiatives that are developing at this point in time with other first nations, such as the question of energy that exists now in Manitoba, Quebec, etc.

Ms Gigantes: And Ontario.

Mr Fobister: I think we are developing a mechanism of how we are going to be dealing with that in the future. So my anticipation is that it has become an increasingly concerning situation. I think we all need to work together, whether you are native or non-native. It is a very interesting question. Of course, I have my own personal views on it, and it is not to reflect on anyone else, but that is something we feel a lot of work needs to be done on. We feel it is going to be our participation also.

Ms Gigantes: In some cases I think we have had the situation in Canada where it has been of assistance on some issues to have a conflict between federal and provincial government, where one side will help out on an issue and another will be reactive or even retrogressive, but there will be a tension between the two in areas of jurisdiction so at least there is a public debate and a public discussion around them. I am wondering whether you think of that when you talk about changes in the structure of powers that we have in Canada now.

Mr Perrault: If I could give a response to the earlier part of your question, your question raises a fear in my mind when you talk about devolving environmental powers to the provinces, and the fear it raises is in the area you spoke of, Quebec. If that power was totally in the hands of Quebec, I would fear for the native people who live in the area where the devastation takes place, the flooding of the lands in and along James Bay or wherever. What does Canada say when Canada right now has a responsibility for dealing with the lives and wellbeing of native people?

Ms Gigantes: It could well have effects in Ontario too.


Mr Perrault: That is what I say. The fear extends right across the country. That in itself, in our case in Treaty 3, would be our first and foremost fear. When the treaty was signed, it was on a nation-to-nation basis, Canada and the Grand Council Treaty 3, that part of the Ojibway nation which had an established government long before the treaty discussions took place. That relationship of one nation to another we believe might be weakened if there were devolution of powers to the province. The way we see it right now, our government would deal with Ontario on a different relationship, as a government to a government. It is a little different with Canada, where we are nation to nation.

Mr Fobister: I think this issue will be very important for Grand Council Treaty 3 in particular and it is something the committee has to look at in terms of its own relationship with other provinces, because the 55,000 square miles we talked about that Treaty 3 applies to, as we recognize our traditional land use area, extends beyond the Manitoba border. As we know, it is a crucial time where one of our first nations is extensively being involved with the water rights issue with the Manitoba city of Winnipeg; I think it is Shoal Lake first nations 39 and 40. That issue has been tossed around in terms of environmental issues between Ontario and Canada, where one has a little power on this side and the other one on the other hand.

It has been a question that the federal government has said it gave jurisdictional powers to the provinces to exercise jurisdiction over lands and resources, and that includes water. In another sense the province is saying: "We have no direct responsibility with first nations. They are a direct federal responsibility." So what happens in their water is not an issue where the province takes that responsibility on native people. That has been a fundamental question, where the waterways in a Treaty 3 area have become a very serious question in terms of health issues and the environment. Waste disposal management has also been a very serious question, where both levels of government are not exercising that responsibility on first nations. We are starting to look at it in our own way. But there are going to be clashes in there and that needs to be looked at to see how we can compromise in terms of that jurisdiction.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I am sorry I was late by a few moments. I wanted to strike on something we have not mentioned today, but I am sure it is going to be part of some of your discussion next week in Thunder Bay. I do not know very much about the Treaty 3 position on this at all. Would you tell me a little bit about the administrative relationships you have with the existing administrative structures, health, education, or if you want to breach the difficult one at the moment, of justice. I would like to know where you are with that structure and administrative relationship you have with the existing community, which we were fortunate enough to visit as this committee, as you know. We are certainly very happy with the kind of beginning Kenora gave to our work last February, and I thank you for that now.

I do not know whether my question is clear. I am not sure I can express it any more clearly. Maybe you can help me understand. Maybe I want to look at children's aid; that is maybe easier. How much of that are you doing on your own as part of your inherent self-government? How much of it are you still negotiating, and where are you with the negotiations, I guess is where I am really trying to go on this question.

Mr Fobister: I think I can allow Tribal Chief Brian Perrault to answer that question. He is more in line in terms of working with the tribal council level. There are presently two existing native child welfare services in Kenora. Maybe he can elaborate.

Mr Perrault: We started taking over some of the administrative agencies a few years ago. Where I am from, my tribal area in and around Rainy Lake and the Fort Frances area, those communities have worked together to put in place our own child and family services to keep our children at home and to deal with our problems in our communities. Most of the administrative things you speak of, the way we look at them, have to be community based and built on a foundation that the policies start in the communities and are presented by the people. The needs are looked at and solutions are searched for not only in administrative ways, what is the best way of doing things, but also with a great deal of respect for Ojibway culture and tradition.

We have a number of agencies, not only in the area of child welfare. We are also involved in dealing with our own mental health program, our own education authority, our own alcohol and drug treatment which, I am proud to say, we have been dealing with for so long and are starting to really make some strides in healing in our communities and healing in our people. We believe those programs that are developed in our area, in our communities, would serve well in Canada anywhere and help all people. I am not sure if I am answering your question in any way.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Yes, you are. I guess my follow-up is, do you feel we are on the right track with the way we are relating on this kind of matter, and how could it be accelerated? These are day-to-day matters. The constitutional one which many of us in this room are devoting a year to -- maybe you have devoted your whole lives to trying to come up with some recommendations -- is another issue. This is a much more practical issue and I am just wondering how you feel about what we are doing there and, as I say, how progress could be accelerated.

Mr Perrault: We always feel that as a matter of dealing with government policies, certain things have to be looked at. That is why we are moving in those areas to try to take over control of certain things that happen right within our communities. When I say "our communities" I do not mean exclusive to the reserve boundaries. We speak in Treaty 3 of our area, which is Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden, Red Lake and all, even the municipalities. That is our territory, 55,000 square miles, and we have arrangements with other treaty nations, to the north of us the Cree, and further east a different people who signed treaties. So our relationship in Ontario is well-established and we feel at home within our territory. But equally because of agreements we have between our nation of Treaty 3 and Nishnawbe-Aski nation and the rest of Robinson-Superior and other treaty nations, we have an understanding among each other that we travel freely.


But back to your concern about how I feel about moving in the direction of taking over administrative programs and stuff like that, that is a necessary thing we have to do but is not the whole picture of what we mean by self-government. What we mean by self-government is a recognition of the government and a recognition that Indian people have jurisdiction over their lives. That goes further to what you said, to what we are looking for to be entrenched in the Constitution. Self-government does not mean self-administration. It is part of it, but it is not the whole concept of self-government. Our government is our people, our culture, and things like that. But sometimes taking over programs is a necessary thing we have to do.

Many times, some of the programs we have tried to take over from the federal level seem to be started almost in a fashion where they are doomed to fail because they are so greatly underfunded compared to when the federal government was handling them. So that is a problem. It is a problem when we are expected to be much more effective than a government-run program because we want to take it over, yet we are much more underfunded to do that same work.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I am very happy that what you have said is, I think, almost identical to what Chief Peters said yesterday, if people can reflect each other's thoughts, and that is very helpful to us when we get similar input on a very critical issue.

Mr Fobister: I just wanted to make a little bit of addition to it, that Treaty 3 is an association of chiefs which deals with political issues. When you discussed the services moving away from the north, there is a devolution taking place between two levels of government. When you talk about whether the pace of service delivery is effectively moving at the desires of the people, sometimes when you look at a situation like that, the north pretty well was self-sufficient at one point in terms of trying to deal with these problems. When there were no other forms of government around them or policies that would dictate otherwise, another form of government came to their territory. That was prior to 1960. When that happened, the influence of these policies, which were developed much more in a southern area, did not address the real needs of the north. The north is always disadvantaged. Again, the devolution starts from the south and goes up to the north. It is not a very good policy on the part of Ontario.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: And there is still some fallout from those original policies, is what you are saying.

Mr Fobister: Correct, yes. We are the last to be considered and we are the first cut to take place.

The Vice-Chair: I have a question which is, I think, one that not only the first nations are going to be struggling with over the next number of years, but politicians and Canadians in general. As you understand it, as probably most people who are involved in this issue understand it, there has not been a real definition as to what form self-government should take within the first nations people. If you speak to different groups, the vision is somewhat different. I do not think that is unlike any other issue. If we look at the constitutional dilemma we find ourselves in today, if we look at what the problem is, it has always been that we have never been able to get a consensus on any one particular issue from one particular group, either Quebec or the question of multiculturalism, the question of the first nations, or whatever.

I guess where I am getting to is that when you spoke earlier you said you were in favour of what is basically an enumeration of powers within the Constitution that would spell out clearly what self-government is and what powers would then be the responsibilities of the first nations people. If I speak to other native people from other areas, they see it somewhat differently.

One suggestion that was made is that you would make a statement within the Constitution, possibly the Charter of Rights, that would say, "The Constitution recognizes the first nations as having the inherent right of self-government." Then that would be defined, with time, by the first nations people themselves. How do you marry those two together and how do you allow the mechanisms by which all of us within the country can come to some sort of definition of really what this means and how it is going to work? I am not looking specifically at how is it going to work but how you make that happen. I do not know if you understand what I am getting at.

Mr Fobister: If I understand correctly, in our own perception we have always had self-government, we have always had a government that pre-dates Confederation and the existence of the Ontario government. It has always been there. We reiterate that statement of having that. When the treaties were made in terms of Grand Council Treaty 3, that relationship existed. That was the intent of that treaty, a relationship. It has nothing to do with a conqueror and having to make laws; the laws were already here.

I think we have to revisit and look at how it was and try to understand the emphasis of how people were self-sufficient, were self-determining and what laws were there. Of course, native people never documented or recorded laws. As we see it, how do you begin to implement that process?

This is the first time Treaty 3 has come to the table to have a dialogue with the province of Ontario, although we have participated in other forms of discussions in the past, more or less to facilitate the arrangements of other first nations and political territory groups in Ontario. We worked there for the sake of participation in that form of support. I think now we are in a discussion where, first of all, the fundamental thing is that there has to be a recognition of our treaty rights. Once that is established, it does not take much to take a path to develop what those rights were that existed with people.


When we talk about self-government, it is going to benefit the people we have to live with, and that is the municipalities. It brings in other groups, whether they are urban Indians, whom everybody has so many concerns about, what is going to happen to them, women and what their rights are, the Metis and all these groups. It all fits in if you study that process. It is a Constitution. My elders have pointed out in the past that it is a God-given thing, it is something that is given to you when you are born. It does not come from man. It does not come from somebody who just steps in your door. It comes to you.

Mr Perrault: The question I thought you were raising was that if Indian government is to be recognized in the Constitution, would that be defined by the different nations, because they are different governments, different first nations? In our case, we know our government and way of looking after ourselves quite probably are different from different nations out on the west coast or wherever, anywhere in Canada. But in the same fashion, if the powers of the provinces are defined in the Constitution right now, are all provinces' governments structured in the same way across the country? I do not know this.

The Vice-Chair: Good point. I am wondering how you get from here to there. The one thing I think most people recognize is that self-government is something that has to be defined by the native people themselves. You entrench it possibly in the Constitution, as far as putting it down on paper is concerned, but as far as the development of self-government is concerned, it is something that is obviously going to be developed by the first nations themselves. The agenda is somewhat different from one council, possibly, to another and how that should be done. There are different models that are proposed. I was just wondering if you could shed light on that, because you had spoken about enumerated powers, but when you speak to some other people they talk about not enumerating powers but rather making a statement in the Constitution and after that developing it themselves as they go along.

Mr Perrault: I do not think the two statements are as far from each other as you spoke of. What the grand chief has said and what the regional chief has said, I think, can be very close.

Mr Miclash: First of all, gentlemen, welcome to Toronto. I understand the weather is much nicer back in Kenora, probably a place we would much rather be on such a hot day.

Something that Chief Peters spoke about yesterday was the involvement of youth and the past involvement of youth. As we know, today we are making a lot of decisions that are going to affect youth in both your society and the society as we are approaching their years to sort of take over. How are you presently involving the youth of Treaty 3 and how do you plan to involve your younger people in terms of the negotiations coming up and in terms of the whole situation?

Mr Perrault: If you are speaking of taking direction politically from the youth, that is something that has yet to happen. We always do have young people involved in and around our assemblies, maybe not participating in the debates but always willing to give advice as much as, in the same case, the elders are. Maybe I just am not understanding your question.

Mr Miclash: I am thinking more of a way of getting what their visions are for the future. We have a good number of them attending post-secondary educational institutions. As we know, that number is growing. They must have some input. I am just wondering how that input is going to come to the forefront.

Mr Perrault: Certainly, most of the input they have had up until now -- and I like to consider myself one of them. We believe there is a time for change in this country, a change in our attitudes and a change in educating each other about who we are as Canadians and as Indian people in Canada. There is that. There is also a cry for help from our young people to be able to go out and gain the expertise they are going out and getting and to be able to have something to bring back home and apply it to.

I see some of the articles in the paper, as there is today, about a large population that moves away from the reserve. Aboriginal people are not all on the reserve and I do not believe we have to be. As I said before, to us our territory is our territory. A reserve is something that we reserved exclusively for Indian people. Our territory is for all of us to share. There are strong messages coming from youth and probably a lot of different messages. The one message that I heard Chief Peters mentioned yesterday is one of the messages coming back, but also there is a message from them telling us that we are losing things. We are losing our culture. We are losing our language. We have to ensure it is going to stay with us. It is our young people who are saying that. They are the ones who are wanting to know from the elders, how do we hang on to these things?

The Vice-Chair: Are there any other questions? Are there any comments you would like to make before closing on this particular part? Is there anything you would like to add at this point?

Mr Perrault: No other comments. I would just like to thank the committee on behalf of the communities I represent in the Treaty 3 area. We thank the grand chief for speaking for Treaty 3.

Mr Fobister: We thank you for the opportunity you have given us to make our presentation here. I guess as a final thing, you have also expressed that we have the opportunity to come back if we have anything else in terms of how we might concur with some of the statements we have made to you, how we stand together on issues with other groups that may be putting their presentations before you. I am glad we will have the opportunity to come back and make a clarification on those issues.

The Vice-Chair: On the part of the committee I would like to thank you for taking the time to come to make your presentation. Certainly in the interim, before we get to the point of possibly getting back together, if there is something you can pass on to the committee in regard to speaking more specifically some of the points that you raised, it would be, I think, greatly appreciated on the part of the committee.

On that, I would like to say that we will adjourn at this point for about 10 or 15 minutes until our next presenters. We stand adjourned until then.

The committee recessed at 1511.


The Vice-Chair: The committee reconvenes. It has been brought to our attention that the Ontario Metis and Aboriginal Association has had a situation arise and that they are not able to attend this afternoon. They have asked to be rescheduled at a future date. It is something I am sure the subcommittee will be able to deal with.

With that, we will be concluding until tomorrow at 10. The committee stands adjourned until then.

The committee adjourned at 1531.