News & photo submitted.
Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates addressed over 1,000 delegates at the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly this week in Niagara Falls.
“I’ve taken the time to read over your goals for this Assembly and the goals of the sessions you will be attending,” stated Gates. “In these discussions I see a lot of hope for pathways forward. I see frameworks that can lead to consensus on the most pressing issues of our times.
“In these discussions I see the desire to finally have a plan that can say that economic development and environmental protection can work hand-in-hand. A plan that says the legacy of the residential school system will finally be treated with the importance it deserves and the recognition it still needs. I also see a desire to create a framework where we can discuss health alongside wellness and finally, I see hope that we can begin the much needed work towards a true nation-to-nation relationship.
“There are those who will say that we have made great strides. But I challenge those people to pick up a paper and read about the recent stories in Grassy Narrows. Those stories show just how far we are from where we need to be.
“Those stories highlight why the discussions happening here in this Assembly need to happen and why they need to be listened to.”