Kudos, KathleenTuesday, January 29, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
ONTARIO COALITION OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
OCAP president congratulates Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne
WABIGOON, ON (January 28, 2013) - In a congratulatory message to Ontario Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne, Brad Maggrah, president of the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (OCAP) said he was looking forward to working with her on the shared objective of “building a stronger and more positive relationship with status and non-status Indians living off-reserve and Métis.”
It has been a long and difficult struggle for Aboriginal peoples in Ontario to achieve full recognition of our Aboriginal and treaty rights.
There is a fundamental lack of understanding by many Ontarians concerning the treaty relationship.
For example, many are under the impression that treaty beneficiaries are restricted to status Indians living on reserve.
OCAP fully supports negotiation as the preferable way of reconciling Aboriginal treaty rights and interests with the province.
“The true content and impact of our rights is still evolving and there are many difficult issues of substance and significance to be resolved with the provincial Crown,” said Maggrah.
The Idle No More movement provides an inescapable example of the fact that federal and provincial governments have not being paying close attention to the needs of Aboriginal peoples.
Bringing Aboriginal rights and interests into focus for the provincial Crown is one example of the proactive approaches being undertaken by OCAP.
“We are confident that Premier-designate Wynne is well-informed on Aboriginal issues and has the practical experience necessary to encourage broad and deep bilateral relations with OCAP. We are looking forward to a relationship that is based on recognition, openness, fairness, respect and trust,” said Maggrah.
OCAP is a member of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), which has represented the rights and interests of off-reserve status and non-status Indians and Métis since 1971.