Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Deputy Minister Deborah Richardson, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation David Zimmer, Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins.
“I hope that this will help remove some of the barriers our people face with accessing the supports and services they need.” –Chief Peter Collins of Fort William First Nation
Ontario’s Indigenous Youth and Community Wellness Secretariat has found a home on the Fort William First Nation. It’s the first provincial office to open on a First Nation. The nation is located south of Thunder Bay, Ont.
January 29 marked the first meeting of the Indigenous Partners Engagement Circle, a function of the Secretariat. Chief Peter Collins of Fort William First Nation hosted David Zimmer, minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, at the community for the meeting.
Ontario committed to establish the secretariat last July in response to continued crises and suicides in northern First Nations communities. The secretariat will work with Indigenous partners and federal and municipal governments to develop community-driven solutions to support Indigenous youth and move towards recovery, resiliency and wellness.
By establishing an office on Fort William First Nation, Ontario is creating more opportunities for Indigenous partners and communities to share their knowledge and ideas directly with the province, reads a press statement.
“I hope that this will help remove some of the barriers our people face with accessing the supports and services they need,” said Collins. “We welcome the province and look forward to seeing further development in this area for First Nation youth and the expansion of other government offices here and in more communities across the province.”