Kenora on line

Minister Michael Coteau and Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh signing the relationship agreement

It was another historic signing for Grand Council Treaty 3.

Ontario and Grand Council Treaty 3 are working together to transform the system of services for Anishinaabe children and youth in northwestern Ontario.

Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Council Treaty 3, signed a relationship agreement in Wauzhushk Onigum that will strengthen the relationship between Ontario and Grand Council Treaty 3. The agreement will allow Treaty 3 to transform the system of services for children and youth to better meet the needs of Anishinaabe children, youth and families.

Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh noted that “only Treaty 3 can represent Treaty 3 and its constituents,” and then spoke about the signing of the agreement.

“Grand Council Treaty 3 is committed to creating the best opportunities for Anishinaabe children and youth in Treaty 3 to live in safe and healthy families and communities. I would like to commend the hard work of all of our Treaty 3 leadership, our regional organizations and community front-line staff who work tirelessly in the development and implementation of local and regional programs and services for the benefit of our families and communities. I am pleased that we have all been able to gather today to reaffirm our commitment and sign this relationship agreement with Ontario for the benefit of our children, youth and families. Everything is about our kids,” he said.

Kavanaugh noted that Treaty 3 is still working on improving their Child Welfare act.

Minister Coteau spoke about the “historic” agreement.

“The relationship agreement between the Government of Ontario and Grand Council Treaty 3 signifies the important work we have done together through the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy. This agreement also affirms our shared commitment to strengthen our bilateral relationship and continue working to achieve better outcomes and opportunities for Anishinaabe children and youth in Treaty 3,” he said.

Coteau then spoke about why the agreement is so significant to not only Treaty 3 communities, but government as a whole.

“This is a transfer of jurisdiction, of resources for these programs back into the community’s hands, as it should be. I know that the community knows what is best for their children. I’m sure that there will be differences in some of these programs, that’s the whole point of the changes. Everything that the ministry used to provide, will be provided by the community. This is historic. I think that one day we’ll look back, and say that we we’re there that day,” he said.

The work on the relationship agreement started in 2009.