Stan Beardy
Regional Chief,
Chiefs of Ontario

What the average Canadian doesn’t realize is that the contributions the Aboriginal Peoples continue to make today in sectors such as business, media, arts, and culture are helping boost the overall Canadian economy. 

Raising awareness

As elected Ontario Regional Chief and a member of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Executive, as well as the Chair of the Political Confederacy for the Chiefs of Ontario, I am mandated to work with the federal and provincial governments on issues relevant to Aboriginal Peoples within Ontario.

It is also my belief that in order for Canadians to understand the issues and priorities concerning Aboriginal Peoples, we must increase public awareness using media such as print, radio, TV, web, and social media to share our stories.

The original Aboriginal Peoples  and the 15 Nations in the province now known as Ontario live by sacred laws given to us. We were and continue to be sovereign nations.

Contribution on a massive scale

“The contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to Canada’s culture, history, and economy is rooted deep and wide, and will only continue to grow through the years.”

Using the expansive ancient trails and the waterways of the western hemisphere, we established social, economic, cultural, and political relationships on a scale grander than that of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Many of these networks were formalized into treaties, alliances, and agreements of the highest order of international relations. The establishment of political organizations is rooted in the inherent freedom of association and the power of Aboriginal Peoples to create alliances.

It is so important to actively advocate for the protection, respect, and implementation of our Indigenous nations’ inherent and treaty rights. A great effort is put into pressing and reminding the federal and provincial governments of their obligations and responsibilities in implementing treaties, and to ensure they respect the Aboriginal Peoples’ inherent and treaty rights.

Where is it all going?

While we continue to exercise our jurisdictional rights, we seek to improve the lives of the people in our communities who, for the most part, live in third-world conditions and live without the basic necessities many Canadians take for granted like clean water, affordable and nutritious food, housing, and schools.  

It is so important for Canadians to be made aware that the Aboriginal Peoples’ contribution is more than cough syrup and snow shoes. The contribution of Aboriginal Peoples to Canada’s culture, history, and economy is rooted deep and wide, and will only continue to grow through the years.