A New Path Forward.

Our First Nation communities have been deeply affected by colonial histories, but are uniting their shared cultural values and improving the lives of their peoples in the process. Celebrating culture through creative mediums such as music, food, fashion, design, and art, has the power to generate vibrant economies that contribute to shaping our First Nations economic and social identity on a local, national and international scale.

Developing our independence and potential requires self-sustaining economic development opportunities, including growth in community innovation and entrepreneurship. Our First Nations must foster innovative and social enterprise solutions and influence new business in environmentally sustainable business sectors —so that we can protect our lands for many generations to come. We must become competitive in not only the local and regional marketplace but also in the greater global markets. Investing in business and entrepreneurship is essential for our First Nations in southwest Ontario and across Canada. Investing in our youth entrepreneurs is instrumental in forging ahead.

We recognize a First Nations approach to education contributes to capacity development and success in our First Nation communities. Education is the cornerstone to creating flourishing, forward-looking First Nation communities. We encourage and support our local community members and entrepreneurs in meaningful projects to stimulate the economy, nurture talent, build bridges and to cultivate strong, sustainable communities. We must also remember our traditional ways of knowing, deeply rooted in life teachings and to awaken our languages that have been asleep for many years.

In order for our nations to progress, we must be self-sufficient; in-order to govern we must find meaningful and mutually beneficial ways to invest in our communities. The London District Chiefs Council has a shared responsibility for looking after our citizens by developing policies and programs that will care for everyone at all stages of life; this is fundamental to our role. To be effective, we must think outside-of-the-box and find new models and frameworks that will address the immediate and long-term socio-economic needs of our communities.

In closing, this is a time of reconciliation across Canada; it is also a time of self-reflection and progressive thought and social change for all Canadians, including our First Nation communities. Change should not be feared; change is a wonderful thing if given the chance to flourish.

All My Relations,

London District Chiefs Council