Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh Call on Ontario to align its laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Kenora, ON — Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty #3 calls on Ontario to support the adoption of Bill #76 which will align provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“I would like to extend my appreciation to Sol Mamakwa, Member of Provincial Parliament, Kiiwetinoong and the Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Relations for hosting today’s press conference to gather support to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples across Ontario,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh.

Chief Rudy Turtle of the Grassy Narrows First Nation will attend the Press Conference on behalf of Treaty #3.

“I am truly honoured to be here today on behalf of Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, to discuss the importance of UNDRIP to the Treaty #3 Anishinaabe Nation. Our leaders in Treaty #3 have undertaken many lobbying efforts under international forums to have our rights respected by domestic law. The Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty 3 and the leadership of our communities have explored and utilized all tools available to advocate on behalf of the citizens of the Nation, including presentations to the United Nations and the Special Rapporteurs.”

In February 2016, Treaty #3 First Nations Shoal Lake 40 and Grassy Narrows made a presentation in Geneva, Switzerland before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to address the lack of safe drinking water in their First Nations.

For the last three years Grand Council Treaty 3 has joined a delegation from IIWR-Manitoba to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to present and advocate on issues impacting women and families.

“Back home in our territory, we strive as Nation to collectively advance our interests,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “We are working to address food security, systemic racism in the educational and health systems, overrepresentation in child welfare and justice system, and improve lack of access to clean water and fix housing in our communities. UNDRIP is a mechanism to assist us in improving the serious social-economic issues oppressing our people.”

Grand Council Treaty #3 is accustomed to international law. The Treaty was created in 1873 between the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 and the Crown. As both parties have distinct legal systems and laws, the everlasting relationship was solidified through the parameters of international law. Considering the basis of the foundation of Turtle Island, also what is now known as ‘Canada’, it is imperative that international law continue to have a unique role in our relationship with the Federal and Provincial governments.

Indigenous law making authority and law making processes have existed since time immemorial. When there is a conflict of laws with domestic law, there must be a mechanism to drawn on. The United Nations has considered these matters and has developed tools to assist in these situations. International law has provided persuasive declarations to drawn on based on Permanent Forums with thorough research, Committees with numerous studies conducted on issues facing Indigenous peoples globally and the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Canada has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is the contention of Treaty #3 that because UNDRIP is recognized by the State, it is now incumbent upon the Province to adopt and purposefully apply the principals of UNDRIP,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “Treaty #3 calls on all MPP’s in Ontario to support the adoption of Bill 76 to align Provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”




For more information please contact:
Janine Seymour, B.A., J.D., LL.M, Political Advisor to Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh 807.464.1261 (cell)


Grand Council Treaty #3’s overall goal is the protection, preservation and enhancement of Inherent and Treaty Rights. Grand Council Treaty #3 is 55,000 sq. miles spanning from west of Thunder Bay to north of Sioux Lookout, along the international border, to the province of Manitoba. It is made up of 28 First Nation communities, with a total population of approximately 25,000.