COO website

Our Nations' Priorities

Chiefs of Ontario is a coordinating body for 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the Province of Ontario. The purpose of the Chiefs of Ontario office is to enable the political leadership to discuss regional, provincial and national priorities affecting First Nation people in Ontario and to provide a unified voice on these issues.

Chiefs of Ontario initiatives have been organized into a number of different priority areas:

  • Economic Development: The goal of the Economic Development department at the Chiefs of Ontario is to work with communities to help address economic challenges.
  • Education: The Education Coordination Unit is responsible to provide the Ontario Education Portfolio with issues, briefing papers and specific strategies for political action.
  • Environment: The department works in the following areas: Water, Climate change, Species at risk, Contaminants, Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property- protecting our "collective knowledge systems," and Environmental assessments.
  • Health: The mandate of the Chiefs Committee on Health is to protect and maintain our Treaty and Aboriginal Rights to health and to provide advice, guidance and recommendations to the Ontario Regional Chief, Health Portfolio of the Political Confederacy, Political Confederacy and the Chiefs in Assembly on matters pertaining to First Nations health.
  • Justice: The Justice Department was established in response to the growing need for representation and advocacy on issues relating to justice for First Nations in Ontario.
  • Social Services: The Social Services Coordination Unit was set up to support First Nation participation in policy and program development of social services for their regions.
  • Youth: The Ontario First Nations Youth Peoples Council is a regional youth council that represents the youth of all First Nations in Ontario by being a voice for youth issues at all levels of government.