ONTARIO ABORIGINAL RECONCILIATION FUND
The Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations called for the government of Ontario to “establish and fund an Ontario Aboriginal Reconciliation Fund, modeled on the First Nation New Relationship Trust fund in British Columbia. Its purpose would be to improve the capacity of First Nations…to participate in many land claims, treaty, or aboriginal policy and consultation processes underway in the province.” Instead, on May 15, 2008, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant announced the New Relationship Fund, which was unilaterally developed by the Ontario government.
The New Relationship Fund is a government-based program inconsistent with what the Ipperwash recommendation and the direction of the Chiefs in Assembly as mandated by Resolution 08/05 – Ipperwash Inquiry Final Report –Implementation. As such, the Political Confederacy and First Nation Ipperwash Task Force are not supportive or participating with the further development of the New Relationship Fund in light of its inconsistency with both the intent and purpose of the recommended Reconciliation Fund. Resolution 08/22 – Ipperwash Inquiry – New Relationship Fund speaks to these concerns and provides further direction.