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by Isabel Mosseler

Nipissing First Nation is hosting a major event this week, the 44th annual All Ontario Chiefs Conference (AOCC) from June 26 to 28. The event will see chiefs and representatives from 133 First Nations addressing the theme “Securing a Future for our Children: Advancing Our Nations”, and also electing a new Ontario Regional Chief. One observer noted that the event rarely takes place outside of major cities and its occurrence in a smaller northern community is a first.

The selection of Nipissing First Nation as the host was communicated in May when current Regional Chief Isadore Day took a tour of Nipissing’s new covered and open-air arena facility. He noted that the AOCC “will be held partly outdoors, which will enhance our traditional selection process.” NFN Chief Scott McLeod expressed his delight. “We are also very excited about highlighting the beautiful lands and waters that make this a very special place on the shores of Lake Nipissing. We have one of the largest First Nation communities in Ontario with a population of over 2000. Our culture, traditions, and hospitality will be on full display for the AOCC delegates and observers.”

His prediction came true as the opening ceremonies were held on Tuesday morning with a Grand Entry of Eagle Staffs and the flags of the 133 member nations. The ceremonies included elders, dancers and drums, hundreds of observers, conference support staff and community members, all standing for the entry, two flag songs, two honour songs and an opening prayer given by Elder Evelyn McLeod. Other than the ceremonies, open sessions were live-streamed.

Chief McLeod acknowledged and welcomed all the conference participants to the community, making note of the new $750,000 facility. “Welcome to the Home of the Nipissing Warriors… We’re extremely honoured to be the host of the 2018 All Ontario Chiefs Conference... Welcome to the traditional homelands of the N’Bissing Anishinabek. For over 9,000 years we have called this territory our home; to this very day we have maintained a strong connection to our lands and waters. Today Nipissing has become a First Nation leader across Turtle Island in areas of governance, such as financial management, land management, natural resource management … and this is due to dedicated staff and strong leadership, past and present.”

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NFN welcomes Chiefs from 133 First Nations at major conference

Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod welcomes chiefs and delegates from 133 First Nations of Ontario to the lands and waters of N’Bissing at the 44th annual All Ontario Chiefs Conference. The conference is normally held in major centres of southern Ontario, but the honour was bestowed on Nipissing as one of the most progressive First Nations in Ontario. The plenary sessions and opening ceremonies are being held at the new arena, Home of the Nipissing Warriors.


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