Aamjiwnaang Chief applauds relationship with city ahead of Indigenous conference

Chiefs of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation will attend the Autumn Chiefs Conference in Toronto this week.

After serving as master of ceremonies at Sarnia’s inaugural council meeting Tuesday morning, Chris Plain headed to a meeting hosted by the Ontario Chiefs.

“There are 134 Aboriginal peoples in Ontario, and we have the most populous Aboriginal province. So there’s about 250,000, maybe about 300,000 Aboriginal people in Ontario.”

Chief Plain said he would not say much about discussions on safe drinking water and wastewater legislation planned for Wednesday morning.

“Those are two things I don’t have to worry about,” Chief Plain told those attending the first city council meeting. “I’m very, very lucky, and my community is very lucky, because we have LAWSS (Lamton District Water System). We also have a fire protection and police protection agreement with the city, and those services have grown tremendously over the past few years improve.”

Chief Plain, who won another two-year term in October, said it wasn’t just him who noticed the improvements.

“I’ve heard from members of my community and children that they feel safer and more comfortable in our own territory because for a long time, we’ve never really felt safe and we’ve always wanted to stick together.”

Chief Plain said that members of the Aamjiwnaang community are now more “adventurous”.

“We have 134 post-secondary students across all disciplines, which is more than our OW [Ontario Works] speed. That’s something I’m really proud of. We have very, very low unemployment and our annual budget is about $20 million. “

About 80 percent of the band’s budget goes to Sarnia, Chief Plain said.

“We have an agreement with the city government. They have done a great job for us. I can’t say enough good things about the city staff who work with us. We have a new proposal funded by Aboriginal Services and the city applied for Yes, we applied, and we’re going to get a lot of sewer and water main replacements in and around the community and in the valley. It’s a collaboration of two committees, a collaboration of two crews, and I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve gotten to this point. “

He said Aamjiwnaang also had a road agreement with the city.

“Street lights and sidewalks are important to us,” Chief Plain said. “My request to the council is … if you want to see those kids safe, you will do your part, build sidewalk infrastructure, or work with us, as we did many years ago.”

The fall chiefs meeting will also focus on economic development, housing and infrastructure, and child welfare.

The meeting ends Thursday.

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