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Chatham Daily News   Opens in a new window

Rights bill is a model


THE DAILY NEWS, By BY BOB BOUGHNER, June 23, 2008 Chatham, ON

A children's bill of rights adopted last year by the Walpole Island First Nation should serve as a model for communities everywhere, says Bev Shipley.

The Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP, speaking at Saturday's second annual Families First Fair, commended all those who had a role in its development and the chief and council for their wisdom in adopting it on behalf of the community.

"This bill of rights will serve the children of your community well now and long into the future,'' he said.

Shipley said National Aboriginal Solidarity Day is a day for all Canadians to celebrate the cultures and traditions of aboriginal people whether they are First Nation, Metis or Inuit.

"This year marks 400 years of common history between Aboriginal people and the first settlers,'' said the MP.

Shipley said significant progress and concrete results have been achieved on a range of Aboriginal issues, including land claims, education, housing, child and family services, safe drinking water, economic opportunity and the extension of human rights protection to First Nations' individuals on reserves.

He said Canada has also marked two important milestones in the resolution of the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools System.

"On June 1, the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was launched and on June 11, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons and offered an historic formal apology to former students on behalf of the government of Canada and all Canadians,'' he said.

Shipley said there is much Read More .. be done and as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day is observed, the federal government reaffirms its commitment to continue working with Aboriginal leaders to improve the lives of Aboriginal people across the country.

Also taking part in the event was Walpole Island First Nation Chief Joe Gilbert and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Maria VanBommel.