Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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November 1, 2016

STATEMENT FROM GRAND CHIEF 

TORONTO, ON (November 1, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has released the following statement before his participation in an historic moment of reconciliation at tonight’s National Hockey League game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers: 

“I am honoured to participate in this historic event. I thank the Toronto Maple Leafs, the MLSE Foundation and The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund for providing the national spotlight to raise awareness and honour Canada’s Indigenous Peoples who continue to suffer from suicide, the loss of missing and murdered women and girls, and the legacy of the Indian Residential School system. Thanks to Gord Downie’s Secret Path project, momentum is building across this country that I hope will move us together towards the path to reconciliation. We are encouraged that the Government of Canada has recently committed to increasing funding for child welfare services to assist our families and youth, but huge gaps remain between the quality of life of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across this country. This is an opportunity for everyone to work together in honour of Chanie Wenjacks life.” 

Grand Chief Fiddler will be at ice level during the intermission of tonight’s game at the Air Canada Centre. He will be accompanied by Fred Sasakamoose, the NHL’s first Indigenous hockey player, and Josée Lusignan, president of I Love First Peoples. A pre-game video will feature Gord Downie’s performances of the Secret Path album and highlight the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund created to support reconciliation.

For more information please contact: Tamara Piché, Communications Officer – (807) 625-4906 or cell (807) 621-5549 or by email tpiche@nan.on.ca

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