First Nations sign MOUs to Address Poverty, Homelessness in Northern Ontario

TORONTO, ON (May 8, 2019): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) today with municipal partners to jointly develop approaches to address poverty and homelessness in northern Ontario.

To the east, an MOU was signed with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board. To the west, an MOU was signed with the Kenora District Services Board.

The partners will work together to address priority areas to ensure adequate housing for all families and individuals and will explore and pursue joint initiatives that will result in the reduction of poverty and homelessness while improving health outcomes for the homeless and impoverished.

“The Cochrane District Social Services Administrative Board is extremely pleased to be partnering with Nishnawbe Aski Nation on this critical initiative. Working collaboratively and learning from one another to gain a better understanding of the root causes of fundamental issues such as poverty and homelessness in our region with the goal of improving health outcomes is essential to the reconciliation and wellbeing of our respective community members. CDSSAB is committed to take action in develop and strengthening our long-term relationships with the First Nations and Tribal Councils of NAN that will lead to the enrichment of all of our communities.” – George Pirie, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board Chair

“The Kenora District Services Board and its Board of Directors are pleased to collaborate with Nishnawbe Aski Nation through a Memorandum of Understanding. The outcomes of the MOU and its framework will be momentous for the families and communities within the District of Kenora and NAN First Nation communities; safe, adequate and affordable housing is an essential right for everyone. Together, we look forward to identifying and implementing effective solutions and resolve to prevent and eradicate homelessness and poverty.” – Barry Baltessen, Kenora District Services Board Chair

“I am pleased to work with our municipal partners to reduce poverty and establish adequate housing for our members who live in urban areas. By working together we can build healthier, more inclusive communities.” – Deputy Grand Chief Walter Naveau, Nishnawbe Aski Nation

The MOUs were signed before NAN leaders during the NAN Chiefs Spring Assembly held May 7-8, 2019 in Toronto.

About the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board

The Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) is a service system management organization created by the provincial government to oversee the local planning, coordination and delivery Ontario Works, Social & Affordable Housing, Child Care & EMS Services. The 13-member Board of Directors of CDSSAB are made up from representatives of the district’s Municipal Mayor and Councils. CDSSAB is one of Ontario’s 10 DSSABs.

About the Kenora District Services Board

The Kenora District Services Board delivers needed social services to all citizens in the District of Kenora. Approximately 200 dedicated employees provide exceptional assistance in Ontario Works, Social Assistance, Community Housing, Homelessness, Emergency Medical Services (EMS-Land Ambulance) and Early Learning and Child Care services.

About Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Nishnawbe Aski Nation is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty No. 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario in Canada.

For more information please contact:

Nishnawbe Aski Nation – Tamara Piche, Communications Officer – Phone: (807) 625-4906 or (807) 621-5549 (mobile) or Email:
Kenora District Services Board – Roberta Lappage, Communications Officer – Phone: (807) 223-2100 or (807) 220-5309 (mobile) or Email:
Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board – Brian Marks, CAO, Phone: (705)-268-7722 or Email:


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