Written by Fort William First Nation - October 20, 2011
YEAR IN Review – 2011 Headlines:
Land Claim excitement- 1st land Claim Disbursement -New CEO Hired –2nd Land Claim Payout $ 25,000 – FWFN Days –
Land Claim excitement – after announcement by Minister of Indian Affairs and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in November 2010 – the subsequent vote in January 2011 – much excitement, much news and gossip followed as to when the money would flow as a disbursement. The Council had decided that a $ 10,000 member payout would come from the Neebing Land Claim of $ 22,500,000.
New Chief and Council election – Peter Collins re-elected as Chief – see all Council members in Photo at end of newsletter.
The land Claim disbursed followed in April 2011 – much shopping, trips and soft celebration followed.
Mike Hardy was hired in August 2011 as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Fort William First Nation. With his hiring came a very experienced manager who would guide us toward a re-structuring. This new re-structuring would departmentalize and streamline for better management of the First Nation resources and provide more accountability to the membership.
A group on interested members started a committee to start to alive the drug problem existing in the community. Meeting are held every 2nd Thursday at High School with a spin off group starting a Narcotics Anonymous held every 2nd Sunday at Church Rectory.
The 2nd Land Claim payout of $ 25,000 was done in late August. This was the big one many of the people had waited for. This enabled them to do things they had not been able to do. Many took trips with family, other purchased large ticket items like vehicles, furniture or household items , others used to improve homes or build new ones and other just played old enjoyed their new found riches.
War on Drugs conference co-hosted by FWFN, the Lakehead Board of education and the R.C.M.P. – Approximately 1,600 school children participate. 1st Annual Fort William Days was done with the intention of providing 3 things:
• Gathering for our membership
• Information sharing
• Pride for our community
The event provided Chief and Council and Administration providing the first ever annual report, information session of key interest by Band members, cultural activities and teachings, feasts and launching of signs signifying our reserve boundary. The event was well received and all information will be provided on the new website which will launch Jan 5, 2012. The session also included a new land claim booklet on the history of our claim and lands. Follow up meetings are scheduled for January and February for information updates from event. The 2nd annual FWFN Days is scheduled for September 7th, 2012 on the original lands of the Reserve situated on
the Kam River.
Chief and Council and the Thunder Bay council initiated the Squaw Bay Dump Closure with a plan for the future of re-cycling.