I would conduct myself as Chief in an open and transparent manner primarily focused on community engagement of both on and off reserve utilizing all forms of communication available.
Robinson Huron Treaty Annuities Settlement (RHT)
The primary issue facing our members is the Robinson Huron Treaty Annuities settlement. I commit to bringing our community together to discuss the history of the RHT process, the various agreements among the 21 First Nations part of this settlement and the intentions of those individuals over the past almost 15 years. It’s important to understand the history. I’ll be the 1st to admit I don’t know what the settlement entails, but we certainly need clarity around the process. We also need to understand the rationale behind the bringing of this case to the courts. Once all the details have been laid out, our community members will have the final voice on the allocation of funds when we receive them through the various levels of government. But we need to have a clear understanding of the components of the settlement so that we are all satisfied and able to make an informed decision.
Health and Well-being
Health and Well-being is also of importance in moving our community forward. We have to provide all the services we can to those people who choose to move towards healing their mind, bodies and lives. This can be done through advocacy to all levels of government including our own to ensure we have the facilities, the counsellors, and the community to support them. This will allow all our members to live a better more fruitful life for themselves and their families.
History, Culture & Language
Over the past years working in the Education Department I’ve focused on ensuring our children have access to Anishnabemowin teachers, including within our Day Care.The importance of ensuring our children have a full compliment of historical accurate information regarding our place here in this land ensuring pride in themselves as a people is maintained and celebrated. Coordinating the Annual Pow Wow with the help of many community members we were able to promote not only to ourselves but the public about how we the Mississauga people have conducted summer gatherings in celebration of our beautiful people and lands.
Elders and Youth Councils
I believe in supporting meetings with our Elders to ensure we are conducting ourselves in a good way following their abundance of knowledge in the past.Our Youth need to come to the table to provide a voice to guide their future according to their vision for this community.
There numerous agreements which the First Nation has agreed to abide by inclusive of the Election Code, Governance Manual, Finance, Human Resources, and other policies which we are to follow to provide effective and sound basis to deliver services to our community members which need to be reviewed, understood, and if necessary amended and understood by all community members so that we are able to provide good governance.
Re-thinking how we provide housing and the need to investigate different types of buildings so that we can offer solutions to the community. In order to achieve the well-being of our community we need to work towards ensuring that all who would like to live in our community are able to in a safe and sustainable way. We have to build on our infrastructure for safe drinking water and various other levels of service such as garbage pick up and disposal.Our roads need on-going maintenance and upgrades. All of these are linked to having a community where we can live mino-bimaadziwin (the good life).
Employment and Training
Working with our local organizations who are funded through government agencies to provide effective plans for our members to become employable and building on economic development initiatives to ensure there are plenty of opportunities to help our members become independent and successful.
Drugs and Alcohol
It’s important to provide many paths for our members to live the good life from programs to address the recovery path. Allowing to have a safe house for recovery is imperative. Supportive, caring services to help all those who seek help.
The reason I believe in my ability to be Chief are these little ones and all the little ones who are depending on all of us to provide mino bimaadziwin. Today and into the next 7 generations.
Who I Am and What I Do
Aanii, Bozhoo Debbie Mayer n’diznikaas,Mississauga n’doonjiba, Ajijaak doodem. I am choosing to allow my name to stand in this election for Chief of Mississauga First Nation.
My commitment to this community has been a life long journey. My grandparents, Joe and Emma Boyer lived where Christina Corbiere’s house is located. My aunts and uncles lived there and I spent most weekends with my grandmother whom I called Mom. I grew up playing in this community with my brother Peter baa and my cousins, who I now refer to as my cousin/uncles, Al and Brian Miley as they were also raised by Mom. My mother, Peggy baa was the eldest daughter of Emma and Joe and I’m the eldest daughter of my mother and father, Peter Besiallon baa and have a younger brother Ron. Due to a colonial construct my mother was forced to enfranchise when she married my father in 1955 which caused pain and much hurt on her part. But we still survived “outside” in the ‘white world’ but this community was my home. I’ve lived here since 2005 with my children Laura and Michael. And over the years since I’ve welcomed my son-in-law Bryan from Nipissing First Nation to my family and three beautiful grandchildren, Leland, Theodore(Teddy) and Elizabeth.
Over the years I’ve served the community in my many jobs from slinging beer at the local tavern, delivering bread to Lena and Bill Boyer’s store, and slicing meat and making bread at the local Loeb (now ValuMart) store. I worked deliveringemployment and training to 7 First Nations with Naadmaadwiiuk for almost 15 years, served for a couple years as Band Manger here and even sat on Council for 3 years. I worked with the community to develop a community strategic plan and then moved into the position of Education Director for the past 12 years. I recently retired from that job and hope to continue to serve the community in the capacity of Chief for the next 3 years.
From my work history I have service, business ownership, negotiating with governments, overseeing millions of dollars in funding allocations for 7 First Nation as well as our own under Education. I have written contracts, policies and procedures, interpreted legislation, spoke to audiences advocating for our people especially our children. I have also been involved in strategic planning for various First Nation organizations and understand the importance of having a road map for success.
I believe in our people, our resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, with residential schools, day schools, regular public provincial schools where our children were mistreated, considered as less than, and not allowed to flourish with adequate levels of education afforded to other children. Because we are still here standing is a testament to our strength which we must build upon moving forward for our continued growth and success for the next 7 generations.
My platform will allow community member input into our path forward with openness, transparency, effective and timely communication while supporting an organization which delivers service to our people in a healthy and fair environment.
I commit to working with the elected individuals in a team environment where everyone’s voice is heard and more importantly listened to. I also commit to listening to you, our community and reporting on our progress and if there is a lack of progress on things with solid rationale and outlining our steps forward to become the community I believe in and the community I know we all believe in.