SUDBURY -- The Anishinabek Nation, which represents 40 First Nations across Ontario, is creating a key new role, and a northern Ontario chief is taking on the job.

During the first day of the Anishinabek Nation Fall Assembly, Grand Council Chief Glen Hare announced that Ogimaa Duke Peltier from Wikwemkoong Unceded Territory has been appointed the new Anishinabek Nation Children’s Commissioner.

Peltier had this to say about the appointment:

"It is truly an honour. I see this role making some significant changes in child welfare and our communities.  We need to continue expanding many of the prevention services.  That’s where we’re going to see the most benefit for our young people— to give them the best start and the best life," said Peltier in a news release. 

In his new role, Peltier will provide high-level oversight over the implementation, compliance, and enforcement of the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law, and the Anishinabek Nation Children and Youth Bill of Rights.  The new Bill of Rights was approved by Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly earlier this year.

21 Anishinabek First Nations have chosen to enact the law.

"Every child and youth deserves to feel safe and cared for, free from abuse, and connected to their culture, families, and communities," said Grand Council Chief Hare. "It is our duty to ensure the well-being of our people."

The Anishinabek Nation represents about 65,000 First Nations people, about a third of the province's Indigenous population. It is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.