Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak spent last week in Washington, D.C. meeting with congressional representatives as well as several indigenous councils and organizations.
His meeting with Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota's Eighth District, which borders Rainy River, Ont., focused on discussing regional issues such as farming and agriculture, the forestry sector, difficulties moving cattle and grain to the U.S., and also NAFTA.
This meeting reaffirmed both Rusnak's and Nolan's commitment to removing barriers and improving transportation of agricultural goods across the border at the Rainy River-Baudette crossing.
Rusnak also met with representatives from the National American Indian Housing Council and discussed building relationships between groups that support indigenous communities on both sides of the border.
He also spoke to the Center for Native American Youth about cross-border issues, and creating opportunities for international co-operation between Native American and indigenous youth.
Finally, Rusnak met with Markwayne Mullin and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who are members of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations, respectively.
Those meetings focused on trade and building strong relationships between cross-border indigenous leaders.
“I had a very productive week in Washington, D.C. discussing issues that matter to the people of Thunder Bay-Rainy River with several congressmen and Native American organizations,” noted Rusnak.
“The U.S. is Canada's closest ally, and I was glad to be there building relationships and advocating on behalf of our region,” he added.