Treaty 2 Territory – FNT2T began a passionate movement toward Unity. Unity as we all know gives strength and brings people together.
The Governing Council which is made of the Council of Chiefs, Chair , people from our Knowledge Men, Women and Youth Council met at O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi’s traditional hunt/harvest at the Shell Valley, Duck Mountains within the Treaty 2 Territory on Thursday 3 September 2020.
Knowledge Keeper Wallace Ahmo, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi’s started the morning off with an opening prayer around the sacred fire. He was very poignant and passionate as he spoke about the importance of Unity and how we need to continue to focus on the significant work the FNT2T is currently involved in. He also made it abundantly clear that we need to forge ahead and ensure that we protect the homelands of the Anishinaabek.
The FNT2T has a Grand Chief who is a sitting Chief of his Nation; we are very proud of this. FNT2T continues to be creative in mandates set down by our Leaders with respect to governance and the need to involve ourselves in being decolonized.
“Our ability to meet as Anishinaabek in this great Territory right on our lands, feeling the breeze, the fire and hearing the powerful words from our leaders is absolutely amazing. It’s time to stand together and move together as a government. The next 7 generations are why we are here today and doing what we need to do in order to bring back the prosperity we once had on our lands”, said Grand Chief Eugene Eastman.
During the Governing Council, our sovereign leaders met to discuss our current health and wellbeing during this time of Covid-19. It was so important to hear from each Leader, listening to their individual concerns and the concerns of their Local Nation. It was also impressive to hear from Leaders with respect to their unified approach about having FNT2T as their voice for the territory.
Knowledge Council Chairperson Louie Malcolm spoke well about the Governance Overview booklet spending some time on discussing the importance of getting it out and having all Councils, Nations and Schools receiving copies. “The governance booklet is an overview on what is made available on our websites. Along with the booklet is the governance and history curriculum which is being finalized for our school this fall. The maps and declarations will be sent out to the school”. Governance Booklet 2020
Our Legal team spent some time talking about the claims against the Crown and Canada. The research is complicated and on-going and yet we will continue our long and ongoing challenge to show the wrong doing Canada has done to our Anishinaabek.
The current Governance structure was affirmed this summer by all the Councils along with the practiced approach of the current resolutions. Each Council spent time on each brief and agreed with a motion to proceed in resolution form.
Citizenship continues to be worked on and the latest resolution passed was to advance with a territory process that will benefit all Anishinaabe members in the territory. The Government of FNT2T recognizes the right of Local Nations to determine their membership for their own Local Nation and agrees to work with each Local Nation to harmonize their laws with the Government of FNT2T Citizenship Law.
The Trust and Treasury process supports what have been talked about for many years having our own laws and processes in place to manage monies from all the resources and IPS’s from the relationship with the Crown. The Treasury has created a Trust Fund according to Trust terms and conditions under the Financial Administration Treasury Law. The Government of FNT2T has created the establishment of a FNT2T Treasury to manage and invest all funds from infrastructure, programs and services currently being managed by other agencies and governments.
The Indian Act has distracted us from the original relationship and its current volatile approach of separation, FNT2T moved quickly forward with such resolution as a Restorative Peacemaking and creating Anishinaabe Mediation and Conflict Resolution to assist during this time of need. Our Anishinaabek, and our Ancestors and Knowledge Keepers gave to us the Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe peoples, (love, wisdom, courage, truth, honesty, respect and humility) to guide us in our dealings with all Creation, beings, and relations. The Government of FNT2T has now committed to give the Seven Ancestral Teachings a contemporary expression in guiding the governance, and has now established the Anishinaabe Mediation and Conflict Resolution process using traditional practices of restoring harmony and balance, Mino-aani-gidoowin.
The discussion about the Manitoba Post continued from the All Leaders Gathering at Eagle Island, Ebb and Flow. The post is a sacred heritage place when the treaty with the Crown in 1871 was made. While at it the Council created a resolution that will build the first of many interpretive centres to honour and showcase the reliance of our Anishinaabek. The building of such a centre at Clear Lake, Wasagaming will be a great first step to show the presence of our people around the riding mountain area.
The resolutions that were presented, discussed and passed are as following;
- 2020-09-03-006_Resolution_Declaration_of_Treaty 2_Manitoba_Post_Sacred_Site_Passed
- 2020-09-03-007_Resolution_Declaration_of_Treaty 2_Riding_Mountain_Wasagaming_Interpretive_Centre_Passed
Next steps will be to have the resolutions implemented by the Councils and staff continue to be mandated by this process. Since 21 June 2018 when FNT2T government was established, the Governing Council has mandated the staff to assist with the implementation of the governance through the resolutions.
Discussion circle was held prior to the passing of resolutions;
Chief Bone discussed his family connections, discussing a few stories about his auntie and family. He mentioned how the Riding Mountain people were connected to as far west as Bow Valley. “We used the pipe at many of our gatherings and ceremonies right from the old days, we are glad to see Louie Malcolm hearing what the Chiefs said back then, join us having experience from his Tribal days and understanding what we need to do to move forward”, said Chief Norman Bone, Keeseekoowenin.
“Working together for the protection of our territory is needed by all our local nations and leaders. We are working hard to get back what is ours to begin with and our inherent rights needs us today to protect them”, said Chief Cameron Catcheway, Skownan.
“There is a long battle for us, I have been questioning for many years about our territory what is happening with it, finally coming to a head with unity of Chief sitting here today, and I am grateful for that. Where we are going to go ahead now and respect what is left to us, everything left to us, mother earth is left to us, our life is left to us and it’s a matter of time that the great spirit will take us home. In closing, I urge you to pray every morning to the grandfathers that sit in the four directions, the grandmother that sit in that direction (east) and the great grandmother, pray to them every morning….aho”, said Knowledge Keeper Wallace Ahmo, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi Anishinaabe.
“Thank you Grand Chief for the invite to your camp, feeling at home, exercising our inherent rights is great. I’m actually thinking we need to get our hunters here, our young ones here to hunt. I’m very glad to be here on the land today.”, said Councillor/Men’s Chair Darren Mousseau, Ebb and Flow Anishinaabe.
“I enjoy coming to these gathering because of the importance of our generations to come. We know what our understanding are, our children need us, they are our future and the protection of our treaty 2 territory is very important.” said Councillor Leroy Thompson, Little Saskatchewan.
“Great to be here with the Chiefs, I’m getting a taste to what Gambler use to get excited about, he would be sure pleased to hear what is going on with FNT2T”, said Chief Ledoux, Gamblers.
“We are by the Shell River that flows into the Assiniboine river, this is our boundary. There was an old cabin up here someone once used, roof was made out of sod, about 15 years ago when I was up there, we use to hunt there. Telling the young fellows today, I then asked him you get anything yet. He said he seen a moose but didn’t shoot it. I told them where to go for Elk, but you cannot get there with a vehicle but can cross with a quad. It is great to see our young members out hunting”, said Louie Malcolm, Chair Knowledge Council.
“An elder once told me… the ones that protect our rights are the ones that use them. If you do not use them and do not exercise them what is the use of protecting them, I’m referencing our sacred sites in our territory”. Ron Missyabit, CPNW Keeper.
Last modified: September 9, 2020