Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Knowledge Council integral to Sovereign Governance

March 23, 2021

Treaty 2 Territory – The Knowledge Council held its regularly scheduled session (held every second Wednesday of each month) to ground the Nation with ancestral knowledge in the pursuit of sovereign governance.

“Our Knowledge Keepers are our inherent foundation, their knowledge, strength and support are held in high regard, these are the values that shape our government. We are so grateful for all that they do for us, Gichi Naandaagoziiwaag”- Chief Norman Bone, Niigaanii Internal/External Relations.

Chairperson Louie Malcolm, from Kakakwekejeong, sets the tone for all meetings. His understanding about the distinctive nature of inherent rights to govern is an important contribution to the protection of the Treaty.

Alongside the Children, Families and Nation update, The Unity Circle, and Earth Lodge motions were up for debate and deliberation:

Motion – Wiisaakodaadiiwin Gizhibaabwewin, Unity Circle

The Knowledge Council endorsed the motion to name the government council chambers – Wiisaakodaadiiwin Gizhibaabwewin. The responsibilities that come with the name is intricately connected to the vision, principles and ethics. personal and professional conduct which are held in accordance with the supreme principle of Wiisaakodaadiiwin, (Unity). The sacred reciprocity and connection to our ancestors and leaders before us is also recognized in the spiritual realm as Gizhibaabwewin (Circle). It is also within this principle that we recognize that everyone is part of the everlasting circle and is born with the sacred connection to our identity as Anishinaabe peoples.

Inherent Rights of our Anishinaabe children

The Children, Families and Nation (CFN) Circle is in Phase 1 of a Phased in approach under Canada’s borrowed legislated coordination agreement process.  Draft stages of Ombigi’aa. continues to build on the momentum on the reclamation of inherent jurisdiction of Local Nations.

Our Inakonigewin is based on a culturally relevant, nation-driven and nation-focused approach. The Peacemaking Circle has an important role in the intersectionality of our laws. As the work evolves and progresses, the CFN circle is creating a path so that our children are returned home and can rightfully be raised there.

The efforts to keep the children home are not regarded as paramount by state-run Child & Family services. This shift in the law is taking shape with the inherent rights of the child, as opposed to the ‘best interests’ of the Child’ – This Anishinaabe Legal Principle is paramount in the contemplation and development of the law. This means leveraging and being inclusive of international covenants such as Declarations on the rights of the Child.

The promotion of wellness within the ‘Ombigii’aa is a wholistic principle meaning “good child rearing.”  The extension of this principle goes beyond the immediate provision of physical safety and mitigation of risks. It also replaces the colonial concept of ‘prevention.’ It means nurturing from a very early stage of human development, and to prioritize services that promote the overall health and wellbeing of a child. There are also provisions that blends the use of wellness techniques including mediation and family group conferencing as a means to promote the health and wellness of children and families.

The law recognizes that healthy families and healthy local Nations help raise healthy children. It replaces the use of “best interests,” which has largely been weaponized against Anishinaabe children under the current system. On occasion, family intervention will be necessary, which replaces the former concept of ‘apprehension.’ It includes accountability measures for not only the parents and families but also includes the wellness team. It requires the wellness team to mitigate all risks to a child prior to removing a child. It obligates the wellness team, to create a plan of care with mutual responsibilities for both the parents and the wellness team.

Eventually, it is the goal of FNT2T to exercise jurisdiction outside of the current Territorial parameters. However, as this is a phased-in approach, for now we are focusing on children who are physically resident within the geographical boundaries of Treaty 2 territory.

Publishing of the Treaty 2 Territory Storybook

The Knowledge Council continues to guide and assist of the Treaty 2 Territory Story book. The overview defines Life Long learning from an Anishinaabek perspective. It states that resources provided by Canada failed to meet the Treaty promises. It is our understanding that every child from Treaty 2 Territory is born with the Inherent Right to their ancestral knowledge, culture, and language. Their rights have been neglected within the current Provincial educational system, which focuses primarily on the delivery of mainstream settler education. Research has clearly supported that Indigenous student graduation rates dramatically increase when students have been immersed in their ancestral identity and language.

Part of the strategy includes curriculum development geared to empowering Local Nations as well other education institutions. In addition to the story book a Treaty 2 Territory storybook complements this inherent way of knowing which offers a storied overview of Treaty 2 and the territory.

The Knowledge Council devoted time to develop a common understanding of the Earth Lodge. The sacred mandate of the Earth Lodge will focus on these four pillars;

Anishinaabemowin, Culture, Lifelong Learning, Nation building and Aki.

The Earth Lodge philosophies are based on the Anishinaabe Traditional Lodge (Long Lodge Ceremony), which embodies the natural laws of creation, traditional forms of government, social framework, ways of learning, communication, language, relationship with the lands, medicines, peace, protection, history, artistic expression, and freedom. The Earth Lodge is the center of all thought, planning, and action.

The Earth Lodge plays a role to advise and support;

  • Grand Council and our Councils;
  • Treasury and Administration
  • Our Seven (7) Circles
  • Advisories to our Circles
  • Regional offices
  • Local Nations

“We stand grounded in our identity as an Anishinaabe peoples. And within this belief lies the connection to our ancestral way of life, in keeping with this connection we must always create the space to give abinoonjiwaag wholistic support and honour their gifts. “It is our responsibility and obligation to guide them.” – Wallace Ahmo

“I always kindly use the knowledge of our Ancestors, the knowledge of who we are as Anishinaabe, and to feast our Anishinaabe way of life. It is the sacred duty that we have in shaping a better world for our Anishinaabe children of tomorrow” – Chair Louie Malcolm.

Last modified: March 24, 2021

Comments are closed.