Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Ikwewaag Council advance the Nation’s laws and select Niigaani Ikewaag

April 8, 2021

Treaty 2 Territory – The Ikwewaag Council met Wednesday 7 April 2021 to engage in a democratic process to carefully select the Ikwewaag Niigaanii (Council Chair and Co-Chair).

The First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory is pleased to announce that Alisson Mckay from Keeseekoowenin Anishinaabe received unanimous support as the Niigaanii (Chair) of the Ikewaag Council. The nation is also pleased to announce that Gwen Traverse from Pinaymootaang Anishinaabe stepped up to assume her role as Niigaanii (Co-Chair) for the Ikwewaag Council.

The Niigaanii Ikwewaag were selected based on their high-level experience in leadership and demonstrated ability to bring healthy and strategic changes to their own local nations and the nation.  The Chair and Co-Chair will maintain focus on what is best for the Council by facilitating good council leadership, effective governing and will set the tone for meetings. In addition, the Nigaanii Ikwewaag will work collaboratively with the knowledge council, men council, youth council and governing council to advance health and well-being and children, families and nation.

“I am very excited and honoured to begin my new role as Niigaanii (Chair).  As Ikwewaag we understand that our laws are passed on from generation to generation. Our legal connection to one another is sacred and obligatory to our lands, our legacy, and our way of life. The elements of any Anishinaabe Law Framework will define the purpose, and governing powers of our Nation”, Allison McKay, Niigaanii (Chair).

The Ikwewaag Council is working diligently to breathe life into their own objectives under the nation-based process – with on-going engagement in law development. Other discussions ensued on Health and Wellbeing, Peacemaking and Children, Families and Nation law development.

The draft mino-bimaadiziwin framework was presented under the health and wellbeing circle presentation. The quality of life and health for Treaty 2 territory citizens are priorities under law development – our health and wellbeing laws are a living legal force to support the jurisdictional pathway.

The Children, Families and Nation circle spent some time reviewing Mino Ombigii’aa (Draft Law) with the Council. The inherent rights of the child, as opposed to the ‘interests’ of the Child are paramount in the law. This distinction prompts relying on natural ways of caregiving. And the inclusivity of international covenants such as the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of the Child are also embedded with the law process.

“I am pleased and honoured that we have a great Council of Ikewaag that is effectively holding the reins in practical sovereignty and sustainable governance. Canada needs to learn our style of governing dispels all myths that we are a lawless people”. “In the coming months we are aiming to respectfully engage and connect with other Ikwewaag in the Nation, for now we are doing what we can to connect virtually in light of COVID restrictions”.  – Gwen Traverse, Niigaanii (Co-Chair)

Niigaanii further mentioned that the Ikwewaag will lend guidance to FNT2T to make sure that all frameworks are structured in a way that aligns with our value system. The voices of the Ikwewaag will help bring these laws to life, we envision these laws to support our children so that they can be self-determined.

“On behalf of the Governing Council I wish to congratulate both the Niigaanii Ikwewaag in their roles. Our Ikwewaag bring with them tremendously important contributions to sovereignty and positive Anishinaabe thinking.” “Gichi Biidaandaagooziiwaag” – Ogichidaa Eugene Eastman.

Last modified: April 13, 2021

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