Treaty 2 Territory – On April 14, 2021, the FNT2T Knowledge Council met with the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory Government Keepers. The Peacemaking Keeper presented an update on Peacemaking, the Onankonehkawin Law, and a FNT2T Circle (Court) process. The Peacemaking Keeper introduced the possibility of having a court system in the territory that focuses on healing. The Knowledge Council expressed they were supportive of Peacemaking and a circle process that focuses on wellness and healing.
During the meeting with the Knowledge Council, the Peacemaking Keeper provided an update on Peacemaking in the past few months. The Keeper expressed the need for a FNT2T Peacemaking Court that can be administered in the territory as the current court system is not working.
The current court system abides by rule of law and focuses on punishment. The Knowledge Keepers stated, “Punishment does not work for Anishinabek People. Our people need to heal.”
The Peacemaker expressed the need to hold Canadas accountable and push Canada to abide by their “Approach to Inherent Rights Policy”. This policy states, “First Nations can negotiate to administration and enforcement of Aboriginal laws, including the establishment of Aboriginal courts or tribunals and the creation of offences of the type normally created by local or regional governments…”. It was expressed although Treaty 2 has our own Inherent Rights policy, we need to hold Canada accountable for what they bring to the table in negotiations.
The Peacemaking Keeper provided a few sceneries for a Peacemaking Court such as the Healing Court in the BC, the Gladue Courts in Ontario, and the Drug Treatment Courts in Manitoba. However, it will be at the direction of the Knowledge Council and Leadership to determine the appropriate Court that will work for their nation. The Peacemaking Keeper spoke to the fact that there is only one Aboriginal Justice Agreement in Canada, so entering into this agreement will be a first in Treaty 2 Territory as well as Manitoba. The Knowledge Council supports moving towards a court that focuses on healing.
Submitted By: Chantell Barker, Restorative Peacemaking Operations Keeper
Last modified: April 20, 2021