Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Ogichidaa Eastman honoured to be part of Anishinabek Nation Governance Summit

April 30, 2021

Treaty 2 Territory – Ogichidaa Eugene Eastman was very honoured to be asked by Grand Chief Hare to join him during the opening of the Anishinabek Governance Summit (AGS). The AGS was held in Algonquin Territory and the beginning of this summit is one of many that are scheduled to occur in the coming months.  

“Gichi Miigwech to knowledge keeper,  Gordon Waindubence for the opening prayer, the youth for the beautiful song, and to Grand Chief Hare for inviting me to speak today. It is truly an honour to sit with you as Nations today. On behalf of the Governing Council and Treaty 2 Territory, I want to say that our relationship and friendships mean everything to us. The time that you are taking in the planning and the decision to welcome our Nation into your Nation’s Governance summit is heart-felt”, – said Ogichidaa Eastman.

The invitation to attend the AGS was extended to the Council’s and FNT2T Circle Keepers and Helpers. Key and impactful learnings of the day ensued valuable governing sharing in these areas: identity governance and world view, role of Chiefs committee on Governance, Governance on our Terms, the benefits to citizens, first nations and the Anishinabek Nation, Traditional Dodemag System and the critical importance of sustaining Anishinaabeowin.

“Our highest calling is to lead our people and protect our lands, waters and all beings. As Anishinaabe people we are familiar and keep close to our hearts, that the highest form of governance is led by both asemaa and the opwagan, the pipe”.

“In a governing context, it is my understanding that we are obligated to have a direct and sacred conversation between us and the spirits. When we seek this sacred guidance with humility and a kind humbleness it us understood that this direction, love and guidance may not come tomorrow but will come in time to strengthen our governments. The more we truly live our Anishinaabe way of life – our government will become stronger”.

The lawmaking process is very emotional and it is within this legal space that we  should recognize our approaches as being valuable because there is healing there…The colonial genocide to suppress our law-making rights has constrained our way of life for far too long. And this oppression has brought sickness so I want to take a moment here to recognize the sacred part of our original way that brings healing and hope back for our Nation.

There are many approaches to governing and decision making. Most importantly, it’s the source of laws that we rely on which is people, the language, and the natural laws of our Aki. And at times we lean on our brothers and sisters to breathe new life by the smoking of the opwagaanag.  This ceremony has been part of lives since time immemorial – the pipe and people are good reminders of we who are as a larger Anishinaabe Nation.

Last modified: May 2, 2021

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