Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Knowledge Council gives strength for unity, working together as a Nation

May 13, 2021

Treaty 2 territory – A virtual meeting was held by the Knowledge Council on Wednesday 12 May 2021 to discuss important matters in Treaty 2 Territory.  Chairperson Louis Malcolm opened the meeting in Anishinaabemowin asking Creator for unity in the Nation as the work continues to ensure that Canada implements treaty made in 1871.

“150 years has passed since the making of our treaty; and still today, it has not been fully implemented. Canada continues keep us in small boxes [reserves], but the treaty never stipulated that.  The territory is ours and we need to protect it.”

Introductions open every Knowledge Council meeting, which gives direction to all Keepers and Helpers as they begin discussion and updating on the Seven Circles. In today’s meeting, the Knowledge Council was updated with presentations in Natural World, Life Long Learning, Children Families & Nation, and Peacemaking.

For Care and Protection of Natural World, Ron Missyabit spoke about the budget required to protect Treaty 2 territory.  A Moose Management plan is in draft with CPNW continuing to review it with its advisory circle. Work continues on the Aki Onankonehkawin by means of engagement through online sessions and dialogue with the Councils.

Planning for the Guardians Certification Program with the Earth Lodge and ACC also continues, and the Hunters’ Safety Certification will be offered through CPNW and Earth Lodge. The consultation protocol continues to be reviewed and passed through our Councils.

Additionally, documenting Knowledge Keepers is a key task for CPNW. They will be working with the Local Nations to have Keepers interviewed and documented. Knowledge Keeper Wallace Ahmo spoke about the valuable research and maps that OCC which will surely enhance the land use and climate change project. Louis Malcolm contributed to the discussion with a story about the acreage, stating the lands that we have are not fit for agriculture; yet, in the treaty, it was agreed that our ancestors would adopt more agricultural practices beyond what they were already practicing from time immemorial, so fertile soil would be protected for ‘lands reserved for Indians’ as per the agreement with the representatives of the Queen from England and Ireland.

Legal and Policy spoke about the claims against Canada. A letter was sent to their Prime Minster Trudeau in July 2020, which outlined that Treaty 2 states there shall be fertile soil to farm the lands. At present, there is less than one percent fertile land. With Canada’s flawed policies and Minister Bennett’s continuously stalled one-way process, litigation is the only option.

Life Long Learning Keeper, Donna Beyer, presented on the LLL draft strategic plan which includes 7 sub-circles: Territorial Education Act/Law, Local Nation Education Acts/Laws, Territorial K-12 Education Centre, Treaty 2 Content Development, Language Revitalization, Culture and Land-Based learning, and the Earth Lodge as its own entity.

There is a draft LLL law that was passed by AA-T2 back in 2014; however, LLL is also working on drafts that anishinaabe’zing the law. One follows the Seven Sacred Teachings, each with its own 4 laws. 28 laws all together. Currently, Peacemaking and CFN are working on their engagement, so LLL hopes to begin soon after.

The Treaty 2 History K-12 Learning Kits are completed. They are currently under graphic design and will be piloted soon. The learning kit will be evolving documents, which can be updated on an annual basis (or more). Each grade level includes a Rationale, Preparing to Teach, Terms to Know, Preparing Students to Learn, Reliable Sources for the Classroom, 20+ Lessons and Activities (based on MB. Ed. Social Studies learning outcomes), and finally a Reference section. The 75 Terms to Know are in all booklets, which will support teachers in conveying the history and content.

Also, the Treaty 2 Storybook, Binenshii, is in its second revision at graphic design. It focuses on the history, territory, and advancement of protecting the Nation.

The strategy of Life Long Learning will surely be a wonderful step in self-determination and advancement of our territory.

The Child, Families and Nation Circle held its two-day Strategic Planning session in Headingly on March 30 & 31 with a traditional opening. A miigwetch was offered to Allen Sutherland for the opening and morning pipe ceremony on the second day.

The agenda covered discussions in methodology and logic model, a communications strategy, S.W.A.T. analysis, a presentation on traditional laws and governance, and strategic directions to be inputted into the CFN Workplan.

A miigwetch was also offered to Chief Norman Bone of Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation for sharing the FNT2T historical timeline that outlined the restoring of jurisdiction for children and families. Chief Bone encouraged the team to move forward and shared that he was encouraged by the vision to unify families and support wellness.

Research will continue by CFN into Anishiinaabe law-making processes. Currently, the CFN draft law contains 10 parts which includes Inherent Rights of the Anishinaabe Child; Promotion of Wellness (which replaces the colonial notion of prevention); Mino Ombigii’aa (which replaces the colonial notion of ‘best interests’); Intervention (which replaces the colonial notion of apprehension); Private Guardianship (to permit prospective guardians to formally apply for legal guardianship of a child, or for anyone, including grandparents, to apply for access to a child); Confidentiality Requirements; Rules of evidence at the Loon and Crane Circle Tribunals; Critical Incident Reporting; Jurisdiction; and finally, Administration.

The Knowledge Council had a great discussion with the Peacemaking Circle today. The Peacemaking Circle has made a lot of progress on Onankonehkawin and finalizing the Peacemaking framework.

The Peacemaking team, in partnership with CFN, have been holding virtual engagement sessions for Local Nations. Engagements will be ongoing until Peacemaking is fully implemented. Peacemaking provides monthly reports to all of the Councils.

The Peacemaking Framework has been finalized and reviewed by the Knowledge, Youth, Women, and Men’s Council. The framework is based on an Anishinaabe Legal Framework, starting with Mino-Bimaadiziwin. The Peacemaking framework is based on the Clan System.

The Peacemaking Governing Circle, appointed by the Governing Circle, has been integrated into the Onankonehkawin. It will serve as the oversight body for the Administration of Peacemaking.

The Seven Circles of Peacemaking (Administration) include Bizhiw (Lynx) Circle, Waawaashkeshi (Deer) Circle, Migizi (Eagle) Circle, Mikinaak (Turtle) Circle, Makwa (Bear) Circle, Mahng (Loon), and Ahjijawk (Crane).

The Peacemaking Onankonehkawin has completed six of the Seven Circles of Peacemaking. Upon approval of the Niigaanii, the Peacemaking Onankonehkawin will be presented to the Governing Council for review. Knowledge Council member Emery Stagg discussed reconciliation and how this will fit into the next steps.

Knowledge Council Chairperson, Louis Malcolm, echoed all the members who were amazed at the work and tasks that each Keeper, Helper and Circles, its Keepers, and Helpers are doing. The updates and dialogue were great, and they help with strengthening for unity as well all work together as a Nation.

Last modified: May 13, 2021

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