Treaty 2 Territory – As the Peacemaking Onankonehkawin evolves, I have started to notice the methodologies and concepts in Peacemaking are closely connected the land. We often hear the Elders state, “We need to go back to the land!” and I am conceptualizing how Peacemaking is interconnected to the land. As we continue to research and speak to Knowledge Keepers, I learned that strong Anishinaabe governing systems were connected to the land! Thus, Peacemaking’s structure, legal framework, and the seven circles must be based on land-based teachings. Land-based teachings that promote peace, balance, harmony, and natural order which was essential for survival and Mino-Bimaadiziwin.
Peacemaking, unlike the western hierarchy system, is based on circle processes and natural laws. From the cosmos to a baby in the womb, the land teaches that everything in the universe moves in a cycle. Peacemaking is structured in circle which is very different from the western hierarchy system that is based on a triangle. This hierarchy system is based on Social Darwinism is based on a hierarchy system that promotes patriarchy, competition, and survival of the fittest. Unlike the western system, Peacemaking processes are based on the land’s natural laws of natural order, peace, harmony, and balance.
The Peacemaking Law is based on an Anishinaabe legal framework that includes spiritual, natural, customary, and human laws. The current western system, based entirely on human laws and rule of law, fails to recognize the spiritual and natural laws. For example, karma is not recognized in the western system but is a teaching of natural order in the Anishinaabe culture. Just like the universe, there is negative and positive energy, and what you put out comes back. Restoring the natural laws identified in the Peacemaking framework will eventually lead to Mino-Bimaadiziwin for future generations.
In addition, the Seven Circles of Peacemaking are based on animals that teaches us how to survive and live-in harmony. The animals have been our teaches for centuries and they are represented in the Peacemaking circles. For example, the bear teaches us courage and the mother bear will do anything to save her cubs. Therefore, the Bear Circle will be the protectors and peacekeepers for the Nation. Each one of the seven circles of Peacemaking is associated with the skills and teachings of an animal.
In conclusion, as we move forward with Peacemaking, I am hopeful we will restore the circle processes and the natural laws taught by the land that leads to Mino-Bimaadiziwin. First Nation governing systems, based on land-based teachings, were so brilliant that even Albert Einstein asked for advice.
Submitted By: Chantell Barker, Operations Keeper, Peacemaking
Last modified: June 1, 2021