July 6, 2021
Treaty 2 Territory – There has been exciting work and activities undertaken within the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory, Health and Wellbeing Circle. This includes developing strategic documents, an opportunity to speak with the Women’s Council and beginning to dialogue with the 11 Local Nation Health Directors.
This important work will help to guide the process and next steps to develop a Health and Wellbeing – Mino Bimaadiziiwin Law and Framework that will promote the good life in Treaty 2 territory. The ancestral and inherent rights to sovereignty and self-determination over health and wellbeing will be entrenched in the Law for Local Nations to use and adapt as they see envision.
At the June 16th Women’s Council meeting there was a decision for a special meeting on health and wellbeing on Thursday, July 8th and the Keeper has been working hard to prepare for this important meeting. The goal of this meeting is to provide an update on current activities of the Health and Wellbeing Circle and most importantly to hear what the Women’s Council members envision what health and wellbeing should be and what the health and wellbeing law could look like if Treaty 2 was fulfilled by Canada.
The Health and Wellbeing Circle is also planning a virtual open session with the Health Directors of the 11 Local Nations to help inform the law development process and law. The Health Directors have the expertise and understanding of the community needs and what the solutions are to restore health and the health system. This virtual session is planned for July 28th and the Keeper is looking forward to the discussion ahead. Invitations will be sent out by the end of this week or next.
The meetings with the Women’s Council and the Local Health Directors are just the beginning of engagement with Local Nations leadership, health experts and the citizens of Treaty 2 Territory.
Other activities and work in development include:
- Finalize Strategic Workplan and Budget to seek federal funding
- Finalize Terms of Reference for the Circle
- Continue to participate in meetings with the Councils and Canada
- Waiting on Minister Marc’s Millar to a follow-up letter to begin health specific discussions on the law development and the co-development of Indigenous health legislation
- Implement the community engagement plan
- Continue research and drafting the Health and Wellbeing Law Framework
- Prepare for the August Grand Council Gathering: including a resolution providing the mandate on the work ahead for the law development process.
- Establish a Health Experts Sub-circle
- Establish a Natural and Traditional Knowledge Keepers Sub-circle
- Continue to participate and contribute to the Peacemaking – MMIWG2SL+ Sub circle
One highlight of the work so far for the Keeper was to visit Treaty 2 territory land with the Policy Lead Keeper to have a berry ceremony to help guide the work ahead in beginning to start the law framework. Due to COVID-19, it was a very small and intimate ceremony. The Keeper looks forward to more ceremonies, working with Earth lodge and visiting other Knowledge Keepers as work proceeds on the law development.
It is hoped that this strategic work and engagement will achieve the end goal to help and support the work that the Local Nations have worked tirelessly over the decades to attain the good life – Mino Bimaadiziiwin. It is time to fundamentally change the way heath is delivered and funded for the Treaty 2 territory, and to optimize the health and wellbeing of citizens in the Nation. The Anishinaabe laws will inform policy development, address racism, promote healing, end colonialism, deign of health systems, accountability, and most importantly, live well.
Health and Wellbeing Circle Keeper
Last modified: July 6, 2021