Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Chief Barry McKay

Chief Barry McKay Niigaanii

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Chief Barry McKay
Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve

Re: Governing Council Update on Sovereign Implementation of Resolutions (06-12-18/08-07-19/09-03-20) – Portfolio Holder of Care and Protection of the Natural World (CPNW)

Dear Chief Barry McKay,

It is an honour to be writing to you as 2021 gets underway. As a Nation our Anishinaabe style of governing continues to guide our collective efforts to improve the quality life for our peoples. We focus here on Care and Protection of the Natural World – the strategies to defend our rights to our Territorial lands.

While we remain steadfast in respect to calling on both the Government of Canada and Manitoba to honour the Treaty relationship and come to the political circle with frameworks to deal with matters and interests in a positive manner. The Anishinaabe political will is dedicated despite political challenges.  And as Ogemaag we understand that it is in our Anishinaabe constitutional duties to devise, structure and lead our own sovereign and inherent governing way of life.

As you may recall during the December 2020 meeting, some of the Nation-building outcomes identified Chief leads responsible for each of the Nation’s seven circles. Therefore, an overview pertaining to you leading the Care and Protection of the Natural World Circle.


FNT2T’s mandate for the Care and Protection of the Natural World comes from the creator, outlined in our “The Declaration of Collective Rights of the People of Treaty 2 Territory with Respect to Lands and Territory” (The Declaration) and “The Great Binding Law” in Annex B-Term Sheet.

Care and Protection of the Natural World has been obstructed by laws imposed by Canada and the Provinces. Their approach to managing the lands and resources falls outside of “The Great Binding Law”. The Local Nations and FNT2T are implementing “The Declaration” and “The Great Binding Law” in managing the lands and resources in Treaty 2 Territory. There is a magnitude of tasks that need to be carried out in order to reverse, repair, and mitigate the damage to the Natural World since the 1930 NRTA was unilaterally forced upon Local Nations and FNT2T.  It is our mission to move toward the inherent right to govern our traditional lands.

Objectives of Care and Protection of the Natural World:

  • Revitalize, educate and implement Natural Laws to manage the lands, resources and waters in Treaty 2 Territory replacing Canada’s and the Provinces’ laws;
  • Resource development under Natural Laws for the benefit of Local Nations and FNT2T;
  • Land, resource and water protection through shared responsibility and management by Local Nations, FNT2T, Canada and their Provinces;

FNT2T Care and Protection of the Natural World Circle has an overall strategic plan which is :

  • Law development regarding environmental protection, consultation, accommodation and financial administration of land trust;
  • Reviewing the impact of Natural Resource Transfer Act (NRTA) and prepare a response;
  • Development of a communication and engagement strategy;
  • Establishment of a cultural and traditional living strategy;
  • Implementing Local Nations and territorial land use;
  • Developing a Traditional Knowledge and climate change strategy;
  • Implementation of FNT2T Indigenous Guardians program;
  • Development of a youth mentorship land-based program;
  • Continued relationship building with industry to develop and implement impact benefit agreements;
  • Working with the Nation and Economic Development Circle to create an economic development plan; and
  • Establishment of a human resource strategy.

ACTION: It is in the mutual interest of FNT2T and Canada to work together for the care, protection and development of the Natural World. FNT2T is asserting our inherent right to manage the lands of our territory. The Local Nations and FNT2T will enter an Implementation agreement with Canada to collaborate and support the objectives of FNT2T’s Care and Protection of the Natural World.  FNT2T is moving ahead of Implementation of our inherent right in any event.

To conclude, I want to express my sincerest gratitude for the strong and exemplary leadership you continue to demonstrate in this important role in addition to the Chieftainship responsibilities within your Local Nation. Our duties and obligations to serve during these challenging times are to be commended. As we gain momentum, I remain committed to reaching the highest aspirations as the original ancestral government of Mikinaak Minis. Gichi Miigwech. 

Gichi Miigwetch,

Ogichidaa Eugene Eastman
Chief, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi Anishinaabe Nation

Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve

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