Chief Garnet Woodhouse
Chief Garnet Woodhouse Niigaanii
Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Chief Garnet Woodhouse
Pinaymootang Anishinaabe Nation
Re: Governing Council Update on Sovereign Implementation of Resolutions (06-12-18/08-07-19/09-03-20)
Dear Chief Garnet Woodhouse,
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 Health and Wellbeing – the strategies to defend our rights to our Territorial lands.
While we remain steady to call on both the Government of Canada and Manitoba to honour the Treaty relationship and come to the political circle with appropriate frameworks to deal with matters and interests. The Anishinaabe political will is palpable despite some of the political impasses. 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 Health and Wellbeing Circle.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Health and Wellbeing means balance of the mind, body and spirit.
The Anishinaabeg enjoyed their ancestral way of life prior to settler contact. Our ancestral diet and active way of life brought balance of mind, body and spirit. Natural Laws were in place for protection and preservation of good health. Achieving the good life, minoo-bi-maadiziiwin, was based on environmentally balanced way of living through seasonal access to lands, resources and water.
Local Nations and family systems are damaged and fractured today due to acts of colonization and assimilation by Canada. Canada has apologized for the harm and trauma of residential schools and is committed to making amends for past wrongs to the Indian Day Schools survivors. Reparations continue to seek reconciliation with the survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
The Local Nation Members and Local Nations are still recovering and coping with displacement, poverty, lack of food security, crowded living conditions, addiction, violence, MMIWGT, lack of potable water, discrimination and lack of access to health and wellbeing services. FNT2T is assisting the Local Nations with restoration of health and wellbeing.
Objectives of Health and Wellbeing:
- Ancestral law development
- Practicing and protecting the use of traditional medicine
- Practicing and protecting traditional healing practices
- FNT2T and Local Nation engagement
- Equitable standards of living to other Canadians
- Establishing agreements
- Cultural and language restoration
- Bridging the gap between belief systems
- Respecting diversity
- Unifying Local Nations and FNT2T through sports and recreation
FNT2T Health and Wellbeing Circle has an overall strategic plan which is:
- Creation of a Health and Wellbeing Circle;
- Building a work plan and strategic plan;
- Implementing a communications plan including engaging Local Nation Members; and
- Bridging the gap between FNT2T, Local Nations and service providers on the transformation and transition to a unified governance structure.
ACTION: We invite Canada and its Provinces through our treaty relationship to uphold the honour of the Crown and support our Inherent Rights in restoring our health and wellbeing equal to that enjoyed by their Canadians. The Local Nations and FNT2T will agree to enter into an Implementation agreement with Canada to collaborate and support the objectives of FNT2T’s health and wellbeing.
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.
Ogichidaa Eugene Eastman
Chief, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi Anishinaabe Nation