Chief Norman Bone
Chief Norman Bone Niigaanii
Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Chief Norman Bone
Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation
Re: Governing Council Update on Sovereign Implementation of Resolutions (06-12-18/08-07-19/09-03-20)
Dear Chief Norman Bone,
It is an honour to be writing to you as 2021 gets well 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 Children, Families and Nation – 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 Children, Families and Nation Circle.
CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND NATION
Our children are sacred and are born with Inherent Rights. They are the center of the circle of life. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure children are nurtured and protected so that they can be balanced and healthy while carrying out their life purpose.
It is estimated 4,500 children from the Treaty 2 Territory are currently separated from their families and/or Local Nation. The current situation is a result of sustained systemic colonization practices by Canada. Canada delegated responsibility for child and family services to the Provinces for our children without our consent. The impact on families and Local Nations is beyond crisis proportions. Under the current system child and family services has become a lucrative business.
The current Provincial child and family services model is an apprehension-based funding model which:
- violates the rights of children and parents;
- negatively impacts the collective Local Nations;
- scrutinizes and lacks support for kinship care;
- provides more rights to foster parents then natural parents;
- separates families; and
- results in:
- perpetual Provincial child and family services involvement;
- aging out;
- gangs and gang related activities;
- neglect; and
Child apprehension and separation from family must be eliminated. The inherent jurisdiction, the creator given right to look after our family, always sits with the Local Nations to ensure the child remains in a safe environment within the Local Nation.
FNT2T is assisting Local Nations with restoring jurisdiction over their children and families in a culturally appropriate manner that enhances the preservation of identity, culture, language, and ways of being. FNT2T will work with all current agencies and governments to ensure that the child’s well-being is the priority in any arrangement or transition.
Objectives of the Children, Families and Nation Circle:
- Assist Local Nations and Local Nation Membership to establish effective support including advocacy and system navigation
- Assist with the restoration, transition and implementation of Local Nations’ and FNT2T’s laws and infrastructure
- Replace the existing child welfare system through the creation of wellbeing centres
- Elimination of child apprehension and separation from family, Local Nations and the Treaty 2 Territory
- Assist Local Nations with structural development
- Assist Local Nations with capacity development
- Establish relationships and agreements with other governments and agencies
- Assist with the improvement of wellbeing of all Local Nation Membership
As we carry out the objectives in restoring our wellbeing ancestral history and laws will be pursued.
FNT2T gave notice to Canada on 23 March 2020, seeking to take over child and family services for the Local Nations under An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families (C-92). The work plan seeks to replace the entire Provincial child welfare system, Canada and its provinces have until 24 March 2021 to agree on an coordination agreement.
FNT2T Children, Families and Nation Circle has an overall strategic plan which is:
- Taking control of child and family services;
- Children, Families and Nation law;
- Engagement sessions on law development;
- Engaging Canada and the Provinces for a coordination and acknowledgement agreement in applying C-92; and
- Establishment of Wellbeing Centres in Local Nations and in the Treaty 2 Territory.
ACTION: The Local Nations and FNT2T will enter into an Implementation and coordination agreement with Canada to collaborate and support the objectives of FNT2T’s Children, Families and Nation Circle.
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
- Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation
- Interview with Chief Bone Feb 22, 2019
- Chief Bone reelected April 9, 2019
- Tipi Talks with Chief Bone – Sept 11, 2019
- Tipi Talks with Chief Bone – Nov 9, 2019
- Moving our Nation forward with Treaty Implementation and Nation Development Jan 31, 2020