Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Daabandaagoziiwin Onankonehkawinan – Citizenship Law Development

July 27, 2022

Treaty 2 Territory – Preparing for Grand Council Engagement and update on the Daabandaagoziiwin Onankonehkawinan – Citizenship Law Development

Since time immemorial, the ancestors of the Anishinaabek had sophisticated legal and political societies that nurtured a sense of belonging.  Members/citizens had balanced roles, rights, and obligations that were interdependent on relations with each other.  Genocidal and colonial legislation and policies through the Indian Act legally restructured and took away the Anishinaabek’s sovereignty and inherent rights to define and identify their own citizens.

The Governing Council of Treaty 2 Territory have passed resolutions to develop a Daabandaagoziiwin Onankonehkawinan – Citizenship Law that will reclaim sovereignty over citizenship authority and administration.  Of note is Resolution 2020-09-03-001 directing Treaty 2 Territory Government to work with Local Nations to harmonize their laws with the Treaty 2 Territory Citizenship Law.

The Intergovernmental Circle is preparing for the Grand Council gathering that will be held in Kakakwekejeong/ Ebb and Flow First Nation on August 23 to August 24, 2022.  A progress update will be provided to the Grand Council regarding the citizenship law development and begin the engagement process with the Grand Council and members of Treaty 2 Territory.  The timeline to complete the citizenship law is prior to next year’s Grand Council gathering for review and ratification.

Feedback from the engagement process will be reflected into the draft law. This will ensure that the law reflects inherent knowledge, distinct Anishinaabe values and legal principles to promote a “sense of belonging”, protect rights and benefits, and reclaim jurisdiction over citizenship. This engagement process is meant to protect and enshrine Anishinaabe identity and practices to determine who is a citizen.

 Engagement Questions

These questions will be posed to the Grand Council at the August 23-24, 2022 gathering:

  1. What dialogue or teachings do you remember or recall from your Elders and/or Knowledge Keepers on what citizenship meant as an Anishinaabe member? How has it changed?
  2. How do we reclaim and restore our citizenship sovereignty?
  3. How and who do we engage with to develop the citizenship law?
  4. How do we protect and access our Treaty, status, and inherent rights for both on and off-reserve Citizens?

The Intergovernmental Circle looks forward to hearing from Treaty 2 Territory leaders and members and drafting the Daabandaagoziiwin Onankonehkawinan over the next year.

Registration for the Grand Council and Treaty Gathering can be be done at

Submitted by:  Kim McPherson, Intergovernmental Policy Keeper

Last modified: July 29, 2022

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