The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is one step closer to becoming a reality for its member First Nations throughout Ontario.
On Friday, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett joined Anishinabek Nation leadership at the Delta Waterfront to initial the proposed agreement and officially launch the community approval process for the agreement.
If ratified, the agreement would recognize Anishinabek law-making powers and authority over how its member First Nations are governed going forward.
“Today is truly a remarkable day [for] Anishinaabe and the history of the Anishinaabe nation as we officially mark the completion of the Anishinaabe governance agreement before us here,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare. “It all began more than 20 years ago with the signing of the governance negotiations framework agreement in 1998, and the agreement-in-principle in 2007.”
“Here we are in 2019 with the final draft of the agreement that marks another step towards our self-determination.”
The Anishinabek Nation says that 20 First Nations in Ontario have committed to holding a community vote on the proposed agreement - an agreement which would grant authority for member First Nations to make decisions on leadership selection, citizenship government operations and methods of promoting and protecting Anishinaabe language and culture.
“I think the prime minister is very proud of what we’ve been able to do together, and Canada is benefitting from all of your hard work as you set an example for pour country,” Bennett said.
Anishinabek First Nations will hold a ratification vote on the governance agreement between Feb. 1 and Feb. 29 of next year.