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Canada and Anishinabek First Nations Commemorate Historic Milestone of Self-Government Agreement

Canada and the Anishinabek First Nations commemorate a historic milestone with an in-person ceremony to celebrate the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, which entered into force today. From left to right: Reg Niganobe, Chief of the Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett of the Moose Deer Point First Nation, Chief Lloyd Myke of the Magnetawan First Nation, Deputy Chief Michael Sawyer of Nipissing First Nation, Chief Irene Kells of Zhiibaahaasing First Nation and Chief Larry Roque of Wahnapitae First Nation. – Photo by Ryan Peplinskie

ANISHINABEK NATION HEADQUARTERS (October 1, 2022) — Today, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe, Magnetawan First Nation Chief Lloyd Myke at Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett of Moose Deer Point First Nation, Chief Scott McLeod of Nipissing First Nation, Chief Larry Roque of Wahnapitae First Nation and Chief Irene Kells of Zhiibaahaasing First Nation during an in-person ceremony to celebrate the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, which entered into force today. This celebration is an opportunity for the parties to commemorate the signing of the Agreement, which took place in a virtual ceremony earlier this year.

The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario. It marks an important step for the signatory Anishinabek First Nations, since the parties of the Indian Act regarding governance will no longer apply.

Obtained after approximately 25 years of negotiations, this historic agreement recognizes Anishinabek control over the governance and law-making powers of signatory First Nations in key areas. First Nations will make their own decisions about how their elections will be held, who their citizens are and how their governments will operate, and how best to protect and promote Anishinaabe language and culture.

The Government of Canada is working with its First Nations partners to restore respectful nation-to-nation relationships, recognize their inherent right to self-determination, and support communities as they emerge from the grip Indian Act and the transition to self-government.

Quotation

“I am honored to take part in today’s celebration with leaders, Elders, youth and members of the Anishinabek community to mark this important milestone in the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement. This is an important step away from the Indian Act for the signatory Anishinabek First Nations to implement their right to self-determination and their visions of a better future for their communities. – The Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Today marks an important milestone in the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act. We are honored to be here with the B’Maakonigan communities and the Honorable Marc Miller to commemorate this unprecedented occasion. We share the collective enthusiasm for the vast potential this new agreement will create for these signatory communities. – Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe, Anishinabek Nation

“Our community at Moose Deer Point First Nation is excited about the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act. Our self-determination to govern in our own way and to have Canada respect our sovereignty is a positive step towards meaningful reconciliation. – Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett, Moose Deer Point First Nation

“We express our appreciation for this next step towards the implementation of the Agreement. We will be able to provide our citizens with approaches and efficiencies in resource distribution that we were unable to provide before and serve our community as we always intended. – Chief Larry Roque, Wahnapitae First Nation

“As our nations strive to reclaim our rightful jurisdictions over our own governance, the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement provides us with a tool to opt out of sections of the Indian Act, enabling us to govern and protect our elections, language and culture, citizenship, management and operations. It is a positive step towards self-government. – Chief Scott McLeod, Nipissing First Nation

“Magnetawan Anishinabek governance is the next step in exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves and to position our community and our members in the creation of our supreme laws. – Chief Lloyd Myke, Magnetawan First Nation

“This deal is one for our history books. This will help us build new relationships within our community. We need to keep the Anishinaabemowin alive to connect with our environment and be proud of who we are. – Chief Irene Kells, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation

Fast facts

  • Self-government negotiations with the Anishinabek Nation on governance began in 1995, resulted in an agreement-in-principle in 2007 and concluded in 2019.
  • Over the past two years, the Agreement has been approved by the citizens of each signatory First Nation through a community vote.
  • This follows extensive community outreach during this period as well as engagement with Anishinabek citizens during negotiations.
  • The agreement was signed by the parties in April 2022 and federal legislation to bring the agreement into force received Royal Assent on June 23, 2022. The effective date of the agreement is October 1, 2022 .
  • As a next step, the signatory First Nations (which make up the Anishinabek Nation government) will pass their own laws to create and manage their new system of governance.
  • This work will be supported by increased funding to First Nations to fulfill their new responsibilities and invest in community priorities for a better future.
  • In April 2022, the signatory First Nations determined the new name of the central governing body, B’Maakonigan (Anishinabek Nation Government).
  • This is not the first self-government agreement negotiated with the Anishinabek Nation. In 2018, the parties reached an education self-government agreement that is now in effect for 23 Anishinabek First Nations in Ontario.

Related links

About Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement

Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement

Anishinabek Nation

Self-government (in Canada)

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For further information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Communications Director
Office of the Honorable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
[email protected]

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
[email protected]

Laura Barrios
Communications Coordinator
Anishinabek Nation
705-498-1957
[email protected]

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera