Canada and Anishinabek First Nations sign historic self-government agreement

OTTAWA (ON), April 6, 2022 /CNW/ – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Anishinabek Nation

The government of Canada works with 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.

Today, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined the Chief of the Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation Reg NiganobeChief Lloyd Myke of Magnetawan First Nation, Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett of Moose Deer Point First Nation, Chief Scott McLeod of the Nipissing First Nation, Chief larry roque of the Wahnapitae First Nation and Chief Irene Kels of the Zhiibaahaasing First Nation in a virtual ceremony to celebrate the signing of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement.

the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and marks an important step away from the Indian Act for the signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

Obtained after more than 20 years of negotiations, this historic agreement will recognize 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. Once in force, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to signatory Anishinabek First Nations.


“Congratulations to the Anishinabek leadership and all those who worked so long at the negotiating table and through community outreach to bring this historic Agreement to life. This Agreement will help revitalize traditional Anishinaabe governance and renew our nation-to-nation relationship with the signatory. Anishinabek First Nations. We look forward to continuing to work with our Anishinabek partners on all of our shared priorities, implementing their inherent right to self-determination, and supporting their inspiring visions of a better future for their citizens.

The Honorable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Congratulations to the First Nations who signed the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and salute the hard work, dedication and perseverance of those involved in reaching this historic moment. The Governance Agreement is another instrument we have to implement Anishinaabe inherent jurisdictions and laws in fundamental areas that are the pillars of our First Nations governments: citizenship, language and culture, and how we select our leaders and are accountable to their citizens. The new government-to-government fiscal transfer removes these First Nations from these particular limitations of the Indian Act and helps these First Nations determine their respective priorities.

Head of the Grand Council Reg Niganobe
Anishinabek Nation

“Anishinaabe governance is the legacy that E’dbendaagzijig will leave today for future generations: the ability to govern ourselves and determine what is best for our community. This will be achieved through a community-based law-making process — relevant and unique to Moose deer tip.”

Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett
Moose Deer Point First Nation

“For the Wahnapitae First Nation, the signing of this agreement is another milestone on a very long journey, a journey our members have traveled since the Creator placed the Anishinaabe on Mother Earth. With the momentum of one step, we take the next, and we do so with the knowledge and wisdom of our people who carry us all forward. Today, we are very happy to continue this journey as we seek to exercise our inherent right of self-government.

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. This is a positive step towards autonomy. »

Chief Scott McLeod
Nipissing First Nation

“Magnetawan Anishinabek governance is the next step in exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves and position our community and members in creating our supreme laws.”

Chief Lloyd Myke
Magnetawan First Nation

“This deal is one for our history books. It will help us build new relationships within our community. We need to keep the Anishinaabemowin alive so we can connect with our environment and be proud of who we are.

Chief Irene Kels
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.

  • Now that the Accord is signed, the next step is federal legislation to put the Accord into effect.

  • Signatory First Nations (which make up the Anishinabek Nation government) will also be required to pass their own Anishinabek 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.

  • This is not the first self-government agreement negotiated with the Anishinabek Nation. In 2018, the parties reached an Education Self-Government Agreement which is now in effect for 23 Anishinabek First Nations in Ontario.

Related links

Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement

Anishinabek Nation


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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada


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Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera