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Self government

Canada and the Anishinabek Nation sign historic self-government agreement

The federal government has signed a historic self-government agreement with the Anishinabek Nation.

The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and focuses on recognizing the inherent right of First Nations to self-determination as they transition to self-government.

Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe and several First Nations Chiefs, including Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

“Congratulations to the First Nations who signed the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and I salute all the hard work, dedication and perseverance of those involved in achieving this historic moment,” said Niganobe. “The Governance Accord 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 agreement was reached after more than 20 years of negotiations and recognizes Anishinabek control over governance and legislative powers in key areas, including the conduct of elections, the functioning of their governments, as well as language protection. and Anishinaabe culture.

“As our nations strive to reclaim our rightful jurisdiction over our own governance, the Anishinabek Nation Governance Accord provides us with a tool to opt out of sections of the Indian Act, allowing us to govern and protect our elections, our language and culture, our citizenship, and management and operations,” says McLeod. “This is a positive step towards self-government.”

Once in effect, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera