By Faye Sabourin
KETTLE & STONY POINT FN – Chief Thomas Bressette and council approved the final draft of their First Nation’s Constitution on May 21st, concluding work by a committee that began in 2005.
“I am very pleased to see community involvement,” said Anishinabek Leadership Council Elder Gordon Waindubence, who attended a community meeting and feast where the final draft constitution was presented by committee members Ron George, Lorraine George, Deb Milliken, Georgina Bressette and Connie Milliken to 115 participants.
Elder Waindubence had been invited to speak on the language component of the draft constitution and provided an interpretation on the “Ngo Dwe Waangizid – One Anishinaabe Family”, considered the preamble to the Anishinabek Nation Chi-Naaknigewin (Constitution).
The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point Constitution Committee obtained community input through a youth focus group, seniors focus group, the formation of sub-committees including youth representatives, community meetings and community questionnaires.
Support for the committee’s work was provided by lawyer Martin Bayer, chief negotiator for the Anishinabek Nation Restoration of Jurisdiction project, and legal counsel and ROJ education negotiator Tracey O’Donnell, who provided a community presentation on the Anishinabek Nation Chi-Naaknigewin.
Next steps will include hosting more community information sessions and increasing promotion of the Constitution. The committee is hopeful that a ratification vote will be scheduled before the end of 2013.
Current committee members are Ron George, Chair, Yvonne (Bonnie) Bressette, Councillor, Lorraine George, First Nation Manager, Deb Milliken, Georgina Bressette, and Connie Milliken. Other persons also involved over the years include Jonathan George, Sharman Bressette, Mark French, Sharon Bressette, Gale George Sr., Barry Milliken, Josh Milliken, Megan Rumford, Nicole Shawnoo and Stacy Rumford.
For more information on constitution development contact Special Projects Coordinator, Faye Sabourin at 1-877-702-5200.