By Jon Cada
PAYS PLAT FIRST NATION — Constitution Development and Traditional Governance were among topics discussed at the July 25, 2013 Restoration of Jurisdiction department’s Community Engagement Session in Pays Plat First Nation.
“We need to keep our youth informed of these processes and we need to show them what to do so they know what needs to be done,” said Pays Plat First Nation councillor Raymond Goodchild.
The event brought in 35 participants during Pays Plat First Nation’s Cultural Week. Participants questioned what would happen to the First Nation communities that had not yet developed a constitution.
“We work as one nation,” said ROJ Communications and Policy Analyst, Mary Laronde, “We are here to assist them (First Nations) in anything they need. We need to help each other.”
Talon, a youth from Thunder Bay, noted, “Youth from reservations are not equipped. They must travel and they cannot bring their family. They learn a lot on their own and it’s such a high-impact change.” Talon travelled to the event with a Thunder Bay Youth group. “I didn’t learn much about First Nations people in school. Are you going to make changes in the public school system?”
Grand Council Elder Gordon Waindubence promoted the traditional governance structure by delivering the Dodemaag teachings.
Elder Waindubence explained to participants the traditional election process for choosing leaders in the community and how leadership is earned through respect and humility. “We must move forward.”
For more information on the Community Engagement Strategy sessions please visit www.anishinabek.ca/roj
To get involved with Anishinabek Nation youth, please visit our Anishinabek Nation youth Facebook page.