Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee and Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare July political update
The Political Office is looking forward to working on the new mandate that we received at Grand Council in Curve Lake First Nation. There is much work to do and we are looking forward to continue serving the Anishinabek Nation. We thank Curve Lake First Nation for hosting the 2015 Grand Council.
There were important resolutions passed at Grand Councils. The Union of Ontario Indians staff are developing work plans for the Grand Council resolutions. Implementing these resolutions will be our priority moving forward.
The draft Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law was approved in principle. The resolution directs that the draft Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law be brought to a vote for ratification prior to April 1, 2017. Implementation issues will be addressed and amendments will be made as required up to April 1, 2017. The strategic plan for the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law resolution was also passed at Grand Council.
The Anishinabek Nation has been engaged in education self-government negotiations with Canada for over 20 years to secure Canada’s recognition of First Nation jurisdiction. This year marks the completion of the negotiations with Canada and the start of the First Nation decision-making process on those negotiated arrangements. We are pleased to report that eighteen Anishinabek First Nations have passed Band Council Resolutions approving the initialling of the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement.
The Anishinabek Nation has developed draft laws in consultation with Anishinabek First Nations in the areas of matrimonial real property and Anishinabek citizenship. I encourage the Anishinabek First Nations to review these draft laws and consider adopting these laws in consultation with your community. We are under constant threat of federal legislation in areas where we have not developed our own laws. Implementation of our own laws is a significant amount of work; however, it is worth the effort. A resolution referring to the implementation of Anishinabek Nation Laws was passed at Grand Council.
The education negotiations, the ratification of community constitutions, and the development of Anishinabek Nation laws are excellent examples of how the Anishinabek Nation First Nations are asserting their jurisdiction.
Regional elections were also conducted leading up to and at Grand Council. We look forward to working with the Elders, Regional Chiefs, and Board members of the four regions. A Leadership Council is being planned for later this month, the portfolio holders will be determined at this meeting.
The Anishinabek Nation Ontario Summit has been confirmed for August 26, 2015 at Fort William First Nation. Planning is underway for this important Summit with Premier Wynne and several Ontario Cabinet Ministers. The summit is an opportunity to work with the Premier and Cabinet Ministers to move forward on key Anishinabek Nation initiatives. We will provide further details as the plans are developed.
We participated in several Leadership Table meetings with Ontario Cabinet Ministers recently. These tables are an opportunity to discuss and resolve Anishinabek Nation issues directly with the appropriate Cabinet Ministers. We held Leadership Table meetings with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines during the month of May.
The Political Confederacy has been developing a work plan to develop a new relationship with the government of Ontario. We have been extensively involved in developing this work plan. The Political Accord was adopted at the All Ontario Chiefs Conference on June 17, 2015. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer also attended the conference to address the Chiefs in Assembly and on behalf of Ontario accepted the Accord as a political commitment to work together.
The Anishinabek Educational Institute graduated thirty-two students at their annual convocation on June 27, 2015. The students graduated in the areas of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Business, and Native Early Childhood Education. We extend our congratulations to all of the graduating students.
I hold the Health Portfolio for the Chiefs of Ontario and I have actively participated in many important meetings and events in this position. This position provides me with an opportunity to successfully advocate for many important health issues on behalf of Anishinabek and Ontario First Nations. I have met with Health Minister Rona Ambrose recently to discuss health issues.
Deputy Grand Council Hare has been appointed as the Chair of the Ontario First Nation Housing Steering Committee. The Committee is mandated to protect and maintain Aboriginal and Treaty Rights to housing, provide technical and political advice, recommendations and strategies to the Regional Chief, Chiefs of Ontario Political Confederacy and Chiefs-in-Assembly on all matters pertaining to First Nations housing related issues. He has served on the Committee for the past six years and he looks forward to continue working on the Committee as the Chair.
Deputy Grand Chief and I enjoy travelling to Anishinabek communities. We have visited all of our communities during the last year. If you would like to schedule us for events in your community please contact Lynn Bowerman, Executive Liaison, who manages our travel schedule.
We have attended the following events recently:
- Grand Council
- All Ontario Chiefs Conference
- Political Confederacy meetings
- Leadership Council meeting
- Chiefs Committee on the Economy meeting
- Chiefs Committee on Governance meeting
- Northern Superior Chiefs meeting
- Meetings with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
- Meeting with the Minister of Transportation
- Meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Meeting with the Minister of Northern Development and Mines
- Anishinabek Educational Institute Graduation
- Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute Graduation
- Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity golf tournament
- Ontario First Nations Steering Committee on Housing meeting
- Ontario First Nation Limited Partnership Annual General Meeting
- Meeting with the Association of the Municipalities Ontario Executive
- Numerous meetings on behalf or with Anishinabek First Nation leadership
Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee
Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare