2016 will be a critical year for the Anishinabek Nation, it is important that we continue to make progress on Anishinabek Nation initiatives.
We have developed many initiatives, it is now time for implementation. We cannot be afraid to move forward, our people are waiting for action. We may have to fight for our rights and need to ensure that the federal and provincial governments are aware that we are ready for action. It is important that we continue to assert our jurisdiction. There is plenty of positive activity occurring in Anishinabek territory. We are moving forward in education, child well-being, Anishinabek Nation law development, and constitution development. We intend to focus on implementation activities.
It is important that we support our technical groups. There is a requirement for Leadership to advocate at key meetings. There are numerous technical groups working on important issues within the Anishinabek Nation, these groups require political advocacy and support to further the plans that they are developing.
The political landscape is favourable for moving forward on Anishinabek Nation initiatives. It is important that we are progressively working with the two levels of government during 2016. We are currently developing a comprehensive work plan and strategy, there is a limited time frame to develop and implement this strategy. The Provincial government will be in election mode by next year, the Federal government has made many promises and will have plenty of requests from various other interests. The two levels of government will be looking at Communities and organizations that have developed plans that are ready to go.
We are actively advocating with the newly elected federal government. We had a brief meeting with Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs during the AFN Assembly. Minister Bennett committed to a follow up meeting. We are working with staff from their department to schedule this meeting. The mandate letter issued by Prime Minister Trudeau identified that no relationship is more important to him and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We have a bi lateral Leadership Table protocol with the federal government that has been inactive, we will be seeking to reactivate this process. Many of our initiatives require the cooperation of both levels of government to ensure successful implementation.
We have Leadership Table protocols with Aboriginal Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. We are currently planning future meetings with each of these Ministries.
This will be a key year in regards to the Anishinabek Education System. Ratification votes are scheduled for November 2016. The Restoration of Jurisdiction Department has planned Education Ratification Information Sessions throughout the territory. I would encourage all Anishinabek Nation citizens to attend the information sessions in their community. Keep checking www.sayyestoaes.ca for regional and community ratification information sessions.
Deputy Grand Chief and I regularly attend meetings in Anishinabek communities. We have visited all of our communities during the last year. If you would like to schedule us for events or meetings in your community please contact Lynn Bowerman, Executive Liaison, who manages our travel schedule.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is in the Pre-Inquiry Engagement Phase. The Anishinabek Nation has been actively encouraging an inquiry and will continue to support the Inquiry moving forward. An inquiry will bring some closure for families of our murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
It is an exciting time in Anishinabek territory, there are many initiatives in progress at this time. We are ready to exercise our jurisdiction, move forward, and show our strength as a Nation. I have spoken frequently of the requirement to implement our initiatives, I believe that 2016 will be a successful year for the Anishinabek Nation.
We have attended the following meetings recently:
- Aboriginal Ontario Resource Management Council
- Northern Superior Regional Tour
- Lake Huron Chiefs planning session
- Political Confederacy meeting
- Anishinabek Health Conference
- Ontario Pre Budget Consultation submission
- Strategic planning meeting
- Kenjgewin Teg session “ Timing is Everything “
- Jurisdiction on Child Welfare meeting – Chiefs of Ontario
- Anishinabek Nation – MNDM engagement session – Mining
- Numerous meetings on behalf or with Anishinabek First Nation Leadership
Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee
Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare