Political Update – March 2016
Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee
Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare
2016 is a critical year for the Anishinabek Nation, it is important that we continue to make progress on Anishinabek Nation initiatives.
We have been planning our federal and provincial strategies to take advantage of the favourable political landscape that currently exists. There is an opportunity to move forward on Anishinabek Nation initiatives, it is important that we are prepared for this opportunity. We have extensively developed and advocated the Anishinabek Nation – Ontario Action Plan with the provincial government, which was highlighted by the Anishinabek Nation – Ontario Summit in August 2015.
We are planning our federal approach in preparation for a meeting with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett. There have been internal meetings in preparation for an initial meeting with the Minister. We will be pursuing the renewal of the bi lateral Leadership Table, which has been inactive during the past few years.
It is important that we develop a relationship with both levels of government because many of our initiatives require the cooperation of both levels of government to ensure successful implementation. The two levels of government will be looking at Communities and organizations that have developed plans that are ready to be implemented.
This will be a key year in regards to the Anishinabek Education System. Ratification voting is 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. We are pleased to report that thirty-one Anishinabek First Nations have submitted band council resolutions in support of the Anishinabek Education System.
We are developing the implementation plan for the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being law. The Anishinabek Nation Child Welfare Working Group and sub–committees will continue to address implementation issues. . The next re-drafting session for the AN Child Well-Being Law is scheduled for April 20, 21, 2016 in Fort William First Nation. The effective date of the AN Child Well-Being Law is April 1, 2017. The Working Group has been working diligently on the implementation plan since Grand Council.
The Little NHL celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The tournament is being held in Mississauga, Ontario on March 14 to 17. The theme this year is “45 Years of Fan Appreciation”. The tournament has become a must attend event during the March break. I wish to acknowledge all of the fans and volunteers that have contributed to the success of the Little NHL.
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.
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.
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. 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:
- Numerous meetings on behalf of Anishinabek First Nations
- Political Confederacy Leadership meeting
- Restoration of Jurisdiction Education Ratification sessions
- Child Well-Being Working Group meeting
- Federal Strategy Planning meeting
- Non Insured Health Benefits meeting
- Political Confederacy meeting
- Chiefs of Ontario Health Forum
- Centennial College Aboriginal Outreach Program
- Anishinabek Nation – Ministry of Children and Youth Services Leadership Bi Lateral meeting
- Chiefs of Ontario Board meeting
- Jurisdiction of Child Welfare meeting – Chiefs of Ontario
Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee
Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare