nfn-constit_0535Submitted by Arnold May

– Let’s get out from under the control of the Indian Act.

– We have a Chi-Naaknigewin (Constitution).

– We are moving towards Self Government.

– It is a tool to help Anishinaabe people take control of their own lives.

– It is the foundation for the future development of new laws.

– It makes our leadership accountable.

– We will define who our people are “E-Dbendaagzijig” those who belong.

– We have many Chi-Naaknigewins in place and others pending.

– What does this really mean?

Canada said that if we are to move towards self government we must have a Constitution. It will confirm our rights, responsibilities and freedoms of First Nation’s people.

The Anishinabek Nation’s Constitution (Union of Ontario Indians) was passed by the Chiefs in Assembly over 4 years ago. My home Community ratified it’s Constitution alomost 3 years ago. What’s happening with these?

The Nation’s Chi-Naaknigewin (Constitution) The Great Law has a draft citizenship law. This law says that if you have one parent who is status then you would be entitled to be an Anishinabek citizen (you belong). It also goes on to say that if you are a citizen of one of its member communities under their law then you are also a citizen of the Nation.

This law has been in draft for a few years. Other Nations will draft their own law. Criteria and entitlements are yet to established.

“E-Dbendaagzijig” – Those who Belong. ‘Anishinabek Nation Citizenship Law’

Citizenship is not a word in our language nor is Constitution.