Anishinaabe - Cree - Dakota - Nakoda Nations

Media Release: Dauphin Correctional Centre Closure

February 4, 2020

Treaty 2 Territory – The Anishinaabe peoples have occupied these territories since time immemorial. They had their own justice system prior to colonial systems being imposed. The Government of First Nations of Treaty 2 Territory (FNT2T) are taken aback that the Government of Manitoba made a decision regarding the closure of the Dauphin Correctional Centre without consultation as this is a decision that impacts our people.

“The current justice system and jails do not correspond with the values of our ancestors; however, it is a system that affects us therefore we believe that we should take part in such a decision. Nothing about us, without us” Grand Chief Eastman, Chief O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi.

In 2010, Canada formally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal… institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State” (Article 5). “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples…to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measure that may affect them” (Article 19). Further, the 94 Calls To Action affirms that the treaty relationship must be renewed based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining good relationships for the future (45iii).

“Dauphin is at the heart of Treaty 2 Territory and it is the second largest city in our territory; therefore, closure of the Dauphin Correctional Centre will disturb the economy and displace families in the territory. A relocation will also impact the mental and emotional health of many under rehabilitation” Grand Chief Eastman, Chief O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi.

The Government of First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory are working to revitalize our system of justice.

“We are in the process of finalizing the Administration of Justice with the Crown. We are preparing to initiate a Wellbeing Facility in Dauphin and within our Local Nations. And we are in support of the meetings and rallies occurring.  We need to support the families that are being affected” Chief Cameron Catcheway, Justice and Peacekeeping.

It was said at the last SCO gathering by the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs that the Manitoba government is working with our First Nations—we believe this to be inaccurate.

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For further information please contact: Ray Mousseau, Communication Keeper 204.638.3797 Ext 1002 Email ray.mousseau@fnt2t.com.

Last modified: February 7, 2020

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