Anishinaabe - Cree - Dakota - Nakoda Nations

FNT2T Knowledge Council vital in reclaiming positive governance

February 14, 2020

Treaty 2 Territory – The Knowledge Council continues their quest as a spoke in the wheel of rebuilding The Nation through positive governance. The council has been very consistent serving as foundation for our governance and law-making process.

Our Knowledge Keepers/Holders met at the Government Building in Dauphin recently. Their goal was to advance discussions and planning with the Administration of Justice, the newly formed Speaker’s Bureau, the Anishinaabe Law and Mediation process, and accreditation. The council will also be participating at the Winter Games 2020 in Pinaymootang 26-29 February.

The council contributed their knowledge to a presentation on the FNT2T Government structure and administration which was based on the 2019_08_07_001_Resolution Transformation on FNT2T Governance moved by Chief Garnett Woodhouse, Pinaymootang First Nation, seconded by Chief Cornell Mclean, Lake Manitoba First Nation and signed by the Governing Council of the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory on 7th day of August, 2019.

Many positive changes have happened since this resolution was passed and good things will continue to happen.  We continue to work positively on staff unity, workplans, and timelines.

The time spent on Administration of Justice focused on the council’s involvement in next steps and engaging members in planning.  The Administration of Justice is a core function of the Government of FNT2T. Our Anishinaabe justice system will be an Anishinaabe self-governance tool that allows us to administer our own laws. This includes aspects:

  • How laws are passed
  • An Anishinaabe way of administering laws
  • Carrying out of sanctions for the violation of laws
  • Enforcement and undertaking of the laws in our Treaty 2 Territory
  • Dispute resolution
  • Local Nation circles replacing court system
  • Reviewing all administrative decisions including parole, diversion, post-sentencing and alternatives to incarceration
  • Healing through the well-being process and centres.

There is also proposed infrastructure for a Well-being Centre and Interpretive Centre within each Local Nation that will assist with the Administration of Justice process. This will be accomplished through true reconciliation on Canada’s part.  Currently, Ochichakkosipi has a Healing Lodge that has been operational for many years.

The 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples viewed jurisdiction over their own Administration of Justice as part of Indigenous nations’ inherent right.  Article 34 of UNDRIP states that Indigenous Peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain judicial systems and institutions. And the TRC Call to Action 42 calls upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to the recognition and implementation of Aboriginal justice systems in a manner consistent with the Treaty and Aboriginal rights of Aboriginal peoples, the Constitution Act of 1982, and UNDRIP.

Our ancestors had their own systems of lawfulness. And while certainly the world and its influences have changed since those systems were in place, the ways of our ancestors are unmistakably valuable. The work of revitalization will continue—and the FNT2T Knowledge Council will be a vital part of this process.

Last modified: February 15, 2020

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