Treaty 2 Territory – 144 years ago the government created a law called the Indian Act and the use this to implement change for the Anishinaabe but it’s not a law. I wanted to Further emphasize that this has been used it’s still active today. Our original sovereignty has our language from the ceremonies to the elders and the knowledge keepers. Our sovereignty has been with us prior to newcomers, through the trying times of reserve life up until today. And we have that ability to make our own laws. There’s Seven Teachings. If we follow the Seven Teachings, the laws, we could use those teachings to function on this land. The Seven Teachings are love, wisdom, courage, truth, honesty, respect, and humility. These teachings will keep us on a journey of sovereignty. These teachings will help us with the use of our language in the creation of a law.
This work at First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory is a Government, and not about joining Canada, a particular PTO or Province. It’s about protecting who we are, exercise our sovereignty and ability to govern ourselves. That’s what this work at Treaty 2 is about. We are learning now that we have to go beyond and talk about government, our original government. That work will come forth from our knowledge keepers by assisting leadership. It’s all about protecting who we are in our lands and territory, so we can have a legitimate say on everything around us. We have been seeing it as individual bands, and that doesn’t have the strength, but if you put all of us together we’ll have the strength to deal with any issue. When we make laws and rules we will meet with Canada and Manitoba and tell them we have our laws.
Canada identifies the term “govern ourselves” within limitations of our reserves. This process, FNT2T Government, is we expressed our ability to make a decision as a group of people in a particular area in 1871. That it is what we’re getting back to. We are getting back as a group and picking up the pieces of how we got dispersed under the Indian act. We are rebuilding ourselves and reminding ourselves that we have the laws, let’s make them work for ourselves as the Government, The Nation in our territory.
– Chief Norman Bone, Keeseekoowenin First Nation, April 2020