In February 2019 Anishinaabeg communities in Ontario will vote to ratify a regional self-government agreement. While there are some expanded powers and new resources for communities, the Agreement is founded on outdated federal policies.
Last week the Assembly of First Nations hosted a national meeting on the federal government’s proposed “Rights, Recognition and Implementation Framework”. The proposal was met with resistance by most of the elected First Nation leadership who were present, justifiably so. As suspected, Canada is seeking to entrench a version of contemporary state-Indigenous relations merely re-branded as reconciliation.
There is no question that the Indian Act must go. Its assimilation provisions, restrictions on mobility, violating nearly every treaty, aggressive patriarchy, and the dismantling of authentic First Nation governance models is all well documented. So the question becomes which path do we take from here?