‘Proceed from an Anishinaabe lens,’ says new Anishinabek Nation Commissioner on Governance

DOKIS FIRST NATION (November 4, 2020) –  The Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly unanimously confirmed Patrick Madahbee of Aundeck Omni Kaning as its new Commissioner on Governance during Day 2 of the online 2020 Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Assembly hosted by Dokis First Nation.

“The former Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee had a saying going into his last term, ‘You can count on Patrick!’ and he has demonstrated that through his advocacy for the Anishinabek for over 47 years,” says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare. “I would like to congratulate the new Commissioner on Governance Patrick Madahbee. I look forward to working with him once again as we continue to advocate for Anishinaabe Governance.”

Madahbee was selected for the role through a First Nation selection process. Accepting his confirmation, Madahbee expressed his gratitude to the Chiefs-in-Assembly and stated that he will continue to “guard the interests of our communities,” as he has over many years of service to the Anishinabek in various leadership positions. Commissioner Madahbee held the position of Grand Council Chief in the 1980s and again just recently, in the nine years preceding Grand Council Chief Hare’s current term.

“For the 47 years I have been involved, we have been talking about getting Indian Affairs off our backs. We have an opportunity here now to do this,” Madahbee said, urging First Nations leaders to look through an “Anishinaabe lens” at the opportunity the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement provides to establish Anishinaabe governance and replace Indian Act governance.

The Commissioner on Governance is an ex-officio member of the Chiefs Committee on Governance. The Commissioner on Governance will coordinate the Anishinaabe self-government initiatives and will facilitate the drive to comprehensive self-government. In 2019, the Grand Council Assembly reconfirmed the mandate of the Chiefs Committee on Governance to pursue comprehensive self-government through negotiation and assertion.

The Anishinabek Nation Long-Term Strategic Plan, Geyaabi Waa Ni Zhiwebag, also adopted today, will guide the work of Commissioner on Governance and the Chiefs Committee on Governance. The top priority noted overall in the Anishinabek Nation Long-Term Strategic Plan is language and culture. Jurisdiction over language and culture and funding to support that jurisdiction is a main feature of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement.

“We are doing this for our future,” said Grand Council Chief Hare during his opening remarks today. “Anishinaabe governance is in our language and this is the foundation of self-determination and our survival.”