Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act receives Royal Assent
OTTAWA (June 24, 2022) – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe extends congratulations to the five (5) First Nations that have ratified the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement. Bill S-10: Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act has now received Royal Assent.
“On behalf of the Anishinabek Nation, I would like to extend our congratulations to the five First Nations on Bill S-10, Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act, receiving Royal Assent today. This marks yet another important milestone towards enactment. With Bill S-10 becoming law, communities are one step closer to realizing the true potential of the Agreement,” states Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe.
On June 9, 2022, Bill S-10 was before the Senate for its first reading and by June 16, had completed its third reading. The Bill was before the House of Commons on June 17 for its first reading and received unanimous consent for approval on June 22.
The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement outlines four areas of jurisdiction: Leadership Selection, Citizenship, Language and Culture, and Operation and Management of Government. These jurisdictional pillars will make sections of the Indian Act concerning governance and membership non-applicable. This is significant progress that will enable First Nations to invest and promote the revitalization of fundamental governance principles in their communities that prioritizes identity, culture, and language.
Now that Royal Assent has been received and the law has officially come into force, the leadership of the signatory First Nations eagerly anticipate enactment and the essential resource allocation they critically need. We further urge the government to ensure expedient enactment to guarantee these communities have their funding agreements by October 2022.
“The Anishinabek Nation Governance Act recognizes that signatory First Nations have jurisdiction over specific governance matters. These are inherent jurisdictions that Canada formally recognizes through Bill S-10. For Moose Deer Point First Nation, it is important to have the jurisdiction outside of the Indian Act and it is even more important that our E’dbendaagzijig will now have their voices heard in the criteria for leadership selection; how we will determine our citizenship; reclamation of our language and culture; and the operation and management of accountable government.” – Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett, Moose Deer Point First Nation
“Reclamation of culture, language, and Anishinaabe worldviews are avenues to wellness for Anishinaabe people. The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement Act provides a method to make some progress in that regard.” – Chief Larry Roque, Wahnapitae First Nation
“We are pleased to see unanimous support in Parliament for our governance aspirations. It recognizes that we have the right and ability to decide on important issues, like who our people are, for ourselves. This is just another step on our journey to become fully self-governing.” – Chief Scott McLeod, Nipissing First Nation
“The passing of Bill S-10 is important for Magnetawan First Nation. It affirms what we have always known and is now affirmed in a legal agreement with Canada. Our inherent right to self-government can be fully exercised separately from the Indian Act in four areas. Our community can now begin the work needed to define the parameters in those areas as directed by the community.” – Chief Lloyd Myke, Magnetawan First Nation
“Bill S-10 is a first step in a movement away from the Indian Act. Much more work will need to be done to fully realize the potential Zhiibaahaasing First Nation has in self-determination. Canada’s acknowledgement of our inherent right to self-government and unanimous endorsement of this Bill is a positive step in the reconciliation process.” – Chief Irene Kells, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation
“Canada continues to work towards renewing nation-to-nation relationships and advancing self-determination, with Indigenous partners like the Anishinabek Nation. We will continue to support arrangements that are created by Indigenous communities, for Indigenous communities, so that they can achieve their own visions of success.” – The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations