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CITIZENSHIP OVERVIEW

Over the years from 2002-2005, development workshops were held to gain community feedback. Participants raised general comments about First Nations not being able to determine their own citizenship. In 2006, a conference workshop focusing specifically on membership was held. Anishinabek First Nation citizens recognized that they cannot thrive within the confines of the Indian Act as it has controlled every aspect of their livelihood since 1876. Anishinabek First Nations expressed the interest in reclaiming inherent jurisdiction and getting out from under the control by the Indian Act.

Anishinabek First Nation jurisdiction regarding citizenship is a practice, custom, and tradition integral to our distinctive culture and as such, it is an Aboriginal right; however; they continue to face issues related to citizenship.

The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees that all peoples have the right of self-determination. The determination of Indian Status and membership arbitrarily set out in the Indian Act is contrary to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of which Canada is a signatory to.