Algonquin Nation State Their Rights
The Algonquin Nation Moving Forward with Asserting Their Rights
QUEBEC REGION - The Algonquins of Quebec assert that they never gave up their rights through a treaty or sold or lost their territory through war. In 1992, the Algonquin Anishinabe First Nations of Abitibiwinni, Eagle Village, Kitigan Zibi, Lac Simon and Long Point voluntarily decided to unite in the creation of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council (AANTC), with the Algonquin Anishinabe communities of Kitcisakik and Wahgoshig being admitted later.
The Algonquin Anishinabe recognized the need to unify the leadership to strengthen their inherent right to self government, to continue ownership of lands and natural resources; protect hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering rights; enhance economic opportunities; and promote Algonquin culture. To this aim they have contacted the NCFNG to facilitate the creation of a new constitution which separates the executive branch of government from the legislative branch, effectively streamlining their government and reasserting the Algonquin Nation in modern society.
The Chiefs and elected representatives were spending a lot of time on administrative issues, while there were pressing political files that needed their attention. This need for change prompted a new way of doing things.
“We’ve developed new corporate by-laws for our delivery of services which were adopted by the People and formally approved by Industry Canada,” Says AANTC Director General Norm Odjick, “The Chiefs and elected representatives were no longer bound to administrative functions. The membership of communities also approved an interim political structure which allowed us to take that step,” He adds “Now that they understand what we are doing the people have given a mandate to develop a real constitution.”
The AANTC developed, and paid for, their own interim political structure, basing it on their own culture and expertise. The AANTC representatives are elected to public office by vote of the People. Community consultation for the development of their constitution is being planned for the New Year when the Grand Chief will be touring the member community First Nations.