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Canada and Anishinabek Nation sign historic self-government agreement

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The federal government has signed a historic self-government agreement with the Anishinabek Nation.

The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and focuses on recognizing First Nations’ inherent right to self-determination as they transition to self-government.

Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe and several First Nation chiefs, including Chief Lloyd Myke of Magnetawan First Nation, at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

“Congratulations to the First Nations signing the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and I commend all of the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of those involved to reach this historic moment,” says Niganobe.  “The Governance Agreement is another instrument available to us to implement inherent jurisdictions and Anishinaabe laws in fundamental matters that are the pillars of our First Nation governments: citizenship, language and culture, and how we select our leaders and are accountable to their citizens.”

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The agreement was achieved after over 20 years of negotiations and recognizes Anishinabek control over governance and the law-making powers in key areas including how elections will be held, how their governments will operate, as well as protecting Anishinaabe language and culture.

“Governance to Magnetawan Anishinabek is the next step forward in exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves, and position our community and membership in creating our Supreme Laws,” adds Chief Myke.

Once in effect, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to the signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

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