Community Notice; Sagamok Anishnawbek withdrawal from the Union of Ontario Indians
Posted: Nov 06, 2019

 

Sagamok Anishnawbek has decided to withdraw from the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI), effective immediately.  Community notice outlines our position on this matter in brief and more information is available at the Sagamok administration office.  

The decision to withdraw from UOI is based on two key facts: Sagamok has its own political authority to stand on in our dealings with the Crown and this authority is already expressed (in part) through the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850.  We do not need a middle man to handle our affairs.  

While UOI's original function was to act as a body for political advocacy, it eventually became another layer of bureaucracy that syphons off funding it gets to First Nations.  More concerning is that the UOI also became the financial enforcer for the funders themselves, placing restrictions on the ways their member communities could spend allocated funds, despite the First Nation authority over governance.  

In 2010, we were alarmed as the Anishinabek Nation was incorporated by the UOI and it began implementing a Restoration of Jurisdiction agenda that saw the adoption of the Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin in 2012, a constitution that created the Anishinaabek Nation.  This work is part of the UOI's work on creating a self-government agreement, which is a process designed by Canada.  We do not need a self-government agreement: our Treaty already protects our existing self-determination.  As we move to remove ourselves from the Indian Act structure into one of a Treaty-based structure, we would not position ourselves to move within another jurisdictional framework that restricts our ability to exercise our inherent rights.  

Thus, it is the position of Sagamok Anishnawbek that it alone holds preeminent jurisdictional authority over its lands upon which we live and those that we share it with, by virtue of the sacred relationship that we have with the Creator that follows us through ancestral memory and renewed each day.  

 

With the above points in mind, Sagamok passed two BCRs in recent years that speak to our political intentions.  The full text of these BCRs are available upon request, but they are summarized here for convenience:  

What does this mean for our community? 

Our withdrawal from the Union of Ontario Indians means: 

1. Sagamok will no longer be represented by the UOI in any capacity - whether in the political arena or as a funding distribution agent. 

2. Moving forward, Sagamok will deal directly with the Crown of Canada and with its provincial creations on a nation-to-nation basis on all matters relevant to our community.  

 

What can you do to prepare for this change? 

Turning our attention to nation building means that everyone has a role to play.  The list below is meant only as a summary; a complete list is available at the administration office:  

In the meantime, we will be working with Crown's funders to negotiate a new funding relationship that will see the flow of resources now flow directly to Sagamok Anishnawbek rather than through the UOI first. 

 

 

Sagamok Anishnawbek

PO Box 610   Massey, ON   P0P 1P0

Telephone: (705) 865-2421        Fax: (705) 865-3307

 

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