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Sheshegwaning First Nation celebrates historic Governance Agreement approval signing – Anishinabek News

April 24, 2024

That’s how Anishinabek Nation Governance Commissioner Patrick Madahbee summed up the memorable evening held in Sheshegwaning First Nation’s Community Complex March 18, 2024. About 60 citizens turned out to the festive event to enjoy a meal, listen to presentations, and celebrate their successful support for the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement (ANGA) Act.

“Sheshegwaning led the charge on something that’s going to be probably impacting First Nations right across Canada,” Madahbee told the gathering.

The ANGA – a historical agreement between Canada and the Anishinabek Nation – recognizes the First Nation’s right to chart its own course under four pillars of governance: leadership selection, language and culture, citizenship, and management and operations. Sheshegwaning accepted the Agreement in 2020 using its own decision-making process; however, Canada did not accept the result as it failed to meet a voter threshold set out in the federal government’s original ratification regulations.

An amendment – Schedule C -Protocol for the Addition of a First Nation as a Party to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement – was made in December 2023 – led by Sheshegwaning’s precedent-setting refusal to hold another vote using the threshold. As a result, Canada agreed to all Anishinabek First Nations’ decision-making processes, regardless of how they reached consensus for the Governance Agreement. Madahbee said the Agreement Act empowers First Nations and helps move them out from under Canada’s colonial umbrella.

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