WHEREAS, within the province of Ontario, there are currently twelve (12) First Nations that are not politically affiliated with any of the Provincial/Territorial Organizations, namely; the Association of Iroquois & Allied Indians (AIAI), Union of Ontario Indians (UOI), Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT #3) or Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN); and
WHEREAS, by this non-affiliation, the political realities and views of our Independent First Nations are not being constructively taken into recognition and affirmation, resulting in legislation, program and policy development within external governments that in most times are in conflict with or an infringement upon the inherent nature of self-determination of the Independent First Nations; and
WHEREAS, the Independent First Nations have politically agreed that in the holistic interests of all of our respective communities and respecting our Independent First Nation status to jointly take pro-action on issues of fundamental concern; and
WHEREAS, the Independent First Nations’ Protocol establishes a relationship of respect and understanding of support based on the following principles:
- We shall be guided by respect and truth, each respecting our independent autonomy, while striving and working in unity to achieve the common good.
- We shall, at all times, maintain open communication between our Independent First Nations.
- We shall implement and work constructively on issues of mutual concern, sharing information and knowledge, technical expertise and working documents.
- The autonomy of each Independent First Nation must not be placed in jeopardy by this collective or joint working relationship.
- We will utilize the expertise that we have within each of our First Nations in a cooperative manner.
- No single Independent First Nation will undertake to speak on behalf of any or all Independent First Nations, unless specifically designated to do so by the First Nation(s) in question.
The Independent First Nations agree to work collectively and together on issues of fundamental concern while respecting each other’s autonomy.
- To present, where possible, a unified and articulated position to both internal and external governments on any related matter that arises or affects the Independent First Nations.
- To jointly access funding from external governments for purposes of holistic consultations.
- To utilize the grassroots expertise that we have within our Independent First Nations to the overall benefit of our Nations.
The Chiefs and Councils, or designates, of the Independent First Nations will meet from time to time to self-determine political activity and aspirations necessary to fulfill our Mission Statement and to receive documents or reports and to give specific direction to any technical or sub-committee that we establish for development strategies and implementation.
This protocol is subject to amendment from time to time as agreed to by participating Independent First Nations.
As political allies and colleagues, we will undertake to uphold the spirit and intent of this Protocol and will actively seek endorsement on these matters from the accepted process in our respective territories.
Independent First Nations:
1. Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek
2. Bkejwanong Territory
3. Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek
4. Chippewas of Nawash Unceded
5. Chippewas of Saugeen
6. Iskatewizaagegan # 39
7. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
8. Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
9. Shawanaga First Nation
10. Temagami First Nation
11. Wabaseemoong First Nation
12. Whitesand First Nation
Chief Theresa Nelson
Chief Charles Sampson
Chief Joe Ladouceur
Ogimaakwe Veronica Smith
Chief Lester Anoquot
Chief Gerald Lewis
Chief Donny Morris
Grand Chief Abram Benedict
Chief Wayne Pamajewon
Chief Shelley Moore – Frappier
Chief Waylon Scott
Chief Allen Gustafson