WINNIPEG – ANISHINABEK – Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nipinak states, “I am honoured that chiefs have nominated me to continue my work to transform the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs into a truly empowered advocacy and rights protection organization. The policy agent roles of PTO’s are over now. Being that I know there is a clear desire to see me continue, I will make an announcement in the next few days. In the meantime, I will continue my mandate”.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will hold an election on July 30th. There are currently three nominees, Donavan Fontaine, Sheldon Kent and Derek Nipinak.
The AMC Grand Chief has been very strongly outspoken on issues surrounding the rights of Anishinabek people in Manitoba.
The Grand Chief asserts that “We made Treaty with the Crown“.
“The Crown is indivisible. That is, we cannot expect to hold the feds to a different standard than we do the prov’s and vice versa when it comes to their dealings with treaty peoples within their respective jurisdictions. I commend the Grassy Narrows people on a great effort and an outcome that establishes a new standard in the province’s dealings with indigenous peoples under treaty relationships. By putting the province to the same standard as the federal government, the province can no longer pass off responsibilities and debts to treaty people as a ‘federal responsibility’,” wrote the Grand Chief. “By playing jurisdictional hot potato with First Nations people and our lands in the past, the conversation was stuck in the notion that the feds had responsibility over us under s.91(24), finding its expression in the Indian Act. This can no longer be the standard response of provinces. We are moving to a s.35 recognition, which allows us to begin to ponder who we are outside of the Indian Act, and that my friends, is a major victory for all of us. The question thus arises, who is the ‘Indian’ in s.35 of Canada’s Constitution? It certainly is not the legally defined ‘Indian’ in the Indian Act….”