Huron-Wendat Territory (Quebec City) – Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Derek Nepinak attended a meeting of 43 communities comprised of the Abenaki, Attikamek, Cree, Huron-Wendat, Malecite, Mi’kmaq Mohawk, Innu, Algonquin and Naskapi leadership to deliver a message of unity and energy sovereignty for original peoples.
As part of his address to leadership, Grand Chief Nepinak offered copies of The Great Binding Law to the delegation of community leaders. The Great Binding Law is the outcome of ceremonies conducted by Manitoba Indigenous Elders in pondering the future of tarsands and pipeline expansion projects running through the ancestral lands of Indigenous people in Manitoba and the homelands of many different peoples who have settled in Manitoba over the past few generations.
“The Great Binding law reminds us of our original instructions and the natural laws that we must abide by in order to ensure balance and protection of lands and water for future generations. Although variously worded, we have found the Great Binding Law is consistent in its teachings and instructions across most of Turtle Island. In offering the Great Binding Law, it is my hope we can promote greater consistency in our approach to empowering our responsibilities to the lands and water, regardless of the money being offered to compromise these responsibilities,” stated Grand Chief Nepinak.
The AMC, in partnership with the Public Interest Law Centre, has acted in the capacity of intervenor at the National Energy Board on two significant applications for oil expansion projects: Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project and TransCanada’s Energy East project.
“In order for political organizations to be effective advocates and protectors of inherent and treaty rights, we must be involved in the discussion as thoroughly as possible. That means engaging in the regulatory process that Canada believes paves the way for the social licensing needed to win the confidence of the public,” concluded Grand Chief Nepinak.