Aug. 16/05 Daanis: Day 31

“It’s hard to get to a computer when you’re camping”

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – Here is a taste of what we’ve been up to since our last entry.

Day 23: Hanging around at home, Katherine Faith prepares to leave for camping at Beaucage Park. Katherine Faith spends the night camping with her friends in the summer program. She is not well rested, as Faith tried to sleep while her tent-mates were up at all hours. She is pelted with chips while she is trying to sleep.
Day 24: Camping adventure continues at Beaucage Park. However, the three-day adventure is cut short by a H3 thunderstorm that moves through the area. She is brought home by our cousin Candace.
Day 25: We hang out, doing some laundry and housework. We decide to embark on our own camping trip for the week. We travel from Nipissing to the Barrie KOA. We spend the day setting up the trailer, swimming in the pool and having dinner.
Day 26: Katherine Faith and I continue our camping trip with some swimming, snacking, hangin’ out and talking. We watch the movie ‘School of Rock’ before we go to bed. It’s book day, yeah! Koontz’s Frankenstein, Book Two: City of Night.
Day 27: Today is the day that Katherine Faith looks forward to every year. Katherine Faith Goulais is an amusement park junkie. Today, we head to Paramount Canada’s Wonderland with some friends. She gets on more rides that day than any other trip to Wonderland, Six Flags, or Walt Disney World. She only likes all the adult rides, including Drop Zone, Psyclone, Top Gun (actually every roller coaster in the park). Everything else apparently is ‘cheap’. It is the first year that we don’t go to Kidzville or Hanna-Barbara Land. It’s so obvious to me that my sweetheart is growing up.
Day 28: We travel back home for a relaxing weekend together.
Day 29: See above. Daddy has to work at the store, helping our Uncle Junior who is out camping himself, at Beaucage Park.
Day 30: Katherine Faith is spending some of her final days at her summer program. Today, she travels to Science North in Sudbury. She spends the lunch hour having pizza with her friends.
Day 31: Summer program does some painting and designing of bird houses, and other creative activities. Tomorrow Katherine Faith will be heading to the North Bay waterfront for some time on the beach.

Aug 8/05

Katherine Faith Goulais at Algonquin Park.

Daanis: Day 23 “Summertime Gatherings”

NBISIING/NORTH BAY/ALGONQUIN PARK – It has certainly been a whirlwind of activities since I last wrote here over a week ago. We seen Canadian Idol winner Kalan Porter at the Heritage Festival last Sunday night. We spent the day going on rides at the midway.
Last week, Faith completed her science camp with experiments in physics (an egg falling from a parachute and a homemade roller-coaster), chemistry (the aforementioned ‘goo’) and tons of other fun stuff. I was excited to come in on Parent Day to see the fruits of my daughter’s labour. It looked like a really great time.
Last week, Katherine Faith visited the Canadian Ecology Centre near Mattawa, Ontario. They enjoyed a day in the great outdoors, learning about nature, biology and the ecosystems of northeastern Ontario. She spent two days watching movies with her summer program, in the company of her friends.
She met a brand new friend named Sharna Shatford, an actually spent a night at their home in Sturgeon Falls for a sleep-over. The Shatfords’ own two horses which the spent much time visiting and feeding.
This weekend, Faith and I travelled to Algonquin Park to be part of the All-Nations Gathering, the annual Algonquin Park Pow-Wow. This small pow-wow was held on beautiful Whitefish Lake along the Centennial Ridges, a perfect backdrop to a gathering celebrating life and our beautiful Anishinabe culture.
It was a quite weekend for Katherine Faith and myself, and we had a lot of time to get to talk about home, school, culture and the teachings of the Anishinabeg. We went into detail about the Seven Grandfather Teachings and how they came to us. We spoke of Love, and its different types – Love for Self, Love for Parents and Family, Love between Man and Woman, and Love for your Children. We talked about why people Love her so much, for her personality, her kindness, and quiet and respectful way, her quirky mannerisms, her personality and all those things that are part of her Spirit. So many times this weekend, people came up to me at told me what a wonderful girl I had and how respectful and kind she is.
She made me very proud this weekend as she was singing with the Anishinabe Kwekug Singers. The woman’s hand drums were an important part of the pow-wow, as there was only two other drums there. Katherine Faith sat with the singers, and mouthed many of the words of the songs. I could here her singing at one point, which very much overwhelmed me. When we returned last night, she spoke of her experiences with the women and even commented that she could have brought her own hand-drum.
It was a great gathering, and I enjoyed my time being the M.C. With only three drums groups all weekend, I felt like I talked for two days straight. I took the opportunity to speak about the Seven Prophesies of the Anishinabe, including the Seven Prophesies Wampum Belt this kept by the Algonquin people. It was an excellent way to conclude the final day of the Algonquin Park pow-wow. Sadly, we did not see any moose.
If she didn’t get enough camping on the weekend, she started a two-night camping trip with the summer program at Beaucage Park on Lake Nipissing.

Katherine Faith made this hand drum during the March Break.

July 30/05 To Shawn and Janyk on your Wedding Day:

You started on two paths.
Two lives, teaming with youth
Joined only by common Spirit
Now leading to one great path.

A road to new life,
Bristling with Love, Honour
Servitude, Solace and Venture.

Love and Respect
Flow from the Creator
Sacred gifts given in time, with purpose.

An unconditional friendship
Shared between one another.
Joy and Harmony follow
Leading to one great Peace.

~ Bob

July 30/05 Daanis: Day 14 “North Bay Heritage Festival”

NORTH BAY – When Katherine Faith lived with me in Garden Village, one of our annual activities was to attend the North Bay Heritage Festival and Air Show. She wasn’t much for the noise of the air show, so it wasn’t really a disappointment that this component was axed as a cost saving measure to save the festival. We always enjoyed the midway, the food, the beach and the excitement of other attractions.
Last night, we took in a rock concert as part of the festival. It was something that I promised her we’d do this summer. Just before 10 o’clock, we seen the end of the Closet Monster, a punk band out of Ajax. As the band was closing their final song, a fireworks display rained above the crowd from behind the concert venue.
We were pumped for the Billy Talent show. Billy Talent won the Group of the Year and the Album of the Year at this years Juno Awards.
Katherine Faith loved the on-stage antics of the band, especially front-man Benjamin Kowalewitz. She enjoyed the lightshow and the crowd surfing, but disliked the offensive language.
It was a great and exciting night, with probably 10,000 people at the waterfront in North Bay.

Ian D’Sa and Benjamin Kowalewitz of Billy Talent.

July 27/05

Dennis “Junior” Goulais with Rockwylder will be appearing at the
Fraser House in North Bay on Memorial Day weekend.
© 2005 Photo By Jennifer Jedynak

with Thick

July 29-30, 2005

at the Fraser Tavern
680 Fraser St. North Bay, Ontario
(705) 472-2232

July 27/05 Daanis: Day 11 “Spending time with Junior”

GARDEN VILLAGE – One of the highlights of Katherine Faith’s summer is always hanging our with Uncle Junior. My brother is really great with Faith, sometimes taking her to town for ice cream or Pogos (brand name corn dogs). Last night, Faith and her “Auntie Kat” watched Star Wars at Junior’s house. For the past two nights, Junior’s band “Rockwylder” has been practicing for their upcoming gig at the Fraser in North Bay. Katherine Faith spend a few moments listening to her Uncle Junior with pride during the rehersal.
Junior and Kat have said they would bring Faith to see her older brother Christopher, who lives in Cache Bay. She doesn’t get to see him too often, usually only when she visits her Dad in the summer.
She’s such a sweetheart. While I was our playing pool on Tuesday night, she and her Auntie Kat cleaned up the house. She took such pride in doing something nice for her Dad. She was so proud to tell me she fixed the beds herself.

July 24/05 Daanis: Day 8 “Whitefish Lake Pow-Wow”

NAUGHTON – Today, Katherine Faith and I spent the afternoon at Whitefish Lake Pow-Wow just west of Sudbury, Ontario. For the second straight weekend, it rained on us. I’m starting to think that it only happens at the pow-wows that I go to.
Met Grand Council Chief John Beaucage and his family there. Spend some time with his wife Bonnie, daughter Kimberly and her children Carter and Ella. We also met up with Pat Campeau and Monica Lister from our office. It was a great day of company, but kind of miserable and drizzly for the little ones.
Katherine Faith spent some time with my friend Vicky, who has known my daughter since she was born.
The highlight of the day was winning the “Singers Team Dance” title, where all the drums at the pow-wow competed to be the most popular team dancers. The Whitefrost Sobriety Singers won the competition with an all-male, mini-Two Step (with the difficult leap frog move) – done to the delight of all those who attended the Pow-Wow.

Dancing partners, Bob Goulais and Hank Monague with the rest of the Whitefrost Sobriety Singers, winning the “Singers Team Dance” title at the Whitefish Lake Traditional Pow-Wow.
Photo by Katherine Faith Goulais.

Above: Chief Teresa Miigwans of Whitefish Lake, Chief Franklin Paibomsai of Whitefish River First Nation, Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse, and Mayor David Courtemanche of Sudbury all spoke on the Sunday afternoon opening of the Whitefish Lake Traditional Pow-Wow.

Below: The Elders of Whitefish Lake First Nation.

Photos By Monica Lister

July 22/05 Anishinabek Nation Governance
Agreement-In-Principle Initialed By Negotiators

SUDBURY, ONTARIO (JULY 19, 2005) — Negotiators for the Union of Ontario Indians and Canada today initialed a Governance Agreement-in-Principle (AIP).
This initialing marks an important milestone in ongoing negotiations aimed at establishing a framework for the Anishinabek First Nations, as represented by the Union of Ontario Indians, to assume greater control over their own institutions of government.
Today’s initialing also launches the formal process for the First Nations and Canada to review and approve the AIP. Once the AIP receives support from individual First Nations and Canada, it will form the basis for negotiations towards a Final Agreement with respect to Governance.
“Our purpose in the negotiations is to achieve Canada’s recognition of First Nations jurisdiction that has always existed,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. “This agreement is a crucial step, one of many that will bring our people forward and allow us to keep pace with the rest of Canada. Our ability to arrive at a Final Agreement on Governance is greatly enhanced by the recently signed First Nations – Federal Crown Political Accord on the Recognition and Implementation of First Nation Governments.”
“We have come to agreement on a set of principles, that if approved by our Chiefs and Councils, can provide a framework for negotiating the Final Agreement and more suitable and effective governance systems that will ultimately help us to improve the quality of life for our people,” said R. Martin Bayer, Chief Negotiator for the Anishinabek Nation.
“Strengthening First Nation governance is a priority for First Nations and the Government of Canada,” said Andy Scott, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. “The initialing of this AIP demonstrates our commitment to work in partnership with First Nations towards building H3er and self-sufficient communities.”
“This AIP represents a positive step in the development of a new relationship between First Nations and Canada – a relationship which recognizes the importance of First Nations having control over the internal operation of their communities and institutions of Government,” said Elizabeth Morin, Chief Federal Negotiator.
The Governance AIP sets out a framework for First Nation law-making authority in the areas of leadership selection, citizenship, language and culture, and internal operations of government. The AIP also looks to the establishment of a central Anishinabek Nation Government to address issues of common concern.
The Anishinabek Nation is also involved in sectoral education negotiations that will recognize First Nation authority to make laws over education.
The Province of Ontario, while not participating in these negotiations, has been kept apprised of developments.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and traces its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires. In 1949, the Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat and political advocate. It represents approximately 30% of the total First Nation population and one-third of all First Nation communities in Ontario.

July 22/05 Daanis: Day 6 “Ontario Place/Soak City”

TORONTO – Yesterday, my daughter Katherine Faith, and her friends in the Summer Program went to Toronto and visited Ontario Place and Soak City, a water park. She left early in the morning at 6 am and returned late last night at midnight. It was a very long day. She’s spending the morning with me here in the office.
She had an excellent time with her unidentified “friend”, enjoying all the rides and attractions of the day.

July 21/05 Anishinabek leader disappointed with result
but pleased with self-government process

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – Grand Council Chief John Beaucage expressed disappointment today that citizens of four Anishinabek Nation communities rejected a self-government process almost twenty years in the making.
“We know how much work and time the leadership and staff of Beausoleil, Curve Lake, Hiawatha and Moose Deer Point have invested in the United Anishnaabeg Council self-government initiative,” said Beaucage after learning that the citizens of all four central Ontario First Nations had rejected the UAC self-government agreement. “They should be commended for their efforts.”
“Despite this setback, I am pleased that the negotiation and ratification were very professionally conducted, and that Anishinabek citizens actively participated in the process. I understand that there was a H3 turnout at the polls. This has certainly been a remarkable learning experience,” added the Grand Council Chief.
Grand Council Chief Beaucage has been critical of the federal government’s negotiation framework, which set rules and parameters on the scope of self-government agreements.
“The rejection of this agreement is not so much a rejection of self-government, but more of a rejection of the federal government’s concept of negotiating,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “We have inherent rights that are granted by the Creator not the Minister or by the Indian Act. That cannot be limited by government policy.”
Beaucage said the UAC process demonstrates that First Nations citizens are gaining greater knowledge and understanding of their political issues and options for self-government.
“Our citizens are taking steps to inform themselves and becoming more active in their communities. This trend has been quite evident in our own self-government discussions,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage, referring to the self-government initiative currently being led by the Union of Ontario Indians on behalf of its 42 member communities.
The Union of Ontario Indians has concluded two Agreements-in-Principles (AIPs) respecting both Education and Core Governance. Two separate ratification processes will be taking place over the next few months.
The United Anishinaabeg Councils’ member First Nations began negotiations with Canada 20 years ago to create community governance structures outside the Indian Act. Leaders say they will be meeting with the federal government in the weeks ahead to review the results and implications of Thursday’s vote. The four First Nations have a combined total population of some 4,200 citizens, on and off-reserve.
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

July 20/05 Goodbye, Scotty.

REDMOND, WA – Canadian-born James Doohan, the burly chief engineer in the original “Star Trek” TV series and movies who responded to the command “Beam me up, Scotty,” died Wednesday. He was 85.

Doohan, who played Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott of the USS Enterprise, died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.

July 20/05 Daanis: Day 4 “Time spent with Echo”

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – Katherine Faith has been spending a lot of her time with her best friend, Echo. Every day following the Summer Program, she spends a couple of hours with Echo under the supervision of Echo’s brother, Falcon Skye. These two are a unique pair that complement each other very well.
Last night, Faith and Echo hung around at Echo’s house. They got a chance to go swimming last night — which Faith really appreciated. When I got home from pool, Faith was sitting quietly at the table in my brothers’ store colouring an extra-large Mulan colouring book.
We didn’t get much time to spend with each other last night, by Faith got to spend some quality time with Echo, my mom (Grandma) and by brother Junior.
Tried to recharge my batteries for my digital camera to provide you with some photos. But for some reason my camera isn’t turning on properly. Hopefully there isn’t a problem with the camera.
We are fully caught up on our sleep, and were both in bed by 10:30 p.m.

Left: Katherine Faith’s best friend, Echo.

July 19/05 Daanis: Day 3 “A Day at the Lake”

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – It was nice to wake up to my daughter this morning. Had to gently knock at her door and call her name to get up. She had the most pleasant, sleepy look on her face. I also enjoyed doing her hair making use out of a seldom-used blow dryer. I’m not the best little-girl-hair-do’er, but I certainly try my best.
Faith started the Summer Program today, something she has been a part of, and looked forward to for the past three summers. At the Nipissing First Nation Summer Program they do day-camp activities, go swimming, and travel on exciting excursions.
Today was mini-putt day in downtown North Bay. She really likes these types of amusements and is quite good when she is challenged. Once again, she surprised me getting the only hole in one of the day.
We went swimming. The waves on Lake Nipissing were spectacular. Not too big, but just right for my daughter. She was climbing on me like some sort of high-diving apparatus. She would jump from my shoulders with absolutely no fear into the waist-deep water, only to quickly climb up again for another attempt.

July 18/05 New chief at Cape

My good friend, and teacher Paul Nadjiwan was elected Chief of Chippewas of Nawash.

Owen Sound Sun-Times – The Chippewas of Nawash First Nation has a new chief.
Paul Nadjiwon won the six-candidate race Friday at Cape Croker.
Nadjiwon defeated five other candidates including Ralph Akiwenzie, who has been the First Nation community’s political leader since 1989.
Two former elected band chiefs, Franklin Solomon and Wilmer Nadjiwon, were also in the running for the two-year term.
Akiwenzie and Arthur (Butch) Elliott both received 118 votes to the new Chief Nadjiwon’s 158 votes. Solomon and Wilmer F. Nadjiwon had 55 and 54 votes respectively while candidate Joyce Johnston had 45 votes.
Nadjiwon, 47, has worked for First Nations organizations and in Ottawa as a federal government civil servant. He was born and raised near Trenton, has lived on Manitoulin Island for the last six years and has maintained ties to Cape Croker throughout his life, he said Sunday from his parents’ home there.
The new chief was to be sworn in this morning in a ceremony at Cape Croker.
Akiwenzie, who was seeking his ninth consecutive two-year term, narrowly defeated both Paul Nadjiwon and Elliott two years ago in a close, three-candidate race.
He’s believed to have been the longest-serving elected chief at Cape Croker, electoral officer Manley Jones said. The position was hereditary before the community started electing leaders.
A former school teacher, Akiwenzie began his political career in 1981 when he was elected head councillor, the position that goes to the band council candidate who gets the most votes. He was elected chief in 1989.
“It’s going to be major change. I’m certainly going to miss it. I feel that I have served the community well,” Akiwenzie said in a brief telephone interview Saturday. The former chief said he will now look at opportunities in the community before deciding his next steps and if he’ll again seek an elected position.
“I have to assess my situation,” Akiwenzie said. “There are always things that need to be done.”
Nadjiwon said Sunday he campaigned to every sector of the community and hopes to be part of a H3 new leadership.
“Ralph has been a hard worker for quite a few years but I think the people were ready for a change and I guess they felt that I was the candidate that most satisfied the things that they felt need to be updated and revised.
“I think I’ll set new benchmarks in all of the areas the community is involved in and will along with the other elected representatives refocus all of the efforts of the political arm of the community. I think we’ll have a H3 voice.”
A father of six children between the ages of six and 25, four of whom attend elementary school at Cape Croker, Nadjiwon listed education, economic development, commercial fishing issues and aboriginal rights as his chief concerns. He also believes H3ly in retaining and revitalizing First Nations language, tradition, culture and spirituality.
Fluent in both Ojibwa and English, Nadjiwon said he sensed H3 support during the campaign among the elders in the community and those who share his traditional focus.
“I think a lot of our elders in the community respected the fact that when I did my speech and when I went around visiting I was available to them in both English and Ojibwa,” he said.
“There’s a lot of younger people who are now looking at revitalizing their capacities to communicate in the language. That’s a very important element for the psychological well-being of the community.”
The new chief was the Ojibwa Cultural Foundation executive director at Manitoulin Island for four years. He studied history and native studies at both University of Ottawa and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, worked for the federal government in Ottawa for nine years and in Thunder Bay for a variety of organizations for 10 years before moving to Manitoulin.
“I kind of believe that all of the experience I’ve gathered will certainly serve to help me deal with the many issues that chief and council will be responsible for over the next two years.”
Two candidates for chief, Solomon and Johnston, also ran for a council seat. Solomon was among six new band councillors elected to join incumbents Walter J. Chegahno, Mary E. Johnston and Paul Jones, who held their seats against a slate of 28 candidates. Peter J. Akiwenzie, another former chief and councillor, Tony Chegahno and Melvin Elliott, both former councillors, Kathy Jones and Larry Lavalee were also elected to the nine-member council.
Lavallee is head councillor after topping the voting list with 229 votes, while Jones was second with 223 votes.
The results were posted in the community after the votes were tallied Saturday. They remain unofficial until approved by the Department of Indian Affairs, electoral officer Manley Jones said.
Interest was high in the election, with significant mail-in participation from band members living outside the community, he said.
The exact percentage of eligible voters who participated is not yet known.

July 18/05 Ontario First Nations seek seat
at Great Lakes Water Table

ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS SERVICE (Toronto, ON) – Discussions shaping the future of the Great Lakes watershed must include Ontario First Nations, the indigenous leaders are demanding. Leaders representing 50 First Nations sent a letter Thursday to Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay objecting to their exclusion from the Great Lakes Charter Annex.
Last month, Ontario, Quebec and seven of the eight Great Lakes states reached an agreement to limit the majority of water diversions from the lakes.
A side deal called the Charter Annex gives the Great Lakes state governors the power to veto proposed U.S. water diversions, but not Ontario or Quebec. The deal requires only that the two provinces be consulted about such proposals.
The various jurisdictions are in the midst of a 60 day public comment period reviewing the Annex Implementation Agreement that will govern the application of the Great Lakes Charter, Annex 2001.
“There is a need for the MNR [Ministry of Natural Resources] as representatives of the Crown to consult First Nations people and provide resources so we might jointly develop a consultation process,” said Grand Council Chief of the Union of Ontario Indians John Beaucage.
Grand Chief Denise Stonefish of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians said the native groups “expect the Crown to fulfill their obligation and duty to consult.”
“Last year, the Supreme Court defined a constitutional order, in which the Crown is require to negotiate with First Nations in a way that recognizes and accommodates First Nations rights,” Stonefish said.
First Nations leaders gathered Thursday on the front steps Toronto’s Metro Hall Council Chambers in defiance of a public consultation forum that was taking place inside.
Two weeks ago, the Union of Ontario Indians served notice that they will assert title and jurisdiction over the Great Lakes basin.
In a June 29 resolution, First Nations Chiefs authorized their leadership to take “whatever political or legal action is required to protect rights and jurisdiction over the waters of the Great Lakes Basin.”
That particular resolution was affirmed by the Assembly of First Nations at their annual General Assembly July 7 in Yellowknife. The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
“This is much more than a jurisdictional dispute,” Beaucage said. “Anishinabek tradition gives our women responsibility as caretakers of the water, and they are telling us it is time to act to prevent furthering poisoning of our rivers and lakes that has been permitted by federal, provincial and state governments.”
The province of Ontario and the U.S. states bordering the Great Lakes have been negotiating an Implementation Agreement with respect to the Great Lakes Charter Annex 2001, a regime to determine such issues as the diversion of Great Lakes water.
The governors and premiers of Great Lakes states and provinces released the latest draft of the Annex Implementation Agreement June 30 for a 60 day public review period that will conclude August 28, 2005.
At the end of the 60 day public comment and review period, the governors’ and premiers’ staffs will review the comments and attempt to reach consensus on the agreements. If such consensus is reached, the finalized agreements will be submitted to the governors and premiers for their review and consideration later this year.

July 17/05 Daanis: Day 2 “Scugog Pow-Wow”

SCUGOG – We spent the Sunday at the Mississaugas of Scugog Pow-Wow, near Port Perry, Ontario. Met up with the Whitefrost Sobriety Drum there. Arrived just in time to sing a warm up song. The day was pretty wet and soggy, and Katherine Faith stayed pretty close to me for the first part of the afternoon under our multi-coloured umbrella. She was pretty shy to start and sat on my knee when she was around the drum. This was important to me, as I am very close to my princess and wanted her to be close to her Anishinabe culture. She enjoyed being there and was proud her Daddy was singing – even though she was too cool to say so. I can just tell.
We sang one pretty amazing song, provided by Robin who has been singing with Whitefrost for the past two weeks. We had waited for some time to sing, and when the MC announced our drum, he hooted and cheered getting everyone’s attention. Although it was the first time we sang this particular song together, we received an Eagle Whistle, as the spirit came and moved us all.

July 16/05 Daanis: Day 1 “Sydney-Toronto-Whitby”

SYDNEY – My flight yesterday was a bit harrowing. For some reason, Air Canada oversold my 9:50 a.m. flight from Toronto. There was a H3 chance I wouldn’t get in until the next day. I went to the Air Canada counter and asked to be put on standby for the day, and eventually I was confirmed on the 5:35 p.m. flight – Executive Class no less! It didn’t look too good at Gate 109, on the 12:30 p.m. flight. Everybody was on board. However, they continued to search for a missing passenger, with numerous announcements over the Terminal 1 public address system. After waiting about 10 minutes, they had to move on without him — knowing I had a good chance (flying alone), my name was called for standby and was enroute to Halifax, and with a car rental was on my way to Sydney, about 400 km.

Picked up my daughter at the Sydney Walmart, where her mom Jennifer, stepdad, brother and step-brother were waiting in the McDonalds. Katherine Faith had her back to me at the McD’s counter and didn’t see me come in. I proceeded to sit at their table, in her chair when she returned. She was so surprized! Her face lit up as it always does. Finally she was with her Daddy.
She convinced me to make a stop at the Snow Queen-Leisure World in Antigonish, NS. This little amusement park had batting cages, bumper cars, an arcade, and go-carts. Katherine Faith has quite a knack for the batting cages, but kinda scared me a bit when she did that activity without asking me, or putting on a batting helmet. Good thing the rubber balls only move at 20 MPH.
She also surprised me at the go-carts. I was quite worried when she couldn’t reach the gas and brake pedals, and didn’t know what the brake pedal did. But she was great. I couldn’t catch her. She was amazing. She did hit one wall, time and time again. One time, she drove straight into it with a tremendous thud. I think by driving behind her, I was distracting her.
A great woman at the Air Canada counter in Halifax gave us standby for a much earlier flight, and confirmed us on a direct flight to Toronto. She was terrific, and when we were so pleased to be able to get on the standby flight arriving in Toronto by 9:15 p.m. With no hotel rooms at the Days Inn Airport, we drove in my truck to the Motel 6 in Whitby, Ontario. With a late pizza order, we were off to sleep. A great first day with my Daanis.

July 15/05 Daanis (My Daughter)

HALIFAX – Each and every year, since my daughter moved with her Mom to Sydney, Nova Scotia, I’ve spent the entire summer with my darling Princess, Katherine Faith who is 9 years old. It’s the highlight of her year and the time we spend she values very much and certainly will never forget those experiences.
Over the years, we’ve travelled North America, been to countless traditional gatherings, ceremonies, pow-wows. She absolutely loves amusement parks and thrill rides, water parks, swimming and frolicking about.
Katherine Faith also loves simply being at home with her Dad, my friends, her friends, and of course our family, Junior and Kat, Momma, Phyllis and John and the endless cast of characters that make up Garden Village/Nipissing First Nation.
This year, I intend to Blog her visit with her dad, which will be a quiet time with no major events or travel planned.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks, and enjoy the tales of a Dad and his precious Daanis.

July 11/05
Dancers from the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan take a photo with a vintage rez car!

Aundek-Omnikaning Chief Patrick Madahbee and former Pikwakanagan Chief Cliff Meness are working to establish a First Nations vintage and classic cars club called “War Ponys”. They held an exhibition at the recent Unity Gathering and Grand Council Assembly held June 25-29 at Kettle and Stony Point.

Photo by Perry McLeod-Shabogesic

July 11/05 How Rez you are… a quiz

Add up how totally REZ you are:

1. You’ve ever used a piece of mail for a dustpan. (5 points)
2. If you’ve ever run a race barefoot on gravel. (10 points)
3. You had a candy lady in your neighborhood. (5 points, +5 if your house was the candy lady)
4. If you ever had to pick your own switch or belt. (3 points for each)
5. Bumper dragged at the pow-wow. (2 points)
6. If you have ever used dishwashing liquid for bubble bath or laundry soap. (5 points)
7. If you ever mixed Kool-Aid one glass at a time because you got tired of other people drinking up the Kool-Aid you just made. (5 points)
8. If you have ever played any of the following games: hide and go seek, freeze tag, momma may I? or red light/green light.(2 points each)
9. If your neighborhood had an ice cream man. (2 points +2 if he rang a bell)
10. Went to the store with a letter to buy cig’s for you mom or gramma (5 points)
11. If you ever run from the police on foot. (5 points +5 more if you got away)
12. If you ever had reusable bacon grease in a container on your stove. (5 points +15 points if you still do it)
13. The batteries in your remote control ever been held in by a piece of tape. (5 points)
14. If you have ever worn any of the following fragrances: Brute, Hai Karate, Jean Nate, Old Spice, Chole, English Leather, Stetson, Charlie, Faberge and Exclamation’. (1 point each)
15. Whistled at the Northern lights to see if the old legend was true. (5 points)
16. If your only income is hand games, pow-wow singing, and dancing. (15 points)
17. If you have a friend or family member whose nickname is: poopsy, Muskwa, nuts, etc. (10 points)
18. If you have ever paged yourself for any reason. (3 points)
19. If you’ve ever worn house shoes outside of the house. (2 points)
20. You add “ED” or “T” to the end of words already in the past tense (for example, Tooked, Light-Skinneded, kilt, ruint, etc.). (5 points)
21. If the you ever cut laps at the pow-wow (5 points)
22. You’ve ever driven on a donut for more than 2 weeks after your flat. (5 points)
23. Your child drops his/her pacifier and you sanitize it by sucking it. (10 points)
24. You say “aaayyee” “eh” or “ennit” “cha” “er” “ever” “nech” Tuguy” after every sentence. (10 points)
25. You’ve ever left a social gathering with a plate full of food. (2 points)
26. You use jelly and jam jars as your “fine china.” (5 points)
27. You play bingo. (5 points)
28. You have “INDIAN CAR” on your bumper. (5 points) (+5 for being stopped by police because it is an actual ndn car)
29. You constantly hit *69 and ask, “Did you just call here?” (10 points)
30. You point in a certain direction with your lips. (20 points)
31. Pawned your valuables. (5 points)
32. You used Vaseline to shine your shoes. (5 points)

Score chart:

0-40 – Either you are not native or you are lying.
41-80 – Why do you still have to lie?
81-90 – Okay, you’re semi rez
91+ – Straight “Rez”, Brought in from the reservation village, from a hard-knock life.

If you scored 81 or more, say “buh!” and add another 10 pts. Now you are officially straight brought up from the Rez.

July 11/05 Thoughts from Yellowknife

YELLOWKNIFE, NWT – It’s been an exciting few weeks in the world of First Nations politics. Just returned from Yellowknife, NWT – site of the Annual General Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). I enjoyed the beautiful northern landscape, which reminds me of the Canadian Sheild and of my home territory. The Dene people were great hosts and we were able to enjoy their hospitality, drum-songs, hand games and their pleasant welcoming of us visitors.
It’s been a few years since I was in Yellowknife, and had trouble getting my bearings straight. Especially the 22 and-a-half hours of daylight. Had trouble getting to sleep, but waking up before six was no trouble at all.
The Assembly of First Nations meeting was quite positive compared to others that I have been to. There wasn’t nearly the same level of squabbling and jockeying that we have come to expect at this AGA. I think this is reflective of the successes that National Chief Phil Fontaine has been able to achieve in the past year or so.
His more co-operative approach has been criticized by many Chiefs, who have been blatant and relentless in their attacks. However, with the success of the National Aboriginal Roundtables, the signing of a Recognition of First Nations Governments Accord on May 31, and a settlement for Residential Schools already in the works, the Chiefs-in-Assembly has been quite supportive of this approach.
It is the First Ministers’ meetings that will be the delivery point of Fontaine’s strategy. Prime Minister Paul Martin has already expressed his desire to find workable, solutions to the ailments of the First Nations’ intolerable social conditions. Investments have already been made in health, with a $1.2 billion housing announcement is expected this fall. If all goes well, a framework for a new government-to-government relationship will be forged at the First Ministers’ meeting in the Fall.

July 5/05
The Anishinawbe Gene Simmons!

June 30/05 First Nations assert title to Great Lakes basin waters

KETTLE & STONY POINT (June 30, 2005) – The 42 Chiefs of the Anishinabek Nation have advised the eight Great Lakes Governors, as well as the Governments of Ontario and Quebec that they will be taking the necessary steps to assert their aboriginal title and treaty right to govern and manage lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes watershed.
In a resolution, that was passed unanimously at the Union of Ontario Indians annual Grand Council assembly, First Nations Chiefs authorized the leadership of the Union of Ontario Indians to take “whatever political or legal action is required to protect rights and jurisdiction over the waters of the Great Lakes Basin”.
Options under consideration include filing a full claim for all lake beds and waterways across the entire Anishinabek territory, a step already taken in the territories of several individual First Nations including the Chippewas of Nawash, Chippewas of Saugeen, and Ojibways of Walpole Island First Nations.
“Our Chiefs will be asserting aboriginal title and treaty rights,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. “Provincial and state governments are ignoring constitutionally-enshrined treaty rights by not involving our leaders in discussions about the future of the waters in our traditional territories.”
“We have a primary right to assert our jurisdiction over the lakebeds … to ensure that they are protected, that they are kept clean and that First Nations will be part of the decision-making process,” Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
Anishinabek territory includes the entire Great Lakes basin: from Thunder Bay – east to the Ottawa Valley; From the North Shore of Lake Huron and Manitoulin Island – south to Sarnia.
The Anishinabek Nation represents the greatest number of First Nations in the Great Lakes basin, and were instrumental in bringing together a meeting of Great Lakes First Nations and US Tribes in Niagara Falls in April.
“In most cases our treaties do not cede ownership over waterbeds or lands under the water,” Beaucage said. “There is substantial case law involving aboriginal title and consultation and accommodation including the Supreme Court decisions of Delgamuukw and Haida-Taku. By asserting our title, we intend to take back control over what has always been ours.”
The province of Ontario and the U.S. States bordering the Great Lakes have been negotiating an Implementation Agreement with respect to the Great Lakes Charter Annex 2001, a regime to determine such issues as diversion of Great Lakes water. Today, the Governors and Premiers of the Great Lakes states and provinces released the latest draft of the Annex Implementation Agreement for a 60-day public review.
“This is much more than a jurisdictional dispute. Anishinabek tradition gives our women responsibility as caretakers of the water, and they are telling us it is time to act to prevent furthering poisoning of our rivers and lakes that has been permitted by federal, provincial and state governments,” added Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
“These are our rights, but this is also our responsibility,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “We will be seeking support from all people who want their children and grandchildren to enjoy safe and healthy lakes and rivers.”
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

June 14/05 Ontario Chiefs elect new Regional Chief

EAGLE LAKE FIRST NATION (June 14, 2005) – In a traditional election ceremony, representatives of all First Nations across Ontario elected a new Ontario Regional Chief today. Angus Toulouse, of Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation was chosen in a traditional standing vote, succeeding Charles Fox who is stepping down after five years.
“This process has invigorated the resolve of the Ontario First Nations leadership. Today marks a new day – of unity and a renewed focus on our rights based-agenda,” said Ontario Regional Chief Toulouse. “I am humbled by this honour bestowed upon me by the Chiefs and I will be unrelenting in my approach to carrying out this mandate.”
“We will continue what the Chiefs of Ontario have started in fostering a new and cooperative relationship with both the federal and provincial governments,” said Regional Chief Toulouse. “I have pledged to move forward on issues such as housing, healing and wellness, forestry and obtaining a greater share in the resources of our treaty territories.
Outgoing Regional Chief Fox provided words of congratulations to the new Ontario Regional Chief.
“I have every confidence that the Chiefs of Ontario have selected a leader who will unite our Nations and fulfill the mandate entrusted to him,” stated outgoing Regional Chief Charles Fox. “This is an historic time for our Peoples, the federal and provincial governments have signalled their commitment to re-establishing meaningful working relationships. Our leadership are prepared to engage these governments, on a government to government basis, and Angus has the leadership skills to facilitate these processes.”
Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse has been Chief of the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, located near Massey, Ontario for the past eleven years. He has also served six years as a band councillor in his community. In addition to his duties as Chief, Toulouse is also the Lake Huron Region Grand Chief for the Union of Ontario Indians and has served as Chairman of the North Shore Tribal Council. He is a H3 advocate for a rights-based agenda, including a focus on advocating for treaty and aboriginal rights. He has held a number of portfolios over the years including education and natural resources with a focus on forestry.
Seven candidates were nominated for the position, including runner-up Wally McKay who placed a close second behind Toulouse. Other candidates included: Lorraine Rekmans (Serpent River), Art Petahtegoose (Whitefish Lake), Allan Luby (Dalles) Chris McCormick (Batchewana), Larry Jourdain (Lac la Croix), Eli Mandamin (Shoal Lake #39).
Ontario Regional Toulouse was elected for a four year term, instead of the customary 3-year term as directed by the Chiefs in Assembly.
The Chiefs of Ontario is the coordinating body for all 134 First Nations across Ontario. The Ontario Regional Chief is also the chair of the Ontario Political Confederacy and is Ontario First Nations representative on the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).

June 10/05
New Intergovernmental Relationship with First Nations

Representatives of Ontario’s Political Confederacy met with representatives of the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, today to discuss their ongoing committment to the new Intergovernmental Affairs Process in Ontario.

NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy, Grand Council Treaty #3 Grand Chief Arnold Gardiner, AIAI Grand Chief Denise Stonefish, Six Nations Chief David General, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs Michael Bryant, Ontario Regional Chief Charles Fox, Senate Aboriginal Affairs Committee Chair Jack Austin, Anishinabek NAtion Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, Walpole Island Chief Dean Jacobs, and Akwesasne Grand Chief Angie Barnes.

June 7/05

Back Row: Henry Rawlinson, Métis Nation of Ontario, Troy Delaronde, Red Sky Métis Independent Nation, Sylvia Maracle, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, Michael McGuire, Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association, Michael Brown, Parliamentary Assistant, to Minister of Natural Resources, Bob Goulais, Union of Ontario Indians, Larry Frost, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
Front Row: Kimberly Whetung, Chiefs of Ontario, Sharon John, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, Michael Bryant, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs, Dawn Harvard, Ontario Native Women’s Association, Caroline Di Cocco, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Children and Youth Services, Darren Harper, Grand Council Treaty #3.

New Approach” to Aboriginal Relationships Builds H3er Aboriginal Communities

Toronto – The Ontario government today launched a new strategy to build relationships with the province’s Aboriginal peoples and strengthen their communities through a new approach that provides processes for both formal and informal dialogue between Ontario’s Cabinet ministers and the leadership of Aboriginal organizations in Ontario.
“Ontario’s Aboriginal peoples have always been, and continue to be, a diverse and vital presence in the culture and social fabric of our province,” said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “At the heart of this government’s strategy is the recognition that together we must create a better future for Aboriginal peoples – particularly children and youth. Our government is committed to this new vision to ensure improved opportunities and a better way of life for Aboriginal communities across Ontario.”
Michael Bryant, Minister Responsible for Native Affairs, today shared Ontario’s New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs with Aboriginal leaders, organizations and service providers. The new approach is based on a new relationship of co-operation and mutual respect, focused on shared goals for long-term positive change.
“Over the past year, progress on strengthening this relationship has been made with the active participation of Ontario’s Aboriginal leaders, organizations and service providers,” said Bryant. “Our government and Aboriginal leaders and organizations share a vision of a healthy, more prosperous future for Aboriginal children and youth in Ontario.”
The new approach outlines the government’s commitment to the following initiatives and sets out strategies to achieve them:

Implement a new urban/rural Aboriginal children and youth program

Champion Aboriginal children and youth issues in Federal/Provincial/Territorial/Aboriginal (FPTA) processes

Develop an Aboriginal education policy framework

Develop guidelines for consultation with Aboriginal peoples related to constitutionally protected rights

Establish a new Northern Table to address the unique challenges to achieving prosperity and well-being in the north

Negotiate and implement Métis harvesting agreements

Develop an Aboriginal justice strategy

Implement a sport and physical activity strategy focused on Aboriginal children and youth

Implement an enhanced Aboriginal tobacco strategy.

“We have come a long way on the path to improving our relationship with the Ontario government. This government has shown it will listen to First Nations’ concerns and recommendations and therefore we are prepared to work together in good faith as our relationship evolves and we strive to reach our shared goals,” said Ontario Regional Chief Charles Fox, Chiefs of Ontario.”
“I am pleased to see the government making a firm commitment to addressing the serious issues facing Aboriginal children and youth in this province. The Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres is proud to work with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to develop a new urban children’s and youth strategy that will make a real difference for these children,” said Sylvia Maracle, executive director, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres.

June 5/05

I was pleased to receive a JDRF Sneaker, from Walk Coordinator Susan Shouwstra during the Walk to Cure Diabetes held June 5.

Local Diabetes walk exceeds goal

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) Walk held at Lee Park Sunday, surpassed event organizers goal.
The North Bay Walk was the third and final in the riding, and the 3 combined walks held in Mattawa, Temiskaming and North Bay raised over $103,000 for research.
“It was an overwhelming effort and far exceeded our goal of $92, 000,” said Walk Coordinator Susan Schouwstra. “The spirit of our corporate friends and area families was just overwhelming.”
With a cure close in hand, many caring individuals are inspired to do what they can to raise the necessary funds for research, and that was clearly demonstrated by the 450 plus walkers that laced up to walk Sunday.
Schouwstra said that she was completely amazed with the community’s generosity and gives full credit for the success of the event to the Walk Committee.
“Their undying dedication to the walk made it the best ever.”
Next on the agenda for the JDRF is a golf tournament July 23rd.

June 5/05 Anishinabek leader praises Kingston police study

NIPISSING FIRST NATION /PR Direct/ – Grand Council Chief John Beaucage says a controversial study showing that police are more likely to stop aboriginal people is welcome, but overdue.
“It validates concerns the First Nation community has been raising for years,” he said.
Produced from information collected by Kingston police officers, the report indicates that blacks were three times more likely than whites to be stopped by police, and aboriginal people were 1.4 times more likely to be stopped.
Kingston Police Chief William Closs was close to tears when apologized to the black and aboriginal communities of the eastern Ontario city for findings that indicate his officers were singling out minorities for unfair treatment.
Grand Council Chief Beaucage congratulated Chief Closs, and urged other Canadian police chiefs to acknowledge that racial profiling exists in their jurisdictions and begin work to ease strained relations with visible minorities.
“I would like to applaud Chief Closs for his courage and vision, and for raising awareness of this problem,” Beaucage said. “We want to encourage Greater Toronto Area Police to follow up with a similar study and take action.”
A 2003 report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission found police in Toronto engaged extensively in racial profiling, particularly among blacks and aboriginals, and called for the creation of a government body to work towards ending the practice.
The Union of Ontario Indians was a partner in the 2004 Debwewin anti-racism project in which racism was identified as a significant problem in surveys of three northern Ontario cities – Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, and Timmins. Many aboriginal respondents said they had either personally been targets of racism by police officers, or had witnessed racist actions by police officers.
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

June 5/05

Mattawa Town Councillor Garry Thibert, Nipissing-Temiscaming MP Anthony Rota, Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer, Nipissing MPP Monique Smith, and myself at the Mattawa Walk To Cure Diabetes held May 28.

June 4/05 Gay marriage about minority rights

Printed in the North Bay Nugget

I am sickened by the overtures of the Conservative Party who paint Bill C-38 (The Civil Marriages Act), the Government and its supporters as extremists, who harbour some bizarre, reverse intolerance to the rest of society. This type of fear mongering is at a ridiculous extreme and can’t possible be believed by any Canadian, much less the 1000 or so people who attended a traditional marriage rally at the waterfront on Sunday.
Calgary MP Jason Kenney explained to us in North Bay that people who support gay marriage are “extremists” and that supporting traditional marriage is a violation of human rights.
At the heart of this issue is the protection of the rights of a minority, which should never be defined by the majority. In this case, it is the rights of gay and lesbian people to be married and obtain the same legal status that the rest of us enjoy.
This legislation won’t redefine traditional marriage nor force churches to marry anyone. Nor will gay marriage lead to polygamy, dissolve Canadian society, steal your children in the middle of the night or lead to blindness.
However, throughout history, various movements including right-wing conservatives-types have waged war against the rights of blacks, Jews and aboriginal peoples. Some even managed to gain political power through this type of fear mongering.
This is simply the latest round of intolerant rhetoric that is the 21st century coming of the same old cavalry.

Bob Goulais
Nipissing First Nation

June 3/05

Minister of Indian Affairs Andy Scott, National Chief Phil Fontaine, and Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. Grand Council Chief Beaucage met with Minister Scott today to discuss a new sustainable fiscal approach to self-government.

June 1/05 Respect ‘insisted’ as Anishinabek
reclaim the Lakehead Territory

THUNDER BAY, ON, June 1 /PR Direct/ – “We must begin to re-assert the sovereignty within our traditional territory,” begun Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, flanked by Fort William Chief Peter Collins and the twelve First Nation Chiefs of the Northern Superior region.
These First Nations came together to deliver a H3 message to the Canada and Canadians in “reclaiming” the area known as the Lakehead Territory. This traditional territory includes the greater Thunder Bay area, which is part of the Robinson Superior Treaty territory.
“This isn’t about land claims, or compensation or economics,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “This is simply about respect and awareness of the true aboriginal title of this sacred place.”
“We must insist upon respect in dealing with the resources, the land, and the First Nations people of the Northern Superior region and the Lakehead territory,” said Beaucage. “Recent court cases, such as Haida-Taku (2005) state there is an obligation on behalf of the crown to consult with First Nations about all activities in their territories especially with regard to land and resources.”
There continues to be significant developments that affect the Northern Superior traditional territory, including the development of a Lake Superior Marine Conservation Area, removal of First Nations harvesting cabins, challenges to the Lake Nipigon fishery, and continued with forestry allocations with little or no sustained benefit to First Nations.
“We are putting government, industry, and stakeholders on notice that steps will be taken to ensure our rights and aboriginal title to this territory are protected,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
“We are calling upon the Government and Canadians to recognize the treaty and aboriginal rights of our First Nations, including our underlying title and right to share in the resources of the territory,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “This rights-based approach will be a primary step in reclaiming our territories.”
Regional Grand Chief Peter Collins, who is also Chief of Fort William First Nation talked about his most recent challenges within his territory.
“We have been constantly at odds with the government over this territory, the latest being a significant municipal tax assessment,” said Collins, referring to industrial land that belongs to the Fort William First Nation that was recently assessed taxes. “We are here to make it clear that this is our territory and we assert sovereignty on these lands that we occupy and have always occupied.”
There was even a H3 message for the various brother and sister organizations that occupy offices, land and undertake development in the Lakehead territory.
“Other First Nations organizations have mistakenly settled or asserted authority in the Thunder Bay area,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “It is custom that First Nations respect each others’ territory, and ask for permission to make use of these lands. In this case, the territory of the Northern Superior Chiefs.”
All 42 member First Nations of the Union of Ontario Indians were represented at this meeting. All the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs are in Thunder Bay for an evening caucus meeting of the Union of Ontario Indians and to discuss Casino Rama issues.
The Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850 ceded lands “from Batchewana Bay to Pigeon River, at the western extremity of said Lake, and inland throughout that extent to the height of land.” This is traditional territory of the Anishinabek Nation, and includes the Lakehead territory surrounding Mount McKay.
“In our language, this is called Thunderbird Mountain, and is said to be the spiritual nesting place of the Thunderbirds. This is a very sacred place,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage.
The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 42 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

May 30/05 Anishinabek leader optimistic
about residential school announcement

NIPISSING FIRST NATION, May 30 /PR Direct/ – Grand Council Chief John Beaucage is optimistic that today’s appointment of a federal mediator will expedite a fair settlement for thousands of residential school survivors.
The federal government announced that former Supreme Court Judge Frank Iacobucci will mediate ongoing talks for the federal government and report by March on whether all former students should receive lump-sum rewards for damages, sources said. He’ll also explore the value of a truth-telling forum for abuse survivors, and the need for an apology from the prime minister.
Beaucage congratulated National Chief Phil Fontaine, whose lobbying for lump-sum settlements prompted today’s announcement.
“The National Chief has steadfastly pursued this cause for over a decade,” said Beaucage. “His public acknowledgment of his residential school experience has helped give other survivors the courage to begin their healing process, and to help Canadians understand the tremendous soci-economic damage these schools inflicted on First Nations peoples.”
“Those who do not understand the devastating inter-generational impacts of residential schools say aboriginal people need to forget about the past and just get on with their lives,” said Beaucage. “We can no more forget about the lasting legacy of residential schools than Jewish communities around the world can forget about the Holocaust.”
The Assembly of First Nations has proposed a basic cash payment of $10,000 to each recognized residential school survivor, and an additional $3,000 for each year spent in the schools.
“Compensation is important to many survivors whose residential school experience directly contributed to lives of poverty and social dysfunction,” said Beaucage. “But in the long term, reconciliation and healing will be the most valuable contributions to Canada’s national well-being. Healing can best begin with a meaningful apology from Prime Minister Paul Martin.”
Beaucage said it is also important that the government follow up March’s mediation findings with a comprehensive public education campaign about aboriginal peoples and issues, something that he says was not sustained after Canada’s 1998 official response to the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

May 28/05

Pam DeLaChevrotiere and myself at the “Spring Gala” fundraising event for the new North Bay General Hospital.

May 26/05 Diabetes efforts expanding in North Bay

NORTH BAY – This week at North Bay City Council, Bob Goulais, Corporate Recruitment Chair for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – North Bay and Daniel Godfrey, Youth Ambassador announced that local fundraising for a cure for diabetes will be expanding to be a “year-round effort” and will branch off into other areas including special events and sporting events.
“We will be expanding our efforts to contribute year-round to the foundation while continuing to hit our annual goal for the Walk to Cure Diabetes,” said Goulais, who is also the Chief-of-Staff for the Anishinabek Nation Political Office, representing 42 First Nations across Ontario.
“In North Bay, we have come to the conclusion that our efforts cannot be focused only on the present, nor limited our efforts to only a single event. We remain committed and focused on our overall goal – finding a cure for diabetes,” said Goulais, who attended the City Council meeting with nine children/youth living with diabetes.
Under local coordinator Susan Shouwstra, the single North Bay and area walk was expanded to include a ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ in Temiscaming and in Mattawa. The Mattawa ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ will take place this Saturday, May 28.
The 2005 Walk to Cure Diabetes will take place at Lee Park on June 5, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The JDRF has also announced it will be hosting the annual Partners Golf and Billiards Tournament, slated for July 23 at Clear Springs Golf Course; and will host the first Snowflakes, Stars and Hope Gala at the Best Western on November 12, 2005.
Goulais hopes that this new focus may also lead to discussions with JDRF Canada to research other forms of diabetes, including adult on-set Type 2 diabetes, which is an epidemic in Native communities. He is proposing that the medical research community, led by the JDRF, work closely with Native communities in studying the problem and testing various treatment options.
“I am working to broker that partnership between the JDRF and our First Nations,” said Goulais. “It is my hope that finding that cure for juvenile Type-1 diabetes would also lead to a greater understanding and cure for the diabetes that has inflicted me and my family. This disease has affected every single First Nations citizen in some way.”
“We all want to live long enough to be able to say ‘we’re not diabetics anymore’,” said Daniel Godfrey, youth ambassador for JDRF – North Bay who addressed Mayor Vic Fideli and North Bay city council. “We need the help of North Bay and area to bring us one step closer to a cure.”


Two events have already been announced as part of this year-round effort:

Annual Partner’s Golf and Billiards Tournament

The annual Partners Golf and Billiards Tournament is partnering with Canada’s foremost medical research foundation, with the goal of finding a cure for diabetes.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has been selected to be the charity of choice for the popular North Bay-area charity golf tournament. The golf tournament will take place on July 23, 2005 at Clear Springs Golf Course east of Powassan, Ontario.
“We are so excited that Partners has provided us with this significant opportunity,” said Goulais. “With the support of Partners, our golfers and corporate – this tournament is sure to be a mainstay in the local area, and will be a significant contributor towards a cure for diabetes.”
The golf tournament is expected to the best ever, with a full complement of 144 golfers expected to take part in this unique tournament format. The golf tournament is relatively straight-forward, with a four-man best ball scramble for 18 holes. Following the golf game, the participants return to Partners Billiards and Bowling to compete in 18 holes of billiards golf: an easy, fun game played on the pool table.
The cost of the tournament is $65.00, which includes golf and a delicious steak dinner at Partners Billiards and Bowling.

Snowflakes, Stars and Hope Gala

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Snowflakes, Stars and Hope Committee is delighted to present a premiere gala evening to celebrate 30 years of diabetes research excellence and recognize three dedicated volunteers who are committed to helping those living with diabetes. This outstanding evening will feature gourmet dining and entertainment, complete with a silent auction of exceptional items.
This gala will take place on November 12, 2005 at Best Western – Lakeshore. More information will be made available soon.


The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), established in 1970, is on a mission to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Over the years, JDRF, through its many fundraising efforts, has contributed over $900 million to research projects throughout the world. JDRF has funded, in whole or in part, the research projects of scientists involved in every major breakthrough in diabetes research for over 25 years.
Last year, the local JDRF team raised nearly $80,000 in North Bay and area and are on track to raise over $90,000 this year.

May 25/05 Grand Council Chief unveils
Natural Resource Strategy

Rights-based approach, William Treaty,
and Inter-treaty Harvesting to be addressed

WHITEFISH LAKE FIRST NATION – The Chiefs of the Lake Huron region (formerly Robinson Huron) received the first draft of Grand Council Chief John Beaucage’s rights-based Natural Resources Strategy during a regional Chiefs meeting held May 4. This discussion document details an ambitious plan to work towards the full recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights within Anishinabek Nation territory.
“We’ve been told by the Chiefs and our citizens that it is necessary to continue to enhance and protect our treaty and aboriginal rights,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. “From resource management – to traditional ecological knowledge – to harvesting – all of these are fundamentally tied to these sacred documents we call treaties.”
The document calls for a strategy to use the new Government of Ontario – Political Confederacy table to open a comprehensive dialogue on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, especially with regard to Natural Resources. In March, the province of Ontario and the Political Confederacy established a roundtable, a forum where Senior Cabinet Ministers can meet with the Grand Chiefs of Ontario’s Political Territorial Organizations (PTOs). The roundtable is expected to meet at least twice per year. An announcement of this new forum is expected in early June.
The primary objective of this strategy is to begin the process of recognition and respect of aboriginal and treaty rights; and diffuse the adversarial approach to recognition of these rights (i.e. the courts). The Union of Ontario Indians already has a number of forums for discussion and analysis, including the Anishinabek-Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre and the Anishinabek-Ontario Resource Management Council.
Grand Council Chief Beaucage has proposed an introduction to treaty rights for the Ontario Cabinet, which will be a starting point to introducing a rights-based approach.
For the past two months, Grand Council Chief John Beaucage has been meeting with provincial Ministers to move along the issue of inter-treaty harvesting. Thus far, both Minister Michael Bryant and Minister David Ramsey have expressed their supportive of these discussions and getting the question of inter-treaty harvesting “out of the courts” to be managed by First Nations themselves in cooperation with the MNR.
“If the Minister wants to “move beyond talk, to getting things done” this is the action item that is the priority of many of our Chiefs right now. This will mean big gains in terms of our new relationship and governments’ recognition of our treaty rights,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
During the Anishinabek-Ontario Resource Management Council (AORMC) interactive workshops, and the spoken commitments of both Grand Council Chief John Beaucage and Minister of Natural Resource David Ramsay – the Union of Ontario Indians is proposing to move aggressively to resolve issues surrounding Inter-treaty Harvesting, with the goal of implementing the inter-treaty harvesting accord adopted by the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly.
Grand Council Chief Beaucage has suggested to the MNR that we would like to have an announcement on Inter-treaty Harvesting in the fall 2005.
The Southeast Region is also expected to be a focus of the Natural Resources strategy. Grand Council Chief Beaucage has committed to looking into the harvesting rights of the Williams Treaty, which the government has argued were extinguished when the treaty was signed in 1923. Irregardless of the Williams Treaty arguments, R. v. Powley set forward significant precedent that recognizes the right to hunt and fish as an aboriginal right. Although the specific case was in reference to the Métis, right, this may open the door to discussion based on the First Nation aboriginal right to hunt and fish.
Grand Council Chief is asking that a steering committee be formed to address the various natural resources and treaty-based issues in the Southeast Region, to develop a plan of action and recommendations to the Grand Council Chief.

May 25/05 Sacred Pipes of the Metis,
Anishinabek to come together

KETTLE & STONY POINT – The Anishinabek Nation and the Métis Nation of Ontario will re-new their traditional ties as Nations, as the sacred Pipes of both Nations are bound together by the Great Spirit. The 2005 Anishinabek Nation Unity Gathering and Grand Council Assembly will be the forum that will see both these Pipes brought together for the first time in many generations.
Both Nations will also each bring their songs to the Drum. Last August, the Many Eagle Set Sundance Song was passed to the Métis Nation by Elder Francis Cree at Turtle Mountain, North Dakota. The song was first sung to commemorate an alliance of the Assiniboine, Cree, Chippewa and Michif peoples in the early 1800’s.
The Métis Nation have always carried their traditional pipes which guided their discussions as a Nation. Even back beyond the time of Louis Riel, Métis elders carried sacred Pipes just as their Anishinabe ancestors had for millennia.
On March 10, Métis Nation of Ontario President Tony Belcourt was presented a pipe during a brief ceremony in Toronto at the opening gala of During the ceremony held in Toronto, Anishinabek Nation representatives and Elders from Turtle Mountain – President Belcourt was given a pipe to guide his leadership.
Belcourt will smoke this pipe on June 25 alongside Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. In a ceremony led by Elder Gordon Waindubence, these pipes from the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Anishinabek Nation will be brought together, tobacco will be offered, then smoked in unison. They will then each bring their songs to the Drum.

May 25/05 Unity Gathering agenda taking shape

KETTLE & STONY POINT – The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point and the Union of Ontario Indians have been working cooperatively to host the inaugeral Unity Gathering in conjunction with the 2005 Grand Council Assembly. This five-day event will be the largest political gathering in Ontario’s history and will host close to 2,500 people for a pow-wow, visioning session, and the Chiefs Assembly, as well as a number of other exciting community events.
There will be a number of highlights on each day of the gathering. Beginning on Saturday, June 25 the Anishinabek Nation will renew its ties with the Metis Nation of Ontario as their sacred pipes and songs will be united together in ceremony. The Executive of the Metis Nation of Ontario will be in attendance including President Tony Belcourt. Following the day-long pow-wow, an evening of entertainment will be hosted by co-MC and special guest Adam Beach.
On Sunday, June 26, the Anishinabek Nation will take some time to remember Dudley George and recognize his family led by his brother Sam George. The pow-wow participants will also recognize the work of the Ipperwash Inquiry, including Commissioner Sidney B. Linden. The Sunday will feature an evening of story-telling including a guest performance of De-baj-uh-muh-jig Theatre Group.
On Monday, June 27 will feature a day-long vision session of Women, Elders, Youth and Leadership which will assist the Union of Ontario Indians in developing their strategic plan and Nation Building initiatives for the years to come. The evening will include a traditional feast and the first annual Youth Achievement Awards.
The Grand Council Assembly will also feature some memorable activities. On Tuesday, June 28, the Union of Ontario Indians will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres. This significant step in the Anishinabek Urban Strategy, will recognize Ontario’s Friendship Centers as their primary urban service delivery agency. No longer will the Anishinabek Nation only include the 42 member First Nations, but will also include the 28 Friendship Centres across the province.
Finally, on Wednesday, June 29, the lead negotiators for both Canada and the Anishinabek Nation will initial the Governance Agreement-in-Principle, signaling the end of the negotiations and the start of the ratification process. The Governance negotiations of the Restoration of Jurisdiction project began in 1998. This agreement includes selection of leaders, citizenship, law-making authority, appeals and redress processes, community constitutions and fiscal relations.

May 18/05

The local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation team took part in the Mayor’s Walk, which was part of the ‘Let’s Get Moving For the Health of It’ challenge in North Bay during May and June 2005.

Mayor Vic Fideli of North Bay takes some time for a photo opportunity with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations’ North Bay team.

May 17/05 Mother Earth Eater Walk – Update

By Karl Keeshig

Friday, May 13th
The Water Walk was moving perhaps not as briskly as Thursday when the youth of Saugeen & Cape Croker assisted our walkers. However, a number families from Saugeen were very interested and determined in assisting the Walk to its next destination and a transition with our Kettle Point/Stony Point/ Sarnia families.
I am sorry I do not have their names. The Walk hadn’t quit made it to Godrich when My family & I caught up with it. They were being given excellent help and assistance from Saugeen who stayed with us for goodbyes at waterfront in Godrich later that day.

At 7 am Friday May 13th, the Water Walkers and Support journeyed over to Walkerton at the request of Mayor Charlie Bagnato. (You have already received a copy of his email message to the Walkers.) After breakfast with the Mayor, we journeyed over to the infamous Well No. 5. Well No. 5 was the center piece of the events that took in 2000 when 7 people died and thousands were made sick, many of the residents are still living and coping with their illnesses. The CEO for the Group for Concerned Citizens, Bruce Davidson stopped us along the pathway to the well. With Well No. 5 in the background he gave us an excellent presentation on the very land forms and features which contributed to the Tragedy at Walkerton. Once at the source, Well Head No. 5, which has since been capped, Bruce provided us with additional information and stories.
Here is one touching story: ” A little baby was one of the victims to the tragedy. Her mother was the Doctor that treated her. Obviously, she knew something was terribly wrong. They were still trying to diagnose the illness; this was early in the crisis. The Doctor new they had to do something quick and that she had to make a decision. Bacteria and Viruses are treated with certain Medicines or Antibiotics – but, one causes the opposite effect if you treat it for the other. She treated her baby for a Virus when it was a Bacteria that was causing the illness. The treatment took away all the baby’s immunity; the baby died a short time after. It was later that week, maybe the day after the determined it was coming from the water”
The loss is certainly hard, however … Walkerton is not bitter …they are trying to use the experience in a positive way … and lead to changes such that a Walkerton will never happen again.
Our Women sang a healing water song to the Spirit of that place … Well No. 5 … we offered tobacco at the top of the well … the message perhaps is this, it wasn’t the water hurt this town … imagine, a mother trying to feed her children, but her milk is poison … there were so many ways this could have been prevented in Walkerton; the message from the Mayor was – since 1974 when the well was drilled, everyone had an excuse not to do something about it, until 36 years later people began to die.
There was other staff from the Town Council and a Water Specialist that was very anxious to meet our Walkers.
We then toured thier Memorial Gardens, a tribute to the tragedy, from other towns. It wasn’t blooming because of the time of the year … so we didn’t see it in its beauty. But get this, in the Walkerton Coat of Arms, the beaver is located in its foundation. We use the beaver in our water ceremonies at Nochemowaning. Ironic, isn’t it.
We were back on the trail about 7 km north of Goderich by 11am. Our Saugeen Help rushed back to the stopping place and were trying to catch some shut-eye before Josephine got back.
The winds began to pick up and knocked the “Water Walkers” sign off the van. My son Keenan and I fixed it very quickly in Goderich, paint, nails’n tape.

The Water Walkers were greeted by Mayor D.J. Shewfelt with a police escort. He proceeded to take the entire procession, headed by our Grandmothers, into the downtown and through his city directly to their beautiful waterfront looking out over Lake Huron. He and others participated in a tobacco offering lead by our Women …and I believe that was when the Thunders first began sounding in the distance. Was he sincere? Mayor Shewfelt had undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery 4 years ago and he walked the entire distance with us, including up a very large flight of stairs leading up a high escarpment. The distance all together must have been close to 7 kilometers – Meegwetch Goderich and Mayor Shewfelt!!!

Tecumseh Reunion
Goderich was the proposed gathering place; Is it coincidence or not that the trail of the Water Walk actually retraces portions of the Mide Migration. Perhaps not, but coincidence or not, the Spirit of Tecumseh has taken the opportunity to reunite his family at Goderich. Descendants of this Great Warrior Chief chose Goderich as a place ot reunion …. his family helped usher the Vessel & Staff across the Saugeen/Cape Croker Peninsula , providing the much needed rest and relief for the Water Walkers …. the descendants of Cape Croker and Kettle Point agreed how great it would be to meet along the trail of the Water Walk …. Tecumseh’s Colours set out on Friday morning for a reunion at Goderich. It was at this reunion that He posted his colours next to the Water Vessel …. beautiful to see Water Vessel with coverage between Tecumseh’s Colours on one side and the Eagle Staff on the other. HO!

Goderich – Kettle Point
The were many memories made on this great occassion … our Saugeen friends having finished thier task were soon to be heading home – thier Spirits filled with a sense of accomplishment – Meegwetch Saugeen! Forces from Sarnia and Kettlle Point came and helped to replenish some of our numbers.
The Women always seemed to out numbered the Men … for some reason this always seems to be the case. However, on our trek from Goderich to Kettle Point, after the Tecumseh Colors were posted next to the Vessel this imbalance would change. Anishinabe-inni would show his presence.
The weather changed drastically as we left Goderich; before we left the outskirts of the town we were facing gust of 50-60 kms, with driving rain and low temperatures. The Water Vessel continued southward with Tecumseh Flag and Eagle Staff H3 on both sides. Through most of this inclement weather four men continued to trek … Keegan Keeshig (Biwaasimo-Binese), Keenan Keeshig (Naagwuna -Binese, Lincoln (Kettle Point) and Karl Keeshig (Wabuno-Geezis). Our women were very stong and determined, Deanna Jones-Keeshig, Joanne Keeshig, Melvina, Violet C., Josephine M., Pat S. I can’t remember them all … we were all numb after the experience. We hung on through the weather. It eventually it improved somewhat and help began to arrive.
We were still quite a little way from Grand Bend more help began to arrive from Kettle Point and Sarnia … we were told that the elders were waiting anxiously for sometime for the Walkers to arrive. At about 6:30 pm we marked our location with tobacco offering and drove to feast at Kettle Point.
Awesome Thunder Reception at Kettle Point – Thunderbirds Nest A big drum was set up out in front of 4 Winds Development, location of feast. Everyone assembled around the drum, including elders of the community, you should take into account that majority of them are Christian based.
It was obvious that something was also about to take place up in the sky. The big drum sounded and the song went up honouring our Water Walkers …. that Staff danced up to the drum touching it in perfect synchronization with a blast of Thunder from up above our heads …. shivers just running down our spines … leaving not only the locals in awe. A cold rain instantly came down on us replenishing the Grandmothers Water Vessel …. Kewl Eh! The next day the Water Walk would venture to the Thunder Birds Nest … located in Kettle Point.
The feast was great …. the petitions to Water was explained by our Water Walkers … petitions were also send out directed to the men the area. They were soon to respond honourably and showed it in their numbers and determination the next day.

Saturday May 14th
After the Thunders of the night before, the morning began early, it usually does for Auntie Sweet Corn – 5am means 4am to her. The fog was thick, soft, soothing and warm – a beautiful, beautiful morning. My mission was to honour the Staff as required until help arrived …. it eventually arrived and just in time because … Josephine and Melvina were planning something but I was on to their tricks. You wouldn’t believe the numbers, easily sixteen H3, not counting the young boys who wanted to help.
We used to two trucks …. dropping eight men up the road 2 kms because they all wanted a turn on the flags; they shared all the way to the next group … it was beautiful to see a grandmother, a mother, a young woman carrying the vessel, supported by Tecumseh Flag and Eagle Staff on each side with Uncles, Brothers, Dad’s, Husbands and Sons following close behind …. I seen this in my rearview mirror all day as I shuttled the Warrior’s back and forth. Ho!
The women were countless …. so I didn’t count them … they were many, from Shawanaga, Cape Croker, Sarnia, Kettle Point, Walpole Island … I couldn’t name all the places or name all the people, others should help give proper attributes to all who attended …. Hey Pauline Shirt was there …. I can remember a little bit … Oh yeah! and Jim was there but he’s not a Woman.

Thunderbird Nest
When the procession made it to Kettle Point at approximately, 12:30 pm, it was received a great unprompted reception. Woman and Men from Kettle Point hurried to receive and carry the bundle as it entered their community. The procession eventually weaved its way down to the location of the Thunderbirds Nest a distance of 6 kilometers, some of the residents walked the entire distance. The Chief Little Boy Water Drum from the East received the bundles at the Nest. It was a great ceremony facilitated by the Chief of the Midewiwin Eastern Door, Jim Dumont. The Thunders voiced their acknowledgment of the Water Vessel and Staff when they arrived and were very pleased when Chief Dumont offered them the Thunderpipe.
I met an Auntie from that area at the Nest when I was working with the pipe; She looked very pleased. I called her over and asked if she would smoke the pipe … She was just beaming with happiness. She says, “You know my name is Shawano-binese -kwe, South Thunderbird Woman and I am just excited by this.”
Kettle Point provided another great feast at 3 pm … an offering was sent down to the Water and Thunderbird Nest. Interest also appeared to be gaining. We were back on the Trail and heading down Hwy-7 toward Sarnia and the Border Crossing. Chi-Meegwetch Kettle Point for all your excellent help!
We made good distance …. our numbers weren’t as many as the afternoon. But, we were mostly interested in having a less challenging walk. The evening was beautiful … the pink sunset was great! We were probably about 25 kilometers north of Sarnia.
(I forget what day it was we got word from Bawdwaywidun that the Grandfather Drum was going to be tied …. I think it was Friday … I just wanted to acknowledge that we remember receiving the message)

Sunday May 15th
This day began with the uncertainty from the night before. We received information that preparations for a smooth Border Crossings were not arranged or fell through. The word was that they had said no to the initial crossing request. Remember …. the water has to be carried and cannot flow backwards. Frequent calls outlining our predicament were made the night before and early morning. I think we began to realize that the outcome would be determined by the Spirit and that we were creating our own barriers. We had to try … we had to be determined … we had to be H3 …. we knew that the message we were delivering was important and that our mission was incomplete.
We woke up with every intension of crossing the Border. We’ll worry about when we get closer, not now. There were some very memorable moments that morning. On the way to our last stopping place …. at 4:30 in the morning we pulled over to look up in the sky … the Northern Lights had constructed what appeared to be the lodge and we were standing in it …. Dubbee Nooaaah Bemoseyaww!!! We offered our tobacco, smiling and continuing on.
Part of our famous journey took us right down Mah-dah-bin Street … or Sweet Corn Lane … we all agreed that our Aunt Josphine should walk it herself and she did.
Angel … hmmmh .. is it Clifford …. names, names …. Hilda’s Sister …. came over and made contact with us. We all went to the Border Station, Angels Group, Josephine, Lin Rosales, Pat Shawano, and Me.
They tried to slough us off and diminish what it was we were doing. There was some disrespect beginning to be directed at what we were doing and at our bundles. They made a mistake when they began referring to our Sacred Vessel and Staff as stuff. That was when everything turned the other way for us. I won’t get into the details – everyone that was in that room has a story to tell.
Aunt Josephine, Lincoln and I enjoyed the view from atop the Blue Water Bridge as Auntie offered tobacco to the waterway below . That was a long steep walk for our Aunt Josephine.
We had a victory dance on the other side, continued on our journey and then headed back to a great feast at Sarnia.

That is all I will share ….. the updates for Monday are coming fast and furious … thinks are looking good … lots of good help is heading in the right direction … I’ll update asap tomorrow!

May 16/05

The Cabinet of the Government of Ontario with the Ontario Political Confederacy of the Chiefs of Ontario.
Grand Council Chief John Beaucage is on the steering committee for First Ministers Meeting that will take place in Fall 2005.

GCC playing a leading role at the National level
OTTAWA – National Chief Phil Fontaine has asked Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief John Beaucage to sit on a steering committee that will play an advisory role in preparation for the upcoming Cabinet Retreat scheduled for May and the First Ministers’ Meeting, scheduled for the Fall.
“These are very important meetings that may have the impact to change the relationship between First Nations and the Crown,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “We are working hard to ensure a H3 position is taken forward by First Nations, and that our policy suggestions will carry some weight and will lead to implementation.”
The political role of the Union of Ontario Indians is enhanced exponentially with Grand Council Chief Beaucage’s participation at the AFN and on the steering committee. With ready access to the National Chief’s office, the Privy Council office, and potentially Senior Ministers and bureaucrats of the Crown, the Union of Ontario Indians’ profile and issues of importance will be addressed. Thus far, the Grand Council Chief has been able to bring such issues as housing, health issues, border crossing, water and the environment, and urban issues to the forefront. “By addressing these issues, we are able to deal with Union of Ontario Indians’ priorities at the highest levels,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. This unprecedented opportunity to push our issues at this level ensures our political agenda and advocacy mandate are fulfilled.
“First Nations are leading the way at the First Ministers’ Meeting and Roundtable forums. For the first time in history, the Government is reacting to our action plans.”
Grand Council Chief Beaucage also corrected any earlier assumptions that he would be representing Ontario at either of those tables.
“I am not going to be the Ontario Representative at the First Ministers’ Meeting. There was some confusion concerning my role on the steering committee and the possible change over of Ontario Leadership,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage. “The (Ontario Regional Chief) election in June will determine the Ontario Representative for the upcoming First Ministers’ Meeting.”
The appointment by Fontaine is an advisory and liaison role that is necessary in preparation for both high-level meetings. However, Beaucage has not discounted the possibility that he would be attending both meetings alongside the National Chief.
High on the agenda for the Cabinet Retreat will be housing, education, the environment, health, and recognition of self-government.
The AFN hosted a policy summit in Montreal to develop a Housing, an Education Environmental Stewardship, and Education Action Plans. All three documents will be key to a First Nations position at the Cabinet Retreat and First Ministers’ Meeting.
The Steering Committee also consists of Billy Diamond and Georges Erasmus.
Beaucage will also be part of a Senior Negotiation team that will lead the implementation of the AFN’s housing negotiations strategy. The ultimate goal will be to negotiate the housing administration from both Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canada and Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
“Both INAC and CMHC have attempted to improve the housing conditions in First Nations communities, and both have seen very little success,” said Beaucage. “Recognizing the authority for housing resides in grassroots communities, we will work towards putting the entire echelon of housing administration and government contribution in the hand of First Nations. We must do something ourselves, the government will not do this for us.”
Beaucage is also very cautious, citing the need for authority development and implementation of housing programs should reside at the micro-level, not the national or regional level. Also, the treaty right to shelter must be recognized and continue to be a part of the fiduciary responsibility of the Government of Canada. According to the Grand Council Chief, the treaty right to shelter would extend to housing support programs and ongoing sustainable funding for new innovative approaches to housing.

May 16/05

Whitefrost Sobriety Singers are pleased to announce their new website. Keep track of all of the singers and their supporters throughout the pow-wow trail including news, photos and an appearance calendar. Whitefrost will be introducing their new CD in the very near future.

Bob Goulais and the Whitefrost Sobriety Singers at a youth gathering in Mnjikaning First Nation.

May 16/05 Discovered

You have always been there
Regardless of all things
To know how you long
For what will never be
For today I saw it
What you truly feel
The test of time tells
When you meant it’s for real
When we never have been close like that
It makes me feel Like a heartless rat
For it’s you who’s shown me
The meaning of true love
But don’t get too close
I fear you’ll feel the shove
Of what it feels like
When you do not get that affection
Or returned feelings
Of love and attention
I am forever grateful and caring
For what you have done
But now is the time
Here in the paling sun
Many years have past
And I am so glad I finally see
What you have done all these years
What you wanted to show me.


May 16/05 Anishinabek leads push over
unfair passport requirements

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – “The Union of Ontario Indians will not stand idly by while our federal governments close their grip on the artificial boundary separating our territories.”
These were the tough words of Anishinabek Nation leader John Beaucage as he discussed the newly announced requirements to travel into the United States with the CBC.
On April 5, the U.S. State Department announced that after December 31, 2006 Canadians will require a passport for entry into the United States. In response, Ottawa has announced that they will establish a joint House-Senate national security committee to address these new requirements.
Immediately, Grand Council Chief Beaucage went on the offensive, raising the issue in the media, with First Nations Chiefs, U.S. Tribal Chairpersons and the National Chiefs Office.
“Without question, First Nations have never given up the right or sovereignty to travel freely within our territories. This is a fundamental (Jay) treaty right and aboriginal right,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage.
Beaucage has asked National Chief Phil Fontaine to raise the issue during a recent meeting with the United States government. Fontaine met with officials over the Devils Lake, Montana diversion of polluted water into the Red River watershed.
Grand Council Chief will meet with Phil Fontaine to discuss next steps. He plans to use his involvement on the committee planning the May Cabinet Retreat and the fall First Ministers’ Meeting to raise the issue.
The U.S. has also indicated that it may accept “other proof of citizenship” but eventually all identification will require a biometric tag, including “Nexus”, a biometric-identified issued passport to frequent U.S. travelers.
“We propose that the Federal Indian Status cards are considered as one of the identifications that the U.S. must include in “other proof of citizenship.” However, we have to be more vigilant in updating our Indian Status Cards,” added the Grand Council Chief.
Grand Council Chief Beaucage feels that a more secure Indian Status Card is needed. Features could include electronic identification strips, bar codes, embedded digital photographs, and possible biometric devices. Other options form more secure identification could include an Anishinabek citizen card that may be established under the Governance Self-Government Agreement.
Further to the UOI’s discussion with the U.S. Tribes, Mr. Frank Ettawageshik, Tribal Chairperson for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians explained that even his own members may require a U.S. Passport to re-enter the U.S. from Canada and abroad.
According to the U.S. State Department, by January 2008 even Americans may require a passport to re-enter.

May 12/05 Letter to the Editor, North Bay Nugget

Dear Editor:

I had the pleasure of walking with the Mother Earth Water Walk, last week, as they walked around Lake Huron to raise awareness of the water, the environment and of the aquatic life. The depth of knowledge from these traditional women, and drive that keeps these Elders walking between 70 and 100 km each day, is truly representative of the respect and honour that Anishinabe people have for the Earth, the Water and the Fish-life. Unfortunately, there are also a very small minority of people who choose to shield their disregard for the fishery behind the veil of our treaty and aboriginal rights.
I was personally saddened and ashamed to see my fellow Nipissing First Nation members in yesterday’s Nugget arguing for unfettered access to the struggling Lake Nipissing fishery.
I must emphasize that Nipissing First Nation, our government and “most” of our citizens are well aware of the state of the fishery and that a certain minority are abusing their rights and threatening our commercial and sustenance fishery. This is not only an assault on the non-native users of the Lake, but to our own rights and livelihood as well. Our people wholeheartedly agree that the Lake Nipissing fishery needs to be managed. Our people agree that we need to stop those who are abusing their right to fish. I have every confidence that Nipissing First Nation and the Ministry of Natural Resources will be working very hard at meeting these objectives in the weeks to come.
But to threaten violence, foster hate, or advocate the termination of our rights is not acceptable. As Nugget editor Jon Size states “a few bad apples can cause problems”, and this is a case in fact. Sadly, it appears there are bad apples of either side of this debate.
Further, Gary Preston’s suggestion that the MNR unilaterally deal with this problem is not consistent with our rights to self-determination either.
The combined strength of the Nipissing First Nation fisheries regulations, the gill net registry, the self-imposed fishing moratorium, and hatchery program is a comprehensive solution that will go a lot further than any MNR-imposed quota or ‘Nish-witch hunt. Nipissing First Nation and the MNR must come together and work cooperatively to implement these measures so they are enforceable and effective. A scientific-biology program and a compliance/enforcement program is also needed and should be immediately funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
I think it is important to foster mutual respect, honour each other’s basic human rights and learn about each others’ view. Only through rational productive dialogue can we weather the storm on Lake Nipissing together.

Bob Goulais
Nipissing First Nation

May 12/05 Does colour have a sound?

Does colour have a sound?
Green seethes lofted ruffles light
Purples firm grip of a vineyard’s grape
Yellow impales our Grandfathers nape.

Can the wind seed our palette?
A Chinook breeze of warming spice
The typhoon rains grow fragrant rice
The biting chill of the great north ice.

Do feelings evolve?
Our teacher’s morals, the Kings we fear
Resisting change our hearts draw near
Lamenting goodness we dare not hear.

Will Love reign supreme?
Passions flower drips without decay
Emotions trigger with undue delay
Endless time in Love’s wallowed stay.

May 5/05 Water Walkers on Highway 69 going South

TO: Eddie Benton-Banai
FROM: Goulais, Bob
DATE: May 5, 2005 6:19 a.m.
SUBJECT: Water Walkers on Highway 69 going South

Ahnee-Boozhoo Bawdwaywidun:

With the support of our political Grand Council Chief John Beaucage – I’ve had our communications department working with Josephine in promoting the 2005 Water Walk. Had a great launch last Saturday – as some media came out for the launch in Sault Ste. Marie.
Yesterday, we had the walkers come in to our Lake Huron Regional Chief’s meeting. Josephine spoke to our gimaag, raising awareness, describing the women’s responsibilities, and thanked us for the support. She spoke all in Anishinabemowin. We came up with a collection of about $250.00 — but with lawyers outnumber Chiefs 2-1 at our meeting — should have been a lot more. Eyy!! We made sure they were well fed before they moved on to Sudbury for the night, last night. Everybody was in great spirits when they went on their way.
I’m on my way out the door to join them on Highway 69, south!! We should reach the Magnetawan River by tonight. I’m also bringing out the Anishinabek Nation Eagle Staff today to provide that support. There are some young men that are walking with the walkers, and being very supportive in walking, carrying the eagle staff, driving and taking care of our kwewag.
I asked the Chief of Whitefish Lake First Nation to provide some safety gear for the walkers, and she came up with a donation of reflective safety tape. It may not be much but it was thoughtful.
Deanna and Carl Keeshig, Leona Stevens, and Wes Whetung will be welcoming them into Shawanaga on Friday. They’ve got a good fasting camp going this week with fasters coming out on Saturday. Despite all their fasting camp duties, they’re going out of their way to support the water walkers. The young men and all the women will enjoy their time in Shawanaga and at the Healing Centre.
Just a little update. Maybe I’ll be able to put some photos up on my website soon…

Mii iw,


Bob Goulais
Anishinabek Nation Political Office

May 3/05

The Hon. David Ramsey, Minister of Natural Resources, with Bob Goulais and Grand Council Chief John Beaucage during the Anishinabek-Ontario Resource Management Council’s interactive workshop in Sault Ste. Marie, April 27. Minister Ramsey and Grand Council Chief Beaucage signed the Anishinabek Trapping Harmonization Agreement which will allow First Nations to administer their own trapping licenses and management regime.

May 3/05 For “Rita”

A bewildering sight, and a much tougher read
Rita sings is dismay to her man called Snead:
‘How come you don’t ever do that for me?’

With a fly off the handle, Snead comes clean:
‘That buddy’s a poet, but that’s certainly not me’
and he hums and haws with his brow raised mean.

Perplexed, Snead riles like a braised old goat
It floats and it floats around a thick stagnant moat:
His ridiculous fear sinks his poor egos’ boat.

‘Come on now Snead’ Rita calls in response.
‘You’ll do just fine but keep up with his taunts’
But he flaunts, and he flaunts, all the words that he wants.


Tabobondung-Beaucage — at the West Parry Sound Health Centre on April 12, 2005 to Kimberly Beaucage and Bruce Tabobondung of Wasauksing First Nation, a daughter, Ella Kendyll Lynn. A sister for Carter.


Myself, Adam Beach, and Lester Mianskum
at the 1st Annual Grand Chiefs Charity Open.

Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, Grand Chief Chris McCormick, Susan Schouwstra, JDRF and myself accepting the cheque for $2980 from the Grand Chiefs Charity Open.

Charity Open Grand Success

NORTH BAY – On Saturday April 23rd, 2005 the Grand Chiefs Charity Open Team 8- Ball Tournament took place. The organizers, Union of Ontario Indians, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, Creative Impressions by Laplante Inc., and Partners Billiards and Bowling presented Susan Schouwstra, Fundraising Coordinator for JDRF Nipissing with a cheque for $2,980.
Over 32 teams were signed up for the full day event which meant 128 players from all over the province joined up for a full day of overwhelming good-hearted spirit, and friendly competition The grand success of the event “will see next year’s tournament a two day event to include those teams who were unable to attend due to the early sell out of this year’s tournament,” said Bonnie Zufelt of Partners Billiards and Bowling.
Players were able to challenge one of Ontario’s best snooker players, Lester Mianskum. Also stepping up to the challenge was Anishinabe Actor Adam Beach who has starred in The Rez, Smoke Signals and Windtalkers. Beach was in North Bay to meet with the Grand Council Chief John Beaucage and Grand Chief Chris McCormick and Bob Goulais, Executive Assistant to the Grand Council Chief.
Both Beaucage and McCormick are deeply concerned for the increase of diabetes in the native population and realize the need for education and research for this chronic disease. Their dedication to helping was evident in their committee’s organization of this year’s event and their commitment to continue this tournament next year and make it a two day tournament.
One player, Barb Naveau, a receptionist for the Union of Ontario Indians has played in a pool league for over a year and a half. When asked why she came out to play, Naveau said, “I came to raise money to help find a cure. I am basically the only person in my family who does not have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I would like to see a cure.”
The tournament was separated into two divisions. In the recreational division, Team Restoules, including Chief Bill Restoule, Charlie Restoule, Chris (Babe) Dokis and Earl Restoule took first. Team “Cree Amigos” took first in the Competitive division. Their team included Gabe Herodier, Jesse House, Ernie Rabbitskin and Jim Pepabano.
Goulais who despite a very heavy work schedule is also the Corporate Recruitment Chair for JDRF Nipissing. His dedication to helping JDRF raise not only funds for research but awareness of this disease comes from his own battle with Type 2 Diabetes and a long family history of diabetes. Of the Grand Chiefs Charity Open, Goulais added, “I heard so many great comments from everyone I talked to. Our whole organizing committee was so pleased.”
JDRF’s fundraising goal of $ 92,000 came a step closer with the proceeds of this event. Schouwstra thanked the crowd, “the excitement and commitment and spirit in this room comes from wonderful people like yourselves and the knowledge that a cure for diabetes has never been so close. On behalf of JDRF & the children with diabetes, a heartfelt thank you to the Grand Chiefs, the pool players, Cindy & Ron Laplante, Bonnie Zufelt, & Dennis Mong of Partners and Bob Goulais for helping getting us one step closer.”

Apr.25/05 A Hummingbird at Dawn

Her facial radiance
energetic and slight
splendor in youth.
The tender-lined curvature
of a breathtaking smile.
With the immediacy of a single moment in time
– the flutter of a hummingbird’s wing
I’m taken.

Her rhythmic voice
and soliloquy abeam
in my aware, but unbegotten ear.
In her forwardness, I’m abashed
humbled, and pleased
– for the stars are aligned for us
If hidden by the dawns’ light anew.

It may not be much
But with pale anticipation
Heartbeat flurry
and an exchange of glances
– Our Spirits join.

Like childlike play under chaperone
The supervision of knowing eyes
and thoughtful care
Our contacts exchange with childlike glee.

From there we part ways
with nothing more than the advice of the Spirit
and casual greetings.
I am grateful, and full of life.

This day, I met a hummingbird at dawn
and our Spirits rejoiced.

Apr.24/05 Inaugeral ‘Grand Chiefs Charity Open’ a success

The spirit of sportsmanship and charity was evident in North Bay this weekend during the Grand Chiefs Charity Open 8-Ball Tournament at Partners Billiards and Bowling this Saturday, May 23.
A full-complement of 32 teams, for a total of 128 pool players took part in the tournament.
There was so much good will, and fun-filled spirit in the room. I heard so many great comments from everyone I talked to. Our whole organizing committee was so pleased.
Well-known Anishinabe actor Adam Beach, star of The Rez, Smoke Signals and Windtalkers came out to support the tournament. We was the first to step up to challenge Lester Mianskum, in our “Beat the Champ” event. Beach was in town to meet with myself and Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, and Grand Chief Chris McCormick. Adam and I will be the co-MCs at our Unity Gathering Pow-Wow in Kettle and Stony Point on June 25-26.
The “Cree Amigos” won the Competitive Division over “The Yeoman”. The championship went right down to the wire as The Yeoman and Cree Amigos exchanged late-game turns. If the Yeoman were to capture the final game, the tournament would be over. However, the pressure was too much. In the end, Cree Amigos team captain Gabe Herodier, cheered on by a H3 First Nations crowd, captured the win in fine fashion.
In the recreational division, “The Restoules” consisting of Chief Bill Restoule, Charlie Restoule, Earl Restoule and Chris (Babe) Dokis won in convincing style despite being “out of practice”.
The proceeds of the tournament, a cheque of $2980.00, was presented to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
We have committed to holding the tournament again next year. The tournament will be expanded to a two-day format, to allow for more players. The demand for the tournament was more that we expected.
The tournament is sponsored by the Union of Ontario Indians (Grand Council Chief John Beaucage), Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (Grand Chief Chris McCormick), Creative Impressions by Laplante Inc. (Ron and Cindy Laplante), and Partners Billards and Bowling (Bonnie Zufelt and Dennis Mong).
Miigwetch (thank you) for all those who supported our first annual Grand Chief’s Charity Open tournament. I’d especially like to thank those businesses who provided great prizes to our prize table.
Our biggest thanks goes out to Cindy Laplante, whose selfless, giving nature, hard work and dedication made the tournament successful.

Apr.17/05 Spring Cleaning is needed

Vatican Council 3 – With the death of John Paul II and the conclave to elect his successor approaching this week, we have to ask what kind of Pope is needed to guide the world largest religion?
There is a fundamental need to ground the Roman Catholic Church in today’s society – to be more reflective of contemporary, liberal values. Sure, we need a moral conscience to guide society. We need H3 family values. However, those morals and values are changing. What was considered “sin” thirty or forty years ago, is more accepted today. Attitudes toward sexuality have changed. The traditional roles of men and women have changed. The scandal-ridden hypocrisy within the church has been exposed.
All these discussions need to happen. The world needs a Leader of Faith that will be open to examining these issues, facilitate those discussions, and be more accepting to what is now being seen as “normal”.
The world needs a Vatican Council 3, to bring together the College of Cardinals, Bishops, Clergy, Laypeople, Catholic citizens and youth that would discuss these contemporary issues and address the issues of child abuse scandals, as well as reparations with Canada’s First Nations people over the never-acknowledged, residential school tragedy.
Most of my community consider themselves “Catholic”. My family is very H3 in our local Roman Catholic church. Although I may never, in good conscience, acknowledge the authority of the church and adhere to its sanctimonious teachings – I certainly respect the choice of those who bestow their faith in God through Christianity.

Internal Liberal Audit Needed – Nothing makes me cringe more that to think of another election on the immediate horizon. Thanks to the Gomery Inquiry, more and more revelations are being brought public over the sponsorship inquiry. These revelations are pointing directly to the Liberal Party of Canada, especially in Quebec. The Prime Minister needs to take stock of these facts and launch an immediate internal investigation into money taken by the Liberal Party from any firms or individuals involved in the scandal. Those who accepted these funds from within the Party should be dealt with swiftly and decisively. An internal forensic audit of the Liberal Party’s finances are needed. Those contributions should be paid back to Canadians. We need to clear the name of the Liberal Party and get rid of those who risk the future of our government.
The Liberal Party of Canada should clean house, and that cleaning should be led by the Prime Minister, the elected leader of the Party.

For Better or For Worse…

Check it out. Can you believe it?

© 2005 Lynn Johnston Productions. Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate.


Anishinabek celebrate Lynn Johnston
comic strip for being inclusive

Lynn Johnston accepts the Debwewin Citations award from Deputy Grand Chief Nelson Toulouse (left) and Grand Council Chief John Beaucage (right).

NIPISSING FIRST NATION – For introducing a fictional Anishinabek Nation community into a comic strip published daily in over 2,000 newspapers in 22 countries in eight languages, Lynn Johnston has been named the 2004 recipient of the Debwewin Citation for excellence in Aboriginal-issues journalism.
The artist and author who creates her internationally-acclaimed comic strip “For Better or For Worse” from her home in Corbeil, just outside North Bay, accepted the prize – a specially-mounted feather – with typical humility. “I’m not trying to preach at people . . . just to show that Native people are like everyone else,” she said. Johnston grew up in North Vancouver a few blocks from the Squamish First Nation, and recalls her father inviting band members to her home for tea. She also remembered the warm welcome Natives extended to her and husband Rod when his dentistry practice took them to the northern Manitoba community of Lynn Lake.
“I heard drumming coming from a nearby house and it was such a reassuring sound,” she recalled. North Bay Nugget managing editor editor John Size presented the award to Johnston at the Union of Ontario Indians Elders Hall at a ceremony attended by UOI staff and Johnston’s production team. The Nugget is a member of the Osprey Media Group, which three years ago became the founding sponsor of the Debwewin Citations, the only prize for Aboriginal-issues journalism in Canada. The annual award is co-ordinated by the communications unit of the Union of Ontario Indians.
Size refererred to the Nugget’s longstanding relationship with the Union of Ontario Indians, and said that the paper’s weekly Niijii Circle Page – containing aboriginal-issues material contributed by UOI communications staff – “is something Osprey believes in”. He said Johnston’s “For Better or For Worse” has not backed away from controversial topics, including introducing black and gay characters and storylines in the past.
Johnston was nominated for the honour by Chief Phil Goulais of Nipissing First Nation. The award was a surprise for Johnston, who thought she was visiting the Union of Ontario Indians’ head office for a ceremony naming her fictional First Nation – “Mtigwaki” (land of trees) an honourary member community of the Anishinabek Nation. Grand Council Chief John Beaucage announced that he would be introducing a resolution asking Anishinabek Chiefs to recognize Mtigwaki as an honourary Anishinabek member community, and Johnston as an honourary Anishinabek citizen, both firsts for the oldest political organization in Ontario.
“It’s still too often stereotypes that label us,” said Beaucage, noting that Johnston’s comic strip portrays First Nations citizens as “everyday, real people.”
Johnston, who has published 30 books, decided to create Mtigwaki a few years ago when one of her characters “Elizabeth”, was deciding to become a teacher. Lynn thought it would be a good idea if Elizabeth would spend time teaching up north. It was through Lynn’s own experience a few years ago living with husband Rod in a small remote northern Native community that gave her the idea. She felt her character could learn and experience what she had during her time there. It would also allow her to take her readers on a journey learning and growing with both the real and fictitious characters of Mtigwaki. Although Lynn had thought about this for a couple of years, it wasn’t until last year that it began to take shape. She introduced a character named “Mr Crow” to bring the first Aboriginal content for her readers. He only had a bit part in one strip but it was enough to get a positive reaction from her readers. Lynn is very conscious of her fans and wants to take them wherever she goes, including on her own learning journey.
Next she decided to use Our Lady of Sorrows School in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario as a teaching stop for Elizabeth. O.L.S. is attended by most of the children from Garden Village on Nipissing First Nation. Lynn visited the school and used many of the Native children and teachers as models for her character development.
She even paid a visit to Garden Village Confectionary to get a feel for the community and further her own knowledge base about First Nations. All communities have unique characters and there she met Dennis Goulais, owner of the small store whose humour made him a perfect character to use in her strip.
Lynn began to develop the idea of her own First Nation community with the help of some friends. Perry, Laurie and Falcon Skye McLeod-Shabogesic helped her create Mtigwaki. Falcon designed the community logo, with he and his dad Perry helping create the physical structure and layout of the First Nation using a model built on the back of a pizza box. Laurie came up with the name and became Lynn’s Ojibwe language consultant, for example, suggesting the name of the new kitten and friend in Elizabeth’s life – “Shiimsa”.
A significant part of Lynn’s website ( is dedicated to Mtigwaki, Aboriginal information (current and historic) and other relevant links.
Lynn attributes the remarkable success of “For Better or For Worse” – which she plans on wrapping up in three years – to her family – especially husband Rod, the “rock” in her life – many friends and dedicated all-woman staff: Nancy, Liuba, Laura, Allison, Jackie and Stephanie. Her support system has helped her take her comic strip from her kitchen table to a corporation. Humble and caring, wise and truthful, Lynn Johnston touches the lives of millions each day with gentle humour, unselfishly sharing herself and her beliefs.
The Anishinabek Nation is richer to call her, her family and staff “Niijii” – our friends.

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, Crane Clan, Nipissing First Nation, is an artist, journalist, and creator of the Baloney and Bannock cartoon seen regularly in the Anishinabek News. He works as a community liaison officer for the Anishinabek-Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre.

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, Laurie McLeod, Lynn Johnston and Falcon Skye McLeod-Shabogesic pose with the Mtigwaki comic strips.

Apr.13/05 Indian Nations unite on Great Lakes

NIAGARA FALLS, ON, April 13 /CNW/ – It has been over 240 years since
Great Lakes tribes descended upon the great Niagara Falls to discuss issues of
profound consequence. This week, representatives from over 140 indigenous
tribes from both sides of the border participated in the most significant and
historic international gathering since the signing of the 1764 Treaty of
First Nations in Canada and Tribes in the United States came together to
discuss issues surrounding the Great Lakes Charter, Annex 2001. The Annex,
signed between the two provinces, and eight states is an addendum to the Great
Lakes Charter which governs the Great Lakes eco-system and resources that are
shared within these jurisdictions.
In November 2004, the Indigenous Nations of the Great Lakes united to
unanimously reject the Great Lakes Charter Annex, the commodification,
diversion and export of water, and the lack of inclusion in the
intergovernmental process.
Today, the United Indian Nations of the Great Lakes, consisting of
indigenous leadership from Quebec, Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota reaffirmed the
principles outlined in the Great Lakes Water Accord of November 2004, and
committed to defining a process to furthering indigenous management of the
Great Lakes through the immediate development of a taskforce of
representatives of the Tribes and First Nations.
“Tribes on both sides of the border are united in developing our own
parallel process and ensuring our participation in decision-making involving
the management of the Great Lakes,” said Frank Ettawageshik, tribal chairman
of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and co-chair for the United
Indian Nations of the Great Lakes meeting.
“The consensus that we have reached here will guide our efforts in
responding to these issues,” said Nelson Toulouse, Deputy Grand Chief of the
Anishinabek Nation, and co-chair for the meeting. “More importantly, we remain
committed to making this our own process, done in our way.”
The Tribes and First Nations pledged to take back this information to
their respective councils for review and to follow through with the 2004