The Parry Sound North Star
PARRY SOUND – Former Wasauksing First Nation Chief John Beaucage was acclaimed as the Anishinabek Nation grand Council Chief earlier this month, for a second term.
“I think it is time to be ambitious in our goals; that we have to be ambitious because we can’t always rely on the provincial and federal governments to carry us. We have to do the job ourselves,” said Mr. Beaucage.
One of the issues Mr. Beaucage rededicated himself to is the eradication of poverty, both cultural and financial, within the Anishinabek Nation.
The first steps of which have already been taken to fulfill this goal.
“The Anishinabek already dedicated, as of last week, the anishnabemowin (Ojibwa) language as our official language,” said Mr. Beaucage.
“So we are undertaking a program that will have language immersion for the people in the office and political people and will work to have the laws in place to make it the official language and alter our education system.”
The goal is to have anishnabemowin the language of choice in schools and work places within 10 years. Out of 50,000 Anishinabek members he said about 20 per cent speak anishnabemowin at this time.
Also on his agenda is the community taking control of its own children’s aid, by creating an Anishinabek Children’s Aid Society and becoming a provincially recognized service provider. This project, he said, is about two years away from being fully realized.
The Anishinabek Nation includes 42 communities and spans from Thunder Bay, in the north, to Sarnia, in the south, and to the Ottawa Valley, in the east.