Grand Council Chief John Beaucage announces the Political Manifesto at the Nbisiing Education Centre. Chief Phil Goulais of Nipissing First Nations looks on. Monica Lister Photo
First Nations leader outlines revolutionary agenda
Elimination of the Indian Act
Elimination of Anishinabek Nation poverty in 20 years
NIPISSING FIRST NATION (May 17, 2006) – Today, John Beaucage announced his candidacy for the office of Grand Council Chief by unveiling a revolutionary document entitled the Political Manifesto of the Anishinabek Nation. The Political Manifesto is a statement of vision and principles that shall guide First Nations leadership, through the office of the Grand Council Chief, in planning and carrying out the political, social and governance agenda of the Anishinabek Nation over the next seven generations.
In a signing ceremony held at the Nbisiing Education Centre, Beaucage gave his solemn commitment to the concepts and principle in the Political Manifesto. He signed the Political Manifesto in the presence of the student body.
“This is a sacred document, a treaty between the leadership and the Anishinabek people,” said Beaucage. “I am honoured and humbled to fulfill the role of Grand Council Chief, based on these noble and sacred principles stated herein.”
Chief Philip Goulais has committed to supporting Grand Council Chief Beaucage’s vision and has endorsed his candidacy for Grand Council Chief. Chief Goulais also witnessed the signing of the Political Manifesto. Beaucage’s nomination will be moved by Chief Patrick Madahbee of Aundeck Omni Kaning and seconded by Chief Veronica Waboose of Long Lake First Nation. The election will take place at the annual Grand Council Assembly which will take place June 12-14, 2006 at Sand Point First Nation on Lake Nipigon.
“The Political Manifesto, as well as the vision and actions of our governments are based on the teachings and authority granted to us by the Creator and are based on the Sacred Law of the Anishinabek that is inherent within all of us,” states Beaucage.
The Political Manifesto outlines a number of revolutionary concepts including:
- “The official language of the Anishinabek Nation is our original language, Anishinaabemowin.”
- “Only our traditional governments have the right to define our citizenry and criteria for citizenship for our communities and within our Nation. We reject the Indian Act in its attempt to legislate and define who an Anishinabek Nation citizen is, and as such, we reject the concept of Indian Status.”
- “We are dedicated to the rebuilding of traditional governance in our Anishinabek Nation government and community governments. We will work towards the necessary constitutional change that will recognize our traditional, community and communal governments as the third order of Government within Canada.”
- “We shall work collectively towards the elimination of the Indian Act within 10 years.”
- Our primary political, social and governance agenda will be to secure and implement our inherent, aboriginal and treaty rights.”
- “We are the bona fide owners of the Great Lakes. The rights of the lakes and lakebeds have never been ceded to the Crown.”
- “We will take a lead role in the environmental community in protecting and speaking for our Mother Earth.”
- “We shall collectively work towards the elimination of Anishinabek Nation poverty in 20 years.”
- “The key to a prosperous, stable and healthy Anishinabek Nation is the establishment of a self-sustaining Anishinabek Nation economy.”
- “Our Economic Strategy will be based on obtaining and sharing benefits from the whole of the Anishinabek Nation territory, including sharing and equalization of resources and benefits. We can no longer rely solely on Indian monies and government revenues to finance our community and Anishinabek Nation Governments and social needs.”
Beaucage also introduced his election campaign website at http://www.johnbeaucage.com and his toll-free number at 1-800-635-1884.
John Beaucage is the incumbent Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation. 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 UOI 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.
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