“As Indigenous Nations, we continue to be the authors of our own future.” – Grand Chief Gordon Peters
The Indigenous Reclamation initiative is cutting-edge work that aims to empower our people to exercise their jurisdiction so they may once again flourish as governments and Nations. The following priority areas drive this initiative forward: Governance, Relationships, Culture and Language, and Economy Building.
Indigenous Reclamation is a community-led initiative which promotes Nation building activities to support self-determination as well as resetting relationships with the Crown. The Joint Action Plan identifies four priority areas that will support the assertion of First Nations jurisdiction. These priority areas include: Governance, Relationships, Culture and Language, and Economy Building.
In 2013, the AIAI General Assembly formalized the nation building initiative including the action plan by adopting the position paper titled, Indigenous Reclamation: Governance.
The following information outlines the long-term vision, mission statement and priority areas as set by the Indigenous Reclamation initiative.
The Indigenous Reclamation Vision states:
We, the original peoples of Turtle Island, know that the Creator placed us here as sovereign Nations, and we will exercise our full jurisdiction, in accordance to our own traditional laws and practices with respect to the land, water, air, fire and peoples.
The Indigenous Reclamation Mission Statement reads:
We, the original peoples of Turtle Island, will enhance and protect our Inherent rights, languages, cultures, lands and laws by:
- Empowering the peoples through building mutual respect and trust
- Educating the general public of our history, treaty (s) and other agreements
- Educating all levels of the federal and provincial government
- Advancing common positions
- Supporting the assertion of full jurisdiction
- Participating in regional and national Assemblies and workshops
- Supporting First Nations and Leadership
The Indigenous Reclamation Joint Action Plan:
- Assist Indigenous Nations assert jurisdiction in priority sectors.
- Develop protocol frameworks to create consistent and predictable outcomes resulting from cross-jurisdictional issues.
- Identify ways to develop/protect governance structures and institutions
- Explore issues related to the implementation of jurisdiction.
- Establish a process to affirm and enforce the spirit and intent of the Treaties.
- Examine models that will support a new fiscal relationship
- Advance methods of family revitalization and well-being
- Culture and Language:
- Support Indigenous Nations in their efforts to revitalize components of their Nationhood, including: languages, history, cultures and spiritual practices.
- Share resources and capacity to integrate language and culture revitalization efforts into K-12 curriculums and lifelong learning.
- Assess options to assist in community –based revitalization efforts to support nation rebuilding.
- Economy Building:
- Explore ways for Indigenous Nations to manage resources and homelands, and generate revenue through sustainable ventures and governance initiatives.
- Initiate processes to establish homelands beyond the Reserve system to ensure there exists an adequate land base in which to grow and prosper.
What is the Role of AIAI to fulfill this initiative?
The Association is mandated to provide administrative support and offer technical expertise to interested communities.
Since initiated the Indigenous Reclamation initiative has given rise to AIAI facilitated discussion forums and workshops on various topics related to governance.
- Indigenous Governance
- Child Welfare – Jurisdictional Forum
- Matrimonial Real Property – Workshop
How has this initiative benefited the member Nations?
Each of the seven communities has undertaken unique approaches to asserting jurisdiction and rebuilding their systems of Indigenous governance. These initiatives span from acquiring a land base, economic development in sustainable/renewable energy, building infrastructure, and reinstituting traditional systems governance.
As the Association continues to support each of the member Nations to realize their long-term goals, we are looking forward to hosting a second governance forum that will allow an opportunity for each community to promote/share their best practices. Please visit the community websites to obtain more information on their specific initiatives.
Name: Tina Powell
Phone: 519.434.2761 ext 222