TURTLE ISLAND

December 19, 2001

Members
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation

Dear Member:

Re: Algonquin Land Claim Negotiations

Many of you are aware that in May 2001 the Chief and Council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan transferred the management for, and the administration of, the land claim negotiations to the newly created Algonquin Nation Negotiations Directorate (ANND). Such a transfer was necessary in order for this process to work because the First Nation alone had been legally and financially responsible for these negotiations from the time of acceptance of the claim for negotiation by Ontario and Canada in 1991/92.

The ANND corporation (a not for profit Ontario Provincial Corporation) was created for the original purpose of administering and managing the land claim negotiations for the "Algonquin" Nation to the negotiation table. The First Nation, through the Chief of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan was an equal part of the ANND Corporation in the capacity of being a member of the Board of Directors. Similarly, seven to eight other Directors were a part of the original Board of Directors. The Chief was also elected as the first President of the Corporation.

On November 7th of this year a majority of the Board of Directors had asked the Chief to resign as President. She refused to do so as she believed she had been fulfilling her duties as the President. The Board then decided to remove her by motion of the Board and this was agreed to and passed by a majority of the Board members.


On November 16th the Council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan directed that the Chief and her Council Alternate resign from the ANND Corporation. The Council later provided a letter to the ANND Corporation outlining some of the reasons why they directed her to resign. One these reasons being apparent/alleged violations of the corporate by-laws, and statements by other directors to continue such practices contrary to advice from legal and financial advisors. Also, continued membership in the Corporation may have resulted in the Chief and the First Nation becoming liable for corporate actions to which the Pikwakanagan Council was opposed.

After the decision to withdraw from the Corporation the Chief and Council held a meeting for the membership on December 5, 2001. A majority of the members present agreed with and supported the decisions made, and the direction recommended by the Council. In order to consult with as many members as possible the Council is providing you with this information and the opportunity for you to give your opinion and direction. The following are the five (5) decisions and recommendations that were presented at the December 5, 2001 meeting of the membership.

1. Council directed Chief Lisa Ozawanimke to withdraw from the ANND Corporation, which she did.

2. The Council has made the decision to take the position that it represents all members of the Algonquin’s of Pikwakanagan First Nation, on and off reserve. This will resolve the ongoing issue of dual representation; especially in fight of the recent Supreme Court decision in Corbiere. This decision provided for the legal right of all First Nation members on and off the Reserve to vote in the election of the Chief and Councillors. which non resident members did in the latest election on March 28, 2001. The election occurred just prior to the creation of ANND and the transfer of management to it.

3 As a result of the above two decisions it is now deemed necessary for the Council to repeal and rescind the Algonquin Enrolment Law. The Algonquin Enrolment Law is a Law developed and passed by the Chief and Council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan in 1994. The intent was to recognize persons of Algonquin descent (i.e. 1/8th or more) including those who were not members of the First Nation and who was felt, at a minimum, should be consulted during the land claim negotiations.

It was never the intent that anyone enrolled be given recognition as a claim beneficiary or as an "Algonquin citizen".

Secondly, the Council believes at this time they can only represent First Nation members. They must repeal the Enrolment Law because that Law has the effect of recognizing persons who are not members of the First Nation.

4. As a result of withdrawing from the ANND Corporation the First Nation had no formal representation at the land claim negotiation table with Ontario and Canada. The Algonquin Negotiation Team members are formally employed by and retained by the ANND Corporation of which the First Nation is no longer a part. As a result the Chief and Council have asked Dan Kohoko and Kirby Whiteduck to represent them and the First Nation in the claim negotiations.

5. On November 16th in the midst of all this, the Algonquin Negotiation Team had prepared a document that they did provide to the ANND Board as their recommendation to be tabled as the "Algonquin Proposal" and as being "the position of the Algonquin Nation leading to a Treaty". After reviewing the document and comparing it with the "Algonquin Vision" the Council recommends that it not be supported as the "Algonquin Proposal" or the position of the Algonquin Nation. In the document the Algonquin Negotiation Team clearly states that they believe the tabling of their document will lead to the breakdown of negotiations.

In Council’s view they believe it will but more importantly that it will have the unwanted effect of "lowering the bar" (i.e. establish a lower negotiating position) when negotiations resume in the future. So they ask why table it??? Councils recommends not tabling it.

At the December 5th meeting a majority of the members present indicated general agreement with the Council's decisions. Please indicate on the attached page whether you agree or not. Please complete and return the attached in the envelope provided.

Sincerely,



Chief Lisa Ozawanimke
On behalf of the Council of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan

NOTE:

A survey on Algonquin Citizenship/Beneficiary is being sent out by the Algonquin Nation Negotiation Directorate, (the ANND Corporation). This is not consultation on behalf of Chief and Council.
We are planning to consult the First Nation Band Members on Citizenship and other issues in the near future.
Any consultation you will be receiving will be on our letterhead.

end -

Turtle Island

Page created by: muckwa
Changes last made on:
Sunday April 14, 6:11 pm 2002