February 20, 2002
Nation Negotiations Directorate
83 - A Kakagimin Inamo
Golden Lake, Ontario
I am writing in response to the several letters sent from members of your staff which I will list by date for convenient reference. They include:
November 27, 2001
December 4, 2001
January 7, 2002
January 15, 2002
January 30, 2002
February 7, 2002
In relation to Greg Sarazin and Alan Pratt's letter of November 27, 2001 requesting a meeting to discuss the possible basis of the return of Council to ANND's negotiation process we met that request and dealt with this subject in our December meeting.
Dan and Kirby participated on our behalf in the conference call that Greg was inquiring about in his December 4, 2001 letter.
In relation to Peter Bernard's letter of January 7, 2002 proposing a joint Council/ANND response to the questions raised by the Federal and Provincial Negotiators at the December 17 meeting which were: Who are you? Who do you represent? And, do you have the capacity to negotiate? Council's response is the following.
Pikwakanagan Council is currently implementing a strategy, which does not include a working relationship with ANND. In relation to the three questions Council knows who they are; we know who we represent, and we do have the capacity to negotiate. In fact we believe that we can turn the table into a performing table which is a concern we are hearing from both governments right now.
In relation to your letter of January 7, 2002 to the two government negotiators and to Council seeking discussions with Council to find a solution to continue working together on the land claim negotiations, I must respond as above; Council is currently implementing a strategy which does not include a working relationship with ANND. You also indicate that ANND Board Members will represent Status Pikwakanagan Members.
This was also the position provided by your Chief Negotiator to the Federal and Provincial Negotiators at the January 15, 2002 negotiation meeting. This concerns us because we do not believe it is possible or acceptable for the Board of a Not for Profit Corporation like ANND, and which Board is composed of a majority of Non-Status directors to make a unilateral decision to politically represent Pikwakanagan Status Members in our land claim negotiations. In December, we received the support of members who came out to a meeting, where we sought their support for our decision to politically represent all members regardless of where they reside. We continue to receive support on this, in the response to our written request, which was later mailed out to the full membership.
On January 30, 2002 Peter Bernard on behalf of ANND wrote the Federal and Provincial Negotiators commenting on the effect of our decision to repeal the Enrollment Law. We disagree with that analysis and would add;
The Algonquin Enrollment Law was the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nations' law. Canada and Ontario had no role whatsoever in its development and certainly no role in it's approval. As well they had no role in any decisions taken in respect of the law and it's operation. There is now a vacuum, in respect of the kind of recognition that the Enrollment Law provided and at this time, only Canada, Ontario or Pikwakanagan can make a decision to fill that vacuum.
The repeal of our Algonquin Enrollment Law was taken with the support of our members as a result of our decision to, at this time, represent and consult with members only. The law is no longer considered relevant given that its sole intent when it was enacted was to establish preliminary criteria to identify non-status people of Algonquin descent in the territory who may have aboriginal rights and then to include them in consultations only, on the land claim negotiations.
In our opinion the removal of the Enrollment Lw has the effect of reinstating the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan as the sole Algonquin claimants with whom Canada and Ontario can legitimately negotiate a settlement of the claim Pikwakanagan documented during the 1970's and 1980's. It is our further opinion, that if Canada and Ontario wish to negotiate a claim settlement agreement with the individuals who previously used the Enrollment Law to self identify and to validate their participation in the negotiations then, Canada and Ontario should first take some action to validate both, who they are (i.e. fill the vacuum, I previously noted) and also then take some action to validate their claim to the Ottawa Valley.
At this time, there is no existing formal mechanism recognized by government, that identifies, who is an Algonquin claimant aside from those of us who are registered as members of Pikwakanagan.
Those principles Council addressed and endorsed when we passed the Enrollment Law are still with us. However, we have been forced into the opinion that those principles should now only be given effect through the formal mechanism of official "Beneficiary Criteria". On the bottom line, that appears to be what the non-status people of Algonquin descent want. We are of the opinion that this will meet the condition of Canada and Ontario to involve those "Algonquins", that ANND says it represents.
On January 30 th Peter also wrote to Council apologizing for any part in letting our relationship decline. He also advised us, that the Board was taking action to address internal corporate and administrative issues, and he also advised us that you have engaged a new lawyer. These are positive developments, however, we also recently wrote to you concerning our ownership of records and equipment. We also asked specifically that ANND secure and stop using the Enrollment records. Council is very interested to hear your response on these matters.
We have also received a copy of the "Crow Document". We will be preparing a response on this for Peter.
Lisa Ozawanimke -SIGNED-
Chief, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan
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Changes last made on: Sunday April 14, 6:11 pm 2002