Claims contradictory to documentation
Letter to the Editor  - The Eganville Leader - April 24, 2002

Dear Sir:

I am responding to Ms. Leroux's open letter to me, in last weeks Leader. Many of Ms. Leroux's claims contradict my documentation.

I do not dispute Pikwakanagan Council's authority to create and administer laws in their community. When I applied for residency I applied under section 6.2 (f) of their current law. This section outlines criteria determining eligibility to reside." It states, "whether the applicant is or will be employed in Pikwakanagan." as a legitimate reason. This was my situation.

The person, who performed my job before me, lived in the same house I was living in with his children, but did not apply for residency. This person was never asked to leave the reserve while working for negotiations. In my circumstance, the Registrar asserted her authority over myself and my daughter, without communicating any compromise or willingness to extend my tenure.

Ms. Leroux's only response to my application stated "There is nothing in the Law that will support your application for residency. Therefore in accordance with our Residency Law, you do not meet the criteria to live in our community. You are living in Pikwakanagan without permission and must leave immediately."

I responded to the eviction February 19, 2002. In this letter I expressed my fears, "Unfortunately it is the middle of winter and I need to secure other living arrangements or my daughter and myself will be homeless while I continue to meet my obligation working in Pikwakanagan." The only extention of tenure that could be construed from Ms. Leroux's actions was her decision to not act upon her order before a date, I suggested as humane for my compliance. The Registrar did not respond confirming her office's willingness to cooperate with this date. Every day the relationship between Pikwanagan and A.N.N.D. deteriorated I worried if this was the day my daughter and myself would be forced to live without shelter. I pleaded for compassion in my application, dated January 22, 2002; The result was eviction. 

I also cited section 3.3 of the law which states " A person will be deemed to be residing in Pikwakanagan if they live in a dwelling in Pikwakanagan for continuous a period of time greater than 90 days." I was not living at 1563 Mishomis Inamo for more than 16 days when I applied for residency. I was not even extended the courtesy of guest status according to their own criteria. This could have reduced my stress significantly.

I was not aware of this law prior to moving to the reserve. I explained my ignorance in my January application. Ms. Leroux's claim otherwise is speculative. She claims I was harboured in Pikwakanagan in November 2002. This is also incorrect. I reported for work, homeless, December 3, 2002. 

I provided the Registrar's office with any paperwork they requested. I do not dispute their need to be aware of who receives programs and services. The Registrar's office never informed me of any outside authority directing them to refuse me access to private housing on the reserve due to services. The only reserve service I accessed was the school bus. I communicated to Ms. Leroux, in writing February 19, 2002, my willingness to pay for any services I was using since it was not my intention to take anything away from her community. Again no response. My daughter attended Eganville public school. I believe she had the right to attend regardless of where she lived.

Ms. Leroux admits she made her decision under the administrative authority of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan. The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan elect their Chief and Council to oversee this administration. Their eviction notice dated February 6, 2002, speaks for itself. This was the only correspondence I received from the Registrar's office. How I am treated effects my political opinion. My personal experience while living and working in Pikwakanagan is a testament to my lack of faith. 

I did not interpret this administration's actions as demonstrating a willingness to solve my problem compassionately As a non-status Algonquin, Mother, and Worker, It is my hope that Pikwaknagan's Chief will prove her political will to include non-status Algonquins in a meaningful manner with regard to Treaty Negotiations. Perhaps the consultations resulting from future meetings with the Algonquin Nation Tribal Council (A.N.T.C.) will yield these results and restore my faith.


Heather Majaury

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