TURTLE ISLAND

Adhering the residency law at Pikwakanagan
Letter to the Editor  - The Eganville Leader - April 17, 2002


Dear Sir:

Open letter to Mrs. Heather Majaury.
In response to your letter to the editor in the April 10, 2002 edition of The Eganville Leader, I provide public clarification to your concerns. You address in your letter, concerns that attempt to justify to yourself reasons for decisions undertaken by the administration of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan.

In recent years, the community members of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan became increasingly concerned with who is residing in the community. With consultation, review and approval by the members, resident and non-resident, a law was developed and implemented that would monitor residency as well as determine who is granted permission to reside in the community.

The Residency Law was developed as a result of community concerns as well as control over the programs for which the government of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan is responsible and accountable for. We are responsible for ensuring the delivery of public programs and services to the residents. Subsequently, we have contractual obligations for eligibility criteria and reporting requirements to federal government departments such as Indian Affairs, Health Canada and Industry Canada as well as the province of Ontario to name a few. Yes, being aware of who receives the programs and services is important. This includes registration for public education.

The residency law has been in existence since 1977. It contains provisions for eligibility. Further, it states that everyone, including members, must apply for permission to reside.
You were made aware of that law prior to being harboured in November 2001. You chose to disregard the law until you made a personal decision to pursue accommodation in a dwelling without adequate running water, a decision which was possibly made in the best interest of your family. You were approached, advised to apply and your application was denied for cause. Subsequently, on compassionate grounds, you were granted an extended tenure for date of notice to vacate.

Your public claim that the decision to deny residency was contrary to our law is unfounded, The decision to deny your application was made entirely in accordance with the law. The decision was made in accordance with the administrative authority of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan executed by the undersigned. This had absolutely nothing to do with the land claim negotiations or political process, contrary to your intent, notwithstanding slander and defamation, to attempt to publicly justify to yourself that one had to do with the other.

Jan Leroux
Manager, Lands, Estates & Membership Registrar, Residency Law
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan

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