The purpose of the Political Unity Accord and the Political Unity Accord on First Nations Health are: to formalize a cooperative working relationship between all parties, to promote political unity, and to formalize a commitment between the parties in regard to First Nations Health.
The Political Unity Accord and Political Unity Accord on First Nations Health were initially signed on November 23, 2011. These two unity accords were re-signed on October 26, 2017, by the former Grand Chief Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Grand Chief Shelia North Wilson of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, and Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.
The relations between First Nations in Manitoba are guided by Customary and Natural Laws were given by the Creator… We acknowledge that the respect, recognition and protection of the rights and interests of First Nations and First Nation people in Manitoba can best be achieved through political unity and collaborative action.Excerpt from The Political Unity Accord
The Great Binding Law
We are the free and independent Original People of this land. As the roots of this land, we are the true leaders of our ancestral lands — Manito Ka Apit — Where Kizhay Manitou — the Great Spirit — sits.
We come from the Dakota, Nehetho, and Anishinaabe Nations who have lived on our ancestral lands since Kizhay Manitou placed us here with our languages, songs, ceremonies, teachings and ways of life. We have always been here.
As unique Dakota, Nehetho, and Anishinaabe Peoples, we speak with one voice. We have respect for each other. As the Original People we welcome you. We come forward to share with you. We come to share that love with you. We bring our shared understanding and that is this:
We are all brothers and sisters and we all have a sacred responsibility to take care of and make an alliance with Mother Earth. We are a peaceful people. We are not asking for anything for ourselves. The human being was the last part of creation to be created. It is our spiritual responsibility to take care of that life.Excerpt from The Great Binding Law
The Great Binding Law was written at Turtle Lodge by:
Oshoshko Bineshiikwe — Blue Thunderbird Woman
Osawa Aki Ikwe (Florence Paynter)
Zoongi Gabowi Ozawa Kinew lkwe — Strong Standing Golden Eagle Woman (Mary Maytwayashing)
Nii Gaani Aki mini — Leading Earth Man (Dave Courchene)
Giizih-Inini — (Dr. Harry Bone)
Zhonga-giizhing — Strong Day (Wally Swain)
Naawakomigowiinin (Dennis White Bird)
Kamintowe Pemohtet — Spirit Walker (D’Arcy Linklater)
Mah Pe Ya Mini (Henry Skywater)
We all have a sacred responsibility to take care of and make an alliance with Mother Earth. We are a peaceful people. We are not asking for anything for ourselves. The human being was the last part of creation to be created. It is our spiritual responsibility to take care of that life.Excerpt from The Great Binding Law
The Elder Declaration
The Elders’ Declaration was convened at the Turtle Lodge on March 27, 2013. This Declaration covers Elder duties according to the Cree, Anishinabe, Denesuline, Dakota, and Oji-Cree people. It is a Declaration of unity and a call to First Nations to uphold our Natural Laws, appealing to leadership and Elders within the province of Manitoba.
We respect Motherhood as the foundation of Nationhood. We are guided by the sacred laws and ceremonies given to us by the Great Spirit; committed to practice, preserve, and uphold the spiritual relationship with the land and dedicated to the future for our children… for Seven Generations and beyond – as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the water flows.Excerpt from The Elders Declaration