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 originally signed on November 23, 2011.
These two unity accords were re-signed on October 26, 2017 by Grand Chief Arlen 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 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
Wahbung: Our Tomorrows
In 1971, the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, now the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, presented their influential position paper Wahbung: Our Tomorrows to Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the Government of Canada.
Manitoba First Nations along with our brothers and sisters in other provinces including Alberta First Nations’ famous Red Paper also presented policy papers that not only rejected Trudeau’s controversial White Paper that was written in 1969, but more importantly expressed our relatives’ views on the direction they wanted to take to become self-determined.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas often refers to Wahbung: Our Tomorrows and respects what our leaders of those days wanted to accomplish. He upholds the views and recommendations outlined in Wahbung: Our Tomorrows and uses the position paper as a guideline in his leadership.
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 – a sacred lodge of the Anishinabe at Sagkeeng First Nation 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)