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Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation

Kichi Sibi Anishnabe


Canada

Kichesipirini Lament of a Nation

Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper,


Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Elected Leader of the Conservative Party,
Appointed Representative as Prime Minister by vice regal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Crown of the Commonwealth of Nations,

Office of the Prime Minister


80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2

Fax: 613-941-6900
Via e-mail pm@pm.gc.ca and fax

c.c. Honourable Michael Ignatieff, Democratically Elected Opposition Leader, House of


Commons, Parliament of Canada

Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Appointed Representative and vice regal of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II, Crown of the Commonwealth of Nations,

March 20, 2009

Prime Minister Harper,

Repeated Submissions and Petitions

Please accept this correspondence as only one part of a long exchange of correspondences
submitted on behalf of the Kichisipirini Algonquins, Kichi Sibi Anishnabe, Canada, Indigenous
Peoples of Canada, in our long history of submissions and petitions to various agents of the
British and United Kingdom Crown and its various agents, ministers or administering state
representatives asserting our continued and unceded rights and jurisdiction in accordance to the
traditions, customs, conventions and agreements of our proud nation and its intimate relationship
with the very first legal, political and cultural foundations of the entity known now as Canada. It
is with great regret that I must continue to publicly assert that our long record of submissions

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have, even recently, never been met with the proper diplomacy and respect so deserving of a
peoples so much a part of our proud Canadian history.

Even our most recent submissions regarding inherent rights to various agents or ministers
associated with your administration have been, when even acknowledged at all, consistently met
with ignorance, misrepresentation of law, and blatant disrespect.

This is most unfortunate, as our rights and jurisdiction are protected within the principles and
conventions of international law, various proclamations and historical conventions, as well as
again protected, recognized and affirmed within the Canadian Constitution.

Kichesipirini documented record establishes the fact that Canada existed for centuries prior to
Confederation of 1867, with a documented record proving the Indigenous Peoples as a founding
people of Canada long before the assertions of sovereignty made by the British or United
Kingdom Crown.

We were in times of great social and political crisis and upheaval visionaries and illuminators,
for centuries. The Kichesipirini of Allumette have been documented as a founding people of a
sophisticated culture that promoted peace and prosperity, equality and diversity long before
being recognized as important tenants of positive social existence by subsequence governments.
The Kichesipirini Anishnabe political and economic ideologies allowed for the continued
generation of the evolving Canadian Nation. We had a strong sense of nationality, sovereignty,
civic responsibility and mutual obligation. We understood and exercised various forms of land
tenure systems, sophisticated alliances, tribute and taxation policies, and variegated economies.

We adapted constructively and proactively to change, never relinquishing our rights or our
identity.

We were an inclusive society highly welcoming the skills and technologies offered by others and
our history shows our great appreciation of new ideas and new alliances that strengthened
prosperity, but not ever jeopardized our shared national integrity.

Our leadership was widely appreciated and based on genuine transparency and accountability
committed to the service of the nation.

Although wrongfully suppressed for generations through administering state policy, synonymous
with genocide and discrimination, we have never ceased to exist.

Despite numerous attempts at our destruction or elimination we proudly continue as a unique


part of genuine Canadian history and identity. We are certain that anyone genuinely committed
to acting in the best interests of Canada would ensure that such a unique aspect of Canadian
history and identity be preserved.

Our community has been repeatedly asserting our interests in participating in numerous social
and economic opportunities but had experienced a number of barriers and discriminations

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regarding stated policy but then finding numerous implementation barriers when it came to be
understood that we were not willing to relinquish Traditional Aboriginal Title or Jurisdiction.
We understand those rights to be legally protected.

References to Aboriginal Rights in the Constitution Act, 1982.

PART I

Section 25 of the Charter of Rights:

25. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed so
as to abrogate or derogate from any aboriginal, treaty or other rights or freedoms that
pertain to the aboriginal peoples of Canada including
(a) any rights or freedoms that have been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of
October 7, 1763; and
(b) any rights or freedoms that may be acquired by the aboriginal peoples of Canada by
way of land claims settlement.

PART II

RIGHTS OF THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA

35. (1) The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada are hereby
recognized and affirmed.
(2) In this Act, "aboriginal peoples of Canada" includes the Indian, Inuit, and Metis peoples of
Canada.
(3) For greater certainty, in subsection (1) "treaty rights" includes rights that now exist by way of
land claims agreements or may be so acquired.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the aboriginal and treaty rights referred to in
subsection (1) are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

35.1 The government of Canada and the provincial governments are committed to the principal
that, before any amendment is made to Class 24 of section 91 of the "Constitution Act, 1867", to
section 25 of this Act or to this Part,
(a) a constitutional conference that includes in its agenda an item relating to the proposed
amendment, composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces,
will be convened by the Prime Minister of Canada; and
(b) the Prime Minister of Canada will invite representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada
to participate in the discussions on that item.

Faulty Foundations and Failure to Implement

Although Constitutionally and internationally protected the rights of Aboriginal peoples in


Canada have been repeatedly interfered with and violated.

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“And few Canadians realize the connections between all these stories – the recurring pattern of
the disintegration of entire communities as a direct consequence of assaults made by the
institutions of modern Canadian society. (Geoffrey York, The Dispossessed: Life and Death in
Native Canada (London: Vintage UK, 1990) at xii-xiii,).”

Legal fact establishes;

 Aboriginal rights and title emerge from the fact of exercising prior occupation of the
land: "when Europeans arrived in North America, Aboriginal peoples were already here,
living in communities on the land, and participating in distinctive cultures, as they had done
for centuries. It is this fact, and this fact above all others, which separates Aboriginal
peoples from all other minority groups in Canadian society and which mandates their
special legal, and now constitutional status" (Lamer CJ., in Van der Peet 4 [1996] C.N.L.R.
193). Aboriginal rights may be defined as flowing from practices, traditions, laws and
customs that were central to North American Aboriginal societies prior to contact with
Europeans.

 Since it has been established that the purpose of s. 35(1) is to reconcile the prior presence
of aboriginal peoples in North America with the assertion of Crown sovereignty, it is clear
from this statement that s. 35(1) must recognize and affirm both aspects of that prior
presence – first, the occupation of land, and second, the prior social organization and
distinctive cultures of aboriginal peoples on that land.

 Aboriginal nations that enjoy traditional title also enjoy inherent jurisdiction over
territory reserved to an indigenous nation, not under federal statute law, but rather under the
paramount natural, international and constitutional law that both predates and pursuant to
sections 109 and 129 of the Constitution Act, 1867 supersedes federal statute law.

Canadian domestic Aboriginal policy fails to equally implement support to all Aboriginal or
Indigenous Peoples.

We contend that such failure is a breach of Constitutional law and abrogates and derogates
inherent and inalienable rights.

For our continued preservation we assert our right to equal funding inclusive of accordance to
our Interpretive Principles for s.35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Section 35(1) protects the "existing" Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of
Canada. The Supreme Court in Sparrow held that the word "existing" in s. 35 means
"unextinguished" and that a right that had been validly extinguished before 1982 was not
protected by s. 35. Sparrow further elaborates that the existence of extensive regulatory control
does not imply extinguishment.

Since it has been established that the purpose of s. 35(1) is to reconcile the prior presence of
aboriginal peoples in North America with the assertion of Crown sovereignty, it is clear from this
statement that s. 35(1) must recognize and affirm both aspects of that prior presence – first, the

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occupation of land, and second, the prior social organization and distinctive cultures of
aboriginal peoples on that land.

Aboriginal nations that enjoy traditional title enjoy inherent jurisdiction over territory reserved to
an indigenous nation, not under federal statute law, but rather under the paramount natural,
international and constitutional law that both predates and pursuant to sections 109 and 129 of
the Constitution Act, 1867 supersedes federal, provincial, municipal statute law. These rights are
clearly confirmed now in the Constitution Act of 1982. (all emphasis mine)

We therefore assert our right to directly enter into agreements with the Canadian government in
ways that do not abrogate or derogate our inherent rights and that you are obligated to recognize
and affirm those rights and, as fiduciary, ensure their full implementation. Whereas Aboriginal
groups have different rights, negotiations will not result in a single model of self-government.
Self-government arrangements may take many forms based on the diverse historical, cultural,
political and economic circumstances of the Aboriginal groups, regions and communities
involved.

The Government of Canada recognizes the inherent right of self-government as an existing


Aboriginal right under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. It recognizes, as well, that the
inherent right may find expression in treaties,

 Recognition of the inherent right is based on the view that the Aboriginal peoples of
Canada have the right to govern themselves in relation to matters that are integral to their
unique cultures, identities, traditions, languages and institutions.

 The Government acknowledges that the inherent right of self-government may be


enforceable through the courts.

 Aboriginal governments and institutions exercising the inherent right of self-government


will operate within the framework of the Canadian Constitution. Aboriginal jurisdictions
and authorities should, therefore, work in harmony with jurisdictions that are exercised
by other governments.

 It is in the interest of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal governments to develop co-


operative arrangements that will ensure the harmonious relationship of laws which is
indispensable to the proper functioning of the federation.

The Supreme Court of Canada provided comprehensive statements on Aboriginal title. The court
has declared:

 Aboriginal title is a collective right by an Aboriginal group to the exclusive use and
occupation of land for a variety of purposes, which need not be activities that the group
has traditionally carried out on the land;

 Aboriginal title is an Aboriginal right protected under section 35 of the Canadian


Constitution;

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 Aboriginal title lands must not be used in a way that is irreconcilable with the nature of
the group's attachment to the land; and,

 In order for the Crown to justify an infringement of Aboriginal title, it must demonstrate
a compelling and substantive legislative objective, it must have consulted with the
Aboriginal group prior to acting, and in some cases, compensation may be required.

We have repeatedly expressed our right to title and self-government as these have never been
legally relinquished. It is the obligation of your government to accommodate.

Consistent with our rights and our expressed interest in negotiations we have claimed an interest
in three particular properties considered important to our continued existence and sustenance. It
is our understanding that, ultimately, you are directly responsible for ensuring the provision of
means by which all third party interests will be effectively dealt with in agreement with us and in
accordance to law.

As part of those rights and obligations, in accordance with our verifiable authority, we submit the
following:

Immediate Implementation of Living Treaties, Lasting Covenants

Recognizing that by law Aboriginal rights are inalienable we hereby assert our right to at least
equitable funding.

I will again assert our expectations regarding legal implementation regarding our accessing those
same opportunities equally available to all persons of Aboriginal descent, reflective of those
rights being inherent and inalienable, including the right of individuals indentifying as
Kichesipirini.

We have claimed for years our right to equal participation in the ongoing attempts by the federal
and provincial governments to resolve the matter of unceded title of the Algonquin Nation. As
you are aware we have been asserting that any process that has not included the Kichesipirini in
name, title and character as now expressed, consistent with our historical role and character, in
accordance with the well established requirements now articulated in numerous instances of case
law, will be of no lasting legal merit and a complete waste of valuable tax dollars.

We contend that we are submitting direct requests apart from the particular designs of domestic
funding proposals and policy, which adherence to, could be interpreted as to abrogate or derogate
our inherent rights, inclusive of our distinct and existing right to continued self-government,
which upon this, our clear expression of interest, you are responsible to consult, accommodate,
and potentially, compensate for damages and losses.

We are certain that no responsible leader would consider further exacerbating this time of
financial crisis through the blatant waste of public monies but would rather ensure that precious
revenues are used most effectively and efficiently with the most responsible long-term
objectives. We therefore again assert that your government is obligated to accept our submission

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of claim of interest entitled “Living Treaties, Lasting Covenants”, submitted to your
representatives in February 2007.

The above named submission included a detailed budget and outlined our requirements for the
establishment of initial outreach offices and information centres, as well as the funding required
for staffing and other capital expenses. I think you will have to agree the budget is very
responsible. It is our position that we deserve, at the very least, equitable resources and that we
cannot be, financially or otherwise, discriminated against because of our particular political
beliefs, distinct history or ethnicity.

Immediate Implementation of Proposed Pimadiziwin Centre, Kichesipirini Kichi Sibi


Anishnabe Community Centre, Pembroke , Ontario

Proposed conversion to multiple-unit residential, conference and learning centre, community


cultural and government services centre, commercial restaurant, Art Gallery and Museum with
additional recreational activities.

Recognizing that by law Aboriginal rights are inalienable we hereby assert our right to at least
equitable funding for services as are made available to those Aboriginal groups and government
services providing such services within our unceded jurisdiction as part of our right to self-
government, in accordance to our unique and distinct culture, identity, traditions, language and
institutions.

We further assert our right to the funds necessary to ensure our community is well prepared for
negotiations, meeting our varied social and housing needs and continued cultural survival. We
have chosen a location that we have determined to be an appropriate place for social
programming, government services, cultural training and events, commercial activities as well as
broader community events, activities and services. We expect the necessary appropriation of
funds needed for implementation of this facility. We have completed a detailed business proposal
that has shown our commitment to being able to self generate funds and lessen the existing
financial and tax burden in this time of fiscal caution so that such approval would be interpreted
as responsible government.

We are committed to meeting the most stringent standards of accountability and good
governance measures.

We are a community that does possess a highly skilled and well educated population who have
been actively engaged in many aspects of business and the economy for generations. It is our
priority to be self-sustaining and economically independent as quickly as possible.

Recognizing that by law Aboriginal rights are inalienable we hereby assert our right to at least
equitable funding for services as are made available to other appropriate institutions.
We have expressed a formal interest in a particular property. Our expressions have been
inadequately responded to. We hold you directly responsible for legal resolution of this matter in
our best interests as representative of fiduciary obligations inherent with your public
responsibilities as appointed by Crown.

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We further contend that such property and the resulting institutional revitalization are necessary
for our continued existence.

Immediate Availability of Equal Resources For All Other Programs and Services

Recognizing that by law Aboriginal rights are inherent and inalienable thereby belonging to all
persons of Aboriginal descent, especially those identifying as Kichesipirini, we hereby assert our
right to at least equitable funding for;

Integrating Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Technologies to Community Infrastructure


Projects, Large Energy Projects, First Nation Infrastructure Fund, Urban Aboriginal Strategy,
equal funding to assist us in developing a formal self government agreement, equitable core
funding, Social Housing Money, Equal Funding for Social and Health Services, as well as equal
inclusion in all aspects of community and social programming and service delivery, economic
development initiatives, cultural and education services and programs, as well as training and
government employment services.

Whereas INAC is listed as responsible for ensuring services specifically for First Nations, Inuit,
Metis and Northerners, whereas there is no legal definition of First Nations, and whereas
subjugating our assertions under such domestic policy and ambiguity could be interpreted as
abrogating and derogating our inherent and inalienable Aboriginal rights we thereby consider
you directly appointed, as then directly responsible as fiduciary, to meet these expressions of
interests to ensure that there are equitable provisions for the Kichesipirini to:

 improve social well-being and economic prosperity;


 develop healthier, more sustainable communities; and
 participate more fully in Canada's political, social and economic development – for the
benefit of all Canadians.

We are certain that, with your recent commitments abroad, inclusive of over $100 Million to the
people of Afghanistan regarding their domestic 'democratic governance' and 'social justice
reform', you will agree our domestic discriminations and human rights abuses, such as those
affecting the Kichesipirini as an 'Historical Indigenous People' who are able to prove specific
rights and choosing to maintain those rights, you will recognize the necessity of our assertions;
considering your international reputation as a crusader for human rights and equality.

Evan Pritchard writes; “…. "Anishinabe-Algonkians," the Kiche-sipi-rini" or "People of the


Great River," were possibly the first of this ancient culture to settle down in one place, Allumette
Island. Allumette is the largest island in the Ottawa River, the river which forms the boundary
between Ontario and Quebec, and there is evidence of sedentary Anishinabe-Algonkian
settlements there going back at least 6,280 years, and occupation in the area dating back 7,000
years as it became inhabitable after the Ice Age. From this power base in the center of the trade
route, their influence and language spread throughout North America. Hence they have been
called "The First People." …Nonetheless, Allumette Island was a turning point in the

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civilization. There is little doubt that the Anishinabe-Algonkians of Allumette are the direct
descendants of the so-called "Clovis" people, long considered the oldest group of Native
Americans.”

Duty To Protect

The International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Nations includes under "ethnocide and
cultural genocide": "Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them [indigenous
peoples] of their integrity as distinct societies, or of their cultural or ethnic characteristics or
identities; Any form of forced assimilation or integration by imposition of other cultures or ways
of life by way of communications media, religious or educational institutions, governmental
legislation, administration or other measures or means;...."

The Kichesipirini, have for centuries attempted to find appropriate resolve to their dispossession,
demographic manipulation and population transfers associated with Canadian State domestic
policy. The historic erasure from the public record and ongoing rejection of the Kichesipirini has
resulted in gross injustices to individuals and the entire collective.

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the obligation to consult does not simply arise upon
the proof of an aboriginal claim and only for the purpose of justifying an infringement. Asserted
aboriginal rights can also impose an obligation upon government to consult and accommodate
the Aboriginal group. The threshold triggering these obligations is quite low. The Crown must
consult whenever the government has “knowledge, real or constructive, of the potential existence
of an aboriginal right or title and contemplates conduct that might adversely affect it.” This in
turn may lead to a duty to change government plans or policy to accommodate aboriginal
concerns.

As articulated in Scotia v. Attorney General of Canada, Rinfret C.J. said (at p. 34):

“The constitution of Canada does not belong either to Parliament, or to the Legislatures; it
belongs to the country and it is there that the citizens of the country will find the protection of the
rights to which they are entitled....”

According to international law Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation has the right to seek
compensation and equitable redress for any such wrongful act when an injury is a) caused by
conduct consisting of an action or omission which is attributable to the State under international
law; and b) that conduct constitutes a breach of an international obligation of the State. It does
not matter whether the "primary" international obligation is found in customary law or treaty; nor
does it matter whether the same act is considered lawful by the state's own internal law.

We consider the omission of resolving these concerns to be detrimental to our continued welfare
and security as a distinct Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, and nation as a whole. As we have
been repeatedly stating any abrogation of law generates corruption and corruption is always
more expensive to maintain, so during these times of challenge application of the Rule of Law
becomes more imperative.

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We have been expressing such concerns for numerous years. We find the ineffective and
inappropriate responses so far have been minimizing, fiscally irresponsible, grossly uneducated
regarding law, disrespectful, and reflective of the severe lacking in Canadian leadership and
policy to effectively and responsibly implement law with policy.

We look forward to your appropriate and immediate response.

Sincerely,

Paula LaPierre
Principal Sachem
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation
Kichi Sibi Anishnabe
Canada
algonquincitizen@hotmail.com

Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation


Kichi Sibi Anishnabe
Canada
algonquincitizen@hotmail.com

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