Algonquin First Nations Call for Support
January 11, 2016
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice
Dear Ms. Wilson-Raybould,
I strongly support the call for discussions with the Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments of Gatineau and Ottawa made by Algonquin First Nations of Kitigan Zibi, Abitibiwinni, Barriere Lake, Kebaowek, Kitcisakik, Lac Simon, Long Point, Timiskaming and Wolf Lake. The call, which reminds governments of the constitutional duty to consult, was endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec Labrador and the Assembly of First Nations (Canada) but has not yet been acknowledged or acted on by your office.
The matter at hand is the future of the so-called Domtar lands in the Ottawa River at the crossroads of the Nation’s Capital. The lands are subject to a development application that contradicts a longstanding vision for the falls and three islands in the Ottawa River known as Akikodjiwan and Asinabka. No amount of consultation with Algonquin people by private interests in this development can substitute for the Crown’s duty to consult.
Consultations formally requested by these Algonquin First Nations also offer the opportunity for the current Government to recognize the role past governments have played in dividing and scattering the Algonquin First Nations. This historic and tragic truth continues to create conflict within what was once an interconnected cultural and economic community inhabiting the Ottawa River watershed on both sides of present day Ontario and Quebec. Reconciliation by the Crown, on behalf of the Canadian people, can begin by joining with all Algonquin peoples in discussions regarding the role these lands and waters play in meeting the spiritual and material interests of this community and the Canadian family. Specifically, I express my strongest support to the following three proposals respectfully presented to you by the above mentioned Algonquin First Nations:
- The federal and Ontario governments should purchase the lands within our Algonquin Sacred Area for return to an Algonquin controlled institution set up by legitimate Algonquin First Nations.
- The Algonquin Sacred Waterfalls Area Akikodjiwan must be protected in perpetuity and recognized within the National Capital Region as an Algonquin Nation Cultural Park and Historic Commemoration Site under an Algonquin controlled institution to be established by the legitimate Algonquin First Nations.
- The governments of Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the National Capital Commission and the municipalities of Gatineau and Ottawa must contact the duly elected Algonquin Chiefs and Councils to negotiate the establishment of a proposed Algonquin Nation Cultural Park and Historic Commemoration Site under an Algonquin controlled institution to be established by the legitimate Algonquin First Nations.
Your decision is respectfully requested regarding the call for direct discussions with the various Algonquin First Nations concerned.
Daniel Buckles, PhD.
201 Daniel Avenue
- Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hon. Melanie Joly, Minister of Heritage (responsible for the National Capital Commission): email@example.com
- Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice: Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Premier Kathleen Wynn, Government of Ontario: email@example.com
- Premier Phillippe Couilllard, Government of Quebec: Philippe.Couillard@plq.org
- Mr. Russell Andrew Mills, Chair, National Capital Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa: Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca
- Mr. Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau: email@example.com
- Mr. Jonathan Westeinde, Windmill Development Group: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wolf Lake First Nation: email@example.com