The Shoganosh have failed in protecting Mother Earth and the Anishinaabe.

In my article last week, I wrote that Indigenous Peoples have been forced to live within the Indian Act and rely on non-Native solutions. Time and time again, the Shoganosh have suggested their own “solutions” that have been consistently incompatible with our Indigenous lifestyles.

Ever since contact, the Indian Agent and his successors have outright failed at supporting our communities and people in too many ways to list. The few solutions offered to Indigenous Peoples since contact rarely respect those that have come before us, and almost never look to protect those yet to come. 7 Generations Philosophy is inclusive of those who came before us, those of us here today, and those to follow in our footprint in the future.

The Anishinaabe are the protectors of Mother Earth, the time has come for us to make a stand and protect the planet for 7 Generations.

Let’s be honest, the Shoganosh have not only fallen miserably short in their treatment of the Indigenous Peoples, they have neglected to honour their own Treaties and have failed Mother Earth in so many ways. What the Federal Government has tried to do with First Nations and Inuit peoples of Canada has failed the smell test of time.  Most of the suggestions on how we should live have not even remotely approached solving the problems that we face today, faced in the past, or need to be addressed our future. They simply have not taken into consideration how the Anishinaabe have lived, and live, within our own culture and traditions.

Mother Earth

How can anyone foreign to another’s culture remotely suggest how one should live when the other knows nothing of our culture and traditions? Can we maturely look at the failures and the successes of the past and finally be honest with each other as Canadians?

It makes no sense for Non-Natives to tell the Anishinaabe people of Turtle Island how we should live or how we should protect our own lands. How does that happen? Who are you to tell us?

How would you know how we have lived in harmony with Mother Earth since the beginning of time. You have never asked.

It is time for the Federal and Provincial Government’s to stop telling Indigenous people how we should live!  Instead of insisting on their way of life on the Anishinaabe, it is time for both the Federal and Provincial Governments to start listening to the Anishinaabe!

It is time for the Federal and Provincial Canadian Government’s to allow Indigenous People to explain how we as a People – and as Nations – wish to live our lives within our own clan cultures and traditions, just as we have since the grass has grown, the rivers have flowed, and the sun has shined.  We can do so in a fiscally responsible manner – we simply need the opportunity to finally demonstrate to the Federal and Provincial Governments – and to all Canadians – how much of what has transpired since contact, simply has not worked.

Just ask the United Nations!

I am certain that we can show all Canadians how First Peoples can help the Federal Government operate annually as a net positive to all Canadians.

We as Canada’s First Peoples have never asked for a handout – never – not once!  We have been forced to succumb to the way of life the Indian Agent of the past, controlled by governments not made up of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, who have little to no idea of our culture or traditions. Unfortunately, what the Government of Canada has bestowed on Indigenous Peoples of Canada has failed.

It is not rocket science why it has failed, most have been completely oblivious to our culture yet insist on telling us how to live.  Why?

Some Anishinaabe have been forced to live in Third World conditions. Many have had their homes, their culture, their tradition, and their honour stripped away.

Who does that to another human to another culture?

First Nation Growers is a full-service, 7 Generations focussed, Indigenous Sustainable Living Solutions Network Organization made up of professional, successful, Native community leaders and non-Native allies from all walks of life.  Our team is committed to help encourage Indigenous communities to create self-sustainable economies from within.  We intend to now show the way, the Anishinabek way, of how to live and flourish.

We have the experience here in Canada and on Turtle Island protecting Mother Earth the since the beginning of time!

We have the plan that can save the Federal Government billions of dollars annually if we are finally afforded the time to grow Canada in the spirit of our Ancestors and Mother Earth herself . We want nothing for nothing and believe our way, the Anishinaabe way, can be a “net positive” to the Canadian tax payer.  What has been offered to the Anishinaabe since contact simply has not worked, it’s time the Anishinaabe were allowed to show all Canadians and the world how we can live in harmony with Mother Earth and live as a “net positive” Nation.

Our time has come.  At First Nation Growers, we are ready to lead the Anishinaabe way in the best interest of Mother Earth and all Canadians.

Dawn Tabobondung is a proud member of Wasauksing First Nation and the Chief Executive Officer of First Nation Growers.  First Nations Growers builds indoor “Community Garden Market Farms” that provide Indigenous & Inuit communities with a financially viable, year round opportunity to grow their own nutritionally rich fresh produce and foods.  Be sure to follow First Nation Growers on Facebook.

Lessons from Supreme Court decisions on Indigenous consultation

This article was originally published on National Post, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site.


Authors: Justin Safayeni, Adjunct Professor in Administrative Law, York University, Canada and Nader R. Hasan, Adjunct professor, U of T Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

In July, the Supreme Court of Canada released two major decisions on the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples. Those decisions provide important guidance that can help to ensure Indigenous peoples’ constitutional rights are better recognized and respected moving forward.

The principles set out in the two Supreme Court cases — Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. — will help define what adequate consultation and accommodation now requires, and the responsibilities of various government decision-makers in fulfilling and evaluating whether the duty to consult has been met.

Let’s be clear: the Clyde River and Chippewas decisions are not a cure-all for Indigenous peoples’ struggle to have their constitutional rights respected in regulatory decision-making. But if the lessons from these Supreme Court decisions are heeded, they will help advance that struggle.

Both Supreme Court decisions involved the review of project approvals by the National Energy Board (NEB). In Clyde River, the Supreme Court overturned an NEB order authorizing seismic testing for oil and gas deposits in the waters off the coast of Baffin Island, where the Inuit of Clyde River have a treaty right to hunt and harvest marine mammals.

In Chippewas, the NEB approved an application to modify Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline, which crosses the traditional territory of the Chippewas, by reversing the flow of part of the pipeline, increasing its capacity and enabling it to carry heavy crude oil. The Supreme Court dismissed the Chippewas’ legal challenge to stop the project.

Guidance on what “deep consultation” requires

Although the Clyde River and Chippewas rulings both specifically concerned the NEB’s actions, their consequences extend more broadly to every kind of government decision-making or regulatory approval process.

Part of the importance of the Clyde River decision stems from the fact that it is the first Supreme Court case to consider whether a regulatory process meets a duty of consultation at the “deep” end of the consultation spectrum described in Haida Nation v. British Columbia — that is, where the Indigenous peoples’ claim to the right is strong (e.g. treaty rights) and the potential harm to that right is severe (e.g. irreparable harm to marine mammals).

Given this duty of deep consultation, the court concluded that the process in Clyde River was “significantly flawed” for several reasons, among them the fact that although the NEB considered the environmental effects of the proposed seismic testing, it failed to take into account the impact of that testing on the Inuit’s treaty rights.

As the court put it, the Inuit’s rights were “an afterthought to the assessment of environmental concerns.”

Second, the Crown failed to make clear that it was relying on the NEB’s process to fulfil its duty to consult in Clyde River, and failed to explain the significance of that process to the Inuit.

Further, there were no oral hearings. No funding to the Inuit of Clyde River. No written explanations of how the Inuit’s rights were considered. No meaningful ability to submit scientific evidence, and no ability to test the project proponents’ scientific evidence.

It is noteworthy that the Court cited and re-affirmed the process in the 2004 Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. British Columbia — a case where the affected Indigenous groups not only received what’s known as participant funding, but participated as part of the committee that was the driving force in the assessment process.

In a strong signal of the kind of process that may now be necessary in these cases, the Supreme Court ruled in its Clyde River decision that “procedural protections characteristic of an adversarial process… may be required for meaningful consultation.”

While it’s clear all future cases will be assessed on their own unique facts, the Supreme Court is making clear it takes a far more robust view of consultation than some lower courts across the country.

So what are the key practical lessons for Indigenous consultation, following these landmark rulings?

1. Participant funding

One major point of distinction between Clyde River and Chippewas was that the appellants in Chippewas case received participant funding from the NEB, while the Clyde River appellants did not. Without that funding, the Inuit were unable to retain counsel or properly address the scientific evidence on seismic testing — and this was one reason that the consultation in Clyde River was found to be inadequate.

Indigenous groups impacted by resource projects should always request participant funding in order to ensure their interests are properly represented in the regulatory approvals process.

The need for funding is even more acute if the case requires putting forward complex scientific or expert evidence. Even if such requests for funding are ultimately unsuccessful, the fact that they were made strengthens the record for an appeal or judicial review.

2. Understanding and designing the consultation process

The court’s decision to single out Taku River as an example of adequate consultation is an important reminder that Indigenous groups can — and should — demand a greater say in actually designing or driving the consultation process.

The court’s decisions in Clyde River and Chippewas also required the Crown to determine whether an existing regulatory process meets its duty to consult and accommodate. Nailing down what is being offered as consultation will allow for Indigenous peoples to make more educated decisions about whether to participate in that process, and what kinds of requests may be made in terms of additional consultation efforts.

Indigenous peoples should go on record with any demands for additional consultation or accommodation, and make them known as early as possible. The court has provided a list of potential ways that the Crown can improve the consultation process, including making legislative or regulatory amendments, and/or making submissions to the decision-making body.

3. Participate, but make objections & concerns known

Demand a better regulatory process while participating in that same process. Now that bodies like the NEB must also assess the adequacy of consultation and accommodation, it’s critical for affected Indigenous groups to communicate any concerns on these issues to the regulatory agency or tribunal and to avoid raising them for the first time on appeal or judicial review.

At a more fundamental level, for the promise of the Clyde River decision to be fulfilled the regulatory process must function in a fair manner that fully respects Indigenous rights. At the moment, it does not. Indeed, there is a widespread acknowledgment — among Indigenous leaders, environmentalists and the government itself — that the current NEB and Environmental Assessment (EA) processes are broken.

The federal government commissioned two expert panels to recommend changes to the NEB and EA processes. Those expert panels have recommended overhauling these processes and replacing them with a regulatory process that fully takes into account Indigenous rights and incorporates the principle of free, prior and informed consent.

Indigenous peoples now have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with those recommendations and demand meaningful reform.



Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering

Pow Wows, Family, and the Seven Generations Teachings

G'maa Warren Tabobondung

G’maa Warren Tabobondung & Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day in 2016

August is one of my favourite months of the year.

The Georgian Bay sands are warm by day and cool for sleeping by the bay.  Nature’s glory is in full bloom, the pace of life slows a bit as the harvest moon begins to prepare for fall and, best of all, this time of year includes the annual Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering! A Pow Wow gathering where our ancestors would gather each year to share, barter, trade, sing, and dance together…the Anishinaabe Way.

This year’s gathering took place on August 5th and 6th.

Watching the stunning singers and amazing dancers reminded me of the special connection we have to the gathering of our peoples’, a gathering of voices and sound and dance that reflects both our past and our future.

While young people always bring new innovations to their music and dances, the energy continues to flow through our generation, my mother’s generation, and those that have come before her; we can feel our ancestors always in the singing the drumming and the dance at our gatherings.

Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering  Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering  Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering

It is our duty to ensure that our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren and the many generations to come soon after have the same connection decades and centuries from now, where they all feel the warmth of the fires burning, the sacred drum beating, and hear the voices of our ancestors in the connection between past, and present. These thoughts of the future are not just some nice feelings that I get at a Pow Wow gathering.  They are the sound of the Indigenous inner core philosophy that drives First Nation Growers.

4 Seasons, 7 Generations

In my previous blog article, I talked about how our Vision for First Nation Growers has evolved over the past 2 years.  When we started on our journey, part of the path was clear – we knew that we wanted to provide communities with year-round access to fresh, nutritious foods – a holistic approach covering all 4seasons.  What good is solving a Food Crisis, and supporting individual indigenous self-sustainable economies, if the very communities we support – and the land they live on – cannot be sustained?

What if the very communities we support – and the land they live on – can be self-sustained?

Access to affordable, healthy food options is essential, but so are real jobs, ongoing independent revenue streams, clean energy, and safe water not just today, but for 7 generations to follow.

Consider the Anishinaabe term “anishinaabemaadziwen” the Anishinaabe Way, or “minoyaawaat” in Ojibwa, meaning “to get better, to have good health”. That understanding of where we fit into the Creator’s plans is at the heart of First Nation Growers and 7 Generations philosophy.

Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering Wasauksing First Nation Pow Wow Gathering

We are merely caretakers of Mother-Earth for those who follow.

As I revealed last month, we are committed to applying 7 Generation solutions in the following areas:

  • Indigenous Community Financial Planning for 7 Generations
  • Fresh Produce & Natural Foods
  • Herbs & Sacred Indigenous Medicines
  • Natural Water Treatment for Rain Forest Plant Life & Human Consumption
  • Natural Soil Revitalization Treatment
  • Waste Resource Management that includes Waste Minimization Solutions
  • Indigenous Community Renewable Energy Needs and Shortfalls

FNG has recently become a “Full Service 7 Generations Indigenous Sustainable Living Solutions Network” that serves First Nation and Inuit communities across Turtle Island.

For too long, we have been forced to live within the Indian Act and rely on non-Native solutions.  Time and time again, the people suggesting these “solutions” have been incompatible with our Indigenous lifestyles or did not take the time to understand our culture and traditions. Most have failed at supporting our communities and people in so many ways.

The few solutions offered to indigenous Peoples since contact rarely respect those that have come before us, and almost never look to protect yet to come.

The Anishinaabe are the protectors of mother-earth, the time has come for us to make a stand and protect mother-earth for 7 Generations.

Dawn Tabobondung is a proud member of Wasauksing First Nation and the Chief Executive Officer of First Nation Growers.

First Nations Growers builds indoor “Community Garden Market Farms” that provide Indigenous & Inuit communities with a financially viable, year round opportunity to grow their own nutritionally rich fresh produce and foods.  Be sure to follow First Nation Growers on Facebook.