Anishinabek Assertion of Jurisdiction and Title at ACTION’s Camp Oshkimaadziig
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
By: Kaikaikons aka Johnny Hawk
Assertion of Anishinabek Clan System, Law of the Land, Jurisdiction and Title of our Traditional Territories can not only hold accountable Canada to its own constitution and Nation to Nation Agreements but help protect our shared lands and waters from Industry. In the spirit of Aboriginal History Month and Aboriginal Solidarity Day I wanted to share how we are not Aboriginal but Anishinabek with title to our Lands that we never extinguished. If you would like to organize with ACTION and help build up and relight your territory’s Council Fire, please contact me.
Kaikaikons aka Johnny Hawk on behalf of himself and on behalf of the Kaikaikons Family of the Caribou Dodem of the Aisance Band of the Anishinabek Nation in the so called territories known as Ontario and on behalf of the Beaver Council of the Territorial Council Fires of the Anishinabek and Haudenasaunne Alliance Belt, and on behalf of the Anishinabek Confederacy to Invoke our Nationhood and the Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp.
I, Kai Kai Kons of the Caribou Dodem a sovereign person of the Anishinabek Nation, make oath on my Eagle Feather and say as follows:
I am of the Anishinabek “Lowered from Above” Nation where our Clan Governance System passed onto us through the act of birth by our Mothers connects us to original female as well as the star and spirit and earth worlds expressed in our Creation Story which is our Law of the Land. I am of the Caribou Clan where I carry responsibilities and sovereignty through my Spirit Name, Language and Clan passed onto me by Wawasgone and Neeganasup. I have been misidentified all my life as John Courtney Hawke, Indian 1410167801ofthe Beausoleil First Nation, Christian Island, Indian Band, Number 30 Reserve. I am currently in the process of removing myself from the illegal Indian Act registry that has been imposed upon me, so I can make these assertions of who I am as an Anishinabek. Although my community is identified as Beausoleil First Nation, Christian Island, its proper name is Gchi Namemnissing, (Big Sturgeon Island) within the territory of the Beaver Council Fire Territories of the Anishinabek Nation.
John “Kaikaikons” Hawk of the Caribou Clan my Great-Great Grandfather is buried on Beausoleil Island located on our former reserve under the Aisance Band, north of Penetanguishene Bay. Joseph Hawk, my Grandfather passed on his Grandfather and fathers English given name of John to my father John Lambert Hawke, which was also passed on to me. My Grandfather, Joseph also passed on the Anishinabek Spirit Name of his Grandfather, Kaikaikons to me, so I would seek out and know our identity and make such assertions of who we really are. At the time that the British Officials were making Treaty’s in the mid 1700’s and early 1800’s with our Band whereas our peoples were displaced on the Coldwater Narrows Reserve Experiment inwhich Christianity was also being imposed. Christian English names were assigned to our people not only to identify whose who within our Band for Colonial purposes but also where the Colonial Officials sought to extinct our family lineage, clans and knowledge of our connection to our territorial clan areas.
Stacey Amikwabi aka McQuabbie is a sovereign Anishinabek of the Beaver Clan and Amikwabi Peoples of Kitchi-Kitigaaning, Ogawamenong. He has done extensive research in regards to his clan, family and community who are the Amikwabi , the Beaver Clan. His research of historical documents exposes our interconnections of our families and clan territories and Indigenous Title to these territories and the fraudulence committed by Indian Act Band who are mere agents of the Crown as well as the Crown and Canadian State itself . Stacey has brought forth a Constitutional Question in the Ontario Courts in regards to development within our Territories and who is also a representative of the Beaver Clan of the Anishinabek Territorial Council Fires within the Anishinabek and Haudenasaunee Alliance Belt. He is also a Beaver Clan Representative of his territory in which we are organizing under ACTION. His research of historical treaties and documents will also be used to back up my assertions where we both are working together, representing our territories in assertion of our Indigenous Title.
The Anishinabek and the Wendat Alliance was evident within the eastern areas of Georgian Bay as documented by early accounts by French colonist Samuel De Champlain. The Amikwabi who are of the Anishinabek Beaver Clan had a strong alliance with the Wendat. The Wendat who were located in what is now known as Huronia and Simcoe County in central Ontario were of a different Indigenous Group belonging to the Iroquoian Family. The Wendat Confederacy, Tobacco, Neutral Nations who were of the Iroquois family had conflict from being connected within the Haudenasaunee Confederacy and Territories of their relative Nations such as the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga and Onondoga. The Wendat and Anishinabek created an alliance based on Trade. Some historical accounts and oral history claim that the territory of the Wendat, Neutral, Petun and Tobacco of what is now known as Central Ontario was originally Anishinabek Territory and whereas the Anishinabek allowed these Peoples who were fleeing from disputes amongst their Iroquoian Families were allowed to take refuge in their territories.
The Beaver Wars which lasted for almost a Century was instigated by European colonists to exploit Indigenous Lands and create divisions. The French and Dutch and Indigenous Nations of the Iroquois, Anishinabek and Huron were all involved. The area involved so called central Ontario, eastern shores of Georgian Bay. The Anishinabek eventually pushed the Iroquois out of their territories back south to their territory south of Lake Ontario in the late 1680’s and established a Peace and Alliance Agreement known as the One Dish One Spoon Belt in 1701 in Montreal.
The 1701 Great Peace Treaty of Montreal was a peace treaty between New France and 40 Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island. It was signed on August 4, 1701, by Louis-Hector de Callière, governor of New France, and 1300 representatives of 40 Indigenous Nations. The French, allied to the Hurons and the Anishinabek provided 16 years of peaceful relations and trade before war started again. Present for the diplomatic event were the various peoples; part of the Iroquois confederacy, the Huron peoples, and the Anishinabek Algonquian peoples which included representatives of the Anishinabek Beaver and Caribou Clans of the Georgian Bay Area.
The Aisance Band of the Chippewas of Lakes Huron and Simcoe known in historical documents and treaties are of the great Anishinabek Nation whose immense territory stretches from what is known today as Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Today these tribal decedents whose last hereditary Clan Chief was John Aisance of the Otter Clan have been displaced through coercion and duress by the imposition such illegal treaties and policies on so called Christian Island, Ontario Canada which is a registered Canadian Indian Reserve known as Christian Island 30 Reserve and contemporarily referred to as Beausoleil First Nation. The Otter Clan was the Head Clan for the area around Georgian Bay where the area of Penetanguishene Bay was The Beaver Council Fire of five Territorial Council Fires within the Anishinabek and Haudenasaune Friendship Belt.
The Anishinabek and Haudenasaunee Friendship Wampum Belt is an alliance and agreement between these two Nations that reaffirmed the Dish with one Spoon Agreement that ended the Beaver wars between the Haudenasaunee and Anishinabek which were instigated by colonial influence. Within this Agreement the Haudenasaunee acknowledges the Five Territorial Council’s that are headed by a specific Clan.
The Reverend Peter Jones, who was a Mississauga Anishinaabe from the Credit River (now Toronto), recorded the following proceedings of a council between the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee, held Tuesday, 21st January, 1840. This is an excerpt of that speech given by the keeper of the belt Chief Muskwaki or Yellowhead of the Caribou Clan in order to renew “the treaty of friendship with the Six Nations of Indians on the Grand River.”
“Chief Yellowhead rose up and made a speech and exhibited the great Wampum belt of the Six Nations, and explained the talk contained in it. This Wampum was about 3 feet long and 4 inches wide. It had a row of White Wampum in the centre, running from one end to the other, and the representations of wigwams every now and then, and a large round wampum tied nearly the middle of the belt, with a representation of the sun in the centre. Yellowhead stated that this Belt was given by the Nahdooways to the Ojebways many years ago – about the time the French first came to this country.
That great Council took place at Lake Superior. That the Nahdooways made the road or path and pointed out the different council fires which were to be kept lighted. The first marks on the Wampum represented that a council fire should be kept burning at the Sault Ste Marie. The 2nd mark represented the Council fire at Manitoulin Island, where a beautiful White Fish was placed, who should watch the fire as long as the world stood.
The 3rd Mark represents the Council fire placed on an island opposite Penetanguishene Bay, on which was placed a Beaver to watch the fire. The 4th Mark represents the Council fire lighted up at the Narrows of Lake Simcoe at which place was put a White Rein Deer. To him the Rein Deer was committed the keeping of this Wampum talk. At this place our fathers hung up the Sun, and said that the Sun should be a witness to all what had been done and that when any of their descendants saw the Sun they might remember the acts of their forefathers. At the Narrows our fathers placed a dish with ladles around it, and a ladle for the Six Nations, who said to the Ojebways that the dish or bowl should never be emptied, but he (Yellowhead) was sorry to say that it had already been emptied, not by the Six Nations on the Grand River, but by the Caucanawaugas residing near Montreal.
The 5th Mark represents the Council fire which was placed at this River Credit where a beautiful White headed Eagle was placed upon a very tall pine tree, in order to watch the Council fires and see if any ill winds blew upon the smoke of the Council fires. A dish was also placed at the Credit. That the right of hunting on the north side of the Lake was secured to the Ojebways, and the Six Nations were not to hunt here only when they come to smoke the pipe of peace with their Ojebway brethren. The path on the Wampum went from the Credit over to the other side of the Lake the country of the Six Nations. Thus ended the talk of Yellowhead and his Wampum
(LAC RG 10, Vol. 1011, Quoted from Darlene Johnston, “Connecting people to place: Great Lakes Aboriginal History in Cultural Context, paper prepared for the Ipperwash Inquiry, July 2004).
Some Historians believe that it is not a Whitefish at the Council Fire of Manitoulin Island but of a Sturgeon, the Sturgeon Clan. As well Rein Deer and Caribou in the history books are connected and are meaning of the same clan.
The Coldwater-Narrows Reserve Experiment was the first trial of the implementation of the Reserve System in Upper Canada established in 1830 by the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Sir John Colborne, in an attempt to create a self-sustaining farming community for the Chippewas of lakes Huron and Simcoe and to further implement colonial policies that were in breach of the Nation to Nation Agreement of 1764. The Chippewas of Coldwater-Narrows lobbied for six years in an attempt to secure title deeds and self-management of their lands. Although they were not successful in obtaining deeds, arrangements were made in 1836 to transfer management of the reserve and ownership of the property on the Coldwater-Narrows reserve to the Chippewas on March 31, 1837. However, during the same period, the Coldwater-Narrows reserve was allegedly surrendered by the Chippewas, for sale by the Crown to settlers. A fraudulent surrender document was signed in Toronto on November 26, 1836. The lands that used to be part of the Coldwater-Narrows reserve were sold to third parties between 1838 and 1872. In 2012 Canada’s Indian Act Band Councils of Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewa’s of Rama using Canada’s Specific Land Claim Policy settled this historic injustice and Surrendered their title to 10,000 acres for $308 Million and where they were not the rightful representatives and who are mere Representatives of the Crown. These Band Council’s own legal representatives currently are suing these councils for an additional bonus of 12 Million dollars which exemplify the merit of these Councils and their failure to assert Anishinabek Jurisdiction, Laws, Title and the Nation to Nation Agreements our ancestors fought for and agreed too as well as to who they really are accountable to.
Anishinabek Confederacy to invoke our Nationhood/ ACTION is a union of traditional territorial Council Fires establishing the reemergence of Anishinabek Spiritual, Socio-Political and Economic Institutions in assertion of inherit Anishinabek Jurisdiction, Laws and Responsibilities expressed through the Clan Governance System that has been given to us through our Creation upon Great Turtle Island.
ACTION was cofounded in May 2012 by two young men from Chimnissing Anishinabek Territory as a result of the continued imposition of Canada’s Indian Act Band Councils and these Band Council’s continued illegal surrenders of traditional Anishinabek Lands and Title. ACTION states there is no representation of Anishinabek Jurisdiction that asserts our Sovereignty, the Nation to Nation Relationship affirmed and acknowledged in the many historical agreements and cases between Anishinabek and the Crown and affirmed in Canada’s own Constitution.
ACTION states that Canada’s illegal imposition of its laws, policies and these surrenders of these Band Councils are a breach of the Crowns affirmation and acknowledgement of the Jurisdiction of the Indigenous Nations of North America’s Jurisdiction in the 1705 Mohegan Tribe vs State of Connecticut Case, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the 1764 Niagara Covenant Chain Belt as well as Canada’s Constitution affirming Aboriginal Rights and Title in Section 25 and 35.
The co-founders of ACTION address that their tribal group has been subjected and continues to be under a position of coercion and duress by the Canadian State and the Crown. ACTION members state their tribal group have been dealt with illegally through land surrenders in the Collins Treaty Settlement, Williams Treaty and Coldwater Narrows Experiment, Coldwater Narrows Settlement, the imposition of the Indian Act and the Indian Act Band Council and Canadian policies and laws that are imposed in such a manner of coercion and duress which are not reflected of the Nation to Nation Agreements and other said affirmed rulings as well as their own Self Determination as a Sovereign People of the Anishinabek Nation.
Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp was established by ACTION as a platform for the said ACTION initiatives and to reclaim lands near Penetaguishene Bay known as Council Rock and also known as the Gardens of their tribal group, the Aisance Band which area is also the Beaver Council Fire expressed in the Anishinabek Haudenasaunee Friendship Belt. These lands were illegally misappropriated and designated as Crown Lands which are currently being used as Ontario’s Awenda Provincial Park. These lands were to remain in the possession of the Aisance Band and were not a part of the surrender within the 1785 Collins Treaty or 1798 Penetanguishene Purchase.
In Proceedings of a meeting with the Chippewa Indians of Matchedash and Lake Simcoe in Gwillimbury in 1811 with William Claus the Superintendent, General of Indian Affairs, Chief John Aisance states:
“I request Permission to occupy my Garden around Penetanguishene Bay until our Father’s white children may want to take possession of it.”
The Superintendent General replied with,
“I do not consider that we have a right to take possession of the land until the deed of conveyance shall be executed and there is no objection to you occupying the garden grounds at Penetaguishene Bay.”
Oral History in our community states that these lands have never been ceded and still belong to our peoples meaning our people as in the Tribal Group and not the Indian Act Band Council whereas the Band Council who impose the Indian Act who are mere agents of the Crown and not authentic representatives of our Tribal Group.
As ACTION reclaim their lands they remind Canada of its lawful obligation to its own Constitution, laws and decisions in such court cases that relates to our Nations title and rights. ACTION in the establishing of this Camp reminds Canada of their lawful obligation in Section 25 of their Constitution which affirms our rights and freedoms within the 1763 Royal Proclamation where we are asserting our Aboriginal Title which our people never extinguished in any Treaty. We remind Canada to its lawful obligation of Section 35 of their Constitution in respect of our Treaty Right that the members of ACTION are represented by in the Treaty of Niagara.
Members of ACTION who are descendants of the Aisance Band of Chippewas of Lake Huron and Simcoe never extinguished their Aboriginal Title within the Williams Treaty where this Treaty is currently in the courts where the Crown failed it its fiduciary obligations where Canada did not compensate for lands in a respectable manner and where fraudulent surrender of rights were forged after its signing. This Treaty is invalid as well was made with Crown Representatives, the Chiefs and Council of Canada’s Indian Act who are not the legal representatives of our Tribal Group and have no right to make such surrenders of Anishinabek Rights and Title for they are mere representatives of the Canadian State and not our Nation, Tribal Group, Hunting Camps or Clans.
ACTION in the occupation of so called Awenda Park also would like remind Canada of the decision of its Supreme Court in the 1999 in v. Sundown. This case provided that Aboriginal people have a right to construct or occupy buildings on public land that is “incidental” to the exercise of existing Aboriginal or treaty rights. Incidental building, as contemplated by the Sundown decision, means a cabin, building or structure used for shelter associated with or reasonably related to the exercise of an Aboriginal or treaty right.
The 1764 Treaty of Fort Niagara was between the Crown and 24 Nations who were part of the Western Lakes Confederacy. The Treaty is based on Peace, Co-existence and Non-Interference and helped to establish the Nation to Nation Relationship that is to exist between the Crown and our Nations. It also serves as one of Canada’s original Constitution Documents as it set the stage in how the Crown’s Settler Government Canada were to conduct itself within our Territories and Nations. This Treaty allowed the presence of the Crown within our Territories, diffused the Pontiac Rebellion and the eventual establishment of Crown’s subjects to establish Canada.
The Williams Treaties signed on October 31st, 1923 addressed the existing claims of the Chippewas of Lake Huron and Simcoe groups that had unresolved title claims of a total of 12,944,400 acres within the Muskokas and Upper Ottawa River, as well as any underlying claims to the lands surrendered by the 1850 Robinson-Huron Treaty. The Williams Treaties intended to secure proper surrender of lands involved in pre-confederation treaties that involved these lands during the colonial period that were highly problematic with faulty descriptions, incomplete documents and failed payments.
In addition to the initial payments and the continuing annuities, the 1923 Williams Treaties preserved the signing bands existing reserves but did not provide for any new reserve lands. As well the recognition of Aboriginal Title and Jurisdiction affirmed in the Royal Proclamation and 1764 Niagara Treaty were not recognized or extinguished within these Williams Treaties which needs to be addressed. These 1923 Williams Treaties were also made between the Crown and representatives of the Crown, the Indian Act Bands who were not the legal and proper representatives of our Tribal Groups known in these historical records as the Chippewa’s of Lake Huron and Simcoe.
The Williams Treaties also departed from some existing practices included in earlier treaties such as the Robinson Treaties (1850), and the Numbered Treaties, where these treaties established continuing rights to hunt and fish, new reserve lands and yearly annuities. This was not only a departure from what had become an established practice; it also created some potential problems. Nearly half of the October 31st treaty overlapped with territory taken in the Robinson-Huron Treaty. This has led to a different sets of rights over the same territories as the Robinson-Huron Treaty clearly recognizes a continued right to hunt and fish throughout that area.
The Current Williams Treaty Court Case where the beneficiaries of the Williams Treaty are being illegally represented by Indian Act Band Councils who are currently in a Federal Court regarding the Williams Treaty seeking compensation for historical damages involving this Treaty. A Basket Clause was allegedly added to this Treaty after they were signed and evidence of fraudulence and coercion on the Crown’s part regarding this Treaty is also an issue which makes this Treaty invalid whereas we need to redefine as well as compensation provided in regards to this Treaty immediately needs to be addressed.
These issues are currently in the Courts where the Indian Act Bands who are seeking restitution however are not addressing integral and influential questions of Aboriginal Title and Jurisdiction, where they are also not the legal representatives of our Tribal Groups and are mere Agents of the Crown. Their failure to seek affirmation of Indigenous Title and assert our Jurisdiction in regards to this case and issue demonstrates who they really are accountable to.
We have a Clan System, Jurisdiction, Anishinabek Laws and Responsibilities that need to be addressed. This Case has potential to not only assert and reaffirm our Jurisdiction and have it recognized through Treaty but can also be a Case that also helps the many Nations across our Territories, and stop the destruction of our Waters and Lands from Pipelines, Nuclear Waste, Forestry and other Industry within our territories, the failure in these Indian Act Bands to do so demonstrates their allegiance to the Crown and not our Nation.
Indigenous Title to our lands have never been extinguished and as we organize ourselves legally through our customary laws of land and governance structures to assert our title to our lands we remind Canada of its Supreme Court Decisions and how they apply to our historical issues presented in the provided historical documents as we assert our jurisdiction and title to our lands.
R v. Guerin (1982), the first Supreme Court of Canada decision handed down after the Constitution Act 1982, declared that aboriginal title was sui generis and that the federal government has a fiduciary duty to preserve it. R. v. Simon (1985) overruled R. v. Syliboy (1929) which had held that aboriginal peoples had no capacity to enter into treaties, and thus that the Numbered Treaties were void. A variety of non-land rights cases, anchored on the Constitution Act 1982, have also been influential.
Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (1997) laid down the essentials of the current test to prove aboriginal title: “in order to make out a claim for aboriginal title, the aboriginal group asserting title must satisfy the following criteria: (i) the land must have been occupied prior to sovereignty, (ii) if present occupation is relied on as proof of occupation pre-sovereignty, there must be a continuity between present and pre-sovereignty occupation, and (iii) at sovereignty, that occupation must have been exclusive.”
Subsequent decisions have drawn on the fiduciary duty to limit the ways in which the Crown can extinguish aboriginal title, and to require prior consultation where the government has knowledge of a credible, but yet unproven, claim to aboriginal title.
In 2014 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the plaintif in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. Rejecting the government’s claim that Aboriginal title applied only to villages and fishing sites, it instead agreed with the First Nation that Aboriginal title extends to the entire traditional territory of an indigenous group, even if that group was semi-nomadic and did not create settlements on that territory. It also stated that governments must have consent from First Nations which hold Aboriginal title in order to approve developments on that land, and governments can override the First Nation’s wishes only in exceptional circumstances. The court reaffirmed, however, that areas under Aboriginal title are not outside the jurisdiction of the provinces, and provincial law still applies.