First Nations have resided on Turtle Island since long before contact. Our connection to this land pre-dates Confederation and the arrival of Europeans. We have called this land home for millennia. We recognize that as First Nations peoples, we are stewards of this land, protectors of water and sustainers of life. While we have signed treaties and “surrendered” lands (often under false pretenses or promises), we still feel a responsibility to this land.
Rama’s Community Consultation Worker position was developed to address the Crown’s legal “Duty to Consult. The “Duty to Consult” was affirmed as a requirement by the Supreme Court of Canada in a 2004 ruling. The duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples emerges when the Crown wishes to act in a way that may have impacts on Aboriginal and Treaty rights. The requirement applies to all levels of government as well as the private sector. Consultation is an important step toward reconciliation. If it is determined that meaningful consultation did not occur, a development project may be cancelled.
The Chippewas of Rama First Nation’s mandate is to engage with government and private sector proponents on land and resource matters that could affect our Treaty and inherent rights. The Chippewas of Rama First Nation are not opposed to development. However, as stewards to the land, we want to ensure that any projects in our territories are carried out in a responsible way. Our ultimate goal is to protect the lands, resources and water, to ensure a healthy environment for this and future generations.
Acknowledging that you are a guest on our territory shows us that you respect our traditional rights and our responsibility for this land. It acknowledges that you understand that this land was taken from us and that the treaties we have signed must be honoured. It shows that you are part of the solution for building Nation to Nation relationships. It conveys that you are aware that First Nations have been here in the past, that we are here now and that we will continue to be here in the future.
In 2021, the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Chief and Council approved the Consultation and Accommodation Protocol for Rama First Nation (below) to ensure that our interests and our aboriginal and treaty rights are protected in our territory. All governments and private sectors interested in doing business or making development decisions in our traditional and treaty territories need to have meaningful consultation.