We are three First Nation women representative of the historic or numbered 6, 7 and 8 Treaties signed between our forefathers and representatives of the Crown:
Janice Makokis – Saddle Lake First Nation, Treaty 6
Rachel Snow – Goodstoney First Nation Treaty 7 and
Anita Cardinal – Woodland Cree First Nation.
Our ancestors made Treaties with the newcomers so that the lives of our nations would go on forever.
The Treaties themselves contain the words for “as long as the grass grows, rivers flow and sun shines.”
Our First Nations did not give up their sovereignty or right to self-determination in these agreements. The understanding of the sanctity of the Treaty must include First Nation historical and lived truth.
Nations agreed to live peaceably together in this land. As sovereign First Nations who are descended from the original Treaty-making nations, we are asserting our sovereignty, and we are saying we will not submit or subsume our peoples’ original laws or legal traditions under a foreign system.
Too many statistics show the devastation colonialism has placed on the original First Nation peoples of this land.
We feel that to swear an oath to uphold the King’s law makes us complicit in perpetuating the ills of colonization.
We believe in the power and vision of our own people. We want to be able to uphold the laws that were handed down to our people from generation to generation.
Unfortunately, we do have to challenge taking this oath within the Canadian court system. Each of the representative women: Anita Cardinal, Janice Makokis, and Rachel Snow, are making this challenge through the legal office of Roberts O’Kelly.
We are grateful to Orlagh O’Kelly for this undertaking. We are also grateful for the kind words and encouragement we have received.
Hiy Hiy, Ish nyaish, thank you, this good energy has gone into the land and into Creation to help our struggle.
We have received many messages from people wanting to help. First of all, your prayers and good energy are giving us the fortitude and strength to face this challenge.
And secondly, as this will be fought in the court system, we seek assistance through this GoFundMe, where Rachel Snow is the primary contact.
The funds will be broken down as follows:
1. GoFundMe percentage, depending on donations, would be 2.9%, and a fee of 30 cents – per donation (approximately $735).
2. Rachel Snow will direct $10,000 to Roberts O’Kelly for legal expenses,
3. Rachel Snow will receive an administration fee to monitor this undertaking and ($1500)
4. The difference of $2765 will be utilized for ceremonial purposes
5. And if we receive more than this amount, we will form a non-profit organization comprised of First Nation Treaty law school graduates who will continue this type of work into perpetuity.
We are first and foremost seeking spiritual help and good energy through prayers to assist us in this endeavour. We also started this fundraiser because people want to help or be part of a fundamental change.
We feel that challenging and changing this oath is a necessary part of real reconciliation.
- If courts recognize the over-incarceration of First Nations they would embrace this proposed change to break existing stereotypes.
Hiy Hiy, Ish nyaish. We are grateful that the Creator has prepared us for this day to put right a colonial wrong that hampers our First Nation Indigenous peoples.