RESOLUTION NO. 1998-08-28
SUBJECT: MUSHKEGOWUK STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL UNITY
WHEREAS the economic and political unity of the Mushkegowuk people is increasingly important;
AND WHEREAS the Mushkegowuk Chiefs have consulted and prepared the attached statement expressing their views on the future economic and political unity of the Mushkegowuk people;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mushkegowuk Chiefs in Assembly adopt the attached Mushkegowuk Statement of Economic and Political Unity.
MUSHKEGOWUK STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL UNITY
We the Mushkegowuk, people of the lands and rivers draining into western James and Hudson Bay, have always lived here, and will always live here.
We live on these lands and these waters, where our ancestors have lived, and where our descendants will live, and we know that as Mushkegowuk we share the past and we will share the future. We know that our ancestors lived and worked and travelled and harvested the land together with each other and that their cooperation and mutual assistance benefitted all.
We also see that today our people do not have the full economic and material comfort and benefit that we can achieve. We see that much of the benefit of Mushkegowuk skills, trade, business, and other economic activity flows to the benefit of outsiders. We see that the trade and skills of Mushkegowuk people have great potential which is so far not being realized. We know that for the economic well-being and independence of our communities, we must remember the economic co-operation that our Mushkegowuk forebears practiced with each other, and we must continue that economic co-operation, and we must increase it.
We also see that our people do not have the full benefits of their potential political power. We see that there are difficulties in our communities that are not being addressed because the voice of the united Mushkegowuk people is not being heard. We see that our Treaty with the people of Ontario and Canada, a foundation of our rights, is not being fully respected, and that we must speak
more forcefully together to defend our legal and Constitutional rights. We know that as Mushkegowuk people we share interests and we share a vision which can only be protected and grow if we increase our political co-ordination and further develop our political institutions.
We know that our ancestors practiced values that helped them economically and politically in their lives, and we believe that these values are as valid today as in the past. When our ancestors worked together as extended families, they were all stronger. When our fathers and mothers shared what they possessed with other Mushkegowuk, both giver and recipient were better off. When Mushkegowuk respected the lands of other Mushkegowuk, everyone benefitted. When our ancestors worked hard and worked long, without complaining, they made a better life for themselves and their children. When our ancestors showed respect for the geese, and for the animals and plants on the land, they were spiritually strengthened, and the animals and plants were there for future needs.
We believe that these Mushkegowuk values are as important and as powerful today as they were then. We believe that these values are the basis for Mushkegowuk economic and political unity.
We believe that in economic unity lies strength. When we trade with other Mushkegowuk, material benefits stay within our homeland. When we create businesses and trade organizations with our Mushkegowuk kin, we benefit from trust and understanding. When we give up an economic benefit for our Mushkegowuk brothers and sisters, we know that they will do the same in their time of plenty and our time of need. When we work together to respect the land,
the animals, and the plants, we are spiritually stronger and our future is more secure.
We believe that in political unity lies strength. When each member of our communities can speak and be heard as a member of the Mushkegowuk people, whether Elder or youth, man or women, their wisdom is shared, and all benefit. When the Chiefs and leaders of our different communities work together, each leader's efforts are strengthened, and all Mushkegowuk benefit. When our Chiefs and leaders speak with one voice in our dealings with other governments and other peoples, the Mushkegowuk benefit and the land benefits.
Therefore, we as Chiefs of our communities, and as joint leaders of the Mushkegowuk people, recognize the present, existing fundamental economic and political unity of the Mushkegowuk people, and agree to work toward increasing that unity in practice, based on the values that our people inherited from our ancestors.
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