The Anishinabek National Governance Agreement (ANGA) was rejected by Mississauga First Nation following a ratification vote in February. “The political effect [of ANGA] will be to transform these groups into a kind of indigenous ethnic community, not self-determined nations,” writes Diabo, who studies the federal implementation of governance agreements. “Highlighting a set of conditional rights through these agreements, instead of recognizing the inherent right to self-determination, will effectively empty Section 35 of any real political or economic importance.” Each municipality that registers will receive $548,000 from the federal government to assist in the implementation of the ANGA, as well as additional operational funding. “The average funding [band support] is about $200,000 to $250,000. So not much, even for small communities, given their needs,” says Jidé Afolabi, advisor for the support of the Anishinabek Nation. Afolabi said the average funding under the agreement would increase to about $1.7 million per municipality. The First Nations of Anishinabek will spend the government`s money as they see fit. Canada will no longer make those decisions. But there is yet to be a word on whether they have received the 25% of members needed to support the new agreement. The Anishinabek Nation says the results of the recent referendum on a new governance agreement with the federal government are still under review.
Bayer also points out that the takeover of citizenship laws would allow individual First Nations and the Anishinabek Nation to commit to funding based on their own citizenship lists rather than on the more restrictive federal list of Indian status. “And so what we want to do,” says Bayer, “is to use the power that recognizes the agreement to develop our own citizenship law, then to develop our own citizenship lists, and then to sue the government to fund the programs and services it provides in our communities after our citizens.” According to Bayer, the agreement will also confirm the nation`s ability to integrate cultural elements into official government missions – for example, fissulation at Council meetings. According to the unofficial results of the votes published by Mississauga First Nation via social networks, 135 votes were cast, with 55 voting “yes” and 80 “no.” The head of the Grand National Council of Anishinabek, Glen Hare, was pleased that there had been more “yes” than “no” for the first First Nations group to vote on the proposed Anishinabek Governance Agreement.