Towards Anishnaabe governance and accountability: reawakening our relationships and sacred Bimaadiziwin




Watts, Vanessa A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis will examine the interrelationships that exist between individuals and collectives in Anishnaabe governance systems. These relationships are defined by roles and responsibilities that ultimately contribute to how governance is expressed amongst Anishnaabeg. Given the current fragmented and assimilatory basis for governing indigenous communities as evidenced through rights-based discourse in Settler society, it is crucial to renew our obligation as Anishnaabeg to Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige (Sacred Law) so as to represent ourselves and our philosophies. This paper will explore four levels of interrelationships and governance - the individual, the family and clan, the community and the nation. These levels of interrelationships will be examined in terms of Anishnaabe Gchi-Twaawendamowinan (The Seven Sacred Gifts or the Seven Grandfather Teachings). The duties and obligations within these identified relationships will be connected to how Anishnaabeg are represented within governance systems that our Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige calls for. Maintaining Anishnaabe Gchi-Twaawendamowinan in the creation and renewal of our relationships is crucial to our obligation to Kaagoogiiwe-Enaakoonige and thereby truly representing ourselves, given the continued imposition of Settler value systems which continue to oppress us.



Ojibwa Indians, politics and government, Ojibwa philosophy