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Biigtigong Nishnaabeg's Gchi-Naaknigewin was officially ratified on September 26, 2015.

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg - Gchi Naaknigewin


The Chief and Council of the Pic River First Nation are pleased to announce that they will be developing a Constitution. A Constitution is a set of fundamental or established precedents according to which an organization is governed. It will be the basic law of the land.

The Chiefs under the Union of Ontario Indians, passed a resolution, providing direction for self-government negotiations with Canada. In 1995, the Restoration of Jurisdiction Project was created. Self-government agreements respecting Education and Governance are currently under negotiations. All First Nations participating in these self-government agreements must have constitutions in place. Pic River First Nation has passed resolutions supporting both the Education and Governance initiatives. If you are interested in finding out more about these projects, please visit,

We are excited about this new development for our community. You will be kept informed on the development of this project and every effort will be made to engage your participation. This is a very important project for our community, your input is critical to its’ success. So, as a community, let’s work together.


What does a Constitution consist of?

  • Founding Principles

Rights of the Citizens:

What can the citizens expect? What rights & freedoms will be protected & preserved?

  • Jurisdiction:

Government Structure:

What will the government structure look like? What institutions will be developed? What authority & processes will be in place for these institutions? How will ensure an open, transparent and fair government?.

  • Dispute Resolution/Enforcement/Adjudication: What processes will be in place for appeals & redress? How will the laws be enforced?


What processes will be in place to ensure the highest level of accountability from the political leaders, the established institutions, and the citizens?

  • Amendment Procedures

What are some of the benefits of a Constitution?

 A Constitution will legitimize the authority of the First Nation Government. The Band Members have the power to do this. The Constitution must be for the citizens and developed by the citizens.

  • A Constitution will clearly provide a set of rules and principles that define the nature and extent of government. The powers of government are limited by these rules which those in power must obey. The separation of powers and lines of accountability precisely sets out the limitations of the Government.

A Constitution will clearly defined adjudication process and enhance accountability to the citizens, supporting the fundamental belief of fair and equal treatment for all citizens. Processes will be in place to deal with disputes and conflicts

  • It will provide an opportunity for the citizens to be involved in all phases of the development of a Constitution. Engaging citizen participation is critical.

The Constitution will protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens and provide fair and equal distribution of the services to all citizens.

  • Constitutions must be based on a political philosophy of openness and transparency. The citizens must have access and freedom to the information affecting their lives

The Constitution will adopt community values and beliefs and will provide a set of core values that will guide the government, the administration and the community in their affairs.

  • The Constitution support our belief in our inherent right to Self Government It will instil the belief in every member of having the power and the right to govern themselves. With this belief in one’s self and one’s Nation, the development of self, family and community will flourish.


How can this Constitution be amended? What areas of law is your government exercising? What is included in a Constitution?: Who are we? Where do we come from? What defines our First Nation? What sets us apart from other Nations? What are our values and our beliefs?

Draft Chi-Naakinigewin (Version July 2015)

Chi-Naakinigewin Guide



 Pic River First Nation constitution committee: Cindy Fisher, Art Fisher, JoAnne      Michano, Arnold Michano, Chief Duncan Michano and UOI legal counsel, Fred Bellefeuille. 

*Photo from Anishinbek News




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