Treaty #3 Elders to be interviewed for documentary about Great Earth Law


In partnership with Niiwin Wendaanimok, Grand Council Treaty #3 has begun working towards the creation of a Manito Aki Inakonigaawin documentary. Couchiching First Nation held a ceremony on June 26, 2021 to begin the documentary.

The project involves recording interviews with Elders and knowledge keepers about Manito Aki Inakonigaawin. The documentary will discuss the history of the Manito Aki Inakonigaawin and how the sacred law has been applied to resource development projects in the Treaty #3 territory.

“Our traditions represent the spiritual connection between us, the Creator and all of creation,” says Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Treaty #3 Grand Chief. “We are the most dependent on the rest of creation to survive, that’s why it’s so important to respect and honour that relationship.”

The residential schooling system in Canada has greatly impacted generations of language and knowledge, making Treaty #3 Elders and knowledge keepers’ interviews imperative for documenting and respecting this sacred law for the present and future generations. Recording interviews will help to revitalize the language, reintroduce it to Treaty #3 communities, document it for future generations to learn from, and aid in the intergenerational transmission of knowledge.

The importance of documenting Anishinaabemowin cannot be understated. This project is vital to ensuring the language is preserved and accessible to those who wish to learn and may not have other opportunities. The recordings will put the sacred words and stories onto film, where they will be protected and available for education forever.

The project will be guided by four key principles outlined in Manito Aki Inakonigaawin: _weweni_ (take our time), _Bebekaa_(doing it right), _Biiziindun_ (listen), and _kegogtachken_ (don’t be afraid).

GCT#3’s hope for the project is to promote awareness, respect and implementation of Anishinaabe law. Through this goal, it ensures that all resource related developments in Treaty #3 follow Manito Aki Inakonigaawin, and that Anishinaabe lands and resources are respected with the least amount of uncertainty and degradation.

Following the completion of the documentary, the content will help to create various educational materials including short video clips for classrooms and curriculum development.