Inherent Rights of the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree Nation (KCN)
When the Europeans came to our territory we were known as the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree Nation people. We are a Sovereign Cree Nation with inherent rights.
Our traditional territory was massive, and it went past the Pas, Manitoba and as far west as the PA National Park. Our research shows that many of the KCN Camps that lived in our territory were never acknowledged and purposely left out by Indian agents during Treaty.
Research shows that our Inherent rights were given to us by the Creator and we inherited them from generation to generation. We were born with our rights and nobody can take them away from us.
It’s also important to know that our inherent rights were not given to us by Indian Affairs, Canada, or the Crown, nor can they be taken away, nor altered in any way without our consent” Our inherent rights include, but are not limited to the following:
- Swampy Cree language – is the heart of the KCN culture;
- Pimatisowin - our way of life.
- Pimachowin – we used our economic rights to provide the necessities of life to our families;
- Government - before Treaty 5, the KCN people used a matriarchal system of government to make laws, to promote KCN Nationhood and our Collective rights;
- Opikinawasowin – was used to promote parenting, and strong child rearing practices. The whole community was involved;
- Spiritual rights – were used to communicate with the higher power, teach values, sacred songs, prayer, traditional protocols, and ceremonies;
- Land and resources – were used to maintain healthy families and communities;
- Stewardship – was used to look after the environment and to teach children their stewardship responsibilities; and
- Clean Water and Air – our ancestors protected these rights for future generations;
In addition, we had our own Cree customs, Traditions, and Practices which were part of our inherent rights. Research shows that a custom is anything which lots of people do, and have done for a long time. Shaking hands and respecting elders is a KCN custom and it’s still practiced today.
Traditional celebrations are some of the core aspects of any culture. Whether it is a wedding, dancing, gatherings, canoe races, dog races, sports days, religious holidays, Veterans ceremonies – these celebrations have been passed on from generation to generation.
Often, traditions are related to one's nationality or beliefs. For example, the KCN people work together to look after a family who have lost a loved one. This tradition is still alive and it has never been lost.
Overall the First Nations people had a special relationship with the earth and all living things in it. This relationship was based on a deep spiritual connection to Mother Earth that guided them to practice respect, humility, and reciprocity. (AFN)
Finally, before assimilation, the KCN people lived in harmony and in balance with nature and mankind. Their whole culture was based on looking after Mother Earth and showing respect to Mankind. They were taught to respect all cultures and never to disrespect other religions.
In 1876, our Ancestors were signatory to an adhesion to Indian Treaty 5 at Kaministikominahiko-skak.