Pimicikamak is an indigenous people. It has a government and a traditional territory. Since 1876 it and other indigenous peoples in Canada have been subjected to concerted efforts by Crown governments and agencies to extinguish them as peoples.
The most fundamental right of an indigenous people is its right to exist. This right is protected in international law by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Two other international conventions provide “In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.”
Other fundamental human rights affecting survival include the right of a people to decide who are its citizens and the right to decide how it makes decisions.
These and other rights affecting survival have been attacked or undermined as part of the efforts to extinguish the Pimicikamak people.
The Indian Act and its creature the Cross Lake Band of Indians are an integral part of those ongoing efforts. Recently the federal Minister of Justice indicated an intention to change them.
For 50 years Manitoba Hydro – an agent of the provincial Crown – has been an unwanted and traumatic presence in Pimicikamak territory. Its operations inflict devastating and often irreversible damage to the land and the people. It has become the principal threat to Pimicikamak’s continued existence.
Pimicikamak’s national policy on survival strategy is: Heal the land, heal the people, heal the nation.
Pimicikamak is now intensely focused on building a new relationship with Manitoba Hydro, one that will enable both to survive in its territory.
Discussion papers and other documents relating to this relationship can be found here.