Pimicikamak Okimawin Onasowewin – a step towards decolonization?
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This thesis is about Cree people who many refer to themselves as Ininew and whose original language is Ininewin. The main focus of this thesis is to generate dialogue on the colonial legacies that affect the Ininewak at Pimicikamak today in the area of community governance and the community’s creative responses to colonialism. First this paper provides a synopsis of the colonial history of Pimicikamak, making reference to the First Written Law (Pimicikamak Okimawin Onasowewin) and how this is a step forward to decolonization. Pimicikamak Nation`s government is recently new. It empowers the four councils: the Elders Council, Women’s Council, Youth Council, and Executive Council to make and amend laws as direction from its citizens. Modern written Pimicikamak customary law is subject to acceptance by consensus of a general assembly of the Pimicikamak public. This thesis will also discuss methods of the current colonial-derived governance system to provide a critique of the mechanisms that continue to raise havoc on Indigenous peoples. As well, this thesis will discuss the concepts of self-governance and suggest that in order to decolonize and liberate Indigenous people from the colonial entrapment that binds them to a governance system foreign to their own, there must be a committed, intellectual awareness and comprehension of the roots that continue to undermine Indigenous peoples, including Pimicikamak. This awareness is needed to visualize and comprehend centuries of systematic displacement and to acknowledge that the current colonial system still represents its history.