National Indigenous Council of Elders Endorsement - Zibi

National Indigenous Council of Elders Endorsement of Zibi

The friendships that have evolved between Windmill and Memengweshii is an exemplary step towards reconciliation. Such friendships will be the key to progress.

September 29, 2015 – Without prejudice, we are writing this letter as a formal expression of the National Indigenous Council of Elders’ (N.I.C.E.) support for Zibi, what will become the world’s most sustainable community, situated on unceded Algonquin territory.

N.I.C.E. is a non-political group of Indigenous Elders who have had the benefit of working with our People as lawyers, business owners, consultants, politicians, etc. Now in our retirement, we want to use this lifetime of experience to give back and help Indigenous Nations create the future they want for themselves. Our mission is to eliminate poverty through self-determination, by promoting the use of the resources, assets and market possibilities of the 634 Indigenous communities in what is known as “Canada”.

N.I.C.E.’s endorsement of Zibi follows on a meeting on September 22 between myself, Scott McDougall of Windmill Development, and Brenda Odjick of the Memengweshii Council. We are impressed with how Windmill’s vision for Zibi is closely aligned with our own focus on the need to rethink and rebuild Indigenous economic development in a way that is respectful of Indigenous jurisdictions. It was clear from the meeting that Windmill has every intent to include Algonquin Anishinabeg and First Nations in several aspects of the redevelopment, and that such involvement will create long-lasting wealth and benefit for Indigenous People on and off reserve.

Another of N.I.C.E.’s focus is the creation of wealth through the bringing together of Indigenous and non- Indigenous experts and knowledgeable people. In this respect, we praise the relationship—and friendships— that have formed between First Nations and non-First Nations as a result of Zibi, as evidenced by the vital role of the Memengweshii Council, a group of Anishinabe women that have come together to support Zibi. We commend the members of the Memengweshii Council for their courage to take responsibility for their situation and to making the changes needed for their communities to become self-sufficient.

The friendships that have evolved between Windmill and Memengweshii is an exemplary step towards reconciliation. Such friendships will be the key to progress.

We look forward to learning more about Zibi and the positive relationship-building between First Nations and non-First Nations.

Respectfully yours,

Ernie Daniels
Vice President, National Indigenous Council of Elders

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