Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Union of Ontario Indians

Grand Chief Madahbee Declines Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal

ICTMN Staff
1/22/13

 

Citing the Crown’s refusal “to discuss the broken treaty relationship directly with First Nations representatives,” Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee has turned down a nomination for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal that celebrates the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

“I want to express my respect and gratitude to whomever nominated me,” Madahbee said in a statement on January 22. “But I hope they appreciate that, given the current political challenges being faced by First Nations in Canada, I do not feel it appropriate at this time for me to accept this award.”

The Diamond Jubilee medals are being awarded to “Canadians who have devoted themselves to the well-being of family, community and country,” according to the Jubilee site. Several aboriginal leaders and achievers received the first of the medals in 2012; the yearlong celebration, which began last June, will see a total of 60,000 medals awarded to Canadians by June 2013.

Madahbee was to receive the medal at a ceremony in Toronto on January 24 but declined because of Governor General David Johnston’s refusal to attend a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nations leaders on January 11. Although Johnston did host more than 100 chiefs at Rideau Hall for a ceremonial gathering after that meeting, First Nations supporting the continuing fast of Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence said that did not meet the requirements of nation-to-nation interaction.

“Trinkets are no substitute for treaty rights,” Madahbee said in the statement. “The treaty relationship promised in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 has been broken by the current federal government. The Covenant Chain we accepted at Niagara in 1764 has been badly tarnished. Canada’s rule of law, as expressed in its Constitution and by its Supreme Court, is being ignored. The prime minister has an obligation to have the Queen’s representative involved in any discussions we have with his government about Canada’s obligations to honor the treaties.”

Madahbee has been outspoken in his support of Spence and was one of several chiefs who urged Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo not to meet with Harper on January 11 because Johnston would not be there. He has also warned that First Nations are not going to continue putting up with current conditions and treatment. The Anishinabek Nation is part of the Union of Ontario Indians, the political umbrella group established in 1949 as the political advocacy arm for 39 member communities across the province.

“The best way First Nations and other Canadians can express their disappointment with federal indifference is to translate their concerns into action,” Madahbee said in a statement on January 15. “Now other citizens understand our frustration. We have pursued all the proper political channels, but this government refuses to respect First Nations rights as referenced by Canada’s Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which they are a signatory.”

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Comments

andre's picture
andre
Submitted by andre on
You have got to admire a person with principles and the conviction to stand up with them. We don't see this often. It's so easy to fold-up like a lawn-chair when the Crown with all it's pomp, circumstance and ceremony comes to you. A lesser individual would have been overwhelmed. I salute Grand Chief Madahbee, for having principle and courage to stand up to the Queen and decline her offer.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
It is ironic that this medal that has been awarded to Grand Chief Madahbee and his refusal to accept it as a show of solidarity for his people,is the very reason he was nominated for it.The good of his people come before a personal award or trinket as he so aptly put it. John Rugar

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am proud of you for not accepting this award. and disappointed in Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo for not listening to you and still meeting with Harper on Jan. 11 because Johston would not be there. I am very disappointed in our government..Elder Diane Michano Richmond from Pic River First Nation...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am proud of you for not accepting this award. and disappointed in Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo for not listening to you and still meeting with Harper on Jan. 11 because Johston would not be there. I am very disappointed in our government..Elder Diane Michano Richmond from Pic River First Nation...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I have heard this great man speak on First Nations issues for a very long time, he has my up most respect as he is a man who stands up for his people, the pride he carries within his heart, a man who does not need a Jubliee Medal to prove that to anybody, he is a true warrior in my eyes.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Right on!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Patrick, I as well admire your decission not to accept the medal ,as one could never put it straight to the public as you did; truley you are a leader with compassion for your people ,you will surely go down in history with my family and relitaves as a leader well loved and respected ; we are very proud of you leading us , and may the Great Creator continue to guide you on this journey....your friend Minigaabo...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Patrick, I as well admire your decission not to accept the medal ,as one could never put it straight to the public as you did; truley you are a leader with compassion for your people ,you will surely go down in history with my family and relitaves as a leader well loved and respected ; we are very proud of you leading us , and may the Great Creator continue to guide you on this journey....your friend Minigaabo...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Patrick, I as well admire your decission not to accept the medal ,as one could never put it straight to the public as you did; truley you are a leader with compassion for your people ,you will surely go down in history with my family and relitaves as a leader well loved and respected ; we are very proud of you leading us , and may the Great Creator continue to guide you on this journey....your friend Minigaabo...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
You are truely an honourable man of great history and culture ...We are the Original Peoples of this Continent, and as our leaders secured our rights that we have had since time immemorial. You are our leader of today and I am very proud to know we have people such as yourself ..HOKA !! Keep the Circle Strong !!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
You are truely an honourable man of great history and culture ...We are the Original Peoples of this Continent, and as our leaders secured our rights that we have had since time immemorial. You are our leader of today and I am very proud to know we have people such as yourself ..HOKA !! Keep the Circle Strong !!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
it is time for our peoples voice to be heard and not just heard but put into power like never before the ancesters have waited for this day there dreams are coming to life they did not lay there arms down for us to fail they believe in us and their deams that we would fullfil them because we were given the power to do so it is time to let our children know that we are finished talking we are in motion to accomplish what we have started and we are going to finish it like one of our pioneers have said if the other ones will not respect our people and our land somebody esle will do it for us and it is the spirits of all our nations and beyond may the great spirit hear our prayers for he is the greatest chief and commander of all meegwetch from chief iron bear mushkaygowuk cree

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
good for this man...queen elizabeth and all the royals have kept very quiet throughout this whole crisis...she wants to act like a wooden figure head this guy did well to refuse

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Good for you! Standing for what you believe is often very hard. What you have done is to be honored by ALL.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Chief exemplifies Honesty and Integrity , hardly known any longer by big governments and big corporations ........Chief , stand your sacred ground !!!!!!! RcS

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Chief exemplifies Honesty and Integrity , hardly known any longer by big governments and big corporations ........Chief , stand your sacred ground !!!!!!! RcS

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Salute to Chief Spence and Chief Madahbee and their supporters.There is strength in numbers and they put their lives on the line both in flesh and blood and politically,especially Chief Spence.Chief Atleo may some day recognize that when a faction splinters from the whole it shows weakness and will be capitalized on ,thus making it harder in the bargaining process.It also shows his grandstanding against the wishes of his people was a selfish act of self importance.
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