The FNWSC was created by First Nation Chiefs in Ontario wanting a collaborative inter-nation work space that did not diminish their control over education matters locally. Their governments send delegates to the FNWSC table who work from the principle that the community they represent is an autonomous self-governing body with the inherent right to govern over education matters for citizens.

While law-making processes and its formatting are met with very little speculation as a governing process in Canada, in First Nation communities, law-making processes and its forms are evolving. Common law templates continue to pose a serious problem for First Nation education decision-makers coding sacred responsibilities in static forms.

How do you stay true to original teachings and sources of natural law when you are given only the Preamble to do so?

This is where we are, as contributors at the FNWSC table, in our understanding of education ‘law-making’. This year has taught us that our capacity to think differently about the form and structures of a ‘law’ will require an increased capacity to think Anishinaabe/Haudenosaunee.

So we turn our minds and hearts to the Elders and listen.