Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia and Canada sign landmark agreement

A press release announces that John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia’s Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Co-Chairs of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, Chief Terrance Paul of Membertou and Chief Gerard Julian of Paqtnkek, finalized an agreement to create access to consultation with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

The Agreement establishes an independent, clear and efficient means for Canada and Nova Scotia to consult the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia on proposed activities or projects. The Agreement on consultation is part of the broader negotiations to resolve outstanding questions in relation to Aboriginal and treaty rights and self-government between Canada, Nova Scotia and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, called the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process. It addresses the direction provided by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the legal duty to consult.

In the 2004 Haida and Taku River decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal and provincial Crown have a legal duty to consult, and, where appropriate, accommodate when Crown conduct may adversely impact established or potential Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

“This agreement—the first of its kind in Canada to include all First Nations within a province—supports a collaborative approach to consultation with the federal government and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “This single-window approach makes life better for Nova Scotians because it helps the province make more informed decisions.”

Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chief’s (ANSMC) Co-Chair, Chief Terrance Paul said, “Today’s signing ceremony represents the commitment of three governments—Federal, Provincial, and Mi’kmaq—to make things right. . . . The entire Nation is looking upon us to show that such cohesion is possible. We must not fail.”

This press release is available online at:
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/

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