Community Information Memo from Chiefs – Mill River Decisionby Tammy MacDonald
(The Supreme Court of PEI decision: Link to Supreme Court of PEI Decision )
Mill River Decision
Information Memo to Community Members
From: Chief Brian Francis and Chief Matilda Ramjattan
June 25, 2018
Earlier today, Justice Gordon Campbell released his decision on our application for a judicial review of the province’s decision to sell the Mill River golf course.
Justice Campbell ruled against us and dismissed the application. As you know, we argued that the province had failed in its legal duty to consult with the Mi’kmaq, as the decision to sell the property would negatively impact on our Aboriginal rights. Justice Campbell found that the province had fulfilled its legal obligation to consult with the Mi’kmaq of PEI on the sale of the property. We are disappointed of course and disagree with Justice Campbell’s decision.
From the day that the official order on the decision is issued, which will be sometime after today, we have thirty days to appeal. Over the coming days, we will be meeting with legal counsel to get a full understanding of the decision and to analyze Justice Campbell’s reasons, hear the recommendations and discuss our options. We will also be scheduling information sessions in the community to explain the decision in more detail, as well as the potential next steps in the legal process.
We recognize that many of the most important Aboriginal law decisions in Canada were not successful for the First Nations until the appeal level, and often not until the Supreme Court of Canada level. The Mi’kmaq have never ceded title to Prince Edward Island. This land is ours. We will continue to stand up for our Mi’kmaq rights and to demand the respectful relationship with the Crown that we were guaranteed in our Peace and Friendship Treaties.
Yours in spirit,
Chief Francis and Chief Ramjattan