For Immediate Release
Moving Forward Together with the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island
January 15, 2019 — Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are committed to working with the PEI Mi’kmaq towards a renewed government-to-government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
Today, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Matilda Ramjattan, Chief of Lennox Island First Nation, and Jacob Jadis, Councillor for Abegweit Mi’kmaw First Nation, celebrated the signing of a tripartite Framework Agreement.
The Framework Agreement represents an important commitment from the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island towards a path of reconciliation. With this agreement, we move forward together with the Mi’kmaq in strengthening a nation-to-nation relationship between the federal and provincial Crown and the Mi’kmaq. In particular, the Framework Agreement outlines subject matters and areas of importance for the Mi’kmaq, establishes a process to facilitate efficient and timely discussions, and reaffirms parties’ commitment to reconcile and respect the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island’s Aboriginal and treaty rights.
This Framework Agreement marks another significant step towards reconciling the rights of the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island. Supporting Indigenous Peoples in their quest for more self-determination, rights recognition, and improved socio-economic outcomes is a key priority of this Government. We are confident that agreements, such as the tripartite Framework Agreement signed here today, will help to advance Indigenous rights and renew a government-to-government-to-government relationship.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“The Province of Prince Edward Island values its long-standing and strong relationship with the Mi’kmaq of PEI and we will continue to work together to promote healthy, safe and prosperous communities for all. The signing of this Framework Agreement marks the next chapter of ongoing initiatives we have underway with the Mi’kmaq. As we move forward together, on the path to reconciliation, we will be able to create a future that we are all proud of, where we can all thrive and succeed. ”
Premier of Prince Edward Island and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs
“This is an important day for the Mi’kmaq of PEI. We have advocated for over a decade for a process that commits all of our respective governments to cooperative negotiations to resolve our outstanding Mi’kmaq Rights issues. This is just the beginning but it is an incredibly important first step in rebuilding our Mi’kmaq Nation in PEI, bringing life to our inherent right to self-government and, ultimately, socio-economic health to our people and communities.”
Chief of Lennox Island Mi’kmaq First Nation
“With the signing of this Agreement the path to self-determination and the recognition of our rights is clearer than it has ever been. We have a great deal of work to do but the agreement gives us a respectful framework and a process for our governments to turn that work into positive results.”
Councillor of Abegweit Mi’kmaw First Nation
The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous communities at over 70 Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussion tables across the country to explore new ways of working together to advance the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination. These discussions represent more than 350 Indigenous communities, with a total population of more than 750,000 people.
The Mi’kmaq are the Indigenous Peoples of Prince Edward Island and there are two Mi’kmaq First Nations on the Island: Abegweit Mi’kmaw First Nation and Lennox Island First Nation.
As part of its reconciliation efforts the Government of Canada has also provided the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island with $154,000 through the Nation Rebuilding Program to support their efforts towards self-determination.
The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI serves as the common forum for the two PEI Mi’kmaq First Nations on issues of Aboriginal and treaty rights.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
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Senior Bilingual Communications Officer
Executive Council Office
Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI