Programs and services
MCPEI delivers a wide range of programs and services in support of PEI’s Aboriginal population.
Programs and services are available around the province through our offices in Lennox Island, Scotchfort, Rocky Point, Charlottetown and Summerside.
Aboriginal Justice Program
Our Aboriginal Justice Program supports Aboriginal people impacted by the provincial justice system by creating a sustainable justice support system. Our focus is helping offenders, victims and communities identify the root of the issues that led to the crime(s) and determining community-based alternatives to deal with crime. We strive to find rulings that satisfy the victim and the community, set conditions for the offender to succeed in rehabilitation and reduce crime and penalty across PEI.
The Program provides one-on-one support, education workshops, culturally based justice alternatives (the circle process), early intervention and referrals for services. Our Director of Aboriginal Justice oversees the program administration, with guidance and direction provided by the Aboriginal Justice Program Advisory Committee.
Aboriginal Sports Circle
The PEI Aboriginal Sports Circle supports grassroots participation in sport for Aboriginals in PEI. We recognize that active engagement in sport opportunities helps build healthier communities and individuals. The Aboriginal Sports Circle includes representatives from Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations, and the PEI Native Council, and helps young Aboriginal Islanders participate in local, regional and national sporting events, such as sports camps and training, tournaments and coaching.
Economic development is necessary for a community to grow and prosper. The MCPEI Economic Development identifies and capitalizes on opportunities for the purposes of growth and prosperity of both the Abegweit First Nations and the Lennox Island First Nations communities. We focus our efforts on ensuring good governance, building capacity and using our land and resources.
Our Economic Development Program supports Aboriginal Peoples on the Island identify and create projects around renewable energies that generate both economic and employment opportunities and provide a sustainable living environment for generations to come. We can collectively build capacity by contributing our unique skills and talents to our communities, being open to learning opportunities and joining with other First Nations communities in partnership and business ventures. We believe with the right attitude – a business attitude – we can realize true change in our communities in one generation.
The MCPEI Education Program supports students in both the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations through advice, advocacy, research and individual support. We partner with the PEI Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, the PEI Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other education stakeholders to ensure Mi’kmaq learners receive quality education and support services where needed.
Funding for our Education Program staff and services is provided through the Education Partnerships Program and the First Nations Student Success Program offered through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
The MCPEI Employment Services is a client-focused program that provides employment support to all Aboriginal people living in PEI, including status and non-status First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples living on and off reserve. Our focus is supporting individuals in returning to work and providing training required to support employment. Our Employment Services team leverages partnerships with employers, training institutions and governments to develop and deliver meaningful initiatives to offer interesting and hands-on career experiences. The MCPEI Employment Services operates under a contribution agreement between MCPEI and Employment and Social Development Canada. Services are delivered through sites on Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations, Charlottetown and Summerside.
Operations and Administration
Our team is responsible for all central agency services within MCPEI; including Human Resources, Finances, Communications and Office Administration.
Our team also includes MCPEI Events, which offers a full-range conference and event planning services for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal government, as well as corporate and community events that have an Aboriginal focus or component throughout the Atlantic Region.
MCPEI manages an extensive health program to support the health and wellbeing of the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island living on reserve. Our health program is designed to raise awareness about and increase accessibility of health and wellness programs and services available to PEI Mi’kmaq people in the province.
We work to enable the PEI Mi’kmaq people and communities to better manage their health and wellbeing overall. We also strive to increase awareness within relevant federal and provincial government divisions and NGO’s about the health and wellness needs of PEI Mi’kmaq people, with the goal of ensuring the needs of PEI Mi’kmaq people are taken into consideration, met and reflected in community and provincial health policies, programs and procedures.
Our Health Program currently consists of the following components:
- Health Services Management
- Community Health Promotion and Injury/Illness Prevention
- Cultural Support to Survivors of Indian Residential Schools
- Health Emergency Management
- Environmental Contaminants
Integrated Resource Management
Integrated Resource Management is a way of using and managing the environment and natural resources to achieve sustainable development, such that environmental, social and economic issues are considered balanced with finding ways for all users to exist together with less conflict. It is based on cooperation, communication, coordination, and consideration of all values and involvement of those potentially affected before action is undertaken.
MCPEI created the Integrated Resource Management (IRM) Directorate in response to the growing awareness of ecological links between the various resource sectors and First Nation’s responsibilities for effective management of resource harvesting activities. The IRM serves to provide a measure of protection to existing Mi’kmaq Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
The IRM Directorate provides Bands with advice and supports comprehensive, ecosystem-based resource management building on past First Nations experiences in fishery management. The IRM Directorate is working to establish community fishery management structures to help Bands develop fishing systems that meet their long-term fishery needs. To this end, the IRM Directorate has negotiated multi-year fishery agreements with DFO and undertaken an extensive review of existing and potential fishery management structures.
The IRM Directorate also includes the Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which is responsible for resource mapping and data collection pertaining to First Nations resource use on PEI. This covers all aspects of fisheries, forestry and hunting and gathering of resources. The IRM Directorate also provides technical advice and assistance on forestry and other resource-based initiatives, including climate change, water, hunting and wildlife.
Legal/Band Government Advisory Services
MCPEI fulfills its legal/band government advisory role by providing ongoing technical advice and support services for the Lennox Island and the Abegweit First Nations and their members. For example, we review agreements, draft policy and assist Bands and Band Councils with a variety of legal and governance issues. This advisory role is critical as PEI First Nations move toward increasingly open and accountable governance models to ensure Band Councils have access to proper structures and policies that serve the best interests of Band members. + Link to Ethics Review Committee (which is in the Resources Section).
Child and Family Services and Mi’kmaq Family PRIDE
The Mi’kmaq Family PRIDE Program provides prevention services and supports the protection of children in both First Nations. Pivotal to the development of the Mi’kmaq Family PRIDE Program is our belief that children, families and communities benefit most from services that are sensitive to and congruent with their cultural beliefs and traditional values. With this underlying philosophy, the vision for our Mi’kmaq Family PRIDE Program is to provide a holistic and culturally sensitive approach to individual, family and community wellness and risk reduction through prevention services and protection support.
Our programs centre on the sacred value and inherent worth of children within our culture and communities. We provide in-home, one-on-one and group support, outreach services and connection to services and support, as well as foster home recruitment. We support parents, families and communities in raising healthy, happy and resilient children, provide a linkage to Mi’kmaq heritage and culture, strengthen families and their support networks, all while keeping the safety and wellbeing of our children foremost in our priorities.
Regarding child protection, the legal mandate for all child protection concerns, regardless of whether you live on or off reserve, is the responsibility of the PEI Department of Child and Family Services. However, we do offer immediate support for families when child protection social workers are investigating a referral. We cannot interfere with an investigation, but we can support families during this stressful time. Again, the safety of a child is first and foremost in any decisions that are being made during a child protection investigation.
Parks Canada-MCPEI Joint Projects Office
MCPEI and Parks Canada collaborate on the representation of PEI Mi’kmaq culture and heritage and management of lands of historical and present day importance to the Mi’kmaq in Parks Canada sites on PEI. For example, in 2013, a travelling museum exhibition entitled Ni’n na L’Nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island was launched and toured North America. The exhibit was sponsored by the Mi’kmaq Confederacy with assistance from Parks Canada and principal financial support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, demonstrating the value of open communication and frequent consultation between our two organizations.