July 3, 2022
Premier Hosts Joint Meeting of Mi’kmaw Chiefs, Cabinet
NationTalk: Premier Tim Houston, cabinet ministers and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs held their first joint meeting today, June 30, discussing a wide range of issues and building relationships.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the government to strengthen our relationship with the Mi’kmaq and work closely together on issues our communities are facing,” said Premier Houston. “A brighter future starts with a shared belief in each other, in our communities and in all Nova Scotians.”
This discussion focused on mutual priorities in:
- the environment,
- the education system,
- economic development and
- building communities.
“It is crucial our governments work together on the goals and priorities we have in common, but also that we build a relationship so that we can work respectfully, understanding that, at times, we may have unique positions on important matters,” said Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley, Co-chair, Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs. “Today is a great first step to building that relationship, and we look forward to continuing these discussions with our government partners.”
“Meeting with Premier Houston and the Nova Scotia cabinet is an important demonstration of our nation-to-nation relationship and an opportunity to discuss matters that help strengthen and build our relationship as treaty partners,” said Chief Sidney Peters, Co-chair, Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs. “We are confident that these discussions will be the initial steps to a co-operative path forward.”
Through my visits to Mi’kmaw communities and meeting M’ikmaw leaders and community members, I have deepened my learning about the opportunities and challenges we share. As Nova Scotians, we are all treaty people and have a role to play in advancing reconciliation. Karla MacFarlane, Minister of L’nu Affairs
- the last joint meeting between the Mi’kmaw Chiefs and cabinet was held in December 2017
- last September, Nova Scotia announced that September 30 will be recognized annually as Truth and Reconciliation Day
- the Mi’kmaw Language Act recognizing Mi’kmaw as Nova Scotia’s first language was passed by the legislature in April
Treaty Education Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/treaty-education/index.html
News release – Truth and Reconciliation Day Recognized in Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210903008
News release – Legislation Enshrines Mi’kmaw as Nova Scotia’s First Language: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220407003
June 21, 2022
Government of NB launches new website tracking progress on TRC Calls to Action
A new website was launched today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, to provide updates on the provincial government’s progress in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
“One year ago, our government released a progress report outlining work already completed or underway on more than two dozen calls to action,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn. “This website is a quick and easy way for government to provide updates for the public and remain accountable as we walk a path toward reconciliation.”
The commission’s final report was released in 2015. It called on all levels of government, in addition to organizations and residents of Canada, to take action to mend the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The report included 94 calls to action, 31 of which are the responsibility of the provincial government.
“As you will note, we are making many advancements,” said Dunn. “But, as I have indicated before, reconciliation is an ongoing process. It is not about checking boxes on a list, and there is still much to be done. We have trust to rebuild, relationships to establish and concrete actions to implement that demonstrate we are sincere in our commitment to reconciliation.”
Dunn said the government is making progress in several areas, including:
- Waiving fees to make it easier for survivors of residential schools and their family members to reclaim traditional names.
- Engaging with First Nations to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible residential schools monument in Fredericton to honour survivors and the children who did not survive residential schools.
- Agreements between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and First Nations for curriculum development on the history of residential schools.
- Smudging ceremonies being available across the Horizon Health Network, when requested, and sacred medicines (sage, cedar and sweetgrass) being available at most hospitals.
- Having Indigenous patient navigators at hospitals in Fredericton and Miramichi, serving as a resource and point of contact for Indigenous patients and their families, health-care providers and community members, to ensure the provision of care is culturally safe and client-centred.
- The Department of Aboriginal Affairs co-ordinating opportunities for cultural awareness training for all public servants. This will include training on topics such as the history of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick and residential and day schools.
November 22, 2019
Response to UNDRIP
In response to a question about New Brunswick adopting and implementing UNDRIP, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs indicated that their priority was to undertake a technical review of the BC Declaration and understand the Aboriginal treaty rights and the peace and friendship rights.
July 26, 2019
Tripartite Framework Agreement
The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, and Chiefs George Ginnish and Rebecca Knockwood, co-Chairs of Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated, representing eight of the nine Mi’gmaq communities in New Brunswick announced a tripartite Framework Agreement to focus negotiations on the implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights, the resolution of Aboriginal title, and self-determination of the Mi’gmaq of New Brunswick.
Guided by a Framework Agreement signed by all parties – including the province – , we will continue to focus discussions on the priorities identified by the Mi’gmaq of New Brunswick, including: Mi’gmag language, culture, and heritage; economic development; protection of land and water; parks and other protected areas; resource revenue-sharing; law enforcement and policing; and self-government. Through these negotiations, we are co-developing agreements that will support the implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights while supporting economic growth and creating new investment opportunities for the benefit of Mi’gmaq communities now and for generations to come.