Canada and Elsipogtog First Nation advance reconciliation through a Memorandum

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

May 9, 2019 – Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada and Elsipogtog First Nation are working together to advance reconciliation and renew their relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Chief Arren Sock of Elsipogtog First Nation announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Elsipogtog First Nation and Canada to advance a dialogue through a Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussion table.

Elsipogtog and Canada agreed to enter into Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions under the Memorandum of Understanding after Elsipogtog filed a claim against Canada and the Province at the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench in 2016. In the claim, Elsipogtog seeks declarations confirming that the Mi’kmaq Nation holds Aboriginal Title and rights and Treaty rights to the Mi’kma’ki district of Sikniktuk in New Brunswick.

As part of the discussion table under this Memorandum of Understanding, Elsipogtog and Canada will explore the possibility of entering into negotiations for the recognition and implementation of Mi’kmaq Title, rights and Treaty rights, as well as the protection and management of the environment and natural resources in Sikniktuk.

“Today, we take an important step to renew and strengthen our relationship with Elsipogtog First Nation. This signing demonstrates our commitment to working as partners to find solutions that will help close socio-economic gaps and advance reconciliation for the benefit of community members and all Canadians.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“We filed the Aboriginal title claim to preserve our right to make decisions about our lands and waters for our children and future generations. This Memorandum confirms the commitment of both Elsipogtog First Nation and Canada to establish a table to address the issues raised as part of our claim and discuss how we can achieve reconciliation in a manner that recognizes and respects our title and rights.”

Arren Sock

Chief, Elsipogtog First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Elsipogtog First Nation is a Mi’gmaq First Nation in New Brunswick.

  • The Mi’kmaq, including Elsipogtog’s ancestors, signed treaties of peace and friendship with the British Crown in the 1760s.

  • The Elsipogtog First Nation has a treaty right to hunt, fish, and gather for a “moderate livelihood,” as confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 Marshall Decision.

  • The Elsipogtog First Nation has a registered population of 3,404, of which more than 2,500 people live on reserve land.

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