Canada and Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach commit to a new relationship and to advance reconciliation

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to renew the relationship based on affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Noah Swappie, Chief of Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding on reconciliation.

This Memorandum of Understanding lays a new foundation for the Government of Canada and the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach as they work in partnership to explore new ways to strengthen their relationship, and to address Naskapi’s priorities, which include self-determination and services on their lands. The goal of this process is to move forward together to advance reconciliation in a way that respects the rights and interests of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach.

Quotes

“Today, we take an important step to renew and strengthen our relationship with the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. This Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates our commitment to working as partners to find shared solutions that address a wide variety of issues, help close socio-economic gaps and advance reconciliation for the benefit of the Naskapi Nation and all Canadians.”

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

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“While we celebrated in 2018 the forty-year anniversary of the signing of the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (the “NEQA”) with Quebec and Canada, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach is arriving at a defining moment where open and constructive dialogue needs to occur to revisit the NEQA and assess the possible paths towards Naskapi self-determination. The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach is therefore extremely pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Canada, which reinforces the collaboration between our two Nations and advances the long journey toward Naskapi self-determination.”

Noah Swappie

Chief of Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach

Quick facts

  • The Naskapi reside in Kawawachikamach, 16 kilometres northeast of Schefferville and approximately 500 kilometres north of Sept-Îles. Kawawachikamach is the only Naskapi community composed of 936 members residing in Kawawachikamach out of 1458 beneficiaries of the Naskapi Nation.

  • In 1978, the Naskapi entered into the Northeastern Quebec Agreement with Quebec and Canada, providing them with constitutionally protected treaty rights and a land regime.

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