Nova Scotia Promotes Fairness for Indigenous Peoples

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

We'koqma'q, Nova Scotia - We'koqma'q L'nue'kati, Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

When Indigenous Peoples succeed, Canada succeeds. A fairer future for every generation of Indigenous Peoples includes better access to education, and good-paying jobs. With renewed Nation-to-Nation, Government-to-Government, and Inuit-Crown relationships, we are creating thousands of jobs, generating economic opportunity for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and closing the education infrastructure gaps which have affected Indigenous communities for far too long.

Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the rich histories, heritage, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada. Together, we reaffirm our partnership in working towards a better future.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, alongside Chief Leroy Denny of Eskasoni First Nation and Chair of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, Blaire Gould, Executive Director of Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, and John Leonard Bernard, Interim Chief of the We'koqma'q L'nue'kati, today welcomed an important milestone in delivering agreements that address past injustices, improve access to education, close infrastructure gaps, and deliver fairness for Indigenous Peoples in Nova Scotia.

This includes the delivery of:

  • more than $16 million per year in increased funding to Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey to maintain, repair, and replace their existing education infrastructure, as well as bolster governance functions to support their education system. This funding will help ensure communities, including approximately 3,000 students, have the resources they need to succeed while remaining connected to Mi'kmaw culture and language. It will support improved quality of life, reduce poverty, and build a more resilient and fair local economy.
  • a $125 million proposed settlement agreement with the We'koqma'q L'nue'kati to resolve their specific claim regarding the improper sale of reserve land in 1862. Following the sale of this land, with a lake on one side of reserve lands and a mountain on the other, the community lost the opportunity to expand and benefit economically from the use of their land. The new proposed agreement is the result of many years of negotiations with the First Nation. It will need to be voted upon by its members before it can be finalized.

We are advancing reconciliation with concrete action. With continued collaboration with Indigenous partners across the country, we will achieve the objectives set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and Action Plan.

As we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day today, we reflect on the experiences and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across the country, celebrate their cultures and diversity, and recommit to walking the path of reconciliation together. By confronting our past, addressing its ongoing impacts on Indigenous Peoples, and supporting their healing journey, we can build a better, fairer future for everyone in Canada.

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