Federal-provincial-Indigenous agreement 'an important day for the Mi'kmaq'
Agreement marked at an event in Charlottetown
Ottawa and the P.E.I. government have signed what is being called a framework agreement with the two Mi'kmaq bands on the Island, outlining processes for discussions of both new and existing issues.
A joint news release on the agreement was short on details. It says the framework agreement outlines subject matters and areas of importance for the Mi'kmaq, and establishes a process to facilitate efficient and timely discussions.
It does not provide specifics of the subject areas covered or the process established. A government spokesperson said details of the agreement will be posted on Wednesday.
The idea behind the framework is to try avoid costly legal battles between First Nations and the federal government.
Representatives of both the Lennox Island First Nation and the Abegweit First Nation expressed their satisfaction with the agreement.
"This is an important day for the Mi'kmaq of P.E.I.," said Lennox Island Chief Matilda Ramjattan in the release.
"This is just the beginning but it is an incredibly important first step in rebuilding our Mi'kmaq Nation in P.E.I., bringing life to our inherent right to self-government and, ultimately, socio-economic health to our people and communities."
Ramjattan said the Mi'kmaq have been advocating for an agreement regarding a process for negotiations for more than a decade.
"With the signing of this agreement the path to self-determination and the recognition of our rights is clearer than it has ever been," said Abegweit First Nation Coun. Jacob Jadis in the release.
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and Premier Wade MacLauchlan were in Charlottetown with Ramjattan and Jadis Tuesday afternoon at the event to mark the signing of the agreement.