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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Tour by Minister Geoffrey Kelley in three Micmac communities of Québec – A positive assessment

QUÉBEC, October 27, 2005 – Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Minister for Native Affairs, today wound up a three-day tour in the Micmac communities of Gespeg, Gesgapegiag and Listuguj. In so doing, the Minister has completed another stage of his visit to various Aboriginal nations of Québec. “I am happy to have met with the Micmacs and to have talked to their elected representatives. They feel very strongly about the development of their community. They can count on my support and that of the Government of Québec,” emphasized the Minister.

Mr. Kelley met with the members of the Gespeg Band Council to discuss the negotiations on self-government as well as economic, social and cultural development. It should be recalled that in 1999, the governments of Québec and Canada and the Micmacs of Gespeg had concluded a framework agreement. This agreement set forth, among other things, the subjects to be negotiated, including the practice of traditional activities, the territorial land base and the government structure of this community.

The Minister also spoke with the members of the Band Council of Gesgapegiag. Questions concerning job creation as well as economic and sociocultural development were addressed. “The Government of Québec wishes to support the Micmacs in the creation of innovative and structuring enterprises for the communities. We want to step up our efforts in order to stimulate the economy of the communities of this region,” indicated Mr. Kelly.

It should be pointed out that the Minister met with the three chiefs of the Micmac communities of Quebec: Ms. Linda Jean Simon, Chief of Gespeg, Mr. John Martin, Chief of Gesgapegiag, and Mr. Scott Martin, Chief of Listuguj. The discussions focused on priority issues, considered to be of interest to the entire Micmac nation.

Finally, the Minister delivered to the Listuguj Band Council a sum of $135,563 representing the final installment of a total contribution of $210,563 for the purchase of forestry equipment. The sums, which come from the Aboriginal Development Fund, complete the financial assistance granted to Listuguj for the purchase of a loader. With this acquisition, the community will have completed its forestry equipment and will be able to exploit, on its own, the forestry resources put at its disposal.

“In financing this project, the Government of Québec is demonstrating its intention of increasing the participation of Aboriginals in the management and exploitation of natural resources. I am convinced that by taking steps such as these, we are helping the Aboriginal peoples to take their rightful place in regional development,” concluded Minister Kelley.



Claire Rémillard
Press secretary
Office of Minister Geoffrey Kelley
Telephone: (418) 643-4980

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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
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Last update : October 27, 2005
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