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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
Home > Press centre > Press releases > 2009 > August 26, 2009

Canada, Quebec and the Mi’gmaq celebrate the beginning of a new relationship

Gaspé, August 26, 2009 – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians; Deputy Premier Nathalie Normandeau, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife, Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Magdalen-Islands region; and Mr. Pierre Corbeil, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs for the Government of Québec met with the leaders of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi, Councillor Quentin Condo Gesgapegiag; Chief Claude Jeanotte, Gespeg; and Chief Alison Metallic, Listuguj, to commemorate the signing of the Niganita'suatas'gl Ilsutaqann (NI) Agreement.

"Today we celebrate our Government's work, in partnership with the Mi'gmaq and Government of Quebec, to move forward on our shared goal of ensuring that First Nations have the tools to best manage their own affairs and improve economic opportunities in their communities," said Minister Strahl. "The NI Agreement is a sure sign that even more positive results are to come."

The NI Agreement, commemorated publicly today and signed by the parties in September 2008, marks the beginning of a renewed relationship built on cooperation and trust and confirms a commitment to work together.

“The Agreement is the result of more than five years of discussions and it carries the vision of the Chiefs to work constructively towards a mutually beneficial reconciliation that will help foster a better future for all of us,” affirmed Gespeg Chief Claude Jeannotte, Chair of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi. “The Agreement represents a significant step in finding resolution to the long standing differences relative to Mi’gmaq rights, title and jurisdiction between Quebec, Canada and the Mi’gmaq. We are confident that this process will help to renew and strengthen our relationship” concluded Chief Jeannotte.

“Because of this agreement, we know that any dialogue that occurs will be carried out in a climate of trust between the three parties. Future communication will be greatly facilitated,” said Minister Corbeil.

“Through this initiative, our government acknowledges the importance of the Mi’gmaq communities to the economic and cultural development of our region and expresses its desire to build a new partnership with them,” said Minister Normandeau.

The NI Agreement is a result of discussions held among the parties over the past few years. The NI is a process that could result in a Framework Agreement that would establish the basis for negotiations.

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