Ottawa committed to advancing Mi’kmaw Nation, summit told
HALIFAX—A key federal official says Ottawa is committed to advancing the Mi’kmaw Nation, and getting Indigenous Peoples “out from under the Indian Act.”
Marc Miller, the parliamentary secretary to the federal Crown-indigenous Relations minister, told a First Nations self-governance summit in Halifax that the paternalistic constraints of the Indian Act lead directly to dependency, isolation and indignities.
He says those mistakes must not be repeated as the federal government works with Indigenous Peoples on treaty implementation, recognition of inherent rights and nation building.
Miller says he recognizes that there is no pan-indigenous approach to reconciliation, and that Ottawa will listen to the priorities of Indigenous Peoples in the Atlantic region and support the advancement of the Mi’kmaw Nation.
First Nations leaders from across Canada are gathered at the Halifax Convention Centre for the second day of a regional summit on self-governance, with a focus on finding a pathway to nationhood for Indigenous Peoples in the Atlantic region known as Mi’kma’ki.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched a national engagement process with Indigenous Peoples earlier this year, proposing a new legislative framework designed to pave the way toward stronger rights and greater control over their own destiny.
“We need to both recognize and implement Indigenous rights,” Trudeau said last February in a speech in the House of Commons. Read more from the summit at thestar.com/canada