Ot­tawa com­mit­ted to ad­vanc­ing Mi’kmaw Na­tion, sum­mit told

StarMetro Halifax - - SPORTS -

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

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