NS Mi'kmaq Chief Meeting with NS Provincial Cabinet
June 15, 2011
The annual NS Chief and NS Cabinet meeting was held on June 15, at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.
Premier Darrell Dexter and co-chair of the assembly, Chief Gerard Julian, reviewed the progress of government-to-government relations between the province and the Mi'kmaq.
"Through government-to-government relations, progress is possible with mutual respect and commitment to an improved future for Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia,"said Chief Gerard Julian. "We need to address existing socio-economic development though the creation of regulation, policy, and legislative change. While we have been encouraged by the positive momentum and discussion created, we must now implement change that translates into tangible results in the Mi'kmaq communities."
"Over the past two years, government has set out to make life better for Nova Scotians in all regions of Nova Scotia and I'm proud that the Mi'kmaq have been part of that," said Premier Dexter. "The Mi'kmaq community is the youngest and fastest growing population in the province. We must seize every opportunity to build on the strides we have made in education, training and in community economic development, and this is another such opportunity."
Since last year, the province has protected Mi'kmaq interests in recent land acquisitions, in its renewable energy strategy, and community economic development initiatives, such as investing $1.2 million in 13 labour market projects, $250,000 through the Mi'kmaq Community Development Fund and more than $400,000 in adult education funding.
A Mi'kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Terms of Reference was also signed last August. It provides a framework for a streamlined consultation process that formally integrates Mi'kmaq interests and concerns in government decisions.
Last year's Membertou 400 celebration was an important opportunity to build a greater understanding of the Mi'kmaq nation and showcase its attributes as a distinctive and innovative culture to Nova Scotians and national and international visitors. The province played an instrumental role as a major sponsor and by providing in-kind services.
To celebrate and the recognize Mi'kmaq presence in Nova Scotia, a highway sign was unveiled at the meeting. It will be erected near Amherst.