Canada and Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation Sign Settlement Agreement of the 1895 Surrender Specific Claim
OTTAWA, April 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Bernard Valcourt, and Chief Freeman Ward of the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation celebrated with members of the community today and signed an agreement that settles the First Nation's 1895 Surrender Specific Claim.
Negotiated settlements help rebuild relationships and generate benefits for all Canadians. These benefits include economic benefits, new opportunities for business partnerships and certainty for First Nations, industry and area communities.
Specific claims deal with the past grievances of First Nations relating to outstanding obligations under pre-1975 treaties. Settling these past grievances through negotiations is key to achieving reconciliation and rebuilding relationships with First Nation people in Canada. For more information on the progress made to date, please go to this site.
- The Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation (formerly known as the Red Bank First Nation) is located approximately 25 km from Newcastle, New Brunswick and has a population of 659 people. The Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation has four reserves: Red Bank Indian reserves # 4 and # 7, Indian Point and Big Hole Track.
- On October 17, 2013, a ratification vote was held by the Metepenagiag First Nation. Of those eligible to vote, 279 members (or 94% of those who voted) approved the settlement agreement.
- Since 2007, Canada has settled over 100 specific claims representing over $2 billion through negotiated agreements.
- Settlement agreements create opportunities for economic growth on First Nations lands and in surrounding communities.
- The settlement agreement provides compensation in the amount of $27,569,411 and the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation will also have the opportunity to purchase up to 3,144.5 acres of land to be added to its reserve, subject to Canada's Additions to Reserve Policy. Private property will not be taken away to settle the specific claim, nor will anyone be asked to sell their property if they do not want to sell it.
"I'm pleased to be here today to participate in this celebration. The agreement is a success shared by all parties. Settlements of specific claims translate into new economic opportunities for First Nation communities and can create economic spin-offs in neighbouring municipalities."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"It is with great anticipation and joy that I can announce to my community that the negotiations between Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation and the Government of Canada regarding the 1895 Surrender Specific Claim Settlement Agreement have been concluded. This settlement will bring much needed financial relief to all of our community members, young and old, on and off reserve. The minors share will go directly into their trust fund which will give them all something to look forward to in the future. The Band will be able to look into viable economic opportunities to build on.
This settlement will put Metepenagiag on the threshold of a great leap forward in our community's economic development goals. Something that our children and grandchildren can continue to build on and improve to help Metepenagiag become a self sufficient community."
Chief Freeman Ward
Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation
Interactive Map on all Specific Claim Settlements to date
SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development CanadaFor further information:
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Councillor Tracy Anne Cloud
Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation