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
"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
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
Backgrounder: Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation 1895 Surrender Specific Claim
Interactive Map on all Specific Claim Settlements to date
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For 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