WAGMATCOOK FIRST NATION, NS, June 21, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation and working in partnership with Indigenous communities, the provinces, territories, and other partners to fully implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Norman Bernard, Chief of Wagmatcook First Nation, and Rod Googoo, Chief of We'koqma'q First Nation, on the grand opening of a provincial courthouse on reserve. The Wagmatcook courthouse will offer Aboriginal Wellness and Gladue court programs for Indigenous offenders. It is the first courthouse in Nova Scotia to be built in a Mi'kmaq community.
This new court will serve residents of Wagmatcook and We'koqma'q First Nations, and provide provincial court services to all residents of Victoria County. Most importantly, the court will improve access to justice and participation in the justice system in a way that is better aligned with the traditions, culture, and practices of the Mi'kmaq.
The establishment of an on-reserve courthouse that will offer culturally relevant services to Indigenous communities is an important and welcome step toward implementing the TRC's Calls to Action, as well as the recommendations of the Marshall Inquiry.
"The Wagmatcook courthouse represents a significant step in our shared journey toward reconciliation. The Wagmatcook and We'koqma'q Mi'kmaq communities will gain greater access to culturally appropriate justice, and I congratulate all those involved in making this new courthouse a reality."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
- Wagmatcook First Nation and We'koqma'q First Nation are Mi'kmaq communities located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
- Wagmatcook has a registered population of 634 on-reserve and 228 off-reserve members.
- We'koqma'q has a registered population of 891 on-reserve and 114 off-reserve members.
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: Media may contact: Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-934-2796; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160