CONNE RIVER, NL, Nov. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, and Chief Mi'sel Joe, of Miawpukek First Nation, today signed a Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle (AIP), marking the first of its kind to be negotiated in the Atlantic provinces.
"Self-government is an important and necessary component of the sound planning and good financial management needed to create the conditions for economic success," said Minister Valcourt. "Miawpukek First Nation is a leader in the area of self-governance, and today marks an important milestone toward further self-sufficiency and prosperity. These agreements are key to achieving reconciliation while unlocking economic opportunities for the benefit of First Nations communities and all Canadians."
The signing of an AIP marks the beginning of negotiations toward a self-government final agreement, which will provide Miawpukek First Nation with greater flexibility and control in the development and delivery of its programs and services, in a manner best suited to its traditions. By signing this AIP, Miawpukek First Nation moves closer to being able to assume greater control over the management of its own affairs through the exercise of jurisdiction in several subject areas, including culture and language, education and social development, child and family services, health, land management and resource management.
"Miawpukek First Nation is pleased to have reached this milestone in our self-government negotiations. We look forward to our continued partnership as we work towards the final stage of negotiations", said Chief Mi'sel Joe.
The Agreement-in-Principle is the result of negotiations that began in 2004 among Miawpukek First Nation and the Federal and provincial governments. The parties signed the Self-Government Framework Agreement in 2005, which established a process to guide the Agreement-in-Principle negotiations. Miawpukek has developed and refined its vision for self-government based on extensive community consultations that have taken place throughout the negotiation process. As a self-governing First Nation, Miawpukek First Nation will provide for political and fiscal accountability in any constitution drafted in accordance with the eventual final agreement.
"The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador strongly believes in the Aboriginal people of the province taking control of their own destinies and today marks a significant step forward for the Miawpukek First Nation," said Minister McGrath. "I am very proud to participate in this historic event and as a government we look forward to seeing the Miawpukek First Nation progress and prosper in achieving self-government."
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
Chief Jo Mi'sel's Office
Miawpukek First Nation
Carol Ann Carter
Director of Communications
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-3015, cell. 709-631-9505
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