FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 28, 2013
Mi'kmaq people say “No!” to Framework Agreements that lead to Treaty termination
Communities fear negotiating with Canadian Government after the passing of Bill C-45
MILLBROOK NS- Members of the Mi’kmaq Nation, are opposed to the impending framework agreementsunder the premises of economic opportunity, the Made in Nova Scotia Process, and the Made in NewBrunswick Process. “The framework agreements promise economic opportunity for a select group of Mi'kmaq people at theprice of all Mi'kmaq peoples inherent treaties ”, said Marina Young, "Our people are already living under apaternalistic government within the Indian Act itself where Chiefs tell the people how their communitywill be run. We have a voice and we say "NO!" to the Made in Nova Scotia Process and the Made in NewBrunswick Process.Drastic measures have been implemented with the declaration of a fast by a citizens assembly in theMi'kmaq community comprised of members from each of the neighboring provinces. The lead fasters,who will consume only water throughout the duration, will be Idle No More organizer Shelley Young, amember of Eskasoni First Nation and Jean Sock, a member of the New Brunswick reservation Elsipogtog.Jean and Shelley represent the communities who feel they have not yet been consulted about thisprocess, and feel that their current leadership should not be dealing with a federal government who hasopenly disregarded First Nation's treaties with the passing of Bill C-45, which they say is a direct assaulton Aboriginal communities and land designated for sale by Mi'kmaq leadership along with the Harpergovernment to major oil and mining companies. The Fast will commence at midnight, Thursday, on theMillbrook reservation and will continue until a majority opts out of the process or is willing to halt theprocess until the Harper government is no longer in office. “Our treaties are our identity, we are raised in our communities to understand the importance of our rightto a sustainable living, and we understand that these were friendship treaties made to benefit all, buthere we are. The Canadian government has benefited the most of all“, says Bryson Syliboy of Indianbrook, "Bill C-45 and the Made in Nova Scotia process are very closely mirrored, one of 'Jobs andGrowth' and the other 'Economic Opportunity.""We've been protesting against the Harper Government since December for their lack of consultation withour leaders for C-45 and other impending bills, yet our own leaders fail to consult with us on negotiationsthat regard our rights, impact our lands and extinguish our treaties. Information sessions done in selectfew communities where a handful of people show is not deemed proper consultation. Band membersshould have complete understanding of these comprehensive claims policies and be in full support of them if they are to continue. These processes will ultimately be detrimental to our lands; Mi'kmaq peoplewill have different rights in different provinces, our original treaties will be extinguished (labeled"certainty" in the federal policy), and will affect our children and future generations to come." saysShelley Young of Eskasoni.