Trudeau announces $125 million agreement with First Nation to settle land dispute

The prime minister called the agreement 'another significant step on the path to reconciliation' between the Crown and the Cape Breton First Nation.

Trudeau announces $125 million agreement with First Nation to settle land dispute
The Canadian Press / Darren Calabrese
Remove Ads

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Indigenous leaders on National Indigenous Peoples Day today, where he announced a massive $125-million agreement with the We'koqma'q First Nation, settling an over-a-century-old land dispute.

The prime minister travelled to central Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where he and members of the First Nation say a sale of the land in 1862 deprived them of the opportunity to economically benefit from the land.

Trudeau called the agreement “another significant step on the path to reconciliation” between the Crown and the Cape Breton First Nation.

Trudeau also commemorated all Indigenous peoples on National Indigenous Peoples Day, which has been celebrated since 1996. This holiday is not to be confused with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation created by the Trudeau government, celebrated in September.

“From elders to knowledge keepers to political leaders and protectors of our lands and waters, we recognize your important contributions,” said Trudeau. “We need to value and to recognize and to celebrate Indigenous peoples and the cultures, languages and strengths that they have always brought to this extraordinary land.”

The 1,100-member We’koqma’q band will be invited to vote on a proposed settlement that has been in development for many years. A date for the vote has not yet been determined.

“We have been doing this for the last hundreds of years and we have been fighting, and this is how far we got,” said interim Chief John Leonard Bernard, reports Global News. “Now it’s up to the people of our community to go where we need to go after this.”

Additionally, on Friday, Trudeau announced $16 million in annual funding to assist 12 of Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaq communities in repairing, replacing, and maintaining educational infrastructure.

That money will be given to the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey group which is made up of several different Indigenous chiefs, staff, and parents.

“With better education, Mi’kmaq youth are better able to understand their opportunities and to truly walk a path of self-determination,” said the group's executive director Blaire Gould in a statement. “This is important not just to an individual, but rather a family, a community, and most importantly, a nation.”

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads