Leadership Gathers for 7th Annual Nationhood Conference

Since the signing of the Nationhood Proclamation in 2008, Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) has supported the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs’ (Assembly) goal and commitment to come together with Councillors, Grand Council and Mi’kmaq Executive Directors annually to discuss issues of importance to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

The 7th Annual Nationhood was held on March 23 and 24, 2016 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax.  Once again this year, the Assembly and KMKNO hosted Conference was an opportunity for the members of the Assembly to present on what has been accomplished over the past year in their portfolios and to gain input from Councillors, Grand Council, and organizational staff on the united vision for the future.

At this year’s conference many of the Lead Chiefs provided updates on a number of their files, including: the Chief Jesse Simon case, the Salmon Management Plan, energy projects happening in Nova Scotia, Mi’kmaq input into the Children and Family Services Act, the recent moose harvest in Cape Breton Highlands, and their ongoing benefits discussions, just to name a few.  As always, these presentations further the dialogue between all the Mi’kmaq leaders and helps build a plan for the future.

Dr. Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University, participated at this year’s conference as the keynote speaker.  Dr. Florizone’s presentation focused on the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations and how Dalhousie has incorporated these Calls to Action in their University and what they have learnt from what other universities are doing. His presentation was encouraging and highlighted how non-Aboriginal organizations have, and should, incorporate these very important recommendations into their operations.

This year also provided an historic opportunity for the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and the Assembly to meet and discuss how they can work together.  Both parties recognize that governance is important to everyone in our Mi’kmaq communities and that both groups fulfill essential roles for the Mi’kmaq Nation.   The Assembly and the Grand Council were appreciative of this first step and have already begun to make plans for how they can continue to build their working relationship.

KMKNO would like to thank Chief Deborah Robinson, Chief Sidney Peters and Kji-Keptin Andrew Denny for being the Masters of Ceremonies for the 2016 Nationhood Conference.  We would also like to thank all of the participants for their input and feedback.  Don’t forget to plan your tree seedlings and post online with the #maygoodthingsgrow!

Article ran in the April 2016 issue of the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Nations News