Mi’kmaq Leaders Do Not Support Crown Land Sale for Upper Clements Park Expansion

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs (ANSMC) do not support the sale of crown land for the expansion of the Upper Clements Park in the Annapolis Valley.
In a letter sent out to Minister Charles Parker, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources on April 20, 2011, the ANSMC was discouraged the NS Department of Natural Resources failed to follow the Consultation Terms of Reference Process, ratified August 31, 2010.
The NS Department of Natural Resources publicly announced on April 4, 2011 the sale of 187 acres of Crown land for the expansion of the theme park. The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia have concerns given this area has been traditionally used for hunting, fishing and gathering.
Chief Leroy Denny of Eskasoni First Nation is the Assembly’s appointed Lead for the Lands portfolio and says, “The sale and transfer of these Crown lands is clearly an infringement on Mi’kmaq Rights and Title due to the traditional harvesting activities.”
NS Department of Natural Resources followed through on the Assembly’s recommendation to complete an archaeological impact assessment which was received on September 30th, 2010. The report clearly recommends further archaeological investigation as well as a Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge Study be undertaken prior to the development of the Upper Clements Park Expansion.
A meeting between the local First Nation, Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative (On Behalf of ANSMC) and the Hanse Society was to be held to discuss the report. The April 4, 2011 announcement of the sale of land was a surprise to the ANSMC because the report’s recommendations were not addressed nor was a meeting scheduled.
Chief Leroy Denny said, “We are disappointed that a meeting has not taken place prior to the announcement as the Assembly does not support the sale of Crown lands for this expansion.”
Chief Leroy Denny wanted to emphasize, “We are not trying to halt the expansion but there is a Consultation process involved of which the Department of Natural Resources are expected to follow.”
Chief Denny added, “We look forward to continued consultation, and resolving these concerns.”