Meeting of First Nations approves new regional chief place for Newfoundland

First Nations in Newfoundland are getting a nationwide consultant on the Meeting of First Nations govt committee.

The movement handed final week on the meeting’s particular chiefs meeting in Ottawa. The island’s Mi’kmaq First Nations beforehand shared a regional chief with Nova Scotia.

That chief, Paul Prosper, stated it is a good transfer for Newfoundland’s rising Mi’kmaq inhabitants.

“They’ve distinctive views and pursuits and so they deserve [it] and I feel it is good for them to have their very own regional consultant,” he stated Monday. “There’s a distinct consultant there that’s extra conscious and in tune with the pursuits and points and the historical past that exists inside that individual area. They’re in a position to symbolize and articulate these pursuits extra absolutely on behalf of their constituents.”

Paul Prosper has served because the regional chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. He’ll quickly shed the latter a part of his portfolio, as Newfoundland will will get its personal consultant. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

The movement, which handed on Tuesday, started with Miawpukek First Nation Chief Mi’sel Joe explaining how the Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland have been unnoticed of the phrases of settlement signed with Canada when Newfoundland and Labrador turned a province in 1949.

“That is why that is so vital to us,” he informed the room filled with chiefs. “This second in time is so vital to assist us transfer within the path we have to go. We do not have treaty rights in Newfoundland. All we have now is the assistance of the Meeting of First Nations and the assistance of the Atlantic Equality Congress. If we do not have this assist, we do not have something going for us.”

Chief Joe stands next to the Miawpukek First Nation emblem.
Chief Mi’sel Joe, the pinnacle of Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River, N.L., stated the transfer is vital for the 31,000 Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

Joe stated the Liberal authorities has been supportive, however “as a result of we do not have treaty rights we have now to take care of huge firms which might be coming into our territory in a manner that makes us nearly beggars. The one manner we are able to change all that’s to have our personal vice-chief in Newfoundland that may work with 31,000 Mi’kmaq individuals.”

The Meeting of First Nations now has a regional chief for every province and territory, besides Nunavut. Alberta has a vacant seat, and Labrador shares a consultant with Quebec.

The movement sparked debate, with some — like Chief Wilfred King of the Gull Bay First Nation in Thunder Bay — questioning why the AFN was choosing regional representatives by Canadian map strains.

“We’re transferring in the direction of self-governance and self-determination and but we’re confining ourselves to those provincial boundaries programs, and once more I do not know why we’re doing that. I am not talking in opposition to the decision, however it sounds neocolonialist,” King stated.

The movement handed after some debate, with a 60-28 vote. One other 38 chiefs abstained from voting.

Prosper stated the method for selecting a regional chief has but to be ironed out, however stated it is “largely as much as the management” in Newfoundland to determine candidates who can be appropriate for the function. 

Learn extra from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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