P.E.I. Mi'kmaq chiefs optimistic about Trudeau commitments

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 P.E.I.'s Mi'kmaq chiefs met with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett during a special Assembly of First Nations meeting in Gatineau, Que. on Dec. 8. From left: Chief Matilda Ramjattan of Lennox Island First Nation, Bennett and Chief Brian Francis of Abegweit First Nation.

P.E.I.’s Mi’kmaq chiefs say they are optimistic about the relationship between First Nations and the federal government after the latest commitments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Chief Brian Francis of Abegweit First Nation said the chiefs are optimistic they can make progress on a relationship that honours and respects the rights of First Nations.

“The prime minister pledged a total renewal of the relationship between Canada and the First Nations peoples,” he said.

The response from the chiefs came after Trudeau spoke at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que. on Dec. 8.

Trudeau made several commitments, including launching an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

Chief Matilda Ramjattan of Lennox Island First Nation said Trudeau touched on several issues P.E.I. First Nation leadership have been emphasizing and advocating for publicly.

“We are pleased that the prime minister is publicly re-committing to implementing these signature election promises, however we will remain guarded in our optimism until we see these promises in action,” she said.

Organizations: Assembly of First Nations, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, P.E.I. First Nation

Geographic location: Canada, Gatineau

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