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LETTER: No surrender of P.E.I. lands

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network


Re: Proclamation still unresolved (The Guardian, Feb.1). Allow me to take issue with John Palmer’s colonial interpretation of Crown-Indigenous land issues in the Maritimes. I ask him to identify which Peace and Friendship Treaty (e.g., 1725, 1749 and 1752) contains language on the extinguishment of land title by the Mi’kmaq.

That’s what happened with respect to the so-called “numbered” treaties in Upper Canada. But in these parts, not unlike British Columbia, which has only recently negotiated land treaties, the Mi’kmaq in the Maritimes have never ceded their claims to their ancestral lands.

And it matters not one whit what the British colonialists said or did with respect to the land - including dividing it into lots here on P.E.I.

The fact of the matter is that the Mi’kmaq have roamed these lands for 12,000 years, never surrendered to the colonials, and never signed a single treaty relinquishing ownership of the land.

Peter McKenna,

Professor and Chair,

Department of Political Science,

University of Prince Edward Island

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