by Jaime Battiste Citizenship Coordinator, KMKNO

Today’s youth (18-29) are the first generation of Mi’kmaq in many generations to grow up having their rights as Mi’kmaw Recognized and Affirmed. Today’s Mi’kmaq Communities are also overwhelmingly young, with most having an average age under 29. Recognizing this, Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) has looked to engage our youth in the Nova Scotia communities on their thoughts and opinions. Over the past few months, KMKNO has worked to engage youth throughout Nova Scotia and to hear their thoughts and opinions and to give feedback on the discussion of ‘who is Mi’kmaq’.

The participation of the youth began with the Indian Brook Youth Council attending the Nationhood Conference alongside the Chiefs, Councillors and Mi’kmaq organizations. As a follow-up to this, KMKNO held a video conference in June on Mi’kmaw Citizenship, in collaboration with the First Nations Help Desk and hosted by the LSK Indian Brook School. The video conference had participants from a few different Mi’kmaw schools and streamed live online for viewing. Chief Deborah Robinson, Lead Chief on Governance, and Dr. Pam Palmeter, a Mi’kmaw author of the book “Beyond Blood, Rethinking Indigenous Identity” both helped to get the discussion going on Mi’kmaq Citizenship.

The youth participants quickly learned that the issues surrounding Mi’kmaq Citizenship are vast, and how important it is for them to be a part of the discussion. The youth also learned ...

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