by Jaime Battiste, Citizenship Coordinator, KMKNO

Many young people, who are expecting a child, begin to take a close look at the choices they make and what the future could look like for their child. Thoughts of one day becoming a grandparent may seem overwhelming and far too distant right now however, we all know that someday we will reflect back on the decisions we have made in life. For the Mi’kmaq, and other First Nations parents and grandparents, we all share a genuine concern of the legacy we leave and whether or not our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their descendants will be considered Status Indians.

These concerns are largely based on the current policies that are used by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). These policies, combined with the Indian Act laws, have resulted in many First Nations losing status due to the 2nd generation cutoff rule that has been in place since 1985. While we realize that the previous sentence may be confusing for some, it is our hope at Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) that our young people and soon-to-be parents will become better informed and that, together, we can help our younger generations to make sense of how current federal rules can impact them. Through education, our people will be better able to understand the federal rules, and how they can affect the future of their family.

As a starting point it is important to say that as Mi’kmaq we have always had traditional systems in place to inform us of who is ...

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