by Jaime Battiste, Citizenship Coordinator, KMKNO

Under the direction of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, the team at Kwilmu’kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiations Office (KMKNO) is in the early stages of creating a criteria/ definition for “who is a Mi’kmaw”. There is no question that the need of clearly defining who is Mi’kmaw, and who is entitled to be a beneficiary to our Treaties, continues to be a growing concern.

At the 2013 Nationhood Conference, held October 2nd and 3rd, the questions continued to arise from Councillors, Grand Council members, Elders and Youth on the current status of Qalipu Band and what this could mean for our Treaties, our Rights and our future as the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

Although it is important that we keep a watchful eye on other processes that define status eligibility, it is most critical that we develop our own process.

What has been done to date?

During an Assembly meeting in the spring of 2013, the Nova Scotia Chiefs voiced concern over the potential 100 000 new applicants, that were being considered, as part of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band of Newfoundland. This influx in population was puzzling and alarming not only for the Chiefs, but for many of our community members, wondering what it may mean to their own communities.

In May of 2013, a letter was sent by Chief Terrance Paul and Chief Gerard Julian, Co-Chairs of the Assembly, to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).  The letter outlined many ...

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