by Cheryl Knockwood, MMNN Contributor

The Mi’kmaw people – like other Indigenous communities across Canada – must organize themselves into nations to define what reconciliation means to them

(L-R) Candice Sylliboy and Cheryl Knockwood at the UN.

Canada’s celebration of 150 years of Confederation is not a huge cause for rejoicing for most Indigenous nations, including my own nation, the Mi’kmaq, because of a dark history. Before contact with European cultures, the Mi’kmaq was a sovereign independent nation operating under its own governance structures over its traditional territories. The Mi’kmaw people followed their own Mi’kmaw legal traditions; we had extensive networks and diplomatic relations with neighbouring Indigenous nations. During Canada’s pre-Confederation era, numerous treaties with the British government were signed by the Mi’kmaq in the hopes of establishing a relationship of mutual co-existence base ...

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