Frequently Asked Questions

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Made-in-Nova Scotia Process

What is the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process?

The Made-in-Nova Scotia Process has been established by the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and Canada to sit down together and negotiate outstanding issues of Aboriginal rights, including assertions of Aboriginal title and treaty rights. We want to create a process that is flexible enough to take into account the unique circumstances, interests and rights of all involved.

Why are we negotiating now?

Over the past thirty years, courts in Nova Scotia and Canada have recognized the existence and validity of Aboriginal and treaty rights and have tried to clarify the nature and extent of these rights. When addressing Aboriginal or treaty rights questions, Canadian courts have consistently encouraged governments and First Nations to approach such questions through negotiations rather than litigation. Such was the case in 1999 when the Supreme Court of Canada in the Donald Marshall case confirmed the existence of Mi'kmaq rights as outlined in the Treaties of 1760-61. The Supreme Court did not define how these rights were to be implemented, but encouraged the Parties to negotiate a resolution in a fair and equitable manner. Negotiations permit the Parties to come up with mutually agreeable solutions to some very complicated questions about how the interests and rights of the Mi'kmaq and the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia can be addressed.

What is the aim of negotiations?

Canada, the Mi'kmaq and Nova Scotia have agreed to enter into a negotiation process to provide a constructive and practical way to move forward. This is a continuation of the unique process set out in the June 7, 2002 Mi'kmaq - Nova Scotia - Canada Umbrella Agreement and in the February 23, 2007 Framework Agreement (link to the Framework Agreement). The Parties hope to build on existing relationships and to reach agreement on how rights will be implemented and how responsibilities will be shared among Canada, the Mi'kmaq and Nova Scotia over issues of land, resources and governance.

What is the June 7, 2002 Mi'kmaq - Nova Scotia - Canada Umbrella Agreement?

The Umbrella Agreement committed Canada, Nova Scotia and the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia to work together in good faith to resolve mutual issues respecting Aboriginal and treaty rights, among other things. The Umbrella Agreement mandated the Parties to begin discussions on a Framework Agreement.

At what stage is the Made in-Nova Scotia Process?

Canada, Nova Scotia and the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia signed the Framework Agreement on February 23, 2007.  Groups apart from the main negotiation meetings and consisting of representatives from each parties have been established to discuss and make progress on specific topics of importance to the negotiations, while more broad Agreement-in-Principle negotiations take place during the main negotiation meetings.  The Terms of Reference for a Consultation Process have been negotiated and are undergoing internal consultation by each party.

Who are the Parties to these Negotiations?

These negotiations involve the Government of Canada (represented by the Chief Federal Negotiator and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada), the Government of Nova Scotia (represented by the Office of Aboriginal Affairs) and the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia (represented by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs and Kwimuk Maw-klusuaqn). A negotiating team represents each Party.

How will Nova Scotians be involved in the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process?

Stakeholders and members of the general public will have opportunities to become informed and involved throughout the negotiation process. The views and interests of the public, stakeholder groups and organizations will help ensure that the broader public interest is understood and considered in resolving issues under negotiation. All Parties recognize that public involvement is an important part of the process and will be talking to interested people and organizations, both Mi'kmaq and non-Aboriginal.

Without prejudice and under the protection of the June 7, 2002 Mi'kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Umbrella Agreement.