HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA (October 31, 2012) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and the Honourable Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia's Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Aboriginal consultation.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a commitment between both governments to coordinate, share information, strengthen collaborative efforts and improve the efficiency of Aboriginal consultation processes in the province. Similar MOUs are in development with other provinces and territories.
"Our government is committed to creating the conditions for healthier, more self-sufficient First Nation communities," stated Minister Duncan. "This unique MOU will help reduce overlap and duplication in federal and provincial efforts to consult with Aboriginal people in Nova Scotia, making consultations with the Mi'kmaq stronger and more effective."
"This agreement formalizes and strengthens our cooperative working relationship that has developed over the past several years regarding consultation with the Mi'kmaq," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "This MOU is the first of its kind in Canada, further demonstrating Nova Scotia's continued leadership and commitment on Aboriginal consultation."
This MOU follows the landmark tripartite Mi'kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Terms of Reference, finalized on August 31, 2010. This tripartite agreement is used by Canada and Nova Scotia to consult, in a more efficient and effective manner, with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia on proposed activities or projects that affect them.
The MOU and the Terms of Reference, along with the Government of Canada's March 2011 Updated Guidelines for Federal Officials to Fulfill the Legal Duty to Consult, are tools to assist the Crown in fulfilling the legal duty to consult.
Office of Aboriginal Affairs
Government of Nova Scotia
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