Federation of Newfoundland Indians
P.O. Box 956 Corner Brook,
Newfoundland A2H 6J3
Re: Update on 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime
I am writing to inform you that the consultation process with respect to the 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime went quite well. All FNI bands, with the exception oi' the Port au Port Band, unanimously supported the regime and mandated the FNI to proceed with exploratory discussions.
The number of individuals at Port au Port not supporting the "regime" (184) represent approximately 5% of the. FNI membership and we have been informed that such a level of decent will not prohibit or stop negotiations from moving forward in the event that Mr. Marc Lalonde recommends to the Minster of Indian and Northern Affairs that we proceed with negotiations. We are optimistic that Mr. Lalonde will recommend that both parties proceed with negotiations on recognition and program and service delivery.
Based on the majority vote not too accept the 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime by the Port au Port Indian Band council members at the recent referendum, the FNl will not be including the Port au Port Band as a band to benefit from the outcome of the 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime. The Port au Port Band can pursue the type of recognition (i.e. band status and reserves) that it feels it desires through its own process whether it is negotiations or a court case. A court case is the most likely option considering that the federal government has consistently denied FNI bands reserve status and Indian Act band designation for the last 30 years.
In conclusion. I ask that you remember that it was the Port au Port Band members who decided not to be included in the 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime, not the FNI dictating that you arc not to be included. If the majority of the members at Port au Port Band council were to change their decision regarding support and inclusion in the 2002 Mi'kiudq Regime, the FNI will certainly include Port au Port band as a band to be covered by the 2002 Mi'kmaq Regime. As well, the FNI is willing to clarify and discuss any concerns and misinformation you may have had with respect to the regime. The ball is in your court, however, as it stands right now the FNI is proceeding with the regime and until such time as the FNI receives an indication from Port au Port band that it wishes to be included we are proceeding on the basis that Port au Port band wants nothing to do with the 2002 Mi'kmaq regime.
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Copyright © 2002 Jasen Benwah
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