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December 1, 2007
For immediate release

Canada, Province and Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island Embark on New Partnership

Office of the Attorney General

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The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians; the Honourable Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island; Brian Francis, Chief of the Abegweit First Nation and Darlene Bernard, Chief of the Lennox First Nation today signed the New Canada/Prince Edward Island/Mi’kmaq Partnership Agreement.

“By signing this Partnership Agreement, Our Government demonstrates its commitment to working together with the Province and the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island to achieve concrete positive results in several priority areas,” said Minister Strahl. “This agreement will assist in improving the quality of life of the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island and establish a new and strengthened partnership among all the parties.”

“This is an historic day for Prince Edward Island Mi’kmaq as this agreement will help First Nations Governments and their communities reach their full potential,” said Chief Brian Francis of Abegweit First Nation.

“This new agreement represents a new relationship with the Federal and Provincial Governments that is built upon respect, good faith and partnership, which should lead to a positive future for Island Mi’kmaq,” said Chief Darlene Bernard of Lennox Island First Nation.

“It is an honour to sign this agreement on behalf of the government of Prince Edward Island,” said Premier Robert Ghiz. “The economic progress in Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nations demonstrates that an expanding Aboriginal economy extends to all Islanders. I look forward to a strengthened relationship with Chief Bernard and Chief Francis, and to working together for the benefit of the Mi’kmaq of our province.”

Over the past few years, the parties met to build relationships and discuss how to move the tripartite process forward. This partnership agreement is a result of those discussions. The agreement establishes an effective process to make progress in areas of mutual concern such as education, health, child and family services, justice and economic development.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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