Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

February 23, 2010 18:12 ET

First Nations of Mamuitun mak Nutashkuan Tribal Council Comprehensive Land Claim: The Parties Renew Their Commitment to Negotiations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians; Mr. Pierre Corbeil, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs for the Government of Quebec; Innu First Nation Chief Denis Ross of Essipit; Chief Gilbert Dominique of Mashteuiatsh; and Chief François Bellefleur of Nutashkuan, met today to discuss comprehensive land claim negotiations with the two levels of government.

At this meeting, the parties renewed their commitment to the negotiations with the intent of reaching a final agreement that substantially complies with the general Agreement-in-Principal that was signed in 2004. All parties stressed that since June 2006, progress has been made at the negotiating table. 

"Canada is committed to reaching an agreement with the Innu and the Government of Quebec soon. The spirit of co-operation at the negotiating table is what will allow us to make concrete progress toward reaching an agreement that benefits all," stated Minister Strahl.

"This meeting is a concrete example of the dialogue and respect which are the foundation of constructive discussions and facilitate fruitful collaboration. I welcome the openness of each party involved in this negotiation, and I hope that our recent progress will result in an agreement in the near future that is beneficial for all," said Minister Corbeil.

"We are happy to see the commitment of the governments to sign a treaty at the earliest opportunity. This commitment renews the trust of our people as well as the negotiation team which works very hard to be able to propose a concrete result – a promising way for the future of our youth and future generations. We invited Minister Strahl to consider the current negotiation process with an open mind and new ideas. This is how we envision a treaty that would substantially comply with the general Agreement-in-Principle that was signed in 2004. Consequently, today's meeting reassures us of the will of the federal government to conclude an historical agreement with our First Nations," concluded Chiefs Denis Ross, Gilbert Dominique and François Bellefleur.

Following this mutual commitment, the Innu Chiefs and both ministers agreed to meet periodically to review the progress of these negotiations. The next meeting will be scheduled for this fall.

The three Innu First Nations of Essipit, Mashteuiatsh and Nutashkuan have mandated the Mamuitun mak Nutashkuan Tribal Council to act on their behalf in these negotiations with Canada and Quebec in order to reach an agreement with the federal and provincial governments. With a total membership of about 6,000, these three Innu First Nations are located in Quebec in the administrative regions of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and Côte-Nord.

Contact Information

  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Minister's office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Press Secretary
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Government of Quebec
    Office of the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs
    Helene Sauvageau
    Press Secretary
    Mamuitun mak Nutashkuan Tribal Council
    Florent Begin
    Responsible for Communications