Canada and ‘Namgis First Nation advance reconciliation with signing of Memorandum of Understanding

News release

February 18, 2019 — Alert Bay, BC — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership is key to achieving reconciliation.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the ‘Namgis First Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines areas for discussion and serves as the basis for negotiations of a reconciliation agreement between Canada and the First Nation.

Areas for discussion will include: governance; fiscal relations and funding; community health and well-being; economic development; language and culture; infrastructure (marine and terrestrial); federal lands; natural resources (‘Namgis jurisdiction, planning, management and stewardship); and fisheries (water, marine and aquatic resources, and salmon enhancement).


"Congratulations ‘Namgis First Nation on the all hard work your community has done to start the journey to self-determination. Our new more flexible approach will allow us to make real progress on the issues most important to you.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“The ‘Namgis are very happy to have Minister Bennett come to our community to meet with us and see who we are. We see this as a demonstration of the federal government’s commitment to the first step of reconciliation. The ‘Namgis look forward to working with Canada to be recognized once again as a self-determining people.”

Chief Don Svanvik
‘Namgis First Nation

Quick facts

  • ‘Namgis First Nation is a British Columbia First Nation located on the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island.

  • The First Nation has eight reserves, with its main community situated at Cormorant Island and Alert Bay.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations        
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Media Relations

Gina Wadhams
Executive Assistant
‘Namgis First Nation
250-974-5556 #3115

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