Ottawa, ON (March 31, 2008) - The following statement was released by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians:
"I am very pleased to extend my congratulations to the members the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and its President, Brendan Sheppard, on this successful ratification vote. In voting to ratify this agreement, the FN I's members have taken a decisive step toward a brighter future full of new opportunities.
The agreement creates a new band under the Indian Act, allowing for the registration and enrolment of eligible FNI membership. It also enables access to cer tain federal programs and services like non-insured health benefits and post secondary student support.
This historic agreement was years in the making and is the direct result of a positive and productive negotiation process between Canada and the FNI. The agreement shows what can be achieved when parties work together to find common solutions.
This agreement will improve the quality of life and economic prospects of the members of the Federation of Newfoundland I ndians.
The next step is for the parties to sign a final Agreement and begin a 12-18 month enrolment process for eligible Mi'kmaq in the province. The process will be concluded in early 2009 with the formal creation of a new Mi'kmaq B and of Newfoundland."
Backgrounder - Agreement between Canada and the Federation on Newfoundland Indians
Frequently Asked Questions - Agreement between Canada and The Federation of Newfoundland Indians
For further information please contact:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl