Trudeau announces two multimillion-dollar agreements with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia

  • Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledges the crowd while listening to Phillip Prosper, a Mi'kmaq storyteller, during an event for National Indigenous Peoples Day in We'koqma'q First Nation, N.S., on Friday, June 21, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

WHYCOCOMAGH, N.S. -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a proposed $125-million agreement with a First Nation in Cape Breton to settle a dispute over reserve land sold in 1862.

The prime minister made the announcement in Whycocomagh, N.S., where members of the We'koqma'q First Nation say an improper sale deprived them of the opportunity to benefit economically from the land.

The 1,100 members of the band will be asked to vote on the proposed settlement, which has been many years in the making.

As well, Trudeau announced $16 million in annual funding aimed at helping 12 of Nova Scotia's 13 Mi'kmaq communities repair, replace and maintain education infrastructure.

The money will be handed to the Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey, which brings together Indigenous chiefs, staff, parents and educators to advocate for the interests of about 3,000 students.

Trudeau made the announcements on National Indigenous Peoples Day, which celebrates the heritage and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis across Canada.

"Our government is a partner on the shared path toward meaningful reconciliation," Trudeau said in a statement.

"On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, I look forward to working with Indigenous partners across the country to make meaningful progress on the issues that matter most to them -- and all Canadians."

This report by was first published June 21, 2024.