The nine Mi'gmag Chiefs in New Brunswick gathered this week in Natoageneg (Eel Ground) to reaffirm their unanimous commitment to work together to protect and advance their Aboriginal and Treaty rights, the lands and waters of Mi'gmag Territory, and the well-being of the Mi'gmag People.
Chief George Ginnish of Eel Ground stated that the Chiefs met for a full day and had spoken of the vision of their ancestors and the need to continue to implement that vision, "In their wisdom, our ancestors looked forward and saw that our rights could be protected then, now, and far into the future, by entering into Treaties first with other Indigenous Peoples and later the French and British. They did that by working together in unity, as one People."
Chief Arren Sock of Elsipogtog said that the Chiefs had examined their collective past with great pride, "For thousands of years this place has nurtured us and provided for us. Our ancestors developed a complex society with laws, strong economies and healthy families. These realities of the Mi’gmag People were based on consensus and determination to work together. We must continue that cooperation and noble vision."
Elder Gordon LaBillois of Eel River Bar said, "I was proud and honoured to sit with the Chiefs in that circle and see their strong commitment to our People. I look forward to great success as we take our rightful place in Canada and New Brunswick.
The nine Mi'gmag Chiefs said that they were asking Premier Gallant to take up their offer to honour the Treaties, to uphold the constitution and law, and to work meaningfully for lasting benefit for all of New Brunswick. "By working together as Mi'gmag and reaching out to government and New Brunswickers we can change the status quo and make this a better, stronger and more diverse place."