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Government of Canada and four Quebec-based First Nations announce new, inclusive Peace and Friendship Treaties map

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

August 15, 2022 — Ottawa, ON — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations; along with Chief Darcy Gray of Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government; Chief Terry Shaw of La Nation Micmac de Gespeg; Chief John Martin of Micmacs of Gesgapegiag; and Grand Chef Jacques Tremblay of Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk announced changes to the Peace and Friendship Treaties maps to now include four First Nations based in Quebec.

The Peace and Friendship Treaties were signed by the Crown and First Nations between 1725 and 1779 on unceded Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey and Peskotomuhkati ancestral lands spanning the present-day provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and parts of Quebec.

The new, co-developed map is the result of productive dialogue between Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and the communities of Listuguj, Gesgapegiag, Gespeg, and Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk.

Previously, Canada’s maps of the Peace and Friendship Treaties did not reflect the inclusion of the traditional territories of these four First Nations located in present-day Quebec. These changes correct that omission and now more accurately illustrate the geographic representation of the traditional territories of all Peace and Friendship Treaty signatories.

This collaboration honours historic treaty relationships and is an important step in strengthening nation-to-nation relationships. Efforts such as these, as well as other efforts to honour pre-Confederation treaties, create greater understanding and awareness of the Peace and Friendship Treaties and their signatories and—importantly —show how these treaties can be made visible in our present-day representations, including maps, which can promote and advance inclusive reconciliation.

Quotes

“Canada must honour treaty rights and implement treaty obligations, as well as address past wrongs. The modifications to these maps are important because they affirm that these four Quebec-based First Nations—Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government, La Nation Micmac de Gespeg, Micmacs of Gesgapegiag and Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk—are signatories to the Peace and Friendship Treaties and are due the same recognition as all other signatories to those treaties.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“Today, we address a historical oversight, correcting maps to now include the traditional territories in present-day Quebec, much of which is in the Gaspé Peninsula, of Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk, Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation, Micmacs of Gesgapegiag First Nation, and La Nation Micmac de Gespeg as signatories of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. I look forward to continuing to work, in the spirit of reconciliation, with Indigenous communities throughout the region.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier
Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue

“This is a significant step forward for recognition of our treaties and our rights that extend beyond provincial boundaries. And we’ve got more work ahead to continue putting them into action and making sure that it’s understood that our treaties are just as valid today as when they were signed.”

Darcy Gray
Chief, Listuguj First Nation

“This type of collaboration between the Crown and our Mi’gmaq communities is a concrete move that we recognize as steps towards reconciliation and our Treaties.”

Terry Shaw
Chief, La Nation Micmac de Gespeg

“This gesture of correcting the treaty of peace and friendship maps is an important gesture in the recognition of traditional Migmaw Governance and relationships between the seven Migmaw districts. Welalieg to the Listuguj and Canada for their efforts to correct this grave injustice.”

John Martin
Chief, Micmacs of Gesgapegiag

“Making this correction in a database that reflects Aboriginal and treaty rights, the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System is another important step forward for our First Nation. We are proud of the collaborative work that has been undertaken with the Mi’gmaq of Quebec on this matter.”

Jacques Tremblay
Grand Chief, Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk

Quick facts

  • In what was to eventually become Canada, the British Crown and First Nations entered into treaties to encourage peaceful relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Some treaties, like the Peace and Friendship Treaties, signed between 1725 and 1779, were intended to encourage cooperation between the British and First Nations.
  • Peace and Friendship Treaties were signed between the British Crown and the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey (Maliseet), and the Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) in Atlantic Canada.
  • Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution recognizes and affirms existing Indigenous and treaty rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, including the Peace and Friendship Treaties. This means that since 1982, treaty rights are protected by Canada’s Constitution.
  • The new map can be viewed on a number of CIRNAC web pages and products, including the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System (ATRIS), a geographic information system intended to map out the location of Indigenous communities and display information pertaining to their potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • The map serves to add a geographic representation of the asserted territories of First Nations located in the Province of Quebec who are signatories to the Peace and Friendship Treaties (Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation, Micmacs of Gesgapegiag First Nation, La Nation Micmac de Gespeg and Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk). Among other purposes, this updated representation will facilitate consultations with all Peace and Friendship Treaty signatories on proposed activities that may impact their rights.

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Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
[email protected]

CIRNAC Media Relations:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 819-934-2302

Media contact for First Nations
Listuguj Micmac Government
Michael Isaac, Communications Manager
418-788-2136
[email protected]

Julianne Jacobs, Communications Officer
418-788-2136
[email protected]

Nation Micmac de Gespeg
Chef Terry Shaw
[email protected]

Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk
Marc-Etienne Carrier, Communications Coordinator
418-894-5124
[email protected]

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