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Government of Canada and Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation Sign Reconciliation and Rights Recognition Agreement

Press Release

From: Parks Canada

August 18, 2022

The Government of Canada is committed to a process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and to renewing relationships with them based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

In support of this commitment, Mr. Hugues Michaud, Executive Director, Quebec and Nunavut, Parks Canada Agency, and the Grand Chief of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, Jacques Tremblay, today announced the ratification of a Reconciliation and Rights Recognition Agreement between the First Nation and the Government of Canada.

Lands and waters administered by Parks Canada overlap with traditional territories, treaty lands and traditional lands of Indigenous peoples. The purpose of the Agreement is to encourage and increase the First Nation’s participation in Parks Canada activities on the Wolastokuk, the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik.

The agreement provides a flexible framework for the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation and Parks Canada to develop initiatives, in a spirit of cooperation, transparency and innovation, to protect natural and cultural resources, enhance Wolastoqey culture and develop and create economic opportunities for the First Nation. The Indigenous Guardians program developed jointly between the First Nation and Parks Canada is a concrete example of the initiatives that are part of this new framework of cooperation outlined in the Agreement.

The cultures and identities of Indigenous peoples are rooted in the land, and honouring connections to place is an important element of reconciliation actions and outcomes. Parks Canada is committed to ensuring that Indigenous connections are honoured, and that the rights of Indigenous peoples are respected.

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Quotes

“This agreement demonstrates our government’s commitment to advancing the relationship with the members of Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation by honouring their Indigenous rights under the Peace and Friendship Treaties while supporting their current and future needs. I am delighted that this agreement has been signed and that together we have reached this important milestone on the road to reconciliation.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“Land is an essential component of Indigenous identity, and our government will continue to take steps to respect the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to the land to ensure that it is managed accordingly. Thank you to the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation for working closely with Canada to reach this agreement. We are determined to continue this partnership and to advance the community’s vision for the Wolastoqiyik traditional territory.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown‑Indigenous Relations

“The agreement we are announcing today builds on the framework agreement for the renewal of the nation-to-nation relationship reached between Crown‑Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation in 2019. I am pleased to see that Canada is continuing to uphold its commitments and I am proud to see our Nation partnering with Parks Canada in land protection initiatives.”

Grand Chief Jacques Tremblay
Grand Chief of Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation

Quick facts

  • In 2017, Parks Canada Agency and Crown‑Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada were mandated to negotiate reconciliation and rights recognition agreements with the signatories of the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the Wolastoqey, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati Nations in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
  • The Reconciliation and Rights Recognition Agreement between the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, Parks Canada and Crown‑Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is the first to be signed at these negotiation tables.
  • For its part, Parks Canada will implement the agreement through the teams that administer the sites located in the Wolastokuk, the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik: the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, the Lévis Forts National Historic Site, the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site and the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse National Historic Site.
  • This 10-year Agreement is renewable for a maximum of 25 years.

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
[email protected]

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
[email protected]

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

Media Relations
Crown‑Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
[email protected]

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