June 20, 2014
For immediate release
In recognition of National Aboriginal Day, the Province of Prince Edward Island and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI (MCPEI) have announced an economic development agreement that will significantly advance participation of the First Nations in the Island economy, said Premier Robert Ghiz.
“As the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs I am pleased to announce this partnership with MCPEI,” said Premier Ghiz. “Access to economic development opportunities is made possible by having stable funding, qualified human resources and equity. This partnership will put the key ingredients for success in the hands of the PEI First Nations.”
The four-year partnership agreement includes a secondment of an official to MCPEI to serve as its Economic Development Officer, annual economic development funding, an equity contribution for economic development initiatives and a strategically located portion of crown land.
“We are pleased with this agreement and appreciate the Province’s partnership as the First Nations strive to advance their economic development opportunities and initiatives,” said Chief Brian Francis, Chief of the Abegweit First Nation and Co-Chair of the MCPEI Board of Directors. “Economically vibrant First Nations make a vital contribution to the economic well-being of the province as a whole.”
“We are fully aware that developing our own source revenues is critical in our goal to attain self sufficiency and to return to the prosperity that the Mi’kmaq of PEI once knew,” said Chief Matilda Ramjattan, Chief of the Lennox Island First Nation and Co-Chair of the MCPEI Board. “This agreement is an important step in that direction.”
The PEI-MCPEI Economic Development Agreement was signed during the third annual Provincial Cabinet-MCPEI Board of Directors Forum, which was held recently on the Lennox Island First Nation Reserve. This annual gathering provides an opportunity to address matters of mutual concern and share information, and highlights the effort to further the partnership between the Government of Prince Edward Island and the PEI First Nations.
Media Contact: Guy Gallant