• Press Release

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter


    Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    FREDERICTON – The Mi’kmaq Chief and council of Elsipogtog First Nations issued a statement on Tuesday vowing to protect our land, water, and air from mining companies like SWN Resources Canada. SWN Resources was also told by Chief and council to leave the province. The Maliseet Chief of Saint Mary’s First Nations concurred.

    “We proudly stand by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters on this issue,” says Julia Linke, member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    “It is difficult to imagine how this could come as a surprise to anybody,” says Alma Brooks, Traditional Clan Mother Wolastoqiyik of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

    Next Monday, October 7th marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 states that lands not ceded to, by treaty or purchased by, the Crown, are reserved for First Nations.
    “The elected and hereditary leaders of Elsipogtog and the Signigtog district,” says Andrea Bear Nicholas, Retired Chair of Native Studies, St.Thomas University, “are therefore re-asserting their obligations as rightful stewards over Crown lands which they believe are continuously being mis-managed by Canada, the province, and corporations.”
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  • The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance is proud to support the lawsuit filed by Elsipogtog First Nation, on behalf of the Mi’kmaq Nation, to claim Aboriginal title to the Mi’kma’ki district of Sikniktuk in New Brunswick.

    Our support is grounded in many things. In recent history we have been allies against a common enemy that threatened all of us with the contamination of our water, air and land. Many of our members, both Anglophone and Francophone from around the province, stood with the people of Elsipogtog as they peacefully defended their land. Some were arrested alongside them and still others sent money and supplies to support the cause.

    We have also stood shoulder to shoulder with our other indigenous allies, the Wolastoqewiyik, in the peaceful defense of mother earth, understanding that such actions are often necessary to protect that which sustains life when it is threatened.

    We also support this suit because we are joined with First Nations by history, including the mutual signing of treaties in centuries past. While we cannot undo the hardships that befell First Nations in the years since those treaties were signed, we can say—along with the Supreme Court of Canada—that the passage of time does not diminish the rule of law.  Treaties signed remain treaties to be respected and enforced.

    Canada’s governments and citizens alike are thus obligated both legally and morally to acknowledge the terms of those treaties which, beyond dispute, entitle the First Nations the right to protect the water, air and land necessary to support their way of life.

    By doing so we also acknowledge that we are helping New Brunswick, and the world, rediscover the values that are necessary for our continued existence.

    Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance


    Kenneth Francis accepting solidarity statement on Aboriginal Title Claim from Jim Emberger, NBASGA @ NBEN Annual Meeting (photo Mark D’Arcy)
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