Struggles for Aboriginal rights

The Mi’kmaq, like other Aboriginal nations, demanded their rights in order to obtain greater autonomy. In 1982, the Canadian Constitution acknowledged Aboriginal rights of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit and Métis. In 1985, the Quebec National Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing the province’s Aboriginal nations and their rights.

In 2001, three Mi’kmaq communities in Quebec united to form the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat. This organization provides services in villages, defends the interests of the Mi’kmaq nation and establishes partnerships with non-Aboriginal groups. It also deals with land claims and the social and economic development of the region.

Managing a reserve

A Band Council administers the affairs of every Mi’kmaq community. It is composed of a chief and counsellors who are elected every two years by the members of the community. Band councils are like other Quebec municipal councils, but they have more responsibilities and powers. They provide many services to their community: health care, education, housing, social services, public works and recreation. They also see that the rights to hunting and fishing are respected.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social