The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. is holding information sessions to bring First Nation members up to speed as negotiations with the federal government over Hog Island continue.
The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. is hosting information sessions this week about the settlement of a specific land claim for Hog Island — an island off the North Shore.
Specific claims are based on historical grievances over issues like unfulfilled treaty obligations, loss of reserve lands and mishandled First Nations funds or other assets.
According to the confederacy, the federal government originally purchased the islands that make up Hog Island in 1942 to be part of Lennox Island First Nation. However, it was never given reserve status and is still owned by the federal government.
The confederacy, which represents Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations, said both councils agreed to enter negotiations with the federal government over the specific claim in 2017.
Hog Island is narrow and roughly 15 kilometres long, comprised of George Island, Fish Island and Bill Hook Island. It is not connected to the mainland but is accessible by boat.
Hog Island forms a protective barrier between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and P.E.I., including Lennox Island.
According to the province, archeological digs have found use by Indigenous people dating back 1,000 years.
It also has an interesting geological feature with a section of igneous rock, which is considered rare on P.E.I.
Updating on negotiations
The federal government announced last year that it was working to streamline the specific claim system.
The informational sessions by the confederacy will update First Nation members on the status of the negotiations.
One meeting was held Tuesday afternoon on Lennox Island. The other sessions are Wednesday in Scotchfort and Thursday in Charlottetown.
The confederacy is looking to resolve a number of issues including: replacement lands for Hog Island and/or compensation for the land that was not transferred, and compensation for loss of the use of the lands since they were first purchased in 1942.
They are also looking to determine a path forward for Hog Island that will keep it protected for future generations.
Once a settlement has been reached by the federal government and the First Nation leadership, it will go to the membership for a vote.
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