INTRODUCTION

Since 2001, research has been conducted about the Mi’gmaq Nation’s historic and contemporary use and occupancy of Gespe’gewa’gi.  Research has been undertaken in a number of areas.  These include ecology; archaeology; anthropology; historical uses; treaties; and Mi’gmaq place names.  Also, Ilapmeg Ta’n Telie’was’gp (a Traditional Use Study) was undertaken.

RELEASING THE CLAIM MAP
In 2005, the Gespe’gewa’gi Claim Map was released at the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi’s Annual General Assembly in Listuguj. Then, in 2007, the claim map was submitted to the governments of Canada and Québec in the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi’s statement of claim document, Nm’tginen.

WHY THE CLAIM MAP IS NEEDED

The claim map is a necessary component of the Gespe’gewa’gi claims process because it shows the territory that we have occupied and used continuously for centuries.

Canada requires this kind of proof under their stated requirements for filing a Statement of Claim under the Comprehensive Land Claims program.

The claim map shows the “primary claim” area of the proposed Gespe’gewa’gi claim. It is vital that we support our claim with this proof because the governments of Canada and Québec require documentation of our use and occupancy of our territory.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CLAIM AREA

The primary claim area includes, but is not limited to, all the territory of the Seventh District of the Mi’gmaq Nation. The eight named First Nations communities of the district are shown. These eight are in what is now modern-day north-central and north-eastern New Brunswick and the southern and eastern shores of the Gaspé Peninsula of Québec. 

The primary claim extends throughout the entire Gaspé Peninsula and westward down the St. Lawrence River past Rimouski, Québec. It also includes the area north and north-east of Edmundston, New Brunswick, as well as Anticosti Island.
Additionally, the map shows, but does not limit, an area for a possible “secondary claim,” which is not being pursued at present.
CONCLUSION
 
The claim map was presented “without prejudice to the rights of the Mi’gmaq to assert further or other claim any time. The map does not describe the various other areas over which the Mi’gmaq have Aboriginal or Treaty Rights.”