Niganita’suatas’gl Ilsutaqann (NI)

Niganita’suatas’gl Ilsutaqann is a process that was officially signed in 2008. It means “Thinking Before the Decision”.

The NI is an agreement among the three parties, which outlines the common objectives and intent of the three parties to work together and prepare for negotiations.


Who is part of the NI process?

(1) The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi, as represented by the Chiefs and Councils of Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj;

(2) The Government of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada); and

(3) The Governement due Québec, as represented by the Ministre responsible des Affaires intergouvernementales candiennes, des Affairs autochtones, de la Francophonie canadienne (Québec)



What is the purpose of the NI?


The NI process gives us a chance to work together with governments in a respectful and open manner.

It’s also an opportunity where our Mi’gmaq communities can feel involved and relevant.

It helps lead us through a process that could potentially help tackle unresolved issues between parties.

It’s a place where parties can learn by doing and by trying things.

It serves as a way to inform and educate the Federal and Provincial systems, not just the Federal and Provincial negotiators.

It may help diminish disruption, disputes, protests and lawsuits.

It will help instill trust between Mi’gmaq communities, non-Mi’gmaq communities and governments.


How does the NI move us foward?


Helps us build capacity, prepares us for negotiations, and brings us to a common understanding of issues related to Gespe’gewa’gi.

By developing a common understanding we enhance our capcity and strengthen our expertise with respect to preparing for negotiations.


Niganiljoga’tagan (Tripartite Framework Agreement)


In Mi’gmaq, the Framework Agreement is referred to as Niganiljoga’tagan.

It was signed in 2012 by the Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi, the Government of Québec, and the Government of Canada.

In 2019, a ratified version to include Quebec’s new mandate is under review between all parties.


What is a Framework Agreement?


A Framework Agreement is designed to end conflict and establish a lasting peace between two parties.

This Framework Agreement in particular, will help define goals and processes that will:

– Provide clarity on Mi’gmaq rights under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;

– Recognize Mi’gmaq internal decision-making over matters important to the Mi’gmaq language, culture, traditions, family relationships, dispute resolutions, and other similar topics;

– Foster, encourage and support Mi’gmaq language and culture survival and enhancement;

– Provide a reasonable “fair share” of the resources of the territory for the Mi’gmaq;

– Provide a greater say by the Mi’gmaq regarding actions on their territory;

– Lead to greater respect, appreciation, and honour for the Mi’gmaq communities from non-Mi’gmaq communities and government;

– Improve the well-being of the Mi’gmaq


What is the purpose of the Niganiljoga’tagan?


This Framework Agreement helps foster and encourage better communication and understanding between Mi’gmaq and non-Mi’gmaq communities.

This Framework Agreement is non-binding and contains standard legal protections. The agreement outlines key areas for discussion, such as:


– Land Regime

– Consultation

– Harvesting Activities

– Culture & Heritage

– Natural Resources

– Environmental Assessment & Protection

– Parks & Protected Areas

– Self-Government

– Taxation and Economic Measures

– Eligibility and Enrollment of Beneficiaries




This agreement does not define rights of title, rather it ‘frames” future discussions.