The position of the Mi’gmaq leadership is that: There is no intention, real or perceived, that extinguishment of rights and title shall ever be accepted as a condition to clarify title and rights on Gespe’gewa’gi.
Canada’s Comprehensive Land Claims Policy states that Aboriginal Peoples have to extinguish Aboriginal Title to their land, as well as some of their Rights, as a condition of settling a Comprehensive Land Claim. However, the condition of extinguishment (as a way to bring certainty to rights and title) has been challenged by Aboriginal Nations across Canada.
The Gespe’gewa’gi claims process is being funded by the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) under their Negotiations’ Preparedness Initiative (NPI). The NPI is a proposal-driven funding arrangement. Funding to support the claims process is received on an annual basis.
No, we do not pay back the money received through the NPI. The funding is received through non-repayable administrative Contribution Agreements. These funds do not come from loan-funding.
Loan funding is a combination of loans and contributions. As part of Canada’s Comprehensive Land Claim policy, First Nations can fund their negotiations through repayable loans and contributions. Money received through loan-funding must be paid back from compensation received when a Final Agreement is reached. Loan Funding is a long-term financial commitment, which would only be entered into with the full understanding, approval, and mandate from the leadership of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi. The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi is NOT currently receiving any loan funding for these negotiations and therefore does not have to pay anything back.