On this page
– What is a Constitution?
– Why have a Constitution?
– A Constitution will help Define
– What can a constitution do?
– Development of the Chicoine-Vicaire-Mitchell Commission.
– MM Core Principles of a Constitution.
– Who is part of the development process?
What is a Constitution?
– Is a system of beliefs and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed.
– Can make declarations about the values, history and identity of the nation.
– Creates, empowers and regulates government.
– It sets out the basic principles government must adapt to.
– Is a document that describes the system.
– Is a higher law that cannot be changed through regular law-making.
Generally it describes:
– The basic principles of the state.
– The structures and processes of government, and
the fundamental rights of citizens.
The content of a constitution is not universal, and varies.
The development of a constitution must be based on the agreement among citizens or members around such basic questions as:
– Who are we as a nation?
– Who makes decisions on behalf of our community?
– What is the role of our government?
– How will our government be accountable to the membership?
– What principles will guide the exercise of power?
Why Have a Constitution?
– Creates order and opportunities.
– Ensures “fair and unbiased exercise of power”
– Enables an orderly and peaceful society.
– Protects the rights and individuals and communities.
– Promotes the proper management of resources.
– Promotes the development of the economy.
– Allows for the building of a government a government with universal rules.
– Acknowledges that people have certain rights, principles, values, institutions and process across the world.
– Entrenches these rights in a way that makes them binding on the government itself.
– Becomes a tool to hold rulers accountable.
A Constitution Will Help Define
– Who is the nation?
– How is the nation organized politically?
– Who has what rights, obligations, and authority?
– How and when can authority be exercised?
– How are disputes settled?
– How can rules be changed?
What can a constitution do for our Mi’gmaq people in Gespe’gewa’gi?
A constitution is a solid foundation for Indigenous Nation’s to move ahead in self-government and in nation-building activities. It should address your community’s sense of itself, how you are governed, how the membership has input into governance, key positions of your government, and your sovereign powers.
Development of the Chicoine-Vicaire-Mitchell Constitution Commission
In 2001, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi committed to represent and protect the Mi’gmaq Nation in Gespe’gewa’gi.
In 2013, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi renewed its original vision statement. At this time, people voiced their concerns to develop a Mi’gmaq constitution, made by our own people. The leadership then set out core principles on which a constitution should be based on.
Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Core Principles for a Constitution
– The Mi’gmaq have occupied, used, and lived in Gespe’gewa’gi continually
– Rights flow from ancient use and occupation of the territory, our relationship with Creation and from our treaties with the Crown
– Rights come with responsibilities to live, use and occupy the territory for the benefit of families, communities and the district
– We have an obligation to exercise governance based on Mi’gmaq land tenure, social laws, economic visions, environmental knowledge and our seven governing principles
Reconciliation, respect, co-existance, acknowledgement, tan’ telipgwatu’g (sacred responsibility to Creation), sharing, and communal well-being
– Our ability to exercise self-determination was restricted by Canada
– The unilateral exercise of sovereignty by Canada have not extinguished Mi’gmaq rights and title (section 35)
– It is the mission of the MM to build and support an independent Mi’gmaq government to promote and protect the rights, freedoms, and well-being of the L’nu.
-The MM believes that it is through a constitution that the appropriate structures of Mi’gmaq governance will be established.