Relationship Agreement Signed between First Nation Communities and the Belledune Port Authority

Belledune NB – The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) signed an agreement with First Nation communities which enables all parties involved to explore the development of a framework for consultation on matters related to the Port of Belledune and potential projects going forward. The letter was signed on Monday afternoon in Miramichi.

Chief Everett Martin was present to sign the letter on behalf of the Eel River Bar First Nation, as well as Chief David Peter-Paul of Pabineau First Nation. Chief Rebecca Knockwood and Chief George Ginnish signed on behalf of Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. Denis Caron, President & CEO of the BPA was also present for the signing.

“The Port of Belledune is situated on the traditional land of the Mi’gmaq people”, said Caron, President & CEO of the BPA. “As a neighbor, the Port is seeking to develop long-term relationships with the First Nation communities that are based on good faith, respect and transparency. Today, the Port and the communities of Eel River Bar First Nation and Pabineau First Nation are forging a path forward that is practical, respectful and supportive of the values and traditions promoting a long-term sustainable economic future together.”

The agreement is designed to:
1) maintain and foster sustainable long-term relationships that are transparent and respectful,
2) support the revitalization of the Mi’gmaq communities while encouraging greater opportunities for Mi’gmaq participation in sustainable, lawful and respectful economic development, and
3) facilitate economic links between the Mi’gmaq communities and business proponents interested in developing on port land and/or utilizing port facilities.

“We are pleased that the Port of Belledune has reached out to the First Nation Communities and recognizes our desire to participate in contributing to the prosperity of the region,” said Chief David Peter-Paul.

Over the past six months, the BPA welcomed members from all five First Nation communities within the immediate region including Pabineau, Eel River Bar, Listuguj, Gesgapegiag and Gespeg, to the port for introductory meetings. The parties continued to have follow up meetings both at the port and within the First Nation communities in an effort to develop a practical, transparent and respectful approach to adequate and purposeful consultation and accommodation.

There continues to be ongoing discussion on how all parties can work together collaboratively and corporately.

“We recognize the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Mi’gmaq people,” said Caron. “We will continue to engage with our neighbors on future projects and work together in sustainable business development in a shared effort to revitalize Northern New Brunswick.”

For more information please contact:

Mr. Denis Caron
President & CEO
Belledune Port Authority
506-522-1203
caron@portofbelledune.ca

Chief Everett Martin
Eel River Bar First Nation
506-684-6277
chief.everett@eelriverbar.ca

Chief David Peter-Paul
Pabineau First Nation
506-548-9211
davidpeter-paul@hotmail.com

Chief George Ginnish
Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc.
506-627-4600
chiefghginnish@gmail.comPress Release-EN-Relationship Agreement.pdf