Joined by Miramichi Bay-Neguac Green Party candidate Curtis Bartibogue, this morning Green Party Leader David Coon announced that a Green government would prioritize building nation-to-nation relationships with the Wolastoqey, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati people. Coon re-iterated that the first step he would take is to immediately convene an inquiry into systemic racism in the New Brunswick justice system.
Coon said he would follow this up with an initiative that would ensure First Nations would be partners in the management of Crown forests, given they had never surrendered the land. “It is time that we turn public acknowledgements that the indigenous people of New Brunswick never ceded their lands into genuine actions that reflect this reality,” said Coon.
He also committed to supporting the training of Indigenous language teachers and Indigenous student immersion programs for the Wabanaki languages.
“Language is vital to the fabric of who people are,” said Coon. “There are fewer than 100 fluent Wolastoqey speakers and only about 2000 Mi’kmaq speakers left in New Brunswick. We need to take decisive action now to save these important languages.”