The Mekap’sk Mi’kmaq Band is an Indigenous group, with recognized and protected rights under section 35 of the Constitution Act, who collectively hold Aboriginal Title over Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula.
Transmission lines that form part of the Muskrat Falls Project run through the Northern Peninsula.
Without consultation with the Mekap’sk, Nalcor Energy recently decided to remove bridges and gate access roads, thereby restricting access to tracts of land in and around the transmission line area.
The unilateral decisions of Nalcor infringe on the Aboriginal Rights and Aboriginal Title of the Mekap’sk Mi’kmaq.
On August 10, the Mekap’sk delivered letters to Nalcor and to the Commission of Inquiry Respecting the Muskrat Falls Project.
The Commission has been tasked with inquiring into what consultation occurred between Nalcor and Indigenous groups, and whether Nalcor has taken appropriate measures to mitigate against potential adverse effects to the settled or asserted rights of Indigenous groups.
Our people use this land to harvest berries, hunt moose and to exercise other Aboriginal rights we have exercised long before Nalcor came to our territory.
Will our members be arrested for accessing our own territory?
Will our members be arrested for exercising their constitutionally protected rights?
These are but a few of the troubling questions that arise as a result of Nalcor’s decision to not consult with us.”
Chief Mildred Lavers