N.S. Mi'kmaq negotiating for own government
Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq are close to establishing their own democratic government within the province, complete with their own House of Assembly, in what would be the first of its kind in Canada.
The First Nations band is negotiating with the provincial and federal governments on the issue, CTV Atlantic has learned.
"We are on the brink of developing our own governance structure," Chief Deborah Robinson said.
Federal Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister John Duncan would not offer comment on the matter Tuesday night.
Chief Terry Paul said a lot of details still need to be worked out, but the Mi'kmaq want the ability to create legislation for their own reserves.
Currently, the Mi'kmaq run their affairs through authority delegated from the federal government under the Indian Act.
One of the most pressing details to work out for the Mi'kmaq is to find a place to put a House of Assembly.
Robinson says the main option under negotiation to take over the Spring Garden Road Memorial Library, which is Halifax's best-known library, located in the city's downtown.
The city of Halifax is building a new $55 million library across the street, which is due to open in 2014.
With a report from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant