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Canada supports Indigenous wellness and culture feasibility studies in New Brunswick to advance self-determination and reconciliation

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by ahnationtalk on July 12, 2023103 Views

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

July 12, 2023

Today, Chief George Ginnish from the Natoaganeg First Nation; Chief Ross Perley from Neqotkuk First Nation; and The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced $150,000 in funding provided through the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program.

These funds will support studies being undertaken by Natoaganeg First Nation and Neqotkuk First Nation to determine the need for and feasibility of constructing facilities that will provide culturally safe spaces for members—including women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals—to gather and connect with their history, culture and language.

Investing in cultural spaces is crucial to addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. The Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program also supports Indigenous Peoples in reclaiming their identity as part of their journey towards self-determination, which is a crucial step in advancing reconciliation and building relationships between Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.


“We are excited to have the opportunity to start this initial engagement process to explore a centralized Cultural Space for Natoaganeg. We are thankful that Crown-Indigenous Relations provided this support. We want to thank the Community for their genuine interest and full participation during this process. A facility of this nature would support Natoaganeg culturally, socially and historically while providing great meaning and service to our Community. Natoaganeg was created on traditional Mi’kmaq territory in 1789 via a Licence of Occupation and has a rich history, language and culture that needs to be shared. We feel this project is a great move towards reconciliation.”

Chief George Ginnish
Natoaganeg First Nation

“In my view, this project represents another exciting step our community is taking towards ensuring all of our kids and families can learn about and celebrate their culture without fear of discrimination.”

Chief Ross Perley
Neqotkuk First Nation

“These feasibility studies will provide Natoaganeg First Nation and Neqotkuk First Nation with critical information to advance the design and construction of culturally safe spaces for women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals in their communities. This funding is an important step in responding to the MMIWG Calls for Justice, which call upon all governments to prioritize safe and meaningful access to culture and languages for Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • Natoaganeg First Nation is exploring the need for and the feasibility of constructing a new building within the community.
    • This will be dedicated to re-establishing cultural spaces that foster safe, no-barrier, permanent and meaningful access to culture and language services for Natoaganeg women, girls, 2SLGBTQI+ people, and the community as a whole.
    • Natoaganeg First Nation’s project is divided into four phases. During each phase of the project, community engagement is completed to ensure that the future building meets community needs and aligns with community plans.
  • Tobique First Nation (Neqotkuk) is conducting a feasibility study to assess the need for establishing a new traditional longhouse in their community.
    • This traditional longhouse will showcase artifacts, traditional medicines and crafts for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people in a non-judgmental, inclusive and welcoming place.
    • In the space, Neqotkuk plans to offer expanded language classes in the longhouse and have ample space for traditional teachings, gatherings, and healing.
  • As a result of a call for proposals in the fall of 2021, 66 projects were funded through the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program across Canada for a total of $120 million.
  • Budget 2021 invested $108.8 million over two years in the Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities Program. This investment is part of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s contribution to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Dora Pisarek
Wolastoqiyik NeGoot-Gook (Maliseet Nation at Tobique)

Sydney Paul
Economic Development Officer
Natoaganeg First Nation

Aïssatou Diop
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

CIRNAC Media Relations:


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