Mi’kmaq Chiefs React to the Auditor General’s Comments on Responsible Gambling
June 17, 2015
The Auditor General’s report released today was to be an analysis of the Government of Nova Scotia and its success in responsible gambling, not an examination of the Mi’kmaq perspective.
In their media release earlier today, the Province of Nova Scotia stated that “agreements between the province and First Nations bands do not always include responsible gambling requirements and there are no processes to make sure gambling on reserves is in compliance with provincial laws.”
“The Province has failed in their duty,” said Chief Sidney Peters, Co-Chair of the Assembly of Nova
Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and Lead of the Gaming Portfolio. “This should not be interpreted as the
Mi’kmaq are not following the terms of their agreements.”
There have been ongoing discussions between the Province and the Mi’kmaq of where provincial and federal responsibilities lie and this report only emphasizes that Nova Scotia has not defined their departmental roles and responsibilities clearly.
Some Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq bands have taken the initiative to develop their own programs and prevention strategies on responsible gambling, even though their gaming agreements do not have clauses to do so; others are still waiting on their requests for information, support and training.
“The Mi’kmaq are concerned with responsible gaming and this report illustrates the gaps we face. Anything that is developed must be culturally-appropriate and involve Mi’kmaq,” continued Chief Peters.
The Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs has said it is willing to work with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs but in order do so, adequate resources and capacity are required by the Mi’kmaq to move these discussions forward.
The Kwilmu’kw Maw- klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative works on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in the negotiations and consultations between the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. KMKNO was developed by the Mi’kmaq, for the Mi’kmaq. The purpose of these negotiations and consultations is to implement our Aboriginal and treaty rights from the treaties signed by our ancestors in the 1700’s. For further information visit our website at www.mikmaqrights.com.
For more information contact:
Crystal Dorey Communications Officer
Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative
Phone: (902) 843-3880
Cell: (902) 957-0549
E-mail: [email protected]