Originally published in the June 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - National Aboriginal Day (June 21) special advertising feature
On July 2, the Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum marks a milestone — its 15th anniversary. Although formally established in 1997, the Forum’s origins date back to the Marshall Inquiry.
The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. prosecution produced a list of findings and 82 recommendations relating to changes in the justice system. Recommendation 22 advocated the establishment of a tripartite forum to mediate and resolve issues between Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq and the provincial and federal governments. The early stages of establishment faced representation issues and stalled the process for several years until 1997 when Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw chiefs signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada to establish, what is now, the Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum.
Over the years, Tripartite’s structure has seen many changes with different committees leaving and joining. One important addition was the Tripartite Forum Secretariat which oversees the forum’s daily operations and the formation of three main committees (executive, officials, and steering) and seven working committees: Culture and Heritage, Economic Development, Education, Health, Justice, Social, and Sports and Recreation.
In 2007, the Tripartite Forum Fund for Social and Economic Change was created to be a funding source for working committee projects that were not part of other existing programs, lacked any other available funding, and as a means to leverage other funding. The project fund receives its revenue from the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. In five years, 48 projects have been funded with an additional 11 proposals approved for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The project fund receives $300,000 annually from its partners.
The Tripartite Forum held its annual general assembly on May 31 and June 1 in Wolfville where the working committees highlighted the successes of the project fund. Notable projects have included: Protection for Bedford Barrens Petroglyphs site, Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Running for Fun Program, Family Violence and Aboriginal Communities research report, Pjila’si Mi’kma’ki Place Names Digital Atlas and Website, Show Me Your Math, and First Nations Active Measures study.
For more information on the Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum, visit the website at www.tripartiteforum.com .
*Read more Aboriginal Day stories at: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight/National-Aboriginal-Day-23764