October 15, 2020
For Immediate Release:
The Chiefs of six Wolastoqey communities have registered notice that their nation is applying to the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench for a declaration of established Aboriginal title to lands and waters.We unequivocally support the decision by the Wolastoqey Chiefs and their nation to add a layer of protection in Canadian law to their rights and title to their traditional territory, the watershed of the Wolastoq (St. John River).Their application also asserts Wolastoqey title to all Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) traditional lands and waters in Canada. That right does not exist.For centuries, our nations, as neighbours and allies, have accepted river watersheds as the boundaries of our respective territories. The Wolastoqey people are even named after the Wolastoq, the St. John River. Our community in Canada is named for the Skutik River, the St. Croix. Our rights, in our shared Wabanaki laws, are notorious. We share the same three century old treaty relationship with the Crown. We are all engaged in separate, respectful negotiations with the governments of Canada and New Brunswick.We expect to resolve this issue between our nations. That process, and not Canadian courts, is where that resolution belongs.
Peskotomuhkati Nation at Skutik