Mi'kmaq chief says he'll resign from treaty organization over Idle No More hunger strike

A prominent Mi’kmaq leader says he would rather resign as head of Nova Scotia’s treaty rights organization than see a young First Nation woman harmed because of her ongoing hunger strike.

By Tim Fontaine
APTN National News
HALIFAX--A prominent Mi’kmaq leader says he would rather resign as head of Nova Scotia’s treaty rights organization than see a young First Nation woman harmed because of her ongoing hunger strike.

On Friday at 8:45 p.m. local time, Chief Terry Paul took to his newly created Twitter account to make the following statement:

“@chiefterrypaul: I don’t want to see a young Women die. I shall resign from KMK (sic).”

Paul is chief of the Membertou First Nation on Cape Breton but also head of Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn (KMK), an organization set up to implement Mi’kmaq treaty rights in Nova Scotia.

The KMK – also known as the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative – has recently come under scrutiny from a group called “Nation First” which accuse the organization of secretly negotiating away treaty rights.

Two people, Shelley Young from Eskasoni and Gene Sock from Elsipogtog, have been on a hunger strike since March 1.

They’re hoping to pressure the KMK and Maliseet communities in New Brunswick into withdrawing from ongoing treaty talks.

APTN National News was unable to reach Young or Sock for comments and Chief Paul wasn’t immediately available to clarify his statement.

However when asked on Twitter if other chiefs involved in KMK would be following his resignation Chief Paul replied, “We have no choice.”

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.