Belledune Port Authority hoists Mi'gmaq nation flag

It was a historic day in Belledune Tuesday as a flag representing the Mi'gmaq nation was hoisted in front of the Port of Belledune's Port administration office.

The symbolic gesture recognizes the port is located on unceded ancestral Aboriginal territory.

Last year the port signed a 'Relationship, Engagement and Consultation Protocol' with eight of New Brunswick's Mi’gmaq First Nations, setting out roles and responsibilities for the Port Authority, First Nation communities and potential clients wishing to conduct business at the Port. 

Eel River Bar First Nation chief Sasha Labillois says the flag-raising is a sign of good faith and illustrate's the port's desire to make the protocol work.

Chief David Peter-Paul of the Pabineau First Nation meanwhile, says Aboriginal people have long been relegated to the role of spectators in their home territory, but are now recognized as participants.

(with files from the Acadie-Nouvelle)