Newly appointed Senator hopes to help rebuild Ottawa's relationship with indigenous people

(CP) - A man believed to be Canada's first Mi'kmaq (MIG'-maw) senator says he hopes to use his experience to ``rebuild'' Ottawa's relationship with indigenous people.

Daniel Christmas, senior adviser for the First Nation of Membertou, Nova Scotia says it's his top priority after being appointed one of nine new independent senators on Thursday, October 27th.

Bernd Christmas, a longtime friend and former Membertou C-E-O, says the new senator was instrumental in the development of his home community.

During the late 1990s it was on the brink of bankruptcy and grappling with a 95 per cent unemployment rate.

He says Daniel Christmas was brought onboard to work with a team to revamp the Cape Breton First Nation, which has since become a model for other bands across Canada.

He says one of Daniel Christmas's strongest attributes is his ability to bring people together.