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Synopsis

First Nations, Métis and Inuit lands and resources are still tied to treaties and other documents, though their relevance seems forever in dispute. Treaties were negotiated in good faith with the objective of shared benefits to all parties and members. It is important to know about them, to read them, to hear them and to comprehend their constitutional significance in order to recognize them as part of contemporary life. Revealing another side of the treaties and their histories, Living Treaties focuses on contemporary perspectives of Mi’kmaq and their non-Mi’kmaw allies, who have worked with, experienced and lived with the treaties at various times over the last fifty years. These authors have had experiences contesting the Crown’s version of the treaty story, or have been rebuilding the Mi’kmaq and their nation with the strength of their work from their understandings of Mi’kmaw history. They share how they came to know about treaties, about the key family members and events that shaped their thinking, their activism and their life’s work. Having lived under the colonial regime of a not-so-ancient time, these passionate activists and allies uncover the treaties and their contemporary meanings to both Mi’kmaw and settler societies. Here also are the voices of a new generation of indigenous lawyers and academics who, credentials solidly in hand, pursue social and cognitive justice for their families and their people. Their mission: to enliven the treaties out of the caverns of the public archives, to bring them back to life and to justice; and to use them to reaffirm, restore and rebuild Mi’kmaw identity, consciousness, knowledges and heritages, as well as their connections and rightful resources to the land and ecologies.

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