Band status efforts continue for Bras d'Or Indian Village

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NORTH SYDNEY — Efforts to establish band status are continuing for the Bras d’Or Indian Village Band Association, a group that has been existence for over five years, but traces its history back to the 1700s.

The latest development in these efforts came recently when a lawyer was hired who is known for helping the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation in its efforts to achieve recognition as a band.

“He came to meet with us,” said Nancy Swan, chief of the Bras d’Or Indian Village, about what the group feels is a significant step.

“He knows our case because the people of Newfoundland are tracing to Little Bras d’Or.”

Details of the meeting with May were shared with the public in the spring and Swan is awaiting word on a second meeting with the lawyer that she hopes could occur as early as October.

Though the process takes time, Swan said it will eventually lead to the necessary step of suing the federal government to prove the members of Bras d’Or Indian Village and their ancestors have lived the Metis way of life.

“Our ancestors are indeed recorded in the Indian Register, we have all of our documentation, official proof from Ottawa. We are in a very unique situation. The history is here in Little Bras d’Or, we are in Little Bras d’Or, we haven’t left.”

Swan said the group also has maps, artifacts and other documents to prove their case.

Recognition is about acceptance and respect, said Swan.

“It is like coming out of the dark as an older person and realizing you are allowed to talk about that locked box and all the secrets you heard about,” she said.

“It all comes to light. We feel their history in Little Bras d’Or is just as valid and as interesting as any other history in Cape Breton. It’s part of it.”

Organizations: First Nation

Geographic location: Indian Village, Little Bras, Bras d'Or Newfoundland Ottawa Cape Breton

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Recent comments

  • grandma
    September 14, 2013 - 15:27

    Louis the reason you can not use your card in NS, NB or Quebec is the metis have not been recognized in these provinces. The case before the courts right now concerning the metis of Ontario are for the metis of Ontario only. If they are successful it will have no bearing on the metis of NS, NB or Quebec. Each provience will have to have their own legal rep. And fight for thier rights in each provience. It is misleading when they are saying after the court ruling in Ontario everyone will have fishing and hunting rights in NS. This is not the case. Hope this helps! Best of luck!

  • Doug Cook
    September 13, 2013 - 13:11

    I'm not so sure this is about "Recognition and Respect" MONEY wasn't mentioned????

  • louis syms
    September 13, 2013 - 12:25

    my family are metis. the government don't recognize us my grandfather was born in chapel island my grandmother was born in st pierre a micheilon. we have all the paper work. we have cards and cannot use them.in nova scotia but my brother and kids can use them in Ontario.we are classed as abornignall under section 35of canadianconstituation act 1982if anyone has more infop please e mail me jlsyms@seascape.ns.ca

  • miss joy
    September 13, 2013 - 10:49

    It's funny how one time nobody wanted to admit that they came from an aboriginal blood line. Also I'm not sure what "why" means about "another one of those"

  • why
    September 13, 2013 - 08:27

    Do we really need another one of these in CB?

    • funny
      September 13, 2013 - 10:16

      That's funny. That's what they were saying when our ships were arriving 500 years ago.