13 June 2024
Indigenous Newfoundland Learns from Australia

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Indigenous regional development in Newfoundland can learn from Australia’s experience. In an era of “global boiling,” the Canadian government has set ambitious targets to transition towards a net-zero future with important caveats that this transition must be fair and inclusive. Australia’s experience with Indigenous regional development offers valuable lessons for Newfoundland.

Indigenous Regional Development in Newfoundland: Insights from Australia



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Embracing Indigenous-Led Regional Development for a Sustainable Future in Newfoundland

In an era of climate change and global boiling, the Canadian government has set ambitious targets for a net-zero future, emphasizing fairness and inclusivity. However, the question remains: Does this vision include vibrant, self-determined Indigenous communities? Research indicates that inadequate engagement between settler governments, corporations, and Indigenous communities hinders reconciliation efforts. This reality is particularly concerning given the ongoing socio-economic challenges faced by Indigenous communities across Canada.

Unique Developmental Considerations and Climate Risks in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

Every region in Canada has unique developmental considerations and climate risks. For Mi’kmaw communities in the St. George’s Bay region of Newfoundland, the future is uncertain due to large-scale natural resource developments. Project Nujio’qonik, billed as the world’s first large-scale green hydrogen project, exemplifies such developments.

Mi’kmaw Leadership and the Controversial Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

Mi’kmaw leaders, like Elder Calvin White, have long advocated for the recognition of the Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland, but efforts have been hampered by the controversial establishment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation. This situation continues to be challenged in court, dividing families and hindering effective stewardship and control over community territories.

Learning from Indigenous Experiences in Tasmania for Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

Despite geographical differences, Newfoundland and Tasmania share striking similarities, often referred to as “mirror islands.” Indigenous groups in both regions have fought for decades to assert their rights and agency on traditional territory. Inequalities continue to perpetuate uneven growth and opportunities, impacting local communities.

Exchange of Knowledge and Sustainable Development Practices in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

To address these challenges, Mi’kmaw leaders Chief Joanne Miles and Chief Peggy White, along with Ph.D. candidate Brady Reid, traveled to Tasmania to learn from Indigenous regional development and recognition initiatives. Discussions focused on recognizing, renewing, and supporting Indigenous management and stewardship over traditional territories and resources.

The Importance of Indigenous-Led Research and Partnership Development in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

The Tasmanian and Australian governments have supported Indigenous-led research and partnership development, leading to economically viable and culturally significant industries like the fisheries sector. By aligning supportive federal policy with state regulations, local reluctance has been transformed into regional development opportunities.

Lessons for Self-Determined Resource Governance in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

The shared colonial history and marine industries between Tasmania and Newfoundland offer valuable lessons for Indigenous Peoples. These lessons can be used to share knowledge, strengthen self-determination rights, and develop social license strategies that favor Indigenous-led regional development while reshaping relationships with governments.

The Role of Settler Governments and Agencies in Newfoundland’s Indigenous Regional Development

Settler governments, agencies, and representatives must support Indigenous-led initiatives and avoid creating bureaucratic barriers. Recommendations from the Canadian Climate Institute emphasize green policy action that improves social and economic indicators, including business interests and opportunities.

Indigenous-Led Regional Development as a Fair and Equitable Process in Newfoundland

Indigenous-led regional development recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ desire for cultural innovation to advance all sectors of society. It emphasizes self-assertion of rights and mutual gains. Renewable energy can support cultural fisheries and healthier relationships, preserving the unique island character as a strength.

Wrapping Up

The exchange of knowledge and experiences between Indigenous leaders in Newfoundland and Tasmania has sparked ideas and creative strategies for improved relations. Respecting the terms of Indigenous Peoples’ regional development goals is essential for effective transitions to a better future and a more sustainable society..

FAQ’s

1. What is the main obstacle to Indigenous-led regional development in Newfoundland?

The controversial establishment of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, which is being challenged in court, has divided families and hindered effective stewardship and control over community territories.

2. What similarities do Newfoundland and Tasmania share?

Newfoundland and Tasmania, often referred to as “mirror islands,” share striking similarities. Indigenous groups in both regions have fought for decades to assert their rights and agency on traditional territory.

3. What can Newfoundland learn from Tasmania’s Indigenous-led regional development initiatives?

Newfoundland can learn from Tasmania’s successful Indigenous-led research and partnership development, which has led to economically viable and culturally significant industries like the fisheries sector.

4. What role do settler governments and agencies play in supporting Indigenous-led regional development?

Settler governments, agencies, and representatives must support Indigenous-led initiatives and avoid creating bureaucratic barriers.

5. How can Indigenous-led regional development contribute to a fair and equitable future in Newfoundland?

Indigenous-led regional development recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ desire for cultural innovation to advance all sectors of society. It emphasizes self-assertion of rights and mutual gains.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.aad.gov.au/ 2. https://www.nunatsiavut.com/ 3. https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Indigenous regional development, Mi'kmaq people, Tasmania

Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are groups of people native to a specific region that inhabited the Americas before the arrival of European settlers in the 15th century and the ethnic groups who continue to identify themselves with those peoples. The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are diverse; some...
Read more: Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Mi'kmaq
The Mi'kmaq (also Mi'gmaq, Lnu, Miꞌkmaw or Miꞌgmaw; English: MIG-mah; Miꞌkmaq: [miːɡmaɣ]) are a First Nations people of the Northeastern Woodlands, indigenous to the areas of Canada's Atlantic Provinces, primarily Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec as well as Native Americans...
Read more: Mi'kmaq

Tasmania
Tasmania (; palawa kani: lutruwita) is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 kilometres (150 miles) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated from it by the Bass Strait, with the archipelago containing the southernmost point of the country. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania,...
Read more: Tasmania

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