In February of 1975 at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, a group of the forgotten Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal organized for change to form the Non-Status and Metis Association of Nova Scotia, known today as the Native Council of Nova Scotia, the self-governing authority for Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people residing off-reserve in Nova Scotia throughout traditional Mi'kmaq territory. The Council is the organized voice speaking on behalf of and for this large offreserve Aboriginal group (who number near 16,000 according to 1991 Census Canada statistics).
The Native Council of Nova Scotia advocates for change for all Off-Reserve Aboriginal people who have been victims of federal policies and acts. Since its inception, The Native Council of Nova Scotia believes there has always existed, and will continue to exist a traditional authority for Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal People. That authority is that of the Grand Council of the Mi'kmaq. Accordingly, all of the efforts and advocacy by the NCNS have been and continues to be to work towards providing a better future for the forgotten people and to promote the equal social dignity of every Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal as the first people of this land, under the authority of the Grand Council and principles of Aboriginal equality.
The Native Council of Nova Scotia as a native advocacy group is a non-profit association registered under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia, with the following aims and objectives:
To aid and assist Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people who reside off reserve in Nova Scotia to form local organizations for the purpose of advancing their general living conditions.
To work with all levels of government, public and private agencies, and private industry; to improve social, educational and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia. To promote, advance, and foster Aboriginal and Treaty rights for the benefit of all Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia; and to promote, advance and foster Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal title for the benefit of all Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia
To foster and strengthen cultural identity and pride among Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia.
To inform the general public of the special needs of the Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia and their efforts to achieve full participation in the economic, social and political life of the province.
To co-operate with all other Native organizations whose aims are similar to those of this Association.
To acquire by way of grant, gift, purchase, bequest, devise, or otherwise, real and personal property and to use and apply such property to the realization of the objects of the Association
To buy, own, hold, lease, mortgage, sell and convey such real and personal property as may be necessary or desirable in the carrying out of the objects of the Association.
Over the years, the people working for and with the Native Council of Nova Scotia have helped to establish and administer programs and services designed to improve the social, education, economic and representative situation of Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal as advocated by the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
Conditions are slowly changing. Further required change cannot be accomplished by the Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal community, or the NCNS alone. As a policy, the Council advocates working together with all citizens, organizations, and government and their agencies, to better understand the issues, and to jointly plan and implement actions which will redress the situation of the Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal of Nova Scotia.
Governments and their agencies
have recognized the special circumstances of the Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal people
of Nova Scotia; and are now beginning to support to a limited degree, the
work of the Council to assist to meet the needs of the off-reserve Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal
people so they too will have a place in this country. The Mi'kmaq/Aboriginal
residing off-reserve Nova Scotia advocated by the Native Council of Nova
Scotia seek to secure their rightful identity within Canadian society.
Slowly, but surely, we are "Going Forward to a Better Future".