Malagawatch, Nova Scotia–With $500,000.00 in emergency funding approved by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to protect Mi’kmaq culturally significant lands in Malagawatch, Cape Breton, plans are underway to complete the work over the next couple of months.

Annie Johnson explains, “The Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) is pleased to be presented the opportunity to work with our communities to address the important issue of erosion in Malagawatch. Working together with Wagmatcook First Nation, the Unama’ki Chiefs and Public Works and Government Services Canada, we are confident that the necessary work will be completed in the time we have allotted and we will be able to mitigate the serious erosion problems we are experiencing there.”

Wagmatcook is working with Dillon Consulting and Public Works on engineering and professional support for the project, expected to be underway within a month. In addition to overseeing the project, the five Unama’ki Chiefs will review the final tender/bid recommendations and award the contract to the successful bidder.

Annie explains, “UINR will continue to ensure that the site’s archaeological and historical evidence is secured and we will coordinate meetings between our partners to make sure that the project is completed respectfully and on schedule. We are working with the archaeologist at Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiations Office–Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative to ensure that the project is done properly.” Historical and archaeological evidence indicate that Malagawatch and the surrounding areas have been used and occupied by Mi’kmaq ancestors for thousands of years.