Standing Together in Righting Relations: We Are All Treaty People

A black background with overlapping thumbprints in orange, yellow, and white along the left side of the image. White text to the right reads "Standing Together in Righting Relations: We Are All Treaty People."

Hear from members of the Algonquin and Mi’Kmaw Nations about what Inherent Rights mean; the long struggle to uphold the Treaties and what it means that we are all Treaty People. This video is available with auto-generated captions, which may not always be accurate.


Cheryl Maloney
Cheryl Maloney was born and raised in the Indian Brook First Nation, Sipeknekatik district of the Mi’kmaq Nation. As a strong Mi’kmaw woman, Cheryl’s has a deep understanding of Indigenous history, treaty rights and governance issues in both modern and historical models of Indigenous governance. Cheryl has been successful in spearheading Child Welfare Legislative Reform in Nova Scotia and is the founder of key Indigenous organizations in the Atlantic region such as Eastern Door Indigenous Women’s Association, Jane Paul Centre for Aboriginal Women and Girls in Cape Breton, and the Mi’kmaki Rock the Vote campaign to promote democratic participation of Aboriginal people in mainstream politics. She represented Mi’kmaq at the UN permanent forum on Indigenous people on climate change and legislated barriers to adoption of Mi’kmaq people on reserves. She was also President of the NS Native Women’s Association, coordinated the legal strategy regarding NS resistance to Alton Gas Project promoting full prior and informed consent of Mi’kmaq people according to domestic and international laws and was the National Fisheries Coordinator for the Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa, Ontario

Sherry Pictou
Dr. Sherry Pictou is a Mi’kmaw woman from L’sɨtkuk (water cuts through high rocks) known as Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia. She graduated with an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. at Dalhousie University in June of 2017 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Women’s Studies Department at Mount Saint Vincent University with a focus on Indigenous Feminism. She is also a former Chief for her community and the former Co-Chair of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples. Her research interests are decolonization of treaty relations, Social Justice for Indigenous Women, Indigenous women’s role in food and lifeways, and Indigenous knowledge and food systems. Her thesis was entitled, ‘Decolonizing Mi’Kmaw Memory of Treaty: L’Situk’s Learning with Allies in Struggle for Food and Lifeways and she has written several published articles and is currently working on two forthcoming chapters for book projects.

Marilynn-Leigh Francis
Marilyn-Leigh Francis is a dynamic, strong Mi’kimaw women. She is a member of Apaji-wla’Matulinej (Righting Relations) eastern hub. For years she has been on the front lines protecting Treaty Rights and Mother Earth. She also has fished lobster on a small boat for 22 years asserting her Nation’s Inherent Rights. She has faced racism and threats, yet year after year, with little support, she has continued to practice her people’s Inherent Rights, their sovereignty. Alongside her mother, Marilyn Francis, she is passionate about learning and sharing traditional teachings which they do at schools, public events and gatherings. They organize a yearly Men’s gathering, weekly youth groups and a yearly Water Walk. They are always ready to stand up and speak out for their beliefs.

Ryder Cote
Kwey, my name is Mikoniki Pizendewatch Nadwe. My English name is Ryder Cote Nottaway. The little white wolf is my spirit animal and I am of the Bear clan. I am Anishnabe from Kitigan Zibi and Barrier Lake. I am 19 years old currently attending Dawson College completing my DEC in general social sciences.

Mariah Miigwans
Mariah Miigwans (Leather Feather) Smith Chabot is a proud young Algonquin First Nation woman from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Quebec. She is a speaker, facilitator, and an artist skilled in many mediums such as beadwork, weaving, leather work and other hand-skilled styles. She aims to continue the work of the artists and community members who inspire her, who have expressed the value of healthy lifestyles through traditional crafts and other aspects of Algonquin culture. Through her business, Miigwans Creations, she also hopes to continue to raise awareness about First Nations culture through Miigwans Creations, as a step to healing for “Reconciliation”.