N.B. chiefs call on commissioner to denounce gag order on land acknowledgments

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's six Wolastoqey chiefs are calling on the province's new commissioner on systemic racism to take a stand against the provincial government's ban on land acknowledgments.

Last week the province ordered government employees to stop referring to unceded or unsurrendered lands when speaking at public meetings.

Attorney General Hugh Flemming said the directive was in response to a lawsuit filed last year by the Wolastoqey communities claiming ownership of more than 60 per cent of the province.

Tobique Chief Ross Perley said today commissioner Manju Varma, who is tasked with addressing systemic racism in New Brunswick, should intervene to ask the attorney general to stand down.

Reached in Moncton, Varma said it was the first she was hearing of the First Nations' request.

She said it would be irresponsible for her to comment until she has a chance to speak with the chiefs and the government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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