What is L'nuey?
L’nuey is an initiative focused on protecting, preserving and implementing the constitutionally entrenched rights of the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island, Epekwitk. This will be particularly important as we begin the process of determining how our people can benefit from our rights as we begin negotiations through the Mi’kmaq-Prince Edward Island-Canada Framework Agreement. The Framework Agreement affirms the historic Mi’kmaq treaties and commits the Federal and Provincial governments to respectful and cooperative negotiations with the Mi’kmaq to deal with our outstanding Aboriginal and treaty rights claims.
L’nuey means ‘Belonging to or pertaining to the Mi’kmaq People as a whole’, and its tagline doubles as its mission:
‘Moving towards a better tomorrow’.
It’s about people coming together, taking ownership, collaborating and ultimately forming a strong and unified front committed to the unique needs of the PEI Mi’kmaq.
We encourage you to learn more about L’nuey – the PEI Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative. This site will be regularly updated with information and educational materials on negotiations, consultation and governance development.
Listen to our Executive Director, Jenene Wooldridge, chat with CBC about L’nuey
The First Nations’ Leadership, the Councils, are responsible for the work of L’nuey, including negotiation and consultation processes. The Councils are also responsible for the governance development work to support the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq inherent right to self-government. L’nuey is the PEI Mi’kmaq Rights-based organization, which will have the technical resources to serve the growing negotiation, consultation and governance development needs of the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq. The Councils will provide direction to the staff of L’nuey for the negotiation, consultation and governance development work. Any major decisions will be voted on by the Mi’kmaq of PEI.
L’nuey’s objective is to address both past and present imbalances in the relationship between Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous people in Prince Edward Island. L’nuey is the evolution of many years of collaboration and hard work by the Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nations on shared interests and it will continue to build this foundation for an improved quality of Mi’kmaq life here on PEI, and ultimately self-government for the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq.
L’nuey will conduct the necessary research, facilitate community engagement and consensus, and elevate community and public education and awareness to support the protection and implementation of constitutionally-protected Mi’kmaq Rights in Prince Edward Island.
Epekwitk Assembly of Councils Organizational Evolution
The Epekwitk Assembly of Councils is the joint forum that oversees and governs organizations that act in the shared interest of Abegweit First Nation and Lennox Island First Nation.
Comprised of the full Councils of both First Nations, the Assembly currently administers two organizations that are Provincial in scope: L’nuey and The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI.
L’nuey’s mandate is focused on protecting and advancing the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq, including negotiations, consultation, and governance development.
The Confederacy’s role is to deliver shared programs and services on behalf of both First Nations, as well as serving as a Tribal Council, which provides services and technical supports to each First Nation’s administration.
L’nuey Executive Director
The L’nuey leadership has proudly appointed Jenene Wooldridge as L’nuey’s first Executive Director. Jenene is a proud, talented PEI Mi’kmaq and a member of the Abegweit First Nation, and the Councils are confident that Jenene will bring the same passion to L’nuey and its goals and objectives that she has brought to all of her work.
Jenene Wooldridge is passionate about her PEI Mi’kmaq community and committed to advancing the interests of the Mi’kmaq and all Indigenous people. She has served for over a decade in senior management with the Abegweit First Nation. She graduated with honours from the University of PEI in 2004 and is a Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator through AFOA Canada. She has participated as a member of numerous Indigenous boards initiatives both regionally and nationally and has led numerous comprehensive community planning exercises, helping First Nation communities set a strategic path to healthy, successful futures. In recent years Jenene has been able to sit at PEI First Nation negotiation tables and has coordinated consultation and engagement efforts in her own community and many others. Jenene’s goal is to make the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq community better for future generations and she is excited to help do that through her role as the first Executive Director of L’nuey – the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative.
Jenene leads L’nuey and staff in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, including consultations, negotiations, governance development, communications and engagement. She is also responsible for advancing L’nuey’s overall strategic direction. In her role, she establishes relationships with the First Nations, Provincial and Federal governments to assist in building bridges between those worlds. As Executive Director her priority is the protection and implementation of Mi’kmaq rights in PEI.
Tracey serves as the lead negotiator on all negotiation processes L’nuey is mandated by the Assembly to advance. In her role she has responsibility for, and coordinates, the Framework Agreement Main Table negotiation process as well as other negotiation processes under the responsibility of L’nuey, including Specific Claims. Tracey also serves as support to the Executive Director on L’nuey strategic direction and oversight with respect to L’nuey’s Duty to Consult and Governance Development work.
Sean serves as the lead media contact for communications on behalf of L’nuey. In his role he holds responsibility for coordinating and participating in the execution of L’nuey’s Communications Strategy, Media Strategy, and relevant content development including video, photo, and podcasts. Sean also serves as support to L’nuey’s communications unit by assisting with publications, news releases, messaging documents, and monitoring media, all of which directly support the broader communication efforts of L’nuey.
Richard is responsible for L’nuey’s community and engagement efforts. He works to assist all staff and partners with engagement planning. Richard is currently engaging with Epekwitk Mi’kmaq on the Ni’n aq No’kmaq process. Richard also works to promote and facilitate networking and knowledge exchanges on Mi’kmaq history, culture, traditions, and the Mi’kmaq way of life.
Historian and Archivist
As the historian, Tammy thoroughly researches all types of historical records, including oral history, to ensure accurate Mi’kmaq historical information is shared for countless applications, including but not limited to Consultations, Negotiations, Specific Claims, all levels of government departments, private organizations, and public requests. On the other side of the historian role, Tammy is also the archivist and “Keeper of History” for L’nuey.
Don MacKenzie, Q.C.
Don is Legal Counsel for L’nuey and is responsible for providing legal expertise, guidance and counsel to advance all aspects of L’nuey’s mandate – consultation, negotiations and governance. Don also serves as lead for litigation and adversarial processes, should they be necessary to achieve the goals of L’nuey as established by the Assembly; including litigation strategy, legal positioning and representation. Don also provides strategic advice and support to the Executive Director and the Assembly on Aboriginal and treaty rights matters, including Aboriginal title.
In her role, Annie is responsible for the execution of the Communications Strategy, the Social Media Strategy, creating and managing video and photo content for the website and social media, and sharing news releases and relevant content on social media platforms. She also manages preparation and organization of internal and external events. She supports the communications unit in writing news releases, messaging documents, letters, and advisories to advance L’nuey’s broader communication efforts.
Wendell, Consultation Coordinator with L’nuey, is responsible for ensuring the Duty to Consult process meets the requirements of the Consultation process as confirmed by the Courts and as stated in the Mi’kmaq-PEI-Canada Consultation Agreement. Wendell provides oversight, management and leadership on L’nuey mandated responsibilities regarding the Crown’s constitutional obligation to consult on any proposed activities that may have an adverse impact on Mi’kmaq Rights in PEI. He is the first point of contact when Canada and/or Province identify matters requiring consultation. As Coordinator, Wendell is responsible for coordinating the receipt, review, and response to a wide variety of consultation requests for various projects and initiatives and advises the Executive Director and the Assembly on Duty to Consult activities.
Lorenda serves as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager at L’nuey. Under the Executive Director’s leadership, she is responsible for L’nuey’s office operations and administrative components; staff onboarding and various HR functions; financial processing; and assisting the Executive Director and Assembly as required. Lorenda also coordinates internal and external events and meetings and is committed to supporting the work of all staff.
Patsy Bolger Gallant
Patsy, in her role as Communications Coordinator, ensures that all L’nuey’s communications and engagement activity aligns with the organization’s mandate and vision. She manages and oversees L’nuey’s strategic Communications strategy and tactics, directs internal and external communication, manages and mentors staff, coordinates engagement efforts, supervises event organization, builds partnerships and identifies collaborative opportunities.
Julie Pellissier-Lush is L’nuey’s first Knowledge Keeper and her main responsibility is to increase and enhance the knowledge and understanding of the Mi’kmaq people, Mi’kmaq history, culture and traditions. She works with allies and partners to accomplish these goals and she writes, acts, tells stories of our past, and photography as her way to preserve the history and culture of the Mi’kmaq for future generations. Julie develops and delivers workshops and sessions and is involved in many activities across the Island which foster inclusivity and diversity. Julie is PEI’s Poet Laureate and wrote the poems for the play Mi’kmaq Legends which has been performed on many different stages in the Atlantic region.
Manager, Partnership Initiatives, L’nuey – Parks Canada
L’nuey and Parks Canada work in partnership in many ways toward shared goals. These goals include the involvement of the PEI Mi’kmaq in the management of protected places administered by Parks Canada, and the promotion and commemoration of Epekwitk Mi’kmaw history and culture.
Jesse Francis works in a position – itself a partnership – for L’nuey and Parks Canada. Working with extended teams of colleagues, he reports to both organizations on a wide range of projects and priorities which have been identified as shared goals.