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 Wooldridge is Executive Director of L’nuey – the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative. She is passionate about her community and committed to advancing the interests of the Mi’kmaq and all Islanders. Jenene is a proud Epekwitk Mi’kmaq and a member of Abegweit First Nation. Prior to her leadership role with L’nuey, she served for over a decade in senior management with Abegweit First Nation.
Jenene graduated with honours from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2004 and has attained the Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator designation through AFOA Canada. She has participated as a member of numerous Indigenous boards and initiatives, both regionally and nationally, including the National Indigenous Community Development Working Group, AFOA Atlantic Board Member and also a member of the Atlantic Region Aboriginal Lands Association. Most recently, Jenene became a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Canada.
She has led numerous comprehensive community planning exercises, helping First Nation communities set a strategic path to healthy, successful futures.
In recent years Jenene has represented Mi’kmaq interests at numerous negotiation tables and has coordinated consultation and engagement efforts in her own community and many others. Jenene’s goal is to make Epekwitk better for future generations and she is excited to help do that through her role with the Renew PEI: The Premier’s Council for Recovery and Growth.
She resides in Rocky Point with her husband and two children.
Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tracey is a lawyer, holding memberships in both the Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia Law Societies. She earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University in 1990 and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Cape Breton University in 1987. Tracey began her career in Aboriginal Law and policy in Patuanak, Saskatchewan, where she lived and served the English River Dene First Nation as an advisor to the First Nation Council. While there, she played a lead role in the implementation of the First Nations’ multi-million-dollar Treaty Land Entitlement settlement.
In 1995 Tracey moved to Prince Edward Island and shortly thereafter began working for the Lennox Island First Nation providing legal and policy advisory support. Following the landmark Supreme Court of Canada Marshall decision, Tracey led the negotiations for the Marshall fishery agreements for the Lennox Island First Nation and later, the Abegweit First Nation. She also led the preliminary discussions with the federal and provincial governments to establish a negotiation process for the resolution of outstanding Treaty and Aboriginal rights issues. It was this work which led to the establishment of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI. Tracey served as Executive Director of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy until 2007 when she was appointed as a Deputy Minister with the Province of Prince Edward, initially as Deputy Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour Island and later as Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. While Deputy Minister she was successful in establishing the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, which represented the first dedicated Aboriginal Affairs function within the PEI provincial government. During her years as Deputy Minister she also oversaw the successful 2009 Canada Summer Games hosted in PEI and the implementation of the first provincial health authority, Health PEI, in 2010. In 2011 Tracey moved from provincial government to a private practice in public affairs and communications, as a Vice President at m5 Marketing and Communications and later as President of m5 Public Affairs. In 2016 Tracey became Vice President of Stakeholder Relations and Communications at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, until finding her way back to her true passion working with the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island.
Most recently, Tracey played a key role in the development and implementation of L’nuey, the Prince Edward Island Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative, where she now serves as Senior Negotiator.
Don MacKenzie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UPEI and a law degree from Dalhousie. He was admitted to the Prince Edward Island Bar in 1992, and practiced law in Charlottetown for almost 15 years. Don’s private practice focus was on litigation, and he often worked on files for both the Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nations. In 2006, Don joined the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI as its Legal/Band Government Advisor. In 2014, the Board of Directors of the Confederacy appointed Don as the Executive Director, and he also served as legal counsel and lead negotiator on Mi’kmaq rights matters. In 2020, Don resigned as the Confederacy’s Executive Director in order to focus his work on Mi’kmaq Aboriginal and treaty rights and took on the role of Legal Counsel with L’nuey. Among many other activities, Don negotiated the tripartite rights-based Framework Agreement on behalf of the Mi’kmaq, which was finalized with Canada and the Province of PEI in 2019. Don is passionate about advancing the constitutionally entrenched rights of the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq and is excited to be working with L’nuey.
Richard Lush is a Mi’kmaq man from Lennox Island First Nation, PEI. His passions are based on his Mi’kmaq culture, traditions, loyalty and love of First Nations communities and his family, the Mi’kmaq people. He previously worked with the PEI Aboriginal Sport Circle and has been heavily involved with the First Nation Communities here in Epekwitk. His biggest strength is working with his Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters. Richard graduated in 2012 from Sport and Leisure Management Program and was selected to be the Valedictorian of his class. He then continued his education at the University of Manitoba. Richard has converted his skills he learned through education to create opportunities for the First Nation Communities in PEI to thrive, preserve, and educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Mikjikj Mniku (Turtle Island). He is one of the founders and original members of Mi’kmaq Legends, an all Indigenous theatre group that specializes in telling the stories, traditions, songs, dances and culture of the Mi’kmaq from the past, and present. He has acquired and thrived in skills of public speaking, hosting engagement sessions, and educating the public as well as the First Nations people about the Mi’kmaq of PEI, as well as teaching the next generation about their culture and traditions. Richard is passionate about working with our First Nation Communities and with L’nuey to make sure the Mi’kmaq people know and understand their rights, in order to build a future for all L’nu that is strong and will flourish seven generations from today.
As an historian, Tammy MacDonald is passionate about sharing accurate historical knowledge with as wide an audience as possible. As an Islander, she is passionate about celebrating the cultural diversity of this beautiful province.
With a B.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies, and an M.A. in Religion and Culture, both focusing on historic cultures, Tammy has an abundance of experience in historical research. As the Historical Researcher, she ensures all ancient/historical Mi’kmaq cultural and resource use of PEI’s lands and waterways are taken into account in many types of projects, including duty to consults, land claims, community research, school curricula, etc. As an Archivist, Tammy has undertaken the creation of a space where knowledge can be collected and shared, both physically and digitally. Having been with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, and now with L’nuey, for 15 years, Tammy values the opportunities and challenges these positions hold and encourages anyone who has questions or comments to contact her.
Wendell LaBobe is a Mi’kmaq member of the Lennox Island First Nation but lives in Charlottetown with his wife, Michelle. Together, they have 3 kids, Ty, Kiara and Bradley and is a proud Papa to his grandson Carson.
Wendell has always enjoyed working for the Mi’kmaq, as he previously worked for both MCPEI & NCPEI for a combined 12 years before accepting the Logistics Manager with a potato packing facility. He is extremely excited to be working with L’nuey as the Consultation Coordinator and looks forward to the new challenges ahead of him in his new role. Besides working for L’nuey, Wendell is currently the Off-Reserve Councillor for the Lennox Island First Nation, a position he holds with pride and honor, being elected in June 2019. He graduated from Holland College in 2011 with a Diploma in Business Management and will be looking to return to UPEI to complete his degree in Business in the near future.
Outside of work, Wendell enjoys hobbies such as, photography, woodworking, watching and playing sports, and loves spending time with his family.
As part of the Communications unit, Sean Doke is passionate about the sharing of stories and important information. As an Islander, a young Mi’kmaq man and a proud member of the Lennox Island First Nation, he was born and raised here in Epekwitk (PEI) and is devoted to learning from, as well as sharing, Mi’kmaq culture.
Over the past few years Sean has worked in the service industry within fast paced environments, management of teams, and had previously been working with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI creating and developing video content within social enterprises across Epekwitk. As a Junior Communications Officer, Sean draws on skills acquired in his past to assist him in his new role and will use various forms of media as a means of conveying relevant information to a wider audience. Sean is excited for the challenges and opportunities that will come with this position and is looking forward to connecting with community, our Mi’kmaq culture, and sharing our stories.
Annie Martin is a proud member of Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia. Her education and career have taken her across the Maritimes, but she has made the Island her home, having spent the most time here over the past 10 years, inspired by the people and landscape.
Over the last decade, Annie has become well-versed in fast-moving work environments, sales, promoting and managing events, communicating with the public, creating training material, and supervising and managing roles. Since 2014, Annie has used her wood-burning art to connect with her Mi’kmaq heritage. Incorporating traditional motifs and imagery in her modern pieces and jewelry, she has traveled to shows throughout the Maritimes, including two years at the Mi’kmaq/Indigenous Artisan Market of Epekwitk. In 2018, she was selected to be a contributing artist to the “New Dawn Staff of Place and Belonging”, a collaborative piece that is meant to represent the diversity of people in Mi’kma’ki, which replaced the ceremonial mace at Dalhousie University.
Annie is thrilled to contribute in moving forward the initiative of L’nuey and to work for, and with, the Mi’kmaq people of PEI.
Erica was born and raised in Alberton, PEI and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (with Honors), from the University of Prince Edward Island, in 2009.
She began her professional career working within the financial industry, which provided her with the skills and criteria to be awarded with an opportunity to travel overseas to work for a leading mortgage broker in Sydney, Australia in 2012. Following the conclusion of her Work Visa, and the growth that she had experienced abroad, she returned to PEI with a drive to generate change, and a strong will to do more.
Since that time, she has been investing in personal and professional development. She has held Office Management and Personal Assistant roles for Senior Executives and Non-Profits within the Charlottetown area, and is now the Executive Assistant and Office Manager for L’nuey. She has been working for the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq since December of 2017 and is viewed as an outgoing and professional team player.
She strongly believes in the protection and implementation of rights of the Epekwitk Mi’kmaq and feels fortunate to be part of the L’nuey family, and to be part of change – for the better – for the First Nations of PEI. Her advice to others: “Be true to yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Authenticity drives success.”