Grave Desecration


Media Release: September 28, 2001

Sacred Grounds being called “Prime Building Lots” by Town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick

[Amherst, NS] The Atlantic Chiefs are outraged that the Town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, is trying to sell Passamaquoddy sacred grounds and promoting it as “prime building lots.”

The Passamaquoddy Nation at St. Croix Scoodic has laid claim to Qonasqamkuk (Indian Point) that the Town of St. Andrews is attempting to sell to potential land owners /developers. The Town of St. Andrews refuses to acknowledge that the Band at St. Croix exists or that they have a vested interest in Indian Point.

The Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs has issued a letter to the Town of St. Andrews expressing their outrage and urging the Town Council to reconsider their proposed action and to halt any further development on these sacred lands or the Atlantic Policy Congress will consider all legal and other options available to ensure these lands are protected for the Passamaquoddy peoples.

“This shows the typical respect that the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people receive from their neighboring municipalities when dealing with the sacred and traditional lands, and we’re not putting up with it any longer,” said APC Co-Chair Chief Second Peter Barlow.

“The Passamaquoddy people have been living in this traditional territory since time immemorial and have been dispossessed of their lands by the Town of St. Andrews and the Province of New Brunswick for the last 200 years. Now they’re trying to complete the desecration of this sacred land with no respect for the burial grounds or the descendants whose ancestors are buried there.” said APC Co-Chair Chief Lawrence Paul.

The Town of St. Andrews has been presented with a resolution from the St. Croix Scoodic Band that states that they have never ceded any of their traditional territory to any government and that any activity by the Town or any other party at any time, past or present, without the consent of the St. Croix Scoodic Band Chief and Council will be considered an act of trespass and aggression as well as genocide against the Passamaquoddy Nation.

The Resolution also makes reference to the ignorance of the town when they destroyed a sacred sweet grass field to support the local Kiwanas organization in their efforts to utilize the land for profits by building a campground with no compensation to the people who were dispossessed.

Former Mayor Flemming made statements that the Passamaquoddy Nation’s concerns around land use in the Town of St. Andrews should be considered a federal issue, but current council has chosen to ignore the Passamaquoddy people in dealing with Indian Point.

“For the town to completely ignore the very people that helped them settle the land is not only morally wrong, it’s a crime against humanity, and we fully support the St. Croix Scoodic Band in their efforts to stop the desecration of traditional lands,” said Chief Barlow.

The St. Andrews Town Council will meet on October 1, 2001 to discuss this issue and to make decisions as to actions to follow.

“It’s a shame that they (Town of St. Andrews) would be doing this on the same day the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy Nations commemorate the Treaties,” concluded Chief Paul referring to the Treaty Day Celebrations that takes place every year on October 1.

Note:  October 1, 1752 was the date that the Treaty of 1752 was signed by the Crown and the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy Chiefs.