Government will continue to work with Mi’kmaq leadership to build a stronger relationship, Premier Rodney MacDonald said today, Oct. 1. Speaking during Treaty Day ceremonies, the premier noted government and the 13 chiefs agreed last week at a joint meeting in Eskasoni First Nation to meet annually. It was the first time the provincial cabinet had met with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “Government understands that strengthening our province’s aboriginal communities helps us build a stronger, better Nova Scotia,” Premier MacDonald said. Earlier in the day, Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy signed a Mi’kmaq Nationhood Proclamation at a ceremony at Province House. “The proclamation represents our commitment to develop a system of governance that empowers our people and unites our communities towards a common purpose — to enhance the quality of life and well-being of our people,” said Chief Terrance Paul, co-chair of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. Michael Baker, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, said the government welcomes the proclamation’s suggested united approach to governance. During the Treaty Day ceremony, the premier, Mr. Baker, Education Minister Karen Casey and Human Resources Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson presented a number of awards to elders and youths. Treaty Day ceremonies began in 1986 with the signing of a proclamation by then Grand Chief Donald Marshall, senior. The day marks the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in Nova Scotia.