Former MLA Danny Graham has been appointed chief negotiator for the Made-in-Nova Scotia Treaty Negotiation Process underway with the Mi’kmaq and Canada, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Baker announced today, Dec. 30. “Mr. Graham has extensive experience working with First Nations in advancing community justice initiatives in Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada,” Mr. Baker said. “In Canada, and internationally, he is known as an expert on the subject of restorative justice, which is in keeping with the Aboriginal models of justice.” The minister said Mr. Graham understands that Nova Scotians want outstanding treaty issues and land claims resolved through negotiations. “I consider the current discussions on treaty and related issues to be a positive first step toward developing a better relationship between government and the Mi’kmaq and eliminating the social and economic gap that most Mi’kmaq communities still face,” Mr. Graham said. He was hired under contract for a year after former chief negotiator Jamie Campbell was appointed a provincial court judge. Mr. Baker said the negotiations are at an important point. Negotiators have agreed on a framework agreement, which outlines the process and topics for future negotiations. The parties are now proceeding with their respective approvals before the agreement can be signed. Cabinet has approved the framework agreement and authorized Mr. Baker to sign on behalf of the province. The treaty negotiations began in 2002 with the signing of an umbrella agreement by Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaq chiefs and the federal minister. Mr. Graham has been a leader in the fields of business, law, public policy and politics. He was chair of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Steering Committee from 1997 to 1999. He returned to the practise of law in October, specializing in matters related to public policy.