On 12 July 2011, during the 32nd Annual Assembly of First Nations in Moncton NB, an award on recognition of his invaluable contribution to the defense of indigenous peoples rights was conferred to Miguel Alfonso Martinez. During the ceremony, National Chief Atleo outlined the profound respect and esteem aboriginal peoples across the world have for Mr. Alfonso. A Mi'kmaq elder performed a song written in Mi'kmaq specially to honor Mr. Alfonso´s memory. His wife, Portia Sigelbaum, received the award on behalf of her late husband.

Miguel Alfonso Martinez, born in Havana on May 16, 1935, was an outstanding diplomat, lawyer and academic, who served in many capacities in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing Cuba at numerous international meetings and acting as the Ministry's spokesperson between 1994 and 1997. Martinez, one of Cuba's most prominent diplomats, was recognized as a foremost specialist on human rights and he enjoyed in particular international acclaim because of his work on the rights of indigenous peoples. Mr. Martinez was the UN Special Rapporteur for the Study on Treaties, Agreements and Constructive Arrangements between States and Indigenous Peoples, Chair of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, and First Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the UN Human Rights Council and made an indelible contribution to the struggle of indigenous peoples to achieve their rights.

Ms. Maria de la Luz B´Hamel, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Cuba, accompanied Ms. Sigelbaum during the mentioned ceremony in Moncton. She took the opportunity to visit Halifax and meet with us. Here in Halifax she spent some time with us exchanging information and views but also socializing and having fun.  Here are some pictures of her visit. We enjoyed very much Maria de la Luz' visit and hope she visits again sometime soon!