Tag Archives: First Nations

‘We won’: Clearwater Seafoods deal gives Mi’kmaq control of lucrative ocean stretch

Early this week, leaders of the Membertou and Miawpukek First Nations, both of which are Mi’kmaq communities, reached an agreement to buy Nova Scotia-based Clearwater Seafoods in a deal worth C$1bn (£580m). Heralded as the “single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada”, the landmark deal comes at a critical moment for Indigenous communities in the region, as tensions remain high over their treatied fishing rights. >click to read< 15:48

“Mixed Feelings”: Sipekne’katik chief says discussions with commercial fishers in Nova Scotia can wait

Responding to Ottawa’s decision to name Allister Surette as a facilitator in the dispute, Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack said he had “mixed feelings.” He said that while he was not fundamentally opposed to participating in the process, “right now, we’re not worried about that.” Surette, president and vice-chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne who has experience as a facilitator in fishery disputes, was named to the role on Friday. Surette said his work might lead to a resolution in the fishery dispute,,, Sack, however, maintained that the resolution lies in his band’s talks with the federal government, not with commercial fishers. >click to read< 16:00

Peaceful protest, peace offering in disputed First Nations lobster fishery

There were peaceful protests Friday in Nova Scotia by commercial fishermen, following a symbolic gesture of peace the day before between some commercial fishermen and the First Nations band at the centre of a disputed lobster fishery. Gordon Beaton, the president of Local 4 of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, said fishermen are worried where the fishery is headed.,, “We don’t argue the treaty,” said Beaton. “We’re not arguing the fishing rights that they have. They have a right to First Nations fishery, but we want the right to be executed in a way that’s sustainable for everybody.” >click to read< 16:09

Federal inaction drives lobster feud

A Coast Guard cutter and two helicopters (one RCMP, one DFO) provided little more than backdrop scenery to the boiling tensions on the Acadian shore Monday. Both the First Nations encamped behind a barricade at the Saulnierville Wharf and the predominantly Acadian local fishermen with their own roadblock at the Meteghan wharf 14 kilometres away called on the federal authorities to uphold the law. But whose law do they uphold? Successive federal fisheries ministers have kicked the issue down the election cycle by providing commercial licenses to First Nations bands without negotiating the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged right of individual Mi’kmaq to make a moderate livelihood off of natural resources. The vacuum left by their inaction is being filled with threats, flares and rubber bullets. >click to read< 10:29

Quiet seafood truck protest: DFO urged to crack down on illegal out of season lobster fishing

The owner of a seafood company that has trucks parked at the DFO detachment declined an interview and wouldn’t comment about the protest or who organized it. Asked why the trucks are there the company owner simply said, “DFO knows.” The trucks were first parked at the DFO detachment on Aug. 27, the same day hundreds of commercial lobster fishermen protested outside of federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office in Bridgewater demanding DFO provide enforcement. As they have in previous summers, fishermen have been raising concerns over what they say is out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting taking place. They say commercial activity is happening under the guise of the First Nations fishery and accuse some fishers of abusing the intent of that fishery. photos, >click to read< 20:38

Discontent arrives at federal fisheries minister’s doorstep

Roger LeBlanc, on Thursday sporting a Maritime Fisherman’s Union cap and a jacket bearing the name of Beausoleil the Third, his 50-foot lobster boat ,is used to rising early. So, it was nothing for him to leave Meteghan at 6:30 a.m. to make the two-hour drive to Bridgewater. He didn’t want to miss the big rally in front of the office of Bernadette Jordan,,, . There was a time when LeBlanc hoped his grandson, Joseph, who is eight, could follow in the family business. Now he’s not so sure. “I’m here today,” he told me, “because I don’t see a future in our fishery.” >click to read< 08:11

Peaceful Protest: Hundreds of fishermen protest outside Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jordan’s office – Several hundred fishermen protested Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S., outside the constituency office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan, demanding her department stop out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting and sales commercial lobster harvesting and sales by First Nations in Nova Scotia. >click to read<

Peaceful Protest: Hundreds of fishermen protest outside Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jordan’s office

Several hundred fishermen protested Thursday in Bridgewater, N.S., outside the constituency office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan, demanding her department stop out-of-season commercial lobster harvesting and sales commercial lobster harvesting and sales by First Nations in Nova Scotia. “We are tired of being ignored over and over again,” organizer Colin Sproul of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association told the crowd through a bullhorn from the back of a pickup truck. The protest is over what fishermen say is a blatant abuse of a First Nations communal lobster fishery underway in St. Marys Bay. >click to read< 17:06

Discontent arrives at federal fisheries minister’s doorstep – Roger LeBlanc, on Thursday sporting a Maritime Fisherman’s Union cap and a jacket bearing the name of Beausoleil the Third, his 50-foot lobster boat ,is used to rising early. He didn’t want to miss the big rally in front of the office of Bernadette Jordan,,, >click to read<

Consultation lacking on decision to reactivate licenses for Indigenous communities

The reactivation of dormant lobster fishing licences by the federal government has prompted a terse statement from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU). The two organizations say they were left out of consultation over the reactivation of 10 lobster licences by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25, located on the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.,,, The statement said fishermen were “frustrated” by the lack of consultation prior to the decision and called for the federal government to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen’s organizations. >click to read< 09:54

First Nations along Fraser River want sport fishing closed to save at risk species

So far this season, Guerin said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (known as DFO) limited Musqueam fishers to a few hundred chinook from the river, nowhere near enough to feed the nation’s 1,300 members let alone supply funerals and other community events like ceremonies and feasts. “I’ve got elders this year, this may be their last fish, and I can’t give it to them,” he said. “That hurts.”,,, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow said they want to be part of the conservation efforts, but First Nations’ needs take priority over recreational fishing according to a 1990 Supreme Court ruling. That means the sport fishery should bear the brunt of any restrictions when there are concerns about the state of salmon populations. >click to read< 08:50

Limited fish passage through landslide obstruction on Fraser River

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the provincial government and local First Nations set up a team to lead the response to the slide near Big Bar, north of Lillooet, after it was discovered in late June. The team says in a news release Monday that fish counting data shows some chinook salmon have been able to swim past the slide using the channels the team has created with large rock manipulation and blasting. It says as of last Tuesday, a rough estimate of 6,700 salmon have passed through the slide on their own. >click to read<  11:19

Opinion: Federal fisheries committee challenges B.C. licensing policies

With a sole focus on protecting fish stocks, since the mid-1990s Fisheries and Oceans Canada has largely ignored the economic well-being of B.C.’s commercial fish harvesters and coastal communities. Something really extraordinary just happened. Someone in the government of Canada started paying attention to the B.C. fishery. Not just to the fish in the water, but to the 2,400 small- and medium-sized businesses that employ more than 5,000 fish harvesters to deliver high-value seafood products to local and global markets and sustain B.C.’s coastal communities and First Nations. >click to read< 21:52

New criticism surrounds federal decision to break Arctic surf clam monopoly

One month after the federal fisheries minister announced a new licence for an important clam fishery would be awarded to a partnership of Indigenous groups from across Atlantic Canada, the government is facing fresh criticism over how it awarded the licence, and for the Liberals’ perceived ties to the winning bidder. The decision to award one-quarter of the Arctic surf clam quota to a partnership that included Indigenous communities was intended to further reconciliation by helping First Nations gain a foothold in a lucrative market and to break the monopoly on Arctic surf clams that has been held by Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods. >click to read<10:10

FISH-NL questions whether Ottawa purposely is out to eliminate inshore fishery and outports along with it

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s decision to award a new Arctic surf clam licence to East Coast aboriginal groups amounts to Indigenous reconciliation on the backs of inshore harvesters and rural communities.,, “Our inshore harvesters and rural communities should be at the head of the line for any new quotas,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Our harvesters are starving for fish, and the feds are taking from the few healthy stocks we have left, and carving them up for groups with no connection to the resource. That’s just wrong.” >click to read< 12:07

Indigenous fishermen hope to be arrested, trigger court case as Nova Scotia lobster season kicks off

As one of the most lucrative fisheries in Canada prepares for opening day, some Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia are trying to trigger a court battle over Indigenous fishing, hoping it will see them win a greater share of the thriving lobster business. And they are daring the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to arrest them. One of them is Cheryl Maloney, an activist, law school graduate and mother of four boys. She wants her family to be able to earn the “moderate livelihood” she says the Supreme Court of Canada ruled they are entitled to in 1999. click here to read the story 09:19

Yukon kings are on the rebound, Canadians, however, are fishing less

yukonsalmonYukon River chinook stocks are on the upswing, according to a season summary, though not everybody is fishing for the surplus. Holly Carroll, the area management biologist for the Yukon River section of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the painful restrictions on subsistence harvests have paid off. “We wouldn’t have made escapement goals at all if we hadn’t restricted harvest,” Carroll said. “We have to restrict the harvest just to meet the bare minimum for sustaining the run. The restrictions in the subsistence fishery have helped to build the numbers back up.” With 176,895 fish past the sonar counter at Pilot Station, the 2016 chinook run has nosed back up to the most recent 20-year average of 178,000. Along with total run numbers, the amount of chinook into Canada is improving. However, First Nations communities and Canada fisheries managers have different ideas than Alaska, and much of the run sent over the border went unharvested. A major goal of ADFG Yukon River management aims to send between 42,500 and 55,000 chinook salmon over the Canadian border at Eagle as per the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Read the story here 15:54

MV Leviathan II tragedy: Official rescue role for First Nations urged

A marine safety expert says coastal First Nations should be given an official role in the province’s search and rescue services. Advocates say the capsizing of whale-watching boat, the MV Leviathan II, off the Tofino coast and the resulting rescue shows how crucial First Nations communities are in emergencies on the water. Two Ahousaht fishermen were the only people who spotted a rocket flare shot off the capsized boat and rushed to the scene, triggering a rescue effort that pulled 21 survivors from frigid B.C. waters. Read the rest here 09:12

Opposition to the Proposed LNG Project on Lelu Island

The study from SFU found that “The Skeena estuary funnels hundreds of millions of juvenile salmon through the transition from freshwater to marine habitats each year …  (and) proposed development in these areas will threaten the fisheries that depend on these fishes.” Read the rest here 19:45

British Columbia: Tensions rise as First Nations demand Central Coast herring fishery be called off

Mr. Neasloss said there are six commercial gillnet boats tied up in Kitasu Bay, waiting for the opening, and more boats are expected to arrive soon. The band planned to deliver letters to the fishing boat crews Monday, asking them not to fish. “Our first approach is to ask them to leave. If they don’t, it sounds like all Central Coast communities will be converging on Kitasu Bay,” said Mr. Neasloss. Read more here globeandmail  12:14

First Nations take DFO to court over herring fisheries

Five member nations under the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council have filed an injunction against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) proposed reopening of commercial herring fisheries around the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Read [email protected]  18:04

Nanoose First Nation, as well a number of other First Nations along the Salish Sea, are hoping to expand their economic horizons through commercial fishing.

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2The Nanoose band partnered with the Malahat, Tsawout, Beecher Bay and T’Sou-ke First Nations six years ago to form Salish Strait Seafoods to take advantage of local opportunities in the commercial fisheries. [email protected] 09:15