Supporting Cultural Traditions and Sustainable Industry in Scotchfort
More than $550,000 from the Government of Canada supports community centre upgrades and environmental stewardship in Abegweit First Nation community
August 31, 2017 – Scotchfort, PE – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Rural communities across Atlantic Canada are building on the potential of their resources and making innovative contributions to grow a strong economy. For the residents of the Abegweit First Nation Community in Scotchfort, two new projects will help promote environmental stewardship and traditional gatherings for community members and visitors.
The funding for these projects was announced by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, along with the Honourable Pat W. Murphy, PEI Minister of Rural and Regional Development, in the company of members of the Abegweit Band in Scotchfort.
The Abegweit Conservation Society will receive more than $210,000 through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund to improve the environmental sustainability of the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery, the only wild-fish stocking facility in PEI, with the installation of a recirculating aquaculture system. The Government of Canada is providing additional funding of $121,000 through two programs:
- The Aboriginal Aquaculture in Canada Initiative provided $65,000 to implement the project and supplied aquaculture business development support services to help develop the project through the Ulnooweg Development Group.
- Funding of $56,000, delivered through the Ulnooweg Development Group, was provided through Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development program, which provides support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs for business development.
- The Government of Prince Edward Island, through the Department of Rural and Regional Development, is providing $25,000 in additional support to the project.
Furthermore, the Abegweit Band will receive $156,000 through the Innovative Communities Fund to expand and upgrade the Mawiomi Building, which supports community and tourism activities. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is contributing $69,000 in additional funding towards this project.
“To be resilient, all rural communities must look to their resources and the qualities that make them unique, and build on that. The Abegweit First Nation in Scotchfort is becoming a model for that sort of thinking. Its approach to job creation and economic opportunity is deeply connected to both the traditions of the community and the health of the environment.”
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Member of Parliament for Cardigan
“Fostering a robust indigenous business sector capable of creating sustainable economic opportunities for the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island is clearly in everyone’s best interests, and I commend the Scotchfort Band on these initiatives. Aboriginal people have been entrepreneurs for generations, employing local people while contributing to the local economy.”
- The Honourable Pat Murphy, Minister of Rural and Regional Development
“The two projects announced today play a key role in our community’s strategic economic development. Abegweit First Nation has become a major employer, creating jobs for 170 people both within and outside the community. The enterprises we’ve undertaken are diverse and innovative, but always rooted in tradition. I’m proud of the work of the many people involved in building our community’s economy, and grateful for the private and government relationships these projects have fostered for continued success.”
- Chief Brian Francis, Abegweit First Nation
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the lead department for delivery of the Aboriginal Aquaculture in Canada Initiative (AACI), which is funded through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative and designed to help coordinate efforts and investments in support of Indigenous participation in economic opportunities.
- Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development (ABED) program provides support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs for business development. This funding is delivered through the Ulnooweg Development Group.
Acting Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Rural and Regional Development
Director of Operations
Abegweit First Nation