Statement: Minister Jordan issues statement on cooperative path forward with Potlotek First Nation
From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
“I am pleased to announce today that we have reached an understanding that will see Potlotek First Nation fishing for a moderate livelihood and selling their catch starting Saturday, June 5, 2021.
Potlotek’s Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan, which was developed by the community with support from the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs and Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO), speaks to the moderate livelihood fishing aspirations of the community.
As an interim measure, we will be recognizing those harvesters designated under Potlotek’s plan to be authorized to fish 700 jakej (lobster) traps without adding additional access and during the established season underway in Lobster Fishing Areas 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31a – which is within the Unama’ki region and aligns with Potlotek’s identified traditional district. The Unama’ki region is one of the seven Mi’kmaq districts in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and spans Cape Breton Island.
In acknowledging that this is an interim measure, we are committed to continuing consultations with the community moving forward, including about community concerns on access.
This marks an important step forward that demonstrates Canada’s willingness to listen to the individual needs of communities, to support their vision, and find common ground that maintains a sustainable fishery and sees community members on the water and able to sell their catch.
In working together to implement this moderate livelihood fishing plan, we will lay the groundwork for future advancements. Reaching this understanding, which recognizes the rights and interests of Indigenous communities, will help to further advance Potlotek’s vision of self-determination and economic self-reliance.”
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada