We’koqma’q First Nation to Begin Livelihood Fishery
Mi’kmaw Harvesters from We’koqma’q First Nation have worked together to build a Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan for their community and will be joining other communities on the waters to fish for a moderate livelihood.
Like many Mi’kmaw communities, the community developed Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plans outlines and provides community authority and management for their Constitutionally protected Right to fish for a moderate livelihood. We’koqma’q has come to an understanding with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and authorized harvesters will be able to fish and sell, pursuant to their Right and according to their community Plan.
“Our harvesters continued to voice how they wanted to be able to exercise their Treaty Rights safely and they are excited to be able to provide for their families and our community through exercising their inherent rights,” said Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley, We’koqma’q First Nation. “We are proud of the Plan that our community built and the work they have put in leading up to this launch. A special thank you goes to Brennan Peters, our Moderate Livelihood Navigator, for his part in this important work.”
We’koqma’q and DFO met through formal consultation and came to an interim understanding on how We’koqma’q would implement their Netukulimk Livelihood Fisheries Plan, without having to sign any agreements, or change how their community harvesters want to see their Treaty Rights implemented.
“It’s been years since the Marshall Decision and it’s time that our Mi’kmaw harvesters can exercise their Rights without fear of their gear and equipment being seized. We have come a long way and we want to thank and recognize the communities that have come before us to see our people continue traditions that have been an important part of our culture since time immemorial,” continued Chief Bernard-Daisley.
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs continues to support decisions made by Mi’kmaw communities on how they will proceed with their Netukulimk Livelihood Fishery and welcomes today’s announcement from We’koqma’q as another step in the right direction towards self-governance. While interim understandings with DFO are allowing community harvesters to fish for a living, the Assembly still sees the need for significant changes within the Fisheries Act to allow for the Mi’kmaq to truly self-govern moderate livelihood fisheries outside of DFO’s system and licenses.
Crystal Dorey, Director of Communications
Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office