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Assembly Provides Strong Messages to Ministers

Press Release

Yesterday the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs (Assembly) met with Minister Bernadette Jordan, DFO; Minister Carolyn Bennett, CIR and Minister Marc Miller, ISC to further discuss how the Mi’kmaq will be exercising their right to fish for a moderate livelihood.

The Assembly pushed for Canada to accept the Community Netukulimk Livelihood Fishery Management Plans, as these plans have been developed by communities, and have been provided to and accepted by the Assembly. The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia are well within their Rights to fish under these Plans and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) needs to recognize that authority.

In the meeting, questions were asked to Minister Jordan on their miscommunication to enforcement officers who are still seizing gear authorized under Community Management Plans. The Assembly demanded that if traps authorized by the community have been seized, they must be returned immediately.

“We are frustrated,” said Chief Terry Paul, Assembly Co-Chair and Fisheries Lead. “We are trying to do what’s right and are developing plans where conservation and safety concerns are addressed so that our people can exercise their rights safely. DFO must stop seizing authorized gear and harassing our authorized harvesters. Working Nation-to-Nation with us is the only way forward.”

The Assembly continues to be firm that DFO needs to justify why the Mi’kmaw communities cannot create our own access to our fisheries and continue to push DFO to come to the table to formally consult the Mi’kmaq.

“We have developed very strong plans for moving forward, and it is time that DFO comes to the table to talk about it,” concluded Chief Paul.

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For more information contact:

Crystal Dorey

Communication Manager

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office

902-843-3880

[email protected]

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