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Working together to create jobs and training opportunities at Lennox Island First Nation

Press Release

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

New band-managed facility will service community fishing fleet and expand economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples on Prince Edward Island

August 26, 2022 · Lennox Island First Nation, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

An active lobster and snow crab fishery is an important economic and cultural resource for the Lennox Island First Nation community on Prince Edward Island. The ability to perform vital maintenance and repairs to the fleet is essential to managing the resource safely and effectively.

That is why the Government of Canada is working with Lennox Island First Nation to design and build a new, Indigenous-owned and operated marine maintenance facility to service the Indigenous community’s fishing fleet and provide skills training.

Supporting the growth of Indigenous-owned businesses

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a $999,621 total federal contribution to the Lennox Island First Nation. ACOA is providing $527,800 through its Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, while an additional $471,821 is invested through the Indigenous Marine Services Initiative (IMSI), and was announced on behalf of the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Province of P.E.I. is also contributing $100,000 towards the project.

This funding will help Lennox Island First Nation develop and build a marine repair facility that will keep maintainance and repair services at home in the community. The initiative will help the band prioritize their fleet’s repairs, allowing greater control over their economic resources and position the fishery for long-term, sustainable growth. The project will also create new jobs and provide skills training to increase community participation in the local labour force.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to growing a skilled Atlantic workforce and creating economic opportunities for Indigenous communities throughout the region.

Quotes

”Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada and across the country play a key role in our economy. The Government of Canada recognizes that investments in Indigenous-led initiatives, like this marine facility at Lennox Island First Nation, create essential jobs, promote stonger communities, and expand economic benefits across the region.”

–   The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

“A key component of reconciliation is taking action. Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to walking the path of reconciliation and investing in First Nation communities. DFO’s Indigenous Marine Services Initiative investment supports construction costs and equipment for Lennox Island First Nation’s new on-site marine service building. Centralizing these services better positions the community for growth over the long term, making a tangible difference in people’s lives.”

– The Honourable Joyce Murray Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Supporting skills training and business growth is essential to building a strong economy and prosperous future for Indigenous peoples on Prince Edward Island. This initiative will provide a variety of employment opportunities and Indigenous-led services that all citizens of Lennox Island First Nation can benefit from.”

-The Honourable Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture for the Government of Prince Edward Island

“As the fishing industry grows, we need to help keep up with the on-going demand to maintain our boats on the water. Having a facility such as this within our community will help not only the bottom line of the business, but help build capacity within Lennox Island First Nation.”

– Chief Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing a $527,800 non-repayable contribution through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing a $471,821 non-repayable investment through the Indigenous Marine Services Initiative, funded by Indigenous Service Canada’s Strategic Partnerships Initiative.
  • The new maintenance facility will be managed by Fisherman’s Pride, an organization owned and operated by Lennox Island First Nation that harvests and sells snow crab and lobster. Licences held by the Lennox Island First Nation are communal and operated by the band.
  • In 2016, 850 Indigenous businesses in Atlantic Canada generated revenues valued at $1.6 billion, a 137 per cent increase over 2012.

Associated links

Contacts

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
[email protected]

Mike Critchley
Senior Communications Advisor
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
[email protected]

Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
[email protected]

Hillary MacDonald
Senior Communications Officer
Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
[email protected]

Corinne Dyment
Band Administrator
Lennox Island First Nation
[email protected]

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