Vancouver – Canada’s Federal Government and Coastal First Nations have agreed on a framework for working together in governing and managing fisheries resources along BC’s North and Central Coast.
Representatives from the Government of Canada and seven Chiefs from coastal communities signed the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Fisheries Resources, a commitment that also aims to enhance economic opportunities that support the development of healthy, self-reliant and sustainable Coastal First Nations communities.
The Agreement outlines key subject areas for nation-to-nation discussions and the process for Canada and Coastal First Nations’ signatories to advance a more collaborative approach to managing fisheries resources.
“The importance of the agreement will be the renewal of community-based and sustainable commercial fisheries on BC’s North and Central Coast,” says Chief Marilyn Slett, President of Coastal First Nations. “As well as creating opportunities in traditional fisheries, the emergence of sustainable aquaculture will lead to a healthy coastal economy. Species such as scallops, geoduck, oyster, clams and mussels all represent viable aquaculture opportunities for the Central and North Coast communities.”
The Reconciliation Framework Agreement is an important step forward in Canada’s commitment to a renewed government-to-government relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
“Collaboration with Indigenous communities in Canada, such as the ones represented in this agreement, is critical to protecting Canada’s coasts and our ability to have economically viable fisheries while protecting our oceans for future generations,”says Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.