Community Notice – Access to Traditional Hunting Territory

There has been several consequences resulting from the recent rise in COVID-19 cases throughout Quebec and New Brunswick. The twinned communities bubble (Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-a-la-Croix, QC) with New Brunswick was terminated leading to greater travel restrictions between Listuguj and New Brunswick. We have been told that only “essential” travel will be allowed and […]

Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government Fall Lobster Fishery a Success Despite Opposition from Department of Fisheries and Oceans

 

Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government Fall Lobster Fishery a Success Despite Opposition from Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Listuguj concludes self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery even though DFO prohibited sale of catch

October 5, 2020, Listuguj, QC – On Sunday, October 4, the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government (“LMG”) concluded it fall lobster fishery. The Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 decision in Marshall confirmed that the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760-61 protect the right of Mi’gmaq communities to fish and sell fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. In violation of this treaty right, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (“DFO”) prohibits the sale of lobster caught by the LMG every fall, restricting its use to food, social, or ceremonial purposes. The LMG, however, governs its fall lobster fishery with its own law and fishing plan, which permit the sale of lobster. Proceeds are used to support the community.

“It is very disappointing that Canada—our treaty partner—has chosen to stand in our way instead of working with us,” said Darcy Gray, Chief of the LMG. “There is no reason for Canada to work against us. We fish responsibly. We don’t face the opposition or violence from non-Indigenous fishers that we’ve seen in Nova Scotia. We have a model for how to do this right.”

This fall, the LMG fished within conservation limits set by the DFO and landed about 25,000 lbs of lobster. 10,000 lbs were cooked and distributed directly to community members, feeding approximately 1,500 community members, including 300 elders. The rest has been processed and stored to be sold to cover operating costs and fund community initiatives.

“The cost of operating the fall lobster fishery is significant,” explains Sky Metallic, a Councillor with the LMG. “We have 6 boats on the water. They need fuel and bait. We employ 38 people, including fishers, monitors, researchers, and cooks. They need to be paid.”

Because the DFO has refused to issue the LMG a licence permitting it to sell the lobster it caught this fall, it remains an offence under the Fisheries Act for buyers to purchase this lobster. This is a significant barrier that the LMG has been working for years to overcome.

“I understand the reluctance of buyers. The problem is the DFO. They won’t work with us. If she wanted to, the Minister could simply issue us a licence allowing us to sell our catch. She has that power,” says Chief Gray. “Instead, she chooses to outlaw our fishery, in violation of our treaty right, and stand in the way of our efforts to create employment.”

The LMG is working with other First Nations to create their own market for lobster and other sea food.

Aside from the sale of lobster, access to fisheries resources is also remains contentious. “We still need more access,” said Chief Gray. “Listuguj has more than 4000 community members. Even before the pandemic, we had over 30% unemployment. Now its worse. This fall, our lobster fishery employed 38 people for two weeks. It’s a start, but it is hardly a moderate livelihood.”

Chief Gray dismissed recent suggestions that the solution to the impasse regarding the implementation of the Marshall decision is the creation of an Atlantic First Nations Fisheries Authority.

“More than anything, our fishery is about community building. It’s about revitalizing our laws, empowering and employing our community members, feeding and paying our people,” said Chief Gray. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every Mi’gmaq community needs to develop and implement its own vision for its fishery. That is self-determination.”

The Marshall decision explains that Mi’gmaq individuals may exercise their right to fish for a moderate livelihood on the authority of the local Mi’gmaq community to which they belong. Community laws and fishing plans like those adopted by the LMG offer a model for how this can be done safely and responsibly.

“We support any Mi’gmaq community that wants to assume control over its own fishery. We would be happy to share the lessons we have learned,” said Chief Gray. “This way of fishing, of community building, is going to spread across the Maritimes. It is a rising tide. It can’t be stopped. I hope the DFO will realize this and choose to work with us, not against us.”

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For more information, please contact Hilary Barnaby, Communications Manager, at 418-788-2136 or hilary.barnaby@listuguj.ca.

Gespe’gewa’gi Fish and Wildlife Program

The Gespe’gewa’gi Fish and Wildlife program (GFW) is new to the Natural Resources Directorate. The purpose of the program is to monitor resource use activities on the land and water; to ensure conservation and protection of natural resources; and to protect and exercise our Mi’gmaq aboriginal and treaty rights. The function of the LMG Gespe’gewa’gi Fish and Wildlife program is to promote and encourage compliance with our Mi’gmaq laws, resource management plans and policies particularly around lobster and moose resources. Key responsibility is to conduct monitor activities on Gespe’gewa’gi lands and waters on behalf of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq nation.

This Sunday GFW monitors will take to the water and lands. Fall lobster fishery begins Sunday and Moose harvest monitoring begins Monday. Natural Resources has been working on a moose harvest policy to address the issue of encroachment on Gespe’gewa’gi lands by hunters from other nations. There is a need to respect protocols between nations. As such, it’s important that “guests” request permission to hunt within our territory. It’s important to monitor activities for safety and conservation purposes. With regards to the lobster fall fishery, GFW will monitor the fishery and work to ensure our fishers are able to exercise our communal aboriginal and treaty rights, and that the fishery is conducted according to the management plan put forth by the community.

LMG Supports Mi’gmaq Communities in Nova Scotia

The LMG supports the Mi’gmaq communities in Nova Scotia exercising their right to sell lobster under the Peace and Friendship Treaties and conducting fall fisheries governed by their own laws and fishing plans. It has been 260 years since our treaties were signed and 21 years since Marshall. We have waited long enough. If the DFO won’t provide a regulatory framework that allows us to exercise our rights, then we can do that for ourselves. Self-government. Self-determination.

Gespe’gewa’gi Fish and Wildlife Monitors: upholding Mi’gmaq treaty rights

Community Announcement – 2020 Lobster Fall Fisheries

The 2020 Lobster Food Fishery will begin September 20, 2020 at 6:00am and end October 4, 2020 at 6:00pm. The effort allocated for this season will be 235 traps for a total of 14 days. The LMG will fish 60 tags, and the remaining 175 tags will be divided amongst the Fishers. Vessels and Fishers must register with the Natural Resource Directorate (NRD). Community members wanting tags can register at the NRD. Please see the attached Schedule.

If you have questions or concerns, do no hesitate to contact the Natural Resources Directorate at (418) 788-3022. Please note, no disrespectful behaviours towards employees will be tolerated, and could result in denial of service.

Vessel Registration and Vessel Safety

If you are a vessel owner, and would like to participate in the fall lobster fishery, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Vessels must be owned by a Listuguj band member (proof of ownership is required).
  • Vessels must be registered with the Natural Resource Directorate (see ‘VESSEL REGISTRATION’ form below).
  • Vessels need to meet the safety and environmental requirements outlined in Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Compliance Program (https://tc.canada.ca/en/programs/small-vessel-compliance-program).
  • We encourage vessel owners to register with Transport Canada. The NRD can assist you in your registration.
  • If multiple fishers are sharing one vessel, there cannot be more than three (3) fishers per vessel. There are no limits on deckhands.

Applications were accepted until September 11th at 4:30 p.m.

The Fisheries Coordinator will contact you if your registration was accepted.

Fisher Information

If you are a community member who would like to fish lobster this fall, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Fishers must register with the NRD (see ‘FISHER REGISTRATION’ form below).
  • Fishers have access to a proper lobster-fishing vessel that is registered with the Natural Resource Directorate.
  • All Fishers must be a Listuguj band member.
  • Fishers are required to sign a lessee agreement.
  • Fishers are required to honor individual tag holder agreements.
  • All Fishers must respect the Conservation Harvesting Plan, Order in Councils, and community License Conditions.
  • All traps must be tagged using the Gespe’gewa’gi Fisheries Tag provided by NRD
  • All Fishers must have access to the own fishing and safety gear.
  • If multiple fishers are sharing one vessel, there cannot be more than three (3) fishers per vessel. There are no limits on deckhands.
  • All fishers must be onboard to check their respective trap. Fishers cannot check the traps of another fisher. Special circumstances must be pre-approved with the Fisheries Coordinator if you cannot check your own traps.

Applications were accepted until September 11th at 4:30 p.m.

The Fisheries Coordinator will contact you if your registration was accepted.

Community Tag Distribution Information

If you wish to receive a tag, and have a fisher catch lobster for you, you must register in person at the natural resource building from Monday, September 14, 2020 to Thursday, September 17, 2020 during regular working hours.

  • There are 175 tags available for community members. First come first serve basis.
  • To avoid delays in your application, please be ready to identify your Fisher of choice.
  • There is no guarantee your tag will go to your Fisher of your choice, and may be given to another fisher.
  • The NRD will give your tag to the fisher directly.
  • If you receive a tag, you cannot get lobster from the community line-up or Elder delivery. Your lobster will come from the Fisher.

Lobster Cooking and Distribution

Cooking will occur each day of fishing. All lobster will be cooked at the Natural Resource garage building. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. everyday. Please wear your mask and respect social distancing!

  • Community members must arrive on-site to receive cooked lobster.
  • First come, first serve basis!
  • Lobster availability depends on weather conditions and catches.
  • Listen to CHRQ for schedule changes!

Elder & Disability Delivery

Community elders and disability patients can contact Joanne Martin at (418) 788-3022 to get their name on the delivery list. Delivery days will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until the season ends. To be on the delivery list, you must call Joanne Martin each delivery day.

Click here to download the Fall 2020 lobster fishery schedule.

 

Migwite’tm 2020

Given the circumstances with the COVID-19 outbreak, the LMG is unable to host the annual Migwite’tm commemoration event.  This year, the LMG is taking a different route by hosting a virtual and socially distanced event to remember and honour June 11, 1981.

On the evening of June 11, 2020 we will be hosting fireworks at approximately 9:45 p.m. at Moffat’s Landing. We are encouraging everyone to watch the fireworks from your home or from your vehicle at the wharf, Casino 88, the Education Complex or Moffat’s Landing. If you need to arrive on foot at Moffat’s Landing, please wear a mask, with the exception of children under the age of two or people who have difficulty breathing. We are encouraging all families to social distance and stay in your bubbles.

Colouring Contest:

The colouring pages can be downloaded below. Printed copies are also available at the Post Office and local convenience stores. Once you have finished your colouring page, take a photo of it and send it to Macy Metallic or Emma Metallic at macy.metallic@listuguj.ca or emma.metallic@listuguj.ca or via the LMG Facebook page. With each colouring page that is submitted, your name will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a prize! Contest deadline is June 11, 2020 at 11:59pm.

#Migwitetm2020 Photo Contest:

Send us a photo of your best catch, best river view, or what do you do to honour and remember Migwite’tm ’81. You may post your photos (old or new!) to Facebook or Instagram using the #Migwitetm2020. ***Please make your posts public. Once your photo is posted, your name will be put into a draw for a chance to win a prize! Contest deadline is June 11, 2020 at 11:59pm.

From June 1981, a story of resistance to on-going settler state acts of violence in Listuguj was told and an evolving memory of resilience was shared for the generations to come. We hope to not only remember and honour those who witnessed and experienced the raid but to also start to think about ways in which new and untold stories can be told from this event.

 

Download and print colouring pages here:

Migwite’tm Colouring Page 1

Migwite’tm Colouring Page 2

Migwite’tm Colouring Page 3

Listuguj Salmon Fisheries 2020

 

Listuguj Salmon Fisheries 2020

 

May 27, 2020 – Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic and the consequential restrictions imposed by the Government of New Brunswick, Listuguj has faced unique challenges, including increased economic uncertainty, job losses, store closures and unprecedented difficulty in accessing nutritious foods. This had led to changes to the Listuguj Salmon Fishing Plan 2020 to meet our basic needs.

On May 27, 2020, Chief and Council approved the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nations Fishing Plan – Atlantic Salmon 2020 at a duly convened council meeting. The Listuguj salmon fishery will begin one week earlier on May 27, 2020, and will end July 26, 2020 (St. Anne’s Day). Given Listuguj’s current reality, including lack of access to nutritious foods, due to the province of New Brunswick’s border enforcement, the early salmon fishing season will provide community members with access to traditional foods to meet their basic needs during this crisis.

All Listuguj salmon harvesters are to respect the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nations Fishing Plan – Atlantic Salmon 2020 on the entire Restigouche River watershed and estuary. Please consult the Listuguj Salmon Fishing Plan for more information, including fishing schedule.

For more information, please contact the Listuguj Rangers at 418-788-2222. For media requests, please contact Hilary Barnaby, Acting Communications Manager, at hilary.barnaby@listuguj.ca.

 

LMG Salmon Fishing Plan 2020

Mother’s Day Lobster Distribution Update

To honour the mothers in the community, the Natural Resources Directorate will be delivering cooked lobster to each household on Friday, May 15, 2020, starting at 12:00 p.m.

Please note, due to delays in the lobster fishery, lobster is only available after Mother’s day. The department will make all efforts to ensure each household receives lobster. You must be home to answer the door to receive lobster. No bags will be left on the door step.

Lobster Distribution 2019

The lobster food fishery was set to begin this Sunday, September 22nd, 2019.  However, the season has been delayed.  Community lobster distribution will now begin Tuesday, September 24th, 2019.  Please stay tuned for more updates.