Statement from the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard following the B.C. Supreme Court Decision - Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation et al v. Canada
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today issued the following statement:
“As the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and as a Canadian, I fully support reconciliation and care deeply about a renewed relationship with our Indigenous partners, including the five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations involved in the B.C. Supreme Court case in which a decision was issued today.
“Over the past year, the Government of Canada has been taking concrete action in the spirit of reconciliation with the five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. I personally met with the leaders of the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht and I was pleased to offer additional licences and quota for groundfish, salmon, and shellfish to the Five Nations.
We will continue to advance the relationship between the Government of Canada and the Five Nations: we are already working hard on a new reconciliation process to implement their fishing rights.
“As an immediate step, I have directed Fisheries and Oceans Canada to review the Pacific Salmon Allocation Policy. We will work in collaboration with Indigenous groups and all stakeholders to renew and co-develop this policy.
“The Government of Canada is in the process of a transformative shift to making the recognition and implementation of rights the basis of Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Today’s court decision will inform the broader process which seeks to provide stability and predictability around the management of fisheries and oceans resources.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples have a deep connection to oceans and waterways, and that fishing is culturally and economically significant to their communities.
“The federal government and the Indigenous peoples of this country are now traveling on a new path together. It will be long, and it won’t be easy, but we will arrive at a better place for all.”
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