On National Indigenous Peoples Day, Minister Dominic LeBlanc highlights the importance of fisheries in reconciliation
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, released the following statement:
“Today we mark National Indigenous Peoples Day and the vibrant Indigenous cultures and heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples from inland Canada to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic coasts.
I am proud to reiterate the Government of Canada’s commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully with our Indigenous partners in the spirit of reconciliation and environmental stewardship. Collaboration with Indigenous communities across Canada is critical to protecting oceans, inland waterways, marine life and the fisheries.
We recognize coastal Indigenous communities share ties to the oceans that span thousands of years. Their partnership and traditional knowledge are integral to ensuring meaningful protection and management of our oceans, and strengthening our marine safety system and environmental response.
Through the Oceans Protection Plan we are working with Indigenous communities in the North to enhance marine safety by providing funding for new search and rescue capable boats and related equipment. This will strengthen their participation in marine emergency response in local waters as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
On the West Coast, the Indigenous Community Response Training project is providing members of coastal Indigenous communities with additional knowledge, skills and training to help build on the role they already play in marine safety in their communities.
The Government of Canada is also collaborating with Indigenous communities on response activities under the Marine Mammal Response Program and Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to collaborate with the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute for a review of Indigenous programs to ensure they support Indigenous participation in fisheries, aquaculture and the management of aquatic habitat and resources.
Fishing is both a culturally significant activity and a vital resource for many Indigenous Peoples and we have engaged extensively with Indigenous communities to build a new amended Fisheries Act, one that reaffirms our recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. We will continue this dialogue of engagement and collaboration moving forward into the future.
We recognize that the steps toward reconciliation require changes, changes that are both symbolic and concrete and based on trust and respect for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
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