Government of Canada signs historic reconciliation agreement with B.C. Coastal First Nations
“This historic agreement is the result of years of collaborative work to strengthen relations between the Government of Canada and Coastal First Nations members. The agreement marks a critical step forward and underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring the growth and sustainability of community-based fisheries. In partnership with Coastal First Nations, we are advancing collaborative fisheries management on the north and central coast of our province to best support the prosperity of these coastal communities.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Fish are central to the culture and livelihood of many First Nations on the coasts. That is why it is so important to work collaboratively and conclude agreements such as this one that advance fisheries management and recognize the critical partnership role that First Nations communities like Coastal First Nations need to play. Increasing access to economic opportunities on the north and central coasts supports healthy and self-reliant coastal First Nation communities.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“This agreement will get families and fishers back on the water and re-establish a small boat fleet in our communities. By working together – on a nation-to-nation basis - we will provide opportunities for our communities to fully participate in the fishing economy; create new jobs and investments; and increase economic opportunities and build capacity.”
Chief Marilyn Slett President, Coastal First Nations
The eight participating Coastal First Nations are the: Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, Metlakatla First Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Wuikinuxv Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, Gitxaala Nation and Haida Nation. They are located in the central and north coasts of British Columbia.
In June 2018, the Prime Minister signed the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Bioregional Oceans Management and Protection with 14 BC Coastal Nations, including these Coastal First Nations. This Framework Agreement promotes a more coordinated and efficient approach for the governance, management, and protection of oceans in the Pacific North Coast, including marine ecosystems, marine resources and marine use activities.
The goals of the Agreement signed today include, increased commercial fishing opportunities; community based fisheries capacity for First Nations on the north and central coasts of British Columbia; and the establishment of a collaborative governance and management arrangement that will involve other First Nations and stakeholders.
The Coastal First Nations Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement will provide support for First Nations access to fisheries licenses and quota while also leveraging income generated through a corporate fishery model to support community-based fisheries.
Increased access to licenses and quotas for the Coastal First Nations will come from existing licenses that are currently issued to retired or soon to retire fishers and operators.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and North Affairs
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Media Relations
Special Advisor, Coastal First Nations
Coastal First Nations
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