AMIK’s ten year anniversary conference, entitled “Aboriginal Fishing in Québec: Assessments and Issues — Governance, Conservation and Development” was held on November 30.
More than eighty people filled Uashat’s Musée Shaputuan to attend a dozen conferences discussing a variety of subjects linked to local Aboriginal fishing. The diversity of the conference subjects was unanimously applauded in participants’ comments. Representatives of the Innu communities, representatives of four provincial and federal departments, fishermen, research organizations, non-profit First Nations and non-First Nations organizations, fish plants and shops were all present.
Participants learned about the origins of commercial fishing in First Nations communities of Canada. Today, Aboriginal fisheries, which are community fisheries (the permits belong to the communities and not to a master- owner), represent almost 17% of landings in Quebec. The discussions allowed participants to exchange on many common issues affecting the communities, like the lack of training opportunities.
Members of the First Nations communities also demonstrated that they’ve fully integrated themselves in the fisheries sector, from sea sampling to research, management and resource conservation. Traditional Indigenous Knowledge is promoted through many First Nations organizations and is integrated with modern science to ensure the sustainable management of marine resources.
AMIK received a formal commendation from the Deputy Minister of the Ministère de l’Agriculture des Pêches et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), Mr. Aziz Niang, for their accomplishments in their member communities over the past ten years.