Vancouver, BC – The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Delivering on this commitment, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan and Coastal First Nations President (CFN) Chief Marilyn Slett, with representatives of CFN member nations, announced the signing of the amended CFN Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA).
This historic agreement provides funding for access to commercial fishing opportunities for the eight CFN member First Nations on the British Columbia (BC) North and Central Coast, and Haida Gwaii. The community-based fisheries model, combined with CFN commercial fisheries will provide jobs in the home communities of the participating Haida, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Metlakatla, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, Gitga’at and, Gitxaala Nations.
The FRRA is the first of its kind in BC to establish a collaborative fisheries management process by Canada and First Nations in the BC North and Central Coast, and Haida Gwaii. The governance model between DFO and the CFN member nations includes a collaborative engagement process with a wide range of stakeholders in British Columbia and consultation with other First Nations.
This amended agreement sets out the next steps to be taken in planning for commercial community-based fisheries encouraging a greater flexibility in community participation and greater access to fishing licenses and quota. It also includes support for the CFN member Nations to make investments in gear, vessels, licences, operations, and infrastructure.
“This historic agreement demonstrates Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and to reviewing our relationship with Indigenous peoples based on rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Working together, we’ll create new economic opportunities for First Nations communities in the North and Central Coast of British Columbia, and Haida Gwaii, now and for generations to come.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Through this agreement, our people will have a significant say in the management of the oceans while at the same time have the ability to once again participate in the maritime economy. With this new arrangement and cooperative approach we expect to work together with the Federal Government to advance our common goal of caring for the ocean.”
Chief Marilyn Slett, President, Coastal First Nations
- The eight participating Coastal First Nations are: Haida Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, Metlakatla First Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Wuikinuxv Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, and Gitxaala Nation, whose territories are located on the BC North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii.
- In July 2019, DFO and seven member Nations of Coastal First Nations (CFN) signed the initial Fisheries Resource Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA). The Haida Nation later signed in September 2019.
- The Coastal First Nations Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA) provides funding for First Nations to obtain fisheries licenses and quota through voluntary transfers with current licence and quota holders.
- The Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative will include broad engagement and collaboration with First Nations communities, with stakeholder groups, with the province of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Consultations will take place with First Nations participating in commercial salmon fisheries to discuss their interests and options.