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Aboriginal Fishery


Traditional Ancestral Homelands of the Mi’kmaq

 The Traditional Ancestral Homelands of the Mi’kmaq People includes all of Prince Edward Island. In Mi’kmaq, Prince Edward Island is known as Epekwitk (pronounced E – PE - KWIT). Approximately 1,740 Mi’kmaq Aboriginal people continue to live on PEI.

 
 In the early 1700’s the Mi’kmaq and the British entered into peace, friendship, and trade treaties. The covenant chain of treaty relationships continues to this day. In 1982, the first Ministers of Canada affirmed and recognized Aboriginal and Treaty rights,now entrenched within the Constitution. In 1985, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the treaty of 1752 is an existing treaty and protected under the Constitution. The courts also acknowledged that an Indian treaty is sui generis (unique).
 
In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada determined in the Sparrow decision that the Fisheries Act and Regulations were inconsistent with the Constitutional guarantee of an Aboriginal Right to fish. The Supreme Court in the Sparrow decision recognized and affirmed the Aboriginal Right to access and use natural life aquatic resources, which is protected under section 35(1) of the Constitution Act of 1982.
 
Aboriginal Peoples use of resources is undertaken, applying the principle of Netukulimk, a Mikmaq concept for responsible harvest of natural life resources to provide for family and community while considering the future needs of generations yet to come.
 
The Mi’kmaq People of Epekwitk have been harvesting animal, fowl, fish and plant life for over 10,000 years in Atlantic Canada. Since time immemorial, the Mi’kmaq have successfully managed the natural life resources for the expressed benefit and well being of community and family as the common wealth of the Mi’kmaq. Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal People maintain a traditional knowledge of the land, waters and natural life in and around Prince Edward Island, the homelands of the Mi’kmaq - Epekwitk - Mi’kma’ki.
 
 
For more information, contact:
 
Randy Angus
Director, Integrated Resource Management
Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island
Polyclinic, Suite 501
199 Grafton St. Charlottetown, PE C1A 1L2
(W)(902) 367-3660 (office)
(F)(902) 436-0873
Email:
rangus@mcpei.ca
 

Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

In 1982, the first Ministers of Canada affirmed and recognized Aboriginal and Treaty rights, now entrenched within the Constitution.

In 1985, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the Treaty of 1752 is an existing treaty and protected under the Constitution. The courts also acknowledged that an Indian treaty is sui generis (unique).

In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada determined in the Sparrow decision that the Fisheries Act and Regulations were inconsistent with the Constitutional guarantee of an Aboriginal Right to fish. The Supreme Court in the Sparrow decision recognized and affirmed the Aboriginal Right to access and use natural life aquatic resources, which is protected under section 35(1) of the Constitution Act of 1982.

 

Aboriginal Peoples use of resources is undertaken, applying the principle of Netukulimk, a Mi’kmaq concept for responsible harvest of natural life resources to provide for family and community while considering the future needs of generations yet to come